The "Iran, Then and Now Tour" is the result of the mutual cooperation of PTA and Mr. Buddy Hatton, the prominent American travel documentary film producer and tour operator. Mr. Hatton traveled through Iran with PTA to produce the film, “Iran, Then and Now”. After numerous live showings of this film in the USA, this tour has been taken by many Americans tourists. For more information about this film please check www.buddyhatton.com
Buddy Hatton has planned a combined Istanbul-Iran 16-day tour beginning on May 4, 2012. This tour is highly recommended to the North American and European enthusiasts.
Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul and day at leisure
On your arrival our transfer man will meet you in the airport and transfer you to hotel.
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 Full day tour (Old City)
08:45 After breakfast from hotel, you'll be picked for a full day tour of Blue Mosque, Hippodrome-Obelisks, Hagia Sophia, Lunch, Topkapi Palace and Suleymaniye Mosque. After the full day tour we take you back to the hotel.
Day 3 Day at leisure
Grand Covered Bazaar, then transfer to the airport for the flight to Iran
Day 4: flight from Istanbul to Shiraz, arriving Shiraz, transferring to hotel, visiting Shiraz
On the way to transfer to hotel we will pay a visit to Shah e Cheragh. This is one of the most beautiful shrines in Iran which its beautiful dome, wonderful lighting and Mirror-work impressed you. Stay overnight in Shiraz.
Day 5: an excursion to Persepolis and Necropolis, pm is free at leisure
Our excursion for Today is 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 the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The 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 centre for the receptions and festivals of the Achaemenid kings and their empire such as Nowroz.
The next is Necropolis. Opposite the mountain of Mercy, ten minutes driving to the north, proudly stands the Necropolis, the magnificent burial place of Achaemenid kings. The site also provides seven bas-reliefs dating back to Elamite and Sassanid period.
Day 6: visiting Shiraz
Shiraz has a reputation as an enlightened city that has been at the centre of Persian culture for more than 2,000 years, and was at one time the country's capital.
Shiraz is crowned as the heartland of Persian culture and this city of sophistication will never fail to conjure up images of roses and nightingales, gardens and poetry. Early in the morning, relish in the highlights of Shiraz when it was the capital of Iran during the Zand Dynasty. 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, Nasir Almolk mosque. Next, we will stop for a mouth-watering Iranian lunch at one of the traditional restaurants of Shiraz.
This gorgeous city in the province of Fars is home to famous poets such as Hafez and Sa'adi and historical sites from different eras stretching back 6,000 years ago can be found. 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. Sa’adi is a poet, philosopher and mystic who is known as the father of a alternative tourist. About seven previous centuries he travelled to different countries and cities. Then he collected all his experiences in verse and Rhyme prose in two books named Boustan and Golestan. These two books give you Lots of inspiration and information. We will get a chance to pay homage to tombs of these great poets.
In the evening, we will visit Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh and be prepared to marvel at its beauties. Take a stroll through the Jahan Nama Garden and witness its tall and proud cedars. Finally visit the Delgosha Garden and Khajoy-e-Kermani tomb from where the perspective of the mysterious city of Shiraz will perpetuate in our mind.
At night have dinner in a restaurant with specific atmosphere in the north of Shiraz.
Day 7: driving to Zein oddin via Pasargadae, Abar kouh
On the way we will have a few short stops in Pasargadae to visit the most important and majestic monuments there. The tomb of Cyrus the Great, the originator and the great founder of Achaemanian Emperor, (500 years BC) is the oldest historical tomb. The wonderful architecture of his tomb, the huge fertile land over there beside the brave personality of Cyrus the Great inspires the visitors. This Archeological environment was the worshiping place for the followers of several religions and still it is so. Followed by the relief of the winged man and get familiar with its historical elucidations some researchers gave specific theories regarding the relation between personality of Cyrus the Great and one of the prophets of Holy Book. By visiting this majestic tomb you can have your personal comment about it.
Old trees in any region are the symbol of archaism and tell the truth that appropriate weather and nice condition lead to long life. Abar Kouh which is a historical city is the place of historical sightseeing and wonderful desert architecture. Moreover the 4500 year old cypress tree in Abar Kouh is a marvelous attraction out there. These beliefs and the beauty of the 4500 year old cypress tree remain a trace of eternity in the heart and on the mind of all travelers.
Afterward we will visit Zeinoddin, a Safavid Caravanserai in the heart of desert which is restored in the best way possible and got 2 awards from UNESCO in 2005 and 2006.
