14 days 13 nights
Since the most ancient times, IRAN has been an exception !
Between the Arab World, Indian, Turkish and European, it forms a heterogeneous ethnic whole, which has always claimed his difference and managed to retain its formal independence.
The “Land of the Aryans”, long called “Persia” by Western world, suffered countless invasions during its long history, generating through architectural, religious and literary influences, a complex civilization that has always managed to protect and to revive his language, culture and political autonomy.
With this program you will get to the heart of a sensitive and complex country where the souls of Cyrus, Alexander and the great conquerors are never far away. Here, the story falls through archaeological treasures whose origin is lost in the mists of time, but also in the eyes of a proud people.
This is an invitation not to discover but to feel, to vibrate in unison an out of the ordinary country, engaging and mysterious. Thousand of faces that interact, forming a magical chemistry between nature, history, culture and poetry.
A smile, a hand reaching towards the traveler to invite him to share the Iranian traditional festivals, to be charmed by the music accents and dis-cover the pleasures of a fine cuisine.
A dazzling trip to a country that we want, in the manner of the great travelers of the early century, immortalized in a discovery between notes, sketches and memories.
An Iran where we leave a bit of our soul for the sake of returning.
At your arrival, treatment in Tehran’s lounge, while waiting for your luggage to be delivered. Welcome & Greeting by your Guide & transfer to Hotel Axis or Novotel 4*, opposite of Air-port Arrival Terminal for the rest of the night.
Day 2 (Sunday October 28th ) Tehran-Kashan (245 km)
09:30, appointment with your guide & driver for transfer to Kashan ( approximately 2 hours & 30 minutes).
Check-in at your Hotel, a beautiful Charming traditional house.
In the afternoon, visit of Kashan: Situated on the edge of Kavir, Iran’s central desert, this beautiful city is an oasis of secret beauties ! A collection of finest Persian traditional Houses in a well pre-served old city, a Royal Garden, probably the most beautiful and preserved of the country, and countless mausoleums & religious monuments.
Diner: Ameriha house (Innovative Persian Cuisine)
Kashan, Ameriha boutique hotel
Day 3(Monday October 29th) Kashan-Abyaneh-Isfahan (240 km)
Departure at around 09:00 AM from Kashan for Isfahan. On your way, visit of Village of Abyaneh (Unesco World Heritage): One of the Iranian historical villages that contains some works from Sassanid period to the present time. It owns several unequal attributions just like the unique temple of "Herpak", a Chief mosque with a unique mihrab from Seljukian period, houses harmonious with climate and mountainous land. One can see Sassanid Pahlavic words in daily conversation as well as villagers' clothing that is rooted in earlier times.
Lunch: Traditional Restaurant in Abyaneh.
Continuation to Isfahan: Iran’s Hidden Jewel ! “Half of The World”, this is how Isfahan was called at his Golden Age under Safavids. Rich in monuments, it’s probably the city that best evokes the “ One Thousand & One Nights” in our imagination !
Late Afternoon: Walking tour in Isfahan along the river Zayandeh rood, crossing historical bridges “Siose Pol” & “Khadjou” & the famous Historical Boulevard “ Chahar Bagh” (4 gardens).
Diner: Hotel Abasi Garden Restaurant
Isfahan, Hotel Abasi 5* Charming, Garden Rooms
Day 4(Tuesday October 30th) Isfahan
The visit of Isfahan starts with Naghshe Jahan Square, a splendid space housing the Architectural Marvels of Safavid dynasty: Blue Shah Mosque, private Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapoo Palace and the entrance to Ispahan’s grand Bazar.
Lunch: Traditional Restaurant
In the afternoon: Visit of Jameh Mosque & Isfahans Bazar.
Diner: Sofeh Restaurant (situated on a stone hill with city’s view) Isfahan, Hotel Abbasi 5* Charming, Garden Rooms
Day 5(Wednesday October 31st) Isfahan
Continuation of Isfahan discovery: Chehel Sotoon Palace, principal Safavid Palace situated in a beau-tiful garden. Hasht Behesht Palace, a Qajar area Palace. Walking tour of “Jolfa” the Armenian Quar-ter.
Lunch: Khansar Gostar Restaurant in Armenian Quarter.
In the afternoon, visit of Vank Cathedral and a “Zoor Khaneh” a traditional Sport outfit.
