Day 1: Shiraz (Arrival), Birthplace of Achaemenid Empire
On the time of arrival at SYZ Airport, our representative will welcome you with Logo show card and guiding you to exit the airport to the hotel. Leave pressure of flight under the shower and relax before the tour of Shiraz treasures.
Shiraz, the motherland of Persian Culture with all legendary Achaemenian’s and Sassanian’s glories is the city of prose & poem, gardens and flowers. Historical ornaments such as Persepolis and Pasargadae is spread through the tale of the province since Achaemenid empire to Zand Dynasty, also spirituality always associates with a story of the people, not only during Zoroastrianism but also at the time of Islam to the present era.
Today is devoted to Zand dynasty heritages which begins with Kolah Farangi mansion to experience the ceremonial palace of Zand Dynasty, where is a Zand legacy museum, to explore the kingdom much closer, after that our visits include Vakil Historic Bath, which is an architectural masterpiece in Vakil Complex, built from gypsum, stone and brick, then keep walking to Vakil Mosque to experience a royal holy place, which derives its fame from the art of architecture, calligraphy and columns engravings, as an entrance door to Vakil Bazaar, where you will be amazed by the passageways, to experience Shirazi nomads and tribes clothing and purchasing handicrafts.
By exploring Vakil Complex we reach Zinat Al-Molk House, where is a Persian style of home, to fascinate visitors by the mirror and woodwork, then enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of Hafezieh, the mausoleum of a poet whose love stories, spiritual beliefs and sagacious poems left an untouched and legacy behind for readers to alleviate with. Hafez Ghazal by the use of eloquence inspired Persians to fall in love, be honest and worship Allah.
Photo: Kolah Farangi Mansion
Kolah Farangi Mansion shows the artistic view of monarchy in terms of painting, wood-work and architecture in a Persian orchard.
Day 2: Shiraz, The Ceremonial Capital of Achaemenid
We travel outside of Shiraz to explore Persepolis, one of the three Achaemenid Empire Capitals, which is dedicated to ceremonial events to demonstrate the imperial majesty and eminence, constructed by Darius the Great. The palace with the meaning of ‘city of Persians’ is a great example of Achaemenid architectural style, then visiting Naqsh-e Rustam, a Necropolis, where the emperors of Persian civilization are buried in rock cuts, with king’s engraved messages on rock reliefs, also the Zoroastrians sacred place “ Cube of Zoroaster ” as a spiritual monument is located next to the rock face, after that taking a short walk to Naqsh-e Rajab, an open-air archaeological archive which displays Sassanid imperial impregnable power and triumphs over Roman emperor on bas-relief inscriptions, then on the way back to downtown we have a glance to Quran Gate, which is the entrance gate of Shiraz from the north, built by Zand dynasty in reason of blessing passengers by the holiness of Quran, next to the gate is Tomb of Khwaju, who was the guru in literature, also a guide to Hafiz, after that, we go to Sa’diyeh, the mausoleum of a poet who nourishes you with words and wisdom to enlighten your soul. Sa’adi with his global reputation for verses about human rights left us the most valuable heritage by writing books such as GOLESTAN & BOSTAN.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 3: Shiraz, Motherland of Persian Gardens
Today is devoted to the beauty of Shiraz, at first we visit Nasir-ol-Molk, a supreme intellectual and artistic sacred place which proves no comparison with a typical mosque. Spirituality lies inside when sunshine passes through the colorful glasses of windows to Persian carpet orchards or on the firm columns inside, also you will be dazzled by the superb celling ceramic-work, then we walk to Qavam House, a unique model of Persian architecture which depicts most of the artistic value of the culture, not only in the garden with fountains, planting flowers and palm trees, but also with gorgeous mirror-works and European style of paintings, after a break for lunch our exploration continues with Eram Garden, the original meaning of Paradise (Pardis in Persian Language) by displaying the Persia peculiar Structure in magnificent buildings and botanical garden, further to usual monuments we travel to the oldest mosque of Shiraz , which is built in Saffarid Dynasty and renovated during Safavid Dynasty, Atiqe Mosque, which is called Adineh by Shirazi people, include eight entrance gate and Khodakhand (God of House) with unique architecture to amaze you, soon after we experience Shahcheragh, the third holiest shrine in Iran, which provides you with a very sophisticated feeling of spirituality as a reason of its brown color face which takes you out of the worldly tensions.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 4: Shiraz, Legacy of Persian Heritage
The visits will include Dokhtar Castle (Sassanid Archeological Landscape) which intended to be dedicated to god Anahita as its name (“Girl Castle” or “The Maiden’s Castle”) announces, then we will explore Ardashir Investiture Relief (Sassanid Archeological Landscape), an inscription which shows the belief of immortality and majesty of Sassanid king as Ahuramazda (Zoroastrians god) is awarding them by a royal ring.
