Why We Love This?
+ Explore fabled capitals of ancient empires with our expert Trip Leader, well-spoken and experienced in sharing his native land with travelers.
+ Stroll in magnificent Persian gardens that trace their design principles to the days of Cyrus the Great.
+ Discover the mystery behind Lut desert and the hottest place in the earth.
+ Mingle with local residents and vendors in three colorful markets including the only bazaar in the world recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
+ Discover Pasargadae and Persepolis, cities of the Achaemenid Empire that rank among the world’s greatest sites of antiquity.
+ Get to know the warm Iranian people as you dine in fine local restaurants we’ve selected for their delicious Persian food and friendly ambience.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO TEHRAN
After arriving in Tehran from Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) at 00:55 AM our professional tour guide will meet and greet you then you will be transferred to hotel for rest.
Today you’ll go to see National Museum of Iran which is an institution formed of two complexes, including the Museum of ancient Iran and Islamic Era.
Tonight’s dinner in a local restaurant offers a chance to experience daily Iranian life in Tehran. At night we go to Tehran Nature Bridge where ‘Tehrani’ young couples spend time together.
O/N Tehran – B, L, D
DAY 2: TEHRAN – FLY TO KERMAN
This morning we take you a World Heritage Site, the lavish Golestan Palace. Built during the Qajar Dynasty that rose to power in the late 1700’s, this fabulous walled complex is centered on a landscaped garden with tranquil pools.
Many of the elements you’ll admire today date to the 19th century when local Qajari architects and artisans were looking to integrate traditional Persian style with elements of Western and Russian origin. The palace buildings are among the oldest in modern Tehran and they are still regarded as a crowning achievement of the Qajar era.
Time permitting, we can walk around Tehran Bazaar, few steps far from Golestan Palace. Continue along the Bazaar route, we go to the Timche Akbarian. Timche Akbarian dates back to almost 260 years from the Qajar era when its main purpose was for exchange and gold. Later it was developed into the first bank of Iran ran mainly by Jews who were the prominent residents of Oudlajan neighborhood.
As of today, there’s no bank or money exchange but the place has been delicately restored into a Dizi Sara and tea house where tea comes in thin waist cups and along with sugar canes.
Dizi doubtlessly is one of the most delicious and traditional Iranian food. Eating it has a special custom. Dizi is a Mesopotamian stew usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric and dried lime. Everything is mixed and cooked together.
After a break for lunch we will visit the Carpet Museum of Iran, home to a dazzling collection of Persian carpets collected from around the country and representing centuries of extraordinary art and skill.
Later we take you to the Mehrabad airport in Tehran for your included flight to Kerman.
O/N Kerman – B, L, D
DAY 3: KERMAN – SHAHDAD
Today on the way to Shahdad you will stop in Mahan. Meet Sufis who have travelled a long way to pay homage to their Sufi master Shah Nematollah Vali in his shrine.
Get relax in Shahzadeh Garden and admire a great example of Persian gardens that depicts a high contrast between a green garden and a harsh dessert at the background.
After lunch, we’ll continue to Shahdad is located at the edge of the Lut desert, for visiting a wonderful scenery of desert in Kaluts.
Kaluts are the wonderful sandy shapes created by wind or water erosion. They are the most beautiful natural phenomena.
They are unique and can’t be found in any desert of the world. You will stay this night in the camp and be sure that you will gaze the night sky till you sleep.
O/N Camp – B, L, D
DAY 4: THE MYSTERY OF SHAHDAD
After breakfast we will drive to Gandom Beryan. The “ Gandom Beryan “is located 80 kilometers Shahdad, Volcanic area is covered with black volcanic rocks that cover the same intense heat rising in the region.
This region is the lowest of the Iranian interior region and this is another reason for the intense heat.
Plain “Gandom beryan” that is an area of 200 km and 150 km wide No living thing is not life and environmental conditions in such a way that there is no planter animal.
Even the carcasses of dead animals and abandoned in a wheat grill, and not decomposed by heat, sun dried heat but just are.
It is also possible in this area, even bacteria will not survive. In the afternoon you will come back to Shahdad camp.
