Day 1: Tehran (Arrival), Capital of Qajar and Pahlavi Dynasties
At the time of arrival at IKA airport, our representative will welcome you and guiding you to the hotel. After that, leave pressure of flight under shower and relax before the tour of Tehran treasures begins.
At the beginning, we take a walk through Laleh park to National Carpet Museum. The musuem shines for the collection of Persian carpets since 1500 years ago.. In addition, we will touch Contemporary Art Museum to indulge ourselves to extent our knowledge about Persian Modern Arts. Then, the museum contains the most valuable collection of western art out of Europe and America. Finally, gathering together with leaders and fellow travelers to have a brief about the tour.
Overnight Tehran, (D).
Day 2: Tehran, Explore Qajar Heritage
Tour begins with Golestan Palace as a royal complex with over 400 years old. Golestan Palace shines with peculiar ornaments such as tiling, mirror-works and paintings. The palace surpassed four kings of Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties, who crowned in its majesty. Golestan Palace distinguished itself as a Unesco World Heritage now. Soon after that overlooking Tehran Grand Bazaar, a roofed up building with the old-time architecture of passages and pathways. The Bazaar leaves you in a puzzle as a cultural and economic centre in the downtown of Tehran.
After that, we visit Iran National Museum that holds archaeological collections in two separate structures. Ancient Iran Museum and Museum of Islamic Period, which present you with culture, art and history of Persia. Then (Sat to Tue 14:30 to 16:30) walking to Treasury of National Museum (National Jewelry Museum). National Jewelry Museum shines for the beauty of the diamonds, jewels and royal heritages, to feel kingdom lifestyle better.
Overnight Tehran, (B,L,D).
Day 3: Tehran, Explore Pahlavi Heritage
Today we visit Sa’ad Abad Complex which is located in Darband area at the footage of Alborz mountain range. Sa’ad Abad Complex with green atmosphere proves itself as a royal resident for last two dynasties. Sa’ad Abad embraces palaces, museums and galleries which depicts Persia contemporary era in detail. Then we feel spirituality in Tehran holiest shrine in Tajrish (Imamzadeh Saleh). The shrine is so close to the old Tajrish Bazaar where displays traditional style of Persian daily life.
We walk along Nature Bridge by passing the longest street in the Middle East. The bridge connects two parks on a highway as symbol of modern architecture in Tehran.
Overnight Tehran, (B,L,D).
Day 4: Tehran-Qazvin, Touch Qajar and Safavid Architecture
At first, lets start with safavid masterpiece. Shah Tahmasp Safavid built Chehel Sotun Pavilion as a royal palace when he announced Qazvin as the capital of Persia. Qajar kings reconstructed the building and it is a Calligraphy museum now. Secondly, we visit Cantor Church, a Russian Orthodox Church. Also there is a pavement lead to Christian tombs in memorial. Next, we reach the majesty of Qajar Dynasty that is with no doubt the best-preserved caravanserai in Persia. Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai is the largest urban one in its kind. The architecture consists of iwan, hojre (travelers room), dome and courtyards. It provides a relaxing atmosphere for travellers and traders.
Qazvin is not only famous as the Persian Culinary Capital but also famous for the cooking art. Qazvin is a destination for jewelled rice meals such as Morasa Polow. Such colourful garnished rice dish energised us to join the culinary workshop. You will see how local cook flavour eats with herbs, fruits and flavourings such as Saffron.
Overnight Qazvin. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Qazvin-Hamedan, Legacy of Elamite and Achaemenid Empires
Today we satisfy our curiosity about Persian Pottery. We learn 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. Ecbatana 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. As a result, the city is in the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage.
Then, taking a walk to Tomb of Esther and Mordechai. The tomb is the most important Jewish shrine in Persia and proves Jewish persistence in Hamedan. It is good to say that Jewish use surrounding area as a cemetery. Finally, visiting Avicenna Mausoleum to know a genius scientist with the diversity of expertise. His knowledge was in the field of medicine, philosophy, music, mathematics and natural sciences. He wrote more than 400 books such as ‘The Canon of Medicine’ and ‘The Healing Book’.
Overnight Hamedan, (B,L,D).
