General

This 16-day itinerary is an amazing combination of the historical/cultural tour with hiking and trekking in the eye-catching outskirts of Zagros Mountain, a pleasant walk through oak forests, alpine meadows and narrow gorges. The tour starts from Tehran and continues through Yasuj—the capital of Iranian Nature due to its delightful waterfalls, rivers, plains, and springs. The next part of your trip includes major cities: Shiraz, Kerman, Yazd, and Isfahan. At the end, you’ll visit Abyaneh and Kashan.

Visited Cities & Towns: Tehran, Yasuj, Shiraz, Kerman, Yazd, Isfahan, Abyaneh, Kashan

Daily activity

Day 1

Overnight

Tehran

Upon your arrival in Tehran, after a short rest, we’ll start our city tour by visiting the  Golestan Palace which represents architectural and aesthetic accomplishments of the Qajar time (including the introduction of European themes and styles into Persian arts). Next, we’ll visit the National Museum of Iran (displaying the rich history of Iran’s ancient and Islamic periods), and Glass & Ceramics Museum (dating from the 2nd millennium B.C. to the present day). We also possibly visit the stunning National Jewelry Museum (of the world’s most valuable jewelry collection).

Day 2

Overnight

Yasuj

In the morning we are going to fly to Yasuj where we have an opportunity to start a full-day hiking tour in the delightful outskirts of Zagros Mountain, a pleasant stroll through oak forests, alpine meadows and narrow gorges. Yasuj is among the cold mountainous regions (covered by the wild nut, fig, wild blackberry, pistachio, peach, pomegranate and grape trees), named as the capital of Iranian Nature due to its eye-catching waterfalls, rivers, plains, and springs. At night we have a chance to experience the beauty of stars shining brightly in the darkness.

Day 3

Overnight

Yasuj

Today is also dedicated to a full-day Tour in Yasuj area which also includes a visit to the eye-catching Margon Waterfall (flowing through rocks in Margoon valley from a height of 70 meters in an area of 100-meter width). High mountains, the wild trees grown on the steep slopes of the valley, and overgrown rocks add to the magnificence and beauty of the area around the waterfall. (We have a traditional lunch with nomads in spring and summer and spend a few hours with them). We then return to Yasuj in the evening.

Day 4

Overnight

Shiraz

We are driving to Shiraz (180km) visiting the Qashqai nomads on the way. They live away from the bustle of the city in a peaceful environment in  nature. We are going to spend a few hours with them, an excellent opportunity to become familiar with their customs and traditions. They move with their herds each year from the summer highland pastures (north of Shiraz) roughly 500km to the winter pastures on warmer (lower) lands near the Persian Gulf. We then continue our journey arriving in Shiraz in the evening.

Day 5

Overnight

Shiraz

For over 2,000 years Shiraz has been the heart of Persian culture, an amazing city, whose name has become synonymous with education, poetry, and nightingales. Our city tour will start with a visit to the Nasir’ol Molk Mosque with an intricate tile work and impressive carved pillars. Next, we’ll visit Vakil Bazaar and Hafeziyeh (the tomb of Hafez— one of the most revered poets in Iran— set in an enchanting garden).  We then visit Narenjestan (including a garden and a pavilion with a remarkable combination of intricate tiles and stained-glass windows).

Day 6

Overnight

Shiraz

Today is devoted to the acquaintance with Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rostam (Necropolis), and Pasargadae, which are magnificent historical monuments. In the morning we are driving to Persepolis, (the splendid ruins of which are included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list). Not far from Persepolis is Naqsh-e Rostam, (a royal necropolis, which stands as a lasting memory of the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods). We then visit the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire— Pasargadae— holding the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great. In the evening we’ll return to Shiraz.

Day 7

Overnight

Kerman

In the morning we are going to drive to Kerman (564km) visiting Salt Lake on the way. We then continue our journey aiming at visiting the Sassanid Palace at Sarvestan. This remarkable monument was erected in the 5th century A.D. and it is one of the finest examples of Sassanid architecture partially preserved. It is still not known whether it was used as the Governor’s residence, place of hunting feasts or Zoroastrian fire temple. Afterward, we will leave the Sarvestan Palace to Kerman arriving in the evening.

