Intended destinations: Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Kashan, Natanz, Abyaneh, and Qom
Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Kashan are the four major historical and cultural cities in Iran, each of which rich in incredible historic monuments, quite ancient districts, stunning countryside, breathtaking natural beauty, and wonderful tourist attractions. It is a wonder that each city has its own particular climate, awesome architecture, local residents with a specific lifestyle, local food and traditions. With these unique features, these cities willcertainly catch tourists’ eyesand make sweet memories and lasting impression on them. This tour can be the best choice for those who want to make their first visit to Iran.
A Glance of Persia is a short scheduled trip which provides an opportunity for you to visit the sights in Iran within the space of 8 days.
Day 1: Arriving in Tehran & start of tour
Sightseeing: Carpet Museum, Sa’ad Abad Complex, Reza Abbasi Museum, Milad Tower, Nature Bridge (by choice, at an extra cost)
Upon your pre-dawn arrival at Tehran airport, our representative, carrying our show card (transfer information), will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. You will have time to rest and relax before our morning tour of Tehran begins. To avoid heavy traffic, taking the subway is the best way to visit Tehran. We take the subway and charter taxis so that we make most of the day and visit as many sites as possible. As a result, you’ll have a much better chance to get more acquainted with Iranian people.
We leave the hotel at 9:30 for a trip to the Carpet Museum which houses more than 100 spectacular pieces from all over Iran. Here we will get a chance to see a variety of Persian hand-woven carpets and rugs. We will also be given an insight into the history of these carpets.
Then we pay a visit to Sa’ad Abad Complex with an immense area of 1,100,000 square meters and 18 magnificent historical palaces two of which we will visit. The complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s, and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved there in the 1970s. After the 1979 Revolution, the complex became a museum. It will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on us. Soon after we go to have lunch; a tasty Iranian dish in a traditional restaurant.
Afterwards we stop by the Reza Abbasi Museum located in Seyed Khandan. The museum was named after Reza Abbasi; one of the artists in the Safavid period. It is home to a unique collection of Persian art dating back to the second millennium BC, from both the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras.
Finally we make a visit to Milad Tower; the sixth-tallest tower in the world standing at 435 meters from the base to the tip of the antenna (if it is open). At night we can take a tour of the Nature Bridge by choice (at an extra cost). It is the largest pedestrian overpass built in Iran. The 270-metre (890 ft.) bridge connects two public parks—Taleghani Park and Abo-Atash Park—by spanning Shahid Modarres Avenue, one of the main highways in northern Tehran.
Attention: The priority in sightseeing may be changed due to the time of your arrival, preference of your guide and also official and unofficial holidays of some museums.
Day 2: Visiting Tehran, fly to Shiraz
Sightseeing: The National Museum of Iran, Golestan Palace, Bazaar, National Jewelry Museum, Shah-e Cherag
We get up early morning and begin the day with a trip to the National Museum of Iran; an institution formed of two complexes; the Museum of Ancient Iran which was opened in 1937, and the Museum of the Islamic Era which was opened in 1972.It hosts historical monuments dating back through preserved ancient and medieval Iranian antiquities, including pottery vessels, metal objects, textile remains, and some rare books and coins. We will see the “evolution of mankind” through the marvelous display of historic relics.
Next on the list is visiting the Golestan Palace, the former royal Qajar complex in Iran’s capital city, Tehran. It is one of the oldest historic monuments of world heritage status belonging to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s arg (“citadel”). It consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts and European presents from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Then we go for a walk through bazaar. Bazaar, in Iran, is the economic life of the country. Moreover, social relations are formed here and a fairly wide range of people get the chance to socialize more. It is also a logical place for political parties to rule their own policies. Soon after we go to have lunch.
Our Tehran excursion will end at the priceless National Jewelry Museum where we will visit a world of jewels, one of which includes one of the two greatest diamonds; Darya-e-Noor (sea of light).
Afterwards we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Shiraz. On the way to the hotel, we will pay a visit to Shah-e Cheragh. This is one of the most beautiful shrines in Iran with its beautiful dome, wonderful lighting and Mirror-work. Stay overnight in Shiraz.
Day 3: Visiting Shiraz
Sightseeing: Karim Khan Palace, Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bazaar, Saraye Moshir, Nasir Almolk Mosque, the tombs of Hafez and Saadi, Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh, Jahan Nama Garden, Eram Garden, and the tomb of Khajoy-e-Kermani
Shiraz has a reputation for being an enlightened city that has been at the cultural heartland of Iran for more than 2,000 years. It had once been the country’s capital.
