|Departure date||Return date|
Leave United States for your flight to Shiraz
Arrive to Shiraz. Our guide is waiting to greet and transfer you to hotel. Overnight in Shiraz
We will begin our educational adventure with our Group Leader. Among the highlights we will see Narenjestan Garden, circa 1257 CE, Which includes richly decorated pavilion set among graceful trees. Then we will walk to the Vakil Bazaar, originally established in the 11th century CE, one of the finest and important bazaars of historical Iran. Then visit to the tomb of Hafez, Iran’s greatest lyric poet, followed by the tomb of Sa’adi whose poems and tales are still known to every Iranian. Afterward we will take a field trip to the Arg-E Karim — Karim Khan Citadel — located in downtown of the city and named after a king of the 18th century Zand Dynasty who made this city his capital. We will learn about the citadel, King Karim Khan, and the dynasty. At the end we will visit the exterior view of Ali Ebn-e Hamze and Holy shrine of Shah Cheragh and enjoy its shining domes. Overnight in Shiraz.
After checking out of the hotel, we will board the vehicle and head towards Yazd, one of the most distinctive cities in Iran, renowned for its Persian architecture. En route visit Persepolis (Takht-é Jamshid) in the heart of the fabled Persian Empire. Once one of the greatest architectural wonders of the ancient world, it was founded by Darius the Great, who made it his capital in 518 BCE. Persepolis was a treasure city and one of the richest in the world. When he conquered it in 330 BCE, Alexander the Great took possession of 2,500 tons of gold and silver in addition to other fabulous assets. One night, he and his companions were feasting and drinking. As the story goes, they decided in their drunkenness that the royal palace should be burned in revenge for the Persian destruction of Athens a century earlier. And so the jewel of Persia went up in flames. Enough remains so that we can imagine its original splendor. We will see massive statues of winged bulls, a grand stairway wide enough for five horsemen to ride abreast, elegant columns, and hundreds of carved figures. Then we will stop in Pasargadae, a UNESCO World
Today will be one of the more fascinating field trips in our program, with a local expert providing commentary. Situated in a remote area where two deserts converge, Yazd dates back to c. 3,000 BCE. It was a stop on the fabled Silk Road, but its location kept it safe from the ravages of war and destruction for centuries and so its local culture remained strong. The city is made almost entirely of adobe and mud brick. Beyond its importance as a desert “port” for trade, Yazd was one of the principal centers of the Zoroastrian religion. Zoroastrians venerate fire as a holy entity that comes from the supreme god, Ahura Mazda, and invokes truth in the hearts and minds of believers. We call their places of worship fire temples, where sacred flames were kept burning continuously. We will visit the most important remaining fire temple in Iran, Atashkadeh in Yazd. We will also see one of the so-called towers of silence where Zoroastrians took their dead to avoid contaminating the earth. Then in afternoon the field trip goes to Bagh-E-Dolatabad, a unique octagonal house with the tallest wind tower in the city. Here we get a demonstration of the effectiveness of these towers first hand. We’ll then visit the Amir Chakhmaq complex, one of the most extraordinary in all of Iran. In addition to the distinctive 3-storey mosque, there are a number of other exceptional structures. We will also explore the renowned Yazd bazaar with its narrow, covered passages that feature products for which Iran is known including high quality textiles, carpets, sweets, nuts, and much more. When we finish visit, we take the road to Isfahan. Less than 350 km drive with frequently stops en route. After arrive to Isfahan it will be relaxing to walk in the bank of famous Zayanderoud. Overnight in Isfahan
Iranians say that Isfahan, capital of the Safavid Dynasty from the 16th century on is “half the world.” Our exploration, led by a local expert, will include two of the most impressive mosques amid a myriad of remarkable sites. At the center of the city is Naqsh-e Jahan, one of the world’s biggest squares, created in the 17th century. The huge, open plaza is framed by a wall of arches and surrounded by the Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah and the Masjed-e Emam mosques. We will admire their magnificent architecture and tile-work. We will also walk through the Ali Qapu Palace with its enchanting music room and balcony overlooking the Maidan where the Safavid kings sat to watch polo tournaments. We will cross through Meydan and entre to the bazaar that was and is one of the most important elements of every Persian and Iranian city, sitting at the center of the neighborhood and social consciousness. The Isfahan Bazaar is one of the country’s most famous. In addition to the stalls of textile and carpet merchants, makers of jewelry and handicrafts, vendors of spices, and much more.
We will check out of the hotel and begin our motorcoach journey to Matinabad. But first we get to know Isfahan even better with field trips to several memorable sites. First is the magnificent Jame Mosque with its famous Uljaytu Mihrab of the Il-Khanid Period, artistic treasure stucco densely decorated with Quranic inscriptions and continue to visit Chehel Sotun, a pavilion constructed as a reception hall for visiting dignitaries by Shah Abbas II, and Hasht Behesht, an octagonal pleasure palace built a few years later. Proceeding to Matinabad, we will meet local villagers and before we sleep, we will experience Atashouni, gathering around a campfire to enjoy a starry night.
After camel riding and enjoy cycling (optional) in Matinabad, drive to Kashan—the “City of Carpets and Roses”—with a rich history and culture. After our arrival in Kashan we visit the Fin Garden. The garden is a historical Persian garden that contains Kashan’s Fin Bath. Amir Kabir, the Qajarid chancellor, was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran. Continue to Tehran and stop at the entrance of Tehran to visit Imam Khomeini mausoleum. Check in hotel and overnight in Tehran.
Today we will explore Iran’s capital city — which is also its largest — with our Group Leader. Tehran has grown tremendously since it was reinstituted as the national capital and is now home to some 12 million residents. We will begin our exploration at Golestan Palace, the city’s oldest historical monument and one of the most lavish. The palace was built around a garden. Its richly ornamented interiors feature artistic styles emblematic of the Qajar dynasty — also incorporating technological advances of the 18 th century — that have continued to inspire Iranian art and architecture. The palace complex houses the Versailles-inspired, mirror encrusted Marble Throne Hall used for the coronation of the last Shah, and an Ethnographic Museum. Next, we will explore the National Museum of Iran that preserves the country’s historical and cultural record through the presentation of some 300,000 artifacts — the oldest dating back more than 30,000 years. Its two buildings are dedicated to pre-Islamic and post-Islamic periods. Highlights include everything from gigantic stone reliefs found in Persepolis to ancient coins and historic copies of the Qur’an. In the evening and for the last visit, we will go to Milad tower. A multi-purpose tower which gives you skyline view of Tehran. The last landscape of Tehran will be memorable of above. Overnight in Tehran
Early morning hotel check out and group transfer to airport for flight back home.
|Tehran||Asareh / Mashhad / Kowsar||3*/4*|
|Shiraz||Parseh / Ario / Karim Khan||3*/4*|
|Yazd||Daad / Moshir / Mehr||3*/4*|
|Isfahan||Pirouzi / Setareh / Sheikh Bahaii||3*/4*|
|Matin Abad||Room in Matin-Abad eco-camp||–|
Rooms, based on double occupancy.
Transfers upon arrival and departure.
All sightseeing tours mentioned in the itinerary.
Visa processing services (Fees not included)
Air fare to Iran and back.
Tips in hotels and guides
Luggage porterage tips.
Meals are not included.
Personal expenses such as phone calls, laundry etc.