World Heritage (UNESCO) sites as the common heritage of humankind belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. This recommended tour is a group tour to World Heritage sites of Iran.
Iran is a unique place in the world, rich in history and culture where the course of history has left its mark and today Iran is home to a dozen World Heritage (UNESCO) Sites. In this tour, we travel through history and art to explore Iran’s spectacular monuments in addition to other ones not mentioned in Iran world heritage list. Among those, the ruins of Persepolis, the famous inscriptions of Bisotun, Takht-e-Soleyan, Maku, Tabriz bazaar and Naghsh-e Jahan Square are some to mention.
Day 1: Arrive Tehran. O/N Tehran
Transfer from airport to hotel. Tehran as the showcase and capital city of Iran is a megalopolis. This city is home to many invaluable museums to some we will pay a visit. Drive to the north of Tehran where the Iranian upper-class lives.
- Sa’dabad Complex: was impressively built by Pahlavi dynasty.
- Tajrish Bazaar: Experience the local life in cozy Tajrish Bazaar.
- Darband: Go hiking along the mountain trail through Darband and visit the most beautiful scenery in Tehran from that top. Enjoy tea, Qalian water pipe and the delicious Persian traditional cuisine, Dizi.
Day 2: Tehran, Ardebil. O/N Ardebil
Continue visiting Tehran with two more museums. Then an hour flight from Tehran takes you to Ardebil.
- Archeological (national) Museum: thanks to the immense volume, diversity and quality of its monuments, it ranks as one of the few most significant museums of the world.
- Imperial Crown Jewels Museum: is home to a vast number of unsurpassed precious gems.
- Golestan Palace: a masterpiece of the Qajar era which is a successful combination of Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The most characteristic features and ornaments date from the 19th century.
Day 3: Ardebil, Tabriz. O/N Tabriz
Ardabil is a historical city in north-western Iran where the dominant majority are Azeris and the Safavid dynasty took up residence. Drive to Tabriz in the evening.
- Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble: a place of spiritual retreat in the Sufi tradition built between 16 to18 centuries. The route to the shrine of the Sheikh divided into seven segments, which mirror the seven stages of Sufi mysticism, separated by eight gates, which represent the eight attitudes of Sufism.
- Historical bridges: numerous historical bridges mostly built during Safavid era.
- Saint Mary church: the Armenian orthodox church with a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome.
- Jame Mosque: ruins of once magnificent and unique Mosque.
Day 4: Tabriz, Kandovan. O/N Tabriz
Tabriz is Iran’s city of the firsts, the safest city, the healthiest city, the cradle of Iran investment and many others to mention. Tabriz has a rich history, many monuments in the city date back to the Ilkhanid, Safavid, and Qajar periods. In the 13th century, Tabriz was the capital city of the Safavid dynasty.
- Elgoli Park & Mansion: was used as a summer palace during the Qadjar dynasty.
- Tabriz Bazaar: this old bazaar is the largest covered traditional bazaar in the world. In 2010 it was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
- Kabood Mosque: or Blue Mosque.
- Constitution House: the gathering place of the Constitutional Revolution leaders and activists. The most beautiful part of the house is a skylight and corridor decorated with colorful glass and mirrors.
- Kandovan Village: a wonderful example of inhabited man-made cliff dwelling.
Day 5: Maku. O/N Tabriz
Start the day with an excursion to Maku in north west Iran to visit another Iran world heritage site.
- The Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran: consists of three monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian faith: St Thaddeus and St Stepanos and the Chapel of Dzordzor. These edifices dating back to the 7th century are examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions.
Day 6: Zanjan, Takab, Hamadan. O/N Hamadan
Early morning drive to Hamadan via Zanjan and Takab to visit two other Iran world heritage site.
- Gonbad-e Soltanieh: one of the outstanding examples of the achievements of Persian architecture and a key monument in the development of its Islamic architecture. Being described as ‘anticipating the Taj Mahal’, Soltanieh is the earliest existing example of the double-shelled dome in Iran.
- Takht-e Soleiman: a Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid period as well as a temple of the Sasanian period dedicated to Anahita. The site has strong symbolic and spiritual significance related to fire and water.
Day 7: Hamadan, Kermanshah. O/N Kermanshah
Hamadan is one of the oldest cities in the world. Being located in the foothills of Alvand Mountain, Hamadan has a green mountainous area. After lunch drive to Kermanshah.
- Avicenna Tomb: Avicenna the great philosopher, scholar, physician of Iran.
- Baba Taher Tomb: an 11th-century mystic poet in Persian literature.
- Esther & Mordecai Tomb: originally dating to the 13th Century A.D., this mausoleum is the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in Iran. It believed to house the biblical Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai.
- Ancient Ekbatana (Hegmataneh): an ancient city in Media in western Iran. According to Herodotus, Ecbatana was chosen as the Medes capital in the late 8th century B.C.E.
- Ganjnameh and Abbas Abad lake: an ancient inscription 5 km southwest of Hamedan. It is composed of two sections, one ordered by Darius the Great and the other by Xerxes the Great.
- Anahita Temple: the ancient mother goddess of abundance and guardian of water in Kangavar.
- Bisotun: the Achaemenian the bas-relief and cuneiform about the battles of Darius the Great.
- Tagh-e-Bostan: a rock carvings in Kermanshah which depicts royal scenes of battles of the Sassanid Kings.
Day 8: Susa, Shushtar, Ahvaz. O/N Ahvaz
Drive downwards to Khuzestan province. Susa, the ancient city of Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran, is the highlight of this day.
