LA LA LAND

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DAY 1

 

Arrival at IKA airport, meet and greet with our agent based on the arrival time and transfer to the hotel 

  • One more day will be booked from day before if early check in is needed. 
  • The city tour will be added if the time allows. 

 Overnight: Tehran

DAY 2

 

After breakfast at 9:00 a.m. you will start Tehran excursion by visiting the National Museum of Iran (Archeological and Islamic arts), Jewelry Museum and Golestan palace (UNESCO   World Heritage). Then visit traditional old bazaar and communicate with local people and also do shopping if you want.

Overnight: Tehran

DAY 3

 

Early morning drive 3 hours and 25 minutes toward Alamut Alamut mountains and visit the Hassan Sabbah's Alamut castle. Then visit Evan lake and scenic Gazarkhan village. Then drive around 2 hours toward Qazvin City.

Overnight: Qazvin

DAY 4

 

In Qazvin visit Old Caravanserais at bazaar and Shahzadeh Hosein Sanctuary, Water Cistern, Qasr Hammam, and Hamdellah Mostofi Tomb. Then drive around 2 hours toward Zanjan CityEn-route visit Sultanieh world Heritage Mosque, Chalbi Ughloo Tomb and Khanghate.

Overnight: Zanjan

DAY 5

 

Early morning drive around 4 hours toward Sareyn. En route visit Sheikh Safi tomb as a Sufi master, Ardabil museum of anthropology. Later drive to see Safavid bridges around Ardabil and Shoorabil lake. If time allows visit Ardebil Bazaar.

Overnight: Sareyn Ardebil

DAY 6

 

At 8:30 a.m. visit Sarein warm water SPA and also its amazing landscapes. Then drive around 3 hours toward Tabriz City. In Tabriz visit Azerbaijan museum and after visiting it constitutional revolution museum. Then drive to visit Shahriar tomb, Kabood mosque, Scales museum and historic house

Overnight: Tabriz

DAY 7

 

At 8:30 a.m. visit Tabriz Bazaar and Ilgoli mansion and park in Tabriz. Then drive around 1 hour toward Kandovan and walk in this volcanic Mountains and village, the well-known cave dwellings.

Overnight: Kandovan

DAY 8

 

Early morning drive 4 hours and 40 minutes toward Takab. En route visit Maragheh and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Takht-e Soleyman in Takab.

Overnight: Takab

DAY 9

 

Drive 4 hours and 45 minutes toward Kermanshah to visit the stunning Taq-e-Bostan Sassanid relieves &. Tekieh Moavenolmolk (Shiite Commemoral place for holy imams) bazar, inscriptions, caravansary in Kermanshah.

Overnight: Kermanshah

DAY 10

 

Drive 3 hours and 25 minutes toward Hamedan. On the way visit Bistoun bas-relief UNESCO recognized and Anahita pre-Islamic temple. City tour visit (Ester & Mordecai) 11 centuries Synagogueand Tomb.

Overnight: Hamedan

DAY 11

 

Continue city tour by visiting Baba Taher Tomb, Avecina Tomb, Alavian Dome, Hegmataneh hills and Museum, Tomb of Esther & Mordechai. The next place is Ganj Nameh 500 b.c Inscription engraved on a mountain in Hamadan.

Overnight: Hamedan

DAY 12

 

Drive 4 hours and 45 minutes toward Kashan. En-route visit Saveh Friday Mosque. Tabatabaee and Borujerdi Houses, Fin Garden (UNESCO World Heritage) in Kashan will be seen too.

Overnight: Kashan

DAY 13

 

Drive 2 hours and 30 minutes toward Isfahan. En route visit beautiful Abyaneh village to get familiar with traditional local people, clothes and customs. In Isfahan visit the nice old bridges 33-Arcs and Khajoo Bridge plus Chehelsoton Palace (UNESCO World Heritage).

Overnight: Isfahan

DAY 14

 

Full day Isfahan walking tour starts at 9:00 a.m. Visiting the Jame Mosque (UNESCO World Heritage), Bazaar and monuments surrounding the vast Naqsh-e Jahan Square (UNESCO World Heritage) including Ali Qapu Pavilion, Shaikh Lutfollah Mosque, JameAbbasi Mosque (Imam) and the monumental entrance to Qayssarieh Bazaar

Overnight: Isfahan

DAY 15

 

Continue your trip in Isfahan with Hashtbehesht palaces and gardens. Then drive around 4 hours toward Yazd. En-route you will see Naein too. Visit Dowlatabad Garden (UNESCO World Heritage) and highest wind catcher in the world in Yazd

Overnight: Yazd

DAY 16

 

Yazd excursion starts at 8:30 a.m. by visiting Jame Mosque, Water Museum, Amir Chakhmagh Complex & Mosque, Zoroastrians Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, Alexander prison and old part of the city

Overnight: Yazd

          

DAY17

Drive around 5 hours and 15 minutes toward Shiraz. En route visit Persepolis (UNESCO World Heritage), Necropolis and if time permits Pasargadae.

Overnight: Shiraz

DAY 18

 

Shiraz full city tour starts at 9:00 a.m. to Nasirol Molk Mosque, Zinatol Molk House, Narenjestan Palace, walking tour to Zandiyeh Complex, the traditional bazaar. Then visit Eram Botany Garden and the great Hafez Tomb and Jahannama Garden.

