Iran holiday, private departure

Description of Iran holiday, private departure

For those short on time yet keen to experience the wonders of historic Iran then this 9-day tailor-made tour is perfect. Start from the hustle and bustle of Tehran with the chance to explore the many museums and palaces: discover the huge collection of gems in the Jewels Treasury and learn about the history of Iran in the interesting National Museum.

Explore the greenest city in Iran, Isfahan, and stroll Naqsh-e Jahan Square with its fountains and gardens before an early evening stroll along the Zayandeh River Bridges. Drive to the desert city of Yazd and take an early morning trip and climb to the Towers of Silence to see the Zoroastrian sky burial complex and visit the Ateshkadeh Fire Temple where a flame has been burning since 470AD.

End the trip in Shiraz, the 'city of poets' with a visit to iconic UNESCO World Heritage Persepolis to inspect the intricate bas-reliefs and marvel at the stone columns. See the Naqsh-e Rostam cave tombs and relax in the Tomb of Hafez where many locals gather to quote poetry and stroll the bustling bazaar to shop for unique Iranian souvenirs.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Fly to Tehran on an overnight flight.
Day 2Land Tehran and transfer to the hotel. This afternoon head out to discover the sights and sounds of bustling Tehran. Visit the fantastic Golestan Palace which boasts a fabulous collection of artwork and a pretty courtyard garden for a spot of lunch. Visit the National Museum which showcases the nation's vast history and the impressive National Jewel Treasury which boasts a huge collection of priceless jewels. If time allows enjoy dinner in Darband, a popular area for Tehranis to stroll in the evening. (B)
Day 3This morning commence the long drive south to fabulous Isfahan. Enjoy stops en-route for tea/coffee. On arrival in the city, head out to stretch your legs with a stroll along the Zayandeh River Bridges which are a popular place with locals in the evenings (time permitting). (B)
Day 4Spend the day discovering the wonders of Isfahan. Visit Masjid-e Jameh which is the largest in Iran and dates back to the 11th century. Also explore Chehel Sotun Palace with its 20 wooden pillars reflected in the pool and then head south to Jolfa, the Armenian Quarter. This afternoon continue to impressive Naqsh e Jahan Square, the second largest in the world. Visit Ali Qapu Palace as well as the Iman Mosque and the exquisitely decorated Lotfullah Mosque. In the evening take a relaxing stroll around the bazaars for a spot of shopping. (B)
Day 5Drive to Yazd. En-route visit the small town of Na'in, home to the oldest mosque in Iran. End the day in Yazd with a stroll through the popular and picturesque Dolati Gardens with its beautiful pavilion. (B)
Day 6Explore the desert city of Yazd which was once home to a thriving population of Zoroastrians. Start early to avoid the crowds and head to the Towers of Silence on the edge of the city which were once used for traditional Zoroastrian sky burials. Continue to the Ateshkadeh Fire Temple where a flame has been burning since 470AD and visit the Water Museum. The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is nearby so head there to explore the mosque and bazaar. Spend the afternoon in the old city which is comprised of high mud brick walls. (B)
Day 7This morning depart Yazd and head towards Shiraz, the 'city of poets'. En-route stop to visit Pasargadae, a lonely site built by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenids with some interesting relics still in place. Continue to Shiraz and head to visit the Tomb of Hafez, another popular and relax place for locals to sit and enjoy a coffee and a spot of people watching or poetry reading. Why not stop for a glass of tea or an ice cream? (B)
Day 8A full day in Shiraz today, a pretty and friendly city with a host of interesting sites to explore. Discover the Shah Cheragh Shrine which is a little oasis of calm flanked by a thriving and popular bazaar. Relax in the Naranjestan Gardens with its orange and palm trees and also visit the Nasir Ol Molk Mosque (also called the Pink Mosque). The afternoon will be devoted to discovering the Karim Khan Citadel and the peaceful Vakil Mosque before ending the day with a plunge into the bustling Vakil bazaar. (B)
Day 9Drive to one of the highlights of Iran: Persepolis. Depart early to beat not only the crowds but the heat of the open plains at the site. The city was built by Darius the Great and subsequently largely destroyed by Alexander. Inspect the intricate bas-reliefs of the Apadana palace and see the remains of the Palace of 100 Columns. There will also be time to visit the on-site museum. Depart Persepolis and drive to nearby Naqsh-e Rostam which is a series of well-preserved cave tombs with impressive carvings still intact. Return to the city and enjoy free time before a late dinner (own expense) and a transfer to Shiraz airport for the flight back to the UK (flight departs after midnight). (B)

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Iran is a country where 'green' policies and principles are not exactly buzz words so it's all about the little things adding up to slowly start to make a difference. We are always talking to our local ground agents about the importance of stressing to clients the importance of basic responsible principles such as appropriate waste disposal, not to waste water, turning off lights on leaving the room in hotels, not replacing towels and bedding daily etc.
Our local agents are also keen to stress to visitors the importance of not straying from marked trails at historic sites, an important step towards maintaining the sites for future generations.

As a company we have introduced responsible practices in our UK office including paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling. We also support local UK charities including the RNIB and various charities around the world. 50% of our office staff use public transport (bus and train) and cycle to work. Management encourages this with their introduction of the cycle to work scheme which offers subsidised cycle ownership.

The Impacts of this Trip

By the very nature of life in Iran all services are provided by local Iranian people. This includes your local English-speaking group guides, the drivers, local guides at various monuments/sites and hotel staff. All staff are paid a fair wage for Iran and all wages are kept within the local communities thereby supporting local people. Furthermore, by visiting these hotels and sites additional income is brought into the region, further helping to develop the local area.

Almost all meals are included on the itinerary and food is sourced locally whether it is served in hotels or a local restaurant. All hotels on the itinerary are locally owned, managed and run.

Possibly one of the key positive benefits of visiting Iran is the albeit sometimes small influence outside attitudes and cultures can make on the people of the country. Iranian people are always welcoming and friendly and keen to learn a little about Western ways, and vice versa. This holiday helps to allow each culture to learn a little about the other which should hopefully encourage tolerance between Iran and the outside world.


2 Reviews of Iran holiday, private departure

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole experience was memorable- I canít single out individual parts

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Since I was just one person with a guide, it was easy to modify the itinerary and
timings somewhat so I saw what I wanted.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really, except that I spent money on the holiday.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good

Reviewed on 26 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We enjoyed our whole tour from the snowy mountains of Tehran across desert sands to Kerman finishing with a visit to Persepolis and the tomb of Cyrus the great. We will remember the friendly people, amazing architecture, historical sights and the UNESCO gardens.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Allow about 3 months for getting holiday planned and visas organised. Check internal rates of exchange, we found Currency exchange offices gave a very favourable rate compared to the internet. Try to experience a heritage hotel, it was very pleasant to sit out in the courtyard gardens in April when we travelled.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We had the same local guide for 2 weeks and he helped us use local shops, cafes and markets and enabled us to talk with many Iranian families. Paying entrance fees to museums, gardens and historical sights helps fund conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

An excellent tailor made tour which enabled us to explore a large area of Iran and find out about the history and current way of life.

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