Day 8: driving to Yazd on the way visiting Sar Yazd
Mehriz is located 30 kilometers south of the city of Yazd. Mehriz consists of one central district and five village centers. According to historians, the name belongs to "Mehrnegar" the beloved daughter of Anoushirvan, the Sassanid King. Mehriz was known, during the late Sassanid era (4th century AD), as a natural pleasant area. One of The most important places to visit in Mehriz is Saryazd.
Saryazd has a castle belonging to Sassanid era which is used as a haven in time of war. Another historical place out there is caravanserai in Saryazd which dates back to Seljuk and Safavid era. It is noteworthy that Saryaz has one of the best pomegranates of Iran. After that we will transfer to Yazd.
Today’s p.m. tour includes visiting Jame Mosque and also Tekiye Amir chakhmagh.
Day 9: visiting Yazd and Meybod
Yazd, the oldest adobe city in the world which is surrounded by the 4000m summit of Shirkooh and two majestic deserts of Iran, Dasht-e-Kavir and Kavir-e-Loot. This ancient city 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. In the afternoon the Fire Temple, Towers of Silence, the wind Towers in old part of the city will be visited.
Day 10: driving to Isfahan via Naein
Today’s tour includes visiting Dakhmeh (tower of silence, where Zoroastrians leave the dead corpse to be eaten by vultures). The Zoroastrian fire temples are the next steps which come under three categories in terms of importance: Dadgah fire that is lit at residence and has no consecration ceremony. It is lit by the Zoroastrian priests, but ordinary people could light it too. We will get a breath-taking perspective of the oldest adobe city.
On this day, we will drive 300 km from Yazd to Isfahan which is in the vicinity of Dasht-e-Kavir and the attractive city of Nain. Nain is known as the city of cisterns and possesses around 80 cisterns. We will get a chance to visit one of the oldest and most important mosques of Persian Islamic architecture. Stay overnight in Isfahan. If possible different bridges of thirty three bridges will be seen.
Day 11: visiting Isfahan
Isfahan, the legendary city which never fails to enchant its visitors, is the pearl of traditional Islamic archeology. This city is revived by the works of contemporary artists. Isfahan prides itself in having fascinating historical garden palaces. Legend has it that the city was founded at the time of Tahmoures or Keykavous and because of its glories has been entitled “Half the World”. Our full day tour includes the famed Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan), a huge square second in the world to Beijing\'s Tiananmen Square. Tour the architectural marvels of Sheikh Lotfollah and Imam Mosques, Aliqapu Palace, Chehel Sutoon and Hasht Behesht Palaces, and also visit one of the most famous bazaars in Iran, where we can purchase the arts & crafts for which Isfahan is so well renowned. Stay overnight in Isfahan.
Day 12: visiting Isfahan
Isfahan’s Jame' mosque 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 the architecture from the outset of Islam till recent times is evident. Then we will visit Vank Church which is one of the most beautiful Armenian churches in the world and will undoubtedly capture the attention of every Christian. Our 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 at leisure.
Day 13: driving to Tehran via Abyaneh and Kashan
On the way to Kashan, we will visit the UNESCO recognized village of Abyaneh, located at the foot of Mount Karkas and in the vicinity of desert. Appreciate the serenity of this quaint village with its splendid archaeology and meet the dwellers who speak, live and dress in the original Persian style.
Next, hop on to Kashan and visit Tabatabaiha and Borojerdiha houses and some other historical places specially chosen by our tour guide and be acquainted with the previous century’s architecture, the Qajar era. Stay overnight in Tehran.
Day 14: visiting Tehran
Tehran, a modern megalopolis, prides itself in having unique museums with immense and unrivaled collections and artifacts dating from the earliest onset of history to the present era.
Our tour begins with a trip to the Archeological Museum, one of the rare places in the world where we will have the special opportunity to visit and experience the “evolution of mankind” through the marvelous display of historical relics.
Next on the agenda is our very much-awaited chance to savor the distinctive flavor of Iranian cuisine. Lunch will be set in an exquisite traditional Iranian restaurant where we will sample a wide range of delightful Persian dishes and desserts.
Afterwards, we will visit a world of jewels in a priceless Crown Jewels Museum one of which is one of the two greatest diamonds, Darya-e-Noor (sea of light).
At the end of the day, we 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. On top of that, we will also be given an insight into the history of these carpets. Stay overnight in Tehran.
Day 15: visiting Tehran
A morning visit to Sa'ad Abad Complex with an immense area of 1,100,000 square meters and 18 magnificent historical palaces (2 of which we will visit). This palace was built by Pahlavi dynasty and it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on us. And our Tehran excursion will end at the Ceramic Museum where we will be able to witness its construction with glorious ancient archaeology. Then we leave the hotel for a tasty Iranian lunch in a traditional restaurant.
Day 16: depart Iran
Depart Iran the land of warmth and hospitality with fond memories.