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Persian Empire

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Quick Overview

A trip to Iran is a fascinating “time travel” through 7000 years of culture and civilization. It is an encounter with history that awakens a deep longing for this glorious past.
With the Biblical city of Susa (over 4000 years old), the mighty ancient palaces of Persepolis and Pasargadae, the mysterious worship of the Zoroastrians, Iran remains an extremely interesting and attractive destination for cultural travelers. With its incredible variety of landscapes, Iran always offers new and surprising things to be discovered.

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Trip Type: Small Group Tours
Group Size: 6-20 Passengers limit
Trip Length: 14 Days
Trip Dates: (November 25, 2015 – December 8, 2015), (November 14, 2016 – November 27, 2016)
Trip in Detail: Tehran (2) , Hamedan (1) , Kermanshah (1) , Ahvaz (2) , Shiraz (3), Isfahan (3), Tehran (1)

Arrival in Tehran; meet and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Tehran.

Day 02. TEHRAN
We explore the capital of Iran. Our exposure to the rich culture of the country begins in the archaeological collections of the National Museum. Then we visit the Glass and Ceramics Museum, and from there we walk in front of Bagh-e Melli Gate to the Golestan Palace Complex. Then we stroll through the Tehran bazaar. Overnight in Tehran.

Drive to Hamedan, one of the oldest cities of Iran. Hamedan was established in the second millennium BC and was known as Ecbatana, the 6th Century BC capital of the Persian-Medes Empire. After visiting the Alisadr Cave, one of the largest and most spectacular caves in the world, we continue our trip to Hamedan. During a city tour, we will visit the tomb of the famous scholar Avicinna, as well as the mausoleum of the Biblical Esther. Overnight in Hamedan.

Morning drive to Kermanshah. En route we stop at Kangavar to see the Temple of Anahita, and then drive on to Bisotun, Tagh-i Bostan. Overnight in Kermanshah.

Morning drive to Ahvaz. En route we stop at Pol dokhtar, then continue to Ahvaz. Overnight in Ahvaz.

Day 06. AHVAZ
Morning full day excursion to visit Choqzanbil, built about 1250BC. Then we see Haft Teppeh or Elam Necropolis, and Susa – one of the oldest parts of civilization. We also visit Apadana palace and Daniel’s Tomb – the traditional burial place of the Biblical prophet Daniel. Overnight in Ahvaz.

Morning drive to Shiraz. En route we visit Sustar. During the Sassanian era, it was an island city on the Karun River, selected to become the summer capital. Continue to Shiraz. Overnight in Shiraz.

Day 08. SHIRAZ (Excursion to Persepolis)
East of the main road to Isfahan, about 50 km northeast of Shiraz, in the plain of Marv Dasht, at the foot of Kuh-e Rahmat (Mount of Mercy), is the most impressive historical site in Iran, the Old Persian Parse. She is known worldwide under her Greek name, Persepolis, the “City of Persians”. The Achaemenid city of Persepolis was founded about 518 BC by Darius the Great. Then we visit Naqsh-e Rostam, a city of the Dead Sea with the rock tombs of the Achaemenid rulers. In late afternoon, we drive back to Shiraz. The rest of the day is for leisure. Overnight in Shiraz.

Day 09. SHIRAZ
Shiraz, a city of historic monuments, poets, kings, wonderfully fragrant flowers, orchids, and orange trees. The great Persian poet Saadi stated that “May God, whose name be exalted and hallowed, keep in security and peace the pure country of Shiraz until the time of the resurrection.” The mausoleums of poets Hafez and Saadi dive into the world of Persian poetry. Next we will visit the magnificent gardens of Shiraz and begin Bagh-e Eram (Eram Garden), the gardens of the city most worth seeing, complete with a three-story palace. Then we will visit the magnificent mausoleum of Ali Ibn Hamzeh, with its reflective mirror mosaics, and Vakil complex, the mosque and Hammam(bathroom), Then we take a leisurely stroll through the bazaar. The entire system goes back to Karim Khan Zand. Overnight in Shiraz.

Morning drive to Isfahan. En route we visit Pasargad, the capital of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC), and also his last resting place. It was a city in ancient Persia, and is today an archaeological site and one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Then we proceed to Isfahan. Overnight in Isfahan.

Two detailed visiting days in Isfahan, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. After visiting the Chehel Sotun Palace and the forty columns, we visit Imam square, the ‘Royal Square’ the Safavid Dynasty. We see the Imam and Shaikh Lotfollah Mosque and then stroll through the bazaar. In the afternoon we explore the secrets of Hasht Behesht Palace and then visit the Friday Mosque. In late afternoon we take a walk by the Zayandehroud River. Overnight in Isfahan.

Morning visit to the Armenian quarter Djolfa. The Christian Vank Cathedral was built in the years 1655-1664 in the Persian-Armenian style, and is decorated inside with beautiful icons and frescoes of Byzantine, Persian and Western European style. The afternoon is for leisure. In the evening we either enjoy the light of dawn on the Imam Square or immerse ourselves in the maze of alleyways of the kilometer-long bazaar. Overnight in Isfahan.

In the morning we leave the fairy tale city of Isfahan and drive to Abyaneh, where the link with tradition is not only observed in the architecture, but also in the daily life of its inhabitants. We stroll through the beautiful streets of the village and meet the people in their everyday lives. Overnight in Tehran.

Day 14. TEHRAN
Transfer to Imam Khomeini airport.

Price includes:
- Iran visa authorization

- All domestic flights within Iran
- All hotel accommodations in deluxe or best-available hotels based on double-occupancy
- All land transportations in minibus or coach
- All group transfers to/from airport, from/to hotel
- Highly-qualified English-speaking guide
- Meals (B,L,D), breakfast at hotels, lunch and dinner at best available local restaurants, or hotels (with the exception of alcohol and caviar)
- All tours, sightseeing, portages and entrance fees for main sites and excursions
- Gratuities to local guides and drivers, porters, and other staff
Price does not include:
- Round trip international airfare

- Visa and processing fee
- Personal expenses such as room service, telephone/fax calls, laundry, dry cleaning, etc.
- Optional tours or entrance fees not shown on the itinerary
- Refreshments, snacks, en-route or during meals, caviar at any meals
- Trip insurance, baggage loss insurance, trip cancellation, travel delay, and charge - incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of us
- Trip Price based on double occupancy for the single supplement fee/single occupancy, please add $1,950
NOTE: You will probably have to leave your home country on the previous day to arrive in the early morning on the first day. If flight arrives earlier or later than the rest of the group, private transfers are $75 per transfer. Extra nights at the hotel in Tehran for early arrival or late departure are $110 per person sharing a double room and $165 for a single room.

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