The fascinating country of Iran has so much on offer that tourist numbers have been increasing over the last few years with travellers keen to see the splendid cities with their beautiful buildings and meet the friendly Iranians. The main tourist route takes in the centre of the country and these cities deserve their place as the first port of call for most visitors as they offer a number of stunning buildings, ancient sites and delightful accommodation.
Our small group tour takes in these main cities of Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd and Isfahan abut also caters to those looking to see a little more, see the areas where tourism is still low key and get away from the crowds. On this journey we will head over to Western Iran, see the ancient Elamite sites and visit Sassanian ruins as well as travelling through Kurdistan, a little visited region of villages hidden in valleys and brightly dressed inhabitants.
Depart the UK on the flight to Tehran via Istanbul.
Tehran is a modern bustling city and we will visit the National Archaeological Museum to see a treasure trove of finds from around the country before moving onto the Qajar era Golestan Palace. This afternoon we visit the Azadi Monument and take a stroll through Laleh Park to visit the Contemporary Art Museum or the Carpet Museum. (LD)
Hamedan was once the summer capital of Cyrus the Great and we head in to the Zagros Mountains today to reach the city. Outside the city we visit the inscriptions at Ganjnameh before seeing the sights including the Mausoleum of Avicenna. (BLD)
Driving through the mountains we will visit some of the region’s most important sites starting with the Anahita Temple at Kangovar. The temple lies in ruins but the column bases give an idea of the scale of the building that once stood. Continuing on we arrive at Bisotun where we see Darius’ most famous inscription. Arriving in to Kermanshah we will visit Tak e Bostan to see the bas-reliefs on the cliff face and another in a cave. (BLD)
The region of Kurdistan spreads far and wide and today we visit the very edge. Here the villages and often stepped up the steep valley sides and the villagers often wear traditional colourful clothing. Visit Paveh and a couple of other villages we hope to coincide with the annual pomegranate festival but even if not will still have the chance to see these beautiful villages. (BLD)
Travelling south through western Iran brings us to the city of Khormabad where we visit the ruins of the castle as well as a Sassanian Bridge before staying overnight. (BLD)
The main sites of western Iran are on the agenda today with visits to the ancient city of Susa where we see the Tomb of Daniel and the enormous ziggurat Choga Zanbil. After visit the town of Shushtar home to a series of Sassanid water mills before continuing on to Ahwaz. (BLD)
The long drive to Shiraz is broken up by a stop at the ancient city of Bishapur dating from the 3rd century and home to an Anahita Temple and inscriptions. Arrive in to Shiraz in the early evening. (BLD)
Exploring this modern city today we visit the colourful Nasir Ol Molk Mosque and the Shah Cheragh Shrine and bazaar which draws nomads from the surrounding countryside. Also visit the Karim Khan Citadel and Vakil Mosque and Bazaar as well as Hafez’s Tomb. (BLD)
Visit the ancient Achaemenid cities of Pasargadae and Persepolis today, wander through the colonnaded streets and admire the intricate bas-reliefs before marvelling at the mighty cave tomb of Darius at Naqshe Rostam. Drive on to Yazd across the desert. (BLD)
Awaking this morning in the desert city of Yazd, you will head out to the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence and the Ateshkadeh Fire Temple, returning to the city centre visit the Amir Chaqkhmak Complex and Water Museum showing how the qanats were engineered to provide water to the city. Also visit the old city with its mud brick walls and the imposing Masjid e Jameh. Visit the Dolati Gardens to see the city’s largest wind-tower. (B,L,D)
The drive to Isfahan today takes in the Sassanian castle and Safavid ice house in Meybod as well as the 10th century mosque in Na’in, one of Iran’s oldest. We arrive in to Isfahan in the afternoon. (BLD)
Visit the stunning Masjed-e Jameh which offers the chance to understand the evolution of mosque architecture over 12 centuries. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. Cross the river to visit the Vank Cathedral, located in Jolfa, the Armenian Quarter of the city. The interior of the building contains a fascinating mix of Christian and Islamic architectural styles and remains the focal point of the Armenian Christian community. This afternoon visit Naqsh e Jahan Square, with its beautiful Ali Qapu Palace and the stunning Lotfullah Mosque. Also visit the Imam Mosque set in the corner before wandering the bazaars. (BLD)
Head north today to Kashan, a pleasant city of Saffavid and Qajar architecture known for its rose water production, here wander the restored Qajar houses and the Fin Gardens laid out by Shah Abbas I as well as the bustling bazaar in the old city before driving to Tehran, tonight is spent in an airport hotel. (BLD)
14 day tour, from £3570 per person
(Single person supplement + £450)
- Return flights in economy class with Turkish Airways from London
- All airport taxes & security charges
- Accommodation in a range of hotels.
- Meals as specified
- All transfers and transportation
- Sightseeing with English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees on sightseeing tours
- Visa Authorisation
- Travel insurance
- Tips and gratuities
- Iranian Visa
- Regional departures - please ask for options
This tour will operate with a minimum of six and a maximum of fourteen passengers.
||Single Room Supp.
18 Oct 2020
01 Nov 2020
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