Iran | Kings, Shahs and Gardens

Persepolis
Persepolis
Tower of Silence
Tower of Silence
Tehran at night - Milad Tower
Tehran at night - Milad Tower
Traditional bathhouse (Hammam) Kerman
Traditional bathhouse (Hammam) Kerman
Naghshe Jahan Square
Naghshe Jahan Square
Hafez Tomb
Hafez Tomb
Persian painting Chehel Sotoun Esfahan
Persian painting Chehel Sotoun Esfahan
Khaju Bridge
Khaju Bridge
Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace

A land of mystery, and unparalleled hospitality, Iran is rich in antiquities. The country is intricately decorated, whilst its monumental legacy bears witness to the sweep of its epic history. We will explore the Persian Kingdom - one of the greatest powers of the ancient world, and walk in the footsteps of Cyrus the Great, Darius, and Xerxes at their palaces.

In Shiraz and Esfahan we view splendid Islamic architecture which rival the great cities of the silk road. We are delighted to be able to return to Iran, and very lucky to have the unparalleled expertise of our Guide Lecturers to introduce the sweep of Persian history and archaeology. This tour sold out fast in 2016 - don’t miss your chance to see this great land!

  • Visit ancient Persian majesty at Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rustam, and Pasargadae, and trace the mysterious Zoroastrians
  • Uncover old-style Iranian hammams, stunning architecture, and the finest example of a Persian Garden in the world
  • Enjoy special lectures by archaeologists, conservators and researchers, who will give unique insights into their work to protect local heritage

Itinerary 2017

Day 1

We fly from London to Shiraz and transfer by coach to our hotel. After our arrival on Day Two we take a leisurely stroll around Shiraz visiting the 19th century Naranjestan Palace, the Rose mosque and the Saadi tomb.

Day 2

We fly from London to Shiraz and transfer by coach to our hotel. After our arrival on Day Two we take a leisurely stroll around Shiraz visiting the 19th century Naranjestan Palace, the Rose mosque and the Saadi tomb.

Day 3

We begin our day of sightseeing in the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Archaemenid Empire. We also explore Nagsh-e Rostam, the site of four fine Sassanid rock reliefs. We continue to Pasagardae, and the tomb of Cyrus the Great.

Day 4

We travel to Firuzabad to explore a slightly later Persian empire. We visit the Sassanid palaces; Qaleh-i Dukhtar Palace, Ardeshir Palace and the Gur tower. We return to Shiraz this afternoon.

Day 5

We spend all day in Shiraz – visiting Eram Garden, the tomb of Hafez, Karim Khan castle, and Vakil mosque.

Day 6

We make our way to Kerman, an all day trip, stopping at the Sassanid Persian palaces at Sarvestan en-route.

Day 7

We journey to Mahan to see the Shrine of Nur al Din Nimatullah and gardens. We return to Kerman to explore monuments including the Gonbad-i-Jabalijeh, the Friday mosque and Ganjali Khan Square.

Day 8

We spend two days in the desert town of Yazd today, one of the best examples of traditional Iranian desert architecture. We visit the main Zoroastrian fire temple; wander through the Towers of Silence; explore the Jameh Mosque; and visit Bagh-e Dolat Abad Garden.

Day 9

We spend two days in the desert town of Yazd today, one of the best examples of traditional Iranian desert architecture. We visit the main Zoroastrian fire temple; wander through the Towers of Silence; explore the Jameh Mosque; and visit Bagh-e Dolat Abad Garden.

Day 10

We travel to Esfahan via Maybod and its citadel and via Na’in, where we visit the Jameh Mosque, one of the oldest in Iran, built in the 9th century.

Day 11

We spend three full days in Esfahan, home to some of the finest Islamic architecture in the world. We start by visiting Maidan-e-Naghsh-e Jahan, the second largest square in the world, lined with Imam Mosque, and the six-storey Kakh-e Ali Qapu Palace. We walk along the glorious bridges across the Zayanderood River. We also walk through the Armenian Quarter New Julfa, visiting the Church of Bethlehem and Vank Cathedral.

Day 12

We spend three full days in Esfahan, home to some of the finest Islamic architecture in the world. We start by visiting Maidan-e-Naghsh-e Jahan, the second largest square in the world, lined with Imam Mosque, and the six-storey Kakh-e Ali Qapu Palace. We walk along the glorious bridges across the Zayanderood River. We also walk through the Armenian Quarter New Julfa, visiting the Church of Bethlehem and Vank Cathedral.

Day 13

We spend three full days in Esfahan, home to some of the finest Islamic architecture in the world. We start by visiting Maidan-e-Naghsh-e Jahan, the second largest square in the world, lined with Imam Mosque, and the six-storey Kakh-e Ali Qapu Palace. We walk along the glorious bridges across the Zayanderood River. We also walk through the Armenian Quarter New Julfa, visiting the Church of Bethlehem and Vank Cathedral.

