Our most comprehensive Iran tour package takes in all the very best that this ancient and hospitable destination has to offer. This 12 day itinerary will show you the best historical and cultural sites as well as more modern attractions. From time with the Qashqai nomads to the Music Museum and its interactive concert-like tours this tour will quench your Persian thirst.
- Visit a silk weaving workshop where wonderfully intricate brocades are still being made on traditional looms
- Experience the warm hospitality of Qashqai nomads at their traditional encampments
- Spend a night in Abyaneh, a remarkable ochre red town blended perfectly into the surrounding mountains
Day 1: Arrival –Tehran (B)
Upon arrival at Tehran Airport you will be met by our local operator who will then transfer you to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure to recover from your travels.
Day 2: Tehran- Shiraz (B)
After breakfast visit the Saad Abad Palace Complex. This complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s. Next is a visit to the Archaeological & Islamic Art Museums. The pre-Islam archaeological museum covers Persia’s fascinating and rich history from the fifth millennium BC to 648 AD while the Islamic art museum provides a display of Islamic works of art. Later move on to the Golestan palace complex which is a UNESCO heritage site dating from the 18th century AD. Finally in the evening you will be transferred to the airport and fly to Shiraz where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 3: Shiraz- Black Tents (Firouz Abad) –Shiraz (B)
In the morning leave Shiraz to see a Sassanid Castle near Firuzabad. Also known as the Atash-kadeh this castle is located on the slopes of the mountain on which DezhDokhtar is situated. Built in AD 224 by King Ardashir I of the Sassanian Empire this palace is 2 km away from the fascinating ancient circular city of Gor. Later you will have the chance to mingle with the Qashqai nomads. These colourful and hospitable people preserve their traditions in their encampments of black woven goat hair tents. Later return to your hotel in Shiraz.
Day 4: Shiraz (B)
This morning visit the Eram Gardens which were built during the middle of thirteenth century. Then visit Naranjestan Gardens with its outstanding tile working and mirroring lining the walls. Built between 1879 and 1886 by Qavam Family, it now also houses a small but very nice art museum with an impressive collection of historical treasures some of them going back to the second millennium B.C. Later visit Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque before visiting the Hafez & Saadi mausoleums built for two of the most famous Persian poets. Afterward visit Vakil mosque complex and the astonishing mirror decorations of the Aliebnehamze Holy Shrine before returning to your hotel.
Day 5: Shiraz - Persepolis - Necropolis-Pasargadae-Yazd (B)
Depart from Shiraz via the Quran gate. First built in the 9th Century it was Karim Khan Zand who built the room over the main arch where the Quran was kept. It was intended to protect the travellers passing through the arch blessing them with Islamic protection through the holy book.
45 km north of Shiraz you will stop at Persepolis, the outstanding ceremonial palace of the Achaemenians and one of the great cities of antiquity (550BC). This UNESCO heritage site was conquered by Alexander the Great who reputedly in a drunken stupor ordered his generals to sack and burn the city – only to wake up the next day furious that his army had followed his drunken orders!
Later visit the Necropolis where you will see four tombs of Achaemenian kings high in the limestone cliffs. Then continue through mountain scenery to visit Pasargadae another UNESCO heritage and the earliest Achaemenian capital. It is here that the well-preserved tomb Cyrus the Great the man who freed the captive Jews from Babylon is maintained.
As you continue on to your hotel in Yazd, you will pass through dramatic Central Iran Mountain Range.
Day 6: Yazd (B)
Today you will experience the grandeur of Yazd, a truly ancient city which Marco Polo wrote so fondly about. The city retains its other-worldly charm where every narrow alleyway unfolds like a secret museum passage. You will visit a centuries old bathhouse - converted to a first class restaurant - and have a chance to view the ingenious wind towers which so efficiently cool the desert air. Other highlights of the day include the 18th century Doulataad gardens and the unforgettable Syed Jafer shrine where tens of thousands of mirrored tiles illuminate the exquisite 14th century mosque.