- Tomb of Daniel: the traditional burial place of the biblical prophet Daniel.
- Apadana Palace: the magnificent winter castle of Achaemenid empires.
- Chogha Zanbil Temple and Haft Tapeh: the ancient Elamite ziggurat to honor the great god Inshushinak
- Shooshtar waterfalls and historical bridges: Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, can be traced back to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C.
Day 9: Bishapour, Shiraz. O/N Shiraz
Depart Ahvaz for Shiraz on surface and enjoy a day visiting the historical relics of the Sassanid era.
- Sarab-e-Bahram: a bas-relief of the scene of Sassanid triumph.
- Bishapoor and Chogan strait: an ancient city having a fort with rock-cut reservoirs and a river valley with six Sassanid rock relieves.
- Anahita temple: a fascinating structure from Sassanid time.
Day 10: Shiraz. O/N Shiraz
Shiraz is the center of Persian culture and sophistication, gardens and poetry. Full day tour of Shiraz.
- Karim Khan palace, Vakil mosque, Vakil Bazaar and Saray-e-moshir: the highlights of Shiraz when it was the capital of Iran during Zand Dynasty.
- Nasir al-molk mosque: being built during the Qajar era, this mosque has extensively colored glass in its facade, and other traditional elements in its design.
- Hafez tomb: pay homage to the mystic poet who impressed everyone with his mastery.
- Sa’di tomb: a philosopher poet who was a tourist and the author of Golestan and Boostan.
- Qoran gate: the city’s main entrance. The original gate was built as an ornamental decoration about 1000 years ago, but this was replaced 60 years ago by new gate, which is considered one of the finest architectural designs in Iran and has won numerous awards.
- Khajooy-e-Kermani tomb: from Qoran gate a stone stairways goes up to a picturesque and panoramic views of Shiraz where the tomb of Khajooy-e Kermani, a famous poet is located.
- Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh shrine: with marvelous beauties.
- Some Persian Gardens such as Jahan Nama and Delgosha: gardens are the manifestation of Shiraz.
Day 11: Persepolis, Pasargadae, Zeinoddin Caravanserai. O/N Zeinoddin Caravanserai
Depart Shiraz for Zeinoddin Caravanserai. You have been long waiting for today visit to the great gem of ancient Persia, Persepolis.
- Persepolis: the capital of Achaemenid Empire was founded by Darius, the Great in 518 B.C. was not only a governmental palace but also a center for festivals.
- Necropolis: the magnificent burial place of Achaemenid kings with seven bas-reliefs dating back to Elamite and Sassanid era.
- Pasargadae: the majestic tomb of Cyrus the Great, the originator and founder of Achaemanian Emperor, (500 years BC).
- Abarkouh: a historical city which is a showcase of desert architecture.
- Zeinoddin Caravanserai: a UNESCO award winner Caravanserai dating back to the Safavid era is located in the heart of desert 65 km to Yazd. Spending a night there, conjure up the old style of Persian accommodation.
Day 12: Yazd. O/N Yazd
Yazd, the oldest adobe city is juxtaposed to the central deserts of Iran. This ancient city which is decorated by stunning mosques is a combination of different religions.
- Old caravanserai of Saryazd
- Jame Mosque: is crowned by the highest minarets in Iran. The portal facade is decorated in dazzling blue tiles from top to bottom.
- The complex of Amir chakhmagh: a breathtaking construction.
- Persian Garden of Doulat Abad: with a building with a beautiful large badgir.
- Fire Temple: a Zoroastrian holy place for ritual purity.
- Dakhmeh (Tower of Silence): a circular structure used by Zoroastrians for exposure the dead to hunting birds.
- Wind Tower: the architecture Yazd is famous for. Those are used to create natural ventilation in buildings.
- Water museum: where interesting information about the Canat water distribution system is offered.
Day 13: Yazd, Isfahan. O/N Isfahan
Continue the tour by driving on a 300 km road to Isfahan immersing in the desert sceneries.
- Nain: the city of cisterns.
Day 14: Isfahan. O/N Isfahan
Isfahan entitled “Half the World” is the legendary city of traditional Islamic archeology and turquoise domes.
- Royal Square: the second huge square of the world after Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
- Sheikh Lotfollah and Jameh Abbasi Mosques: are brilliant masterpieces of Islamic-Persian architecture.
- Aliqapu, Chehel Sutoon and Hasht Behesht Palaces: renowned garden palaces that Isfahan is famous for.
- Isfahan bazaar: purchase traditional arts & crafts.
Day 15: Isfahan. O/N Isfahan
Continue exploring the cultural Isfahan.
- Isfahan Jame’ mosque: a gallery of the progress of Islamic architecture.
- Vank Church: a typical example of the Christian churches of Armenia.
- Historical bridges of Isfahan: Zayanderood flows through the heart of Isfahan, the bridges over it are of nice architecture.
Day 16: Abyaneh, Kashan. O/N Kashan
We will explore a day in the ancient village of Abyaneh. Today we will hit the road to Kashan, a city dating back to 6000 years ago.
- Abyaneh Village: a UNESCO-recognized village who speak, live and dress in the original Persian style.
- Kashan historical houses: such as Tabatabaiha and Borojerdiha, dating back to the previous century, the Qajar era.
- A Persian Garden, Fin: one of the most beautiful historical gardens of the world.
- Sultan Amir Ahmad Bath: the Turkish bath which is in disuse now.
- Agha Bozorg Mosque: a historical mosque built in the late 18th century.
Day 17: Depart Iran
Hit the 195 km road to IKA airport to depart Iran.