PHOTO: Iran's Lut Desert. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Iran may be flying under Americans' radar when it comes to travel, but U.S. tour operator Abercrombie & Kent wants to help travelers experience the Middle Eastern destination like few have in 2017.
The Illinois-based luxury tour company is offering a 12-day journey through Iran in early May.
The tour, which starts at $5,695, will take travelers to a handful of the country's more than 20 World Heritage sites.
"We feel that Iran is one of the most exciting places that someone can travel to at this point in time, given the current climate in the country and what sort of changes have been taking place recently," Abercrombie & Kent product manager of Americas and Middle East Stefanie Schmudde told the Associated Press.
"There's so few places that don't have a strong American influence, and Iran is one of those places," she added. "You do get the sense you're stepping into another world, and that makes it completely fascinating to a traveler."
While as many as five million tourists visit Iran each year, American visitors account for fewer than 1 percent, according to the AP.
READ MORE: Top 3 Reasons to Visit Iran
Perception is a huge factor, but securing a tourism visa can also present challenges for U.S. citizens. What's more, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for Iran as recently as August.
"Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran," states the warning. "U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel."
Schmudde said that journalists, U.S. government officials and military personnel are warned of the potential danger ahead of time but told the AP that she "would not hesitate to send anybody."
"It's a very exciting destination that's really and truly on the cusp of change."
Following May's tour, Abercrombie & Kent will offer three additional 12-day tours through Iran next year beginning September 2017.