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Best of Iran

There are few places in the world which have a history and culture as rich as this remarkable country, formerly known as Persia. You'll find a refined society that has been misinterpreted by world press, yet travellers to the country consistently attest that Iran has one of the worlds warmest and most welcoming people. It's history provides endless fascination and an atmosphere that is most definitely relaxed, and certainly enriching. Our journey traces the magnificent legacies of the Persian Empires which will not fail to inspire, yet its the snow clad mountains, vast deserts, oasis towns and spontaneous engagement with the locals that provide surprise at every turn of our diverse itinerary. From the vibrant city of Tehran we fly south to Shiraz, the home of the famous Pts Tombs and to Persepolis, an incredible example of the rule of Achaemenid Empire. Our trip returns to Tehran via Yazd, the second most ancient city in the world and Isfahan, famous for its ancient bridges, mosques, minarets, and tree lined avenues.

Inclusions

10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
3 to 5 star hotel accommodation on a twin share basis or best available hotels in remote towns
Sightseeing and entrance fees to monuments listed
All internal transport by private bus, jeep or car
English speaking tour guide throughout
Internal flights valued at US$95
Entrance fees to museums and sites as detailed
Emergency medical kit
Group arrival and departure transfers
Assistance in arranging visas
Hightlights
Explore the surrounding hills of Tehran
Experience Imam Square and the ancient bridges in Isfahan
Discover the extraordinary ancient city of Persepolis; the capital of the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid dynasty
Journey to the poets tombs in Shiraz
Visit the desert city of Yazd
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
11
Price From
AUD $4,290
Start Location
Tehran, Iran
End Location
Iran
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
2 to 16
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Adventure
Physical Rating
Easy
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
09 Apr 201919 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
30 Apr 201910 May 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
14 May 201924 May 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
27 Aug 201906 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
15 Sep 201925 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
28 Sep 201908 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
13 Oct 201923 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
31 Oct 201910 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $4,290
07 Apr 202017 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
28 Apr 202008 May 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
19 May 202029 May 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
09 Jun 202019 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
25 Aug 202004 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
15 Sep 202025 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
06 Oct 202016 Oct 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
27 Oct 202006 Nov 2020AvailableAUD $4,290
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
On arrival in Tehran, we are met from the airport by our local guide and transferred to the hotel. First impressions of Tehran will be the rich culture and history of this ancient land. The capital has some spectacular museums, palaces and gardens which are to be enjoyed in depth on our return visit to Tehran. If your arrival time allows, we will commence Tehran site touring. If not, we will resume the Tehran city tour when you return on day 10. Overnight: Marlik Hotel or similar Note: exact schedule will be around site opening hours.
Day 2
This Morning we fly to Shiraz which was once the capital of Iran, and has been synonymous with learning, nightingales, ptry, roses and at one time, wine. Upon your arrival, we will take an excursion to the ancient ruins of Persepolis. A comprehensive tour is provided bringing to life the history of this magnificent ruin. Ruler of the largest empire the world had ever seen, Darius I started constructing the great metropolis to serve as a summer capital in around 512BC. Subsequent Achaemenian kings added their own palaces over the next 150 years. Sited on a vast platform above the plains, Persepolis is not a subtle monument. The Great Porch of Xerxes, flanked by winged bulls of stone, leads you into a massive ruined complex of royal palaces, halls, courts and apartments covered with inscriptions and carvings. A stunning wall of detailed bas-reliefs represents thousands of envoys from as far away as Ethiopia and Armenia, India and Cappadocia, bearing gifts to their almighty ruler. A good three hours is needed to explore Persepolis. A short drive away is the four impressive burial tombs of Darius and his successors, Naghsh-e Rostam, which have been hewn from the rock. There is also a fire temple at the site (or so they believe) that dates back to Achaemenian times. Overnight: Ario Barzan Hotel or similar
Day 3
Shiraz is known as the ptic capital of Persia, because two of the greatest pts of the world, Hafez (1324-1391) and Sa'di (1209-1291), originated from this city. Simple mausoleums were constructed for them after their deaths but later became celebrated pilgrimage destinations in the 14th century when the pious and art-loving Queen Tashi Khatun erected a mosque and theological school by the tombs. Of the two remarkable monuments in Shiraz, one is dedicated to Hafez, the master of Persian lyrical ptry. The other one is dedicated to Sa'di , the author of the famous Golestan , and a book of sonnets called the Garden of Roses. There are many other striking Islamic buildings in Shiraz, namely the Safavid mosque but more notably the shrine of Syed Amir Ahmed, also referred to locally as the Shah Cheragh or the 'King of Light'. This exquisite shrine boasts a dazzling interior of mirror tiles, display of fine china and glassware and exquisitely inscribed old and modern Korans. The Eram Gardens, famous for its rose garden and avenues of cypress trees is also on our schedule, time permitting. Overnight: Ario Barzan Hotel or similar