Overnight: Shiraz

DAY 19

 

At 8:00 a.m. continue city excursion and visit Hafez Tomb, Delgosha Garden, Qoran Gate and Khajoye Kermani plus Shahcheraq Shrine. Then transfer to Shiraz Airport and take a flight toward Shiraz around 18:00 p.m.Transfer from Mehrabad Airport to the Hotel and have a rest

Overnight: Tehran

DAY 20

Transfer directly from Tehran to IKA based on departure flight time

Iran Diamond Tour

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Highlights

Start and end in Tehran! With the in-depth cultural tour Iran Diamond Tour (6 Days - Max.12 Passenger), you have a 6 day tour package taking you through Tehran, Iran and Isfahan. Iran Diamond Tour (6 Days - Max.12 Passenger) is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

Itinerary

Introduction

5 days in Iran to explore Tehran, the great capital, and the wonderful city of Isfahan.

  • Day 1: Tehran
    In and around Tehran
    Welcome to Iran. You will be transferred from Tehran international airport to your hotel. There will be a meeting at 6 P.M. you will be given an Iranian SIM card. we will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have it on hand. And for dinner you will have a traditional Persian cuisine with us. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2: Tehran
    Tehran is the Capital city of Iran and more than 15 million people are living in this exciting, noisy, huge city. You will enjoy a guided city tour after breakfast. After lunch we will visit the amazing jewelry museum where you can see a rare collection of world's most valuable jewels which have been gathered together over many years ago. After that you will have free time to experience the city on your own. you can ask your guide to give you some options if you want. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3: Tehran-Isfahan 
    In and around Isfahan
    After breakfast we will visit Sa’ad abad palace and museum. After lunch we will go to Isfahan. It takes around 5 hours and we will be there before dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4: Isfahan
    Isfahan is one of the most wonderful places you can see, and visiting there will leave you breathless. After breakfast we will visit Imam square which now is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. we will also visit Ali Qapu palace on the west side and Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque on the east side of this square. you also have time to enjoy the Bazaar around the square where you can buy souvenirs if you want. You will be free the rest of the day to explore this gorgeous city on your own. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5: Isfahan-Tehran
    After breakfast we will visit Vank Cathedral and after that Chehel sotoun palace which contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic. after lunch we will walk along the beautiful Zayanderud which is the largest river in Iranian plateau and see the amazing bridges that have been built over this river, bridges like Si-o-seh pol or Khaju Bridge. In the afternoon we go back to Tehran. for dinner we will have farewell dinner together and a little ceremony. after that Transfers to airport will be available at any time you want. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast-Dinner
  • Day 6: Tehran
    After breakfast the tour is finished and you can do whatever you like. our transfers to airport will be available till 14 and you can leave at any time. Please note you must check out of the hotel by 12pm. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast

What's included

  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Additional Services

Iran - Discover Persia

%AM, %22 %251 %1398 %05:%Mar
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Highlights

Start and end in Tehran! With the in-depth cultural tour Iran - Discover Persia, you have a 14 day tour package taking you through Tehran, Iran and 9 other destinations in Iran. Iran - Discover Persia is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Itinerary

  • Introduction
    Follow in pilgrims' footsteps and explore the history of old Persia and the spirit of the new Iran. Discover magnificent mosques, small mountain villages and colourful gardens, and gain deeper insight into this ancient land. Wander the streets of ancient capitals and desert cities, and witness spectacular Zoroastrian temples. Your expert CEO will take the hassle out of planning and organizing, leaving you free to uncover the gems of Iran at the best cultural monuments and in the stalls of exotic bazaars.
  • Day 1 Tehrān
    There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting. Additional Notes: Flights often arrive very late at night or early in the morning in Tehran. Keep in mind the evening welcome meeting when booking your travel. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
  • Day 2 Tehrān/Yazd (1B)
    In and around Yazd
    Explore Tehran with a local guide, visiting the Sa’d Abad Palace and National Jewel Museum before boarding an evening train to Yazd. Included Activities: Tehran City Tour Sa’d Abad Palace Visit National Jewels Museum Transport: Local train (5.50-6.00 hours)
  • Day 3 Yazd (1B)
    The desert city of Yazd is known as the centre of the Zoroastrian religion. Learn more about the fascinating customs of one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions and take in the unique architecture of this city. With some free time, opt to rent a bike, relax in a teahouse, or wander the bazaars. Included Activities: Yazd City Tour
  • Day 4 Yazd/Zein-o-Din Caravanserai (1B, 1D)
    Spend the morning exploring the labyrinth streets of Yazd. Drive to Zein-o-din Caravenserai, an old inn dating back to the 16th century situated on the ancient Silk Road. Tonight experience the way of life of old Silk Road traders. Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 60km)
  • Day 5 Zein-o-Din Caravanserai/Kermān (1B)
    Travel to one of Iran's oldest cities. Kerman was founded in the early third century and the city has historically played an important role on the Trans-Asian trade routes. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-4.50 hours, 373km)
  • Day 6 Kermān (1B)
    Spend the day visiting highlights of the area. Visit the Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine and Shahzadeh Garden. Later, visit the Bathhouse Museum and the Rayen Citadel. Included Activities: Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine Visit Shazdeh Garden Visit Rayen Citadel Visit Ganjali Bathhouse Museum Visit
  • Day 7 Kermān/Shiraz (1B)
    In and around Shiraz
    There is free time to explore the city's beautiful Regents mosque, Nasiralmolk mosque, Khan madrasa, Bagh-e Eram gardens, and perhaps even listen to some poetry being recited at the Hafez tomb. This vibrant student city is buzzing with life and is a great place to interact with some Iran's youth. Included Activities: City Tour Transport: Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))
  • Day 8 Shiraz (1B)
    Travel to Persepolis to explore this fascinating sight. On the way back to Shiraz, visit the rock cut tombs at Naqsh-e-Rostam, the burial place of Darius the Great and his successors. Included Activities: Persepolis Tour Naqsh-e-Rostam Visit Transport: Visit Persepolis and Nasqt-e Rostam before returning to Shiraz. Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
  • Day 9 Shiraz/Isfahan (1B)
    Embark on an included visit to Pasargadae and explore the capital and burial site of Cyrus the Great. Included Activities: Pasargadae Visit Transport: Stop en route to explore Pasargadae. Private Vehicle (485km)
  • Day 10 Isfahan (1B)
    Wander the tree-lined boulevards of Isfahan, the jewel of ancient Persia. On a city tour, visit Imam Square and mosque, Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque, and the Ali Qapu Palace. Wander the bazaar and learn the history of Isfahan's bridges. Stop in a miniatures shop and learn about this intricate art form before sampling some delicious gaz, a candy famous in Isfahan. Included Activities: Isfahan City Tour
  • Day 11 Isfahan (1B)
    Spend a full day exploring this gorgeous city.
  • Day 12 Isfahan/Abyāneh (1B)
    This beautiful mountain village has preserved its traditions, language and dress. Wander the quiet lanes, sample dried fruit, and relax in the hotel overlooking the green fields below. Included Activities: Abyaneh Guided Walk Transport: Stop at highlights en route to Tehran. Private Vehicle (175km)
  • Day 13 Abyāneh/Tehrān (1B)
    In Kashan, opt to visit Fin Garden, Khan-e Borujerdi house, and Agha Bozorg Mosque. Included Activities: Kashan Visit Tomb of Imam Khomeini Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (320km)
  • Day 14 Tehrān (1B)
    Depart at any time.

