In this package, we have a 13-day tour, taking you through the main cultural cities of Iran, as well as the less-known touristic attractions and rural districts. Visiting the authentic Nomads of Iran can be quite fascinating! You may find all you really ask for in a trip, thorough a visit to Iran: knowing a rich culture & enjoying a breathtaking nature, both of which you can experience in this tour.
With so many different destinations to choose from in Iran, narrowing down our options would be a great help. Here, in this package, apart from the main cultural cities of Iran, we will be meeting a rare ethnic nomadic community. The highlights of this package are: visiting the troglodytes of UNESCO-registered Maymand village and walking on soft and warm sands of the desert. You will be able to fully immerse in the experience, sliding down, rolling over the hills, taking off your shoes.
Day 1: Tehran
Day 2: Poshtkuh (Mt. Zagros)
Day 3: Khouye Village
Day 4-5: Isfahan
Day 6: Varzaneh Desert
Day 7-8: Yazd
Day 9: Kerman
Day 10: Mahan – Maymand
Day 11: Shiraz (Persepolis & Pasargadae)
Day 12: Shiraz
Day 13: Shiraz / Tehran / Departure
● Experience a nomadic lifestyle with ‘3 nomadic Tribes’
● Visit the local people of remote villages
● Enjoy breathtaking Zagros plains & pastures
● Visit the main cultural cities where you will find yourself among unique Persian culture & architecture
Golestan Palace / Grand Bazaar of Tehran / Melli Garden / Jewelry Museum / Tabi’at Bridge / Bakhtiari Nomads / Baznavid / Khouye / Sar Agha Seyed Village / Naghshe Jahan Square in Isfahan, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque / Shah Mosque / Ali Qapu / Chehel Sotoun Palace / Si-o-se Pol Bridge / Khaju Bridge / Atiq Mosque / Vank Church / Varzaneh Desert / Gav-Khuni Pond / Jāmeh Mosque of Yazd / 150-year-old Lari House / Traditional Gym (Zoorkhaneh) / Amir Chakhmaq Complex / Dolat Abad Garden / Zein-o-Din Caravanserai / Ganjali Khan Complex / Jabalieh Dome / Mahan Garden / Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine / Rafsanjan / Maymand / Karim Khan-e Zand Complex / Tomb of Hafez / Pink Mosque / Narenjestan Garden / Nomads of Maymand & Shiraz
Hiking / land / visiting archeological and cultural sites
Half Challenging / Half Relaxed (4/10)
● Golestan Palace
● Grand Bazaar
● Melli Garden
● Walking in 30 Tir Street in downtown Tehran
● Glassware and Ceramic Museum formerly known as Abgineh Museum
● Tabi’at Bridge
Tehran is steeped in various cultures with its ancient monuments dating back to hundreds of years ago. Highlights of the city include Golestan Palace, old Bazaar of Tehran & the museums. The old downtown alleys are also perfect to explore.
We will visit a spectacular gem in the heart of Tehran, Golestan Palace. One of the top experiences in Tehran is a visit to the historical Grand Bazaar where you will find yourself among traditional architecture & local people. We will have a very famous crispy rice dish, Tahchin, in one of the old well-known restaurants in the bazaar. The historical and governmental compound, Melli Garden is our next destination. We will also take a walk in the 30 Tir Street. Glassware museum would be an intriguing place to visit. Those who are interested in architecture would enjoy taking a walk in Tabi’at Bridge.
Early in the morning, we drive to Aligodarz, and then to the scenic landscape of Poshtkooh Mogouie where Bakhtiari Nomads use as their summer pastures. Here we have the chance to soak up the beauty of the unspoiled regions and unadulterated landscapes. The evening is yours to explore the area. For the night, we go a bit farther to reach the Nomads of the area to sleep in their black tent. This would be our first nomadic life experience under a starry sky.
● Rural house in Khouye
● Nomadic Museum
Today we arrive in a very lush green village surrounded by imposing mountains. We are free to relax and wander through the fruit gardens of the village. You can also explore the semi-nomadic lifestyle of this village. Watching women bake bread, weave rugs or black tents, milk the goats and make handicrafts, are some of the first-hand experiences we can have. Then we return to a local house, so we can relax and get a good night’s rest to get prepare for the trek that starts tomorrow.
● Sar Agha Seyed Village
● Must-see monuments in Isfahan
This morning, we are going to have a wonderful hike, starting from green peach gardens of Khouye village, continuing along the dusty roads, going up on a mountain, we will arrive somewhere close to the salt mines of the stepped historical village Sar Agha Seyed located in Mount Zagros’ skirt. From here we will continue our trek into the village. At most, it will take us 3 hours. We have a short visit to the village & have our lunch in one of the village houses and then we drive to Isfahan. On our way, we have dinner in a traditional-cultural restaurant in Shahr-e Kord. At night, we stay in a hotel in Isfahan.
On Day 5, after having breakfast in the hotel, we will visit some famous places in Isfahan like Naghshe Jahan Square / Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque / Shah Mosque / Ali Qapu. The afternoon is yours to have some rest. Then / Chehel Sotoun Palace / Si-o-se Pol Bridge / Khaju Bridge are visited. Now, we are surrounded by the rich history and culture of Isfahan. A good rest in the hotel awaits us.