Diner: Salman Restaurant (traditional organic food)
Isfahan, Hotel Abasi 5* Charming, Garden Rooms
Day6(Thursday November 1st) Isfahan-Na’in-Mesr Desert (438 km)
Departure early in the morning for a day long excursion by a road through the Iranian central desert surrounded by mountains. You’ll have a first stop in Na’in, well known for it’s carpet design. Visit of Jameh Mosque, one of the oldest in Iran. Continuation further south to Mesr village on the bank of central desert of Iran. We will have an interesting night in an equipped guesthouse in the desert. Also camel riding and offroad with fourwheel drive cars would be possible(out of services). Lunch: on the way
Diner: BarAndaz ecolodge in desert
Yazd, Bar Andaz ecolodge - Farahzad
Day 7(Friday November 2nd) Farahzad- Chak Chak- Meybod - Yazd In the early morning of today, we depart toward Yazd. On the road we will stop by an old complex of “Kharanaq” , and then a Zoroastrian Scared monument “Chak Chak”. After that on the road to Yazd we will have another stop in “Meybod” to visit “Narenj-Qalee”, the old monuments and a ceramic workplace. Arrival late afternoon in Yazd Lunch: on the way
Diner: At the hotel Yazd, Hotel Moshir Garden , Charming
Day 8 (Saturday November 3rd) Yazd Today, discover the fascinating Yazd: With its winding lanes, forest of badgirs (wind catcher), mudbrick old town, Yazd is one of the highlights of any trip to ran. Wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and southern Dasht-e Lut, it doesn’t have the big-ticket sights of Esfahan or Shiraz, but it’s equally enchanting. This is a place to wander and get lost in the maze of historic streets and lanes, not to mention your imagination. It’s also an ideal base for day trips to several evocative villages and towns. Yazd has been known for its silks and other fabrics since before Marco Polo passed through. It is also home to Iran’s second-largest population of Zoroastrians, the religion of Persian Empire before Islam.
Visits: Yazd Old City, with it’s wind towers and baked-brown labyrinth of lanes, the old city of Yazd emerges like a phoenix from the desert. Atashkadeh (temple of fire) scared Zoroastrian monument with it’s scared fire burning since about AD 470. Jameh Mosque dominating the old city, this mag-nificent building has a tiled entrance portal that is one of the tallest in Iran. The exquisite mosaics on the dome and mirhab are probably the most beautiful used in Iran. Lunch: Traditional Restaurant in Khan bath In the afternoon, visit of Dowlat Abad Garden, once the residence of Persian regent Karim Khan Zand, this small pavilion set amid Unesco-listed gardens was built in 1750. Tower of Silence: Zoroas-trian funeral monuments on the outskirts of Yazd
Diner: Moshir Garden Restaurant (International food) Yazd, Hotel Moshir Garden , Charming
Day 9(Sunday November 4th) Yazd-Abarkouh-Pasargadae-Shiraz (450 km)
A long day road through deserts & highlands of central Iran. Stop at Abarkouh, a small city famous for it’s 4500 years old cypress measuring 49 meters length and 11 meters width !
Lunch: A traditional restaurant on way
Continuation to Pasargadae, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and archi-tecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization.
Diner: Traditional Restaurant, Hotel Zandieh
Hotel Zandieh 5*, in the heart of Shiraz
Day 10(Monday November 5th) Shiraz
Shiraz: Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for more than 2000 years, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry and wine. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79), when many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored. A city of poets, Shiraz is home to the graves of Hafez and Sa’di, both major pilgrimage sites for Iranians. It’s also home to splendid gardens, exquisite mosques and whispered echoes of ancient sophistication.
Visits: Bazar, Mosque & Bath of Vakil, dating back to Zand dynasty, Arge Karim Khan.
Lunch: A local traditional restaurant with fish specialties
In the afternoon, Nasir Al Molk Mosque, one of the most elegant and photographed mosques in southern Iran. Built at the end of the 19th century, its colored tiling (an unusually deep shade of blue) is exquisite. Hafez Mausoleum: Hafez the poet is an Iranian folk hero – loved, revered and as popular as many a modern pop star. Almost every Iranian can quote his work, bending it to whichever social or political persuasion they subscribe. And there is no better place to try to understand Hafez’s eternal hold on Iran than here at his tomb. Set in a charming garden with two pools, the whole scene is restful despite the ever-present traffic noise. We plan to spend a couple of hours sitting in a discreet corner of the grounds, at sunset, to watch the way Iranians react to what is, for many, a pilgrimage site !
Diner: Traditional at a modern & originally decorated restaurant with traditional Persian music.
Hotel Zandieh 5*, Shiraz
Day 11(Tuesday November 6th) Shiraz-Persepolis-Shiraz
Day trip to Persepolis: Magnificent Persepolis embodies the greatest successes of the ancient Achaemenid Empire…World’s first Universal Empire and also its demise. The monumental staircases, exquisite reliefs and imposing gateways leave you in no doubt how grand this empire was, just as the broken and fallen columns attest that its end was both emphatic and merciless.
