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Before you travel to Iran, you might be thinking of the main reasons to visit Iran. There is a lot to see from the years when Persia was a great world power and walking around the sublime, turquoise-tiles domes and minarets of Isfahan Nghsh-e- Jahan square, the awesome power and beauty of the Achaemenid’s ancient capital in Persepolis, the mud-brick alleys and rooftops in Yazd, and wonderfully immense Elamite Ziggurat at Chogha Zanbil will put you in the food steps of some of history’s most outstanding figures.
Therefore, these highlights together with the atmospheric tea house, bustling Bazzars, deserts punctuated by historic oases and rugged mountain ranges, give Iran more than it’s fair share of fantastic places to see.
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 was 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.
In the morning, we will take you to Hamedan.
Hamedan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE.
In Hamedan we will see:
Ganj Name is an ancient inscription on the side of Alvand Mountain in Iran. The inscriptions were carved in granite in two sections. The one on the left was ordered by Darius the Great (521-485 BC) and the one on the right by Xerxes the Great (485-465 BC). Both sections were carved in three ancient languages: Old Persian, Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Elamite. The inscriptions start with praise to the Zoroastrian God (Ahura Mazda) and describes the lineage and deeds of the mentioned kings.
Ibn Sina, also known as Abu Ali Sina and often known in the West as Avicenna (c. 980 – June 1037) was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. He has been described as the father of early modern medicine.
We will also visit the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai which is located in Hamadan, Iran. Believed by some to house the remains of the biblical Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai. It is the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in the country.
Today we will take you to Kermanshah and visit Kangavar on our way.
Kangavar is best known for the archaeological remains of a mixed Sassanid and Achaemenid-style edifice and the town was mentioned by Isidore of Charax in the 1st century AD. Excavation first began in 1968. The “large structure with its great columns set on a high stone platform” had been associated with a comment by Isidore of Charax, that refers to a “temple of Artemis” (Parthian Stations 6) at “Concobar” in Lower Medea, on the overland trade route between the Levant and India. References to Artemis in Iran are generally interpreted to be references to Anahita, and thus Isidore’s “temple of Artemis” came to be understood as a reference to a temple of Anahita.
Kermanshah is the largest Kurdish-speaking city in Iran. Because of its antiquity, attractive landscapes, rich culture and Neolithic villages. Kermanshah is considered one of the cradles of prehistoric cultures. In ancient Iranian mythology, construction of the city is attributed to Tahmuras, the third king of Pishdadian dynasty.
In Kermanshah we will visit Taq-e Bostan. It means “Arch of the Garden” or “Arch made by stone” which is a site with a series of large rock reliefs from the era of Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran), carved around the 4th century AD.
Bisotun is at the foot of Bisotun mountain, the flank of which is the location of an important historical site. The imperial road from Ekbatana to Babylon passed at the foot of the mountain. On the rocky slopes king Darius I left the Behistun Inscription.
Today we will take you to Khorramabad.
Khorramabad is situated on the Zagros Mountains. In the city center, a tall citadel called Falak-ol-Aflak (The Heaven of Heavens), a relic of the Sassanid era, is now a nationally popular museum.
Today we will take you to Shooshtar but we will visit Susa (Shoosh) on our way.
Susa was an ancient city and in urban history, it is one of the oldest-known settlements of the region. Shush is identified as Shushan, mentioned in the Book of Esther and other Biblical books.
In Susa we will visit:
The Tomb of Daniel which is the traditional burial place of the biblical prophet Daniel. The earliest mention of Daniel’s Tomb published in Europe is given by Benjamin of Tudela who visited Asia between 1160 and 1163.
Choga Zanbil means basket mound and it was built about 1250 BC by the king Untash-Napirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak. Its original name was Dur Untash, which means ‘town of Untash’, but it is unlikely that many people, besides priests and servants, ever lived there.
Shushtar is an ancient fortress city, approximately 92 kilometers away from Ahvaz. Much of its past agricultural productivity derives from the irrigation system which centered on the Band-e Kaisar, the first dam bridge in Iran.
Then we will take you to Behbahan.
Behbahan’s history reaches back to the Sassanian period, during which the ancient city of Arjan was built.
In the morning we will take you to Shiraz and we will visit Bishapor city on our way.
Bishapur was an ancient city in Sasanid Persia (Iran) on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. The most important point about this city, is the combination of Persian and Roman art and architecture that hadn’t been seen before Bishapur construction. According to an inscription, the city itself was founded in 266 AD by Shapur I (241-272), who was the second Sassanid king and inflicted a triple defeat on the Romans, having killed Gordian III, captured Valerian and forced Philip the Arab to surrender.
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 best 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 in Shiraz 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.
In the morning we will take you to Darab.
Darab city is one of the oldest cities in Iran, and is even mentioned in the famous Persian epic Shahname by Ferdowsi. In the neighborhood there are various remains, including the Kalah i Daráb (citadel of Darius), which consists of a series of earthworks arranged in a circle around an isolated rock. Another monument in the vicinity is a giant bas-relief, carved on the vertical face of a rock, representing the victory of the Sasanian king Shapur I over the Roman emperor Valerian in 260.
In the morning, we will take you to Bandar Abbas, the city occupies a strategic position on the narrow Strait of Hormuz.
