Romance of Persia Iranlife Tour (16 Days)
On the Romance of Persia Tour, you will visit the West of Iran, the birth place of some of the most beautiful Persian love stories, such as Shirin and Farhad. Great historical works of art including national traditional music and group dancing, as well as delicious foods, are among the pleasures you will enjoy on the Romance of Persia Iran Life Tour. You are sure to enjoy visiting the beautiful and unique cities of Tehran, Shiraz, Zeinoddin, Yazd, Isfahan, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Oranamat, Takab, and Ghazvin. The unforgettable experiences and memories you will amass from this tour will most likely be recorded in your heart as a valuable and unforgettable chapter in the novel of your life.
And as with all Iran Life Tours, your guide will lead you into circumstances where you will have the opportunity to interact in everyday situations with the kind, hospitable people of the areas you visit, making your trip to Iran more unforgettable than you could have expected.
Day 1: Arrive Tehran, Visit Tehran
Upon your pre-dawn arrival in Tehran airport, you will be cordially received by our representative carrying our logo show card (transfer information) who will direct and transfer you to your hotel. You will have time to rest and relax before our morning tour of Tehran commences.
Tehran, a modern megalopolis, prides itself in its unique museums which hold immense and unrivaled collections of artifacts dating from the earliest onset of history to the present era. Your tour in Tehran begins with a trip to the Archeological Museum, one of the rare places in the world where you will have the special opportunity to visit and experience the “evolution of mankind” through a marvelous display of historical relics.
Next on the agenda is your very much-awaited chance to savor the distinctive flavor of Iranian cuisine. Lunch will be set in an exquisite traditional Iranian restaurant where you will have the opportunity to sample a wide range of delightful Persian dishes and desserts.
Afterwards, you will visit a world of priceless jewels at the Crown Jewels Museum, including one of the greatest diamonds in the world, Darya-e-Noor (Sea of Light).
At the end of the day, you will get a chance to see a variety of Persian hand-woven carpets and rugs in the Carpet Museum which houses more than 100 spectacular pieces from all over Iran. This includes an explanation of the history of these carpets.
Stay overnight in Tehran.
Attention: The priority in sightseeing may be changed due to the time of your arrival, preference of your guide and also official and unofficial holidays of some museums.
Day 2: Visit Tehran, Fly to Shiraz
Your morning begins with a visit to the Sa'ad Abad Complex, an immense area of 1,100,000 square meters housing 18 magnificent historical palaces, two of which you will visit. This complex was built by the Pahlavi dynasty and it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you.
Your Tehran excursion will end at the Ceramic Museum, a construction exhibiting glorious ancient archaeology.
After packing up at the hotel, you will head for a tasty Iranian lunch in a traditional restaurant. Then you will transfer to the airport for a flight to Shiraz.
On the way to your hotel in Shiraz, you will pay a visit to Shah-e-Cheragh. This is one of the most beautiful shrines in Iran, the beautiful dome, wonderful lighting and impressive mirror-work of which will capture your attention.
Stay overnight in Shiraz.
Day 3: Visiting Shiraz
Shiraz, a city that has been at the center of Persian culture for more than 2,000 years, has the reputation as being a progressive city. This city of sophistication that was once the country's capital is crowned as the heartland of Persian culture. Shiraz will never fail to conjure up images of roses and nightingales, gardens and poetry.
Early in the morning, you will relish in the highlights of Shiraz by visiting sites that were full of life when this city was the capital of Iran during the Zand Dynasty. You will be inspired by the glorious Karim Khan palace, the splendid Vakil mosque, Vakil Bazaar and Saray-e-Moshir with its splendid architecture and interesting ethnic souvenir shops, and the Nasir Almolk mosque. Next, you will stop for a mouth-watering Iranian lunch at one of the traditional restaurants of Shiraz.
This city in the province of Fars is home to famous poets such as Hafez and Sa'adi as well as historical sites from different eras stretching back 6,000 years ago. Hafez was one of Persia’s greatest poets who has impressed the world with his poetic mastery. A trip to the site where he is buried and honored is likely to stir the hearts and minds of the visitors.
Sa’adi was a poet, philosopher and mystic. About seven centuries ago Sa’adi recorded all his experiences from his travels to different countries and cities in verse and rhyme prose in two books, Boustan and Golestan. These two books inform and inspire the reader. You will have the chance to pay homage to this great poet when you visit his burial site which is set amidst beautiful gardens and pools.
In the evening, you will visit Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh marvel at its beauties. You will take a stroll among the tall and proud cedars of the Jahan Nama Garden. The evening tour ends with visits to the Delgosha Garden and Khajoy-e-Kermani Tomb.
At night have dinner in a restaurant in the north of Shiraz.
Day 4: An excursion to Persepolis and Necropolis
Your excursion for this day takes you to Persepolis. Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where this king of kings at that time created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The historical importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site. It seems that Darius planned this impressive complex of palaces not only as the seat of government but also, and primarily, as a show place and a spectacular center for the receptions and festivals of the Achaemenid kings and their empire, such as for the celebration of Nawruz.
