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Persia of Yore (21 D)


This tour aims to show you all the ancient capitals and almost all of the world cultural heritage sites in Iran. We will take you through all the landscapes and varied climates from the lowlands of Mesopotamia to the highlands of Tabriz in the north and northwest.You will also see the major centers of all the different religions in Iran- Christianity (the Jolfa region), Judaism (the Tomb of Esther and Mordecai and the Prophet Daniel), Zoroastrianism (fire temple in Chak Chak) and Islam (Qom). The tour starts from Ahvaz and ends in Tehran.

  Daily activity Images
Day 1
Overnight  Ahvaz

Upon your arrival in Ahvaz airport, you will have time to rest before our tour of Khuzestan commences: The worth seeing Shadegan Ponds occupy 400,000 hectares and are flourished by Jarrahi and Karoon rivers as well as Persian Gulf’s tides; Minoo Island where you can experience a traditional life style in a Mozif, a special structure belonging to this region that dates back to Sumerian times and made entirely out of reed. The experience of having coffee in this structure can become a real highlight of our day.

Shadegan Ponds iran
Day 2
Overnight  Ahvaz

Today we have an excursion to three World Cultural Heritages (Susa, Choghazanbil, and Shushtar). You will visit Susa, one of the most important cities of the Mesopotamia where you will be able to view the remains of monuments from 5000 years ago (Elamite kingdom). We have a chance to see the enigmatic Tomb of Daniel (the burial place of the biblical prophet). Driving to Shushtar, en route, you will visit Choghazanbil ziggurat, an ancient Elamite complex. You will also have a glance at Shushtar historical Hydraulic System (an ancient island city with an intricate irrigation system).  

shoshtar iran
Day 3
Overnight  Shiraz

Departing Ahvaz for Shiraz (563 km), this is a trip through multiple climates and landscapes (our journey starts from 60 meters above sea level and continues to an altitude of 1,600 meters)! We will visit, on the way, Bishapur City (known for its bas-reliefs and the remnants of a Sasanian city) and the Anahita Temple, the name of which is derived from Anahita (goddess of water, abundance, and blessing). A short stroll from Tange Chogan, the rocky walls here are home to six large bas-reliefs cut out of limestone. We arrive in Shiraz at night.

shoshtar iran
Day 4
Overnight  Shiraz

Our Morning tour begins by walking through Zandieh Complex (the citadel, the marvelous Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bazaar and Saray-e-Moshir) with its glorious architecture, and the Nasir Almolk Mosque. In the afternoon, we will visit a standout amongst the most alluring and monumental gardens of Iran, Eram Garden, and the Tomb of two of the most famous Iranian poets— Hafez and Saadi. We end our tour by visiting Ali Ibn Hamzeh Shrine (with mirror tiles covering the entire wall and domed ceiling), and Quran Gate.

shiraz bagh eram
Day 5
Overnight Yazd

In the morning we start driving to Yazd (500 km) aiming at visiting three astonishing sites on the way: Persepolis which still speaks eloquently of the magnificence of the Persian Empire as it was nearly two and a half millennia ago, Naqsh-e Rustam that is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring ancient sites of the Achaemenid Empire (comprising of the massive tombs of Persian kings dating back to the first millennium B.C.), and Pasargadae, the oldest Achaemenid Persian capital and the home to the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and a series of palaces. We arrive in Yazd at night.

Persepolis iran
Day 6
Overnight  Yazd

We will start today’s adventure with Towers of silence (Zoroastrian Buildings for the Ritual of Death in the past). Next, we visit Zoroastrian Fire Temple with its Eternal Flame, Water Museum, and Amir Chakhmaq square (a conspicuous structure in Yazd noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves). Dolat Abad Garden (renowned for having the tallest Badgir/wind catcher in Iran and possibly in the world, standing over 33m) and the grand, congregational Jame Mosque will be also seen. On our afternoon walking tour, we will visit the old district of the city.

yazd iran
Day 7
Overnight  Isfahan

On this day, we drive to Isfahan (350 km), visit Meybod and Nain on the way. We will get a chance to look at the Caravanserai Complex of Meybod. Then we will visit Pigeon Tower (with an extraordinary architecture) and Meybod Ice House, both of which are Eco-friendly inventions. We have also a glance at the tile and ceramic workshop. Next, we will visit one of the oldest mosques of Persian Islamic architecture (Jame Mosque) in Nain. The city is best known for its preliminary architecture. We arrive in Isfahan in the afternoon, having enough time to visit the historical bridges.