Day 8

Overnight

Kerman

Today we’ll go on a full-day excursion to visit three major spots: we are driving to Mahan where we are going to stroll through the Shazdeh Garden, (a fine example of the Persian garden-oasis, with the natural advantages of the climate). Next, we’ll visit the Rayen Castle built on an area of 20,000 square meters of mud brick. It was an excellent model of a residential fortress during the Sassanid period. We’ll end our excursion by visiting Shahdad Kalout (desert), famous for its impressive formations of sand. We then return to Kerman in the evening.

Day 9

Overnight

Zein-o-Din Caravanserai

We’ll start our half-day tour of Kerman by visiting the Ganjali Khan Complex (square, Bathhouse, bazaar, Caravanserai, and Mosque). Afterward, we’ll move towards Zein-o-Din Caravanserai (300 km), which is located on the historical Silk Road, the former main trading route between Asia and Europe. The building of the caravanserai is a two-story structure with circular towers, (an eye-catching place which offers you a chance to experience the pleasure of drinking a fine cup of tea under the starry canopy). We stay overnight at the Caravanserai.

Day 10

Overnight

Yazd

Today we are driving to Yazd (74km) visiting Pahlavanpour Garden on the way. The garden is regarded as a historical site (among the 9 registered Persian gardens on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List) located in the city of Mehriz. Built on the basis of the design of original Iranian gardens on an area of roughly five hectares, the garden displays a special bond between the art of architecture and nature. Once in Yazd have an opportunity to see zurkhaneh, the traditional gymnasium in which the ancient sport is practiced.

Day 11

Overnight

Yazd

We’ll start our tour around the city which includes visiting two Zoroastrian impressive places first: the Towers of Silence (constructions in which a sensible and clean way was being used in the past to treat dead bodies), and Zoroastrian’s Fire Temple (a tranquil place with a peaceful sense of spirituality holding the famous 1500-year-old fire known as the Eternal Flame). The Water Museum is also seen which displays tools and techniques utilized for making underground channels. We’ll end our tour by visiting Amir Chakhmagh Square.

Day 12

Overnight

Isfahan

After breakfast we are driving to Isfahan (320km) aiming at visiting a number of remarkable sites on the way. We’ll take a glance at the Caravanserai Complex of Meybod, and Pigeon Tower (showing an eye-catching design). We then continue our trip to Nain visiting the Jame Mosque (surrounded by fourteen columns, each of which is decorated with a unique and complex pattern). We also visit the Pirnia traditional house which is a perfect example of desert houses in terms of art and architecture. We’ll arrive in Isfahan in the evening.

Day 13

Overnight

Isfahan

In the morning we are going to visit the Naqsh-e Jahan Square (a UNESCO World Heritage site), remarkable Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque (a glorious sample of Islamic art and architecture), and Ali Qapu Palace (with a magnificent elevated terrace). Next, we’ll visit the Chehel Sotoun Palace and Garden (the dominant feature of which is its impressive veranda with a significance that spots it among the world’s most noteworthy structures). At the end, we’ll visit the Persian Bazaar (an excellent place to see the Iranian handicrafts and workshops).

Day 14

Overnight

Isfahan

Today is also devoted to the exploration of Isfahan. We’ll start our day with a visit to the Jame Mosque (a comprehensive book of Iranian and Islamic architecture where you are able to see step by step development of Persian architecture). We then take a glance at the Vank Cathedral (with astonishing paintings displaying the architectural styles of both Christian and Islamic traditions) the architecture of the cathedral is a mixture of the Safavid style and an Islamic-style dome. In the late afternoon, we are strolling through the historical bridges.

Day 15

Overnight

Kashan

In the afternoon, we are driving to Kashan via Abyaneh (250km), a remarkable mountainous village with local customs and traditions displaying itself as a living architectural and anthropological museum. The village has still preserved its rituals, culture, dress, and language from the old times giving an impressive idea of a model of human adaptation to the environment. Situated on the slopes of the mountain, the houses are organized in a stair-step shape. We then leave the village to Kashan (79km) where we are going to stay overnight.

Day 16

Overnight

Departure

Today is dedicated to a half-day tour of Kashan (before leaving the city to Tehran). The contrast between the scorched deserts and immense greenery of Kashan is remarkable. Our city tour starts with a visit to some impressive houses (Borujerdis House, Ameri House, and Abbasi House built in the traditional Persian style). Next, we have an opportunity to take a look at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Fin Garden, and the historical Mosque of Agha Bozorg. We then leave the city to Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport arriving in the evening.

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