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Iran: the Ancient Civilization

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From£ 2,450
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12 Days
Availability : October 1’ - November 15’
Tehran
Iran
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 15

From our experience, Iran is one of the most misunderstood countries on earth and it is our mission to dispel many of the clichéd preconceptions as we travel through this fascinating country – from the splendors of Shiraz to the nomadic tribes of the Zagros Mountains – enjoying the fabled Iranian hospitality along the way. Throughout history, Iran, or Persia as it was once called, has loomed large in world history, as indeed it does today. For some, highlights of this trip may include the ancient ruins of Persepolis, the magnificent tile-work of Esfahan’s mosques or the medieval wind-towers of Yazd; for others, it may be the quiet vehicle-free village streets of Abyaneh, the rural tranquillity of Faraghe or the Grand Bazaar of Tehran. However, for all an undoubted highlight will be having the chance to meet and chat with local Iranians who, as a people, rank amongst the most well-educated and outward-looking on the planet. This is an outstanding trip which offers a great insight into the country with a perfect blend of both culture and adventure.

Highlights

  • Shopping in Tehran Grand Bazaar
  • Seeing the Royal family’s extraordinary crown jewels
  • Visiting the ancient sites of Achamenid Empire (AKA Persian Empire)
  • Witness advanced ancient architecure of the windcatchers and mansions in Yazd
  • Fire temples and the birthplace of Zoroastrianism, one of the most ancient religions in the world
  • Experience the hospitality of the warm blooded rural Iranians in beautiful Local Guest Houses
  • Lifetime experience, living with nomads for a day
  • Mesmerizing red, hot sand hills in Maranjab Desert
  • Magnificent Hayghar Valley (Iran's Grand Canyon)
Itinerary

Day 1Tehran - Yazd

Day 2Yazd

Day 3Yazd Province

Day 4Shiraz Province

Day 5Shiraz

Day 6Nomad Life

Day 7Mehvar-e-Sasani

Day 8Persepolis - Isfahan

Day 9Isfahan

Day 10Abyaneh- Kashan

Day 11Maranjab Desert

Day 12Tehran

story of our journey together

Our Journey

Day 1

Tehran - Yazd

You will arrive in Tehran. Most flights to Tehran arrive around midnight. There are also some flights which arrive during the day, but since we are going to start our visit in the morning, it is better to choose a flight which arrives around night, allowing you to rest and sleep until the next morning. You will get more information about flights in the Flight Section after the itinerary.
Upon arrival, our team will pick you up at the airport to transport you to your hotel for a quick rest. In the morning we will pick you up to start our journey through Tehran.
We will visit the historic Golestan Palace, the fascinating Tehran Grand Bazaar, the ancient National Museum of Iran, the breathtaking Sa’dabad Complex and the wonderful Tabiat Bridge (AKA Nature Bridge). We’ll have a lunch at the Tehran Grand Bazar in a traditional Iranian restaurant which makes you break your diet.
Depending on our schedule, some of the sites might be left out for the end of our trip when we come back to Tehran.
In the evening, we head to the airport to go to Yazd, better known as the “City of Windcatchers” and clay houses, where the real adventure begins. The ancient Iran will await us there. There, we will go directly to a traditional hotel where you can rest and enjoy a tasty dinner.

Day 2

Yazd

You need to be an early bird, since the sightseeing starts the early morning after breakfast to explore and discover the breathtaking ancient Yazd, the birthplace of Zoroastrianism, one of the most ancient religions in the world. We will go for Amir Chakhmaq Complex, Dowlat Abad Garden, Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Zoroastrien’s Dakhmeh (Tower of Silence), Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Yazd Atash Behram). It might interest you to know that the fire in the Zoroastrian Fire Temple has been burning for over 1500 years. You will observe the heart of Zoroastrian, in one of the most ancient temples in the world.
In the evening, we will head out of the town, to one of the best local guest houses ever, which has been renovated to cater your needs and create a memorable night for you. There, you will experience the fabulous local traditional food which you will always have a craving for and the friendliest and most warm-blooded host in a family-run house.

