The wonders of ancient Persia and modern day Iran in one 15-day program!
For a civilization that goes back to antiquity, it is an art to provide so much in a short and comfortable journey. A Passage to Persia covers the best of this rich heritage to humanity and gives an insight to the marvels of civilizations. In our Passage we travel through Tehran, Assassin castle, Hamadan, Kermanshah, Ziggurats, Shiraz, Isfahan Abyaneh, Kashan and Yazd plus Qom.
On arrival, we are welcomed to Tehran, the pearl of Persia. After checking into our hotel, we enjoy a leisurely evening and rest up, before our formal itinerary of exploring this country rich in history and culture begins. O/N Tehran.
AM: Our Full day tour of the capital starts off with the visit to the Archeological Museums. Its massive collections include a stone capital of the winged lion from Susa and a 6th century B.C. audience hall relief of Darius the Great from the Treasury at Persepolis. The museum’s exhibits date from 4500 B.C. to contemporary times. Next we will visit Carpet and ethnology museums.
PM: Visiting Carpet Museum, Ayatollah Khomeini’s Shrine. O/N Tehran.
AM: An early start takes us on a scenic drive to Hamadan, one of the oldest inhabited towns in the world. An afternoon tour of Hamadan will include a stop at the charming waterfall Ganjnameh before proceeding to the magnificent and dominating Avecinna Memorial and Baba Taher Tombs.
PM: Next follows a visit to Ester and Murducai the most important Jewish pilgrimage sight in Iran. Before we lose ourselves in the maze that is the colorful oriental Bazaar of Hamadan, we pay a visit to the famous 14th century Stone Lion. O/N Hamadan.
AM: We depart in the morning for Kermanshah via Bi-Sotoun, where the famous bas reliefs are carved out of a dramatic mountain. This region hosts the most interesting and famous archeological sites in Iran. We view many Achaemenian inscriptions including one of about 1200 lines where we get insight into the hard fought battle of Darius, defeating the governors who tried to dismantle the Empire. Leaving the famous Tablets of Darius we visit the Temple of Anahita, the goddess of abundance and the guardian of water in ancient Iran.
PM: In the evening we visit the traditional bazaar in Kermanshah where we’ll have the opportunity to sharpen our bargaining skills. O/N Kermanshah.
AM: We travel south on a scenic countryside drive to Ahvaz. En route, we stop at Susa, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Iran. This prehistoric settlement (from at least 4000 B.C. and an important Elamite city) reached peak under the reign of Untash Gal, who built Susa as his administrative capital and founded Tchogha Zanbil as his religious center. Chogba Zanbil remains the best surviving example of Elamite architecture.
PM: Visit to Chogha Zanbil. O/N Ahvaz.
AM: After breakfast and a cup of “chai”, we depart for Shiraz visiting also the famous Sassanid Reliefs and Palace of Bishapour. Shiraz is traditionally known as city of Roses and Nightingales.
PM: O/N Shiraz.
AM: Full day excursion to visit of Persepolis, and Naqsh-e Rustam (Necropolis).
PM: Free at leisure and shopping. O/N Shiraz.
AM: Our day is spent exploring Shiraz where we start with a visit to the picturesque Eram Garden, famous for its cypress trees. Next we visit the tombs of Persia‘s best known poets: Saadi and Hafiz. While there, why not enjoy a cup of chai at the wonderful atmospheric teahouse where one sit on a floor of cushions and mingle with the locals.
PM: Our next stop takes us to the “modern” Nasiro-Molk mosque and the pretty Afif-Abad Garden followed by a visit to the Church of Saint Simmon the Zealot with the famed stained glass windows and then off to see the ornately mirrored Shrine of Shah-Cheragh. This wonderful day culminates with a trip to a labyrinthine bazaar. O/N Shiraz.
AM: This morning depart for Yazd with stop at Pasargadae, where we view the six-tiered tomb of Cyrus the Great.
PM: Visiting the Abarqu village at the fringes of Iran central desert. O/N Yazd.
AM: Visit the Fire Temple, Towers of Silence and the Wind Towers.
PM: There is time to explore the old city at your leisure. O/N Yazd.
AM: In the morning we depart on a beautiful drive to Isfahan, which was a vibrant trade center, and its glorious Islamic architecture and beautiful gardens captured the hearts of many with the saying: “Isfahan is half the World”.
PM: Tour includes a visit to the 6 stories Ali Qapu Palace followed by a tour of the most impressive pavilion and garden, Chehel Sutoon Palace (40 pillars palace – in reality there are 20 pillars with 20 water reflections) built with 40 pillars by Shah Abbas. We finish off this day of exploration with a trip to the most famous bazaar in Iran. O/N Isfahan.
AM: Isfahan is a city one can never forget. Today’s tour of this magnificent medina begins with Hacht Behesht Palace, a charming garden palace, built in 1680, with impressive mosaics and stalactite moldings. Then we are off to see the richly decorated and serene Armenian Vank Church followed by the glorious Friday Mosque. No trip to Isfahan is complete without visiting the famous old bridges that cross the Zayande River. We take some time here to stroll along the riverbanks, mingle with the friendly residents and join the local folks for the famous Isfahani tea.
PM: Visiting Imam Square, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and Isfahan Bazaar. O/N Isfahan.
AM: On our scenic drive to Tehran we stop at Kashan, an attractive oasis town, and take in its attractive sights. We visit Tabatabaie Houses and Khan-e Borujerdi, built as a private residence, now a charming museum with a lovely courtyard. We then take in the famous Fin Garden and witness its breathtaking pools, orchards and natural springs. Next we visit Agha Bozorg Mosque famous for its lovely portals and minaret
PM: Visit the exquisite Shrine of Fatima in Qum and later we view the Tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini. O/N Tehran.
AM: Our culminating tour of Tehran begins with the impressive Glass and Ceramic Museum, continues in the Sa’dabad Garden Museum (with its 18 opulent Palaces) and the world-renowned Carpet Museum that houses a spectacular collection of Iranian hand woven carpets. Our next museum is the Reza Abbasi’s. Its artifacts date back to the 14th century and the museum exhibits stunning examples of Islamic calligraphy and exquisite jewelry from several dynasties.
PM: The day ends with a visit to the bazaar to pick up some last minute gifts and souvenirs. O/N Tehran
Today early morning we depart to Airport for the departure flight. We exchange addresses with our new friends and bid farewell to ancient Persia.
End of tour.