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Iran Treasures Cultural Discovery

Fascinating Cities, Ancient Wonders & Warm Hospitality

 

Home to some of the world's most renowned and best-preserved archaeological sites, Iran is a mecca for art, history, and culture. This 15-day itinerary explores the fascinating cities of Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, and Isfahan, and showcases Iran's rich, textured past while visiting ancient ruins, palaces, and world-class museums. Wander vibrant bazaars, behold Iran's crown jewels, and visit dazzling mosques adorned with blue and aqua tile mosaics. With your local guide who has led trips here for over 23 years, be one of the few lucky travelers to discover this unique destination!

  • Journey through Iran and visit four UNESCO-listed sites, including ancient Persepolis and historic Yazd

  • Browse a colorful 18th-century bazaar full of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts, and antiques

  • Experience 2,500 years of history plus the infamous warmth and friendliness of the Persian people

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Tehran, Iran

Depart:

Tehran, Iran

Price: from $8,895

Duration:

15 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

6-16 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

Activity:

Level 2

You will be touring cities and villages, exploring archaeological sites, and visiting Iran\'s beautiful mosques, gardens and palaces - as well as enjoying the warmth of its people. While none of the walking is particularly difficult, some days you\'ll be on your feet for much of the day. Daily drives range from a couple hours to a total of about 8 hours on the longest days.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Iran

    Day 1

    Welcome to Tehran, the capital city and modern heart of Iran! Meet an MT Sobek representative outside customs and transfer to the hotel. Around 10 am gather for a group meeting with your trip leader. Today we drive to the roof of Tehran for an easy hike of about a mile to reach a cable car, which will then take us to an elevation of 11,500'. Afterwards, we continue to Tajrish, for a stroll around the northernmost local bazaar. Return to the hotel. Tonight we'll enjoy dinner at Zeytun restaurant.

    Accommodation: Laleh Hotel-Tehran, Iran

    With its prime location near the Carpet Museum and charming cafés, the 380-room Laleh International Hotel provides standard accommodations in Tehran. The property features lovely courtyards, a 24-hour coffee shop, helpful staff, generous breakfasts, and a lovely large park behind the hotel. Formerly an Intercontinental, the Laleh's nostalgic feel will transport you to a different time and place.

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover the Jewels of Tehran

    Day 2

    Start the day with a buffet breakfast before heading to the city center to visit one of the gates of old Tehran. Spend the rest of the morning visiting the National Museum of Iran, which features some of the world's most valuable Persian antiquities right up to the modern Islamic era. After lunch, prepare to be dazzled by the largest collection of jewels in the world at the Crown Jewels Museum, located in the National Treasury. Enjoy dinner with the group this evening.

    Accommodation: Laleh Hotel-Tehran, Iran

    With its prime location near the Carpet Museum and charming cafés, the 380-room Laleh International Hotel provides standard accommodations in Tehran. The property features lovely courtyards, a 24-hour coffee shop, helpful staff, generous breakfasts, and a lovely large park behind the hotel. Formerly an Intercontinental, the Laleh's nostalgic feel will transport you to a different time and place.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art

    Day 3

    Start the day with a visit to the well-kept gardens of Laleh Park, and Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art, home to an impressive collection of 19th and 20th century world-class European and American paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures. Then explore the stunning Carpet Museum, with more than 36,000 square feet of exhibition space containing the largest collection of Persian carpets in the world! Next, see the modern side of Iran with a visit to the Palladium shopping center. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the hotel to rest and pack for tomorrow's drive to Yazd.

    Accommodation: Laleh Hotel-Tehran, Iran

    With its prime location near the Carpet Museum and charming cafés, the 380-room Laleh International Hotel provides standard accommodations in Tehran. The property features lovely courtyards, a 24-hour coffee shop, helpful staff, generous breakfasts, and a lovely large park behind the hotel. Formerly an Intercontinental, the Laleh's nostalgic feel will transport you to a different time and place.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Take a Scenic Drive to Yazd

    Day 4

    Depart Tehran and journey along the highway to Yazd, passing mountains, desert, and a salt lake. En route, visit the 12th-century Jameh mosque in Ardestan and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Next, head to Na'in to visit an early 11th-century Seljuq mosque and an 18th-century Safavid Persian traditional house before taking a walk around the town's ancient citadel and old neighborhoods. Arrive in Yazd this evening and check into the hotel.

    Accommodation: Yazd Arg Hotel-Yazd, Iran

    Located near the sacred Towers of Silence, Yazd Arg-E-Jadid Hotel has pride of place in this deeply spiritual and mysterious region of Iran. This new hotel features spacious, comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms fully stocked with toiletries. The breakfast and dinner buffets offer a wide selection of fresh food, and the hotel shop sells quality goods.