Day 6: Hamedan-Zanjan, Exploring Soltaniyeh, Ilkhanate Art
We embark Hamedan to Zanjan by having an expedition to Dome of Soltaniyeh. It is a peculiar structure in terms of architecture and spirituality which is also Tomb of Oljeitu. It is the largest brick dome with 49 tons weight. Similarily, the third one in its kind after Florence Cathedral and Hagia Sophia in the world. After that, we visit Chalabioghlou Mausoleum where is a tomb of Ilkhanate. In addition, people call him Sheikh Barragh Baba because of his Sufi Beliefs.
Continue our exploration we will experiencing Malileh workshop. It is a handmade souvenir and the reason that Zanjan is in list of creative city of UNESCO. Finally, we drive to the city of Zanjan to stay overnight.
Overnight Zanjan, (B,L,D).
Day 7: Zanjan-Tabriz, More than History
Our today tour includes Rakhtshooy Khaneh where people used to wash their clothing in. It is a distinctive ideology for constructing a building to provide a secure place for women. Soon after, Saltmen Museum will amaze us with six dead bodies from 2500 years ago found in a salt mine. Then our tour continues with touching natural landscapes on the way to Tabriz to reach El Goli Garden. There is a large artificial pond and a mansion in the middle that Qajar king built in Tabriz.
Overnight Tabriz, (B,L,D).
Day 8: Tabriz, Birthplace of Safavid Dynasty
The tour embraces Tabriz heritages today. Firstly, visiting Blue Mosque, a witness to the history of the city since pre-Safavid to Pahlavi dynasty. However, most parts of the building destroyed in a late earthquake. But famous architects reconstructed the majesty of the mosque during Pahlavi dynasty. Secondly, we take a walk in Khaghani Park. The park is in remembrance of a famous prose-writer and poet, who influenced Nezami Ganjavi, Saadi and Hafiz. Further, we walk to Azerbaijan Museum which takes you to a tour through history. In addition, there are Islamic seals and coins and an Iron Museum which demonstrates astonishing sculptures.
Finally, we visit Constitution House of Tabriz as it was a prominent pivot of revolutionary communities. Mr Haj Vali Me’mar as an eminent architect built the house during Qajar dynasty. Also, there is a museum of revolutionary activists sculptures and their legacies such as letters and weapons. The house was a centre for leaders declaration during Constitutional Revolution in Qajar era.
Largest Roofed Bazaar in the World
Surprisingly, we wander at Tabriz Grand Bazaar (Tabriz Historic Bazaar) with its spectacular structure. Tabriz bazaar includes many sub-Bazaars as the largest roofed Bazaar in the world. The bazaar is a cultural, economical and political centre of the city. In addition, Tabriz Kilim and Rug shine like diamonds by their world reputation.
Overnight Tabriz, (B,L,D).
Day 9: Tabriz-Kurdistan, Explore the Achaemenid Belief
Lets explore more about Zoroastrians by visiting one of the three important fire temples of Sassanid. Takht-e Soleyman was a royal fire temple for kings to humble themselves before being a king. The temple consists of Anahita Temple as a symbol of God, calcium-rich pond and Zoroastrians fire temple.
Overnight Sanandaj, (B,L,D).
Day 10: Kurdistan-Kermanshah, Experience Kurdish lifestyle
We begin our today tour with Khosro Abad Mansion with unique design in heart of a historical complex. The mansion shines as an architectural masterpiece in the centre of Sanandaj city.
We continue our tour to Palangan village on the way to Kermanshah. In palangan, you can find unbelievable steep arisen buildings with a distinctive form of architecture next to a wild river. The village takes you out of the harsh modern days to relaxing atmosphere of a simply decorated village. Palangan is in a quiet ambience with mouthwatering smell of food with the taste of history, and culture. Sliced Almonds Stew as the original recipe of Kermanshah is a simple food with 3 main ingredients; meat, sliced almonds and barberry.
Overnight Kermanshah, (B,L,D).
Day 11: Kermanshah, Majesty of Sassanid Empire
Our exploration continues with Bisotun cultural and historical complex. It is an outdoor museum since paleolithic time to contemporary era, which depicts huge relation between nature and culture. Bisotun is 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. After that, we travel to Taq-e Bostan, a complex of Sassanid glories including rock relief with inscriptions about religious attitudes. In addition, it includes words about music and rejoice and rock-cut with artistic and historical values.
