The fantastically rich and varied history
of Iran has left behind an unparalleled
cultural heritage. This tour reveals
the best of that legacy, including the
supreme Islamic architecture of Isfahan
and Shiraz, the ancient Achaemenian
capital of Pasargadae and the splendid
bas-reliefs of the Palace of Persepolis.
View more climate information & imperial units
Board the overnight flight from London to
Tehran with British Airways (regional connections
Early morning arrival and transfer to the Espinas
Hotel (or similar, including immediate occupancy)
for 2 nights. After an introductory lecture and
welcome lunch, visit some of Tehran’s highlights,
including the fabulous National Jewels Museum,
housed in the vaults of the Central Bank of Iran,
and the Reza Abbasi museum with its unque
collection of Persian art. (B, L)
Full-day visit to some of Tehran’s major museums
including the National Museum, displaying a
unique collection of pre-historic, ancient and
Islamic artefacts; the Glass & Ceramics Museum,
located in an elegant early 20th-century
mansion; the Contemporary Art Museum and the
extensive collection of the Carpet Museum. (B)
Morning flight to Kerman and spend the rest
of the day visiting this desert trading city. Visits
include the 14th-century Friday Mosque and the
17th-century Safavid-era Ganjali Khan complex,
which contains a bathhouse, ethnographic
museum, caravanserai and bazaar and the
Harandi museum, which contains artefacts from
the important Bronze Age site at Jiroft, discovered
by chance as recently as 2000. Stay 2 nights at
the Pars Hotel (or similar). (B)
Full-day excursion to the village of Rayen to visit
the citadel, a medieval mudbrick construction
with all the architectural features of a desert
citadel. On the return journey stop at Mahan
to visit the blue-tiled Mausoleum of Shah
Nematollah-e-Vali and Shazdeh garden. (B)
Drive to Yazd, en route visiting the Castle of
Saryazd, one of the largest defensive castles in
Iran's central desert. Afternoon at leisure. Stay at
the Dad Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights. (B)
Full-day sightseeing in Yazd, the centre for Iran’s
Zoroastrian community. Visit an abandoned
Zoroastrian Tower of Silence; the active
Zoroastrian fire temple; the Friday Mosque,
with the highest portal and minarets in Iran;
and Dowlat-Abad, one of the many beautiful
old houses in Yazd, with an 18th-century feudal
hexagonal house, the highest wind tower in Iran
and an authentic Iranian garden. (B)
Drive to Shiraz, en route visiting Abarkuh, a
charming desert town, to see the historic Friday
Mosque, constructed on the foundations of a
Zoroastrian fire temple. Stay 3 nights at the Pars
International Hotel (or similar). (B)
Visit Persepolis, one of the most important
sites of the Ancient World and the ceremonial
capital of the Achaemenian kings, with remains
of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and
Artaxerxes. Admire its bas-reliefs, depicting kings
and courtiers. Continue to Naghsh-e-Rostam to
see the Ka’be-Zardosht square tower and royal
tombs, plus magnificent Sasanian rock-reliefs. (B)
Full-day city tour of Shiraz to visit some of the
celebrated gardens of this city of ‘roses and
nightingales’, including Eram garden; the tombs
of Iran’s greatest lyric poets, Hafez and Sa'adi; the
pink-tiled 19th-century Nasir-ol-Molk mosque; the
exterior of the Arg-e-Karim Khan (18th-century
citadel); and the shrine of Shah Cheragh. (B)
Drive to Isfahan, en route visiting Pasargadae,
the site of the impressive tomb and remains of
the palaces of Cyrus the Great, the founder of
the Persian empire. Its palaces, the layout of the
ancient gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus
are outstanding examples of the first phase of
royal Achaemenian art and architecture and
exceptional testimonies of Persian civilisation.
Continue to Isfahan and stay 3 nights at the
Abbasi Hotel (or similar). (B)
Full-day tour of the beautiful city of Isfahan,
the 17th-century capital of the Safavids, to visit
the famous covered bridges and the Armenian
quarter with several churches, including the
important Armenian cathedral. In the afternoon
visit one of the world’s grandest squares, the
Maidan-e-Naghsh-e-Jahan, to see Ali-Qapu
Palace with its enchanting music rooms and
balcony overlooking the Maidan, and two of the
Islamic world’s greatest mosques – the Sheikh
Lotfollah and the Imam – with magnificent
architecture and tile work. (B)
Visit the magnificent Friday Mosque, considered a
museum of a thousand years of Persian religious
architecture. Drive to the Chehel Sotoun Palace,
known as the Palace of Forty Columns, and also
visit the Hasht Behesht, the Pavilion of Eight
Paradises or the Palace of Nightingales. The small
but intricate building is set among tree-lined
alleys, a reflecting pool and water rills. Continue
to Pigeon Tower, Imam Mosque and Qeisarieh
bazaar with hundreds of shops displaying the
arts and handicrafts for which Isfahan is worldfamous.