Accommodations

Hotel - Guest House

Day 3

Yazd Province

This morning you will wake up fresh in your dreamy house, to see a beautiful garden and a yard where your tempting local breakfast with homemade bread is waiting for you on traditional beds around a small water fountain in the yard, which will make your day.
Although it is hard to leave this house behind, we will head for one of the most amazing and mesmerizing places during our trip – The Clay Village. One of the oldest cob-made villages in the world with an ancient history. The welcoming and kind Uncle Ghodrat will be our guide there, where he’ll take us back in history with his captivating stories. Generation after generation, uncle Ghodrat’s family has restored and guarded this village filled with history.
Then we will visit some sites around the city that has been long forgotten in history – Kharānaq and Chak Chak – the temples of Zoroastrians. During this day, you will get a thrill out of having your lunch in a very beautiful old traditional caravanserai, where a restaurant has been made in its heart to serve the guests.
Since, by the end of the day, you would start missing our beautiful local home, we will head back for you to rest and relax. But don’t worry, our day is not over yet. We have a surprise for you that might make one of the most memorable nights of your life.

Day 4

Yazd - Shiraz Province

Once again, in the morning we will have amazing breakfast and then we will leave our home to visit Abarkuh, an old beautiful village in Yazd province, to see the Aghazadeh Mansion, one of the most fascinating mansions in Iran with its magnificent windcatchers. This monument is one of a kind in the whole world. You will witness one of the most advanced architectures in the middle of the desert which had been created when there was no technology or proper tools to create this mesmerizing monument. You will have the chance to go on the roof to surprise the plenty number of houses that are amazingly interconnected and have routes to each other. After that, we go to visit one of the oldest trees in the world called Sarv-e Abarkuh or Zoroastrian Sarv, which dates back to 4000 to 5000 years ago.
After lunch in a traditional restaurant, we head Pasargadae, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will also see the Tomb of Cyrus the Great. This is the beginning of our visit to ancient Iran with sites that date back to more than 2500 years ago.
Naqsh-e Rustam, the ancient necropolis with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods is the next site we see there.
In the evening, we will head Shiraz, the town of poets, wine and culture. We will head our hotel, but if you are still not tired and want to explore the nightlife of this lively city, you can go out to the main city square.

Day 5

Shiraz

In the morning, we start our sightseeing, with one of the most beautiful mosques in the world – Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque. If you want to provide content for your Instagram stories for the next year, this is the place. Eram Garden, Shah Cheragh Mosque, Arg of Karim Khan, Vakil Bazaar, Afif-Abad Garden, Tomb of Hafez (the famous Iranian poet) are some of the other sites we will see in Shiraz. In Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz, you can go shopping to take a piece of Iran’s soul and culture back home.
In the evening/night we head back to our hotel. Again, if you want, you can just walk in the city with your friends and have a taste of the real lifestyle of Shirazians. Shiraz is very beautiful at night. You can also head back to some of the sites we saw during the day, like the Tomb of Hafez which has a different view at night where you can enjoy Persian poetry.

Day 6

Nomad Life

By this day, you already had a lifetime experience and memories from Iran and can’t believe that nearly 1 week has already passed. So, we will change our trip with a little taste of adventure.
Can you think of going to Grand Canyon in Iran? The Hayghar Valley (تنگه هایقر) is one of the most magnificent valleys in Iran. So, we will change our vehicle and go in the heart of the nature. After visiting this beautiful valley, we will have lunch in a village and then head Neverland to find the nomads to have a once in a lifetime experience, living with the nomads. If we are lucky enough, we are likely to find them while there is still daylight. There, we will experience life at its purest form without any access technology. We will see people who survived ages without any help from others and provided all their needs directly from nature. You will have a chance to live with them for a day. We will spend the night there, around the fire while the chief is telling us the stories of different tribes and how they managed to survive all these years in nature. We will have our dinner with them, an amazing nomad style dish cooked by the women of the tribe. If you manage to leave the fire, tea, stories, and others to go to sleep, you will have a warm local mattress in their traditional tents. Maybe one of the most restful sleeps you have ever had.