Pigeon Tower iran
Day 8
Overnight    Isfahan

The full day visiting Isfahan (known amongst Iranians as half of the world) includes seeing a few UNESCO World Heritage sites: Naqshe-Jahan square; the supremely elegant Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque; the incomparable Imam Mosque; the indulgent and lavishly decorated Ali Qapu Palace; and the famous Bazaar where you see the arts & crafts products. We also visit Chehel Sotoun Palace and Garden (the best sample of Islamic Persian painting); the life style depicted in these paintings is different with the actual condition of society in that period.  

Ali Qapu Palace iran
Day 9
Overnight Isfahan

Today we visit Vank Cathedral (a combination of both Persian and Christian art) and Jameh Mosque (a splendid sample of huge artistic brickworks). Renowned for its stucco decorations related to the Ilkhanid period, the Jame Mosque has about 400 small domes and is considered a wonderful museum of Islamic periods in Iran due to its various types of architecture from 1,400 years ago to the last century. After lunch, we move to Abyaneh (200 km), (the best place to see the rural architecture and traditional dresses of local people).  In the afternoon we have time to discover more about the city.

Vank Cathedral isfahan
Day 10
Overnight Hamadan

 

Today we aim to drive to Hamadan via Kashan (510 km) while we are going to make a few stops on the way to visit the best Iranian houses in size and architecture (such as Borujerdis House, Ameri House, and Abbasi House), and the majestic, Mosque of Agha Bozorg (used as a theological school and also as a mosque), famous for its precise, symmetric architecture and attractive appearance. We then go through the UNESCO World Heritage site Fin Garden, a highlight of Kashan with spectacular pools, gardens, and natural springs. We will arrive in Hamadan around evening time.

kashan-arch
Day 11
Overnight Hamadan

Today's full day tour begins with visiting Tomb of Esther (the biblical Queen) and her uncle Mordechai. The site is of profound historical significance to Iranian Jews and the more extensive Jewish community. Next, we will visit the Tomb of Avicenna, the outstanding physician and philosopher of the medieval period, Tomb of Baba Tahir, a well-known Persian poet, and Ganjnameh inscriptions, ordered by Darius the Great (521-485 B.C.) and Xerxes the Great (485-65 B.C.). We also visit the glorious Ecbatana/Hegmataneh (the capital of ancient Media).

hamedan iran
Day12
Overnight Kermanshah

Driving to Kermanshah (190 km), we will visit Anahita Temple (the goddess of water). Then we move to Behistun. The principal monument of this UNESCO World Heritage site is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius the Great when he rose to the throne of the Persian Empire, 521 B.C. It is the longest text about the ancient Persia written in three distinctive cuneiform script languages (Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian). Next, we visit Taq-e Bostan (with a series of the finest rock reliefs from the era of Sassanid Empire). We arrive in Kermanshah in the afternoon.

Taq Bostan iran
Day13
Overnight Sanandaj

Today, our exhilarating plan is to move from Kermanshah to Sanandaj while you can enjoy the fantastic mountain road. Because so far we have covered a large distance in Iran, we recommend you having a rest for half a day in the hotel and being relaxed. Although we can offer a half day visiting in case that you like to see more about Iran.  For example one of the best places that can be seen is Zarivar Lake which is the largest fresh-water lake in Iran plateau, where you can see the remarkable flora and fauna of the area..

Zarivar Lake Sanandaj iran
Day14
Overnight Zanjan

Today we drive from Sanandaj to Zanjan (360 km) via Takhte Suleiman. The UNESCO World Heritage site, Takht-e Soleyman is an exceptional ensemble of royal architecture, joining the prominent architectural elements created by the Sasanians in a symphonious composition inspired by their natural context. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary as well as a temple of the Sasanian period dedicated to the ancient deity Anahita. The design and the general layout of this archaeological site have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.  