Day 4
We embark on the 425km drive from Shiraz to Yazd, where we cross over the mountains and descend into the vast desert expanse. En route Pasargadae reveals the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty in 500 AD. We continue on to Abarku to witness traditional cisterns, ice-stories and a 4500 year old cypress tree. This is one of several trees in Iran that is sacred, and a popular pilgrimage spot where devotees fasten pieces to its branches. We continue on to Yazd to our overnight accommodation. Overnight: Moshir Garden Hotel or similar
Day 5
Yazd is situated at an oasis where the Dasht-e Kavir Desert and the Dasht-e Lut Deserts meet, and is circled by a mountain range, the tallest being 4075m. During its long history, Yazd adapted to the desert surrounds gracing the city with great Islamic architecture and culture, despite it being a full Zoroastrian society. When exploring the city one gains a sense that time has stopped as there are plenty of old traditions and buildings that retain the character of the bygone era. The chimney like structures on the roofs of Yazdies' houses is just one example; in fact they are not chimneys but the ancient ventilation systems. They gather even the faintest breezes of the desert and channel them into the building below. Yazd is famous for its handicrafts and in the markets there will be plenty of opportunity to shop for rugs, small but intricate carpets, Kilim, Termeh (a lovely hand-made silk tapestry) pottery and ceramics. Yazd is the holiest city for Zoroastrians who travel from all over the world to see the sacred fire in Yazd that has been burning without interruption for 1500 years. In the outlying southern suburbs of town are the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, where the bodies of believers were once left to the vultures after death. Overnight: Moshir Garden Hotel or similar
Day 6
Morning drive to Isfahan (300km), considered to be one of the finest cities in the Islamic world. Our sightseeing will include visits to the Shaking Minarets and the ancient bridges over the Zayande River, some dating back to the 12th century. Many of the bridges have teahouses beneath them and tend to be the Iranian equivalent of the local pub (strictly tea of course). A visit to Isfahan would not be complete without going to Imam Khomeini Square. It is surrounded by two mosques, a palace and the entrance to the Bazaar. In the middle of the square is a lake with a fountain and still in place are polo goal posts at either end. The Masjed-e Imam (or Imam Khomeini Mosque) is the most exquisite example of Mosaic tile work and the most stunning building in Iran. It is completely covered inside and out with the pale blue tiles for which Isfahan is famous. Other sights we plan to visit include Chehel Sotun Museum & Park this was built in the 17th Century as a reception hall, and has lovely columns made of plane tree with a 110m pool in the front. The Vank Cathedral built in the 17th century, has an interesting museum attached, and shows the history of the Armenians in the area. Finally, our evenings may be spent at the Abbassi Hotel - a great place to sip on a Farsi Cola and watch the world go by. Alternatively, we may stroll along the banks of the Zayande River, stopping at the many tea houses along the way. Overnight: Safir Hotel or similar
Days 7-8
On day 7, we visit Naghshe Jahan to see the Imam Mosque, Isfahan Bazar, Ali Ghapou palace and Lotfolah Mosque. With so much more to see in this incredible city on day 8 we will head to Vank church, Armenians quarter, Friday Mosque and the Chehel Sotoun museum. Overnight: Safir Hotel or similar
Day 9
Following a leisurely breakfast in Isfahan, we will drive from Isfahan to Tehran in our private vehicle. The journey, whilst long (approximately 6 to 7 hours), provides a great insight in to the changing landscapes of Iran and includes a stop at the Kashan, an oasis along Qom-Kerman road which runs along the edge of the central deserts. Whilst in Kashan we will visit the Fin Garden, or Bagh-e Fin, completed in 1590; it is the oldest garden in Iran still in existence. Overnight: Marlik Hotel or similar
Day 10
There are many great museums in Tehran. This morning we plan to head to the National Jewels Museum which will shock you with its ostentatious display of precious jewels, many of which are the largest of their kind, namely the Darya-ye-Nur which at 182 carats is the largest uncut diamond in the world. We will also view the jewelled globe which is covered in 51,363 precious stones. We will spend time visiting the Carpet Museum, which will illustrate the history of Iran, its pts and its myths and the National Museum (or Archaeological Museum) which begins with exhibits dating back to the 5th and 4th Millennium BC and provides a fascinating insight into Persian History. Later in the afternoon, we plan to visit Darband, a delightful mountain area in North Tehran. Darband is accessed by chairlift, by foot or by donkey and time permitting you can climb further up to the flanks of Mount Tochal (3933m). The view, whilst often quite hazy, will nevertheless show the vastness of the Tehran sprawl and the culinary delights waiting at the many cafes will make the hike up well worth it. *Please note; that our itinerary in Tehran will depend on current opening times (and days) of the museums and therefore the order of sights and the sights visited may vary accordingly. Overnight: Marlik Hotel or similar
Day 11
The trip concludes today in Tehran. Depending on your flight out today, there may be more time for further optional sightseeing. Please discuss this with your guide. A group airport transfer is provided.