Your next stop will be Necropolis. Opposite the mountain of Rahmat, a ten-minute drive to the north, proudly stands the Necropolis, the magnificent burial place of Achaemenid kings. This is also the site of seven bas-reliefs dating back to Elamite and Sassanid Period.
Day 5: Drive to Yazd via visiting Zeinoddin
Today on the way to Yazd you will visit Zeinoddin, a Safavid caravanserai in the heart of desert which has been restored to match its original form. This site received awards from UNESCO, one in 2005 and another in 2006.
Day 6: Drive to Yazd, Visit Sar Yazd & Yazd
Yazd, the oldest adobe city in the world. This city is surrounded by the 4000m summit of Shirkooh and two majestic deserts of Iran, Dasht-e-Kavir and Kavir-e-Loot. This ancient location is furnished with mosques of stunning beauty. The co-existence of the splendid fire temples and the holy sites of different religions astonish every visitor.
You will also pay a visit to Mehriz, located 30 kilometers south of the city of Yazd. Mehriz consists of one central district and five village centers. According to historians, its name comes from "Mehrnegar," the beloved daughter of Anoushirvan, the Sassanid king. Mehriz was known during the late Sassanid Era (4th century AD) as a place of natural beauty.
In Mehriz you will visit Sar Yazd, a castle belonging to Sassanid era which is used as a haven in time of war. It is interesting to know that Sar Yazd grows some of the best pomegranates of Iran.
Another historical site you will see is a caravanserai which dates back to the Seljuk and Safavid Eras.
After that you will transfer to Yazd.
Today’s tour will end in Yazd at Dakhmeh, the “Tower of Silence.”
Day 7: In morning visit Yazd, at evening driv to Isfahan
Today in Yazd you will visit a Zoroastrian fire temple and get a breath-taking perspective of the oldest adobe city.
In the evening you will travel by bus for 300 km from Yazd to Isfahan which is in the vicinity of Dasht-e-Kavir.
Once in Isfahan, if possible, you will have the chance to see some of the thirty-three bridges this city is known for.
Stay overnight in Isfahan.
Day 8: Visit Isfahan
Isfahan, the legendary city which never fails to enchant its visitors, is the pearl of traditional Islamic archeology. This city has been revived by the works of contemporary artists.
Isfahan prides itself in its fascinating historical garden palaces. Legend has it that the city was founded at the time of Tahmourass or Keykavous, and because of its glories, has been entitled “Half the World.”
Your full day tour in Isfahan continues with a visit to the famed Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan), a huge square second in the world to Beijing's Tiananmen Square. You will tour the architectural marvels of the Sheikh Lotfollah and Imam Mosques, Aliqapu Palace, Chehel Sutoon and Hasht Behesht Palaces. This tour also includes a stopover at one of the many well-known Isfahani bazaars, where you can purchase the arts & crafts for which Isfahan is so well renowned.
Stay overnight in Isfahan.
Day 9: Visit Isfahan
Today you will visit Isfahan’s Jame' mosque, a famous mosque which holds in itself the passage of several centuries of historical Islamic evolution. This mosque is a gallery of Islamic architecture in which the progress of architecture from the outset of Islam until recent times is evident.
Afterwards, you will visit Vank Church, one of the most beautiful Armenian churches in the world, which will undoubtedly capture the attention of every Christian.
Your day will conclude with a visit to Monar Jomban, the tomb of a Sufi with its shaking minarets, and some historical bridges. Evening is free for your leisure.
Spend the night in Isfahan.
Day 10: Move to Hamedan by Bus
On your 464 km trip to Hamedan by bus, you will be able to view from the bus beautiful villages, cities and gardens on the hillsides of the Zagros Mountains.
Around noon you will arrive in Hamedan and transfer to your hotel.
In Hamadan you will visit the Tomb of Avicenna. Avicenna was a Muslim Persian physician and philosopher who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, such as philosophy and medicine, of which about 240 still remain today.
Your next site to visit is the tomb of Baba Taher, which is located in a park surrounded by flowers and winding paths. Baba Taher is one of the most revered and respected early poets in Iranian literature. He was known by the name of Baba Taher-e-Oryan (The Naked), which suggests that he may have been a wandering dervish. His poetry has touched many souls.
After that, you will head to Asadabad, a city which is known as the birth place of Seyyed Jamaleddin Asadabadi. You will also see the famous 'Abbas Abad Waterfall’ and the beautiful valleys surrounding that area, and also the recreational complex of Abbas Abad, situated on a hill overlooking Hamadan.
Next you will stop to see the Ganj Nameh Inscriptions. These inscriptions are relics from the time of Darius and Xerxes of the Achaemenian Era. They are engraved on a mountain located 5 km west of Hamadan at the end of the Abbas Abad Valley.
Stay the night in Hamadan.