Then we will visit Hindu Temple and Bazar.
This modest Hindu temple set back from the main drag is a small stone building with a conical dome. It was built in the late 19th century to serve the Indian community working for the British East India Company.
O/N Bandar Abbas
In the morning we will take a ferry to Qeshm Island.
Qeshm, is an Iranian island in the Strait of Hormuz and earliest evidence of human presence at Qeshm dates back to Paleolithic Period. According to historical records, Qeshm Island has been famous as a trade and navigation center.
In Qeshm, we will visit:
One of the tourist attractions of Qeshm Island is the Castle of the Portuguese, built in 1507 on the northern side of Qeshm Island by a Portuguese sailor called Afonso de Albuquerque. By constructing several castles in Iran’s southern ports and islands, the Portuguese acquired full authority over southern Iran, and thus gained control over the marine commercial road between India and Europe, and their dominance on this important marine waterway lasted 110 years.
Stars Valley, created as the result of the erosion of soil and stones by wind and rain, the two-million-year-old Stars Valley is located on the west of the village of Berkeh Khalaf, 5 kilometers from the southern coast of the Qeshm Island. The Stars Valley is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of nature in the Qeshm Island.
Today we will visit:
The longest salt cave with a length of six thousand and five hundred meters is located in the western part of Qeshm Island. The salt cave of Qeshm was registered as one of the geosystems of UNESCO Global Geoparks as well as a National Natural Heritage Site in 2011.
Chahkooh Canyon is made of MarlSandstone which has holes created by the flow of rain water. The exposed rock and lack of plant life are quite startling and invoke a quiet sense of awe.
The Mangrove forests of Qeshm or Hara forests of Qeshm are an important ecological resource. The tree is a salt-water plant that is often submerged at high tide.
Then we will go to Bandar Abbas.
O/N Bandar Abbas
In the morning we will take you to Jiroft.
Jiroft is located in a vast plain, Halil River, on the southern outskirts of the Jebal Barez mountain chain, surrounded by two rivers. Jiroft ancient civilization is a symbol of Iranian ancient civilization and the history of the region dates back to more than 4,300 years ago.
In the morning, we will take you to Bam and visit:
The Arg-e Bam which is the largest adobe building in the world and It is listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site “Bam and its Cultural Landscape”. The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be traced back to the Achaemenid Empire (sixth to fourth centuries BC) and even beyond.
Today we will take you to Kerman and 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 the 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.
Early in the morning, we will take you to Caravanserai Zein Al Din.
The Zein-o-Din Caravanserai is located in Zein-o-din, Yazd, Iran. The caravanserai dates to the 16th century and is situated on the ancient Silk Road. It is one of 999 such inns that were built during the reign of Shah Abbas I to provide facilities to travelers. Of these, Zein-o-din is one of two caravanserais built with circular towers.
O/N Zein-o-Din Caravanserai
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.
Today in Yazd we will visit:
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.
Alexander’s Prison is a 15th century domed school, located next to the tourist office in the old town of Yazd.
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.
Water Museum displays the tool, techniques used for the past 4000 years in Iran in creating underground waterways (called Qanats) and connecting them to the city and field locations for agricultural and other uses. Before the Romans built their aqueducts, Iranians had built an extensive system of underground qanats (aqueduct). A lot of these systems are still functioning today.
Today we will take you to Isfahan and we will visit Naein and Meybod in our way.
Meybod 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.
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. Its the second largest historical square in the world and 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 will take you to Garmeh and will visit Bayazeh on our way.
Bayazeh has been known as the cultural and scientific center of this part of the desert. An ancient old castle (remaining from the Sasanian empire or before), mosques, houses, covered narrow alleys, and a qanat, are all sites that attract tourists.
O/N Garmeh (Local House)
Early in the morning, we will take you to Tabas.
Tabas is a desert city with lots of dates and citrus trees. It has a 300-year-old public garden, (Baghe-Golshan. There is also a shrine in Tabas that is visited every year by thousands of pilgrims.
O/N Tabas (Traditional house)
Early in the morning, we will take you to Gonabad.
Gonabad is mostly well-known because of the Gonabadi Dervishes and for its qanats, also known as kareez. It is one of the most important producers of saffron in Iran. Other agricultural products include: Grape, Pistachio and pomegranate. Some of the longest and oldest Qanats of the world are located in Gonabad.
Today we will take you to Mashhad.
Mashhad is the second most populous city in Iran and the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv to the east. The city is named after the “shrine” of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam.
In Mashhad we will visit:
The Imam Reza shrine which is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Twelver Shiites. It is the largest mosque in the world by area.
In the afternoon, we will visit Bazar in Mashhad.
Today we will take you to Tus and visit:
Tomb of Ferdowsi which is a tomb complex composed of a white marble base and Ferdowsi is the influential Persian poet and author of the Persian epic, Shahnameh who died in 1020 AD.
Haruniyeh Dome is the tomb of Al-Ghazali. Al-Ghazali was one of the most prominent and influential philosophers, theologians, jurists, and mystics of Sunni Islam.
Today we will fly to Tehran and we will visit Milad tower and Darband in Tehran.
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.
We will take you to the international airport (IKIA).