From the 6th century BC until 1935, the country that today is Iran wasknown as Persia. The name, Iran, derives from an ancient term "a-eer-yanem va-ee-jo" in Avesta, the holy book of the Zoroastrians, meaning 'the land of the Aeers'. This term refers to the plateau upon which the Indo-Iranians, a branch of the Aryans, settled. By the passing of time, the term "Aeer" changed to "Er" and later to "Ir", and so the official name of the country during the Sassanid period (400-600 AD) was Iranshatr or Iranshahr. "Shatr" or "Shahr" means country, and so, Iranshahr meant "the country of the Nobles." Iran comprises of a land area of over 1.6 million Sqm (the 17th country in the world by land area). Located in the south west of Asia, Iran is one the middle- east countries. Lying below the northern temperate zone, between latitudes 25 degree north and 39 degree 47' north and between longitude 44 degree 02' east and 63 degree 20' east, the country borders Turkmenistan, Caspian, Azerbaijan and Armenia on the North, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the East, Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf on the south, and Iraq and Turkey on the West. It also shares 740 km Caspian Sea coast line with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Iran was a constitutional monarchy, but turned to an Islamic Republic as desired by the people of Iran in 1979. Totally, Iran has 8,731 km of border, of which 2,700 km consist of water borders and 6,031 km for land borders. The highest point in Iran is Mount Damavand, which is 5,610m high. The longest river is the Karun River with a length of 890 km (the only navigable river). The largest lake is the Orumiyeh Lake with an area of 4,868 km and the largest Island is Qeshm with an area of 1,491 square km. Iran has a very colorful and diversified landscape, ranging from high plateaus to mountain ranges and to plains bordering the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea. The dominant landscape color is a delicate brown, like the coat of a dear, but the countryside can vary enormously according to the altitude and vegetation.
Being a vast country, Iran has regions with differing temperatures during a given period of time, offering different climates and conditions Depending on the season and the areas one plans to visit, the weather can be humid, dry, hot or cold.
In the northern coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, the climate is mild and humid. The southern parts and the Persian Gulf region have a hotter climate than Central Iran. Northwestesrn Iran is about 10 - 15 degrees Celsius cooler than the rest of the country. The north region of the country, especially, the Alborz foots, are a popular destination in the spring.
Iran's southern regions provide a pleasant spring-weather getaway during the winter.. At the same time, in Fars & Esfahan, the cold, the snow, and the torrent change the faces of the cities. The weather of most of Iran is hot during the summer.So, one can enjoy winter and summer sports during the same period within a few hours. More accurately, from mid-April to early June and from late September to early November are the best times to enjoy the matchless beauty of the country.