tour & travel co
North-West Southern Persia Itinerary









DAY 1 -  Tehran - Arrival in Tehran, late morning and afternoon city tour.

Early in the morning arrive at the international airport in Tehran. Our guide meets the group at Tehran International airport and escorts them to the hotel. There will be a group meeting in the morning around 10:15 a.m. After lunch in a local restaurant, tour starts with a visit to the Carpet Museum, Contemporary arts museum, and a local flea market, dinner in Zeytun restaurant.  Laleh Hotel


DAY 2 - Tehran-Tabriz by air (in the evening).

After a buffet breakfast, we drive to the city center to visit one of the gates of old Tehran, then spend the rest of the morning visiting the National Museum of Iran which contains items dating from the 5th millennium B.C., pre-historic, Median, Achaemenid, Selucid, Parthian, and Sassanid periods, After lunch a visit to the Crown Jewels museum of Iran, by far the largest and most dazzling collection of jewels in the world. Located in the National Treasury of Iran, inside the Central Bank of Iran, then on to Mehrabad airport to fly to Tabriz,  B,L,D…Pars Hotel.


DAY 3 - Tabriz (Visit Saint Stephanos church)

Morning visit of  the ruins of Arg-e Alishah, the biggest Jame’ mosque in town, dating from the 13th century Mongol period, after that proceed to Azarbayjan Museum, and the 15th-century Masjed-e Kaboud (Turquoise of Islam), then we drive to Jolfa, picnic lunch or lunch in a local restaurant.  On to visit Saint Stephanos monastery, passing by an 11th-century Seljuq tomb tower, we’ll encounter the ruins of a sizeable 16th century Safavid caravanserai, and we’ll see an early Christian chapel, the Nakheirchi (literally cattle herder or shepherd) Chapel, built by a cattle herder so that shepherds and other cattle herders would not be deprived of the blessing of prayer taken within a church while tending their animals outside the village. The Saint Stephanos church is one of the architectural masterpieces of northwestern Iran which is constructed entirely of stone. Back to Tabriz, we’ll have dinner tonight in the adjacent 17th- century pavilion park restaurant, El-Goli, and take an after-dinner walk back to the hotel.  B,L,D Pars Hotel.


DAY 4 - Tabriz-Zanjan (Excursion to Kandovan)

After breakfast, in a 30 miles excursion from Tabriz we arrive at the scenic valley of Kandovan in the foothills of Mount Sahand in the Osku district of eastern Azerbaijan, some rock dwellings reminiscent of Turkey’s Cappadocia. Then we begin the day with a lovely drive through the passes, villages, and cities of Azerbaijan in the northwestern part of Iran via the Alborz mountain range to go to Zanjan.  Lunch on the way,  O/N Zanjan Grand hotel.


DAY 5 - Zanjan-Tehran-Shiraz by air (Visit Soltaniyeh and Qazvin en-route)

Morning visit of the 14th century tomb-tower, Soltaniyeh, with wonderful Islamic calligraphies and decorations! It is recognized as the tallest religious building of the time and is considered to be a peer of Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence, Italy. Our next stop is in Qazvin where you’ll see the 11thcentury Seljuq period Jame’ Mosque and the 17th to 19th-century art of tiles and mirrors in the mausoleum of Shazde-Hussain, lunch,  From here we are just two hours by freeway to Tehran to take our flight to Shiraz, B,L,D….Pars Hotel in Shiraz


DAY 6 - Shiraz

This morning we’ll head out on a full-day tour of Shiraz, “the town of roses and nightingales. We’ll begin with Bagh-e Eram (Eram Garden) with its collection of magnificent roses, followed by a visit to the tomb of Hafiz, the 13th-century mystic and the most celebrated Persian poet. Later we’ll enter the old quarter of town, with its heavy traffic and noise, to pay a visit to the 9th-century old Jame’ mosque, Khan theological school, and the colorful nomadic bazaar.  Pars Hotel


DAY 7 – Shiraz (Persepolis)

