Type: Odyssey Tour
Duration: 15 Days
Best Time to Travel: May – October
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Iran Odyssey - Itinerary
Meet upon arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Tehran – Kerman
Visit the Golestan Palace. The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. The palace now contains the Crown Jewels Museum. We also explore the National Museum and the Pottery and Glass Museum.
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Kerman. Upon arrival, drive to our hotel. Remainder of the day is free.
Today we have a full day’s exploration of Kerman’s surrounding area. We drive out to Iran’s most impressive fortress-citadel at Arg-e Rayan. Thought to be over a thousand years old the fortress has superb views from the battlements of Mt. Hezar (4,420m). In Mahan (35km from Kerman) we visit the Prince’s Garden (Bagh-e Shahzadeh) which was the 19th century summer residence of the Qajar princes as well as the impressive mausoleum of the great Sufi leader, Shah-Nemat-ollah-e-Vali, who died in 1431.
Another full day’s exploration; this time in Kerman itself. Stops include the 14th century Friday Mosque with its magnificent portal and mosaics and the city’s ancient covered Vakil Bazaar – a mix of Persian and Baluchi architecture. We also walk around 17th century Ganj Ali Khan Complex which is composed of a school, a square, a caravanserai and a public bath, a water reservoir, a mint house, a mosque, a tea house and a bazaar. The historic bath is now an ethnographic museum
Kerman - Shiraz
An early departure today as we head to Shiraz over 500km away. En route we break up the journey with a stop at the historical Jameh mosque in Neyriz. Originally constructed as a Zoroastrian fire temple the rectangular shaped building has been added to and amended over the centuries.
Arrive in Shiraz and check in to our hotel.
Shiraz was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (1747–79), when many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored. A city of poets, Shiraz is home to the tombs of Hafez and Sa’di, both major pilgrimage sites for Iranians. It’s also home to splendid gardens and exquisite mosques. We have a full day city tour which includes the splendid Nasirol Molk Mosque – known by many as the Pink mosque due to beautiful pink tiles used in the mosque’s interior. The sightseeing continues with the Vakil Complex containing the city’s ancient trading district with its traditional bazaar as well as baths and mosque all dating back to the Zandieh Dynasty in the second half of the 19th century. Late visit the tomb of the renowned Persian poet Hafez.
We have a half day excursion to Firuzabad, ancient Gur, home to the ruins of the Ardashir Palace and Qaleh Dokhtar Castle.
Shiraz – Pasargadae - Yazd
We depart Shiraz early for Yazd (440km). We stop at the ruins of ancient Persepolis. Highlights include the site of the Persian Palace, the royal necropolis and the superb Nagshe Rustam bas relief. Founded by Darius I in 518 BC, Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. We also visit Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great. Pasargadae was 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 architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization.
Arrive in Yazd and retire to our hotel.
We explore Yazd – a desert city ringed by mountains. It is a charming city of narrow, winding lanes and wind towers or ‘badgirs’ designed to create natural ventilation in buildings. Originally settled 5,000 years ago, Yazd has an interesting mix of people, 10% of whom are Zoroastrian. An elegant Ateshkadeh or fire temple near the city centre shelters an eternal flame, said to have been burning for over 2,000 years. This morning we visit the Fire Temple and Mir Chakmaq mosque as well as the Dolatabad Gardens. Later we can visit a carpet making workshop followed by viewing the ‘tower of silence’ (no longer in use) just outside the city.
Yazd – Nain - Isfahan
Depart Yazd for Isfahan (315km). We break up the journey with a visit to the ancient city of Nain. Unique to Nain is one of the most outstanding monuments in all of Iran: the Jame Mosque, one of the first four mosques built in Iran after the Arab invasion. We also get to see a Pirnia traditional house, the Old Bazaar and a Rigareh, an ancient qanat-based watermill. In addition Nain is also famous for high-quality carpets and home-made pastry (copachoo).
We arrive in Isfahan in the late afternoon / early evening.
Isfahan is Iran’s top tourist destination for good reason. Its profusion of tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings gives it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city and the many artisans working here underpin its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. We have a full day’s sightseeing of Isfahan and highlights include the exquisite Jame mosque, the Armenian Vank Church and Hasht Behesht Palace. We also explore Siosepol Bridge (literally the bridge with 33 arches) which dates back to 1599.
This morning we visit Nagshe Jahan or Iman Square containing, Shaikh Lotfullah mosque and Aliqapu Palace.
Visit the bazaar with plenty of free time for some shopping.
Isfahan – Kashan – Tehran
After breakfast we leave Isfahan for the capital Tehran. We stop at Kashan, a charming oasis city which in the Seljuk Period of the 11th and 12 centuries was famous for its textiles, pottery and tiles. Today the town is more widely known as a major centre for the production of rose water, which is sold at outlets around the main tourist attractions and at dedicated stores in the bazaar
Late afternoon we arrive in Tehran.
On our last day we have a full day city tour of the capital. We explore the Saad Abad Museum Complex. The complex comprises of 18 separate buildings including the extravagant 54 room White Palace built in the 1930s. The more classical-looking Green Palace dates from the end of the Qajar era. Other highlights include the eclectic Nations Art Museum, found in the basement of the White Palace, and the well-curated Fine Art Museum.
Transfer to IKA International Airport for your onward flight.
- Room accommodation in twin share / double room
- Private transportation by air-conditioned car
- Experienced English speaking Iranian guides
- Drinking water in car
- Daily breakfast and meals as mentioned in itinerary
- Domestic Flight: Tehran – Kerman
- Entrance and sightseeing fees as mentioned in the itinerary
- Iran Visa Confirmation Code
- Airport arrival and departure transfers
What's Not Included?
- International Flights
- Drinks during meals
- Optional tours
- Iran visas
- Any personal expenses such as laundry, hotel phone etc
- Tips and gratuities
3 Star3 Star Accommodation:
£3,510 per person based on 2 people sharing
- Tehran – Mashhad Hotel
- Kerman – Jahangardi Hotel
- Shiraz – Hotel Arg
- Yazd – Laleh Hotel
- Isfahan – Setareh Hotel
4 Star4 Star Accommodation:
£4,075 per person based on 2 people sharing
- Tehran – Kowsar Hotel
- Kerman – Pars Hotel
- Shiraz – Elizeh Hotel
- Yazd – Dad Hotel
- Isfahan – Safir Hotel
5 Star5 Star Accommodation:
£4,595 per person based on 2 people sharing
- Tehran – Azadi Hotel
- Kerman – Pars Hotel
- Shiraz – Zandieh Hotel
- Yazd – Safieh Hotel
- Isfahan – Abbasi Hotel