Bandaranzali - Ardebil - Hamedan - Kerman
This tour which takes you to the diverse contrasts of scenery and cultural developments
Retrace Persia's 7000 years of history on this tour which takes you to the diverse contrasts of scenery and cultural developments which exist in this ancient land. Amongst a wide range of historically significant buildings you will visit, are the very old Black Church at Tabriz and the even older city of Yazd. Further on you will have the chance of seeing the magnificence of Isfahan, (half the world), the serenity of Shiraz, city of saints and poets, and experience the wonder of the Achamenian ceremonial capital of Persepolis dating back to 550BC. We are proud to take you on this tour of discovery.
Day 01: Arrival-Tehran
Arrival at Tehran airport, transfer to hotel & rest. O/N Tehran.
Day 02: Tehran
After breakfast, we will visit the Archaeological & Islamic Art Museums, the finest museum complex in Iran. There we will view a collection from the ancient Persian civilization and the superb examples of Islamic artistry. We will also take you to the jewelry museum, the world's finest collection of precious stones and jewelry. O/N Tehran.
Day 03: Tehran-Anzali
Cross the magnificent Alborz Mountain range in a modern air-conditioned coach, and drive towards the Caspian Sea at Anzali. On the way we will visit the enchanting mountain village of Masuleh. O/N Anzali.
Day 04: Anzali-Ardebil
We will visit Anzali Marsh in the morning. This large freshwater lagoon is frequented by a wide variety of migratory waterfowl. In the afternoon we drive north to the Azerbaijan border at Astara thence westwards to Ardebil. O/N Ardebil.
Day 05: Ardebil
In Ardebil we will visit the Sheikh Safi -Ad-Din (great Sufi) mausoleum complex. There the dome of Allah Allah (about 56 feet high) rises above the tomb. Continue to Sarein, a Spa region at the foot of a mountain which sources numerous hot mineral springs of various temperatures known for their therapeutic qualities. O/N Ardebil.
Day 06: Ardebil-Tabriz
Drive towards Tabriz, the centre of a very ancient civilization dating back to 7000 B.C. We shall visit El Goli, a pleasant hillside garden surrounding an artificial lake on the eastern outskirts of Tabriz. Later we will visit the Blue Mosque before checking in to our hotel. O/N Tabriz.
Day 07: Tabriz- Black Church
We shall visit the Black Church, a 1000 year old Christian site within which is the grave of Saint Thaddeus, Black and white stones are utilized in its construction. O/N Tabriz.
Day 08: Tabriz-Hamedan
Drive to Hamedan, en route we will visit the village of Kandovan with its dwellings carved from volcanic ash deposits. O/N Hamedan.
Day 09: Hamedan
We shall visit the tomb of Ester and Mordkhay (Jewish holy shrine), Alaviyan dome and Hegmataneh hill, a recently excavated archaeological site. O/N Hamedan.
Day 10: Hamedan-Bisotun-Kermanshah
Drive to Kermanshah, en route we will visit at Kangavar the ruins of the Anahita temple built in honor of the goddess of water and fertility. We continue on to Bisotun where ancient rock tablets attest to the magnificence of the Achamenian dynasty. There a large Cuneiform inscription (tablet of Darius I), reveals details of the Persian Empire at its height. You will also visit the stone statue of Hercules carved in the mountain side. O/N Kermanshah.
Day 11: Kermanshah - Isfahan
Drive to Isfahan, en route we will visit the Falak-ol- Aflak castle which dominates in the delightful mountain town of Khoramabad. O/N Isfahan.
Day 12: Isfahan
In the morning we will visit Imam square, the expansive open square in the center of Isfahan. Buildings dating to the Safavids 16th century period lie on the periphery of the square. These include the Ali Qapu palace, Sheikh Lotfollah (ladies) mosque, and an exquisite masterpiece of mosaic tile work, the immense Imam Mosque and to the north the extensive Isfahan bazaar brimming over with talented artisans and their fine products. . In the afternoon, we will visit the Si-o-Se Pol (thirty three arches) and Khajoo bridges which are but two of many bridges spanning the zayanderud, river. There we can relax in one of the traditional tea houses, drink tea and smoke a Persian water pipe. O/N Isfahan.
Day 13: Isfahan
We will visit the Armenian quarter of Jolfa and its Vank cathedral and adjacent museum. Later we shall visit the Friday mosque with its superlative brick and tile work then continue on to the shrine of the shaking minaret's and finally visit Chehel Setoon a Safavids reception palace renounced for its huge wall frescos depicting Persian history. O/N Isfahan.
* You can fly directly to Shiraz or end your tour at this point and fly back to Tehran if you so desire..
Day 14: Isfahan-Yazd
Drive to Yazd, en route we will visit a carpet workshop in Naeen, and an old Caravanserai and Nareen castle in Meibod where we can also visit an active pottery market. O/N Yazd.
Day 15: Yazd
Yazd is one of the oldest cities in the world; it is like a living museum. We will visit the Friday mosque, the highest wind tower cooling system of the city which keeps the buildings beneath cool. We also visit a Zoroastrian temple where a sacred fire has been kept burning for hundreds of years and is now a Zoroastrian pilgrimage center. This is an opportunity to learn about Zoroastrianism which was the Persian religion prior to the arrival of Islam in Persia. Then we go to the Towers of Silence, Zoroastrian burial sites on the outskirts of the city. O/N Yazd.
Day 16: Yazd - Pasargad - Necropolis - Persepolis - Shiraz
Drive to Shiraz, en route we will visit Pasargad, tomb of Cyrus the Great which was the first Achamenian king, Necropolis (tombs of Achamenian kings), and the highlight of the tour at Persepolis the ceremonial capital of the Achamenian at the height of their domination. We continue on and pass through the Quran gate to enter Shiraz. O/N Shiraz.
Day 17: Shiraz- Bishapour excursion
Early morning we go to visit Bishapour, an ancient Sassanian partly excavated city. Our route takes through superb geology and scenery through Dasht-e Arjan and down a massive escarpment to reach this inspiring spot. Bas relieves on the rock walls of Tang-e Chogan depict the Persians victory over the invading Romans. We return by the same route to Shiraz. O/N Shiraz.
Day 18: Shiraz
We will visit the Eram and Naranjestan Gardens, Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, Khan Theological School, Hafez (or Saadi) mausoleum, Vakil complex and the most astonishing mirror decoration of Aliebnehamze Holy Shrine. O/N Shiraz.
* You can stop the tour now and fly back to Tehran if you so desire.
Day 19: Shiraz-Kerman
We drive to Kerman through outstanding mountain scenery and the fig plantations near Estahbanat, the salt pan areas near Neyriz thence via Sirjan to Kerman. O/N Kerman.
Day 20: Kerman- Bam - Mahan - Kerman
We will visit the remains of Bam citadel, and at Mahan the magnificent Mausoleum of Shah Nematollah e Vali, great Sufi, and the lovely Shahzadeh (Prince) Garden. O/N Kerman.
Day 21: Kerman - Tehran
Kerman is famous for Persian carpets. There we will visit 17th century Ganjali khan complex including one of the most interesting and ancient bazaars in Iran, a bathhouse with its collection of wax figures showing original bathhouse procedures and a traditional tea house. Afternoon, transfer to the airport & fly to Tehran. O/N Tehran.
Day 22: Tehran - Departure
Transfer to Tehran International airport for your departure from Iran.