Today may very well be the highlight of our trip, with an excursion to Persepolis, the ancient ceremonial capital of Achaemenids, 30 miles from the city, and on to the royal necropolis in Naqsh-e Rostam, just a few miles northwest of Persepolis. Persepolis was home of the King of Kings for over 200 years. It is consisted of the remains of several monumental buildings including the Gate of All Nations, Palace of 100 Columns, Palace of Darius, Xerxes’ Palace, Central Palace, and Apadana Palace. Lunch in a local restaurant (nest of peacock restaurant) and relax before returning to Shiraz. Back in Shiraz, and a free time in the 18th-century colorful, traditional, and crowded Vakil Bazaar, where you’ll find Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts, and antiques. We’ll end in Saray-e Moshir, an urban caravanserai at the south entrance of the bazaar that now functions as exhibition space for Iranian handicrafts. B,L,D…Pars Hotel


DAY 8 - Shiraz-Yazd

Leaving Shiraz we’ll drive to Yazd visiting Pasargadae, the first Achaemenid capital and the site of Pardises, the ancient Persian royal city-gardens 135 Kms from Shiraz, then we turn right in Surmaq to cross a kavir (a desert without any vegetation), and have a stop at the Grand Mosque of Abarqu and to walk around a cypress tree over 4,000 years old. Our picnic lunch here will become another of the “memories” the tree will now hold. As we leave Abarqu we’ll go via Shirkuh (Lion) Mountain toward the Zagross mountain ranges   B,L,D… Moshir ol Mamalek/Safa'iyeh Garden Hotel/ Zeynoddin Caravanserai


DAY 9 - Yazd

Yazd is considered as having very studious and religious people and is also a center of Zoroastrian culture in Iran. Our first visit here is in the “Tower of Silence”—a circular, raised structure used to expose their dead, much like the traditional Tibetan “sky burial.”  Then we’ll visit the Zoroastrian fire-temple. Still in use today, it holds a fire that has been kept alight continuously since 470 A.D.!  On to explore the 15th-century Mirchakhmaq square, followed by a visit to the 14th century Jame’ mosque. Yazd mosques are very well known for their high and lofty minarets and you can find the tallest one on the Jame’ mosque. From here, we’ll stroll through the spiral back alleys of the old quarters of the city, visiting the prison of Alexander, the 12-Imam mosque, and Lariha House. Built in 1286, Lariha House was built as a house for a fabric merchant. Lunch in an 18th-century public bath-house, recently converted into a traditional Persian restaurant. The 18th-century Dowlat Abad garden and its lofty wind tower (badgir) is another wonder of Yazd that we’ll visit today. Wind towers, also referred to as wind trappers or ventilation towers, are an inseparable part of the architecture of central and southern Iran, and have provided natural air conditioning in this hot climate for thousands of years. The wind tower in this garden stands almost 110 feet tall, and is considered an architectural masterpiece. We’ll experience first-hand how one can be deeply in harmony with nature  B,L,D… Moshir ol Mamalek/Safa'iyeh Garden Hotel


DAY 10 - Yazd-Isfahan

Drive to Isfahan visiting one of the early 11th century Seljuq mosque, an 18th century Safavid Persian traditional house and a walk around the town’s ancient citadel and old neighborhoods in Na’in, lunch in a nice mud-brick restaurant,   B,L,D…Abbasi Hotel or Kowsar Hotel


DAY 11 -  Isfahan

Isfahan (also spelled Esfahan) is a wonderful and colorful city filled with Islamic art and architecture. Twice the capital city of Iran, most recently in the 16th and 17th centuries under Shah Abbas the Great, the Persians called it Nesf-e-Jahan (half the world), meaning that to see it was to see half the world. Our tour begins with the Vank Cathedral, also known as The Church of the Saintly Sisters, which belongs to the Armenian Christians who came to this area in the early 17th century by the order of Shah Abbas the Great. In addition to the cathedral, it houses a museum, a historic printing press, and a large library which includes the first book printed in Iran, as well as an array of Armenian textiles. From here we’ll walk (if time permits, otherwise we’ll drive) on the Sio-Se-Pol and Khajou bridges to Chehel-Sotoun Palace, which we’ll view large frescoes depicting court life, counterbalanced by miniature paintings of the 17th-century Safavid dynasty. Later we’ll visit the Jame’ mosque where you can study and enjoy the thousand-year history of the art and architecture of the Islamic world in Iran. At the end of the day we’ll have some time to watch the beauty of a Persian carpet show in a fantastic carpet shop. B,L,D…Abbasi Hotel or Kowsar Hotel