Return to Tehran, en route visiting Natanz and
Kashan to see the Fin gardens and the former
merchant's house of Taba-Tabai. Farewell dinner
and overnight at Espinas Hotel (or similar). (B, D)
Transfer to the airport and fly to London with
British Airways. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
of expert-accompanied tours focusing on
creativity in its many forms. All RA tours are open
to everyone and can be viewed at coxandkings.
This tour is fully escorted
throughout by the lecturer, as well as an
experienced local guide.
This tour is based in 4-star
accommodation. Please visit this tour on our
website to see details of the hotels included.
This tour involves some long drives
and walking over rough terrain.
Iran is an Islamic republic and
visitors are required to conform to the Islamic
dress code. For women, it is essential that all
the body is covered, except the hands and face.Please contact Cox & Kings for more details.
Pre- and post-tour extensions are
available in Tehran and Isfahan, and include 2
nights' accommodation with arrival or departure
transfers. Please speak to a Cox & Kings
consultant for further details on 020 7808 6786 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hilary Smith is a cultural
historian and independent
lecturer who for a number of
years administered the Circle
of Inner Asian Art at Soas.
She first visited Iran in 1976,
co-wrote the Bradt guide to
the country and has accompanied many
group tours there.
Diana Driscoll read ancient
Middle East and Islamic
studies at Soas. She is an
independent researcher who
gives regular talks at the
British Museum. Her area of
expertise is the Islamic world:
religion, history, culture and languages.
The Abbasi Hotel (formerly known as the Shah Abbas Hotel) is located in the heart of the city, close to Isfahan's historical sights. The large central courtyard is filled with flowers and fountains in the style of Safavid caravanserais, the public areas of the hotel have beautiful Persian decoration and paintings. Built in the 1960s, on the site of an 18th-century caravanserai, the hotel lobby walls and ceiling decorations, the restaurants and some of the suites have traditional Persian-style features from the Safavid period. Some of the rooms have private balconies while others overlook the landscaped garden.
Features: 225 rooms & suites, 2 restaurants, coffee shop, traditional teahouse, indoor swimming pool (the pool has different opening hours for men and women), sauna, fitness centre, handicraft gallery, shop.
Room amenities: Air conditioning, television, DVD player, fridge,...
Situated in a historic house dating back to early 20th century and located in Yazd's historic centre, close to the main tourist attractions including Zoroastrians' Fire Temple and Amir Chakhmagh complex. The hotel's public areas are reminiscent of Persia's past with impressive original and restored features including a beautiful domed ceilings. The Dad hotel has a central courtyard around which the modern yet simple rooms are situated. Please note that the indoor swimming pool opens for men and women on alternate days. Please also note that the hotel does not accept credit cards.
Features: 61 rooms & suites, restaurant, roof restaurant, cafe, indoor swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, spa.Room amenities: Air conditioning, satellite television, mini fridge,...
Located in the historic centre of Tehran, the Espinas Hotel provides a hint of luxury in the heart of the city. Set along a tree-lined boulevard, it is a short walk to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and Laleh Park, one of the largest in the city. Some of the hotel's restaurants have views over the rooftops of neighbouring buildings for a spectacular panorama at sunset and at night. The marble lobby welcomes guests with its opulent splashes of gold, while the rooms are contemporary and comfortable. Please also note that the hotel does not accept credit cards.
Features: 230 rooms, 4 restaurants, 2 coffee shops.Room amenities: Television, safe, hairdryer, air...
The Pars Hotel is located on the outskirts of Kerman. All rooms are air-conditioned and offer ensuite facilities. There is an indoor swimming pool (which has different opening hours for men and women) gym and Jacuzzi. The four hotel restaurants serve a range of traditional Iranian cuisine and western...
The Pars International hotel is situated on the most important street of the city, Karimkhan Boulevard. The hotel's restaurant serves traditional and continental cuisine.
Features: 188 rooms & suites, indoor-outdoor swimming pool, currency exchange.Room amenities: Air conditioning, television, telephone, safe, tea & coffee facilities,...
Diana read ancient Middle East and Islamic studies at Soas. Her area of expertise is the Islamic world: religion, history, culture and languages. She has travelled extensively in central Asia, north Africa, the Middle East, south Asia and China.
Hilary Smith is a cultural historian and London Blue Badge Guide. For a number of years she administered the Circle of Inner Asian Art at the School of African and Oriental Studies and is still an active member both of the Indian Art Circle and the Islamic Art Circle there. Hilary has accompanied many group tours throughout Europe, Central Asia and India. Her speciality is designing and leading off-the-beaten-track tours in the Indian Subcontinent.
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
IPG2017: 13 Nights