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Explore the Silk Road

Tehran to Shiraz
Duration: 15 Days
Code: PISR
Tailor made
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Tour highlights

Iran National Museum, Maranjab Desert, Kashan historical houses, Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Varzaneh Desert, Narin Castle , Yazd Water Museum , Lout Desert , Persepolis and Necropolis

What you need to know about this tour

  • The vast land of Iran is home to a big part of the ancient Silk Road crossing through the two major deserts called Dasht-e kavir and Kavir-e Lout, providing mind-blowing landscapes, rich culture and amazing architecture. Take the two week Explore the Silk Road Tour and soak up the atmosphere of this ancient road.

What is Included

  • Accommodation at hotels
  • Private vehicle
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Visa service

Tour accommodations

Tour Meals

14 Breakfasts, 3 Dinner

Itineraries

Salaam! Welcome to Iran. Your tour will start in Tehran, the modern and chaotic capital of Iran with a population of about 14 million people. Tehran is both a modern city with sky scrappers and a city with the treasures of the Qajar and Pahlavi Dynasties like the Golestan, Saad Abad and Niavaran palaces. Today you will arrive at IKA INTL Airport and after meeting your guide, you will be transferred to your hotel to get ready for the adventure. Depending on your arrival time, you can enjoy visiting some of the attractions of Tehran, like the National Museum of Iran, which houses a perfect collection of Pre Islamic and Islamic pieces or the Abgineh Museum which houses a fantastic collection of glassware and ceramics.

Included Excursions

  • None

Optional Excursions

  • Iran National Museum
  • Abgineh Museum

Accommodation: Hotel in Tehran

In the morning visit the charming Golestan Palace, the royal building used by Iranian kings during the Safavid, Qajar, and Pahlavi dynasties, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. After this visit, start your road trip to Kashan (315 km) and visit the Maranjab Desert on the way. The Maranjab Desert, which is believed to be named by Shah Abbas (the Safavid King), is known for its eye-catching sand dunes, the mysterious salt lake, and the old caravanserai. After enjoying Maranjab’s beauty, move to Kashan and check in to hotel.

Included Excursions

  • Golestan Palace
  • Maranjab Desert

Accommodation: Hotel in Kashan

Meals: Breakfast

After having breakfast, you will visit Tabatabai historical house, the residential house of the Tabatabai family who lived in this beautiful building 140 years ago, and the historical Sultan Mir Ahmad Bathhouse. Then visit the attractive Fin Garden, which is one of the nine Persian gardens, registered by the UNESCO and drive toward Isfahan(220 km). Isfahan was the capital of Iran during sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and Shah Abbas changed this city to one of the most glorious cities in the whole world. Today Isfahan is known as “Nesf-e Jahan”, meaning half of the world! After checking into your hotel and taking a short rest, visit two of the Safavid bridges built over Zayandeh Rood (Zayandeh River), named Khaju and Si o Se Pol. This river, Winding through Isfahan, is the beating heart of the city, with which the locals have a special connection.

Included Excursions

  • Tabatabai House
  • Sultan Mir Ahmad bathhouse
  • Fin Garden
  • Khaju and Si o Se Pol Bridges

Accommodation: Hotel in Isfahan

Meals: Breakfast

Today, you will immerse yourself in the heritage of the great Safavid Dynasty, which played an important role in this country’s art, architecture and culture. First you will get acquainted with the glorious Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the magnificent monuments around it. The great six story Ali Qapu Palace, displays the best interior designs and ornaments of that time. Then visit Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and Jaame Mosque of Shah Abbas also called the Imam Mosque, which are both known for their mesmerizing tile works and high domes. The whole Naqsh e Jahan Complex is registered as a world heritage site by the UNESCO. In the afternoon you will visit Chehel Sotun Garden and the interesting paintings inside its pavilion. Chehel Sotun is another garden from the nine Persian Gardens registered by the UNESCO. Then you will walk through the handicraft bazaar of Isfahan and get familiar with the amazing handicrafts of this city. In 2015, Isfahan was chosen as one of the world cities of handicraft by the World Crafts Council, AISBL.

Included Excursions

  • Naqsh-e Jahan Square
  • Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
  • Imam Mosque
  • Ali Qapu Palace
  • Chehel Sotun Garden and Palace

Accommodation: Hotel in Isfahan

Meals: Breakfast

The New Julfa quarter in Isfahan is home to a big population of Armenians, who have resided in this city since 1606 AD by the edict of Shah Abbas. In the morning you will explore the New Julfa and the Vank Cathedral. Then you will drive toward the Varzaneh Desert (125 km). In beautiful Varzaneh , you will have the chance to take a walk on eternal sand dunes and experience a unique sunset. Tonight’s accommodation will be at an ecolodge where you can meet locals and enjoy a home cooked meal.

Included Excursions

  • Armenian New Jolfa Quarter
  • Vank Cathedral
  • Varzaneh Desert walking tour

Optional Excursions

  • None

Accommodation: Ecolodge

Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Travel onward to Yazd (320 Kms), en route visit Naein, an old town on the edge of the desert and enjoy visiting Naein Jaame Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Iran. Then you will spend time in the Chak-Chak Temple, which is believed to be a miraculous place because Nikbanou the daughter of Yazdgerd III, the last Sassanid king, sheltered here, when Muslim invaders entered Iran. Before arriving in Yazd, you will also stop in the desert city of Meybod, home to Narin Ghale (the Narin Castle) and the historical caravanserai. You will arrive Yazd in the evening. After your hotel check in you can stay at hotel and take a rest or join your leader for a city walking tour.