Iran Classic Tour

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Highlights

Start and end in Tehran! With the in-depth cultural tour Iran Classic Tour (12 Days - Max.12 Passenger), you have a 12 day tour package taking you through Tehran, Iran and 5 other destinations in Iran. Iran Classic Tour (12 Days - Max.12 Passenger) is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

Itinerary

  • Introduction
    12 days in Iran that you will never forget. Enjoy every second of it, from visiting the oldest city in the world or ruins of the greatest kingdom to looking at the most expensive jewelries in the world.
  • Day 1: Tehran
    In and around Tehran
    Welcome to Iran. You will be transferred from Tehran international airport to your hotel. There will be a meeting at 6 P.M. you will be given an Iranian SIM card. we will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have it on hand. And for dinner you will have a traditional Persian cuisine with us. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2: Tehran
    Tehran is the Capital city of Iran and more than 15 million people are living in this exciting, noisy, huge city. You will enjoy a guided city tour after breakfast. After lunch we will visit the amazing jewelry museum where you can see a rare collection of world's most valuable jewels which have been gathered together over many years ago. After that you will have free time to experience the city on your own. you can ask your guide to give you some options if you want. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3: Tehran-Isfahan
    In and around Isfahan
    After breakfast we will visit Sa’ad abad palace and museum. After lunch we will go to Isfahan. It takes around 5 hours and we will be there before dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4: Isfahan
    Isfahan is one of the most wonderful places you can see, and visiting there will leave you breathless. After breakfast we will visit Imam square which now is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. we will also visit Ali Qapu palace on the west side and Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque on the east side of this square. you also have time to enjoy the Bazaar around the square where you can buy souvenirs if you want. You will be free the rest of the day to explore this gorgeous city on your own. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5: Isfahan-Shiraz
    In and around Shiraz
    After breakfast we will visit Vank Cathedral and after that Chehel sotoun palace which contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic. after lunch we will walk along the beautiful Zayanderud which is the largest river in Iranian plateau and see the amazing bridges that have been built over this river, bridges like Si-o-seh pol or Khaju Bridge. In the afternoon we drive to Shiraz. It takes around 5 to 6 hours. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6: Shiraz
    After breakfast we will Nasir ol Molk Mosque(also known as Pink Mosque due to the usage of considerable pink color tiles for its interior design.) then we visit Vakil Complex(Mosque and Bazaar), Eram garden. After lunch we will visit tombs of two of the greatest iranian poets Hafez and Saadi. later, you are Free to enjoy this wonderful city which is known as the city of poets, literature and flowers, on your own. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7: Shiraz- yazd 
    In and around Yazd
    After breakfast we will visit Persepolis which was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, then we visit Naqsh-e Rustam and then we go to Pasargadae which was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction , it is also the location of his tomb. Later we drive to Yazd. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8: Yazd 
    After breakfast you’ll enjoy a guided city tour. we visit the Jame Mosque of Yazd, a 12th century mosque which is still in use today. then you have the rest of the day to explore the city on your pace. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9: Yazd
    Today you’ll enjoy a guided city tour. we will visit Atash Kadeh, dolat abad garden, Tower of Silence, Ab anbar(water reservoir) and Water museum. In the afternoon you will be free to enjoy this ancient city on your own. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10: Yazd-Abyaneh-Kashan
    In and around Kashan, Abyaneh
    After breakfast e will go to Abyaneh and you will have a guided walking tour and enjoy the lunch there. then we will go to Kashan. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11: Kashan-Tehran
    Today, after breakfast we will visit the traditional historical houses. then we will visit Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse. after lunch we will go to Fin garden which is the oldest extant garden in Iran. then we go to Tehran. for dinner we will have farewell dinner together and a little ceremony. after that Transfers to airport will be available at any time you want. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast-Dinner
  • Day 12:Tehran
    After breakfast the tour is finished and you can do whatever you like. our transfers to airport will be available till 14 and you can leave at any time. Please note you must check out of the hotel by 12pm. Accommodation: Hotel Meals included: Breakfast

Ancient Persia

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Highlights

Start and end in Tehran! With the in-depth cultural tour Ancient Persia in Depth, you have a 14 day tour package taking you through Tehran, Iran and 10 other destinations in Iran. Ancient Persia in Depth includes accommodation in a hotel as well as meals, transport.