It is time to taste Dandeh Kebab as a grilled meat kind of kebab. It is lam ribs with tomatoes and fresh pepper , also lemon juice and saffron. Then wander at Jameh Mosque of Shafi’i through its unique masterpiece of Perso-Islamic culture. It is not only peculiar in religious tendencies but also in Structure. The architecture is an excellent typical Islamic Mosque with a combination of Turkish and Persian architecture.
Overnight Kermanshah, (B,L,D).
Day 12: Kermanshah-Khuzestan, Amazed with Nature and Culture
Our tour today touches natural landscapes of west of Persia to Luresta. Zagros mountain range mostly surrounded the province. Lurestan is one of the ancient habitat of humanity by discovering Lorestan Bronze in archaeological excavations. The city covers all four wings of Iran National Museum since paleolithic and ancient era to Islamic time. We will have an expedition to Falak-ol-aflak Castle the one that declares itself as an emblem of Luristan province. The castle used to be a colossal defensive military structure on the top of a hill during Sassanid era. Then, it became a prison and nowadays is as an anthropological museum.
Overnight Khuzestan , (B,L,D).
Day 13: Khuzestan, Heritage of Elamite and Achaemenid Civilization
We embark on a full day expedition to Unesco World Heritage sites which starts. Firstly, we visit Susa (Shush), one of the dateless residential area which constructed during pro-Elamite period. In addition, Achaemenid emperors renovated it as one of their four capitals. Moreover, the settlement was the center of Elamite Civilization and consists of three main parts; Royal City, Acropolis and Apadana. Secondly, we touch Susa (Shush) Museum, as an incredible gallery of archaeological masterworks from Susa ancient city. Besides, there are unbelievable remains from Elamite civilization and identifying potteries from Persian empires.
Further, having a tour through Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat. It seems to be the first spiritual monument in Persia. Elamite constructed it as the largest ziggurat on earth around 1200 B.C. Finally, we travel to Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a masterpiece of genius engineering. Archaeologists believed that it is the greatest ancient industrial complex. Darius the Great built the system during Achaemenid empire. The system includes chain of canals, mills, bridges, waterfalls, dams, and huge tunnels to take advantage of water.
Overnight Behbahan, (B,L,D).
Day 14: Khuzestan- Shiraz, Sassanid Open-air Museums
Today we will visit Bishapur Ancient City (Sassanid Archeological Landscapes), built-in admiration for the triumph over Romans. 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.
Overnight Shiraz, (B,L,D).
Day 15: Shiraz, Explore Achaemenid Capitals and Sassanid Heritage
We travel outside of Shiraz to explore Persepolis, one of the three Achaemenid Empire Capitals. Darius the Great constructed the palace and dedicate it to the ceremonial events to demonstrate the imperial majesty and eminence. The palace with the meaning of ‘city of Persians’ is a great example of Achaemenid architectural style.
After that visiting Naqsh-e Rustam a necropolis that tombs of emperors of Persia are in rock cuts. Also, kings have engraved their messages on rock reliefs in the necropolis. Also, there is the Zoroastrians sacred place “ Cube of Zoroaster ” as a spiritual monument next to it. Soon after that taking a short walk to Naqsh-e Rajab, an open-air archaeological archive. Naqsh-e Rajab displays Sassanid imperial impregnable power and triumphs over Roman emperor on bas-relief inscriptions.
Heritage of Achaemenid Founder
Our tour goes through Pasargadae, the ancient capital of Achaemenid and the tomb of Cyrus the Great. Cyrus the Great ordered to build the tomb with famous fourfold Persian model of the garden. Then, we will have a glance to Quran Gate, which is the north entrance gate of Shiraz. Zand dynasty the gate to bless 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. Finally reaching Sa’diyeh, the mausoleum of a poet whose words and wisdom 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 16: Shiraz, Explore Realm of Zand Dynasty
Today we visit Zand dynasty heritages which begins with Kolah Farngi Mansion. In the mansion, experience the ceremonial palace of Zand Dynasty to explore the kingdom much closer. After that our visits include Vakil Historic Bath, which is an architectural masterpiece in Vakil Complex. Soon after, keep walking to Vakil Mosque to experience royal holy place. Its fame comes from the art of architecture, calligraphy and columns engravings. The mosque is the entrance door to Vakil Bazaar. In Bazaar, passageways will amaze you and experiencing Shirazi nomads and tribes clothing freshes you.
