Days
13
Price from
CHF 3,165
Map of Ancient Persia In Depth including Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Be awed by the architectural splendour of Esfahan, intrigued by the Zoroastrian legends of Kermanshah and charmed by the hospitality of everyday Iranians

Iran is quite simply an extraordinary country, where visitors are welcomed with open arms by friendly people who have redefined the word ‘hospitality’. The architecture is amazing with breathtaking mosques, stepped hillside villages, cleverly-designed wind towers (badgirs) and impressive structures such as the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence. The country's history is astonishingly rich, and Ancient Persepolis is one of many staggering reminders of this past. The current culture is in many ways a fusion of all the influences; the country’s religion is predominantly Islam (mainly Shiite, but some Iranians are Sunni), although you will probably also encounter Jews, Zoroastrians, Christians and Baha’is along the way. Although Iran is portrayed by some Western media as being ruled by a dour and repressive regime, you will find that it is a land full of warm, lively and friendly people. Join Peregrine for this foray into one of the world’s most fascinating and least-visited countries.


Start
Tehran, Iran
Finish
Tehran, Iran
Destination
Iran
Style
Peregrine
Code
PGAP
Physical rating
Trip rating
23 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore one of the greatest cities of antiquity, Persepolis. The relief carvings and towering columns will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world.

  • Once a major stop on the Silk Road, visit Yazd and discover the role religion plays in the city, from the impressive Jameh Mosque to the Zoroastrian towers and temples.

  • Enjoy a special dinner with a Zoroastrian family in garden of pomegranate and tamarind 

  • Soak up the sights and atmosphere of the jewel in the crown of Persia, the beautiful town of Esfahan. Feel the past glory at the Imam Square and its surrounding palaces and mosques.

  • Explore the Vank Cathedral and see the stunning Si-o-she Pol (the Bridge of 33 arches) lit up at night.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Iran is one of the safest and friendliest places you can travel but it is very conservative. It is very important that before you sign up for this tour you are committed to following a strict dress code (particularly for women) in what may be quite warm weather. Things don't get much more different to home than this!

  • Upon arrival in Iran, all women must wear a headscarf and must also have their arms and legs covered. Men must also be conservatively dressed.

  • Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran and severe penalties will be incurred by anyone attempting to bring it into the country. Drug laws are also extremely strict and travellers face lengthy jail terms if caught. If found, pork, obscene material (even glossy magazines showing people in immodest poses), and controversial literature will all be confiscated by custom officials. Upon arrival, you as a foreigner will likely be whisked through customs but note that random bag checks do occur.

  • It's becoming increasingly difficult to confirm our preferred hotels listed in the trip notes due to limited 4 star options. While we will always look to the next suitable alternative in some cases these may not be centrally located. It's important to note that local star ratings are not necessarily equivalent to quality. In some locations the 3 star hotels are a better quality ( and location ) than the 4 star ones and be priced accordingly.

  • The pathways around some of the sites may be un-even, rocky or dusty. Some of the guided trips may involve quite a lot of walking in the elements (especially the heat). Please bring comfortable walking shoes and be prepared with hats, sunscreen, water or layers for cooler weather.

  • Iran is a big country and we cover a lot in two weeks, which mean a some long travel days and a very busy itinerary. However all land travel is in private air-conditioned buses, with regular stops along the way.

Itinerary

Welcome to Iran. A Tehran airport arrival transfer is included, so please provide your flight details at the time of booking or no later than 14 days prior to travel. Once you have provided your details, a transfer representative will be booked to meet you and transfer you to your hotel (approximately 1 hour). This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Tehran at any time, though please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. There will be a trip briefing at 6 pm; please refer to your hotel noticeboard or talk to reception for more details. Until then the rest of your day is free to explore your new surroundings.

Iran's capital is exciting, noisy and chaotic. Home to 15 million people, Tehran is the country's beating heart and where its true national identity is found. Expect to see women wearing full-length chadors competing for space with young and hip girls in figure-hugging manteau and headscarves. Also expect to be stopped by friendly locals who love nothing more than to chat with you about anything and everything. In the evening, perhaps take a seat at a city coffee shop for some people watching.
Accommodation
  • Tehran Grand Hotel 2 or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tehran - Guided museums tour (3 museums - minimum 2 people) - USD90
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Please note that we use a local supplier for the arrival airport transfer and as tourism is a developing industry in Iran, it is possible your driver will not speak English.


