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Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 7000 BC. The Iranian Empire proper begins in the Iron Age, following the influx of Iranian peoples. Iranian people gave rise to the Medes, the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian Empires of classical antiquity. However, the Muslim conquest of Persia (633–654) ended the Sasanian Empire and is a turning point in Iranian history.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
You will arrive at Tehran’s international airport (IKIA). Our guide will meet you upon arrival and take you to your hotel. The guide is there to help you change money and get you a sim card if you want. So don’t hesitate to ask for help or any questions about Iran and Tehran.
Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and the 32nd capital city of Iran through its 5000 year old history.
In Tehran we will visit:
The magnificent Golestan Palace which is a world heritage site located in the south of Tehran right next to the bazar. Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty chose Tehran as his capital. The Golestan palace became the official residence of the Qajar dynasty. Almost this entire complex was built during the 131 year’s rule of the Qajar kings. These palaces were used for many different occasions such as coronations and other important celebrations.
Then we will visit Tehran Grand Bazar. Tehran Grand Bazar, which is the old economy heart of the city, is full of shops, mosques and banks. You can find anything you can think of besides fresh product. Despite relying heavily on this historical legacy, much of the bazaar itself was constructed much later. The walls and passages in the bazaar, rarely exceed 400 years, with many being constructed or rebuilt within the last 200 years. The bazaar grew as a “city within a city” for much of the 19th century, and was able to expand largely and without much outside interference.
The National Museum of Iran opened in 1937. The building was designed by a French architect, André Godard and even today is one of the most attractive modern buildings in Tehran.
Today we will take you to Isfahan and we will visit Kashan on our way.
The Fin garden ranks among the finest traditional gardens in Iran. Tracing its history at least to the 5th millennium B.C. the fin garden was kept alive with never ending water from the soleimaniyeh spring perhaps as old as history itself. The garden contains numerous cypress trees and combines architectural features of the Safavid, Zandiyeh and Qajar periods.
The Borujerdi house is perhaps the most spectacular sight in Kashan. Built by a famous merchant of Kashan known as Brujeddi. Constructed in the 19th century the house was built because of love. When Mr. Borujerdi wanted to marry the daughter of Tabatabaie (one of the rich and famous merchants of Kashan) he said he wanted a house worthy of his daughter. The house is decorated with stucco, glass work, and mirror work, and it took 17 years to be built.
In Isfahan we will start with the Chehel Sotun Palace, translated to Farsi means the 40-pillar palace. The palace itself only has 20 pillars, but because of the reflection of the pillars on the water it turns in to 40. Built by the order of shah Abbas II it is one of the 9 Persian gardens which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then we will visit:
Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Image of the World Square) is the most magnificent sight of Isfahan. A huge arena 510m long and 163m wide. It is the second largest historical square in the world. Housing some of the most majestic structures of the Islamic world, it’s designated by UNESCO as a universal heritage site.
Located in the eastern side of the square and built during the safavid empire the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture. The purpose of this mosque was for it to be private for the royal family for this reason the mosque does not have any minarets and is small.
The Ali Qapu Palace is located on the western side of the Square, opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. It is forty-eight meters high and has six floors. The Ali Qapu generally is the entrance or supreme gate to the complex of palaces and public buildings of the Safavi Government.
The Shah Mosque is in the south side of the Square and is the largest and the most magnificent monument of the savavid reign. It was built by the order of shah abbas. Unlike most buildings of importance in the Islamic period, this square did not lie in alignment with Mecca, so beside the entrance the rest of the mosque is built on an angle facing the house of God (Mecca).
Today we drive to Yazd and we will visit Maybod on our way.
At first, we will visit Meybod, it is an ancient desert city in Yazd province that dates back to pre-Islamic era. It has a Shah Abbasi caravanserai which is ideal to have lunch and see what travelers and merchants experienced 400 years ago.
Next will be The Narin Qal’eh or Narin Castle, a mud-brick fort in the town of Meybod. The ruins of the structure stand 40 meters high from its base. What makes this structure unique is that it was built some 2,000 years ago and it contains what seems to be a type of plumbing system built into its massive walls.
In Yazd we will visit:
The Tower of Silence, a circular raised structure built by Zoroastrians for decomposing of dead bodies. They do this by exposing the dead bodies to carrion birds usually vultures. The reason for this unusual method is that they did not want the body to be exposed to the elements which are sacred in their religion. Therefore, water earth and fire are not permitted.