Itinerary

  • Introduction
    Iran is quite simply an extraordinary country, where visitors are welcomed with open arms by friendly people who have redefined the word ‘hospitality’. The architecture is amazing with breathtaking mosques, stepped hillside villages, cleverly-designed wind towers (badgirs) and impressive structures such as the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence. The country's history is astonishingly rich, and Ancient Persepolis is one of many staggering reminders of this past. The current culture is in many ways a fusion of all the influences; the country’s religion is predominantly Islam (mainly Shiite, but some Iranians are Sunni), although you will probably also encounter Jews, Zoroastrians, Christians and Baha’is along the way. Although Iran is portrayed by some Western media as being ruled by a dour and repressive regime, you will find that it is a land full of warm, lively and friendly people. Join Peregrine for this foray into one of the world’s most fascinating and least-visited countries.
  • Day 1: Tehran
    In and around Tehran
    Welcome to Iran. A Tehran airport arrival transfer is included, so please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or no later than 14 days prior to travel. Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you and transfer you to your hotel (approximately 1 hour). This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Tehran at any time, though please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. There will be a tour briefing at 6pm; please refer to your hotel noticeboard or talk to reception for more details. Until then the rest of your day is free to explore your new surroundings. Iran's capital is exciting, noisy and chaotic. Home to 15 million people, Tehran is the country's beating heart and where its true national identity is found. Expect to see women wearing full-length chadors competing for space with young and hip girls in figure-hugging manteau and headscarves. Also expect to be stopped by friendly locals who love nothing more than to chat with you about anything and everything. This evening perhaps take a seat at a city coffee shop for some people watching.
  • Day 2: Tehran
    Begin your discovery of Tehran with a full day tour, focusing on the sprawling Sa'd Abad Palace and Museum complex. This 104-hectare park is home to 18 palaces, most of them converted into museums, and it is stunningly back-dropped by towering mountains. The site was used as a royal summer residence during the Pahlavi period (from 1925-1979), before the monarchy was overthrown in the revolution. Aside from the artefacts contained within, the palaces offer a fascinating glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the shah and his guests, and their decoration was the height of fashion for the day. Don't miss the bronze boots of Reza Shah outside the White Palace, all that remains of a massive statue that was 'cut down to size' during the revolution. The interior of the 54-room palace is filled with extravagant furnishing, from tiger pelts to the biggest carpet in the country. The Abgineh Museum exhibits three collections of porcelains, glass works and crystals from the 18th & 19th century's BC, while the other museum exhibits range from royal automobiles to royal dishware, miniature paintings and anthropological displays. Tonight, a welcome dinner is your first opportunity to experience traditional Persian cuisine and the legendary hospitality of the Iranians.
  • Day 3: Hamadan
    In and around Hamadan
    Today you will drive west from Tehran to Hamadan (approximately 4.5 hours). Known to classical scholars as Ecbatana, the city has a history that can be traced back to the 8th century BC when it was the capital of the ancient Medes people. It’s thought to be one of the oldest cities in the world, possible dating back as far as 1100 BC, and its fortunes rose and fell in the successive centuries, seeing King Cyrus, Alexander the Great, the Mongols and Turkic conqueror Timur come and go. The city today has a contemporary feel, having been totally redesigned in 1929 by the German engineer Karl Frisch. You will explore the city on a tour, including the tomb of Avicenna (also known as Abu Ali Ibn Sina), one of the greatest medieval scholars; a philosopher, physicist and poet widely considered to be one of the founders of modern medicine. The delightful museum houses local artefacts, historical medical instruments and manuscripts. Stop by the Lion Stone, one remaining part of the Lions Gate that was once the old entrance to the city. It’s thought the lion and its twin counterpart were constructed by Alexander the Great to commemorate the death of his close friend Hephaestion, who died unexpectedly in the city. The Jewish community in Hamadan used to be one of the largest in Iran, and it remains an important Jewish pilgrimage site due to the fascinating Esther and Mordecai tomb. Though most likely medieval in date, local custom dictated that the tomb marks the resting place of the Old Testament's Esther, who won royal permission for the Jews to return from exile. Spend the night in Hamadan.
  • Day 4: Kermanshah
    In and around Kermanshah
    You will continue heading west towards Kermanshah (approximately 200 kilometres, 3 hours) today, but will stop at many interesting sights en route. Begin with the cuneiform rock carvings of Ganjnameh. These panels, whose name translates to ‘Book of Treasures’, are caved into the rock and date from the 5th Century BC. They list the victories of Achaemenid king Darius the Great and his son Xerxes I, and contain messages of thanks to the Zoroastrian god Ahuramazda. You will also have time to visit the stunning rock carvings of Taghe Bostan. Among other things, these Sassanid Empire reliefs show the crowing of Ardashir II, and housed inside a large grotto is impressive carving of Khosrau II on his favourite horse. Continue the drive to Kangavar to visit the 2300-year-old Anahita Temple. Though little remains of what was once a major place of worship, the skill and scale involved in this temple is clearly visible. The major attraction of the day comes at Bisotun, a UNESCO-protected cliff area with bas-relief carving and inscriptions which dominates the skyline. The most impressive of these honours Darius and his generals, who stand victorious over the rebel Gaumata and accept the submission of regional governors. Although you can walk a short way to the base of the cliff face, the carvings are some way up and quite detailed, so you may like to use a zoom lens or binoculars here to inspect them more closely. Continuing on to Kermanshah, you will arrive in the late afternoon and spend the night here.
  • Day 5: Ahvaz
    Your desert journey continues today as you travel via Shush to Ahvaz (approximately 500 kilometres, 6 hours). Once as grand and important as Persepolis, Shush today is a pleasant small town with several places of historical interest. You will visit remains of the ancient city, like the citadel and the Palace of Darius. Also here is the Tomb of Daniel, a pilgrimage site for Muslims, Christians, and the Jewish community alike, which brought great wealth to the local townspeople thanks to the sheer number of pilgrims. Tradition states that the relics here belong to the same Daniel who fell foul of the lions' den in the Old Testament. Though extensively damaged during the Iran-Iraq conflict, the tomb has been carefully restored. Your next stop is at Choga Zanbil, where the splendid Elamite-era brick ziggurat (a shrine-topped pyramid-like structure) has earned World Heritage status, and the astounding condition of the bricks belies their great age. Continue on to Ahvaz for the night.
  • Day 6: Shiraz
    In and around Shiraz
    Today is a long travel day as we drive from Ahwaz to Shiraz (approximately 8 hours). The journey is approximately 543km however the roads are not great so we will need to take our time. Along the way, stop and visit Bishapour, which is a historic Sassanid site with some fascinating ancient ruins to explore.  Once in Shiraz this evening, settle in and enjoy some free time. Valerian, the only Roman emperor to have ever been a prisoner of war, lived out his last days in captivity here circa AD 260. Many of the ruins date from this period. Over the next few days you will have a chance to discover this Pearl of Persia whose very name evokes tranquil gardens, lavish palaces, philosophers, and artists. The city has managed to retain its relaxed provincial atmosphere and is lovely to walk around. In the bazaar you might spot the members of nomad groups who come to the city to stock up on provisions.
  • Day 7: Shiraz
