This is a 7-day tour from northeast to northwest of Iran where you have an opportunity to visit the most acclaimed religious shrine in Mashhad, followed by some spectacular natural beauties including Kandovan Village. This tour is one of the best options for those who are interested in combining religion, nature, and history. You start from Mashhad and continue through the Silk Road to Shahrood. We also experience some other major spots, among which, the coolness of Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest and the heat of the Great Salt Desert. Your trip finally ends in Tabriz.
Visited Cities & Towns: Mashhad, Shahrud, Damghan, Tehran, Zanjan, Tabriz, Kandovan
After your arrival in Mashhad, you will be transferred to the hotel to take a short rest. We are going to go on an excursion to visit Tomb of Ferdowsi in Tous (a well-known Iranian poet and the creator of Shahnameh, an immortal epic) and Tomb of Khayyam in Neyshabur (a famous Persian astronomer, mathematician, and poet known to English-speaking readers through a collection of his robaiyat ). We then drive back to Mashhad to visit Imam Reza shrine (a highly spiritual place with mystical porticos opening up into glorious courtyards, all with their own histories).
In the morning, we drive the Silk Road to the city of Shahrud (considered a reliable route for caravans in ancient times due to its location at an intersection of four roads) aiming to visit— on the way— monuments which existed alongside the road at its flourishing time including Caravanserais and a Mil (minaret) utilized as a guide for traveling the Silk Road. We also take a look at Abolhasan Kharaghani Tomb before experiencing the coolness of Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest)— where slopes cling to the clouds during sunset— and the heat of the Great Salt Desert.
In the morning we drive from Shahrood to Tehran visiting Damghan on the way. It is an ancient city that holds many secrets. We are going to visit the Tarikhane Mosque (the most ancient mosque of Iran, which has preserved its original form, being built in the first century after the advent of Islam in Iran). Next, we visit Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, one of the 999 Caravanserais, built by Shah Abbas in Iran. These buildings are of significance from a cultural, historical, and architectural point of view. In the evening we arrive in Tehran.
Today our sightseeing tour of the capital of Iran will begin with a visit to Golestan Palace, which is one of the main attractions in the old part of the city, the National Museum, (the first science museum in Iran that holds a number of exhibits showing objects dating back to 8 thousand years ago). The tour will be continued by visiting the Jewelry Museum, which houses the largest pink diamond in the world, Peacock Throne, and much other interesting jewelry. In the evening, we’ll end our tour with strolling through the impressive Grand Bazaar.
We are going to drive to towards Zanjan visiting, on the way, Chehel Sotoun, a Safavid pavilion which stands amid gardens in the central square of the old city of Qazvin. Next, we’ll have an opportunity to visit the Dome of Soltaniyeh, the oldest double-shell dome in Iran and outstanding monument of Persian architecture with one of the largest domes in the world, built of brick. The octagonal building is crowned with a 50 m tall dome covered in turquoise-blue faience and encompassed by eight slim minarets. We are going to stay overnight in Zanjan.
Heading to Tabriz (280 km), we will arrive in the afternoon. Our half-day tour starts with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Grand Bazaar. As the biggest roofed bazaar in the world, this magnificent construction contains a large number of separate Caravanserais and impressive Timchehs (arcades). We end our tour by visiting Constitution House of Tabriz (an image of challenging authoritarianism in contemporary Iranian history) followed by a glance at the famous historic Blue Mosque (with somehow unique dark blue color).
Today we will go on an excursion to Kandovan one of the world’s few rock-hewn towns, which is still functioning today. A living example of human adjustment to exceptionally unusual natural surroundings where people live in man-made houses made of rocks. We then move to the Aras Valley to visit a standout amongst the most picturesque valleys in the Middle East, where we have a chance to look at the UNESCO World Heritage site, St. Stepanos Monastery (located in a deep canyon along the Aras River). Returning to Tabriz You’ll be prepared to fly back home.