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple is known as Atashkadeh. Yazd is a place of worship for the Zoroastrians. It holds the atash bahram meaning the victorious fire which has been burning from 400bc. The Bahram Atash is one of nine in the world and the other eight are in India.
Dowlat Abad Garden is a UNESCO world heritage site built around 1750.It was built on the tradition and principle of symmetrical design of the Persian garden and has the tallest wind catcher in all of Iran standing over 33m.
The Jameh Mosque of Yazd is a 12century mosque which is still being used today. According to historians the mosque was constructed in the site of the Sassanid fire temple. The mosque is crowned by a pair of minarets, the highest in Iran, and the portal is decorated from top to bottom in tile work.
Amir Chakhmaq Square is a square located in the heart of the city and named after Amir Jalaleddin Chakhmaq the governor of Yazd. It includes several old structures such as a bazar, mosque, water storage and mausoleum that are all listed as national heritage sites.
Today we will take you to Shiraz and we will visit:
Persepolis which was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Darius the great ordered the construction of Persepolis in around 518 B.C. It was a fabulous repository of the most spectacular architectural and artistic achievements anywhere in the ancient world, and was the holy center at that time just as Mecca, Jerusalem and the Vatican are today.
Then we will visit Naqsh-e-Rustam. The mountain provides a remarkable natural screen with the tomb chambers of the Achaemenid kings carved into the rock and the Sassanid carvings exhibits combat scenes of Iran’s most legendry kings and heroes.
Today in Shiraz we will visit:
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque also known as the pink mosque which was built under Qajar rule. Nasir al mulk is considered to be one the most beautiful mosques in Iran. It’s better to be visited in the early morning when the light streams inside through seven stained glass doors.
Narenjestan Ghavam house or mansion was built originally by the Qavams a rich and powerful family which ruled semi independently over Fars and the Persian Gulf coast; they were rich to the extent of the Qajar period. The construction of the mansion took almost ten years.
Vakil Bazaar is the main bazar of Shiraz located in the historical center of the city. Built in 1766 with the best traditions of Iranian urban architecture. The bazaar has beautiful courtyards, caravanserais, bath houses, and old shops it is among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques.
The Karim Khan Castle was built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty it served as Karim khans quarters the shape from the outside resembles a medieval fortress and it was named after Karim Khan the founder of the Zand dynasty.
Mausoleum of Hafez is a memorial garden created in the memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez. His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are often found in the homes of people in the Persian speaking world.
Today we will take you to Kerman and we will visit Neyriz on our way.
In Kerman we will visit:
The Kerman mosque comprises a rectangular court surrounded by a one-story arcade with four iwans placed at the center of each one. Because the mosque dates from the 14th century its tile and mosaic is limited to certain areas.
Afterwards, we will visit Kerman Bazar which dates back to 600 years ago. The Kerman bazar has left a beautiful memorial from ancient time. Stretching from 1200m the architecture characteristics astonishes the eyes of every visitor and is one of the oldest trading centers in Iran.
Then we will take you to Mahan and visit:
Shazde garden which is a green oasis lying in the heart of the desert located in Mahan in Kerman province. Shazde garden (prince garden) is a fine example of how Persian gardens take advantage of natural climates. Its construction was in the late 1900s during the Qajar dynasty and is now on UNESCOs world heritage list.
Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine is a historical complex which contains the mausoleum of a renowned Iranian mystic and poet named shah Nematollah Vali. The shrine complex comprises of 4 courtyards a reflecting pool and a mosque with 2 minarets.
After that, we will take you to Rayen.
The medieval mudbrick city of Rayen is similar to Arg-e Bam which was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003. Rayen displays all the architectural elements of a deserted citadel. It is extremely well preserved, despite numerous natural disasters that have destroyed similar structures nearby, and it is one of the most interesting sites in Iran.
Today we will take you to Shahdad.
Shahdad is located at the edge of the Lut desert, which is one of the hottest and driest places in the world. The Summers are long and extremely hot, while the winters are short and mild.
Today we will fly to Tehran and visit Milad tower and Darband.
Milad tower is a telecommunication tower 435-meter tall and is the tallest tower in Iran and the 6th tallest telecommunication tower in the world. It became a new symbol of Tehran right after its construction Not only it provides a bird eye view of the city but also some business and entertainment activities are done there.
Darband is one of the famous neighborhoods of North Tehran where so many people go for trekking, having a cup of tea, eating sour and sweet apricots.
Today we will take you to the international airport (IKIA).