    Take a city tour that covers the highlights of this celebrated historical city. You will visit the lovely, vast garden complex of Eram Garden, also known as the ‘Garden of Paradise’ (Bagh-e Eram). Wander the grounds, filled with young Shirazis, where artificial rivers run through an impressive collection of cypress trees and pool in front of a colourful palace. Following this, visit the tombs of Hafez and Sa'di. Hafez was a Persian poet who was born in Shiraz around 1310, travelled the world and returned to pass away in Shiraz, where he is regarded as a literary giant and folk hero. Look out for how the cupola resembles the hat of a dervish (of Whirling Dervish fame). Sa'di, another great poet and writer from Shiraz, was more of a scholar. His tomb is also set in a garden, beside a fishpond. Appreciate the intricate artwork of their tombs and understand their continued relevance and importance in Iranian society. In the centre of town is the Arg-e Karim Khan, a mud-brick citadel from the 18th century, when the whole of Persia was ruled by Karim Khan from Shiraz. Don't miss the room exhibiting historic photos from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the legendary tales depicted on the tiles at the entrance gate. Nearby is the Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh, a beautiful mausoleum of one of Imam Reza's brothers and the holiest site in Shiraz; the forecourt is usually packed with Shiite pilgrims. You will finish by exploring the nearby Bazar-e Vakil, regarded as one of the finest and most evocative bazaars in the country, and specialising in fine carpets, handicrafts, textiles, and spice. The rest of the day is free.
  • Day 8: Yazd
    In and around Yazd
    Today is another busy day with a lot of ground to cover and sights to see. Take a morning excursion to the remains of Persepolis (approximately 1 hour drive away), once the centre of the Persian Empire and one of the great cities of the ancient world. The Takhte Jamshid complex of palaces, considered the historic marvel of the country, was constructed in the reign of Darius I as the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and took about 150 years to complete. The imposing gateways, exquisite relief carvings, tombs cut into mountainsides, the grand staircases and towering columns will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world. In 330 BC invading armies led by Macedonian Alexander the Great set fire to the city, destroying it and in turn symbolising the destruction of the Persian Empire. While today only the small ruins remain from those once-magnificent edifices, the grandeur is still impressive. You will then visit Naqsh-e-Rostam, a cave-tomb containing the bodies of several Achaemenid kings. There are seven reliefs dating back to Sassanid era, each of which depicts a battle that glorifies a Sassanid king. At one time a Zoroastrian religious centre, perhaps the most important in the world, was located here. Continue on to Naqsh-e-Rajab, the site of four limestone rockface inscriptions and bas-reliefs that date to the early Sassanid era. After lunch you will visit Pasargadae, an ancient city build by Cyrus the Great and which precedes Persepolis. It is not as well preserved as the latter, but still reflects the architectural genius of the Achaemenids, the beauty of simplicity and balance. Continue north to Yazd (approximately 4 hours). Tonight you will stay at our 'feature stay' hotel, an old renovated caravanserai that dates back to nearly a century ago. Stay in the comfortable rooms and relax and enjoy the beautiful courtyard and ambience.
  • Day 9: Yazd
    The ancient desert city of Yazd was a major stop on the caravan routes to Central Asia and India during the Silk Road period – Marco Polo visited the city on his way to China – and it retains a rustic feel. It's also the heart of the Zoroastrian religion. This morning you visit the Jameh Mosque, notable for its fine mosaics and twin minarets that tower above the city. From here you are ideally placed to explore the old part of the city, one of the oldest on earth according to UNESCO. Visit the Dolat Abad Garden and Amir Chakmaq complex. Walk the narrow kuches (lanes), past simple courtyards and the ornate doors of the mud brick buildings. One of the most distinctive features of Yazd are the wind towers (‘badgirs’) that capture even the softest of breezes and send to the buildings below to cool them in a forerunner of modern air-con. You will also visit the Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, both vestiges of the city’s Zoroastrian heritage. This religion, which dates back over 4,000 years, was the state religion of Iran before the arrival of Islam. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire and water are agents of ritual purity, and the fire in the Atashkadeh Fire Temple is said to have been continuously burning since 470 AD. The intriguing Towers of Silence are part of the Zoroastrian tradition of raised circular structures where the dead are laid out to be picked clean by scavenger birds.
  • Day 10: Esfahan
    In and around Esfahan
    Leave Yzad and drive to Esfahan (approximately 320 kilometres, 4.5 hours), stopping en route in the quiet town of Na’in. This settlement on the edge of the Central Desert is a place of old clay houses on top of underground aqueducts that bring water from the mountains to the plains; a place that has retained its traditional charm and is very well known for its Persian rugs. You will visit the 10th century Jameh Mosque, which is one of the oldest in Iran, as well as the Kavir Museum and the old part of town. From here it is a three-hour drive to Esfahan, the jewel in the crown of Persia and undoubtedly one of the highlights of your trip. Arrive mid afternoon, check-in to you hotel and have some time to rest. This evening, take a stroll down to the Zayandeh River and have a look at its historic bridges, which seem to have come straight from a fairytale. See the stunning Si-o-she Pol (bridge of 33 arches) lit up at night in Esfahan. Sit on the bridge or on the banks of the Zayandeh or at a local tea house. At several of the bridges local people gather to talk, drink tea and sing beautiful folk songs. This is truly a magical place to while away some time, and one of the most atmospheric places in all of Iran.
  • Day 11: Esfahan
    You’ll have two days to soak up the sights and atmosphere of what’s considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city reached its peak during the reign of Shah Abbas I in 1587, when it became the capital of Persia. Even though the capital was moved to Shiraz and then Tehran, the city still retains much of its past glory. Today, you start the tour at the immense Imam Square (formerly Naqsh-e Jahan Square); covering an area of 82,500 square meters it’s the second largest in the world. The square is surrounded by many grand buildings such as the Ali Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Qeysarieh Portal and the majestic Imam Mosque. It’s truly a remarkable sight. In the Safavid era, this square was a place for parades, military reviews, polo games and festivals. Today it’s popular for local families to meander around and picnic at in the early evenings. Located in the west of Imam Square, the Ali Qapu Palace covers six floors and was originally built as the main palace of Shah Abbas, who used it to receive guests and foreign ambassadors. Its plaster works and paintings are considered masterpieces of the Safavid era. You will also see Esfahan's Jameh Mosque, a fine expression of the heights of classical Persian architecture from the 11th to the 15th century. The rest of the day is free for you to soak up the visual appeal of the city and discovering the many beautiful secrets it holds.
  • Day 12: Esfahan
    Continue your guided exploration of Esfahan this morning with a visit to Vank Cathedral. This church is located in Jolfa, the Armenian quarter of the city, and the interior is most striking with its gilded ceilings, walls and paintings. The stunning, delicate artwork of the dome depicts the Biblical story of Genesis, from the creation to man’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. There is a museum in this church that contains some very historic manuscripts. Armenian Christians were originally brought there by Shah Abbas I, who valued their skills as artists and merchants. They have been allowed to practice their religion in peace, but are confined to this one area in town. Esfahan also has a wonderful bazaar; walk the covered lanes of this sprawling marketplace, where shafts of light filter through celling and lattice, and browse for fabrics, spices, jewellery and other treasures. Tucked away near the bazaar mosques is a lovely teahouse, the perfect place to rest tired feet and refresh your spirit. Tonight there will be an enjoyable dinner at Shahrzad Restaurant, one of Isfahan's oldest restaurants set in an opulently decorated Qajar-styled building.
  • Day 13: Tehran
    This morning you will drive on to Kashan, a merchant town know for its high quality ceramics, silks, carpets, and fine houses. You’ll visit the lush Fin Garden (Bagh-e Tarikhi-ye Fin), a historic and classical Persian garden that contains Kashan's Fin Bath. This is where Amir Kabir, the Qajarid chancellor and a nationalist hero, was murdered under the orders of King Nadir al-Din in 1852. You will also stop by Borujerdi House (Khan-e Borujerdi), which was built in the 1840s for the affluent Tabatabaei family. Here exceptional attention was paid to all minute architectural details demanded by the geographical and climatic conditions of the area. It’s fascinating place to visit, and enables you to see a traditional (albeit exquisite) Persian residential home, which contains features such as a biruni (where visitors and guests are entertained) and an andaruni (the private part only open to family members). You will then continue your journey back to Tehran (approximately 450 kilometres, 6 hours). You should arrive by approximately 5pm this evening depending on traffic.
  • Day 14: Tehran
    Your adventure in Iran will come to an end today after breakfast.

