STARTS : Shiraz
ENDS : Tehran
AGE RANGE : 3-99
MAX GROUP SIZE : 12
TRAVEL STYLE : Cultural / Historical
ACCOMMODATION : Middle class hotels (3*,4*)
TRANSPORTATION : Van or Minibus or Middle bus
Sightseeing : Pasargadae, Abarkuh (the ancient living cypress tree, Icehouse, Gonbad-e Aali, Nizamiyeh School) Today we leave Shiraz for Abarkuh in the morning. On the way, we will stop by Pasargadae which was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire in ancient Persia under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction (559–530 BC). We will visit the most majestic monuments there of which the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the great founder of the Achaemanid Empire, is the oldest. The wonderful architecture of the tomb and the huge fertile land over there inspire the visitors. It was the worshiping place for the followers of several religions and is today an archaeological site and one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Afterwards we continue all the way to Abarkuh, a historical city located at an altitude of 1510 meters. We will visit an ancient living cypress tree (4500 years old) in Abarkuh. Old trees in any region are the symbol of archaism and tell the truth that appropriate weather and nice conditions are quite helpful to lead a long life. Abarkuh Icehouse is the next attraction to which we will pay a visit. Icehouses are buildings used to store ice throughout the year, commonly used prior to the invention of the refrigerator. Some were underground chambers, usually man-made, close to natural sources of winter ice such as freshwater lakes, but many were buildings with various types of insulation. Then we will visit Gonbad-e Aali (Aali Dome) which is the oldest structure remained in the town since 11th century, Dailamite period. It is one of the earliest tomb towers in Iran located on top of a hill just at the outskirt of the town. The last place we will stop by in the day is the Nizamiyyah School, which is one of a group of the medieval institutions of higher education established by Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk in the eleventh century in Iran. The name nizamiyyah derives from his name. Founded at the beginning of the Seljuk Empire, these Sunni Islam theological schools are considered to be the model of later Islamic religious schools. stay overnight in Yazd.
Sightseeing : Jame Mosque, Old City, Alexander’s Prison, Tomb of the 12 Imams, Dowlatabad Garden, Yazd Water Museum, confectionary and handicraft workshops 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. Today’s tour includes visiting the Jame Mosque, the old city of Yazd, the 15th-century domed school known as Alexander’s Prison because of a reference to this apparently dastardly place in a Hafez poem. Whether the deep well in the middle of its courtyard was in fact built by Alexander the Great and used as a dungeon seems doubtful, no matter what the guide says. The building is worth a look for the small display on the old city of Yazd, but mostly the fee covers access to a warren of craft workshops. Then we continue with Dowlatabad Garden; an authentic Iranian garden that annually attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists. This is a complex built according to the original Iranian architectural style and consists of a large garden and some buildings. Afterwards we head for Yazd Water Museum. This 124- year-old Museum displays the tool, techniques used for the past 4000 years in Iran in creating underground waterways (called Qanats) and connectincting them to the city and field locations for agricultural and other uses. Yazd water museum was set up in 2000 in the wake of the first international conference on qanat in Yazd. The museum building has once been a merchant’s house built in 1929. Two qanats are running beneath the museum at different levels, which are reachable through a special stairway called Payab. This museum has put on display a variety of water objects from Qanat to water ownership documents. The museum is one of the best tourist destinations in Yazd, which receive hundreds of visitors every day. Finally we pay a visit to confectionery and handicraft workshops and drive toward Isfahan via visiting ain Jame mosque. Nain is one of the best places in all the world to see these qanats functioning. We will stop by an abaya-weaving workshop and Jame Mosque in Nain. Stay overnight in Isfahan.
Sightseeing : Imam Square, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque, Ali Qapu, Chehel Sotoun, Hasht Behesht, Bazaar 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”. Today we start our tour with the famed Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan), a huge square second in the world to Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Then we pay a visit to the architectural marvels of Sheikh Lotfollah and Imam Mosques, Aliqapu Palace, Chehel Sutoon and Hasht Behesht Palaces, and finally 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.
Sightseeing : Abyaneh, historic houses of Borujerdiha and Tabatabaeiha, Fin Garden, Maranjab desert On the way to Tehran, first we will visit the UNESCO recognized village of Abyaneh in Barzrud Rural District, located at the foot of Mount Karkas and in the vicinity of desert. On top of the village sits the ruins of a Sassanid era fort. The dialect of the people of Abyaneh has preserved some characteristics of the Middle Persian language, the language of the Sassanian Persia. We 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. In the end, we will arrive in Kashan. We begin our tour with a visit to the historic houses of Borujerdiha and Tabatabaeiha in Kashan and get acquainted with the previous century’s architecture, the Qajar era. Then we will stop by the Fin Garden; a historical Persian garden containing Kashan's Fin Bath, where Amir Kabir, the Qajarid chancellor, was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran. On the way to Tehran, we will visit Maranjab Carvansary and desert then move toward Tehran. stay overnight in Tehran.
Sightseeing: Carpet Museum, Sa'ad Abad Complex,Reza Abbasi Museum,Milad Tower,Nature Bridge To avoid heavy traffic, taking the subway is the best way to visit Tehran. We take the subway and charter taxis so that we make most of the day and visit as many sites as possible. As a result, you'll have a much better chance to get more acquainted with Iranian people. We will leave the hotel at 9:30 for a trip to the Carpet Museum which houses more than 100 spectacular pieces from all over Iran. Here we will get a chance to see a variety of Persian hand-woven carpets and rugs. We will also be given an insight into the history of these carpets. Then we pay a visit to Sa'ad Abad Complex with an immense area of 1,100,000 square meters and 18 magnificent historical palaces two of which we will visit. The complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s, and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved there in the 1970s. After the 1979 Revolution, the complex became a museum. It will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on us. Soon after we go to have lunch; a tasty Iranian dish in a traditional restaurant. Afterwards we stop by the Reza Abbasi Museum located in Seyed Khandan. The museum was named after Reza Abbasi; one of the artists in the Safavid period. It is home to a unique collection of Persian art dating back to the second millennium BC, from both the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras. Finally we make a visit to Milad Tower; the sixth-tallest tower in the world standing at 435 meters from the base to the tip of the antenna (if it is open). At night we can take a tour of the Nature Bridge by choice (at an extra cost). It is the largest pedestrian overpass built in Iran. The 270-metre (890 ft.) bridge connects two public parks—Taleghani Park and Abo-Atash Park—by spanning Shahid Modarres Avenue, one of the main highways in northern Tehran. Stay overnight in Tehran.
Day 7: Departure.