    Transportation: 8-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Ancient Yazd

    Day 5

    UNESCO regards Yazd, with its 5,000-year history, as one of the oldest towns on earth. Start your exploration at the 15th-century Mirchakhmaq Square, then visit the water museum, which showcases an impressive desert water-supply system, and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, which holds a fire that has been continuously alight since 470. Then head to nearby Saryazd to visit an ancient rural citadel - used as a depository for personal belongings since the Sassanid period! Also visit the caravanserai here before heading back to Yazd and wandering through the old bazaar. At the end of the day, visit a Zurkhaneh (a traditional gymnasium, literally meaning "house of strength"), where athletes undergo rigorous training in ancient Iranian sports.

    Accommodation: Yazd Arg Hotel-Yazd, Iran

    Located near the sacred Towers of Silence, Yazd Arg-E-Jadid Hotel has pride of place in this deeply spiritual and mysterious region of Iran. This new hotel features spacious, comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms fully stocked with toiletries. The breakfast and dinner buffets offer a wide selection of fresh food, and the hotel shop sells quality goods.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Stroll the Serpentine Streets of Yazd

    Day 6

    Begin the day at 14th-century Jameh Mosque, known for its lofty minarets and exquisite blue tile work. From here, stroll through the serpentine alleys of the city's old quarters, visiting the prison of Alexander, the 12-Imam Mosque, and Lariha House, one of the most beautiful and splendid aristocratic houses of the 13th century. After tea and baklava, visit the 18th-century Dowlat Abad Garden and its 110-foot-tall wind tower. Then stop at the fire temple in Chak Chak - the most important Zoroastrian site in the world, located in the middle of nowhere!

    Accommodation: Yazd Arg Hotel-Yazd, Iran

    Located near the sacred Towers of Silence, Yazd Arg-E-Jadid Hotel has pride of place in this deeply spiritual and mysterious region of Iran. This new hotel features spacious, comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms fully stocked with toiletries. The breakfast and dinner buffets offer a wide selection of fresh food, and the hotel shop sells quality goods.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Cross Lion Mountain & Visit Pasargadae

    Day 7

    Today you journey to Shiraz via Shirkuh ("Lion") Mountain. En route, visit Abarqu, which is home to an icehouse and a 4,000-year-old cypress tree! One of the oldest trees on earth, it's more than 80 feet tall and is protected as a national monument. After lunch, explore the archaeological site of Pasargadae, the first Achaemenid capital and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you find the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the hillside fort of Tall-e Takht, and the remains of ancient palaces and gardens.

    Accommodation: Bozorg Hotel-Shiraz, Iran

    The Bozorg Hotel's pleasant and welcoming vibe complements its modern comforts and amenities - including a restaurant, gym, and pool. The Bozorg's interior design is spectacular, with guests consistently noting its "classy" appeal. The property offers an excellent combination of comfort, luxury, and location - it is located next to the Tomb of Hafez and boasts gorgeous views of Shiraz.

    Transportation: 5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Full-Day Tour of Shiraz

    Day 8

    This morning head out on a full-day tour of Shiraz, "the town of roses and nightingales." Begin with Bagh-e Eram (Eram Garden), with its collection of magnificent roses, followed by a visit to the tomb of Hafiz, the 13th-century mystic and the most celebrated Persian poet. Later, enter the old quarter of town, with its heavy traffic and noise, to pay a visit to the 9th-century old Jameh mosque, Khan theological school, and the colorful nomadic bazaar.

    Accommodation: Bozorg Hotel-Shiraz, Iran

    The Bozorg Hotel's pleasant and welcoming vibe complements its modern comforts and amenities - including a restaurant, gym, and pool. The Bozorg's interior design is spectacular, with guests consistently noting its "classy" appeal. The property offers an excellent combination of comfort, luxury, and location - it is located next to the Tomb of Hafez and boasts gorgeous views of Shiraz.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Ancient Persepolis

    Day 9

    Today may be the highlight of your trip: an excursion to Persepolis (the ancient ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid empire) and the royal necropolis in Naqsh-e Rostam. Alexander the Great burned Persepolis - a vast complex of ceremonial palaces, halls, and tombs - in 330 BC, but there are incredible remains of several monumental buildings. Tour these exquisite antiquities, have lunch, and then return to Shiraz. Explore the 18th-century Vakil Bazaar, a colorful, traditional marketplace packed with Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts, and antiques. End in Saray-e Moshir, an urban-caravanserai-turned-exhibition-space for Iranian handicrafts.

