A Journey Through Persia

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A Journey Through Persia

IRAN | 16 Days | Tehran – Ahwaz – Shiraz – Yazd – Isfahan – Kashan – Tehran

This small group journey reveals a vast and fascinating country with a 5,000 year old history and World Heritage sites aplenty. Be dazzled by the ancient cities near Ahwaz, amazed by the architectural delights
of Isfahan, the ancient ruins of Persepolis and the mesmerising gardens and bazaars of Shiraz. These evocative names are long-enshrined in the history and legend of Central Asia. Our journey plots a course through Iran’s unique heritage while you observe the pride in which Iranians hold their country and its glorious past and enjoy a warm welcome and local hospitality.

Journey Highlights

• One-on-one interaction with your A&K Host
• Visit the ancient city of Chogha-Zanbil built in 1250 BC
• Explore Susa, the site of one of the oldest civilisations in Western Asia, dating back to 5,000 BC and the remains of Achaemenian palaces
• Tour the most famous and beautiful Persian gardens in the country in Shiraz
• Full day excursion to Persepolis
• Experience Yazd, an oasis town famous for its unique architecture and Zoroastrian community
• Isfahan, one the most beautiful cities in the Islamic world.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tehran. Arrive into the Iranian capital and transfer to your hotel. This evening meet your fellow travelling companions and A&K Host at a welcome dinner (D). Espinas Hotel (Run of House) Day 2: Tehran. A full day’s guided touring in Tehran including the Archaeological and Islamic Museums which display a collection of pre-historic and ancient artefacts with pottery dating back as far as the 7th millennium B.C.

Day 2: Tehran. A full day’s guided touring in Tehran including the Archaeological and Islamic Museums which display a collection of pre-historic and ancient artefacts with pottery dating back as far as the 7th millennium B.C. Also visit the Abguineh Museum housing a valuable collection of pre-Islamic and Islamic glass and ceramics, followed by a visit to the Carpet Museum with an extensive collection Persian carpets (B,L,D). Espinas Hotel (Run of House)

Day 3: Tehran – Ahwaz. This morning explore the city at leisure. This afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Ahwaz (B,L,D). Fajr Hotel (Run of House)

Day 4: Ahwaz. Enjoy a full day excursion to Chogha-Zanbil and its impressive ziggurat built by Untash Gal, King of Elam, around 1250 BC. Continue to Haft-Tappeh or Seven Mounds, the Elamite necropolis, followed by a visit to Susa, the site of one of the oldest civilisations in Western Asia, dating back to 5,000 BC and the remains of Achaemenian palaces, plus the nearby Tomb of the biblical prophet Daniel (B,L,D). Fajr Hotel (Run of House)

Day 5: Ahwaz – Shiraz. Drive (approx. 7 hours) to Shiraz. Breaking the journey stop to visit the ancient Sassanian city of Bishapur. Built by King Shapur I (241-273) the complex includes a central chamber and large courtyard formerly covered with impressive mosaics, plus the remains of a temple dedicated to Anahita, the goddess of water and fertility (B,L,D). Zandiyeh Hotel Shiraz (Run of House)

Day 6: Shiraz. Visit Eram Garden, one of the most beautiful Persian gardens in the country constructed during the 11th-14th centuries. See also the tombs of Iran’s greatest lyric poets, as well as the pink tiled 19th century Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque and the Arg-e-Karim Khan (18th century citadel). Later visit the Madrassa Khan (Theological School) for interaction with teachers and students, the Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh and the Qajar-period Narenjestan House and grounds, a traditional merchant’s residence. Finally explore the Vakil Bazaar, one of the best places in Shiraz to buy Persian rugs, spices, handicrafts and antiques (B,L,D). Zandiyeh Hotel Shiraz (Run of House)

Day 7: Shiraz – Persepolis – Shiraz. Today visit Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the Ancient World. The ancient capital of the Achaemenid kings where you will find the remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes, and its famous bas-reliefs. Also see the Naghsh-e-Rostam, the fire temple and Royal Tombs plus seven magnificent Sassanian rock-reliefs (B,L,D). Zandiyeh Hotel Shiraz (Run of House)