Begin your discovery of Tehran with a full day tour, start at the UNESCO World Heritage Golestan Palace  This opulent masterpiece of the Qajar era embodies early Persian design with the influence of western architecture, continue to the National Museum whilst it may not look inspiring from the outside inside is a treasure chest of Irans rich history, keep your eye out for the Salt Man from Zanjan, preserved in salt for centuries.  We visit the Jewelry Museum with its impressive array of crown jewels and spend some time in the Grand Bazaar of Tehran split into several corridors over 10km in length.


Accommodation
  • Tehran Grand Hotel 2 or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tehran - City Tour
  • Tehran - National Museum
  • Golestan Palace Tehran
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Kashan in the morning, a merchant town known for its high quality ceramics, silks, carpets and fine houses. Visit the lush Fin Garden (Bagh-e Tarikhi-ye Fin), a historic and classical Persian garden that contains Kashan's Fin Bath. This is where Amir Kabir, the Qajarid chancellor and a nationalist hero, was murdered under the orders of King Nadir al-Din in 1852. Spend time at the fascinating Borujerdi House (Khan-e Borujerdi), built in the 1840s for the affluent Tabatabaei family, exceptional  attention was paid to every architectural details of this building as dictated by the geographical and climatic conditions of the area. It’s a fascinating place to visit. Spend the evening in Kashan, and experience Iranian hospitality as we share our evening meal with a local family.
Accommodation
  • Morshedi House or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kashan -Tabataei house
  • Kashan - Bazaar
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens entrance and guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Kashan is a small city with limited and developing hotel options so it is often difficult to secure our preferred hotel in this destination.  Alternative hotels in Kashan may include Parsi Hotel; Manochehri House or Mahinestan House.  If you would like to confirm in advance which hotel is available for your tour please check with your booking agent 30 days prior to departure.
After breakfast we depart for the ancient desert city of Yazd once a major stop on the caravan routes to Central Asia and India during the Silk Road period – Marco Polo visited the city on his way to China – and it retains a rustic feel. It's also known as the heart of the Zoroastrian religion.   

We stop en route in the quite town of Na'in located on the edge of the Central Desrt this small village has retained a lot of  it's traditional charm  – the town is full of old clay houses sitting on top of underground aqueducts which draws water from the mountains to the plains. 

Continue to Aqda where we enjoy a Persian lunch in beautifully restored traditional house.  Relax over lunch and maybe take a walk through the village.

Arriving in Yazd in the late afternoon time to indulge the sweet tooth with a visit to a famous confectionery maker at Haj Khalife Ali Rahbar. Taste generations of expertise at the oldest and most famous sweet shop in the city, where treats are made through traditional techniques. 

Spend this evening in your feature stay hotel.
Accommodation
  • Dad Hotel (Feature Stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yazd - Aqda Traditional House Lunch
  • Yazd - Traditional Sweet Shop - Peregrine Moment
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Explore the old part of the city in the morning, considered by UNESCO to be steeped in antiquity. Visit the Dolat Abad Garden and Amir Chakmaq complex, then walk through the narrow kuches (lanes) past simple courtyards and the ornate doors of local mud brick buildings. One of the most distinctive features of Yazd are the wind towers (‘badgirs’) that capture even the softest of breezes before sending them to the buildings below, cooling them off as a forerunner of modern air-con. 

Afterwards, visit two vestiges of Yazd’s Zoroastrian heritage on a trip to the Fire Temple and the Towers of Silence. Zoroastrianism, dating back over 4,000 years, was the state religion of Iran before the arrival of Islam. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire and water are agents of ritual purity, and the fire in the Atashkadeh Fire Temple is said to have been continuously burning since 470 AD. The intriguing Towers of Silence are part of the Zoroastrian tradition of raised circular structures where the dead are laid out to be picked clean by scavenger birds.

Dinner tonight is a very special experience, we travel to the village of Taft to the house of Nartitee.  Here every corner of this small village home tells a story, at Nartitee you can experience a 2500 year culture as you enjoy a simple meal amongst the scent of pomegranate and tamarind trees.  A Peregrine Feature Meal. 
Accommodation
  • Dad Hotel (Feature Stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yazd - Zoroastrian Fire Altar & Towers of Silence
  • Yazd - Amir Chakmaq visit
  • Yazd - city walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today we travel from Yazd to Shiraz  (appx 6 hour drive) on the way we stop  we stop at the ice-houses of Abarkuh.  Ice houses were known in Iran as early as the seventeenth century B.C. and these were used as recently as 50 years ago.  

