In this package, we offer you a 13-day tour, taking you through the main cultural cities of Iran, as well as the lesser-known touristic attractions and rural districts. Visiting the authentic Nomads of Iran, which is the highlight of our tours, 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 breathtaking nature, and developing a new worldview.
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 visiting the main cultural cities, we’ll meet a unique nomadic community. The highlights of this package are: visiting the troglodytes of the UNESCO-registered Maymand village and walking on the soft and warm sands of the desert. We’ll fully immerse ourselves in the experience, sliding down and rolling over the hills, and enjoying the breathtaking starry sky of the desert at night.
Day 1: Tehran
Day 2: Nomads’ Land (Mt. Zagros)
Day 3: Khouye Village
Day 4: Sar Agha Seyed Village / Isfahan
Day 5: Isfahan
Day 6: Yazd
Day 7: Yazd
Day 8: Kerman / Mahan
Day 9: Kalut Shahdad Desert
Day 10: 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
● Golestan Palace
● Treasury of National Jewels or National Museum of Iran
● Walking in the 30 Tir Street in downtown Tehran
Tehran is steeped in various cultures with its ancient monuments dating back to hundreds of years ago. Highlights of the city include Golestan Palace, the old or Grand Bazaar of Tehran & various museums. The old downtown alleys are also perfect to explore. After visiting the palace and the musuem, we’ll take a walk at 30 Tir Street.
● Zagros Mountains
● Baznavid; A Nomadic Village
Early in the morning, we’ll have a 5-hour drive to Aligudarz and then to the scenic landscape of Poshtkooh Mogouie (Bakhtiari Nomads’ summer pasture). After a 2-hour drive, we’ll reach Baznavid village where we’ll have lunch, followed by a 2-hour drive to reach the nomads we want to stay with for the night (Pirooz & Manije). Here we have the chance to soak up in the beauty of the unspoiled regions and unadulterated landscapes. The evening is ours to explore the area. For the night, we’ll either join the nomads in their stone house (leer) or camp by their tent in the pasture.
● Khoye; A Nomadic Village
● Nomadic Handicrafts
● Nomadic Museum
● Fruits’ Garden
After breakfast, we’ll have a 4-hour drive to reach Khoye, a green village that is famous for its handicrafts. We’ll have a local dish for lunch, and then we’ll be free to relax and wander through the fruit gardens of the village. We can also explore the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the villagers. Watching women bake bread, weave rugs or nomadic tents, milk the goats, and make handicrafts, are some of the first-hand experiences we can have. We’ll stay in a village house for the night.
● Sar Agha Seyed; A Nomadic Village
● Salt mines
● Traditional Persian Bath
We’ll have a 1-hour drive from Khoye in the morning to the historic stepped village of Sar Agha Seyed. In case we have time, we can have a short walk to the salt mines of the village. After having lunch in a local house, we’ll leave for Koohrang, have a short stay there to have coffee, and then continue to reach Isfahan where we’ll experience traditional Persian bath (Hammam).
● Naghshe Jahan Square
● Ali QapouPalace
● Imam Mosque
● Si-o-se Pol Bridge
● Khaju Bridge
This day is dedicated to visiting some must-see, UNESCO-registered sites in Isfahan. We have the chance to see unique Persian architecture. There is a Persian proverb saying ‘Isfahan is half of the world’, referring to its so many palaces, mosques, gardens, bridges, etc. We’ll visit Naghshe Jahan Square which holds Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and the Imperial Bazaar. The afternoon is ours to take some rest. Sunset is the best time to visit Si-O-Se Pol Bridge, Khaju Bridge, or the other bridges.
● Jolfa Neigbourhood
● Vank Church
● Lari House
● Jāmeh Mosque of Yazd
● Traditional Gym (Zoorkhaneh)
In the morning, we’ll visit Vank Church and Jolfa neighborhood. After having lunch in an old restaurant, we’ll move to Yazd province where we’ll see masterpieces of calligraphy, delicately made mosaics on domes & mihrabs, 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 see Yazd’s traditional architecture. shortly after, we’ll enjoy Yazd’s glorious sunset in a rooftop café and then we might have the chance to go to Zoorkhane to watch one of Iran’s ancient sports. For the night, we’ll go to the Taft neighborhood to stay with a Zoroastrian family. The evening will be ours to spend with our host family & to explore Taft village by bike. The village has beautiful fruit orchards, especially pomegranates.
● Amir Chakhmaq Complex
● Dolat Abad Garden
● Tower of Silence
● Zein-o-Din Caravanserai
Today, 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 ambiance.
● Ganjali Khan Complex
● Jabalieh Dome
● Bazaarof Kerman
● Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden
● Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine
Today, after having breakfast in the Caravanserai, we will 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. In 15 minutes we reach Mahan District where 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.
● Kalut Shahdad Desert
Today, we are going to have our expedition toward Kaluts. The strange and magnificent Kaluts (sand formations) look like a deserted city from the distance. Kaluts used to be under water millions of years ago and this geological phenomenon is the result of high-velocity winds beating at the sand for millions of years. For the night, we can either camp in the heart of the desert, or stay in an ecolodge.
● Maymand; Village of Troglodytes
Around noon, we will reach one of the most authentic villages of Iran, Maymand. Maymand Village is situated near Shahr-e Babak in Kerman Province. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list as an exemplary system of manmade cave dwellings locals used to cope with the region’s harsh climate. The area is a popular destination for those who’d like to experience how life has been back then in history. The houses in this ancient village are carved like caverns inside the mountain. In Maymand, the semi-nomadic agro-pastoralist villagers live in an unusual form of housing: historic hand-made caves 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 and then early in the morning, the sounds of jackals around the village wake us up.
● Naqsh-e Rostam
Early in the morning, after having our breakfast, we begin our journey to go to Shiraz province. We will have around 5 hours driving. On our way t Shiraz, we will go to Persepolis; the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and Naqsh-e Rostam.
● Pink Mosque (Nasir al-Mulk Mosque)
● Karim Khan-e Zand Complex (Mosque, Hamam, Bazaar)
● Narenjestan Garden
● Tomb of Hafez
Today and tomorrow, we are going to see some must-sees of Shiraz. We will 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 the day 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.
● Saadabad Historical Complex
● Grand Bazaar
● IRANomad House
On the last day of the tour, we will be in Tehran again. We will visit Saadabad Historical Complex and then we will have our lunch in the 130-year-old IRANomad House. 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. After going to the bazaar, we will get ready for the departure from IKA.
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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.