Ancient Persia Tour

Iran

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Ancient Persia Tour

Hamadān is a historical city in southwest Iran, built in the 8th-century B.C. during the Medes period. Located in the Elburz Mountains, on the slopes of Mount Alvand, it offers beautiful views of Morad Baig and Abbasabad Valleys. Archaeological excavations revealed Median and Achaemenid castles and cities in the hills of Hegmataneh and Mossalla. Historical records indicate Haft Hessar, the city’s castle had over thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled that of the Babylon.

Discover the attractions - both old and new - of a diverse land filled with beauty, and brimming with potential. This tour begins in Tehran, then continues to Hamadan, Ahvaz and Susa, the first capital of Darius the Great. Travel to Yazd, at the edge of the central desert via Shiraz and Kerman, famous for carpet making. Experience Persian towns and sand dunes amid which stand amazing mosques in hidden oases.  Finally, to Isfahan a city so beautiful, it has been dubbed as ‘half of the world’.  

TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 14-DAY TOUR OF ANCIENT AND MODERN IRAN…
And, at the foot of Zagros Mountains, visit Bisotun, meaning "the place of god".
 

What We Love
  • Visit the Golestan Palace, one of the oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran
  • Visit Susa of the Achaemenian times that claimed to be the capital of the world
  • The Eram Garden (Garden of Paradise) in Shiraz is one of the most beautiful gardens
  • Feel the glory of Achaemenid Empire in Persepolis and Pasargadae
  • Take an excursion to Bam from Kerman. It is like being in a life-sized sand castle.
What to Know
  • This is a relaxed tour and designed for maximum outdoor experience.
  • Exclusive tour; guided privately by a multilingual guide throughout the trip.
  • Travel any day – shorten or lengthen the tour to suite your wishes.
  • We carefully select the world's best boutique tour companies in each destination.
  • We offer 24/7 support to give you complete peace of mind during your holiday.

 
Ancient Persia Tour Iran

Ancient Persia Tour

Tehran, Hamedan, Ahvaz, Shiraz, Kerman, Yazd, Isfahan
(14 Days – Travel Any Day)


Day 1 – Arrive
Tehran Meet and greet at Tehran’s international Airport and private transfer to your hotel in Tehran.
Overnight hotel of your choice.

Day 2 – Walking City Tour
Tehran Take a walking tour with your own private guide and visit Golestan Palace, a world heritage site and one of the oldest buildings in Tehran. Next to the National Museum which houses objects from prehistory to Islamic era and the Crown Jewels Museum which has an impressive collection of some of the most famous and spectacular jewels in the world. The majority of the items on display were given to Safavid kings as gifts but many pieces were taken by Nader Shah on his conquest of India are also exhibited. These include the Darya-e Nur diamond, The Peacock Throne and the Jewelled Globe. Other pieces include the crowns of the Qajar and Pahlavi Kings.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 3 – Ancient City
Hamedan Drive to Hamedan, one of the oldest cities in the world. Take a half day city tour of Hamedan in the afternoon. Existing attractions are thin on the ground, but the town is a good base for exploring the wider region.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 4 – Behistun Tour
Hamedan Take an excursion to Behistun (also Bisotun or Bisitun), meaning "the place of god" is a precipitous rock situated at the foot of the Zagros Mountains. It is here that the King of Persia, Darius the Great, in five hundred years B.C. took counsel and where the story of his reign was engraved on the rock of Behistun.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 5 – Cradle of Iranian Civilization
Ahvaz In the morning, we drive to Southwest Iran, the cradle of Iranian civilization where the Elamites founded the first kingdom in Iran, in the present day Khuzestan Province some 5,000 years ago. It is now the heart of Iranian oil industry and home to the largest river in Iran.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 6 – Transfer
Shiraz Early morning departure for Shiraz (Overland), visit the ancient city of Bishabour enroute, transfer to your hotel in Shiraz.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 7 – City Highlights Tour
Shiraz Today, we begin at the Pars Museum, an elegant octagonal building that is located at the centre of the Zand-era Nazar Garden. Beautifully decorated, the museum contains a lavish 18th century reception room, as well as exquisite decorative plasterwork. Afterwards, continue to the Vakil mosque and adjacent bazaar. Adorned with intricate azure tile work, the mosque's walls, explore the labyrinth of stalls, selling all manner of produce. Often frequented by Kashqai nomads, this is a boisterous and colourful place.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 8 – Persepolis Tour
Shiraz Today we will visit the most magnificent city of the ancient world, Persepolis, now a Unesco site. During the Achemaenian era (550-330 BCE), Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire, the largest empire the world had yet seen. Today it boasts impressive ruins of a cosmopolitan nature, including original palaces, carvings and massive bas-reliefs from the Sassanian period. The city was largely destroyed by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. We continue our excursion to the nearby Naghsh-e-Rostam, the Achaemenian necropolis (city of the dead) , the rock-cut tombs of the kings Xerxes and Darius.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 9 – Zoroastrian Centre
Kerman Kerman and Yazd are the traditional centres of Zoroastrianism in Iran. The city today is something of a melting pot, blending Persians with the more sub continental Baluchis who dominate areas east of Kerman. This mix is most evident in the bazaar, which is a highlight. Explore the carpet weaving region of industry, particularly in Mahani suburb.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 10 – City Highlights Tour
Kerman Take a full day excursion of Kerman and Mahan, visiting the mausoleum & monastery of Shah Nematollah Vali, the famous Sufi Dervish. We will also visit Shazdeh (Prince) Gardens and then drive to Rayn to visit its beautiful castle which has become an alternative to Bam Citadel for tourists after the 2004 Earthquake.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 11 – An Oasis Town
Yazd Early morning drive to an oasis town of Yazd. The old town of Yazd is a labyrinth of secret passages, bazaars and mud brick streets, unchanged for centuries. It was, and still is, an important centre for Zoroastrinism. The shrine of Duvazdah Imam, (the 12 Imams) from the 11th century Seljuq period, the ’Towers of Silence’, pits where the bodies of the dead were left for the vultures and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple are all possible visits.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 12 – City Highlights Tour
Isfahan Half day city tour of Yazd, visiting water Museum and Amir Chaqmaq complex, Dowlatabad Garden, world heritage site, and Zoroastrian sites including the Fire Temple and Towers of Silence. Later in the afternoon, drive to the magnificent city of Isfahan.