O/N Camp – B, L, D
DAY 5: SHAHDAD – SHIRAZ
Today we’ll drive to Shiraz and leave the desert by its mysteries. We will have some stop in our way to visit Bakhtegan and Maharlu Salt lakes and Sarvestan Sassanid Palace. The lake is located in altitude of 1460 meters above the sea level and its water is very salty. Maximum depth of this lake is 3meters so its amount of evaporation is high and this cause a part of lakebed to be covered with a layer of salt, of course the existence of chalky sediments of sachun formation and two salt domes in the east of the lake have considerably effect on its extreme saltiness.
O/N Shiraz – B, L, D
DAY 6: SHIRAZ… THE CITY OF ROSES AND NIGHTINGALES
After breakfast, will start your full day tour of Shiraz. At first, you will visit Karim Khan Citadel. Built during the Zand Dynasty. Then you’ll have time to explore and shop in the bustling Vakil Bazaar, home to hundreds of stores, beautiful courtyards, and even an ancient caravanserai.
After that, you will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) few steps far from Vakil Bazaar. It built by the order from one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty, Mirza Hasan ‘Ali Nasir-al-Mulk, it took 12 years to complete in 1888. Its interior reveals a magnificent masterpiece of design with stunning colors. This is a space where light and worship intertwine. The mosque comes to life with the sunrise and colors dance throughout the day like whirling dervishes. It reflects on the ground, walls, the arches and the towering spires. It even reflects on the visitors as if a colorful ball is hit by the first sun ray and explodes to thousands of butterflies all around.
Also you can visit Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh. Shah-e-Cheragh is the most important place of pilgrimage within the city of Shiraz. The tombs became celebrated pilgrimage centres in the 14th century when Queen Tashi Khatun erected a mosque and theological school in the vicinity. Ahmad (Shah-e-Cheragh) came to Shiraz at the beginning of the third Islamic century (approximately 900 AD), and died there. During the rule of Atabeg Abū Sa’id Zangi (1130s AD) of the Zengid dynasty, the chief minister to the monarch by the name of Amir-Muqarrab-al-din Badr-al-din built the tomb chamber, the dome, as well as a colonnaded porch.
Shiraz is famous for its gardens and we’ll visit the Eram Garden with its aromatic myrtles, beautiful flowers, fruit trees, and towering cypress (one of which is said to be 3,000 years old).
End your day in Shiraz on a tranquil note in the lovely garden tomb of Sa’adi and tomb of Hafez, two of our most outstanding poets to feel the taste of Persian Literature. Hafez is one of great poets who impressed everyone with his mastery.
His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding. Sa’adi is a poet, philosopher and mystic who is known as the father of an alternative tourist. About seven previous centuries he travelled to different countries and cities. Then he collected all his experiences in verse and Rhyme prose in two books named Boustan and Golestan. These two books give you Lots of inspiration and information. We will get a chance to pay homage to tombs of these great poets.
O/N Shiraz – B, L, D
DAY 7: PERSEPOLIS AND PASARGADAE
We have a full day of driving today to reach our destination of Isfahan; it is a good idea to stock up on locally bought and easily found dates and pistachio nuts for the journey.
We will have some stop in our way to visit legendary city of Persepolis, former capital of Darius the Great and founded in 512 BC. There was no more impressive construction in the ancient world, except perhaps Karnak in Egypt.
Darius built the terrace, the Apadana (great audience hall), the Tachana (palace), the monumental staircases and his son, Xerxes, added the harem and the Hall of 100 Columns.
Alexander the Great entered Persepolis in January 330 BC and then committed an uncharacteristic act of wanton destruction that still mystifies historians today, burning the mighty city to the ground. Though a shadow of its former self, the soaring pillars, terraces and sculptures of Persepolis still remain, but probably most impressive are the bas reliefs which line the site, telling the story of ancient governors and kings that came to Persepolis to pay tribute to the Persian Emperors.
From here we will drive a couple of miles to Naqsh-e-Rustam, the Necropolis where Darius and his successors are buried. Carved into the side of a cliff, the site is extraordinary in its magnitude and sheer ambition and does not disappoint even after the impressive Persepolis. Continue to Shiraz and check in to our hotel.