Day 8: Shiraz – Yazd. Today you are driven approx. 5.5 hours to Yazd. Stop on route at Pasargadae, which pre-dates Persepolis to see the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the Founder of the Persian Empire, and remains of several of his palaces (B,L,D). Moshir Garden Hotel (Run of House)

Day 9: Yazd. Explore Yazd, an oasis town that is famous for its unique architecture and Zoroastrian community. Included is a visit to one of the Zoroastrian abandoned Towers of Silence, dating back to the 17th century, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, the fire of which has been burning for about 1500 years, and the stunning Friday Mosque dating to 1324 with the highest portal and minarets in Iran (B,L,D). Moshir Garden Hotel (Run of House)

Day 10: Yazd. A full day at leisure to either relax at the hotel or explore this fascinating city on your own. Take a morning stroll through the local markets, visit one of the many fascinating museums or just sit and enjoy a local Persian tea as you watch a typical day in Iran unfold before you
(B,L,D). Moshir Garden Hotel (Run of House)

Day 11: Yazd – Isfahan. Drive approx. 4 hours to Isfahan, home to three of the finest religious buildings anywhere in the Islamic world. On the way, stop at Na’in, a charming desert town famous for its high-quality carpets and woollen textiles and visit the 10th century Friday Mosque and the 17th century Pirnia Traditional House (B,L,D). Hotel Abbasi (Run of House)

Day 12: Isfahan. A full day touring in Isfahan widely thought to be the most beautiful city in the Islamic world. Visit the city’s famous bridges, the Armenian Quarter and its churches. Also visit one of the world’s grandest squares, the Maidan-e-Naghsh-e-Jahan, home to several important sites; the Ali-Qapu Palace, and two of the Islamic world’s greatest mosques, the Sheikh Lotfollah and the Imam both featuring magnificent architecture and tilework. Finish the day with a visit to the Qeisarieh Bazaar with hundreds of shops displaying the arts and handicrafts for which Isfahan is world-famous (B,L,D). Hotel Abbasi (Run of House)

Day 13: Isfahan. Another day spent in this glorious city with visits to the magnificent Friday Mosque, the Chehel Sotun Palace built by Shah Abbas II in the 17th century and the Hasht Behesht pavilion built in 1670 (B,L,D). Hotel Abbasi (Run of House)

Day 14: Isfahan – Kashan. Drive approximately 2.5 hours to Kashan, an attractive oasis town which was famous for its carpets, ceramic tiles and silk. On the way stop to visit the charming town of Natanz and its beautiful Islamic complex. On arrival in Kashan visit the early 16th century garden of Fin and a 19th century merchant residence known as Taba-Tabai House with its beautiful stucco dome, inlaid mirror work and fine badgirs (wind-catchers) (B,L,D). Hotel Negarestan (Run of House)

Day 15: Kashan – Tehran. Return to Tehran (approx. 2.5 hour drive) passing the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini en route. This evening farewell your fellow travellers at a farewell dinner at the hotel (B,L,D).Espinas Hotel (Run of House) Day 16: Depart Tehran. Transfer to the airport for departure flight (B). DATES & PRICING

Day 16: Depart Tehran. Transfer to the airport for departure flight (B).

DATES & PRICING

3 – 18 May 2017
14 – 29 September 2017
25 October – 9 November 2017

Twin Share Per Person: $11,350
Single Supplement: $2,565

Allow us to provide you with a competitive international airfare for this journey.

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A&K Hosts

A&K Hosts are the best in the business. Each has extensive knowledge and a singular ability to bring local attractions to life. These individuals are multilingual and well-travelled, each possessing a fascinating insight into the diverse attractions and cultural interactions present through the region. In Iran, our hosts are highly qualified and knowledgeable in all aspects of the country’s history, culture, religion, art and architecture as well as all aspects of life in Iran today. Engaging, educated and proud to show off their country, our Iranian hosts will truly enrich your experience in the destination.