Journey to Persia

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Start and end in Tehran! With the discovery tour Journey to Persia, you have a 15 day tour package taking you through Tehran, Iran and 10 other destinations in Iran. Journey to Persia includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Itinerary

  • Introduction
    Iran is a country of dramatic contrasts. Its scenery ranges from snow-clad mountains to vast, inhospitable deserts punctuated by attractive oasis towns, and its cities and ancient sites reveal a deep and rich history. Some of the most exquisite examples of Middle Eastern design and architecture are to be found in Iran, including the magnificent ruins of Persepolis, the dazzling Islamic centres at Isfahan and Shiraz, and beautifully-crafted gardens set in desert wastes. The rich bazaars and the ancient tradition of hospitality never fail to impress in a country which sees few tourists.
  • Day 1: Start Tehran; city tour.
    In and around Tehran
    Those on the group flights arrive very early this morning (or late the previous night) and will be transferred to the hotel. Land only passengers should arrive at the hotel this morning (but can arrive a day before the start of the tour). Tehran is a sprawling metropolis buzzing with people. It is the economic heart of Iran and a modern city with museums, cafes and restaurants. We head out into Tehran and visit the Archaeological Museum with its collections of pottery, bronze and valuable pieces from various ages ranging from millenniums BCE to the Islamic era. We also visit the Abguineh Glass and Ceramics Museum, a valuable collection of pre-Islamic, Islamic and European glass and ceramics displayed within an elegant early-20th Century mansion. Finally we visit the Carpet Museum with its extensive collection of old and new Persian carpets and rugs from the country’s major carpet-weaving centres.
  • Day 2: Visit Kashan en route to the traditional village of Abyaneh.
    In and around Abyaneh
    As we leave the hustle and bustle of the Iranian capital behind we make our way, through the desert, to Kashan. This oasis town was a favourite of Shah Abbas who was buried here. Visit the historical garden of Fin which was first planted during the Safavid period and kept alive with water from the nearby Sulaimanieh Spring. This beautiful garden was expanded by the Zand and Qajar monarchs, with many open pavilions added. In Kashan, there are also fine examples of grand 19th Century merchant residences and we will have the chance to visit one these. We continue on to Abyaneh, a small village hidden away in the Karkas Mountains and an Iranian Cultural Heritage Site. The village was originally settled by Zoroastrians fleeing the Arab invasion of Persia and is very traditional with winding alleys of red-mud brick houses adorned with lattice woodwork and balconies. The people of Abyaneh have preserved their ancient culture and traditions over the centuries and dress in colourful clothes. (total drive time about 6hrs plus visits)
  • Day 3: Drive to Yazd making stops in Na'in and Mohamadiye en route.
    In and around Yazd, Na'in
    After touring Abyaneh, drive to Yazd. En route stop in the town of Na’in to visit the early Islamic period Friday Mosque and the Pirnia House /Ethnographic Museum, a beautiful example of a late Safavid period private house with delicate monochrome painted plaster decoration. Continue to the nearby village of Mohammadiye to see the traditional pit workshops weaving the camel cloaks worn by the Muslem clergy in Iran before finally arriving in Yazd. (total drive time about 7hrs plus visits)
  • Day 4: Visit Ateshkade Fire Temple, mausoleum, mosque and bazaars of Yazd.
    A full day sightseeing in historic Yazd, the centre for Iran’s small Zoroastrian community. Visit one of the two Zoroastrian abandoned Towers of Silence (Dakhma). Dating back to the 18th Century, until some 70-odd years ago the bodies of the dead were carried and left here to decompose and be devoured by birds. The next Zoroastrian site is the Fire Temple which houses a flame which is said to have been burning for over 1,500 years. Amongst Yazd’s Islamic sites are the Friday Mosque (1324AD) which boasts the highest portal and minarets in Iran and the Mirchachmagh Maidan and Mosque. Other notable monuments, found in the old Fahadan area of Yazd, are the Saljuk shrine, dedicated to the Twelve Shi’ite Imams; and Ziaieyeh Theological School, also known as Znedan-e-Eskander (Alexander’s Prison). Yazd also has many beautiful old houses such as Dowlat-Abad Garden, an 18th Century feudal hexagonal house.
  • Day 5: Stop in the troglodyte village of Meymanden route to Kerman.
    In and around Kerman, Meymand
    Leaving Yazd, our first stop is the troglodyte village of Maymand. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, villagers still live in cave dwellings today. We explore the village and visit some of the cave dwellings which have been transformed as show-houses. As the caves are strewn along a slope with rubble make sure to wear walking shoes or trainers with grip. We continue to desert trading city of Kerman with its blend of Persian and Baluchi people. (total drive time 7.5hrs plus visits)
  • Day 6: Day trip of Arg-e-Rayen citadel (a miniature version of Bam), Mahan and Kerman
    In and around Mahan
