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Explore Persian monuments, spectacular Islamic architecture and Zoroastrian Towers of Silence. As well as the mustsee sights of Tehran, Yazd, Shiraz, Persepolis, Pasargadae and Isfahan, this tour also includes the little-visited city of Kerman, the Shahzadeh garden in Mahan and the desert citadel of Rayen.
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Board the overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Tehran. (N)
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 extensive collection of the Carpet Museum. (B, L)
Full-day visit to some of Tehran’s major museums including the National Museum, displaying prehistoric, ancient and Islamic artefacts; the Golestan Palace, a former royal residence; and the Glass and Ceramics Museum, located in an elegant early 20th-century mansion. (B)
Morning flight to Kerman and spend the rest of the day visiting this desert trading city. Visits include the 14th-century Friday Mosque, the 17th-century Safavid-era Ganjali Khan complex 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, D)
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 the beautiful Shahzadeh garden. (B)
Drive to Yazd, en route visiting the castle of Saryazd, one of the largest defensive castles in Iran's central desert. Stay at the Dad Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights. (B, D)
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 old cyprus tree. Continue to Pasargadae, the site of the impressive tomb and remains of the palaces of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The mausoleum of Cyrus, the palaces and the remains of the ancient gardens are outstanding examples of the first phase of Achaemenid art and architecture. Arrive in Shiraz and stay 3 nights at the Homa Hotel (or similar). (B, D)
Visit Naqsh-e-Rostam to see the Ka’beZardosht square tower and royal tombs, plus magnificent Sasanian rock reliefs. Continue to Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the Ancient World and the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings, with remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes. Admire its bas-reliefs, depicting kings and courtiers. (B)
Full-day city tour of Shiraz to visit some of the celebrated gardens of this city of ‘roses and nightingales’, including the Narenjestan garden and the Eram garden; the tomb of one of Iran’s greatest lyric poets, Hafez; the pink-tiled 19thcentury Nasir-ol-Molk mosque; the exterior of the Arg-e-Karim Khan (18th-century citadel); and the shrine of either Shah Cheragh or Ali Ibn Hamzeh. (B)
Drive to Isfahan, en route visiting the Unesco site of Izadkhast. This ruined castle fort includes a caravanserai and a Safavid-period bridge. Continue to Isfahan and stay 3 nights at the Abbasi Hotel (or similar). (B, D)
Full-day tour of Isfahan, the 17th-century capital of the Safavids. Visit the Hasht Behesht, the Pavilion of Eight Paradises, also called the Palace of Nightingales. Drive to the Chehel Sotoun Palace, then continue to the Pigeon Tower and the famous covered bridges. Tour the Armenian quarter and visit the Isfahan Music Museum and possibly attend a recital (subject to confirmation). (B)
Visit the magnificent Friday Mosque, considered a museum of a thousand years of Persian religious architecture. Visit one of the world’s grandest squares, the Maidan-e-Naqshe-Jahan, to see the Qeisarieh bazaar, Ali-Qapu Palace with its enchanting music rooms and balcony overlooking the Maidan, and two of the world’s greatest mosques – the Sheikh Lotfollah and the Imam – with magnificent architecture and tile work. (B)
Return to Tehran, en route visiting shrines at Natanz and Kashan to see the Fin gardens and the former merchant's house of Taba-Tabai. Farewell dinner and overnight at Novotel Hotel (or similar) near the airport for early departure the following morning. (B, D)
Transfer to the airport and fly to London. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
A collection of expert accompanied tours focusing on creativity in its many forms. All tours are open to everyone and can be viewed here.
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 requires a good level of fitness as there is 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.
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Mosques, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be re-arranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
IPG2019: 14 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...