TREASURES AND LEGENDS OF OLD PERSIA

This fascinating and eventful tour takes you on a journey through Iran, its Persian culture, history and civilization. We visit 13 UNESCO World Heritage sites, take a walk through the largest bazaar in the world in Tehran, visit the city of Isfahan, famous for its Persian carpets, walk through the labyrinths of the old streets of Yazd and take a look at the ancient rock village "Meymand". We visit Shiraz with its beautiful mosque, the mystical rock tombs and many other legendary places that lead us back to the Sassanid dynasty over the millennia. Along the way we learn details about the belief in Persian Zoroastrianism and learn a lot about the former Persian kingdom.
Tour-Code: IRN01
Culture trip
People & history
12 Days/ 11 Nights
Including the days of arrival and departure
Number of participants
Small groups: 4-14
Accommodation
4* Hotels
Features
13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the most beautiful cities of Iran: Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman and Shiraz!
Meals
Half-board: All breakfasts, multiple lunches, dinner by Iranian family, welcome and farewell dinner
Transfer
From & to the airport, all excursions
Guide
English speaking guide throughout the entire trip
ITINERARY
DAY1
DAY2
DAY3
DAY4
DAY5
DAY6
DAY7
DAY8
DAY9
DAY10
DAY11
DAY12
INCLUDED SERVICES
NOT INCLUDED INTO THE SERVICE
Arrival and transfer to the hotel
Your driver will meet you at the airport in Tehran and brings you to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel in Tehran

Highlight: City tour in Tehran - full day
Our city tour takes us to the Iranian Archeology and History Museum, where we learn interesting facts about the emergence of the Persian Empire, which was considered an influential political and cultural world center 2,000 years ago. Then we stroll through the world's largest indoor market, the Grand Bazaar. There are an infinite number of small shops in numerous corridors over a total area of 10 km. The offer ranges from food stalls where you can taste the delicious specialties of the country to small jewelry and handicraft shops. Afterwards we visit the National Jewelery Museum and can admire the impressive treasures of the Persian Empire, including some of the largest diamonds in the world. The gemstone business has always been an important part of Iranian culture, which is why this museum tells us not only about the jewelry, but also about the history of Iran.
In the evening, we are invited to a local family for a cooking class. We learn to cook delicious Iranian dishes ourselves so that we can enjoy them together later.

Overnight at the hotel in Tehran

1st highlight: Kashan
After breakfast we drive to Kashan. This pretty place, with its large arts and crafts center and numerous architectural monuments, is also one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the country. Here we take a look at the old Iranian Fin Garden from the 8th - 14th century, as well as the splendid historical town house "Chāne-ye Borudscherdi" from the 19th century, a monument of Kashan architecture.

2nd highlight: Isfahan
In the afternoon we reach Isfahan, the pearl of ancient Persia and its capital from the 16th - 18th century. Isfahan is considered the most beautiful city in the world. It shines in magnificent gardens and fascinates travelers with its azure blue domes. Some of the highlights are the fantastic old bridges. We stroll over the famous, two-story bridge Pol-e Chādschu, which is almost 129 m long, and the impressive 33-arch bridge Si-o-se-pol. This keeps an exciting secret. In the old parts, where the original masonry still exists, there are small rooms with a view of the river. Our local guide will tell us about their history and purposes as well as many other entertaining facts.

Overnight at the hotel in Isfahan

Highlight: Isfahan city tour - full day
We start the day with a tour of the Tschehel Sotun Palace, built in 1645, with its 40 columns. Its interior decoration is adorned with beautiful, well-preserved frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Persian kings. Our path continues to the heart of the city, Naqsch-e-Jahan Square. Here you will find the fairytale Ali Qapu Palace, which gives us a fabulous view over the square, and the magnificent Shah Mosque, a masterpiece of Persian architecture from the Islamic era. In addition to the seven-colored mosaic tiles, the mosque has another special feature: It has unique acoustics. The wall structure makes it possible to hear a human whisper from the opposite corner.
Then we get to the Armenian part of the city. One of the highlights here is the Museum of Music. In this place we can get to know not only the music, but also the history of the musical life in Persia. At the end of this eventful day, we will visit an impressive 17th century Armenian church: the Vank Cathedral, a combination of Islamic and Christian motives.

Overnight at the hotel in Isfahan

1. Highlight: Jāmeh Mosque
The Iranian city of Nain is about 170 km away from Isfahan, on the border of the Weute and Kuhrud mountains. The oldest mosque in the country, the Jāmeh Mosque, is located here. This impressive building dates back to the 9th century and surprises with its unique style and beautiful stone ornaments. We go through underground tunnels and learn about an unusual story.

2nd highlight: Narin Fortress
Then our journey continues to the town of Meybod and its 2000 year old medieval Narin fortress. Its brickwork is 40 m high and decorated with beautiful ornaments. From above there is an excellent view over the city and the surrounding landscape. We learn for which influential rulers it was built, visit the dungeon and learn about other legends of the fortress.

3rd highlight: free time
In the late afternoon we come to Yazd and you can organize your time freely.

Overnight at the hotel in Yazd

Highlight: Yazd city tour - full day
This extraordinary place was built mainly from loam houses and dates back to the 3rd century BC. Over the centuries, Yazd retained a large number of its architectural monuments and cultural relics from ancient times. The oldest religion in Iran - Zoroastrianism - originated from here.
Our acquaintance with this mystical city begins with the Amir Chakhmaq complex. This 14th century architectural masterpiece consists of a mosque, caravanserai, bath and fountain. All the main streets of the city lead here. Not far from the complex is the 12th century Friday Mosque. Its two minarets are the tallest in Iran and can be seen from all points of the city. The portal as well as the dome are completely covered with unique blue mosaics and frescoes and shine in the light of the sun.
Our way leads us on to the Zoroastrian fire temple. Here we can marvel at the holy fire and the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence (also called Dachma (= tomb)).