DAY 12 - Isfahan

We’ll begin another fascinating day with a walk in the harem garden of the 17th-century Hasht Behesht (Eight Paradises) Palace, where the family of the king used to live. You’ll be enchanted by the peaceful sound of water fountains and birds throughout the garden. A short walk leads us to Naqshe-Jahan (Royal) Square, the second largest square in the world. The square was an entertainment site and the main polo ground for the Safavid kings, the first place in the world where polo was played at night. You can imagine the neighing of the horses, struggling and pushed to the limit and the roaring applause of the crowds. The eternal eyewitness to these games and parades is Ali-Qapu Palace, with a large platform from which the court boasted the power of their king. Crossing the square, we’ll visit Sheikh Lotfollah, the first ladies’ mosque in the Islamic world. It was a place where women of the court used to come via the underground tunnel to say their prayers in privacy. Inside the dome, we’ll find a magnificent mixture of calligraphy and tiles, with a peaceful ambience created by the soft lighting system. As we depart the ladies’ mosque, you can window-shop your way through the covered bazaar on your way to the Imam Mosque (in Meidan Emam). Shah Abbas built this mosque, his own glorious Jame’ of Abbasi. It is a main gathering place, especially on Fridays, containing an ocean of blue tile work that embodies a spirit of peace and tranquility, with a pool in the center of the courtyard. We’ll relax and meditate for a while, followed by taking a cup of tea at a traditional Sufi teahouse. B,L,D…Abbasi Hotel or Kowsar Hotel


DAY 13 - Isfahan-Tehran (Abyaneh+Kashan en-route+pass by Qom)

We’ll take a very scenic drive today through the central mountains of Iran, the Karkas (Vulture) moutains. En route, we’ll have a look at the façade of a Khanegah (monastery or Dervish-house), visit a Sufi tomb with its magnificent stalactite decorations, and observe a skillful artist in a ceramic workshop in Natanz, on to the remote and traditional village of Abyaneh, a village that has maintained its identity over the course of centuries. Closed to the world, the people of Abyaneh have kept their ancient traditions, costumes, and dialect intact for hundreds of years. They converted into Islam 400 years after Islam’s arrival in Persia, but their present costumes date back to the 17th century Safavid era. Then we’ll drive to Tehran via Kashan, where we’ll visit Bagh-e Fin (Fin Garden), a prime example of Persian style gardens of the 17th century with a huge spring and two pavilions. A short drive will take us to the 19th-century tiled mausoleum of Emamzadeh Ebrahim, where we’ll see exceptional tile and mirror work, unique to Persian art. After this, in the old quarter of town, we’ll visit a traditional 19th-century house.  After lunch in a local restaurant we’ll head back to Tehran, passing by Qom, the main Shia cleric center in Iran and one of the main hubs for Islamic studies. The tomb of Imam Khomeini in the vicinity of Tehran is the last monument we’ll see before checking into our hotel in Tehran. B,L,D…Laleh Hotel


DAY 14 - Tehran

After our buffet breakfast we’ll begin a morning tour of Sa’ad Abad Palace Complex, the former residence and working office of the Pahlavi kings (Shahs). Walking through the hills of this huge complex of palaces you’ll feel the difference in temperature between here and the main city. Later, we’ll take the freeway to Reza Abbasi Museum, where you’ll find the best gold and silver collections of Achaemenid and Sassanid artifacts. Calligraphy and miniatures are also featured in this museum. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel to rest and pack for tomorrow’s flight. B,L,D… Laleh Hotel


DAY 15 -  Departure.

Transfer to the international airport and to fly home.