What to see
Any tour to Iran must include the fascinating cities of Shiraz and Isfahan with their impressive and beautiful architecture. Enjoy the winding bazaars, beautiful mosques and palaces, peaceful gardens, tombs and shrines. The ruined palace of the Achaemanid kings at Persepolis (or Takht-e Jamshid as it is currently called in modern Iran) is a must see for any visitors to Iran and is located just an hour's drive from Shiraz. Darius the Great began the construction of this ceremonial centre during his reign (521 to 486 B.C.) and it became one of the grandest and most important palaces in the Persian Empire. It was burnt to the ground by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. but the ruins remain an impressive sight and the splendid bas-reliefs offer a beautifully-reserved glimpse into the life and workings of this empire.
Nearby Nagash e Rostam offers the chance to see the Achmaenian tombs of four royal kings, including Darius the Great, and Sassanian rock reliefs. Further northwest on a windswept plain lie the ruins of Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great. While the ruins cannot compare to the beauty of Persepolis, due to the historical significance it is well worth stopping here en-route to Isfahan or Yazd. In Kashan visit the Fin Gardens and the Taba Tabai Merchant House. The important Zoroastrian city of Yazd has traditional Persian architecture and it is well-worth experiencing a different side of Iran and visit some of the museums and palaces in the capital Tehran.