Day 7

Mehvar-e-Sasani

In the morning, you will wake up to a beautiful magical view, in the middle of nomad’s territory, and their beautiful tents. After having a fresh breakfast, you will have a chance to buy beautiful and colorful handicrafts made by nomads.
Although it is hard to say goodbye, we will leave these amazing and kind people to go to Mehvar-e-Sasani, the newest UNESCO Site in Iran which we will spend 3-4 hours exploring there. In the evening we head back to Shiraz, to get ready for the next adventure.

Day 8

Persepolis

In the morning, we head to see Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid), known to be the most famous site in Iran. This splendid World Heritage Site, also known to be a celestial architecture, dating back to 515 BC was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Dare to say, tens of hours is not enough to see the place. However, we have to leave Persepolis at noon to go to Isfahan. After having lunch in a great restaurant on the way, we go to Izadkhast, an ancient city with lots of castles and caravanserais. If we are lucky enough, we can go inside the caravanserai to witness its amazing ancient architecture.
Then we will leave Izadkhast to Isfahan, one of the most beautiful and charming cities in the world. Then we will go to the Abbasi Hotel, a famous and beautiful hotel in Iran. Not only can you spend the night in the beautiful garden of the hotel, but also you can go out to experience the nightlife. Isfahan is one of the few cities in Iran, which has a beautiful nightlife where people stay out even until the morning.

Accommodations

Hotel Abbasi

Day 9

Isfahan

After having breakfast in the beautiful garden of Abbasi Hotel, we start our sightseeing in Isfahan. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Shah Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ālī Qāpū Palace, Chehel Sotoun, Vank Cathedral, New Julfa, Si-o-se-pol are some of the outstanding sites. Mesmerizing mosques, fascinating palaces, charming garden and its pool and fountains, horses and carriages are all inside the 90/000 m2 square called Naqsh-e Jahan which means “Image of the world” which can’t be truer. Around this square is a 200-chamber of the Coppersmith Market. The artifacts, colors and the sound of hammering and tinning which echoes in the chambers is just like a dream.
The Vank Cathedral or “The Holy Savior Cathedral” also known as the Church of the Saintly Sisters is a magnificent cathedral, which is famous for its unbelievable frescos and paintings, which covers the walls and ceilings of this monument.
In Nagsh-e Jahan Square, we go to a conspicuous tea house in Isfahan to have a traditional dish of Isfahan. A tea house that is unique for its design, décor and zillions of antique artifacts which are hung from the walls and ceilings that makes it hard to distinguish this magnificent place from. At night, we can go to Si-o-se-pol (AKA 33 Bridges), the superb landmark of Isfahan with its beautiful lighting at night, to see how people of Isfahan get together under the bridge to sing, dance and have fun.

Day 10

Abyaneh - Kashan

In the morning, we leave Isfahan to Abyaneh, a small charming village between Isfahan and Kashan, which is famous for its unique architecture and the houses, which were built on top of each other. There we spend a couple of hours to pay a visit to this charming village and its sites such as narrow streets, old houses, castles and fire temples. We will also have our lunch in Abyaneh. Then we head Kashan. If we have time, we can visit some sites in Kashan too, otherwise, we go to a beautiful traditional hotel in Kashan.

Day 11

Maranjab Desert

On this day, we head Maranjab Desert, one of the most magnificent desert areas in Iran with amazingly beautiful sand hills. The “Salt Lake of Aran va Bidgol”, “Wandering Island”, Caravanserai of Maranjab and long height sand hills are some of the sites we see. We head directly to the heart of the desert where we camp near the caravanserai and start wandering on the sand hills. Walking barefoot on the red, hot sands which swallows your feet with each step under the burning sun is something you cannot forget. The Salt Lake which extends to the horizon like a mirror in the heart the desert will easily trick your mind. 

