We recommend this trip to those tourists who would like to see central Iran in more depth. If you would like to stay away from the capital and concentrate more on the historical cities, this is the best option. This Iran Tour offers you the option to get lost in the muddy alleys of labyrinthine Yazd and camp for a night in the silence of the desert, enjoying a sky full of stars and imagining the quiet tinkling of bells from the camels and caravans.
Visited Cities: Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan
We will begin our trip in Shiraz, by walking through the Zandieh Complex, which includes the citadel, Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bazaar, and Saray-e-Moshir. We also visit the Nasir Almolk Mosque (a standout amongst the most exquisite mosques in the south of Iran) after which we’ll wander around the Persian-style garden (Eram or Jahan Nama), the Tomb of one of the most famous Iranian poets – Hafez, Ali Ibn Hamzeh Holly Shrine, and the Quran Gate. In the evening we’ll take a short journey to Persepolis, spending the night in a hotel nearby.
On this day we aim to visit the glorious ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Persepolis (the image of the Achaemenid dynasty and a picturesque center for the receptions and celebrations of the Achaemenid kings and their domains) and Naqsh-e Rostam (a royal necropolis standing as an enduring memory of a once powerful empire that ruled over a significant area of the ancient world.). We then drive towards Yazd (458 km), stopping by to see Pasargadae (Tomb and Palaces of Cyrus the Great) where you feel that the great history lies under your feet.
Once in Yazd we’ll visit the Towers of Silence (demonstrating the Zoroastrian idea that all that you get from nature you one day return it to nature), Zoroastrian’s Fire Temple, the imposing Water Museum, and the dignified Amir Chakhmagh Square. The afternoon will be devoted to the Yazd’s traditional urban area and its major spots: the Jaam’e Mosque (the terrific iwan of which is crowned by a couple of minarets, the highest in Iran), Alexander Prison, and Zour Khaneh (Iranian’s traditional gymnasium).
We are going to spend our second day in Yazd doing a day excursion to the outskirts of the city, visiting Kharanaq (one of the last standing Big Mud towns). Next we have a glance at Chak Chak (the most sacred of the Zoroastrian mountain pantheons).We then move to Meybod (about 57 km north of Yazd) to visit the Safavid Caravanserai and the historical Yakhchal (an icehouse including a pond, a freezing compartment, an ice reservoir, and a dome covering the ice reservoir). We’ll spend the night in an eco-lodge in the desert.
From the desert we’ll make the 450 km drive to Isfahan, visiting on the way Nain and Narin Historical Castle. The Jame Mosque in Nain is a prominent structure with elaborate baked brick decoration around the yard and also perfect stucco workings close to the Mihrab (niche). As a mud-brick castle, the Narin Historical Castle like numerous other mud-brick forts goes back to the Median period and Achaemenid and Sassanid dynasties. We will arrive in Isfahan at around noon. In the afternoon we are going to walk by the river visiting the historical bridges.
In the morning we are going to see the historical Naqsh-e Jahan Square (a UNESCO World Heritage site), stylish Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque (located at the south side of the square), and Ali Qapu Palace. After lunch we’ll explore the (UNESCO World Heritage site), Chehel Sotoun Palace (which opens onto the gardens by means of a graceful terrace, just a few steps high and supported by slim, delicate wooden pillars). Next we’ll visit the Persian Bazaar to be introduced to Iranian handicrafts and workshops.
On our last day we will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Jaame Mosque (a stunning representation of the advancement of mosque architecture during 12 centuries and a recognized prototype for mosque design and dome construction throughout Central Asia) and the architecturally magnificent Vank Cathedral in the Jolfa District of Isfahan showing a creative mixture of Islamic architecture and Christian imagery. We also visit the Bekhradi’s Historical House before flying to Tehran in the evening for departure.