The Abarkuh Cyprus is the the focal point of this village and is  believed to be 4500 years a popular symbol of “life and beauty”.  Relax a while and gaze on the beauty of this tree the oldest living organism in Iran. 

Arrive in Shiraz in the late afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Royal Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Abarkuh - Cypress of Abarkuh
  • Abarkouh - Ice Houses
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Welcome to Shiraz. Valerian, the only Roman emperor to have ever been a prisoner of war, lived out his last days in captivity here circa AD 260. Many of the local ruins date from this period. There’s plenty of chances to explore this Pearl of Persia over the next few days – the name itself evokes thoughts of tranquil gardens, lavish palaces, philosophers and artists.

Up early this morning to catch the first rays of sun as it seeps in through the stained glass of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, this mosque may seem like a fairly traditional place of worship from the outside, but inside it is guarding a very gorgeously colourful secret. Continue to the Vakil Bazaar and the Khan citadel. Bazaar-e Vakil is regarded as one of the most evocative bazaars in the country and specialises in fine carpets, handicrafts, textiles and spices. 

This afternoon  visit the lovely, vast complex of Eram Garden, also known as the ‘Garden of Paradise’ (Bagh-e Eram). Wander the grounds, filled with young Shirazis, where artificial rivers run through an impressive collection of cypress trees before pooling in front of a colourful palace. 

Following this, visit the tombs of Hafez and Sa'di. The Persian poet Hafez was born in Shiraz around 1310 and travelled the world before returning to pass away in Shiraz, where he is regarded as a literary giant and folk hero. 

Nearby is the Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh, known as one of the holiest sites in Shiraz. The beautiful structure serves as a mausoleum to one of Imam Reza’s brothers and the forecourt is often packed with Shiite pilgrims. 

After witnessing these stunning sites, the rest of the day is free for exploration.
Accommodation
  • Royal Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Shiraz - Hafez Tomb
  • Shiraz - Bagh-e Eram Gardens
  • Shiraz - City tour
  • Shiraz - Nasir al Molk Mosque visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Begin the day with a trip to the remains of Persepolis (approximately 1 hour drive away) – once the centre of the Persian Empire and considered as one of the great cities of the ancient world.

The Takhte Jamshid complex of palaces was known as the historic marvel of the country, constructed over the course of 150 years as the ceremonial capital of Darius I’s Achaemenid Empire. The imposing gateways, intricate relief carvings, mountainside tombs, grand staircases and towering columns leaves little doubt that this was once the heart of the known world.

Continue on to Naqsh-e-Rajab, the site of four limestone rock face inscriptions and bas-reliefs that date to early Sassanid times.  In 330 BC, invading armies led by Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great set fire to the city, destroying it and in turn symbolising the destruction of the Persian Empire. While today only small ruins remain from those once-magnificent structures, the site is still impressive. 
Accommodation
  • Royal Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Persepolis - Entrance and Guided tour
  • Persepolis - Naqsh-e Rustam Necropolis
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart from Shiraz en route to Esfahan Yazd (approximately a 6 hour drive). Along the way we stop for a guided tour of Pasargadae, an ancient city built by Cyrus the Great that precedes Persepolis. It’s not as well preserved as the latter, but still reflects the architectural genius of the Achaemenids, the beauty of simplicity and balance.

