- Tour Plan
- Additional Info
- Domestic Airfare
- English-Speaking Guide
- Entrance Fees
- Meals - Full Board
- Visa Authorization
- Airfare- International
- Optional Activities
- Personal Expenses
- Trip Insurance
- Visa Services
- Day 1/2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- Day 8
- Day 9
- Day 10
- Day 11
- Day 12
- Day 13
- Day 14
- Day 15
- Day 16
Arrival - Tehran City Tour
Welcome to Iran! Most flights arrive very late at night or in the early morning hours. On your arrival in Tehran you will be met after clearing arrival formalities and transfer to your hotel for check in and overnight (hotel booked the night before). After same day late breakfast we will go for a short tour of Tehran and visit the Iran national archaeological museum. We will also visit the Niavaran Palace Complex in northern Tehran. It consists of several palace buildings and monuments dating back to the Qajar and Pahlavi eras. Overnight in Tehran.
After breakfast we depart for a full day tour of Tehran. We will visit the Golestan Palace Complex, sometimes known as the Rose Garden Palace, and is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran's capital city. Next we visit the Abguineh (Glass & Ceramics) Museum, a valuable collection of pre-Islamic and Islamic glass and ceramics, beautifully displayed and located in an elegant early 20th-century mansion, and the Carpet Museum, with an extensive collection of old and new Persian carpets and rugs from the major carpet-weaving centers of Iran. Return to the hotel, overnight Tehran.
Tehran - Hamadan
Today after breakfast we drive to the ancient city of Hamadan. Upon arrival in the city early in the afternoon, we will tour the city to see the tomb of Esther and Mordecai and the Jewish synagogue and the tomb and museum of Avicenna (died in 1034), who is Iran’s celebrated philosopher/scientist/physician. We finish our sightseeing with a visit to Ganjnameh to see the cuneiform inscriptions by Darius I, and his son Xerxes, carved on the mountain face. Overnight in Hamadan.
Hamadan - Kermanshah
Today after breakfast we check out of our hotel and have short visit to the ancient city of Hegmatane and the field museum there. Then we drive to Kermanshah with visits enroute to Kangavar (a small town of great antiquity dating back to 200 B.C. lying halfway between Hamadan and Kermanshah), to visit the Temple of Anahita, the Goddess of Water and Fertility. Our next stop will be Bisotun to see the Achaemenid inscription/bas-reliefs, depicting Darius I facing the nine rebel kings, whom the Achaemenid ruler suppressed when he came to power. We arrive in Kermanshah, and after lunch, visit the several important Sassanian reliefs at Tagh-e-Bostan (some inside a grotto), depicting royal hunting scenes and the investiture of the Sassanian kings, including the gigantic equestrian statue of Khosrow II (AD 591-628), mounted on his favorite charger Shabdiz. Overnight Kermanshah.
Kermanshah - Ahwaz
Today we have a full day drive to southwest Khuzestan province crossing the scenic Zagross mountains. We will have plenty of short stops for photography and to stretch our legs. Overnight Ahwaz.
Ahwaz - Choga-Zanbil - Susa - Shushtar - Ahwaz
Today we have a full day excursion to the 3 UNESCO sites of Choha-Zanbil, Susa and Shushtar. Chogha-Zanbil is a ziggurat built by Untash Gal, King of Elam, about 1250 B.C., the massive man-made mound was the focal point of his city of Dur Untashi, and was dedicated to the great god Inshushinak, ‘Lord of Susa’, symbolized by the form of a bull. Susa is the site of one of the oldest civilizations in Western Asia, dating back to 5,000 B.C. and we will see the remains of Achaemenian palaces. Our last stop is Shushtar, a small town perched on limestone cliffs above the Karun River, whose past can be traced through a remarkable series of interconnecting channels, dams, bridges and water mills. Return to our hotel in Ahwaz for overnight.
Ahwaz - Shiraz
Today we have another full day drive through a scenic Zagross mountain range with stop at the UNSECO sites of Bishapour and Tang-e-Chogan. Bishapour is the remains of the Sassanian city built by Shapur 1st (241-273 A.D.), the second Sassanian king. The building complex includes a central chamber, a large courtyard which had been covered with impressive mosaics, plus the remains of a temple dedicated to Anahita, the Goddess of Water and Fertility. Our next stop is Tang-e-Chogan. On either side of a narrow gorge, there are six Sassanian rock-reliefs commemorating Shapur’s victories over the Romans and other adversaries. Continue on to Shiraz for overnight.
Today is a full day city tour of Shiraz to visit some of the famous gardens of this city of “roses and nightingales”, including the tomb of Iran’s greatest lyric poets, Hafez and Sa'adi, the pink tiled 19th-century Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, the Qajar-period Narenjestan Garden/House, and the Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz. Overnight in Shiraz.
Shiraz - Persepolis - Shiraz
Full day excursion to Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the Ancient World, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings with remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes, and its famous bas-reliefs, depicting kings and courtiers and gift-bearing representatives of tributary nations of the Persian Empire; also visit Naghsh-e-Rostam to see Ka’be-Zardosht (fire temple/sanctuary), and Royal Tombs (also Achaemenid); plus seven magnificent Sassanian rock-reliefs (including Shapur the First’s famous victory over Roman Emperor Valerian); and Naghsh-e-Rajab, a nearby grotto with several more Sassanian reliefs; return to Shiraz for overnight stay at hotel.
Shiraz - Yazd
Today we drive to Yazd, en-route visiting Pasargadae, the site of the simple, but impressive, tomb and remains of the palaces of Cyrus the Great (the Founder of the Persian Empire). We will also stop at the small desert town of Abarkuh to see the 4000+-year old Cypress tree; continue to Yazd. Upon arrival we check in to the hotel for dinner and overnight Yazd.
Yazd - Isfahan
Half day visits in Yazd, the center for Iran’s small Zoroastrian community. Our tour will include the active Fire Temple, the fire of which has been burning for more than a thousand years, the Friday Mosque (1324 A.D.) with the highest portal and minarets in Iran, and visit the bazaar. After lunch we drive to Isfahan, enroute visit the ancient town of Maybod. Continue the drive to Isfahan for overnight.
Today we have full day tour of Isfahan, starting at Chehel Sotun Palace, built by Shah Abbas II in the 17th century; its twenty wooden columns reflected in the surface of the pool give rise to its name ‘The Palace of Forty Columns’. Our next stop is the Music Museum followed by the Armenian Quarter with several churches, including the important Cathedral of Vank. We will stroll across the historic Khadjou Bridge to end our city tour. There will be an optional visit to carpet and miniature painting workshops. Dinner and overnight Isfahan.
Full day tour of the beautiful city of Isfahan, the 17th century capital of the Safavids, referred to as Nesf-e-Jahan (Half of the World) in Safavid sources. Our tour will include a visit to one of the world’s grandest squares, the Maidan-e-Naghsh-e-Jahan, with several sites (the Ali-Qapu Palace with its enchanting music rooms and balcony overlooking the Maidan, from where the Safavid Kings watched polo games, and two of Islamic world’s greatest mosques – the Sheikh Lotfollah and the Shah – with magnificent architecture and tilework), finishing with a visit to the Qeisarieh Bazaar with hundreds of shops displaying the arts and handicrafts for which Isfahan is world-famous (Bazaar is closed on Fridays). The rest of the afternoon is free for shopping and exploring. Overnight in Isfahan.
Isfahan - Tehran/IKA Airport
Today we drive to IKA airport hotel, en-route stop over at the charming town of Natanz to visit a beautiful Islamic Complex (Friday Mosque/Monastery/Tomb of Sheikh Abdol Samad Isfahani), then on to Kashan to visit the historical garden of Fin which was first planted during the Safavid period and kept alive with water from the nearby Sulaimanieh Spring. This beautiful garden was expanded by the Zand and Qajar monarchs, with many open pavilions added. We continue to IKA airport upon arrival later in the afternoon check into your airport hotel for a short rest, wash up, and final packing.
Transfer to the airport (5-minute transfer) to catch your flight back home.
More about Iran
More about this tour
The visa authorization process can take up to 2 months to complete. If you have any questions about the process, please call our office: 206-545-7300.
Included in Tour Price:
- Visa authorization
- Full-board accommodation in 3-5 star (best available in each city) hotels, breakfast at hotels, lunch and dinner at best available local restaurants, or hotels
- All land transportation in air conditioned bus/minivan
- All transfers to/from airport, from/to hotel
- All portages and entrance fees for main sites and excursions
- Highly-qualified English-speaking national guide and local guides in Shiraz and Isfahan
- International air - please note that if you book your own air, arrange it so you arrive in the evening of day 1. If you arrive early you will be charged for an extra night at the hotel. Please ask Caravan-Serai for any assistance you may need in booking your flights.
- Visa and processing fee ($200)
- Personal expenses such as internet access, room service, telephone/fax calls, laundry, dry cleaning, etc.
- Optional tours or entrance fees not shown on the itinerary
- Refreshments, snacks, etc., en route or during meals, caviar at any meals
- Fuel surcharges, if any
- Tips for guides ($20), drivers ($10), and drivers’ assistant ($4-5) – amounts are only suggestions and are per person, per day
- Trip insurance
Please Note: When traveling to Iran, Caravan-Serai Tours and our partner in Iran are responsible for your actions while you are in Iran. In order to obtain the visas for our travelers, it is under condition that you will adhere to all the rules and laws pertaining to foreigners, particularly Americans, traveling in Iran. You are required to stay with the group/guide at all times. Transfers by our coordinator in Iran to and from the airport are required – no taxis are allowed. If you have any questions about this please call us. Thank you for your understanding.