Just when you think this day can’t be any better, we will have another surprise for you that makes your day even better.

In the evening, we head back to Tehran to our hotel.

Day 12

Tehran

On this day, some of us might cry out loud wondering why this journey has come to an end. We can’t believe that we have spent nearly 2 weeks together. So, the only way to recover is through shopping. Therefore, after visiting the remaining sites of Tehran from the first day, we head Tehran Grand Bazar, so you can fill up your suitcases with souvenirs and gifts from Iran. You better have enough space in your luggage.
In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner to cherish thousands of memories we had together.
You will have your hotel for this night too, so depending on your flight schedule, you can either leave or stay one more night.

Details and useful information

Tour Details

Accommodation

Our accommodation varies, from comfortable 4-star hotels to a family-run guesthouse and local guests house, which gives a feeling and a lifetime experience of a local life in each city.
Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability. However, in any case, a similar alternative will be provided.
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin shared basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note that, there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.
Furthermore, single or private rooms may also be available upon request if available, for the extra costs.

Transport

The main transport vehicle on this trip is middle bus which is more fun, spacious and comfortable than cars. Besides, everyone will have a chance to hangout during long drives. That said, on 2 occasions which we go off road, a different type of vehicle will be used for less than a day. Furthermore, there is a domestic flight on the first night from Tehran to Yazd.

Meal

Breakfast is usually served at the hotel unless the accommodation is somewhere else. Lunch and dinner are served in local restaurants, caravanserais, local/guest houses and sometimes in nature while staying with nomads. All meals are Iranian traditional food. However, for vegetarians, there should be some preparation upon request.

Visa

Visitors to Iran must obtain a visa from one of the Iranian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or countries eligible for a visa on arrival. All visitors must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months.

Based on the mutual agreement within the framework of international rules and regulations, citizens of some countries are exempt from applying for a visa to enter Iran. They include the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, Armenia, Venezuela, Egypt, and Malaysia.

Regarding the Iranian Embassy, for the UK and the US citizens to get a visa, they must either apply as a part of an organized tour or have a sponsor in Iran.

Except for the mentioned citizenship above, you can apply for your Iranian visa before your arrival. However, as one of our services, we can get your visa so you will not have to go through the process of the application yourself and you will only need to get to the nearest Iranian Embassy to get your visa stamp on your passport.

Departure & Return Location

Imam Khomeini International Airport (Google Maps)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

What to Expect

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of ,assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

Package, Payment and Cancellation

Booking Information

Packages and Pricing

As mentioned in the accommodation section, this tour is on a twin-shared basis, which is our Normal Package. For those who prefer to have private or single rooms, they should request a private package, which will be calculated upon request depending on availability and time.

Normal Package – 1500 Euros

Private Package – Contact us

Visa Fee – 75 Euros (may vary depending on your nationality)

Visa Services – Free

There are no hidden fees and all of your expenses in Iran is included, except your personal expenses, flight tickets, and visa fee.

 

Payment

For the booking to be confirmed, a minimum of 500 GBP deposit is required.
The rest of the payment should be paid at least one month to the tour date, otherwise, it is considered canceled.

 

Cancelation

If canceled any time before 3 months to the tour date, we give you a full refund. After that, until 1 month to the tour date, we will check with hotels about refunds and our other expenses and we notify you about the cancelation fee, which would not exceed 15% of the total tour price, and we give you back the rest of your deposit. Anytime later than 1 month to the tour date, we charge 30% cancelation fee and will give you back the rest.

Price Includes

  • 13 Nights Hotel Accommodation
  • All Transfers and Transportation
  • All domestic flights
  • Full Daily Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Snacks & Beverage during the day
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees

Price Excludes

  • Air Fares to/from Iran
  • Visa Fee
  • Room Service Fees
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Private or Single Room Requests
  • Travel Insurance

Complementaries

  • Travel Documents
  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • Light Jacket
  • Sandals
  • Toiletries
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