Arrive in Esfahan; in the evening, take a stroll down to the Zayandeh River and witness the historic bridges arching over the water. The stunning Si-o-seh Pol (bridge of 33 arches) lights up at night, creating a fairytale spectacle best witnessed either on the banks of the river or at a local teahouse. While away some time in this magical location, truly one of the most atmospheric that Iran has to offer.
Accommodation
  • Keryas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Parsagad - Pasargadae UNESCO world heritage site entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
It is often difficult to secure our preferred hotel in Esfahan our alternative hotel in Esfahan is Gasreh Monshi. If you would like to confirm in advance which hotel is available for your tour please check with your booking agent 30 days prior to departure.
There’s plenty of time to soak up the sights and atmosphere of Esfahan, often considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Esfahan reached its peak during the reign of Shah Abbas I in 1587 when it was declared capital of Persia, yet much of its past glory still remains despite the country’s capital later being shifted to Shiraz and then Tehran. Begin today’s adventure through Esfahan with a guided walk through the Imam Square; covering an area of 82,500 square meters, it’s the second largest in the world. There’s many grand buildings in the surrounding area such as the Ali Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Qeysarieh Portal and the majestic Imam Mosque – all of which are truly remarkable sights. In the Safavid era, this place was renowned for its parades, military reviews, polo games and festivals. These days it’s better regarded as a place for families to idly wander or enjoy a picnic come the early evening. After exploring the area, the rest of the day is free for soaking up the visual appeal of the city and discovering the many beautiful secrets it holds.
Accommodation
  • Keryas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esfahan - Jameh Mosque
  • Esfahan - Qeysariye Bazaar
  • Esfahan - Sheykh Lotfollah Mosque
  • Esfahan - Naghsh-e Jahan Square
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Esfahan - City walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue exploring Isfahan with a guided visit to the Vank Cathedral, located in the Armenian quarter of the city. The striking interior of this building boasts gilded ceilings, intricate wall architecture and eye-catching paintings. The stunning, delicate artwork of the dome depicts the Biblical story of Genesis, from the creation of man to the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The church also plays home to a museum, full of historic manuscripts. Originally, Armenian Christians were brought to the cathedral by Shah Abbas I who placed great value in their skills as artists and merchants. They have been allowed to practice their religion in peace, but are confined to this single area of the city.The rest of the afternoon is free, we recommend the Bazaar an easy place to while away the hours getting lost among the colours and tantalizing aromas .
Accommodation
  • Keryas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esfahan - Vank Cathedral
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast this morning we start the journey back to Tehran, stopping in Iran's second most holiest city we have the opportunity to visit the Shirne of Fatima Masumeh. Fatima Masumeh was the sister of the eighth Imam Reza and the daughter of the seventh Imam Musa al-Kadhim (Tabari 60).  On arrival back in Tehran  after checking in to our hotel we head to the Tabiat Nature Bridge for some afternoon exploration. Spend some time relaxing over a light meal at one of the many restaurants by Ports Park, situated on one side of the bridge. On the other, the rolling trees of Taleghani Park offer a great opportunity for a wistful stroll.After breakfast this morning we start the journey back to Tehran. 
Accommodation
  • Parisan Kowsar Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Qom - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your adventure in Iran will come to an end today after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

Private aircon bus

Accommodation

Comfortable Standard Hotel (10 nights) Feature Stay (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Tehran - City Tour
  • Tehran - National Museum
  • Golestan Palace Tehran
  • Kashan -Tabataei house
  • Kashan - Bazaar
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens entrance and guided tour
  • Yazd - Aqda Traditional House Lunch
  • Yazd - Traditional Sweet Shop - Peregrine Moment
  • Yazd - Zoroastrian Fire Altar & Towers of Silence
  • Yazd - Amir Chakmaq visit
  • Yazd - city walking tour
  • Abarkuh - Cypress of Abarkuh
  • Abarkouh - Ice Houses
  • Shiraz - Hafez Tomb
  • Shiraz - Bagh-e Eram Gardens
  • Shiraz - City tour
  • Shiraz - Nasir al Molk Mosque visit
  • Persepolis - Entrance and Guided tour
  • Persepolis - Naqsh-e Rustam Necropolis
  • Parsagad - Pasargadae UNESCO world heritage site entrance
  • Esfahan - Jameh Mosque
  • Esfahan - Qeysariye Bazaar
  • Esfahan - Sheykh Lotfollah Mosque
  • Esfahan - Naghsh-e Jahan Square
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Esfahan - City walking tour
  • Esfahan - Vank Cathedral
  • Qom - Orientation walk

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Ancient Persia In Depth trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.

Please note that US, British and Canadian passport holders will need to book this trip at least 2 months before departure as this is the length of time it takes to process a visa for these nationalities. There may also be further travel restrictions that apply to these nationalities. Please see our online visa information for more details. Simply select the relevant nationality in the drop down list to access detailed visa information: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/iran-authorisation-code-applic...

Travellers cannot use debit or credit cards while in Iran. You will need to bring all the money you will need for your entire trip with you. Please read through the money matters section of your essential trip information for further details

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews