Day 1: Tabriz (Arrival), Azeri Lifestyle in Volcanic Hills
Tabriz is the most significant region in historic Azerbaijan area in terms of culture, industry, modernity and handicrafts, also agriculture plays an important rule in development of the city. Tabriz history gained a huge impression from Safavid and Qajar dynasties as a center of Turkish tribes, so most of the monuments and attractions proves cultural, architectural and customs and traditions of the mentioned royal families, also is known as the world Carpet Weaving City.
Persia Rural Tour begins with cemetery of prose and poem (Tomb of Poems), where more than 400 poets are buried to shape the greatest dead poet society under a well-designed Tomb, Shahriar the most famous Tabrizi poet, who used to express his feelings and ideas not only in Turkish, but also in Persian, is buried in the cemetery too, after that visiting Amir Nezam House, where shows us evidences about contemporary history of Tabriz as it is a Qajar Museum too.
Overnight Tabriz, (D).
Day 2: Tabriz, Azeri Culture and architecture
Today our visits will include Blue Mosque, a witness to the history of the city since pre-Safavid to Pahlavi dynasty, where blue tiles at the grand entrance Iwan caused the name of the monument. Most parts of the building destroyed in a late earthquake, but famous architects reconstructed the majesty of the mosque during Pahlavi dynasty, soon after we walk to Azerbaijan Museum which takes you to a tour through history by visiting archaeological finds dated back to 5000 B.C to Sassanid era, then Islamic seals and coins and after that Iron Museum which demonstrates astonishing sculptures by a contemporary Artist Mr. Ahad Hosseini, then visiting Constitution House of Tabriz as it was a prominent pivot of revolutionary communities, which is built by an eminent architect Mr. Haj Vali Me’mar, during Qajar dynasty. The house, where is a museum of revolutionary activists sculptures and their legacies such as letters and weapons, was a center for leaders declaration during Constitutional Revolution in Qajar era,
next in order of time we wander at Tabriz Grand Bazaar (Tabriz Historic Bazaar) with its spectacular structure that include many sub-bazaars as the largest roofed Bazaar in the world, which confirmed itself as a cultural, economical and political center of the city since Safavid Dynasty to present era, then we drive to El Goli Garden which is decorated with a large artificial pond and a mansion in the middle to have a relaxing evening.
Overnight Tabriz, (B,L,D).
Day 3: Tabriz, Explore Cave-like Lifestyle
We leave the city to have an expedition to Kandovan village, where people built their cone-shaped home in volcanic rocks to verify human integration with wild nature in hillside of Sahand mountain. The unbelievable village lifestyle in cave-like houses amaze visitors with identifying architecture that show how locals have been living with ancient customs in modern era. Purchase handicrafts in local settlements to experience alive Kandovan lifestyle, also walk through the rocky pathways to enjoy the mesmerizing environment of the Kandovan Village, after that tasting Persian culinary in Kandovan atmosphere to sync ourselves better with the way people live, then drive back to Tabriz to have pleasure at your pace for evening.
Overnight Tabriz, (B,L,D).
Day 4: Tabriz-Ardabil, Dazzling Nature
Ardabil is the motherland of Safi-ad-din Ardabili, who is the founder of Safavieh order that shaped the root of Safavid Ideology in their dynasty, also the city is rich in cultural and spiritual evidences. Ardabil established its brand for hot springs and natural landscapes, also for handicrafts specially silk carpets and rugs.
Today is devoted to Safavid Dynasty Foundation by visiting Safi-ad-din Ardabili Tomb, who is Murshid of Sufism and his beliefs and ideology created Safaviyya credence in Persia. The Complex includes Khanghah, Mosque and courtyard which shoes different aspects of Sufism, then we will visit Ibrahim Abad Historical Bath to experience Qajar architecture with a peculiar usage as a restaurant.
Overnight Ardabil, (B,L,D).
Day 5: Ardabil-Gilan, Fresh-air Village
Gilan as the capital of Persia culinary art is lacated alongside of Caspian see at the side of Alborz mountain range with a humid subtropical climate demonstrates itself as a city with cultural diversities among Gilak, Rashti, Taleshi and Azerbaijani residents. The city is close to Hyrcanian forests as World Heritage Site which dates back to 25-30 million years ago, also homeland of rich customary beliefs and social forms such as language, gastronomy, music, clothe and every-day rural lifestyle.