Takab Takht-e Soleyman
Day15
Overnight Zanjan

Today, we will begin our tour in Zanjan with a visit to Rakhtshooy Khaneh Edifice (wash-house). The place was utilized for washing clothes by women around the city. At present this public wash-house and historical relic have been renovated into a museum. In the afternoon we visit the World Heritage site, Soltaniyeh, (one of the outstanding examples of the achievements of Islamic Architecture and Art in Iranian history). The octagonal building is crowned with a 50 m tall dome covered in turquoise-blue faience and encompassed by eight slim minarets.

Soltanieh Zanjan iran
Day16
Overnight Tabriz

Driving to Tabriz (280 km), we will arrive in the afternoon. Our half day tour begins with a visit to the Azerbaijan Museum. It has three galleries: the ground floor bears the oldest remains from 5th millennium B.C. until the Sassanid dynasty (212-656 A.D.) including two skeletons (male and female, known as Eternal Love); the first floor contains works related to the fourth century A.D.; the historic petroglyphs sector is the newest part (located at the basement floor of the museum). We also have a glance at El Goli (formerly Shah Goli) a superb park around a square artificial pond.

azerbayjan museum iran
Day17
Overnight Tabriz

The full day tour in Tabriz begins with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Grand Bazaar. It is the biggest roofed bazaar in the world. It is not just a bazaar but also an exceptional, social, political, and religious complex. Next, we will visit the Constitution House of Tabriz which is a symbol of challenging despotism in contemporary Iranian history. Then we visit Iron Age Museum (containing objects dating back to 5000-7000 years ago), the famous historic Blue Mosque (with somehow unique dark blue color), and the Amir Nezam House.

kashan-arch
Day18
Overnight Tabriz

Today we will go on a full-day excursion to the Aras Valley to visit one of the most scenic valleys in the Middle East, where we prepare to look at two Armenian monasteries: St. Thaddeus and St. Stepanos both added to UNESCO World Heritage List. The former was built on the site around 68 A.D., a few years after Thaddeus’ death and its unique conical roofs are eye-catching and appealing. The latter is situated in a deep canyon along the Aras River. It was constructed in the 9th century and rebuilt in the Safavid era.

Saint Stepanos Monastery
Day19
Overnight Tehran

Our half day excursion to Kandovan takes us to one of the world's few rock-hewn towns, “a Rocky Architectural Oddity” which is still functioning today. A living example of human adaptation to exceptionally unusual natural surroundings where people live in man-made houses made of rocks. The Kandovan dwellings mostly date back to the 13th century A.D. The word “Kandovan” refers to the architecture of the houses as they share a comparable structure with bee hives, called “Kandoo” in Persian. In the Afternoon we fly back from Tabriz to Tehran.

kandovan iran
Day 20
Overnight Tehran

Our today tour includes the UNESCO World Heritage site, Golestan Palace, a masterpiece of the Qajar era and a wellspring of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to the present time; National Museum of Iran (which exhibits relics from the 6th millennium B.C. till the Islamic era); Glass & Ceramics Museum (walking you chronologically through the ages from the 2nd millennium B.C. to the modern day); and possibly Treasury of National Jewelry Museum (which accommodates one of the world's most precious jewelry collection).

National museum of tehran iran
Day 21
Overnight Departure

The last day of our Tour in Iran is also dedicated to the sights of Tehran beginning with a visit to the Sa’dabad Complex built by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran (with an area of 110 hectares), containing 18 palaces and palace museums. Next, we will visit the complex of Niavaran (situated in a great garden in an eleven-hectare area, the monuments of which belong to the Qajar and the Pahlavi periods). Finally, you have a glance at the Carpet Museum (with its facade resembling a carpet-weaving loom) containing some carpet masterpieces of the world, before leaving Iran with memories of a lifetime.

 

niavaran palace complex

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