Then visit Pasargadae, UNESCO World Heritage Site, tomb of Cyrus the Great and former capital of the Achaemenid Empire. We will spend some time exploring the site and though not as striking as Persepolis, there is a great viewpoint where we can look over the site and the surrounding area. Continue to Isfahan and check in to our hotel.
O/N Isfahan – B, L, D
DAY 8: GLORIOUS, HISTORIC ISFAHAN
As the 17th-century capital of the Safavid Empire, Isfahan was one of the world’s greatest cities – architecturally striking, wealthy beyond imagine, and politically powerful with Europeans, Ottomans, Indians and Chinese coming to its court – the heart of a vast Persian Empire that stretched from the Euphrates River in present-day Iraq to the Oxus River in Afghanistan. Indeed, its grandeur inspired the rhyming proverb, Isfahan nesf-jahan (Isfahan is Half the World). Today, you’ll join our expert guide to begin your exploration of the city, starting with some of the centuries-old, still elegant bridges that span the Zayandeh River. The 14th-century Shahrestan Bridge, for example, evokes the greatest aqueducts of ancient Rome and is the oldest bridge in Iran.
Another famous bridges on the Zayandeh River are Sio-ce-pol and Khaju. There are sluice gates below the bridge to let the water runoff from Zayandeh River in the spring, and there are beautiful stony archways above each gate. These archways provide a great acoustic place for every man who wants to sing. You can always find a man or a group of men singing under the bridge. The songs are usually about betrayal or unrequited love. You have the chance to chat with these men and listen to their songs. In the city’s Armenian quarter, you’ll delve more deeply into the region’s complex history as you visit several churches including the 17th-century Vank Cathedral with its lavishly decorated interior and unique blend of Islamic and European architectural elements.
Continue your exploration in Isfahan at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Simple at first glance but wondrous in its rich detail and bold design, the Masjed-e Jamé is another masterpiece of Iranian architecture, covering nearly 5 acres in the heart of this historic city. This is one of the oldest congregational mosques in the country, and its construction and embellishment over the past twelve centuries illustrate a number of important periods in Islamic architecture. Next up is Chehel Sotun.
Set in a landscaped and forested park in front of a tranquil reflecting pool, this graceful pavilion was built by Shah Abbas II for entertainment and court receptions. Entering through a portico with twenty slender wooden columns, you’ll discover soaring halls embellished with frescoes, paintings and mosaics; the Hall of Mirrors is especially breathtaking!
This afternoon, your exploration continues in Imam Square. This 17th-century site is one of the largest public spaces in the world. Here in the square, you’ll visit the 17th-century Shah Mosque, revered as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and easily recognized by its magnificent tile-work and soaring cupola and minarets.
In the Ali Qapu Palace, you’ll marvel at its beautiful music rooms and the balconies where Safavid kings would sit to enjoy the polo matches unfolding in the square below. You’ll end your day exploring the Qeisarieh Bazaar that surrounds Imam Square. With hundreds of local vendors that specialize in traditional arts and crafts, it’s a wonderful place to shop for pottery, enamel, jewelry and delicately inlaid board games.
O/N Isfahan – B, L, D
DAY 9: ISFAHAN TO BEAUTIFUL KASHAN
We leave the wonderful Isfahan behind and drive for a few hours to the Kashan, a town originally famous for its textiles and ceramic production, but now better known for the Fin gardens and extensive bazaar and hamams.
The Fin gardens are our first stop, a relaxing and visually impressive Persian garden with water channels all passing through a central pavilion, there is also the chance to buy some rose water, a local specialty – outside of the site.
From here we will visit the bazaar area, a widespread complex filled with hamams and mosques; one hamam has been converted to a traditional tea house where we will stop for those who need a break from shopping.
Walking through the bazaar we get to the Mosque of Mir Emad, which we will visit along with the Masjed-e Jame.
You’ll also visit the historic Borujerdi House here in Kashan. With fine decorative motifs handcrafted of stucco, impressive domes, wall paintings and inlaid mirror mosaics, this former merchant’s home is regarded as a masterpiece of traditional Persian architecture. It also boasts 130-foot tall wind towers to catch lofty breezes that can cool the entire house.
Later, leaving Kashan behind, we’ll drive to IKIA airport.
DAY 10: DEPART TEHRAN
Our tour guide will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your’ flight time.
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