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A journey to Iran can be a magical experience of so many subcultures. Our 16 days journey has tailored to take you across some part of this ancient land. Discovering Iran’s complex culture, Iranians’ warm hospitality and endless layers of history will be possible by this trip. There are 21 world heritage sites in Iran that each one has its own story. In Iran UNESCO sites Tour, we will visit nearly 16’s of these historical sites and enjoy of Iranian warm welcoming.
Included in our 16-day itinerary is Bisotun, where an enormous multilingual inscription was carved into a cliff face by Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C.; the Biblical city of Susa; the ziggurat at Tchogha Zanbil, built about 1250 BC; Shushtar’s 2,500-year-old Hydraulic System; Isfahan’s Jameh Mosque and Meidan Naqsh-e Jahan; Tehran’s sparkling Golestan Palace, with ornamented walls made of colored mirrors; Pasargadae, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great; The Persian Qanat, a unique water control system; several of The Persian Gardens; and, of course, Persepolis, an amazing testament to ancient international relations. The echoes of the ancient world are ever-present in modern-day Iran. Not only is it the home of millennia-old monuments but also striking works of art which include intricate carpets, fine ceramics, ornate miniatures, and spectacular metalwork!
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3* or 4* Hotels/ Traditional House/ Eco-lodge
A.C Minibus / Van / Private car
2 bottles of water/ fruits/ snacks per day
Hotel check-in time generally is at 2:00 PM. So, according to your arrival time, if you need early check-in you must book an extra day.
The price includes double and twin rooms in Hotels. Obviously, single rooms cost an extra fee.
Private or single rooms are not available in some traditional local houses. No Bed, but sleeping equipment is traditional comfortable Mattresses and Blankets.
Use Minibus / Van / Private car depending on your group size
The number of meals depending on your arrival and departure time may be changed.
Vegetarian dishes are also possible upon request.
The priority in sightseeing may be changed. It is due to the time of your arrival, your guide’s discretion, and official and unofficial holidays of some museums. Also, some activities in the itinerary may be changed depending on the weather conditions.
There is a guide assistant in addition to the tour guide for 16 pax and more.
Welcome to Iran. You will Arrival at Tehran’s IKA airport; meet your guide and transfer to hotel for overnight stay. In the afternoon, We start our journey with an exploration of the National Museum, displaying the country’s archaeological findings.
Begin the day at the Carpet Museum, exhibiting lush carpets from all over the country dating from the 17th century to the present day. Then we enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Golestan Palace*, part of a complex of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s historic arg, or citadel. The oldest of the historical monuments in Tehran, this opulent palace dates back to the Qajar Dynasty. Continue this afternoon with visiting the collection at the Abgineh Glass and Ceramics Museum, impressive not only for its exhibits but for the building itself, constructed in the early 1920s as a private residence for a prominent local family and later housing the Egyptian Embassy.
Depart Tehran for Hamedan, a major stop on the ancient royal road to Baghdad. Here, view the Alavyan Tomb Tower, a 12th-century structure regarded as the finest example of Seljuk art in Iran. See the latest excavations of ancient Ecbatana. Created by King Deioces as his capital where he ruled from 728-675 B.C. Visit the Tomb of Avicenna, a world-renowned astronomer, and physician of the 10th century. We will also visit Ganjnameh, where the area’s oldest Achaemenid rock carving is located. Engraved on two stone panels, the inscriptions record the achievements of Darius I and his son Xerxes and the extent of their empires.
An early departure for Kermanshah takes us via the Sassanian site at Kangavar, where the remains of a temple dedicated to Anahita, the beneficent divinity of water, are to be found. We then view the incredible Achaemenid bas-reliefs at Bisotun*, one of the most famous Near Eastern archaeological sites and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trilingual inscriptions carved 521-519 BC in Old Persian, Elamite, and Akkadian served as the key to the decipherment of cuneiform script in the mid-19th century. The relief above the inscription shows Darius the Great facing nine rebel kings—the rulers crushed by Darius when he came to power. Then on to the sensational site at Tagh-é Bostan, where a sacred spring emerges from a mountain cliff and empties into a large reflecting pool.
Enroute to Ahvaz we enjoy a picnic lunch and in the afternoon view the remains of Pol-é-Dokhtar, a bridge constructed by the Sassanians 2,000 years ago. It is huge – 900 feet long and rising 90 feet above water level and with eight arches needed to span the Kashkan River. Finally, drive to the ancient fortress city of Shushtar* to see the Shushtar’s historical hydraulic system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The watermills can be traced back to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. and still supply water to the city. Continue to Ahvaz and stay for two nights.
Begin in Haft Tepe, the site of an ancient city built 3,500 years ago and an imposing feature rising about the surrounding plain. Here are found elaborate vaulted graves and a temple of the Middle Elamite royalty. We now visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Tchogha Zanbil* and Susa*. The well-preserved Elamite ziggurat at Tchogha Zanbil is the largest man-made structure in Iran and one of the few remaining examples of ziggurats in the Middle East. Distinctive construction techniques and elaborate glass-based materials were used for this great structure. Our next site is Shush, or Susa, the setting of the Biblical Book of Esther. Dating back to around 6000 BC, Susa was one of the great ancient cities of Iran and an important Elamite center until it was destroyed by the Assyrians in the 7th century BC. Across the river, visit the Tomb of Daniel, said to hold the remains of the Jewish prophet, and still a place of pilgrimage.