It is built by the first king of Sassanid empire to defeat Parthian empire on the top of a hill close to south Fars river, after that visiting Ardashir Papakan Palace (Sassanid Archeological Landscape), an imperial model of a castle-like construction which is built by the influence of Achaemenid architecture at the earliest time of Sassanid empire, finally we reach Gor Ancient City (Sassanid Archeological Landscape) which originally dated to Achaemenid empire, but rebuilt during the first king of Sassanid empire with striking in size as constructing fire temple, bridge and tower are depicting one of the four administrative center of Sassanian.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 5: Shiraz-Yazd, Achaemenid Founder Tomb
Yazd is a city which displays human adaptations to the nature by its unique architecture to use simple materials to build astonishing structures such as wind-catchers, Bath, mosque and houses to preserve the lifestyle of breathing in heart of desert, also Qanat construction is an ancient engineering knowledge which conveys water from natural sources to quench people. The city is the home of Persian sweeties and a famous land in handicrafts especially for handwoven souvenirs, also religions diversity enlighten you about Zoroastrians, Jewish, Christians and Muslims in the city centre.
Departing Shiraz we travel to Yazd by having an Expedition to Pasargadae, the ancient capital of Achaemenid, which was built under the order of Cyrus the Great with famous fourfold Persian model of the garden, to explain the nobility of the emperor and his necropolis, after that our exploration takes us to the Global City of Wood-carvings to discover a very skilful art which is called Monabatkari or Moghaarkari by professionals who replete woods with religious design or flower motifs in their workplace
, soon after we drive to Abarkooh county to wander at the 4500-year-old Cypress tree, then we keep going to the city of wind-catchers.
Overnight Yazd, (B,L,D).
Day 6: Yazd, Touch Mud-Brick Lifestyle
Today we begin our travel with Yazd Jameh Mosque, where the brilliance of tilling dazzle eyes next to highest minarets in Persia, depicting harmonious craft between Islamic and Persian architecture, after that we walk to Fahadan area to explore brick and mud lifestyle with a particular style of construction, where customs and traditions fed the area, to reach Alexander Prison that was used to be a school, then we visit Zoroastrians Fire Temple, which is continuously burning for around 2500 years. Then, our exploration continues to Amir Chakhmagh Complex with its gorgeous balanced submerged alcoves in the Tekyeh and historical mosque, soon after we experience traditional form for athletics which was used for training soldiers for warfare in Zourkhaneh (Pahlavani Rituals).
Our tour ends today with having a pleasing night is calm atmosphere around the highest wind-catcher in the world with a peculiar architecture in Dowlat Abad Garden.
Overnight Yazd, (B,L,D).
Day 7: Yazd-Isfahan, Glory of Sun & Sand
We embark on full day travel into the heart of the desert on the way from Yazd to Isfahan with an expedition to Meybod county to explore a region which was Mozaffarid dynasty capital and widely known in terms of architecture and handicrafts in the north of Yazd. Our visits will include Abbasi Caravanserai where displays how travellers took rest on the way of their tours, after that we take a walk to traditional water reservoir which plays a vital rule to provide safe and clean water in the desert, soon after we have a glance of the Ice House which feed the county with Sufficient Ice reminded from winter to summer based on an evaporation engineering masterpiece since 1000 B.C, then we visit Narin Castle, which used to be a fortress during existence, dated back to Achaemenid era.
