Day 1: Arrive Tehran, fly to Tabriz
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. (Transfer Information)
Day 2: Visit Tabriz
Azerbaijan is home to one of the most cultured and bravest races in Iran, the Azaris. You will be impressed by the profundity and richness of Azeri culture, language, music, dance and literature. Lots of sightseeing here catches the eyes of visitors such as the former Shah Goli or the present Eil Goli (the Shah's pool) which is the name of a large park in Tabriz. It seems that it was used as a water resource for agricultural purposes. It was used as a summer palace during the Qadjar dynasty (when Tabriz was the official residence of Prince of Iran). Then we’ll visit the exotic bazaar which is one of the oldest bazzars of the Middle East and the largest covered traditional bazaar in the world. It was inscribed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2010.
Next place to visit is Kabood Mosques Remains of a Great Mosque Kabood or Jahanshah Mosque is one of the works by Abul Mozaffar Jahanshah bin Qara Yousef, a member of Qaraqoyounlu tribe, in Tabriz. It was completed in 870 AH subsequent to supervision of Jahanshah’s wife, Jan Beigum Khatoon. Then we’ll visit holy Serkis church, this church was constructed by 'Petrossian' in the Banvan neighborhood of Tabriz in the year 1821 AD. Stay overnight in Tabriz.
Day 3: Visit Tabriz; take the train to Zanjan at 15:00
Today’s excursion includes the historical border city of Julfa which is located near the Aras River and the fascinating forests of Arasbaran. Julfa is the stronghold of the Armenian Christians who possess a rich and unique culture of their own. We will visit the ancient churches there. The St. Stepanos Monastery (Maghartavank) is an Armenian monastery about 15 km northwest of Jolfa city, East Azarbaijan Province northeast Iran. It is situated in a deep canyon along the Aras River on the Iranian side of the border between Azerbaijan and Iran. It was built in the 9th century and was rebuilt in the Safavid era after several earthquakes damaged it. Julfa also has a nice waterfall. Then drive back to Tabriz and take the train to Zanjan.
Day 4: Early in the morning visit Takab and Soltaniye, p.m. train to Qazvin at 15:30
We’ll drive 298 km to Takab, The famous historical complex Takht-e-Soleiman is situated to the North-East of the city. Takht-e-Soleiman was one of Takab's oldest Zoroastrian fire temples during the Sassanid Dynasty.
Afterwards, move to visit the majesty of Soltanieh Dome (Gonbad Soltanieh). Afterwards we’ll take a train to Qazvin and stay overnight in Qazvin.
Day 5: Visit Qazvin, train to Tehran at 19:25
The city today known as Qazvin is thought to be founded by Shapur II, King of Persia in 250 CE. Archeological findings in the Qazvin plain reveal urban agricultural settlements for at least nine millennia. Qazvin contains several archeological excavations being done. And in the middle of the city lie the ruins of Meimoon Ghal'eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area. You can visit this place.
Day 6: Visit Tehran
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 7: Train to Shahroud at 17:10
Day 8: Visit Shahroud, train to Neishabour at 17:25
Today’s tour includes visiting Shahroud, a city in Semnan province. In 2006, traces of a prehistoric, 8,000-year-old settlement were found in Shahroud. The discoveries included craft workshops and other evidence of settlements.
Shahroud is a city bordered by desert (Dasht-e-Kavir), mountains (Alborz Mountain range), and forest (Abr Forest). You can see the most beautiful perspectives of Dasht-e-Kavir from the south part of this city. There you will visit Dasht-e-Kavir and the Shah Kuh and Sah Var Mountains, which are part of the Alborz Mountain range.
At 17:25 we will take a train to Neishabour.
Day 9: Visit Neishabour, train to Mashhad at 21:15
Today’s tour starts with visiting Neishabour. Neishabour is the city where the tomb of Hakim Omar Khayyam-e Neishabouri who was the mathematician, astrologer, philosopher and poet of the 11th century AD is located. He is a magnanimous who made that city universal. Also we will visit the tomb of Attar, a famous mystic poet of Iran. Pay a visit to the tomb of Kamal-Al-Molk, the great painter of the contemporary period.
At 21:15 we will take a train to Mashhad.