Overnight at the hotel in Yazd

1st highlight: Drive to Kerman and visit the cave village of Meymand
After breakfast we continue to the city of Kerman, which is famous for its exciting history. This beautiful place, surrounded by mountains, became the capital of the Iranian dynasties several times in the past centuries. One of its most interesting sights is the extraordinary cave village of Meymand. People have been living in this place in houses made out of rocks at an altitude of 2,200 m for 3,000 years. Almost all the locals are nomads and run their own households, provide themselves with food and use medicinal herbs as medicine.

2nd highlight: Ganjali Khan complex
In the afternoon we come to the Ganjali Khan complex, the main attraction of the city. It was built under the Safavid dynasty (16th - 17th century) and consists of a market, a bathhouse, a mosque, a school and a caravanserai. We take a look at the Persian bazaar, visit the mosque, which was built as a place of prayer for travelers, the school and the bath with narrow passages and many small halls. The complex was previously used for important gatherings and ceremonies. Today it takes us back to the time of the Persian ruling dynasty thanks to its painted walls, arches and frescoes.

Overnight at the hotel in Kerman

1st highlight: visit the tomb of Shah Nematollah Vali
Today we immerse ourselves in the history of the beautiful city of Mahan and visit the tomb complex of Shah's Nimatullah Vali. He was one of the most influential mentors of the Sufism faith and was a famous poet and mystic of the 15th century. The tomb is a beautiful building with handcrafted tiles, artistic wooden doors and paintings. We take a stroll through the covered galleries, which extend over approx. 6,000 m², and admire the architecture of the entire complex.

2. Highlight: Shazdeh Garden
Another Mahan landmark is the famous Persian Shazdeh Garden (the Prince's Garden). This occupies a special place in Persian culture and served as the prince's summer residence. The place is one of the few Persian gardens that have been well preserved to this day. The garden impresses its guests with a wonderful scent of flowers and provides shade in the hot temperatures. In Addition, the water of its wells flows in multi-storey cascades and during this spectacle we hear exciting stories of ancient Persia from our guide.

Overnight at the hotel in Kerman

1st highlight: visit to the palace of Ardashir Pāpakan - full day
Our journey continues to the city of Shiraz. On site we first visit one of the few remaining monuments of Sassanid architecture: the Ardashir Pāpakan Palace. It is the old residence of the first king Ardashir from the Sassanid dynasty, who ruled the territory of what is now Iran from the 3rd - 7th century. Here we stroll through the once magnificent halls of the palace and hear the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the Sassanid Empire and the life of its citizens.

2nd highlight: free time
The afternoon is at your leisure. You are welcome to ask your guide for insider tips.

Overnight at the hotel in Shiraz
Highlight: City tour in Shiraz - full day
Shiraz is called the "land of love and flowers" and is known all over the world thanks to the great poets Hafiz and Saadi.
One of the most important and beautiful sights in the city is the 14th century mausoleum of Shah-Cherakh, which houses the remains of the brothers Amir Ahmed (King of Light) and Mir Muhammad. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered to be the most beautiful building in the Shiraz as well as one of the most important historical monuments. Afterwards we visit the citadel of Karim Khan with its wonderful terraces and rooms, a system of pools with connecting channels, fountains and gardens. Afterwards we stroll through the corridors with spices, sweets, handicrafts and clothes in the oriental Vakil Bazaar, discover the Vakil Mosque and the tomb of Shah Cheragh.

Overnight at the hotel in Shiraz

1st highlight: Excursion to Pasargadae
We visit the old Persian city of Pasargadae, the impressive residence of Cyrus II. from the 6th century BC. His grave and the ruins of numerous palaces and fortresses are located on the territory that was once built by Cyrus II. into a huge empire. He owed his reputation not only to his military victories, but also to his remarkable tolerance towards other tribes and cultures.
Pasargadae is a unique archaeological find that tells a lot about the life and art of ancient Persia.

2nd highlight: Naqsch-e Rostam
Not far from Pasargadae is the Naqsh-e-Rostam necropolis with ancient rock-cut reliefs and burial chambers of four Persian kings of the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. You can also see ancient characters and impressive cave paintings.

3rd highlight: Persepolis
Then we drive to the cultural and historical complex of Persepolis, one of the capitals of the ancient Persian Empire under the Achaemenids and a place of identification for many Iranians. Persepolis was founded in 520 BC. Built by Darius I. in the 4th century BC, burned down by Alexander the Great and never rebuilt. The ruins contain many interesting artifacts, bas-reliefs, massive columns, as well as some impressive sculptures of animals dating back to the 4th - 6th century BC.

Transfer to the airport and flight to Tehran
At the end of this day we will fly back to Tehran.

Overnight at the hotel in Tehran
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport
At the agreed time the driver will wait for you at the hotel and bring you to the airport.

See you on your next journey!
• 11 nights in 4 * hotels
• 11 x breakfast
• 10 x lunch
• Welcome dinner by Iranian family
• Farewell dinner in the restaurant
• Transfers from & to the airport
• All described excursions
• Entrance tickets
• English speaking guide throughout the entire trip
• Flight tickets from Shiraz to Tehran
International flights to Tehran and return
Not mentioned meals and drinks
Self-organized excursions
Insurance
Tips
Visa
DATES & PRICES
We will be glad to prepare this tour on other dates upon your request!

Guaranteed discounts:
- 8% for groups of 10 people or more