Our exploration continues to Naein county, where is an ancient region famous for the qanats, handicrafts and castles, in the south of Isfahan. We visit Naein Jameh Mosque which is one of the four mosques built soon after the Arab conquest of Persia, after that we learn better about desert citizens lifestyle by surfing Desert Anthropology Museum, then we travel to Rigareh Qanat-based Water Mill to investigate how people quench their thirst by constructing qanat underground since 1000 B.C in Persia.
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 8: Isfahan, Capital of Perso-Islamic Architecture
Isfahan, the city of glories and Perso-Islamic masterpieces devoted itself to craftsman’s dexterity to become centre of art, not only in architecture or handicrafts but also in urban structures and music. The city is a treasure of mosques, Cathedrals, mansions, bridges and gardens which amazed visitors in all aspects of skillful ingenuities.
Tour through Isfahan begins with a three-floor building which is called Qeisarie Gate in remembrance of the king as the main entrance to Isfahan Grand Bazaar, which directs us to Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Meidan-e Emam) to visit the masterwork of chief architect Sheikh Bahaee, also having a workshop for the art of Minakari demonstrates us how ancient Persians enameled objects to place heaven into them by decorating metal(mostly Silver and Copper) or tile by patterns and paintings derived from the taste of the artist, soon after we walk to Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque to be amazed with the genius interior and exterior decoration of the dome which used to be a royal mosque dedicated to Shah Abbas Safavid, after that we visit Shah Mosque, which depicts Persian architecture in Islamic era, by consisting of iwans, domes, tilling and supreme engineering of voice echoing, then our trip to the square will end by Ali Qapu Palace which could be called as a gallery of art in terms of music, painting and decoration in an acoustic structure.
By nourishing our mind in the square we walk to Chehel Sotun Palace (Bagh-e Chehel Sotun), where a relaxing atmosphere with gorgeous paintings are awaiting us with palace pillar photo reflected into the front pond, then we travel to the white river to indulge ourselves to the beauty of worldly known Khaju and Si-O Se Pol Bridges.
Day 9: Isfahan, Half of the World
Today Our tour includes Vank Cathedral with its fascinating paintings and mosque-like dome which is constructed by the Armenians who forced to move to Isfahan by Shah Abbas Safavid, after that we travel to Isfahan Jameh Mosque (Masjed-e Jame of Isfahan) to discover a unique practice of designing a holy place by renovation and reconstruction a mosque which is one of the oldest kinds in Persia, then we learn how masters do Ghalamzani to create outstanding works with a superb design on silver, copper, brass and gold to place visionary engravings on objects.
Our exploration continues to Chahar Bagh Street where is a masterpiece of urbanism to Hasht Behesht Palace were used to be a royal pavilion with glamorous paintings, woodwork, mirror-work and tilling.
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 10: Isfahan-Kashan, Red Village in Heart of Brown Desert
On the way from Isfahan to Kashan, we have an expedition to Abyaneh village to experience one of the ancient rural area in Persia, which shows us historical traditions and customs along with distinctive habitable buildings, also we will be amazed by a very traditional kind of shoe that is called Giveh and is made out of cotton and wool with wild-bull leather with high comfort, then we travel to Kashan where is one of the homelands of Persian civilization to perfect our knowledge about the country at the last night of the tour.
We visit Aminodole Caravanserai at the centre of Kashan bazaar where the coherent form of the structure reflects hospitality sensibility, soon after we smell Persian coffee as Kashan is one of the centres for such hot drink, then we visit Agha Bozorg Mosque which is the only one in its model as a mosque with sunken courtyard.
Overnight Kashan, (B,L,D).