Included Excursions

  • Naein Jaame Mosque
  • Chak-Chak Temple
  • Narin Castle
  • Meybod Caravanserai

Optional Excursions

  • Yazd city walking tour

Accommodation: Hotel in Yazd

Meals: Breakfast

The desert city of Yazd is known as “the city of bicycles” and “the city of wind-catchers”, and is the biggest adobe city and also the second oldest city in the world. The untouched old houses and alleys and the distinctive architectural style in Yazd have caused this city to be registered as a UNESCO world heritage site. Yazd is also home to the biggest population of Zoroastrians living in Iran and some heritages related to this spiritual religion. In the morning you will see the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence and the fire temple and the lush Dowlat Abad Garden which is located in the heart of the desert and is another Persian Garden registered by the UNESCO. Then you will head to the Water Museum to get to know more about the Qanats of Iran which is listed as a UNESCO world heritage invention, as well. In the afternoon you will visit the Amir Chakhmaq complex related to the Islamic era and then get acquainted with the Zoorkhaneh tradition or the traditional and symbolic workout tradition, listed as an intangible UNESCO world heritage of Iran.

Included Excursions

  • Zoroastrian Towers of Silence
  • Zoroastrian Fire Temple
  • Dowlat Abad Garden
  • Yazd Water Museum
  • Amir Chakhmagh Complex
  • Zoorkhaneh

Optional Excursions

  • None

Accommodation: Hotel in Yazd

Meals: Breakfast

After visiting Jaame Mosque of Yazd and the old city district you will continue your trip to the Zeinoddin Desert (75 km) and its caravanserai. Zeinoddin Caravanserai is the only round caravanserai in Iran and was built on the Silk Road in the 16th century. Spending a night in this unique setting lets you experience the atmosphere of the ancient journeys on the Silk Road.

Included Excursions

  • Yazd Jaame Mosque
  • Yazd old city walking tour

Optional Excursions

  • None

Accommodation: Zeinoddin Caravanserai

Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Back on the road again, you will drive to Kerman, another desert city in eastern Iran (300 km), which is the fifth oldest city in Iran with a very rich culture and diverse nature. Arriving Kerman, you will visit the glorious Ganjali Khan Complex, including the bathhouse, mosque, caravanserai, bazaar and the mint, all constructed during the Safavid Dynasty, when Ganjali Khan was the governor of this city.

Included Excursions

  • Ganjali Khan Complex, the bathhouse, mosque, caravanserai, bazaar and mint

Optional Excursions

  • None

Accommodation: Hotel in Kerman

Meals: Breakfast

Today you will drive to the Lout Desert (130 km) to visit the magnificent Kalouts of Shahdad. The Kalouts are weird sand formations at the heart of this desert. The great Lout Desert is a natural world heritage site inscribed by UNESCO. Spend the night in an ecolodge in Shahdad Desert and enjoy the magical atmosphere.

Included Excursions

  • Lout Desert

Accommodation: Ecolodge

Meals: Breakfast Dinner

In the morning drive to Rayen to visit the Rayen Citadel, which is the second biggest adobe castle in the world after the Bam Citadel. Then you will visit the amazing Shazdeh Garden (another Persian Garden registered by UNESCO). The towering ancient trees of Shazdeh Garden are fed by the qanat’s water in the middle of barrens, therefore this lush garden is called “the Emerald in the Desert”! After viewing the Shah Nematollah Holy Shrine you are going to check in at your hotel in Mahan.

Included Excursions

  • Rayen Castle
  • Shazdeh Garden
  • Shah Nematollah Holy Shrine

Accommodation: Hotel in Mahan

Meals: Breakfast

Start driving towards Shiraz after breakfast (570 km). This would be the longest drive on this tour. Shiraz is the city of poetry, culture and history and it was the capital of Iran during the Zand Dynasty. Shiraz is also known to be a city where you will feel welcomed and relaxed. After arriving in Shiraz in the evening you can enjoy a city walking tour with your guide.

Accommodation: Hotel in Shiraz

Meals: Breakfast

Start your city adventure in the morning. First visit the Qajarid Nasir al Molk Mosque Mosque, offering an amazing atmosphere in the morning due to the sunlight shining through the stained glass windows and creating colorful shadows and images. Then walk to Naranjestan Palace, which is a charming building with fantastic ornaments. This palace was owned by the Ghavam family during the Qajar Dynasty. After a short walk from Naranjestan, you will reach Vakil Bazaar and see how locals still trade with different goods in this historic market of the Zand Complex. After taking a rest at a tea house inside the bazaar, visit the Ali Ibn Hamzeh Holy Shrine, Eram Botanical Garden (one of the Persian gardens registered by UNESCO) and the mausoleum of Hafez, the 14th century poet of Shiraz.

Included Excursions

  • Nasir al Molk Mosque
  • Naranjestan Palace
  • Vakil Bazaar
  • Ali Ibn Hamzeh
  • Eram Garden
  • Tomb of Hafez

Accommodation: Hotel in Shiraz

Meals: Breakfast

Drive 60 kilometers to explore the ancient city of Persepolis, constructed by architectural masters during the Achaemenid Era, 515 B.C. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings for celebrating rituals especially Nowruz. It includes separate palaces displaying symbolic and delicate bass reliefs and numerous inscriptions. Then you will visit the Necropolis, a mysterious collection of tombs of Achaemenid and Sassanid bass reliefs.

Included Excursions

  • Persepolis
  • Necropolis

Accommodation: Hotel in Shiraz

Meals: Breakfast

Today, you will leave Iran with good memories. Check out from your hotel before 12:00 and you will be transferred to Shiraz INTL airport for your departure flight. If you have booked your departure flight from Tehran, you will need a domestic flight from Shiraz to Tehran.

Meals: Breakfast

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