ENQUIRE
From the capital Tehran you will drive to the city of Isfahan, a cultural and historical kaleidoscope incorporating some of the finest Persian religious architecture. Onward to Yazd with its maze of bazaars before crossing the Zagros Mountains to Shiraz, the beating heart of Persian culture and poetry.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Immerse yourself in Iran's heritage and culture, including numerous UNESCO sites
  • Witness the art of Zurkhaneh, a combination of dance, juggling and tests of strength
  • Explore the fascinating bazaars, including the spectacular Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz
£4,278
per person

Price from

  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Arrive Tehran

    After a late breakfast, meet your guide who will brief you on your forthcoming itinerary. You will be taken to the fascinating National Archaeological Museum and the next door Islamic Museum which provides an excellent introduction to the Persian Empire. After lunch, we shall continue to the Golestan Palace, a royal palace constructed during the reign of the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.Stay at the Espinas Hotel, which is situated right in the heart of Tehran and is not only one of the best, but also the most conveniently located for exploring the city.

    Overnight: Espinas Hotel

  3. Day 2 Isfahan

    Head south to Kashan and the UNESCO Garden of Fin, originally planted during the Safavid period (1502 - 1736) and watered from the nearby Sulaimanieh Spring. Later on visit the Taba-Tabai House, a fine example of a late 19th Century merchant's residence with its beautiful stucco dome, inlaid mirror and perfect 'badgirs' (wind towers). Lunch will be taken at another mansion converted into a boutique hotel, perhaps with tea in the garden afterwards. Continue the journey southward, stopping at the ancient mud-brick community of Abyaneh in the foothills of Mt. Karkas. Alternatively, explore the small village of Natanz with its beautiful Mosque and Tomb of Sheikh Abdol Samad Isfahani, before entering the fascinating city of Isfahan.

    Overnight: Abbasi Hotel

  4. Day 3 Isfahan

    The next two full days are spent exploring the magical city of Isfahan. The first day's visits include the Masjid-e-Jame, the largest mosque in Iran showcasing 800 years of extraordinarily beautiful Islamic architecture and brilliantly demonstrating the traditional use of geometrical design. Both beautiful and functional are two of the dams on the Zayandeh River - The Bridge of 33 Arches and Pol-e-Khaju, dating back over four hundred years. This is a marvellous chance to interact with Iranian society, with every arch usually inhabited by one group or another - very often men break into song and hold impromptu singing competitions. Following lunch in the Armenian Quarter you will spend the afternoon exploring the architecture and Persian gardens of the Chetel Sotun Palace, a UNESCO protected site, followed by the magical Hasht Behesht Palace.

    Overnight: Abbasi Hotel

  5. Day 4 Isfahan

    This morning visit the Maiden-e-Naghsh-e-Jahan, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the second largest square in the world, where generations of Safavid Kings watched polo games hundreds of years ago.After lunch in a local restaurant spend the afternoon at leisure, peruse the bazaars, haggle for a Persian rug or sip coffee at one of the Tea Rooms.

    Overnight: Abbasi Hotel

  6. Day 5 Yazd

    After breakfast depart by road to Yazd, stopping en route at an abandoned caravanserai - a roadside inn dating back to the 17th century.Yazd is reputedly one of the oldest towns on earth and still remains the epicentre of Zoroastrianism in Iran. Having avoided destruction during the Mongal invasion the Fahadan area (Old Town) has retained its rich sense of history, with highlights including the Seljuk Shrine, the Ziaieyeh Theological School and the extraordinary number of badgirs (wind towers).

    Overnight: Moshir Garden

  7. Day 6 Yazd

    A full day spent exploring Yazd with part of the morning focussed on the Zoroastrian aspects of the town including the Dakhma (Towers of Silence), where the dead were prepared, a ritual which was continued until the 1960's. Time will also be spent at the impressive 14th century Grand Mosque and the Bagh-e Dowlat Abad, a UNESCO World Heritage garden.This evening visit an ancient cistern also known as the House of Strength and if they are performing, watch Iranian men training in the art of Zurkhanehei which mixes dance, with juggling, whirling and tests of strength. Afterwards perhaps wander the maze of bazaars before returning to the hotel for dinner.

    Overnight: Moshir Garden

  8. Day 7 Shiraz

    Setting off across the Zagros Mountains you stop at Pasargadae, founded in 550 BC, seat of Cyrus the Great and capital of the First Persian (Achaemenid) Empire. Nowadays apart from Cyrus's tomb, there is not a great deal left to see, but still enough archaeological remains to appreciate the once massive scale of this whole site. Before arriving in Shiraz stop at the fascinating Necropolis of Naghsh-e Rostam where the tombs of Darius the Great, his son Xerxes, Artaxerxes and Darius II are carved into the massive cliff walls. Beneath the tombs are Bas-reliefs carved by the Sassanians 900 years later. Once the capital, Shiraz is the undeniable cultural heartland of Iran and has been for over 2,000 years and the final resting place for the revered Persian poets, Hafiz and Sa'di.

    Overnight: Zandiyeh Hotel

  9. Day 8 Shiraz

    Rise early to visit the beautiful 'Pink' Mosque from the Zand period, in time to see the sun illuminate the interior through the stained glass windows. Explore the Khan Theological School, where the brightest children studied a full curriculum, as well as the nearby Narenjestan Garden & House, built in 1879. Subject to obtaining the right permission (non-Muslims are not supposed to enter), we will arrange for you to enter the Mausoleum of Shah Cheragh. An awe-inspiring interior awaits with space for 10,000 people to pray. Following lunch, visit the Eram Botanical Garden and the Tomb of Hafiz, the famous poet from whom all Iranians learn their love of poetry.

    Overnight: Zandiyeh Hotel

  10. Day 9 Shiraz

    An early morning start with the drive out to Persepolis, the once magnificent city founded in 540 BC by Darius the Great and ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, now lying in ruins. Drive back to Shiraz to explore one of the great jewels of Iran, the Vakil Bazaar. A maze of vaulted brick alleys, little squares, shops and tea houses, this is a place where it pays to get lost!

    Overnight: Zandiyeh Hotel

  11. Day 10 Depart

    Depart Shiraz for your flight to Istanbul, in readiness for your onward flight home.

  12. Depart

GUIDELINE PRICES - Per Person

Currency
Low £ 4,278 $ 5,974 € 5,103
Mid £ 5,890 $ 8,225 € 7,025
High £ 7,210 $ 10,068 € 8,600

BOOKING NOTES

  • Prices are per person based on two people sharing a room.

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and guide services as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Internal flights where detailed in the itinerary.

EXTRAS

  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.
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