Brilliant Persia Tour (21 Days)
West and northwest of Iran has a diversity of races such as Kurds, Turks, and Lors. These races have different national music, dances, culture, dialects, cloth, food and traditions. This part of Iran has lots of beauties besides wonderful historical sightseeing.
Brilliant of Persia is a complete and outstanding traveling to Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Kashan, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Takab, Tabriz, Kaleibar, Ardabil, Masooleh, Ghazvin and Alamoot, which provide the situation for you to visit the western center and northwest of Iran.
This tour is the best choice in spring and summer.
Day 1: Arriving Tehran, Visiting Tehran
Upon your pre-dawn arrival in Tehran airport, you will be cordially received by our representative carrying our logo show card who will direct and transfer you to your hotel. You will have time to rest and relax before our morning tour of Tehran commences. Tehran, a modern megalopolis, prides itself in having unique museums with immense and unrivaled collections and artifacts dating from the earliest onset of history to the present era.
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.
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.
Day 2: Visiting Tehran, Fly to Shiraz
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. Then we leave the hotel for a tasty Iranian lunch in a traditional restaurant. Afterwards we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Shiraz. On the way to transfer to hotel we will pay a visit to Shah e Cheragh. This is one of the most beautiful shrines in Iran which its beautiful dome, wonderful lighting and Mirror-work impressed you. Stay overnight in Shiraz.
Day 3: Visiting 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 eveni At night have dinner in a restaurant with specific atmosphere in the north of Shiraz.
Day 4: An excursion to Persepolis & 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 Rahmat, 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.
Afternoon is free at leisure
Day 5: Visiting Firouz Abad, Fly to Isfahan
Firouz Abad is one of the historical cities located in south of Shiraz. It has some historical attractions as Ghal’eh Dokhtar and Palace of Ardashir.
Ghal’eh Dokhtar also known as The Maiden Castle, is a castle made by Ardeshir I, in present day Fars, Iran, in 209 AD. It is located on a mountain slope near the Firouzabad-Shiraz road.
Despite damages sustained by the castle, its majesty still produces awe in visitors and catches their eyes.
Afterwards we will visit Castle of Ardeshir e Babakan, which is a castle located on the slopes of the mountain on which Ghal’eh Dokhtar is situated on. Built in AD 224 by Ardashir I of the Sassanian Empire, it is located two kilometres (1.2 miles) north of the ancient city of Gor, i.e. the old city of Firouzabad in Fars, in ancient Persia (Iran).
Then we will drive back to Shiraz for the flight to Isfahan, and then we will transfer to the hotel in Isfahan.
Day 6: Visiting 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 7: Visiting Isfahan
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. Evening is free at leisure.
Day 8: Driving to Kashan, via Abyaneh
On the way to Kashan, we will visit the UNESCO recognized village of Abyaneh, located at the foot of Mount Karkas and in the vicinity of desert. 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.
Next, hop on to Kashan and visit Tabatabaiha and Borojerdiha houses and some other historical places specially chosen by our tour guide and be acquainted with the previous century’s architecture, the Qajar era. Stay overnight in Kashan.
Day 9: Driving to Hamedan & visiting Hamedan
Today we will move toward Hamedan. Hamedan province is situated in the Middle Western Iran. It has long and severe winters from September to May with a great deal of snow; however, in summer its pleasant climate offers visitors a welcome break from the soaring temperatures elsewhere. The province is famous for its raisins (1500 hectares of vineyards) and in the Persian rug trade it ranks second only to Kerman.
One of the beautiful sightseeing in Hamedan is Esteroo Mord Khay (Ester and Mord Khay) Tomb. Located in the city center, the structure has been constructed of brick and stone. This is the tomb of Ester the Queen of Shoosh (the wife of Xerxes of Iran). Mordecai (Mord Khay) was her uncle. The structure was originally constructed about 11 centuries ago, in order to pay homage to these two personalities. This vicinity is a place for pilgrimage of the Jewish sect, and is also held in respect by the Moslems.
The next place is Ganj Nameh Inscription. These inscriptions are relics from the period of ‘Darius’ and ‘Xerxes’ of the Achaemenian era. The said are located 5 km. west of Hamadan at the end of the Abbas Abad Valley, and have been engraved on a mountain. stay overnight in Hamedan.
Day 10: Visiting Hamedan
As Avicenna were Muslim Persian physician and philosopher, and wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine, our next step will be Avicenna Tomb.
Hegmatane Archeological Palace is located in the city of Hamadan, dating to the 6th century BC. The said structure is from the times of the ‘Medes’. ‘Kiyakesar Madi’ and ‘Nabopolasar Baboli’ were responsible for building this structure in the year 614 BC.
The next fascinating step will be Gonbad-e Alavian (or Masjid-e Alavian) which is a four-sided interesting 12th century mausoleum belonging to the late Seljuk period. On the exterior, it resembles the Gonbad-e Sorkh of Maragheh. (If it will be possible we will see the sight.)
Our next site to visit is tomb of Baba Taher, which is located in a park, surrounded by flowers and winding paths. Baba Taher is known as one of the most revered and respectable early poets in Iranian literature. He was known by the name of Baba Taher-e Oryan (The Naked), which suggests that he may have been a wandering dervish. His poetry has touched many souls.
Afternoon is dedicated to the next site which will be Ali Sadr Cave. This cave is the world’s largest water cave which attracts millions of visitors every year. It is located about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan, western Iran. Since the cave is situated between the large cities Hamadan, Tehran, and Qom it is a popular destination for Iranians. Tours of the cave are available by pedal boats.