Shiraz is crowned as the heartland of Persian culture, and this city of sophistication will never fail to conjure up images of roses and nightingales, gardens and poetry. Early in the morning, relish in the highlights of Shiraz when it was the capital of Iran during the Zand Dynasty. Be inspired by the glorious Karim Khan Palace, the splendid Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bazaar and Saraye Moshir with its splendid architecture and interesting ethnic souvenir shops, and the Nasir Almolk Mosque. Next, we will stop for a mouth-watering Iranian lunch at one of the traditional restaurants in Shiraz.
This gorgeous city is home to famous poets such as Hafez and Sa’adi, and historical sites from different eras dating back to 6,000 years ago can be found. Hafez is one of the great poets who impressed everyone with his mastery. His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding. Saadi is a poet, philosopher and mystic who is known as the father of tourism. He travelled to different countries and cities about seven centuries ago. Then he collected all his experiences in verse and rhyme prose in two books named Boustan and Golestan. These two books give you lots of inspiration and information. We will get a chance to pay homage to the tombs of these great poets.
In the evening, we will visit Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh and be prepared to marvel at its beauties. We will take a stroll through the Jahan Nama Garden and witness its tall and proud cedars. Finally we will visit the Eram Garden and the tomb of Khajoy-e-Kermani from where the perspective of the mysterious city of Shiraz will remain in our mind.
Day 4: Visit Persepolis & Necropolis, visit Shiraz
Sightseeing: Persepolis, Necropolis, Sang-e-sia District, Bibidokhtaran, Mirhadi Mosque, Moshir Mosque, the tomb of Sibooyeh, Niayesh traditional chain hotels
In the morning, we first pay a visit to Persepolis. Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site. It seems that Darius planned this impressive complex of palaces not only as the seat of government but also, and primarily, as a showplace and a spectacular center for the receptions and festivals of the Achaemenid kings and their empire such as Nowroz.
The second place we stop by is Necropolis. Opposite Mount Rahmat, ten minutes to the north, proudly stands the Necropolis, the magnificent burial place of Achaemenid kings. The site also provides seven bas-reliefs dating back to Elamite and Sassanid periods.
Then we return to the hotel and get some rest. In the evening, we take a walking tour of the historical and cultural district of Sang-e-sia (black stone), visit the shrine of Bibidokhtaran with its unique architecture which is a sample of the well-known Dome of Soltaniyeh in Zanjan (the third largest dome in the world after the domes of Florence Cathedral and Hagia Sophia, its importance in the Muslim world may be compared to that of Brunelleschi’s cupola for Christian architecture.), visit the historical cypress in Mirhadi Mosque, visit Moshir Mosque and walk past an Armenian church (as a Christian, you may get the chance to pay a visit if you ask for), visit the tomb of Sibooyeh, visit Niayesh traditional chain hotels which include the historical houses of Moayedi, Mostafavi, and Nematollahi. You will see the evolution of the Iranian architecture from 200 years ago to the Qajar era and the present time. You will get to know some elements of the architecture in the interior decoration of the ancient Pahlavi houses such as backyard, courtyard, chambers around the courtyard, guesthouse, pool, shahneshin, orsi, panjdari, and gushvareh. We will make our day by having Shirazi dinner and drink at Delgosha restaurant.
Day 5: Drive to Isfahan, visit Pasargadae on the way, visit Isfahan
Sightseeing: Pasargadae, Jame’ Mosque, Menar Jonban, Vank Cathedral, Si-o-seh pol
In the morning, we leave the hotel for Isfahan at 8 o’clock. On the way, we will visit Pasargadae which was once the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction (559-530 BC); it was also the location of his tomb. It is today an archaeological site and one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Then we continue all the way to Isfahan. We will arrive in Isfahan around 2 p.m., have lunch and check into the hotel. In the evening, first we will visit Isfahan’s Jame’ Mosque displaying several centuries of historical Islamic evolution. This mosque is a gallery of Islamic architecture in which the progress of architecture from the outset of Islam till recent times is evident. Then we will visit the Menar Jonban, the tomb of a Sufi with its shaking minarets and some historical bridges. Afterwards, we will visit Vank Cathedral which is one of the most beautiful Armenian churches in the world and will undoubtedly capture the attention of every Christian. Our day will conclude with a visit to Allahverdi Khan Bridge popularly known as Si-o-seh pol; the bridge of thirty-three spans. It is one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design and the longest bridge on the Zayandeh River with the total length of 297.76 meters.
