Day 1: TEHRAN
After arriving at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran, our representative will meet and greet you at the airport. The local representative will transfer you to your hotel to rest.
Day 2: TEHRAN – SHIRAZ (FLIGHT)
This morning, we will take you to a World Heritage Site, the lavish Golestan Palace. Built during the Qajar Dynasty, that rose to power in the late 1700s, this fabulous walled complex is centered on a landscaped garden with tranquil pools. Many of the elements you’ll admire today, date to the 19th century when local Qajari architects and artisans were looking to integrate traditional Persian style with elements of Western and Russian origin.
The palace buildings are among the oldest in modern Tehran and they are still regarded as a crowning achievement of the Qajar era.
Then, we will walk around Tehran Bazaar.
In the afternoon, you will visit the National Museum of Iran, where you can see fabulous historical items from 5000 BC to the advent of Islam in Iran which shows a brief history of our land.
Tonight, we fly to Shiraz.
Day 3 : SHIRAZ
After breakfast, you will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) few steps far from Vakil Bazaar. It built by the order from one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty, Mirza Hasan ‘Ali Nasir-al-Mulk, it took 12 years to complete in 1888. Its interior reveals a magnificent masterpiece of design with stunning colors. This is a space where light and worship intertwine.
The mosque comes to life with the sunrise and colors dance throughout the day like whirling dervishes. It reflects on the ground, walls, the arches and the towering spires. It even reflects on the visitors as if a colorful ball is hit by the first sun ray and explodes to thousands of butterflies all around.
Then you will visit Karim Khan Citadel from outside, which was built during the Zand Dynasty.
You’ll have time to explore and shop in the bustling Vakil Bazaar, home to hundreds of stores, beautiful courtyards, and even an ancient caravanserai.
After that, you’ll visit the lovely garden Tomb of Hafez Shirazi, one of our most outstanding poets to feel the taste of Persian Literature. Hafez is one of great poets who impressed everyone with his mastery. His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding.
AUTHENTIC COOKING CLASS AND FOOD TOUR:
In the afternoon, we prepare and have dinner together with a Shirazi family. Very welcoming and friendly, this experience also allows you to discover the essence of Iran throughout a Persian family, recipe, stories and the pleasure to share a meal.
Day 4 : SHIRAZ – ISFAHAN (6 H)
We have a full day of driving today to reach our destination of Isfahan.
We will have some stop in our way to visit legendary city of Persepolis, former capital of Darius the Great and founded in 512 BC. There was no more impressive construction in the ancient world, except perhaps Karnak in Egypt,
Darius built the terrace, the Apadana (great audience hall), the Tachara (palace), the monumental staircases and his son, Xerxes, added the harem and the Hall of 100 Columns.
Alexander the Great entered Persepolis in January 330 BC and then committed an uncharacteristic act of wanton destruction that still mystifies historians today, burning the mighty city to the ground. Though a shadow of its former self, the soaring pillars, terraces and sculptures of Persepolis still remain, but probably most impressive are the bas reliefs which line the site, telling the story of ancient governors and kings that came to Persepolis to pay tribute to the Persian Emperors.
Then visit Pasargadae, (A UNESCO World Heritage Site), tomb of Cyrus the Great and former capital of the Achaemenid Empire. We will spend some time exploring the site and though not as striking as Persepolis, there is a great viewpoint where we can look over the site and the surrounding area.
Continue to Isfahan and check in to our hotel.
Day 5 : ISFAHAN
Your exploration starts in Imam Square (A UNESCO World Heritage Site). This 17th-century site is one of the largest public spaces in the world. Here in the square, you’ll visit the 17th-century Shah Mosque, revered as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and easily recognized by its magnificent tile-work and soaring cupola and minarets.
You will also visit Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, also known as the Ladies Mosque, as it was built for the Shah’s harem, renowned for brightly colored domed ceiling, where the light creates the image of a peacock. In the Ali Qapu Palace, you’ll marvel at its beautiful music rooms and the balconies where Safavid kings would sit to enjoy the polo matches unfolding in the square below. You’ll end your exploration of the square by visiting the Qeisarieh Bazaar.
With hundreds of local vendors that specialize in traditional arts and crafts, it’s a wonderful place to shop for pottery, enamel, jewelry and delicately inlaid board games.
Next up is Chehel Sotun Palace (A UNESCO World Heritage Site). Set in a landscaped and forested park in front of a tranquil reflecting pool, this graceful pavilion was built by Shah Abbas II for entertainment and court receptions. Entering through a portico with twenty slender wooden columns, you’ll discover soaring halls embellished with frescoes, paintings and mosaics; the Hall of Mirrors is especially breathtaking!
Tonight, we will visit one of the local restaurants to see and experience how one of the most famous Isfahani meals, Biryani cooked. We will have dinner at the restaurant.
Day 6: ISFAHAN – KASHAN – TEHRAN (5 H)
Leaving Isfahan behind, we’ll travel north to Kashan, a town originally famous for its textiles and ceramic production, but now better known for Fin Garden. (A UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Fin Garden is our first stop; a relaxing and visually impressive Persian garden with water channels all passing through a central pavilion.
There is also the chance to buy some rose water, a local specialty, outside of the site. Then, you will visit Boroujerdi Traditional House.
It was built about 130 years ago in the reign of Qajar dynasty (1857) by Iranian famous architect Ustad Ali Maryam. The owner was Haj Seyed Hasan Natanzi, a well-known merchant who mostly dealt with people of Boroujerd city. That’s why the house is known as Boroujerd’s House.
Day 7 : TEHRAN (DEPARTURE)
Our representative will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your flight time.
Note: Those who need an extra night of accommodation should pay for that.
· Arrival & departure airport transfer from/to Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA)
· Domestic flight
· All nights accommodation in 3-star hotels
· Land travel in Iran by an air-conditioned coach
· Services of an Iranian tour lecturer throughout the tour
· Meals: 7 breakfasts, 0 lunches, and 1 dinner
· International air fares, taxes and surcharges
· Travel insurance
· Items of a personal nature such as laundry or phone calls
· Visa costs
· Visa code fee
· Entrance fees
· Tips to local guides and drivers
· Arrival & departure transfers are included on this trip.
· This trip starts at 9:00 in the morning on day 2.
· On day 6, there is an included domestic flight Shiraz to Tehran.
We use good quality hotels rated at the Iranian Local House and 3-star level on this tour. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards. Accommodation is based on double or twin en-suite rooms with air conditioning.
All couples will have a private double room.
Single travelers must pay extra to have their private room.