This is another 7-day tour dedicated to the magnificence and uniqueness of Western Iran, where you are visiting the delightful religious monuments such as the blue mosque and Saint Stepanos Monastery, along with the unique Kandovan Village. The tour includes, but not limited to, the remarkable Ganjnameh (inscriptions carved in three different languages: Old Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite), Behistun inscription, and the Tomb of Esther and Mordecai (the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in Iran).
Visited Cities & Towns: Tabriz, Kandovan, Hamadan, Kermanshah, Tehran
Upon arrival in Tehran, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After a rest, we’ll fly to Tabriz, one of the major cities located along the famous Silk Road. Once in Tabriz, we go on an excursion to Osku county aiming at visiting one of the whimsical creations of nature— the village of Kandovan. It is famous for its magnificent beauty as well as its uniqueness that comes from the fact that its homes have been made in caves situated in cone-shaped rock formation, thus making the scenic village look like a huge termite colony.
We will be on a road trip again towards the Iranian-Azerbaijani border aiming at visiting the Safavid caravanserai and Chapel of Chupan (a small church of the 16th century which may have been built for the shepherds). We then continue our journey along the Aras River, (the natural border between Azerbaijan and Iran) in the direction of Saint Stepanos Monastery, located in a picturesque valley with natural streams. There are, (among other things worthy of note), some impressive figurative bas-reliefs on the outside walls. We’ll return to Tabriz in the evening.
In the morning we’ll start our half-day tour Tabriz to explore the city’s attractions. We begin with the largest covered bazaar in the world— Tabriz Bazaar. With its high arches and vaults decorated with paintings, it is one of the spectacular examples of Persian architecture. Next, we take a look at the magnificent Blue Mosque (decorated with tiles in all shades of blue and turquoise). The glorious Blue Mosque is breathtaking with an impressive interior and some wonderful tile-works. In the afternoon we are going to leave the city to Zanjan.
In the morning we are going to drive to Hamadan (591km), visiting one of the highest brick structure in the world— Soltaniyeh Dome (also known as the Mausoleum of Oljaytu). It is characterized by its spatial proportions, innovative engineering structure, decorative patterns and techniques, and the architectural forms. We then continue our journey towards Hamadan where we have an opportunity to see Ali Sadr Cave. In the cave, there are numerous lakes of various sizes (which are interconnected by tunnels). Moving in the cave is done by boat.
Today will be dedicated to sightseeing of Hamadan, a city rooted in history. In ancient times, it was called Ecbatana and was the summer residence of the Persian kings. The tour includes: the Alavids Dome, (one of the post-Islamic masterpieces of Stucco and architecture); Tomb of Esther and Mordecai (the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in Iran); and the Tomb of Avicenna (one of the most significant Persian thinkers). We’ll end our tour by visiting the remarkable Ganjnameh, (inscriptions carved in three different languages: Old Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite).
We are going to drive to Kermanshah (160km). 7km from the city is a complex of rock-cut reliefs called Taq-e Bostan. (Here are scenes from the coronation of the Sassanid emperors, and hunting). 30 km east of Kermanshah is one of the most important historical sites of Iran— Behistun inscription (Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List). It is carved on a cliff at an altitude of 100m and refers to the Achaemenid era. (This stunning inscription is a cuneiform text of 400 lines in three ancient languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian). In the evening we fly to Tehran.
Our full-day tour of Tehran starts with the Golestan Palace, (representing an outstanding example of the merging of Persian architecture and arts with European motifs and styles). Next, we see the Treasury of National Jewelry Museum (possibly) that holds one of the most stunning collections of jewelry in the world. We also visit the Museum of Reza Abbasi (displaying the history of Persian culture and art). We’ll end our tour by visiting Tabiat Bridge (the most extensive pedestrian overpass in Iran). In the evening you’ll be transferred to the airport for departure.