    Head towards the village of Rayan to visit the Arg (Citadel) of Rayan, a miniature version of the Bam Citadel which was destroyed by an earthquake in 2003. Arg-e-Rayan has all the typical architectural features of a desert citadel with ramparts, towers, covered lanes and spectacular views of the nearby Mt. Hezar, snowcapped most of the year. Retruning towards Kerman, stop in the small town of Mahan to visit the blue-tiled Mausoleum of Shah Nematollah-e-Vali, the great 14th century Sufli Leader; and the Shahzadeh Garden (a late 19th century Qajar period house and garden). Back in Kerman we visit the Friday Mosque, the Ganj-Ali Khan Complex and Hammam which has been converted into an Ethnographic Museum. We explore the Maidan (square) with its mosque, madrassa and water cistern all dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and the Vakil Tea House (another covered bathhouse). We will walk through bazaar. Being Friday some shops may be closed but there’s still a great atmosphere.
  • Day 7: Drive to Shiraz.
    In and around Shiraz
    Today is the longest travel day, this is mitigated, however, by the stunning scenery as we cross over the Zagros Mountains and into Iran’s fertile Fars region to the city of gardens and poets which is Shiraz. On the way we visit the remains of the Sassanian Palace at Sarvestan, a fifth century building thought to be a hunting lodge built by Bahram V.(9 hrs plus stops)
  • Day 8: Explore Shiraz, its mausoleums and monumental gardens.
    Shiraz, the city of ‘roses and nightingales’ is the centre of Persian culture, known for its poets, gardens and, at one time, wine which was produced in the fertile valley the city is located in. We spend the day exploring Shiraz’s main sites. We visit the expansive Eram Garden; the tomb of Iran’s greatest lyric poet: Hafez, a popular spot for local lovers; the pink tiled 19th century Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque with its coloured glass windows; the Arg-e-Karim Khan (an 18th century citadel; the Madrassa Khan where we can interact with students and teachers; the Qajar-period Narenjestan Garden and House; the Vakil Bazaar; and the Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh (though only from the outside as it is not open to non-Muslims).
  • Day 9: Visit the ancient ruins of Persepolis.
    In and around Persepolis
    Spend today exploring the heritage of the Achaemenid dynasty in Persepolis and the royal tombs of Naghsh-e-Rostam. Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings with remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes, is famous for its bas-reliefs depicting kings, courtiers and gift-bearing representatives of tributary nations of the Persian Empire ranging from India to Ethiopia. We then visit nearby Naghsh-e-Rostam to see Ka’be-Zardosht (a fire temple) and the royal tombs dug into the rock itself. This site also has seven magnificent Sassanian rock-reliefs including Shapur the First’s famous victory over Roman Emperor Valerian.
  • Day 10: Drive to Iran's architectural gem, Isfahan visiting Pasargadae en route.
    In and around Isfahan
    We head to Iran’s greatest city, Isfahan. En route we visit Pasargadae, the site of the simple, but impressive tomb and remains of the palaces of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire. (total drive time 6-7hrs plus visits)
  • Day 11: Two days to see the stunning capital of Shah Abbas; explore the squares, blue and turquoise-tiled colleges and mosques, with free time for shopping in the bazaar.
    Isfahan nesf-e jahan, 'Isfahan is half the world', the magnificent capital of Shah Abbas I, architecturally, is one of the most important cities of the world. At its centre is the Maidan-e Imam (Imam Square), one of the finest city squares in the world containing the immense tiled Imam Mosque, Ali Ghapu's Palace and the mosque of Sheikh Lotfollah. The Bazaar Qaisarieh, or Imperial Bazaar, is a labyrinth of domed alleyways, filled with carpets, textiles, sweets and spices, metal work, tile-makers, jewellers and bright clothes which stretches from Imam Square all the way to the 10th century Friday Mosque in the north. It was among bazaars such as these that the revolution of 1978 took root. We will also visit Vank Cathedral within the Armenian sector, Jolfa, and may possibly have time to experience the phenomenon of the 'shaking minarets' of the Minar-e Jonban in the west. Isfahan is a rarity among Iranian cities in that a river, the Zayandeh, passes through it. This contributes to the pleasant climate of the city whilst its bridges, particularly the Si o Se Pol (the Bridge of Thirty-three Arches), and the Khaju Bridge, provide the perfect setting to spend the evening soaking up the atmosphere. We finish with a visit to the Qeisarieh Bazaar with hundreds of shops displaying the arts and handicrafts for which Isfahan is world famous. We spend two days uncovering the cities many wonders.
  • Day 12: A day exploring Isfahan.
    We spend another day exploring the stunning capital of Shah Abbas.
  • Day 13: Drive to Tehran.
    Drive to Tehran, en-route stop at the charming desert town of Natanz to visit the beautiful Islamic Complex of Mosque, Monastery and Tomb of Sheikh Abdol-Samad Isfahani, and have a tea-break under the shade of a 500-year old plain tree. (total drive time 6hrs plus visits)
  • Day 14: Final day in Tehran to take in more sites and do last minute shopping.
    Full day visits including the Golestan Palace Museum Complex, built by Fath-Ali Shah of the Qajar Dynasty and dating from the 18th to the early 20th century. Continue to the Shams-ol-Emareh (Sun) Palace and the Ethnographic Museum, with a walk around the garden to enjoy the beautiful tile-covered walls and buildings. In the afternoon visit the fabulous State’s Jewels Museum, housed in the vaults of the Central Bank of Iran displaying the most dazzling and priceless collection of jewels and gems in the world.
  • Day 15: End in Tehran.
    Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for their flight. For land only passengers the trip ends after breakfast.