Colourful Culture and Nature
Then, we reach 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 colourful glasses of windows to Persian carpet orchards. Also, the superb celling ceramic-work dazzles everyone who visits. Then our exploration continues with a gourmet taste of contrast in flavours, which make the taste of a food special. Sour Cherry Rice, a traditional Shirazi dish, is a great example of such contrast. From one hand, you can taste the sweet flavour, and on the other hand, you feel the sour taste.
Then Eram Garden, the original meaning of Paradise (Pardis in the Persian Language). The garden displays the Persia peculiar structure in magnificent buildings and botanical garden. Finally, in Hafezieh, the mausoleum of a poet whose love stories, spiritual beliefs and sagacious poems alleviate readers. Hafez Ghazal by the use of eloquence inspired Persians to fall in love, be honest and worship Allah.
Day 17: Shiraz-Kerman, Safavid Incredible Heritage
Departing Shiraz we travel to Kerman to visit Ganjali Khan Complex. It is a historical district that Ganjali Khan as the governor of Kerman built to devote himself to public services. The archive of the area includes mosques, bath, Bazaar and school that all attributes to the area prosperity. Kerman is well-known for the flavour of Kolompeh. Kolompeh is the special Kermani cooky inside which, is field with mashed sweet date palm. Kermani women bake Kolompeh in the traditional ovens as one of the most popular Persian souvenirs. Soon after a touch of softness and tenderness of art in a Kermani house manifests a frame of paradise.
Pete feels like to keep a piece of heaven in your house. It is one of the famous handicrafts of Kerman province and the art of creating patterns with hairs called Ris. The most popular Pate used to cover the grave of Shah Nematullah Vali. Then moving to Fathabad Garden, a charming location to help yourself with Persian dishes especially at night. The garden came into existence by an imitation of Shahzadeh Garden during Qajar Dynasty.
Overnight Kerman, (B,L,D).
Day 18: Kerman, Explore Achaemenid and Sassanid Adobe
Today we travel outside of Kerman to Bam Citadel, but on the way we visit Shazdeh Mahan Garden. The garden is a true prototype of Persian garden with gorgeous mansion, which trees and facing fountains surrounded it. After that taking an expedition to well-preserved Rayen Castle. The castle is one of the biggest adobe in the center of Lut desert which dated back to Sassanid era. Then keep our tour to Bam Citadel, the biggest adobe structure in the world.
Bam embraces ancient stories since more than 1000 B.C. Achaemenid empire renovated Bam Citadel to preserve its mysterious and magical glories. The heart of the citadel is the defensive fortress, which include residential area, buildings for lodging soldiers and governor’s residence. On the other hand, Bazaar, mosque, watchtowers and gates are other significant constructions. Unfortunately, lately earthquake (2003) destroyed most part of the citadel.
Overnight Kerman, (B,L,D).
Day 19: Kerman-Yazd, Orchard in Desert
On the way to Yazd, we will have an excursion to the Semi-nomadic lifestyle of locals. A village with a very peculiar structure of cave-like houses. Nowadays, living in caves, and by the formation of skyscrapers, buildings, and modern villas, seems to be a dream. But that would be enough just to turn your way when leaving Kerman and see the unique village of Meymand. Meymand has been a shelter for humans in the heart of the mountains for many years. Meymand, a village that the human life still is going on from ancient times, hidden with a fence of mountains. The village is deep in the heart of the desert.
Then moving to Zein-o-din Caravansary which is one of the 999 Inns for traders along Silk Road during Safavid Dynasty. The residence is now an establishment for the lodging and entertaining of travellers. Soon after having an expedition to Pahlavanpur Garden, where is a construction based on Zandieh architectural pattern during Qajar dynasty. Pahlavanpur Garden is UNESCO world heritage with a cool atmosphere deriving from trees and water passing across the garden.
Overnight Yazd, (B,L,D).
Day 20: Yazd, Unbelievable Adobe
Today our travel begins with Yazd Jameh Mosque, where the brilliance of tilling dazzle eyes next to highest minarets. The mosque depicts harmonious craft between Islamic and Persian architecture. Also, Cashmere Fabric (Termeh) as an art in warp and weft of cloth is on the way to the mosque. After that we walk to Fahadan Area to explore brick and mud lifestyle with a particular style of construction. In Fahadan customs and traditions fed direct us to Lariha House. The house helps capture a view of Yazd lifestyle in a well-decorated location. Lariha House is famous for 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.