Day 11: Visiting Kermanshah
Drive 189 km westward to Kermanshah. Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. In an old town called Kangavar we will visit the Anahita Temple-the mother goddess of abundance and guardian of water in ancient Persia. Carry on the old caravan route to Bistoon dating back to the Middle Paleolithic. The Achaemenian inscriptions offer details in 1,200 lines about the battles of Darius the Great who fought against the governors trying to dismantle the Empire originally founded by Cyrus. This was the site where the decisive battle took place, leaving the famous Tablets of Darius. Nearby in the village of Sahneh we can visit the tomb of Ostad Khalil Alinejad the best player of Tanboor in the world.
In Kermanshah visit the Sassanian rock carvings of Tagh-e-Bostan. These bas-reliefs, cut from the stone cliff, depict royal scenes of battles and hunts reflecting the glorious history of the Sassanid Kings.
Day 12: driving to Takab via Sanandaj & Oramanat
Today we move toward Takab. On the way we will visit Sanandaj which is the capital of Kurdistan province. The economy of Sanandaj is based upon the production of carpets, processing hides and skins, milling rice, refining sugar, woodworking, cotton weaving, metalware and cutlery.
Among sightseeings of Sanandaj you may visit Old bazaars of Sanandaj and Hajar Khatoon Mosque which is architecturally a unique and ancient Muslim mosque (now a tourist destination) in the city. Hajar Khatoon Mosque was built more than hundred years ago by Haj Sheikh Shokrollah.
Then we reach the Oranamat Takht village. The Oramanat Takht Village is one of the attractive rural areas of Kurdestan which besides its panoramic views has valuable tourism capacities because of the annual performance of an ancient and wonderful ceremony of Peer Shahriar. The Sirvan River flows in the deep valleys of this region and enter Iraq. Here the lands are covered with walnut, pomegranate, fig and mulberry trees.
The tombs of Peer Shahriar Urami, writer of the book Acquaintance of Peer Shahriar are one of the creditable pilgrimage sites of the people, which was a Zoroastrian celestial before the advent of Islam. From other sacred sites, we can mention the Oihang and Abdollahi mosques, the tomb of “Loskeh Hijij” which is highly respected by the people of this region and other people of Kurdestan.
Afterwards we will reach to one of the archaeological sites of Takab is Takht-e Soleyman which is in north-western Iran, and situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture. Stay overnight in Takab.
Day 13: Driving to Tabriz, on the way visiting beach of Oroumieh lake & Kandowan
On our way we visit Orumieh Lake (if not dry). It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest salt water lake on earth.
Afterwards we will visit Kandowan village. This village lies 62 km. southwest of Tabriz. From the architectural points of view this village is interesting, as the settlements are rocky dating back to the 7th century AH. or even the pre-Islamic period. These ‘houses’ resemble caves, being ‘dug out’ in the mountains and therefore are reputed worldwide. Mineral water in this area is also used for treatment of diseases. There are various other interesting villages in the province having specific architectural features.
Day 14: Visiting 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 15: Driving to Kaleibar via Jolfa
Today we will move toward Kaleibar. On the way we will visit Jolfa which is one of the most important border towns of Iran and it 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.
Day 16: Visiting Kaleibar driving to Ardebil
Today we will visit the county Kaleibar which is noted for the Arasbaran forests protected area and the Bazz Galasi, the fortress of Babak Khorramdin. Babak Tower (Ghale-eh Babak) is where Babak-e Khorramdin lived. It is 3200 m above sea level. The landscape is fantastic.
Bābak Khorram-Din was one of the main Persian revolutionary leaders of the Iranian of the Khorram-Dinān. He was the leader of a local freedom movement fighting the Abbasid Caliphate. The Khorramdin rebellion of Babak spread to the Western and Central parts of Iran and lasted more than twenty years before it was defeated. To access the castle you have two options: you can leave the car in an entertainment area near the town and climb up towards the castle through dense forests or drive to the point the road extends, leave the car there and have an hour trek to the castle.
Afterwards we will move toward Ardabil.
Day 17: Visiting Ardebil
Ardabil is a historical, beautiful and unforgettable city which is located in the skirts of Sabalan Mountain (the bride of Iran Mountains). In this city the Safavid dynasty took up residence. We will visit the mausoleum of Sheikh Safi-ad-Din-e-Ardabili. It is an impressive ancient monument, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Isma’il, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the famous dome of which is called “Allah-Allah” has an octagonal interior.
Day 18: Driving to Masooleh & visiting Masooleh
Today we will move toward the historical village of Masooleh. Its architecture is one of the inquests in the world which is registered in UNESCO. Masooleh architecture is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Masooleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout. It is the only village in Iran with such a prohibition. However, the small streets and many stairs simply also wouldn’t make it possible for vehicles to enter. Yellow clay coats the exterior of most buildings in Masooleh. This allows for better visibility in the fog.
Day 19: Driving to Ghazvin, Visiting Anzali swamp
Move toward Ghazvin. Then we have an excursion to the Anzali swamp which is one of the most beautiful and biggest swamps in the world. There are lots of beautiful flowers such as water lily, lots of unique birds and the silence there will hush us. Afterwards we will move to Ghazvin and transfer to hotel.
Day 20: Visiting Alamoot, driving to Tehran
We’ll start today’s adventure with Alamoot. Near Ghazvin is the historical castle of Alamoot, which is the unique memory of the God of Alamoot (Hasan Sabbah). The fortress was destroyed on December 15, 1256 by Hulagu Khan as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.
Afterwards we will drive to Tehran.
Day 21: Depart Iran
Depart Iran the land of warmth and hospitality with fond memories.
1.Invitation letter for Iran visa
2.22 nights stay in middle class hotels
3.20 days transportation all across Iran
4.Experienced English speaking guide for 21 days
5.Breakfast and lunch
7.All the entrance fees
9.Transfer by guide