Late avail:Availability on this trip for coming months
“A 15 day small group tour of Iran, fully guided, and a magnificent cultural circuit of the country. Staying in locally owned hotels along the way. ”
Tehran | Kashan Oasis | Abyaneh | Yazd | Troglodyte village of Maymand | Kerman | Arg Citadel of Rayan | Zagros Mountains | Shiraz | Persepolis | Isfahan or Esfahan | Shah Abbas
Description of Iran small group tour, Journey to Persia
Visiting Iran is a roller coaster in many ways, but one that takes you through magnificent mountains, ancient Persian culture, deserts and oases and then ancient cities laden with legacies. No matter what you expect, it will surprise and delight, as we see the country that is far from newsroom coverage. And instead, one that embraces its ancient culture of hospitality and welcome in a way that is utterly endearing.
Starting in Tehran, we go on a cultural circuit of Iran, strangely a country that didnít exist until the 20th century and yet bursting with ancient heritage. Even in Tehran the contrasts are extraordinary, a sprawling modern metropolis but also home to the stunning 19th century Golestan Palace complex, a National Museum with artefacts dating back over 7,000 years and a Grand Bazaar with over 10km of corridors.
We visit some of some exquisite examples of Middle Eastern design and architecture, many of which are considered some of the finest in the world. From ancient times, Persepolis is definitely a highlight, dating back to around 515 BCE, this UNESCO site was capital of the Persian Empire. Another magnificent former capital of the Persian Empire is Isfahan, with myriad architectural wonders including mosques, the main bazaar and Kakh-e Ali Qapu palace.
Another cultural highlight on this trip, and there really are many, is Shiraz. Considered one of the most Islamic cities in the world during medieval times, its Arg-e Karim Khan fortress, Shah-e-Cheragh mosque and Garden of Paradise are three very different, but dramatically beautiful symbols of its past and living heritage.
The communities that we meet along the way are as eclectic as they are welcoming. From the Persian and Baluchi people who live in the desert trading town of Kerman, the people living in the ancient caves in the troglodyte village of Maymand to the small Zoroastrian community living in the desert town of Yazd, Iran is in so many ways, a complete revelation.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Responsible tourism: Iran small group tour, Journey to Persia
Accommodation & Meals: All of the hotels we stay at in Iran are locally owned by Iranians and the Hotel Akhavan in Kerman, in particular, is a family run property. We eat in a number of local restaurants and normally have the opportunity to sample a home-made meal inside one of the cave-dwellings in Maymand. Iran produces delicious biscuits hand made in bakeries across the country and we have numerous opportunities to sample some of these. We can sample other home-made treats from ice-cream to rosewater juice and can purchase locally produced pistachios from Kerman in various shops and bazaars around the country.
Local Craft and Culture: We explore the many museums, mosques, mausoleums, archaeological sites and bazaars of Tehran, Kashan, Yazd, Kerman, Shiraz and Isfahan. By visiting these cultural and historical sites, we are supporting maintenance, restoration and research. Traditional craftsmanship is evident everywhere we go - from intricate tilework, wooden carvings, enamelling, carpets and patterned textiles, to locally produced delicacies. At the bazaars we visit, embroidered products, handmade carpets, painted ceramics, embossed boxes, scarves and jewellery are all for sale. Not only does buying from market vendors benefit local people and celebrate traditional crafts, but it is a cultural experience in itself! (Expect to haggle).
A Fair Deal: We work closely with our local operator to run this trip in a way that aims to reduce impacts and to give as much back as possible to the local communities. Part of this is employing local leaders, who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area. The leaders will give a briefing on responsible tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.