Masouleh village is a characteristic settlement in Foman county with extraordinary beauty, which lies ahead in brown exterior design of houses including woody windows decorated with flowerpots filled with colorful blossoms, to prove distinctive architecture in which courtyard of a house is the roof of another. Masouleh environment is filled with responsive lifestyle to nature in terms of rural structures, herbal cuisines, clothe and folkloric customs and traditions.
Overnight Gilan, (B,L,D).
Day 6: Gilan-Qazvin, Incredible Built Environment
Today we devote ourselves to narrow-brown pathways of Masouleh village to take long walks in foggy climate and passing local bazaar to buy handicrafts and herbs, also we have the chance to have scenic views of natural inland sceneries, after that we drive to Qazvin, a city with 9000 years of civilization, where is located on the way of Silk Road, proves its significance to be announced as the capital of the country in different periods. Alamut Castle is the prominent legacy of the city besides Sa’d al-Saltaneh Carevanserai which is the biggest urban caravanserai in Iran.
We embark on a full day visits of Qazvin, Chehel Sotun Pavillion is built during the rein of Shah Tahmasp Safavid as a royal palace at the centre of the city when he announced Qazvin as capital of Iran. The building was reconstructed during Qajar Dynasty and now is used as Calligraphy museum, soon after that visiting Four Prophet Mausoleum, belonging to four Jewish prophet, who people believed to have a message of Jesus Christ birth to East, the structure is built during Safavid era with a decoration of stucco relief and Quranic inscription, next in order of time we reach the majesty of Qajar Dynasty that is with no doubt the best preserved caravanserai in Persia, Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravansary is the largest urban one in its kind. The architecture consists of Iwan, Hojre (Travelers room), Dome and courtyards to provide a relaxing atmosphere for travelers and traders, then walking to Safavid Garden & Complex as a historical area with edifices from Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar dynasties which was built during Shah Tahmasp as the center of the government.
Overnight Qazvin, (B,L,D).
Day 7: Qazvin-Kurdistan, Sense Kurdish Lifestyle
Kurdistan is a mountainous region full of rivers, waterfalls and glaciers, where is called the peak of Iran. The present district of Kurdistan is mostly populated with Kurdish people, also Kurdistan is the homeland of Aryans who migrated to central plateau of Persia.
On the way to Kurdistan we have an expedition to Dome of Soltaniyeh, a well -known structure in terms of architecture and spirituality which is also Tomb of Oljeitu, built during Mongol Dynasty (Ilkhanate) in Persia. It is the largest brick dome with 49 tons weight and the third one in its kind after Florence Cathedral and Hagia Sophia in the world.
Overnight Kurdistan, (B,L,D).
Day 8: Kurdistan, An Anthropology Museum in Scale of a Village
We begin our today tour with walking inside a mansion which is build around 200 years ago to gain more ideas about Kurdish lifestyle and building decoration in highland area of Persia. Khosro Abad mansion with unique design in heart of a historical complex shines as a architectural masterpiece in center of Sanandaj city, soon after we drive to Uranamant village to have a spectacular view of a fresh-air landscape built on a slope of Zagros mountain range hill in a deep integration with nature to show the distinguishing lifestyle in western region of Persia. Exploring long-aged customs and traditions including culinary art, clothe and language is an identifying character of the villagers.
Overnight Kurdistan, (B,L,D).
Day 9: Kurdistan-Kermanshah, Art of Architecture with Flavor of Kurdish Culture
Kermanshah, a mountainous region with 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 disparate cultural character of music, folkloric dance and cuisine are known as the origin of Aryans with aristocratic customs and traditions.
We continue our tour with having an expedition to Palangan village on the way to Kermanshah, where you can find unbelievable steep arisen buildings with distinctive form of architecture next to a wild river, to take you out of the harsh modern days to relaxing atmosphere of a simply decorated village in a quite ambience.
Overnight Kermanshah, (B,L,D).