Persian Treasury Tour

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Highlights

Start in Tehran and end in Yazd! With the sightseeing tour Persian Treasury Tour, you have a 10 day tour package taking you through Tehran, Iran and 7 other destinations in Iran. Persian Treasury Tour includes accommodation as well as flights, an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
 
Introduction
This 10 day tour visits Tehran, Shiraz, Kerman, Yadz of Iran taking in Bam, Perspolis UNSECO sites, Palaces, Mosques and much more.
  • Day 1 - Saturday - Tehran
    In and around Tehran
    Arrival in Tehran international airport, meet your leader and transfer to hotel.
    Overnight Tehran - 4 star
  • Day 2 - Sunday - Tehran Old City
    After breakfast, you enjoy a fully guided tour of the city, visiting Carpet museum, Jewelery museum, Golestan palace, Grand Bazaar, Milad or Azadi Tower (time permitting).
    Overnight Tehran - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 3 - Monday - Shiraz
    In and around Shiraz
    In the morning transfer to domestic airport and flight to Shiraz (1 hour). Transfer to your hotel and check in.
    Overnight Shiraz - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 4 - Tuesday - Shiraz city tour
    After breakfast full day city tour visiting, Eram Garden, the tombs of Hafez and Saadi(Irans most famous poets), Arg Karimkhani (Zand Complex) and Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque (Pink Mosque).
    Overnight Shiraz - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 5 - Wednesday - Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid) and Naqsh-e Rustam
    In and around Persepolis
    After breakfast we tour out of the city to famous and historical places once belonging the king of Persia, Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid), Naqsh-e Rustam and Pasargadae.
    Overnight Shiraz - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 6 - Thursday - Kerman
    In and around Kerman
    Early morning leave Shiraz and drive to Kerman, visiting Shahzadeh Garden, Ganjali Khan Complex, Malek and Jame Mosques, Shah Nematollah tomb, Jabalieh dome.
    Overnight Kerman - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 7 - Friday - Mahan, Baam Citadel, Arge Jadid and Ghadim
    In and around Mahan
    After breakfast full day tour of one of the oldest historical areas in the world visiting, Mahan, Baam Citadel, Arge Jadid and Ghadim.
    Overnight Kerman - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 8 - Saturday - Yadz
    After breakfast leave hotel and drive to Yazd, check-in to your hotel, rest of the day is free.
    Overnight Yadz - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 9 - Sunday - Yadz City Tour
    After breakfast full day city tour in Yazd visiting Amir Chakhmaq Complex, Jame Mosque, Museum of Coin and Anthropology, Water Museum, Atash Kadeh (Zoroastrian temple).
    Overnight Yadz - 4 star - Breakfast
  • Day 10 - Monday - Yazd
    In and around Yazd
    After breakfast our tour concludes. - Breakfast

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