Upon arrival we will head to the banks of Zayanderud river, the soul of the city. There are several historical bridges over this river, erected during the Safavid era (17th Century) of which Siosepol (33-arch) and khaju bridges are the most famous. Take an easy stroll and stop to drink tea at the tea houses below the bridge. Walk along the river bank or paddle on a boat.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 13 – City Highlights Tour
Isfahan Full Day of Sightseeing. With your private guide, spend a day exploring Isfahan's wide range of Islamic architecture, largely built during the reign of Shah Abbas. Arguably the most stunning of Isfahan's sights is the vast Imam Square, the second-largest square on earth. Consisting of a huge ensemble of majestic buildings, this square is one of most impressive collections in the Islamic world.

Adjacent to the square are the Imam and Sheikh Lotfallah mosques, which are breath-taking in their beauty. The former towers over the southern side of the square with its magnificent blue dome, whilst the latter exhibits exquisitely detailed and complex tile work. Other highlights include the Ali Qapu Palace, Chehel Sotun Palace and the Jameh Mosque.
Overnight hotel of your choice (B)

Day 14 – Depart
Tehran Today, we have a half day city tour of Isfahan to visit, the 12th century Jame Mosque of Isfahan, known as the museum of Islamic art and architecture and the beautiful Vank Cathedral, a 17th century church in the Armenian Quarters. We are free in the afternoon to go shopping in Isfahan which deserves to be called Iranian city of handicrafts. Transfer to Tehran and connect with your international flight.
 

 

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199


When to go Visits to the south coast of Iran are best made in the winter months of December, January and February when humidity and heat levels are at their lowest, while spring (March to mid-May) and autumn (mid-September and October) are the best times to travel around central and northern Iran. Tourists visit Iran during the summer months (June - September) for the sunshine and regional festivals, and during the winter months (November - March) for skiing. So no matter what time you choose to go, Iran is a great place to travel all year round.

Getting There The vast majority of travellers fly to Tehran and return from there but some travellers end their trip in Shiraz, saving some backtracking. Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) sees most of Iran’s international air traffic. It’s small, so delays are possible. Elsewhere, Shiraz, Esfahan, Bandar Abbas and Kish are (in that order) potentially useful arrival or departure points.

Iran Air is the national airline. As the government-owned carrier, it offers service with an Islamic flavour (ie no pork, no alcohol and no exposed hair on the hostesses).

Visa British nationals need a visa to travel to Iran. The Iranian embassy in London has confirmed that it has commenced its visa service; you should apply by emailing lon.visa@mfa.gov.ir. More information is available from the embassy by calling 020 7937 5225.

You should lodge your visa application well in advance of your date of travel. The application process for an Iranian visa can be long and unpredictable. Check the expiry date of your visa before travelling. If you overstay your visa, you may have to remain in Iran until the situation is resolved. Some British nationals have experienced considerable difficulties trying to get visas from private online visa agencies.

Passport Validity: Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date a visa application for Iran is submitted.