Day 10: Kermanshah-Tehran, History Talks
Today we travel to Bisotun historical and cultural complex, an outdoor museum since Paleolithic time to 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 inscription 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 the humanity, after that we explore 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, illustrating Sassanid empire majesty in 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 combination of Turkish and Persian architecture.
Overnight Tehran, (B,L,D).
Day 11: Tehran, Western Design in Eastern Culture
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.
Today our tour includes Golestan Palace, 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, soon after 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 as 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 illustrious royal heritages, to feel kingdom excellency, in the evening we keep traveling deep into Persia by visiting Iran National Museum as a cradle of Persia tale 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, then we will have the opportunity to walk along Nature Bridge which connects two parks on a highway as symbol of modern architecture in Tehran.
Overnight Tehran, (B,L,D).
Day 12: Tehran-Isfahan, Sense Rosewater in Yards and Orchards
Today is devoted to Kashan legacies that begins with Fin Garden, which depicts a genuine Persian garden, telling us stories about contemporary era from murdering Amir Kabir to present, after that we visit Boroujerdi House which combines desert style of wind-catchers with Persian traditional models of iwan with superb plaster-work in interior and exterior decoration, soon after we touch Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse to feel Persian architecture meanwhile bathing, next in order of time we walk to Tabatabaee House which includes peculiar differences with the previous one in terms of stone reliefs, stucco and colored glasses, after that we travel to visit Agha Bozorg Mosque which is the only one in its model as a mosque with sunken courtyard.
Overnight Kashan, (B,L,D).
Day 13: Isfahan, Reddish Village
Our exploration continues with Aminodole Caravanserai at the center of Kashan bazaar where coherent form of structure reflects hospitable sensibility, after that we have an expedition to Abyaneh village to experience one of the ancient rural areas close to central desert of Persia, which clarifies historical customs and traditions with its characteristic language and colorful clothe along distinctive reddish buildings constructed with adobe, also there is one of the ancient Zoroastrians fire temples in narrow pathways which directs you to fruitful gardens of the village, then we travel to the capital of Perso-Islamic Architecture, Isfahan
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 14: Isfahan, Perso-Islamic Art
Isfahan, the city of glories and Perso-Islamic masterpieces devoted itself to craftsman’s dexterity to become center 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 Emam) to visit the masterwork of chief architect Sheikh Bahaee, 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 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 widely-known Khaju and Si-o Se Pol Bridges.
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 15: Isfahan, Sacred Spots
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, then we walk to Armenian Genocide Museum to have a glance of the historic handwritten books, reminded artifacts of the cathedral and the first printed book in Persia, then we touch Monar Jonban, an unbelievable structure built during Ilkhanate era, which is an architectural masterpiece as a result of minarets oscillation, constructed during Safavid dynasty, after that we travel to Isfahan Jameh Mosque (Masjed- 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.
Our exploration continues to Chahar Bagh Street which is a masterpiece of urbanism to Hasht Behesht Palace, where used to be a royal pavilion with glamorous paintings, woodwork, mirror-work and tilling.
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 16: Isfahan, Touch Palm Garden in Heart of Desert
We devote ourselves to explore brown area of the culture after being amazed with blue and turquoise combination in Isfahan, Kavir Desert is a mysterious region of Persia, where the climate plays an important rule in shaping the local civilization.
Kavir desert is located in central part of the country above Lut Unesco World Heritage desertic area with distinctive architecture, agriculture, water supplying system and culture. Our exploration begins with Naein county in Kavir desert, where is an ancient region famous for the qanats, handicrafts and castles, in south of Isfahan. We visit Naein Jameh Mosque which is one of the four mosques built soon after Arab conquest of Persia, after that we learn better about desert citizens lifestyle by surfing Naein Anthropology Museum, then we travel to Rigareh Qanat-based Water Mill to investigate how people quench their thirsty by constructing qanat underground since 1000 B.C in Persia, then we drive to Garmeh village to become fascinated with palm gardens quenched with flowing water from springs which are filled with tiny fishes to feel mellow in a pleasant surrounding.
Overnight Garmeh, (B,L,D).