Today's ruins are a mere shadow of Persepolis’s former glory, but extensive excavations that began in the 1930s have allowed us to gain some idea of the scope and majesty of the place.
Work here began with Darius I (the Great), who took the throne in 520 BC. It was added to by a host of subsequent kings, including Xerxes I and II, and Artaxerxes I, II and III, over a period of more than 150 years.
Lunch: Local restaurant near Persepolis.
Few minutes drive north of Persepolis you’ll visit Achaemenid & Sassanide funeral monuments of : Naqsh-e-Rostam : The rock tombs of Naqsh-e Rostam are magnificent. Hewn out of a cliff high above the ground, the four tombs are believed to be those of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right as you look at the cliff) although historians are still debating this. The tombs of the later Artaxerxes above Persepolis were modelled on these. The cruciform design of the tombs supposedly represents the cardinal points, but some historians wonder wheth-er this religious symbol has any relationship to the Christian cross.
Back to Shiraz around 03:00 PM for a rest at your hotel.
Diner: A Garden restaurant nearby Shiraz.
Hotel Zandieh 5*, Shiraz
Day 12(Wednesday November 7th) Shiraz – Tehran - Alamut
In the morning transfer to Shiraz airport for one hour flight to Tehran – On arrival we will start a new excursion to Alamut castle. Alamut was a mountain fortress located in Alamut region in the South Caspian province of Qazvin near the Rudbar region in Persia, approximately 100 km (60 mi) from present-day Tehran.
In 1090 AD, Alamut Castle was seized as a mountain fortress under the leadership of Hasan-i Sabbah, and until 1256 it was the site of intense activity for the Shi'a Nizari Ismai'lis, functioning as the headquarters of their state, which consisted of a series ofunconnected strategic strongholds scattered throughout Persia and Syria, with each stronghold being surrounded by huge swathes of hostile territory. Also we will visit the beautiful seens of Alborz mountains and Ovan lake
Lunch: Local Guesthouse in Alamut. Dinner: Local Guesthouse in Alamut
Alamut, Aleh Local lodge
Day 13(Thursday November 8th) Alamut – Qazvin - Tehran Today We drive back toward Tehran, on the way we have a stop in Qazvin to visit this 16th and 17th century city. Qazvin was an ancient capital in the Persian Empire and now is known as the calligraphy capital of Iran. The most famous calligrapher was Mir Emad Qazvini. Dehkhoda who wrote the Persian dictionary (you can find his statue in Azadi Square. The most famous poet was Ubayd Zakani. Qazvin can perhaps be said to be a moderate city, in relation to its adherence to Islamic religious and cultural values. Many people, women in particular, dress modestly but are not limited to the a black hejab, and many women can be seen wearing thin, brightly coloured scarves to cover their hair. However, many women wear an enveloping headress, designed to completely cover all hair. It is advised to dress respectfully in this context, by all means express yourself through a nature of hejab materials and colours, but be mindful of social and religious values at play. The visits will be: The Jome mosque, Chehelsotoon, Grand Bazzar, Aminiha historical place, Shazde hossein mausoleum , and….
Back to Tehran. Check in and rest at the hotel.
Lunch: in Qazvin. Dinner: A modern restaurant in Tehran with Iranian dishes.
Tehran, Baloot Hotel
Day 14(Friday November 9th) Tehran
Full day city tour of Tehran including National museum, Golestan Palace.
At the time of the Zand dynasty, it was a little town that was significant from a strategic point of view. The first of the Qajar kings, Agha Mohammed Khan, named Tehran as the country's capital in 1778, and most of its growth started during the reign of a subsequent Qajar monarch, Fath-Ali Shah. The castle which Agha Mohammed Khan had built was to contain the new majestic buildings. At the same time, the city's populace was redoubled. Due to the increasing significance of the city, gates, squares and mosques were built and it was at the time of Nassereddin Shah that the city's master sketch was prepared and modern streets were constructed. Later, huge central squares like Toopkhaneh square (now Imam Khomeini) and quite a few military buildings were built. Even though the Qajar dynasty was in a period of decline, Tehran soon took the shape of a modern city. The structure of large government buildings, new streets, recreation centres, urban service organizations, and academic and methodical centres were started, even as most of the old gates and buildings were destroyed and the city's old architectural fabric replaced by a contemporary one. Lunch: in a traditional restaurant Att the end transfer to Imam Khomeini International airport for flight back to your homeland
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