    Accommodation: Bozorg Hotel-Shiraz, Iran

    The Bozorg Hotel's pleasant and welcoming vibe complements its modern comforts and amenities - including a restaurant, gym, and pool. The Bozorg's interior design is spectacular, with guests consistently noting its "classy" appeal. The property offers an excellent combination of comfort, luxury, and location - it is located next to the Tomb of Hafez and boasts gorgeous views of Shiraz.

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey through the Zagros Mountains to Isfahan

    Day 10

    Today take a scenic drive through the Zagros mountain range, passing many villages along the way. Stop for lunch in Yasuj before arriving in Isfahan via Shahreza.

    Accommodation: Abbasi Hotel-Isfahan, Iran

    The Abbasi Hotel is a living piece of history. Its 300-year-old glory exhibits intricate tile work and the glittering turquoise dome of Chaharbagh Madresseh. The courtyard-facing guest rooms have a beautiful view of the lovely gardens, which are prettily lit at night. There's a coffee shop and teahouse, and the hotel's six restaurants offer traditional Iranian and continental dishes.

    Accommodation: Parsian Kowsar Hotel-Isfahan, Iran

    Excellently located on the river near Isfahan's must-see sights, the Parsian Kowsar Hotel has 192 clean, comfortable rooms across two buildings. The hotel is proud of their ISO 22000 (Food Safety) certification and environmental efforts. Guests can enjoy the on-site café/bistro, brasserie, Turkish bath, sauna, tennis courts, and two restaurants.

    Transportation: 7.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tour the Colorful City of Isfahan

    Day 11

    Isfahan, the four-time capital of Iran, is a wonderful, colorful city filled with Islamic art and architecture. Begin your tour with the Vank Cathedral, home to a museum, a historic printing press, and a library that includes the first book printed in Iran. Walk to Chehel-Sotoun Palace, with large frescoes depicting court life counterbalanced by miniature paintings of the 17th-century Safavid dynasty, and visit the Jameh Mosque to enjoy a thousand years of art and architecture of the Islamic world in Iran. End today with a beautiful Persian carpet show.

    Accommodation: Abbasi Hotel-Isfahan, Iran

    The Abbasi Hotel is a living piece of history. Its 300-year-old glory exhibits intricate tile work and the glittering turquoise dome of Chaharbagh Madresseh. The courtyard-facing guest rooms have a beautiful view of the lovely gardens, which are prettily lit at night. There's a coffee shop and teahouse, and the hotel's six restaurants offer traditional Iranian and continental dishes.

    Accommodation: Parsian Kowsar Hotel-Isfahan, Iran

    Excellently located on the river near Isfahan's must-see sights, the Parsian Kowsar Hotel has 192 clean, comfortable rooms across two buildings. The hotel is proud of their ISO 22000 (Food Safety) certification and environmental efforts. Guests can enjoy the on-site café/bistro, brasserie, Turkish bath, sauna, tennis courts, and two restaurants.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Gardens, Mosques & Teahouses in Isfahan

    Day 12

    Stroll through the 17th-century Hasht Behesht (Eight Paradises) Palace harem garden. A short walk leads to the Royal Square (Naqsh-e Jahan), the main polo ground and entertainment center for Safavid kings - and the second-largest square in the world. Across the square, visit Sheikh Lotfollah, the first ladies' mosque in the Islamic world, and enjoy the peaceful ambience, and magnificent calligraphy and tiles. Window-shop through the covered bazaar to the ornate Imam Mosque, which contains an ocean of blue tile work along with a courtyard pool. Finally enjoy a cup of tea at a traditional Sufi teahouse.

    Accommodation: Abbasi Hotel-Isfahan, Iran

    The Abbasi Hotel is a living piece of history. Its 300-year-old glory exhibits intricate tile work and the glittering turquoise dome of Chaharbagh Madresseh. The courtyard-facing guest rooms have a beautiful view of the lovely gardens, which are prettily lit at night. There's a coffee shop and teahouse, and the hotel's six restaurants offer traditional Iranian and continental dishes.

    Accommodation: Parsian Kowsar Hotel-Isfahan, Iran

    Excellently located on the river near Isfahan's must-see sights, the Parsian Kowsar Hotel has 192 clean, comfortable rooms across two buildings. The hotel is proud of their ISO 22000 (Food Safety) certification and environmental efforts. Guests can enjoy the on-site café/bistro, brasserie, Turkish bath, sauna, tennis courts, and two restaurants.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Enjoy a Scenic Mountain Drive to Kashan

    Day 13

    During today's scenic drive through the Karkas Mountains, take a look at the facade of a Khanegah (monastery or Dervish house), visit a Sufi tomb with magnificent stalactite decorations, and observe a skillful ceramic artist in Natanz. Then explore the remote, traditional village of Abyaneh, whose ancient traditions, costumes, and dialect have been intact for centuries. Arriving in Kashan, visit Bagh-e Fin, an exemplary 17th-century Persian-style garden, and a 19th-century mausoleum with exceptional tile and mirror work unique to Persian art. Tour the bazaar, then check into your hotel.