Later a special treat as you experience a silk weaving workshop where wonderfully intricate brocades are still being made on traditional looms. The last experience of the day is the impressive Athletic House before returning to your hotel.
Day 7: Yazd- Meibod - Naein – Isfahan (B)
In the morning explore a few more must-see sites in the ancient city of Yazd including the Zoroastrian temple where a sacred fire has been kept burning for hundreds of years. This pilgrimage site will give you an opportunity to learn about the fascinating religion Zoroastrianism which was the state religion before Arabs brought Islam to Persia. Our last visit in Yazd is the Towers of Silence on the outskirts of the city. This was the burial place for the Zoroastrians and is still held sacred by many.
In the afternoon drive to Isfahan. En route you will visit Naein Castle and an old caravanserai in Meibod where you can purchase pottery items. Further on at Naein visit a carpet-weaving workshop – an excellent place to gain insight into how the world famous Persian carpets are made and how to judge quality when you are buying one for yourself.
Continue on to Isfahan and your hotel.
Day 8: Isfahan (B)
Your first full day in Isfahan begins with a visit to Naghshe Johan Square, a huge open square in the centre of Isfahan which is listed as a UNESCO heritage site and depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20000 rials banknote. The square periphery is marked by outstanding Safavid buildings which include the Ali Qapu palace, the Imam Mosque, the Sheikh Lotfollah (ladies) mosque, and to the north the expansive bazaar where you can see artisans crafting metal-work Persian miniatures, printing intricate designs on cloth, and other activities. In the afternoon you visit the incredible Si-o-Se Pol (thirty-three arches) and Khajoo bridges spanning the Zayanderud River. The Si-o-Se Pol was completed in 1602 and is a true marvel of ancient engineering and beauty. Then visit Music Museum – a highlight for many visitors due to the interactive tours and the enthusiasm and musical talents of the museum guides. Not many museums also incorporate live music shows!
Later return to your hotel.
Day 9: Isfahan (B)
Today you will soak up the charms of the Armenian quarter of Jolfa where the Vank Cathedral with its exquisite frescos and its adjacent museum are of interest. Later visit the Friday mosque, Shaking Minarets, and Chehel Setoun Palace. The name Chehel Setoun means Forty Columns in Persian and was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, appear to be forty. The palace is ornately decorated with wall and ceiling paintings which are true masterpieces from Safavid times.
Day 10: Isfahan –Abyaneh (B)
Depart Isfahan for Abyaneh. This ancient and fascinating village with its ochre mud brick houses characterized by a peculiar reddish hue blends perfectly into the mountains in which it is nestled. The village is one of the oldest in Iran where little has changed for several centuries – including the colourfully dressed inhabitants. En route visit the Natanz Friday Mosque. Overnight in Abyaneh.
Day 11: Abyaneh- Kashan- Tehran (B)
Soak up the early morning atmosphere of Abyaneh before continuing on to Tehran. En route visit Kashan, renowned over the centuries for its ceramics, tiles, pottery, textiles, carpet, and silk. See the Fin Garden and Borujerdiyehand Tabatabaeiha Houses, as well as the unique Agha Bozorg Mosque and Madrasah. Then continue to Tehran and your hotel.
Day 12: Tehran (B)
Transfer to Tehran International Airport for your departure flight from Iran.
- Authorization number for visa
- Accommodation (11 nights) mentioned in itinerary with breakfast in DBL/TWIN occupancy.
- Daily bottled mineral water - Portages
- All Transfers in air conditioned vehicle
- All costs of local professional English speaking guide
- Meet & assist services in Airport (Arrival – Departure)
- All road permits taxes parking charges etc.
- All entrance fees (Mentioned in Itinerary)
- Tehran – Shiraz Domestic flight
- Visas (unless specified)
- Travel insurance (compulsory)
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal expenses
- Porterage (unless small group and specified)
- Meals not specified or hotel / cruise minibar
- Optional sightseeing or activities
- International airfares
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.