Day 11: Kashan-Tehran, Home of Persian Houses
Today is devoted to Kashan legacies that begin with Boroujerdi House which combines the desert style of wind-catchers with Persian traditional models of an iwan with superb plaster-work in interior and exterior decoration, soon after we visit Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse to feel Persian gatherings meanwhile bathing, next in order of time we walk to Tabatabaee House which includes peculiar difference with the previous one in terms of stone reliefs, stucco and coloured glasses, then we travel to Fin Garden, which depicts a genuine Persian garden, telling us stories about the contemporary era from murdering Amir Kabir to present.
Overnight Tehran, (B,L,D).
Day 12: Tehran, The Last Kingdom Capital
Tehran, as the most modern city and capital of Iran which clearly shows the classical and modern combination of Persian culture is located on the south of Alborz mountain range. Damavand, the highest Summit of Iran is a heroic symbol of Tehran, also the city embraces cultural & natural landscapes with brilliant glory of palaces and distinctive museums.
Tehran Tour begins with Golestan Palace as a royal complex with over 400 years old as a brilliant and historical monuments of Tehran, which is decorated with peculiar ornaments such as tiling, mirror-works and paintings, surpassed the four kings who crowned in its majesty and now distinguished itself as a UNESCO World Heritage, then taking a walk to overlook Tehran Grand Bazaar, a roofed up building with old-time architecture of passages and pathways which leave you in a puzzle which is a cultural end economic center in downtown of Tehran, after that (Sat to Tue 14:30 to 16:30) walking to Treasury of National Museum (National Jewelry Museum) , where shines for the beauty of the diamonds, jewels and royal heritages, to feel kingdom lifestyle better, in the evening we keep going deep into Persi by visiting Iran National Museum as the cradle of Persia story that holds archaeological collections in two separate structures; Ancient Iran Museum and Museum of Islamic Period to present you with culture, art and history of Iran.
Overnight Tehran, (B,L,D).
Day 13: Tehran-Hamedan, Heritage of Elamite and Achaemenid Civilization
Hamedan is an iconic city in terms of ancient urbanism, religion diversity and handicrafts, where Ecbatana Ancient City absorbs your attention to 3000 years ago with mud & brick remains at the heart of Hegmataneh Antique City, also Hamedan has gained a prominent position in ceramic and pottery craftsmanship in the Middle East.
Today we satisfy our curiosity about Persian pottery by learning new skills in creating our very own pottery under the hands-off instructions of professionals in Lalejin pottery workshops, after that we visit Ecbatana Ancient City, where confirms that the existence of urbanism dated back to pre-Aryans mass migration era to Hamedan. The engineering pattern such as sewage system proves orderly structure of ancient time which caused the city to be registered in the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage, then taking a walk to Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, the most important Jewish shrine in Persia, which demonstrates Jewish persistence in Hamedan, also Jewish use surrounding area as a cemetery, after that visiting Avicenna Mausoleum to know a genius scientist with the diversity of expertise in the field of medicine, philosophy, music, mathematics and natural sciences who wrote more than 400 books such as ‘The Canon of Medicine’ and ‘The Healing Book’, which were taught in most well-known universities of the word.
Overnight Hamedan, (B,L,D).
Day 14: Hamedan-Kermanshah, Darius the Great Legacy
A pleasant morning drive brings us to Ganjnameh, an Achaemenid inscription which means ‘treasure of letter’ that is a great depiction of the grandeur of antiquity with nature, where Darius the Great advised his son by engraving on three columns in three languages in his remembrance, then having a tour to Kermanshah through Anahita Temple in Kangavar where is attributed to be god Anahita edifice, consists of a temple, peristyle and courtyard, which dated to Achaemenid era with renovation during Parthian and Sassanid empire, after that exploring Bisotun, an outdoor museum since Paleolithic time to the contemporary era, which depicts huge relation between nature and culture and registered as a Unesco World Heritage, indicates one of the most significant archaeological and historical inscriptions in the world. As a multicultural and monarchical remains, which demonstrate the Greek influence and Sassanid power in Persia, the inscription is a vital legacy to humanity.
