Iran: Wonders of Persia

November 3, 2014 - November 16, 2014
November 9, 2015 - November 22, 2015

Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Nov 3 - Nov 4 Depart USA

Board your independent flight. 

November 5 Tehran, Iran

Arrive in Tehran after midnight; transfer to Laleh International Hotel. After breakfast and an introductory briefing, explore Tehran, Iran’s bustling capital of twelve million people. Included in your tour is a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology and the National Carpet Museum, filled with beautiful examples of Persia’s ancient and iconic art form. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

November 6 Tehran / Yazd

November 7 Yazd

November 8 Yazd / Pasargada / Shiraz

After breakfast we depart Yazd for our drive to Shiraz and visit the desert town of Abarqu on the way. Here we have a picnic lunch under a 4,500-year-old cypress tree. Next, we visit Pasargada, the resting place of Cyrus the Great and one of Iran’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also the site of Paradises, the ancient Persian royal city-gardens. Arrive in Shiraz this evening with dinner and overnight at Homa International Hotel.

November 9 Shiraz

We enjoy a full day here to explore this truly fascinating city, once famed for its vineyards of Shiraz (or Syrah) grapes, and known as the “City of Poets.” Highlights of our visit include the Tomb and Garden of Hafez, a celebrated Persian poet; the Narenjestan (orangery) Garden; Jame’ Atiq Mosque, one of the oldest in Iran; Khan Theological School; the nomadic bazaar; and the charming Eram Garden where the delightful 19th-century Ghajar Palace lies alongside a beautiful pool. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

November 10 Shiraz / Persepolis

Rediscovered under desert sands in the early 1930s, Persepolis is one of Persia’s greatest treasures. Included in our visit to this Achaemenian showpiece will be Xerxes’ Gateway, the immense Adadna Palace, and the Palace of 100 Columns. We also visit Naghash-é Rostam, housing four tombs believed to be those of Darius I, Artaxerxes, Xerxes I, and Darius II. We return to Shiraz for dinner and overnight.

November 11 Shiraz / Esfahan

After an early breakfast we embark on a scenic drive north to the stunning city of Esfahan, one of the pearls of the Islamic world. Today’s impressive journey takes us through the lovely Zagross Mountains and includes the possibility of seeing nomadic tribes. We arrive in Esfahan late in the afternoon for dinner and overnight at the Abbasi Hotel.

Nov 12 - Nov 13 Esfahan

Built by the Safavids between the 16th and 18th centuries, Esfahan’s great courtyard, adjacent mosques, and towering blue minarets show a lavish delicacy and patience of both design and execution unrivaled by Asian and European craftsmen. Here we explore the imposing Masjed-é Imám, Imám Square, the Chehel Sotun Museum and Park, Vank Cathedral, Hasht Behesht (Eight Paradises) Palace, Naqshe-Jahan (the Royal Square), Ali-Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah (Ladies) Imám Mosques, and the bazaar. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

November 14 Esfahan / Abyaneh / Kashan / Tehran

From Esfahan we drive along a winding rural road through the Karkas (vulture) Mountains to visit Abyaneh, a remote village known for its reddish-hued architecture and people who have maintained their traditional dress and customs. On the way to Tehran we stop in Kashan where we view Bagh-e Fin, a superb example of a Persian garden, and the 19th-century tiled mausoleum of Emamzadeh Ebrahim. After lunch in Kashan we continue to Tehran where we have dinner and overnight at our hotel.

November 15 Tehran

Today visit the Golestan Palace and the National Jewels Museum—possibly the best in the world. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Tehran. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and relaxing evening as we prepare for early morning flights.

November 16 Tehran / USA

Early morning transfer to the airport for independent flights homeward.