Day 6: Visiting Isfahan
Sightseeing: Chehel Sotoun, Imam Square, Ali Qapu, Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Isfahan, the legendary city which never fails to enchant its visitors, is the pearl of traditional Islamic archeology. This city is revived by the works of contemporary artists. Isfahan prides itself in having fascinating historical garden palaces. Legend has it that the city was founded at the time of Tahmoures and because of its glories has been entitled “Half the World”. Our full day tour includes Chehel Sotoun Palace; a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions. the name meaning “forty columns” in Persian, was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion appeared to be forty reflected in the water of the fountain, the famed Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan); a huge square second in the world to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, and Ali Qapu Palace; The name coming from Persian “Ālī” (meaning “imperial” or “great”), and Azerbaijani “Qāpū” (meaning “gate”), was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces which stretched from the Naqsh e Jahan Square to the Chahar Baq Boulevard. Finally we tour the Imam Mosque and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and enjoy their architectural marvels. Evening is free at leisure. Stay overnight in Isfahan.
Day 7: Drive to Kashan, visit Natanz and Abyaneh on the way
Sightseeing: Natanz, the tomb of Sheikh Abd al-Samad, the castle of Tarq, Abyaneh
On the way to Kashan, first we will visit Natanz; a city located 70 kilometers (43 mi) south-east of Kashan, whose bracing climate and locally produced fruitare well known in Iran. Various small shrines dot the area,and it is known as the shrine of the Sufi Sheikh Abd al-Samad. The elements in the present complex date from 1304 with subsequent additions and restorations, such as the Khaneqah and Muqarnas vault. Then we will pay a visit to the castle of Tarq; a historic castle from Sassanid era, located in the Tarq Rud village. Afterwards, we continue to the UNESCO recognized village of Abyaneh in Barzrud Rural District, located at the foot of Mount Karkas and in the vicinity of desert. On top of the village sits the ruins of a Sasanid era fort. The dialect of the people of Abyaneh has preserved some characteristics of the Middle Persian language, the language of the Sassanian Persia. We appreciate the serenity of this quaint village with its splendid archaeology and meet the dwellers who speak, live and dress in the original Persian style. In the end, we will arrive in Kashan and check into the hotel. Stay overnight in Kashan.
Day 8: Visit Kashan, transfer to IKA via Qom, depart from Iran
Sightseeing: historic houses of Borujerdiha and Tabatabaeiha, Fin Garden, Qom, the shrine of Fatema Masumeh
We begin our tour with a visit to the historic houses of Borujerdiha and Tabatabaeiha in Kashan and get acquainted with the previous century’s architecture, the Qajar era. Then we will stop by the Fin Garden; a historical Persian garden containing Kashan’s Fin Bath, where Amir Kabir, the Qajarid chancellor, was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran. Soon after, we will have lunch and leave Kashan for IKA. On the way, we will visit Qom and the holy shrine of Fatema Masumeh. Qom is considered by Shia Muslims to be the second most sacred city in Iran after Mashhad (By choice, we can visit Dasht-e Kavir and Maranjab Carvansary instead). What comes last is our transfer to IKA and depart from Iran, the land of history, culture, nature, beauty and hospitality, of which you will have fond memories forever. (In “Glance of Persia”, we didn’t consider it necessary to book a hotel for this night. On request, we can book the hotel at IKA for some hours or a whole night in accordance with your departure time)
Economy tour 590 EUR ~ 707 USD only includes 2* hotels with breakfast and English speaking driver (basic English) and invitation letter of Iran visa and domestic flight if available in the tour. Nothing more (no guide, no L/D, no entrance fees) is included in our economy tours.
The economy tour normally will be operated based on 3 to 5 tourists. For these pax bracket our driver knows destinations and guests will need to pay for entrance fee, meals and other expenses themselves. So no need to have guide. This tour is arranged to give opportunity to those who do not like to have guide. Americans, British and Canadians cannot choose this economy version because in this version there is no guide and these nationalities need to have guide to book the tour and apply for visa.
In Standard tours 1290 EUR ~ 1546 USD hotels are 3*/4*.
In Luxury tours 1590 EUR ~ 1906 USD hotels are the best options in each city (mostly 4*/5* except in cities that has no 4*/5*).
Standard and Luxury tour prices include following services:
- Invitation letter for Iranian visa
- 8 nights stay in middle class hotels
- 8 days transportation across Iran
- Experienced English speaking guide for 8 days
- Breakfast and lunch
- Domestic flights
- All entrance fees
- Special offers
- Transfer by guide
Tour prices are for each person in DBL room. The SNG supplement is 20% of the total tour.
- January – 6 & 13 & 20 & 27
- February – 3 & 10 & 17 & 24
- March – 3 & 10 & 17 & 24
- April – 7 & 14 & 21 & 28
- May – 4 & 11 & 18 & 25
- June – 9 & 16 & 23 & 30
- July – 14 & 21 & 28
- August – 4 & 11 & 18 & 25
- September – 1 & 8 & 22 & 29
- October – 6 & 13 & 20 & 27
- November – 10 & 17 & 24
- December – 1 & 8 & 15 & 22 & 29
If you have any questions, please contact us via booking form. Thank you!