Next in order of time, our exploration continues to Amir Chakhmagh Complex with its gorgeous balanced submerged alcove. Then we experience traditional form for athletics which was for training soldiers for warfare in Zourkhaneh (Pahlavani Rituals). Finally, we taste Yazdi Cake as a great culinary item that carries the identity of Yazd. It’s a kind of simple, sponge cake designed with Almond slice. Tour ends with a pleasing night close to the highest wind-catcher in the world, in Dowlat Abad Garden.
Overnight Yazd, (B,L,D).
Day 21: Yazd-Isfahan, City Dedicated to Perso-Islamic Architecture
We embark on a full day travel from Yazd to Isfahan with an expedition to Maybod county. In Meybod we explore a region which was Mozaffarid dynasty capital and widely known in terms of architecture and handicrafts. Our visits will include Abbasi Caravanserai where displays how travelers took rest on the way of their tours. Secondly, we walk to traditional water reservoir which provides safe and clean water in desert. Moreover, we have visit the Ice House which feeds the county with sufficient ice reminded from winter. The Ice House works on the basis of an evaporation engineering masterpiece since 1000 B.C.
In addition, 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. We visit Naein Jameh Mosque which is one of the first four mosques after Arab conquest of Persia. After that we surf Desert Anthropology Museum. Then we travel to Rigareh Qanat-based Water Mill to investigate qanat construction since 1000 B.C in Persia.
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 22: Isfahan, Explore Safavid Glory
Tour through Isfahan begins with a three-floor building. Qeisarie Gate in remembrance of the king as the main entrance to Isfahan Grand Bazaar. The gate directs us to Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Meidan Emam) to visit the masterwork of chief architect Sheikh Bahaee. Also, a workshop for Minakari demonstrates us how Persians enamel objects to place heaven into them. In Minakari artists decorates metal (mostly Silver and Copper) or tile by patterns and paintings.
Soon after we touch Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque to inspired by genius interior and exterior decoration of the dome. After that we visit Shah Mosque, which depicts Persian architecture in Islamic era. Shah Mosque consists of iwans, domes, tilling and supreme engineering of voice echoing. Then our trip to the square will end by Ali Apus Palace. Ali Qapu Palace is 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). Chehel Sotun Palace 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 Bridge..
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 23: Isfahan, Feel Safavid Beliefs
Our tour includes Vank Cathedral with its fascinating paintings and mosque-like dome. Armenians who forced to move to Isfahan by Shah Abbas Safavid constructed the cathedral. After that we travel to Isfahan Jameh Mosque (Masjed-e Jame of Isfahan). The mosque is one of the oldest kinds in Persia. Then we learn how masters do Ghalamzani. Ghalamzani is 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. Soon after we walk to Hasht Behesht Palace that is a royal pavilion with glamorous paintings, woodwork, mirror-work and tilling. Finally, we travel to the white river to indulge ourselves to the beauty of worldly known Si-O Se Pol Bridge.
Overnight Isfahan, (B,L,D).
Day 24: Isfahan-Kashan, Achaemenid Reddish Village
On the way to Kashan we visit Abyaneh village to experience one of the ancient rural area in Persia. Abyaneh village shows us historical traditions and customs along with distinctive habitable buildings. Then, we travel to one of the homelands of Persian civilization to perfect our knowledge about the country in Kashan.
We visit Aminodole Caravanserai at the center of Kashan bazaar where coherent form of structure reflects hospitality sensibility. After that we visit Agha Bozorg Mosque as a mosque with sunken courtyard.
Overnight Kashan, (B,L,D).
Day 25: Kashan- Sense Rosa Water, Dapart Iran
Today we visit Kashan legacies on the way to Isfahan, firstly with Fin Garden. The Garden depicts a genuine Persian garden, telling us stories about the contemporary era from murdering Amir Kabir to present. Secondly, we touch Boroujerdi House which combines the desert style of wind-catchers with Persian traditional models of an iwan. Boroujerdi House attracts your attention with superb plaster-work in interior and exterior decoration.
Further, we see Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse to feel Persian architecture meanwhile bathing. In addition, we walk to Tabatabaee House which includes peculiar stone reliefs, stucco and coloured glasses. Then, drive to Isfahan to sense the beauty of empires art. Finally, we drive to the IKA Airport to Depart Iran.