Overnight Kermanshah, (B,L,D).
Day 15: Kermanshah-Khuzestan, Royal Road
Kermanshah, a mountainous region with a moderate climate which is occupied with inhabitants of diverse nationality and religion is proud of being the second royal Sassanid empire accommodation. Kurds, the main residents of the area with a disparate cultural character of music, folkloric dance and cuisine are known as the origin of Aryans with aristocratic customs and traditions.
Today we travel to Taq-e Bostan, a complex of Sassanid glories including rock relief with inscriptions about religious attitudes, music and rejoice and rock-cut with artistic and historical values about emperor’s ceremonies and hunting, illustrate Sassanid empire majesty in the northeast part of Kermanshah along Silk Road, then wander at Jameh Mosque of Shafi’i through its unique masterpiece of Peso-Islamic culture, not only in religious tendencies but also in Structure, where Sunni Muslims gather together for social and cultural-religious issues such as Friday Praying. The architecture is an excellent typical Islamic Mosque with a combination of Azeri and Persian architecture, after that visiting Falak-ol-aflak Castle the one that declares itself as an emblem of Luristan province which used to be a Colossal defensive military structure on the top of a hill during Sassanid era, then became a prison and nowadays are used as an anthropological Museum.
Overnight Khuzestan, (B,L,D).
Day 16: Khuzestan, Achaemenid Diplomatic Capital
Khuzestan is a cradle of civilization as it’s history dated back to pro-Elamite period, also an outstanding city where multicultural residents from different tribes such as Lurs, Bakhtiaris, native Arabs and Persians live together in harmony. It is remarkable to mention that Khuzestan as a result of a huge reservoir of oil and gas is the economic heart of Persia.
We embark on a full day expedition to Unesco World Heritage sites which starts with Susa (Shush), one of the dateless residential area which constructed during pro-Elamite period and renovated by Achaemenid emperors as one of their four capitals, then lost its significance in Sassanid era. The settlement which was the centre of Elamite Civilization consists of three main parts; Royal City, Acropolis and Apadana, soon after we visit Susa (Shush) Museum as an incredible gallery of archaeological masterworks from Susa ancient city, unbelievable remains from Elamite civilization and identifying potteries from Persian empires,
then having a tour through Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat, which seems to be the first spiritual monument in Persia and the largest Ziggurat on earth, constructed by Elamite around 1200 B.C, after that, we travel to Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a masterpiece of genius engineering, which is believed by archaeologists to be the greatest ancient industrial complex, built by Darius the Great during Achaemenid empire. The Purpose of construction such system with chain of canals, mills, bridges, waterfalls, dams, and huge tunnels was to take advantage of water to plant more orchards and better farming during Achaemenians and Sassanians.
Overnight Khuzestan, (B,L,D).
Day 17: Khuzestan, Cradle of Civilisation
Our tour takes us to Persian-Arab culinary culture as an identifying speciality belonging to the Arab regions of the southwest of Persia where they build distinctive guesthouses out of wild palm leaves which are called Mozif to show warm hospitality through serving garnished foods and Arabia coffee by a very unique customs, then moving to Behbahan bypassing Ahvaz.
Overnight Behbahan, (B,L,D).
Day 18: Khuzestan-Shiraz, Route of Civilization
Today we will visit Bishapur Ancient City (Sassanid Archeological Landscape), built-in admiration for the triumph over Romans in the rein of the second king of Sassanid empire. There are vertical & horizontal streets which displays Roman influence on Persian architecture at the time, also rock reliefs and rock cuts depicting the victory and the spiritual respect of the Kings to the god.
Sa’diyeh is the mausoleum of a poet who nourishes you with words and wisdom to enlighten your soul. Sa’adi with his global reputation for verses about human rights left us the most valuable heritage by writing books such as GOLESTAN & BOSTAN.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 19: Khuzestan-Shiraz, Route of Civilization
The last day of Achaemenid Empire Capitals Tour, so travelers will have free time to shop and visit Shiraz. Depart Iran.