Day 14

This morning we depart Esfahan for Tehran, Iran’s modern capital, via Natanz and Kashan, famous for its Fin Garden.

Day 15

We visit Tehran’s National Museum with its collection of artefacts dating back through Persian history, and also stop at the Islamic museum. This afternoon, we continue the Unesco World Heritage Site, Golestan Palace.

Day 16

During our last day in Tehran, we visit the Carpet Museum, and the Reza Abbasi Museum. We also stop to see Niavaran Palace.

Day 17

We transfer to airport for flights home.

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

We fly from London to Shiraz.

Day 2

Upon arrival on Day Two we take a leisurely stroll around Shiraz visiting the Naranjestan Palace, the Rose mosque and the Saadi tomb.

Day 3

We travel to Firuzabad. The main attraction of the day is the visit to the Sassanid Palace of Ardashir.

Day 4

We explore Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Archaemenid Empire. In the afternoon we view the famous Achaemenid and Sassanid rock reliefs at Naqsh-e Rostam.

Day 5

We travel out to Pasagardae to see the palace and the tomb of Cyrus the Great. After our arrival back in Shiraz, we will enjoy the Eram Gardens.

Day 6

We make our way to Kerman, stopping at the Sassanid Persian palaces en-route.

Day 7

We journey to Mahan to view the Shrine of Nur al Din Nimatullah. We return to Kerman to explore monuments including the Friday mosque.

Day 8

We spend two days in Yazd, a great example of traditional Iranian desert architecture. We wander through the Towers of Silence; with an optional visit to Bagh-e Dolat Abad Garden.

Day 9

We spend two days in Yazd, a great example of traditional Iranian desert architecture. We wander through the Towers of Silence; with an optional visit to Bagh-e Dolat Abad Garden.

Day 10

We travel to Esfahan via Meybod and Na’in – where we visit the Jameh Mosque.

Day 11

We spend three days in Esfahan, home to fine Islamic architecture. Visits include Maidan-e-Naghsh-e Jahan and Kakh-e Ali Qapu Palace.

Day 12

We spend three days in Esfahan, home to fine Islamic architecture. Visits include Maidan-e-Naghsh-e Jahan and Kakh-e Ali Qapu Palace.

Day 13

We spend three days in Esfahan, home to fine Islamic architecture. Visits include Maidan-e-Naghsh-e Jahan and Kakh-e Ali Qapu Palace.

Day 14

We depart Esfahan for Tehran, Iran’s modern capital, via Natanz and Kashan.

Day 15

We spend two days in Tehran. We visit many museums, including the National Museum; Islamic museum, and Reza Abbasi Museum. We also explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Golestan Palace, and take in the Niavaran Palace.

Day 16

We spend two days in Tehran. We visit many museums, including the National Museum; Islamic museum, and Reza Abbasi Museum. We also explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Golestan Palace, and take in the Niavaran Palace.

Day 17

We return home today.

What's Included

  1. Tour Manager
  2. Local Travel - Private a/c coach; boat
  3. Meals - All meals included
  4. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  5. Field Notes
  6. Hotels - 5 nights in a brand new hotel in Shiraz, 2 nights in a modern hotel in Kerman, 2 nights in a to-be-confirmed hotel in the desert city of Yazd, 4 nights in a beautiful centuries-old hotel in historic Isfahan, 3 nights in a palatial hotel in Tehran
  7. Flights - London to Shiraz via Istanbul; Tehran Imam to London via Istanbul

Hotel Info

5 nights in a brand new hotel in Shiraz
2 nights in a modern hotel in Kerman
2 nights in a to-be-confirmed hotel in the desert city of Yazd
4 nights in a beautiful centuries-old hotel in historic Isfahan
3 nights in a palatial hotel in Tehran

Useful Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Book now

2017 Tour Details

Thu 14th September - Sat 30th September

Available

£4,845

ex. flights: £4,245

sgl supp: £695

IRA17B

Led By: Francois Desset

Thu 12th October - Sat 28th October

Available

£4,845

ex. flights: £4,245

sgl supp: £695

IRA17D

Led By: Carolyn Perry

2018 Tour Details

Thu 5th April - Sat 21st April

Available
Accepting £300 deposits

£ TBC

IRA18A

Led By:

Book before 16th June 2017 for a fully refundable £300 fixed deposit.

Thu 18th October - Sat 3rd November

Available
Accepting £300 deposits

£ TBC

IRA18B

Led By:

Book before 16th June 2017 for a fully refundable £300 fixed deposit.

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