Today’s long drive to Shiraz takes us through the oil-rich province of Khuzestan and the tribal areas of Mamasani and Boyer-Ahmadi and into the upland province of Fars. At Bishapur, explore the remains of the city of King Shapur I, and six important rock carvings at nearby Tang-e Chogan. The temple at Shapur’s palace has been identified by several archaeologists as sacred to Anahita, the Zoroastrian goddess associated with the waters. Time permitting, visit the Sassanian rock carving at Sarab-é Bahram.
Explore lovely Shiraz, the City of Roses and Nightingales. Begin in Eram Persian Garden*, with its beautiful cypress-lined avenues leading to an elegant summer palace. Continue to the pink-tiled 19th-century Nasir-al Mulk Mosque and the Narenjestan Gardens, with the richly decorated pavilion featuring a mirrored porch set among graceful trees. Visit the tomb of Hafez, Iran’s greatest lyric poet. Late this afternoon, spend some time in the famous Shiraz bazaar.
An early start takes us to Persepolis* (Takht-é Jamshid), the heart of the Persian Empire, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, walk through a complex of palaces and temples that are said to be one of the architectural wonders of the world. Massive winged bulls, derived from Assyria but given a characteristic Persian stateliness, greet us at the head of a grand stairway wide enough for five horses to ride abreast. On the stairway up to the Apadana, the reception hall to the palace of King Darius I, survey the hundreds of figures carved in low relief exactly as Darius and Xerxes saw them. Nearby, visit Naqsh-e Rajab, where magnificent Sassanian reliefs are located in an alcove in the rocks. Nearby, at Naqsh-e Rostam, gaze upon the immense memorial carved for the Sassanian Ardashir I after his conquest of the Parthians.
Our explorations take us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pasargadae* to see the impressive, elevated Tomb of Cyrus and to walk through the different sections of the ancient city: the residential Palace, the Audience Hall, the Gatehouse, and the curious Zendan-e Soleyman. Continue to Yazd and stay for two nights.
Located in the remote desert, the old city of Yazd* is built almost entirely of adobe and is an architectural wonder. To deal with the extremely hot summers, many old buildings have magnificent wind towers, with large underground areas to circulate cooling air. Yazd has been a Zoroastrian center since Sassanian times. Zoroastrians still make up a significant minority of the population, and the Atashkadeh in Yazd is the most important Zoroastrian fire temple in Iran. The sacred flame visible behind glass in the interior of the fire temple is said to have been burning for over 1500 years. We visit the temple Temple and its grounds, and then the Tower of Silence, or Dakhma, where the bodies of the deceased were placed, to avoid contaminating the earth as a Zoroastrian funerary tradition. Towards the evening, we will visit the Zurkhaneh, the traditional gymnasium, where amateurs practice their strength and flexibility to the accompaniment of devotional music.
Drive this morning to Isfahan. Iranians say that their lovely city is “half the world”. The capital of the Safavids from the 16th century on, Isfahan is said to have the most beautiful bridges. We view two of them, Si-o-Se Pol as well as the ornate Pol-e Khaju. There are nine gardens in Iran designated UNESCO World Heritage, and we will visit one today – Chehel Sotun*, a pavilion constructed as a reception hall for visiting dignitaries by Shah Abbas II. We conclude our day in the Old Bazaar of Isfahan, where hundreds of shops and stalls offer a rich variety of carpets, tiles, hand block-printed cloth, miniature paintings, and jewelry.
We begin the day at Hasht Behesht*, an octagonal pleasure palace built during the Safavid era. Next, we visit the magnificent Jameh Mosque of Isfahan* with its famous Uljaitu Mihrab of the Il-Khanid Period and with UNESCO World Heritage status. Continue on to the Naqsh-e Jahan Square*, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gigantic open plaza is framed by a wall of arches and surrounded by two of the Islamic world’s most impressive mosques, the Masjid-e Sheikh Lotfollah* and the Masjid-e Shah (Imam)*. Both houses of worship contain magnificent architecture and tile-work. Walk through the Ali Qapu Palace* with its enchanting music room and balcony overlooking the Meidan where the Safavid kings sat to watch polo tournaments. Finish our day in the Qeisarieh Bazaar, located just off the Meidan.
This morning, drive to Kashan to walk through the famous Fin Persian Gardens*, another one of the UNESCO Persian Gardens. In keeping with many of the gardens of this era, the Fin Garden has many stunning water features that are fed from a spring emerging from a slope behind the garden. Circulating pools and fountains were created using only the water pressure of the waterway. We also visit Tabatabayi historical house and Borujerdiha/Abbasian historical house in Kashan.
Spanning an impressive amount of human history, the Reza Abbasi Museum displays artifacts from the 2nd millennium BC to the 20th century AD. Explore this museum and continue to the Shah’s Palace before breaking for a free evening to explore or relax. Gather together again this evening for our farewell dinner.
At the end of the tour, the group will be transferred to the IKA airport for departure flight.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us and our travel expert will get in touch with you shortly. Please also call us or email us before visiting to make sure that you will be served with our best services.