Day 10: Visit Mashhad
Mashhad is a city where the Shiite Imam Reza was martyred and thus is an important site for Shiite Muslim Pilgrims. This huge complex is the first holy shrine in Iran.
we will enjoy a full day city tour in Mashhad (Imam Reza Holy Shrine, Ferdosi Tomb, Nader Shah Museum). After visiting the holy shrine we will head to Tus to visit the tomb of Ferdosi, the great epic poet of 10th AD century. Ferdosi has written Shahnameh (literally "Letter of King"), the great epic in which the stories of Rostam and Sohrab are skillfully described. This book is as great as Iliad and Odyssey of Homer in western literature.
Day 11: Visit Mashhad, train to Bandar Abbas (this train is available every other day so this day is changeable)
Today we will visit Harounieh, a nice structure with unknown function in the old times. Again we will have a night visit to the holy shrine of Imam Reza and see the people who are praying in a sacred place. At night we will take a train to Bandar Abbas.
Day 12: Visit Bandar Abbas and Qeshm
Bandar Abbas is one of the main ports of Iran which has special natural and historical attractions. Beside this beautiful port, there is a spa, Geno. This spa has been used for medical purposes so far. It is said that Marco Polo used this spa for curing his skin diseases.
Some of the more popular attractions of Bandar Abbas are as below: Emarat-e Kolah Farangi (built by and during the Dutch occupation), Gele-dari traditional Bath, and Various hot water springs.
Geshm Island is one of the tourism and ecotourism attractions in Hormozgan province. And it is the only known Geo Park in Iran. This island attracts lots of tourist annually due to its natural and historical attractions. Among the attraction, we can mention the Water Hara Jungles, Kharbas Caves, the Turtles coast, Chah Kouh Strait, Portuguese Castel, and the British Cemetry. Beside these sites we can also enjoy visiting Minab Thursday bazaar, Hormoz Island with seven color soil, Lark Island with silver sands and Hengam Island.
Stay overnight in Gheshm.
Day 13: Train to Yazd at 19:35
Today we will take a train to Yazd and enjoy the beauties of the way while on the train.
Day 14: Visit Yazd
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 15: Train to Isfahan, at 05:20 a.m. (this train is available every other day so this day is changeable)
Day 16: Visit 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 17: visit Isfahan, train to Shiraz at 21:25
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. At 21:25 we will take a train to Shiraz.
Day 18: Visit 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 19: Excursion to Persepolis and Necropolis
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 20: Drive with car to Ahvaz, via visiting Bishabour and Chogan strait
Bishapour is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan, on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. The road linked the Sassanid capitals Istakhr (very close to Persepolis) and Ctesiphon.
The next marvelous step will be Tang –e- Chogan which is a valley with a running river at north of Ancient city of Bishapour. There are 6 giant rock cravings on walls telling the story of Roman Empire defeat by Sassanid king, Shapour II (309 379) and also king Bahram II (276–293) conquering Arabs and rebels.
At night we arrive in Ahvaz and transfer to hotel.
Day 21: Visit Shush and Shushtar and Chogha Zanbil
Today we’ll visit Susa which is one of the oldest cities in the world. This is the region where one of the first governments of the world was formed, resulting in the merger between the two cultures of the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia. Excavations have established the existence of urban structures about 4000 BCE, and it is reasonable that the town, situated between the rivers Karkheh and Dez (one of these is the ancient Eulaeus), was already the political center of Elam in the fourth millennium. Pay homage to the tomb of Daniel which has attracted a steady flow of pilgrims from all over the Middle East. Next, be enchanted by the exquisite beauty of the Apadana palace and the historical castle of Susa.
Shushtar is our next step, the name itself, Shushtar, is connected with the name of another ancient city, Susa, and means "greater (or better) than Shush". During the Sassanian era, it was an island city on the Karun River and selected to become the winter capital. Then, visit the charming Shooshtar waterfalls and historical bridges.
Next, be enchanted by the exquisite beauty of the magnificent Chogha Zanbil temple. It is one of the few extant ziggurats outside the Mesopotamia (the other is Sialk). Archaeological excavations undertaken between 1951 and 1962 revealed the site again, and the ziggurat is considered to be the best preserved example in the world. In 1979, Choqa Zanbil became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. stay overnight in Ahvaz.
Day 22: Train from Ahvaz to Tehran at 11:10 a.m.
Day 23: Visit 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.
Day 24: Depart Iran
Depart Iran the land of warmth and hospitality with fond memories.