● 3 More Must-See in Isfahan
● Sunset on sand hills
In the morning, Atiq Mosque / Vank Church and Jolfa neighborhood are visited. After having lunch in an old restaurant, we move to Varzaneh. It takes 2 hours of driving. Now, it is our chance to watch the sunset at Varzaneh desert, over the sandhills. We stay in a guesthouse, and if you like you can try making Persian cuisine in a local house (the guesthouse can arrange an optional Persian cooking class). You can also stay the night in the desert to experience the unique dawn lighting over the desert hills.
● Passing through desert
● Gav-Khuni Pond
● Jāmeh Mosque of Yazd
● Lari House
● Traditional Gym (Zoorkhaneh)
● Amir Chakhmaq Complex
● Dolat Abad Garden
● Tower of Silence
● Zein-o-Din Caravanserai
Today, we leave Varzaneh to go to Yazd. On our way, we pass through the Desert and we go to a well-known wetland; Gav-Khuni marsh, which is worth seeing. The reeds have grown all along Zayanderud and drakes & Flamingos are all around the river. This is where Zayanderud ends. Three days before we started from the beginning of Zayanderoud River and now we will see where this river ends up! For lunch, we are in the noble city of Yazd.
Then, we’ll settle in Nartitee Ecolodge, in Taft district. In the evening, we’ll see a very notable mosque in Yazd; Jāmeh Mosque. Here we have our chance to see the masterpieces of calligraphy, delicately made mosaics on its dome & mihrab and one of the tallest tiled entrances in Iran. The 150-year-old Lari house, a good example of a luxurious house of the 13th century, is the house in which we can visit traditional Yazd architecture. Yazd’s glorious sunset is watched in a roof café and then we’ll go to watch one of Iran’s ancient sports used to train warriors in the past. At night we sleep in the million-star hotel on the roof of the ecolodge.
On day 8, after breakfast, we’ll go to see a large impressive historical square in the center of Yazd; Amir Chakhmaq Complex. Dolat Abad Garden, which is registered in UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has the tallest wind catcher in the world. After lunch, we’ll visit the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence (dakhme) which used to be an open burial pit in which Zoroastrians used to do their burial rituals. Our experience of silence reaches its peak when we stay in a caravanserai situated on the ancient Silk Road for the night: Zein-o-Din Caravanserai. The clear starry night sky and the tranquility of the surrounding desert are the most noticeable qualities of its ambience.
● Ganjali Khan Complex
● Jabalieh Dome
● Mahan Garden
● Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine
Today, after having breakfast in the Caravanserai, we drive to Kerman. In Kerman, first, we visit Ganjali Khan Complex in the old center of the city of Kerman which is a fantastic example of Persian architecture of the Safavid era. Jabalieh Dome is the next ancient national monument we are going to visit to know more about the history and architecture of Kerman. Then, we are going to have a wonderful time wandering around the ancient bazaar of Kerman. The age of this grand bazaar goes back to 600 years ago.
The next morning, in 15 minutes we reach Mahan District. We will visit Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine & Mahan Garden which is the garden of Prince Mahan. Apart from the historical point of view, what is so amazing about this garden is the contrast between the lush green environment of the garden and the desert-like environment of the outside. After 1:30-hours driving we’ll reach Rafsanjan where we are going to have our lunch. Our final destination for today is one of the most authentic villages of Iran, Maymand, which is registered in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In Maymand, we are going to witness the second group of Iran’s Nomads. We stay with semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists villagers in an unusual form of housing, which you’ll find quite wonderful. The hand-carved cave dwellings are extraordinary since they remind us of ancient times when people inhabited caves. These semi-nomads do semi-migration (Kooch) with their livestock to some surrounding pastures. We are going to have a serene night in these caves in MaymandMoon Ecolodge.
● Karim Khan-e Zand Complex
● Tomb of Hafez
● Pink Mosque (Nasir al-Mulk Mosque)
● Narenjestan Garden
● Nomads of Shiraz
This morning, we say goodbye to Maymand to go to Shiraz. We arrive there around noon. First, we have lunch, then we’ll go visit Karim Khan-e Zand Complex where the best architects & artists of the time were invited by Karim Khan to work on his citadel. Hafez, the most famous and acknowledged Persian poet is buried in Shiraz. People believe Hafez’s poems give them clues to the future. We can try our chance by his tomb too. The highlight of day 12 is the Pink Mosque with its otherworldly vibrant colors. The moment we step inside the mosque, it is not hard to see why people call it Pink or rainbow Mosque. In Shiraz, nothing is more pleasant to the eye than its vast green gardens. We’ll go to Narenjestan Garden to see one of these beauties built in the Qajar era. And then it is time to go and live with the nomads of the area called Qashqai Nomads. Again, here among Qashqai Nomads, you have the opportunity to step back in time and explore another main ethnic group in Iran. After spending a night with the Nomads, we’ll move to Naqsh-e Rostam & Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Achaemenid Empire, located in Kuh-e Rahmat (Mountain of Mercy). It is among the world’s greatest archaeological sites.
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Nick and I had the most wonderful trip, tailored, often spontaneously, to our last minute requests. Saba, Hossein and Navid were charming guides often going out of their way to give us a more authentic experience. Due to weather conditions we were unable to do the full few days with the Nomads, instead we were presented with wonderful solutions. Leave all your preconceived ideas behind and allow this young team to show you with pride their wonderful country. I wish them every success.