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.
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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.
A collection of expertaccompanied
tours focusing on creativity in its
many forms. All tours are open to everyone.
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.
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.
Please note that there are
many private visits on this tour, but their exclusive
and personal nature means they are subject to
confirmation nearer the time of departure. If visits
have to be re-arranged, please be assured that we
will seek alternatives of equal interest.
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 hotel does not accept credit cards.
Features: 61 rooms & suites, restaurant, roof restaurant, cafe, 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 Homa hotel is located in a calm wooded area, beside the expansive Azadi Park, north-west of the city. It is a 1970s era hotel that has been refurbished to offer luxury rooms and facilities of an international standard; and with most of Shiraz's sights just 1.5km walk from the hotel, the Homa hotel is a good base from which to explore the area. The 209 en suite rooms are large and comfortable and are equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, a satellite television, minibar, telephone and balcony or terrace. The better rooms are those that have a city view. Hotel facilities include a 24-hour coffee shop, two restaurants, a tea lounge, sauna and...
The Novotel Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport Hotel is conveniently located close to the international airport. As one of the first western chain hotels introduced to the country, the facilities and amenities available to its guests are more comprehensive than other Tehran properties. All guest rooms feature white linens and soft pastel colours. The hotel is ideal for travellers who have an early flight the following day.
Features: 296 rooms, 2 restaurants, lobby lounge, fitness centre, sauna, Wi-Fi.
Room amenities: Television, safe,...
The Pars Hotel is located on the outskirts of Kerman, about 8km from Kerman Airport and close to the historic and tourist areas of Kerman. The hotel's restaurants serve a range of traditional Persian food, as well as western and oriental dishes. There is an indoor swimming pool (which has different opening hours for men and women).
Features: 194 rooms & suites, 4 restaurants, coffee shop, gym, sauna & jacuzzi, tennis court, cafe, cinema, indoor swimming pool.
Room amenities: Air conditioning, satellite television, Wi-Fi.
Please note: This hotel does not accept credit...
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.
IPG2018: 13 Nights
The city and province of Yazd hold many wonders of historic and architectural significance...
It is not known when exactly Isfahan was first established as a city, but, it is known that its origins...