Day 17: Isfahan-Yazd, Mud & Brick Culture
We embark on a full day travel into the heart of desert on the way from Isfahan to Yazd with an expedition to Kharanagh village to experience mountainous district in heart of desert with exceptional architecture in Kharanagh Castle, Caravansarai and Menar Jonban, after that we continue our tour to Meybod county to explore a region which was Mozaffarid dynasty capital and widely known in terms of architecture and handicrafts in north part of Yazd. Our visits will include Abbasi Caravanserai where displays how travelers 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 desert, soon after we have a glance of the Ice House which feed the county with Sufficient Ice reminded from winter to summer on the basis of 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.
Overnight Meybod, (B,L,D).
Day 18: Yazd, City of Wind-Catchers
Yazd is a city which clearly displays human adaptation to the hard nature by its unique architecture to use simple materials to build astonishing structures such as wind-catchers, Bath, mosque and houses to preserve the residents’ life in heart of desert, also Qanat construction is an ancient engineering knowledge which convey water from natural sources to quench people and farms. The city is the home of Persian sweeties and a famous land in handicrafts specially for handwoven souvenirs, also religions diversity enlighten you about Zoroastrians, Jewish, Christians and Muslims in city center.
Today we begin our travel with Yazd Jameh Mosque, where brilliance of tilling dazzle eyes next to highest minarets in Iran, depicting harmonious craft between Islamic and Persian architecture, after that we walk to Fahadan area to explore brick and mud lifestyle with 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 Fahadan Paint Shop to have a glance over Yazd handicrafts and purchase souvenirs, soon after we walk to Lariha House to capture a view of Yazd lifestyle in a well-decorated location with generally recognized architecture of wind-catchers plus archways, plaster-work and stained-glass window, then we visit Zoroastrians Fire Temple, which is continuously burning for around 2500 years, after that our exploration continues to Amir Chakhmagh Complex with its gorgeous balanced submerged alcoves in the Tekyeh and historical mosque, after that tasting Ice-cream and purchasing Sweeties such as Qottab, Loz, Baklava and Yazdi Cake as souvenirs, next in order of time we experience traditional form of athletics exercising, which was used for training soldiers for warfare in Zourkhaneh (Pahlavani Rituals), then our today tour ends with having a pleased 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 19: Yazd-Shiraz, Motherland of Persians
Departing Yazd we travel to Shiraz by having an expedition to Abarkooh county to wander at the 4500 year old Cypress tree, after that we keep going to Pasargadae, an ancient capital of Achaemenid, which was built under the order of Cyrus the Great with famous fourfold Persian model of garden, to explain the nobility of the emperor and his necropolis, soon after we will have a glance to Quran Gate, which is the entrance gate of Shiraz from 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.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 20: Shiraz, Culturally Speaking Heritage
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 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 Karim khan Citadel as a residence for Karim Khan and his family and also to be known as a military center, the structure looks like a castle to guard the royal family and the king, soon after we take a walk to Kolah Farngi Mansion to experience the ceremonial palace of Zand Dynasty, where is a Zand legacy museum at the present, 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 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 mazed by the passageways, to experience Shirazi nomads and tribes clothings and purchasing handicrafts. By exploring Vakil Complex we reach 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, finally we will dedicate our evening to 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.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 21: Shiraz, Gate of History
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, after that on the way back to downtown our exploration continues with 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 triumph over Roman emperor on bas-relief inscriptions, then Eram Garden, the original meaning of Paradise (Pardis in Persian Language) by displaying the Persia peculiar structure in magnificent buildings and botanical garden, then our evening tour includes Sa’diyeh, 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 22: Shiraz, Colorful Design, Depart Iran
Persia Architecture tour ends with visiting Nasir-ol-Molk, a supreme intellectual and artistic sacred place which proves no comparison with typical mosque. Spirituality lies inside when sunshine passes through the colorful glasses of windows to Persian carpet orchards and on the firm columns inside, also you will be dazzled by the superb celling ceramic-work, soon after 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 is called Adineh by Shirazi people too, include eight entrance gate and Khodakhaneh (God of House) with unique architecture to amaze you, after that we experience Shahcheragh, the third holiest shrine in Iran, where 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, then we travel to int’l Airport of Shiraz to Depart Iran.
Departing Iran, (B,L).