    Accommodation: Negarestan Hotel-Kashan, Iran

    The Negarestan Hotel provides modern accommodations, comfort, and beautiful scenery amidst a dramatic mountain landscape. Past travelers spoke admirably about the tranquil and quiet environment the Negarestan provides in addition to its comfortable beds and large rooms. A small café and pool table make it a convenient place to unwind after a day of exploring the cultural wonders of Iran.

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Old Quarter of Kashan & Return to Tehran

    Day 14

    Today take a morning drive to the old quarter of town, visiting Aqa Bozorg mosque, a traditional 19th-century Tabatabiha house, and Tepe Sialk archaeological mounds - one of the first human settlements in the world dating back to the sixth millennium BC. Then hit the road toward Tehran, passing by Qom. Stop for lunch and ice cream in a Mahtab rest area, and check into our hotel in Tehran later in the day. Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening!

    Accommodation: Espinas Hotel-Tehran, Iran

    The elegant Espinas Hotel is consistently noted as one of the premier hotels in Tehran. Beyond the opulent lobby, the boutique-style rooms and suites are spacious and well appointed, with comfortable beds and ample en suite bathrooms. Guests looking to exercise while in Iran can enjoy the gym, spa, and indoor pool.

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Tehran

    Day 15

    Bid the group and Iran farewell, and transfer to the international airport for your homeward-bound flight.

    Meals: Breakfast

Iran Treasures Cultural Discovery

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek is an expert in Iran travel, with over five years' experience taking small groups into the country.

Reason #02

Our team of local guides are true experts, including Saeid Haji-Hadi (aka Hadi), who has been leading tours in Iran for 23 years.

Reason #03

This journey exposes travelers to the hospitality of Iranian people, while offering insight into the country's modern-day complexities.

Meet your guides

Saied Haji-Hadi

Saied Haji-Hadi

Hadi, a native of Iran, always dreamed of traveling and interacting with other cultures. After 23 years in tourism, Hadi has led over 285 tours for Western groups, and has held the position of Chairman of the Iranian Tour Guide Association (ITGA) for six years. Aside from leading tours, he spends considerable time exploring the nooks and crannies of Iran and other parts of the world. A diligent student of cultures and of life, Hadi is a warm and incredibly knowledgeable resource, the perfect person to impart understanding of Iranian culture on this cultural odyssey.

Cyrus Rasouli

Cyrus Rasouli

Cyrus is a native of Iran and over his long career in the tourism industry, he has accompanied over 230 groups and has served on the board of directors for the Iranian Tour Guide Association (ITGA). Before making his way into tourism, Cyrus was a freelance merchant, book translator, and journalist, and earned an MA in History and a BA in Sociology and English. He has traveled to many countries throughout the world and loves nature, traveling and cultural studies.

Activities

Cultural touring of historical and archaeological sites, including UNESCO-listed Persepolis and Pasargadae, plus visits to museums, mosques and bazaars.

Lodging

Comfortable accommodations blend modern and traditional flair, including 3 nights at a hotel steeped in 300 years of history with beautiful gardens.

Climate

April and September temperatures will range from the high-50°s F to the mid-90°s F. Weather will typically be sunny with rain unlikely.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

An MT Sobek representative, who has been selected specifically to greet you and see you safely to our hotel.

Is it legal for Americans to travel to Iran?

Even though the U.S. and Iran do not have diplomatic relations at this time, it is legal for Americans to travel to Iran.

Do I need a visa for Iran?

Yes, we handle the visa for you and apply as a group.

Do I need to follow a special dress code for Iran?

Women must cover their arms, head, and neck and wear a top garment that extends to mid-thigh. Men should not wear tank tops or shorts.

Can I make purchases in Iran due to sanctions?

Yes, but most will need to be in cash, unless the vendor can run the credit card through Dubai. Carpets are exempt from sanctions.

2022

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Scheduled Dates

  • May 07 - 21, 2022
    $8,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,975 single supplement+$200 iran visa
    Available
  • Oct 12 - 26, 2022
    $8,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,975 single supplement+$200 iran visa
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $9,895 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $9,395 per person double occupancy

8 to 16 guests from $8,695 per person double occupancy

2022 Pricing

2 to 3 guests from $10,995 per person double occupancy

4 to 5 guests from $9,495 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $9,295 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $9,095 per person double occupancy

10 guests from $8,895 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.