Day 11: Visit Hamedan & Ali Sadr
The province of Hamedan is situated in mid-western Iran. This province has long and severe winters from September to May with a great deal of snow; however, in summer its pleasant climate offers visitors a welcome break from the soaring temperatures elsewhere in Iran. The province is famous for its raisins (1500 hectares of vineyards), and in the Persian rug trade, it ranks second only to Kerman.
In Hamedan you will visit the Esteroo Mord Khay (Ester and Mord Khay) Tomb. This structure of brick and stone located in the city center is the tomb of Ester the Queen of Shoosh (the wife of the ancient Persian king of Iran, King Xerxes) and Mordecai (Mord Khay), her uncle. The structure was originally constructed about 11 centuries ago, in order to pay homage to these two personalities. This memorial is a place of pilgrimage for Jewish people and is also held in respect by Muslems.
The Hegmatane Archeological Palace, located in the city of Hamadan, will be your next stop. This palace dates back to the times of the Medes. Kiyakesar Madi and Nabopolasar Baboli were responsible for building this structure in the year 614 BC.
If possible, after that you will visit the Gonbad-e-Alavian (or Masjid-e-Alavian), which is an interesting four-sided 12th century mausoleum belonging to the late Seljuk period. On the exterior, it resembles the Gonbad-e Sorkh of Maragheh.
Last on today’s agenda is a visit to Ali Sadr Cave, the world's largest water cave which attracts millions of visitors every year. It is located about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan in western Iran. Tours of the cave are available by pedal boats.
Spend the night in Hamadan.
Day 12: Visit Kermanshah
Today you will drive westward to Kermanshah, a mountainous city with a moderate climate. On the way in an old town called Kangavar you will visit the Anahita Temple, the temple of the mother goddess of abundance and the guardian of water in ancient Persia.
Next you will travel to Bistoon on an old caravan route dating back to the Middle Paleolithic Age. There you will see the famous Tablets of Darius, Achaemenian inscriptions of 1,200 lines that offer details regarding the battles of ages past of Darius the Great, who fought against governors who were trying to dismantle the Empire originally founded by Cyrus.
Nearby in the village of Sahneh we will visit the burial site of Ostad Khalil Alinejad, the best player of the tanboor in the world.
In Kermanshah you will also enjoy a visit to the Sassanian rock carvings of Tagh-e-Bostan. These bas-reliefs, cut from stone cliff, depict royal scenes of battles and hunts reflecting the glorious history of the Sassanid Kings.
Stay overnight in Kermanshah.
Day 13: Drive164 km to Sanandaj, at evening visit Oramanat
Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdistan province. The economy of Sanandaj is based upon the production of carpets, processing hides and skins, milling rice, refining sugar, woodworking, cotton weaving, metal ware and cutlery.
Among the places of interest you will see in this city are the Old Bazaars of Sanandaj and the Hajar Khatoon Mosque, an architecturally unique and ancient Muslim mosque (now a tourist destination) in the city. This mosque was built more than hundred years ago by Haj Sheikh Shokrollah.
Afterwards we drive to reach the village of Oramanat Takht. This village is one of the most attractive rural areas of Kurdestan to tourists not only because of its amazing panoramic views, but also because of the annual performance of the ancient and wonderful ceremony of Peer Shahriar that occurs there. Here you can see the Sirvan River, which flows through the deep valleys of this region and onto Iraq. The lands are covered with walnut, pomegranate, fig and mulberry trees.
You will also see the tomb of Peer Shahriar Urami, writer of the book Acquaintance of Peer Shahriar. This is a creditable pilgrimage site of the people of the Zoroastrian religion. Other sacred sites here include the Oihang and Abdollahi mosques and the tomb of "Loskeh Hijij," which is highly respected by the people of this region and of others in Kurdestan.
Stay overnight in the village of Oraman Takht.
Day 14: Drive (about 350 km) to Zanjan via Takht e Soleiman
Today you will embark on a trip to the city of Zanjan. En route, you will visit the archaeological site of Takht-e-Soleiman, situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region in northwestern Iran. This site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) Period of the 13th century. You will also see a temple of the Sasanian Period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. This site is of important symbolic significance, and the designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.
Stay overnight in Zanjan.
Day 15: Drive to Tehran via Soltanieh, Alamoot & Ghazvin
Today you travel toward Tehran, driving 110 km on the highway to Ghazvin and stopping to visit the majestic Soltanieh Dome (Gonbad Soltanieh).
Near Ghazvin is the historical castle of Alamoot, which is the unique memorial of the god of Alamoot (Hasan Sabbah). You will explore this historic site whose fortress was destroyed on December 15, 1256 by Hulagu Khan as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.
Afterwards you complete your drive to Tehran and stay overnight in Tehran.
Day 16: Depart Iran
Depart Iran the land of warmth and hospitality with fond memories.
1. 16-Day Tour with Experienced English-Speaking Guide
2. 17 nights in 2- and 3-Star Hotels
4. Domestic Flights
5. Breakfasts and Lunches
6. All Entrance Fees
7. Invitation Letter for Iranian Visa
8. Transfers by Guide
9. Special Offers