Iranian Getaway: 12 Days of Culture and Beauty
The Glory of Iran is a tour that will take you on a journey into the depths of ancient Persian civilization, capturing the majesty and the splendor of the Achaemenid and Sassanid empires and their influence on world history, religion, art, and culture by revealing the ancient tales hidden in the ruins and reliefs which exist today as a testament to their legacy. In addition to that, you will be witnessing Iran’s contemporary cultural and historical influences. The Glory of Iran is a tour that will take you on a journey into the depths of ancient Persian civilization, capturing the majesty and the splendor of the Achaemenid and Sassanid empires and their influence on world history, religion, art, and culture by revealing the ancient tales hidden in the ruins and reliefs which exist today as a testament to their legacy. In addition to that, you will be witnessing Iran’s contemporary cultural and historical influences.
Arrival, meet and greet at the airport, transfer to hotel.
Depending on your arrival flight, the following morning, we will begin a full-day tour of the capital, Tehran. Starting with a walking tour through old Tehran and visiting the old Gate of Tehran, Golestan Palaces, Imam (former Royal) Mosque and the Grand Bazaar, a large roofed old shopping complex. We will then become more familiar with Persian carpets at the Carpet Museum. Overnight Tehran.
Drive to Isfahan via the village of Abiyaneh; only two hours outside of Esfahan, you can be high up in a fold of the Zagros range, walking through the narrow winding streets of Abyaneh, watching locals go about their rustic daily life. The village is a picture of rural calm and an excellent base for local walks. We start the afternoon in Isfahan, where we will visit the Friday Mosque, followed by Chehelsotun (forty columns) palace. We will then see the Vank Cathedral and the city’s Armenian Quarter. We will then head to the banks of Zayanderud River, the town’s soul. Several historical bridges over this river were erected during the Safavid era (17th Century). Siosepol (33-arch) and Khaju bridges are the most famous ones. We enjoy visiting these two interesting bridges, drinking tea at the tea house below the bridge, walking along the river bank or paddling on a boat from one to the other. Overnight Isfahan.
We started another wonderful day in Isfahan with our full-day tour at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Naghsh-e-Jahan Sq. Once a royal polo court, this site was the official center of the city when it was the Safavid Capital (17th Century). We will visit the famous Imam Mosque (Royal Mosque) on the square’s southern side, which has incredible architecture and tile work. We then visited the multistory Aliqapu Palace, which stood on the western side of the court, from which the Safavid kings used to view the polo games and ceremonies. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque (or Ladies Mosque) is located on the opposite side of the square and is visited next. We will stroll through the traditional bazaar surrounding the court before we gather again for lunch. The bazaar, which goes deep to the north, is traditionally known as the Qeysarieh bazaar. Overnight Isfahan.
Drive to Shiraz. En route, we will visit the most magnificent city of the ancient world, Persepolis, which is now registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire during the Achemaenian era. The site, 125,000 sq.m. in the area, comprises various reception halls and palaces, private palaces, royal treasury and fortifications, where we find the tomb of Cyrus, the incredible remains of Achaemenian palaces and edifices. Before arriving in Shiraz, we continued visiting Naghsh-e-Rostam, Pasargad, and the cemetery (city of the dead). Overnight Shiraz.
We will start our Shiraz tour by the Karmikhani complex, the residential palace of the Zand dynasty. Karim Khan Zand, the founder of the Zand dynasty, chose Shiraz as his capital and declared himself as “Vakil,” the lawyer of the nation, rather than a king. We continue to the Vakil complex, Vakil Mosque, Bazar, and public baths remaining from his reign. We also visited the colorful Nasirolmolk mosque. In the afternoon, we will visit Eram Garden, Naranjestan Palace, the tombs of world-famous poets Hafez and Saadi, and Shah e Cheragh, Koran Arch and Khajoo tomb.
Accessible at leisure for shopping in Shiraz, then transfer to airport for flight back Tehran. Overnight Tehran (depending on your departure flight, you either stay in a hotel or take your next international flight).
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