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Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz

Essential Iran

11-day tailor-made private tour from £3,280 pp incl. flights


Short description

Iran has emerged from Persia’s still-standing ruins in a resplendence of hospitality and grand Islamic beauty


  • Compare the fabled ruins of the lost Persian Empire to the paradise gardens, giant domes and iconic muqarna arches of the country’s century-old Islamic extravagances
  • Showcase a collection of Iran’s finest sights, including the ancient kingly city of Persepolis, the cliff-hewn Royal Tombs of Naghsh-e-Rostam and Isfahan’s juxtaposition of bustling bazaars and sombre mosques
  • Trace it all with expert-led guided tours and the capital’s richly curated museums

In Brief

  • 1 Night Tehran
  • 2 Nights Shiraz
  • 2 Nights Yazd
  • 3 Nights Isfahan
  • 1 Night Tehran


Recommended for:
Desert | History & culture | Off the beaten track | Unique & unusual

Although palatial ruins and ancient artefacts will bring you back to the warring Persian Empire, Iran also welcomes with atmospheric teahouses, vibrant bazaars and majestic Islamic architecture. You’ll start with Tehran – a meeting point of the country’s diversely gregarious people and home to its finest museums. From here, a flight hop south will see you to medieval Shiraz for exquisite mosques, verdant gardens and Persepolis, a grand ruined testament to a lost civilisation. Your overland journey back will then be characterised by dynastical desert outposts and an extended stay in spectacular Isfahan where tree-lined boulevards and millennia-old bridges lead to pavilion-speckled gardens and palace-lined squares. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

Relax in the comfort of an airport lounge before you board your overnight flight to Iran, arriving on day two. 

Day 2

On your arrival into the Iranian capital you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. Your introductions to the country’s unique culture and history will then be made on a visit to Tehran’s major museums. At the Abgineh Museum you’ll find priceless glass and ceramics housed in a 20th century mansion while the National Museum will see you divide your time between collections of prehistoric artefacts and the storied manuscripts, tiles and silver objects that trace the country’s Islamic heritage. You’ll then end with a visit to the Carpet Museum where Persian patterns from across Iran’s carpet-weaving centres are proudly displayed. 

Stay: Azadi Grand or similar

Meals: B

Day 3

This morning take a flight to Shiraz, where you will enjoy a guided tour of this historic city, with visits to the Hafez and Saadi tombs, the Narenjestan-e-Ghavam historic house, the Nasir-ol-Molk mosque and sprawling Vakil bazaar. 

Stay: Pars International Hotel or similar

Meals: B D

Day 4
Persepolis & Naghsh-e-Rostam

Today you will visit Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the ancient world. As the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings, it features the remains of palaces built by Darius, Xerxes and Artaxerxes. You’ll still be able to note the famous bas-reliefs that depict kings, courtiers and the gift-bearing representatives from tributary nations. Your next stop is Naghsh-e-Rostam for its giant Sassanian rock reliefs, Achaemenid towers that date back to the 5th century BC and its magnificent Royal Tombs, carved out of giant sandstone cliffs. 

Stay: Pars International Hotel or similar

Meals: B

Day 5

Today you will drive via Pasargadae, the first capital of the Achaemenian Empire, where you will visit the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, Tall-eTakht and the presidential palace, before continuing on to Yazd later in the afternoon.

Stay: Dad Hotel or similar

Meals: B L

Day 6

Whilst in Yazd you will enjoy a full-day tour to the gardens of Dowlat-Abad, with its 18th century feudal hexagonal house with the highest 'badgir' (wind catcher) in Iran, the Zoroastrian fire temple, an abandoned Zoroastrian ‘Tower of Silence’, the Jameh mosque and the Amir Chakhmaq complex.

Stay: Dad Hotel or similar

Meals: B D

Day 7
Na'in - Isfahan

After breakfast you will drive to Isfahan, the 17th Century capital of the Safavids, visiting the historic Jameh mosque at Na'in en route.  Construction of the mosque was started in the 8th century and the complex enhanced over several centuries.

Stay: Abbasi Hotel or similar

Meals: B L

Day 8

During your first full-day in the beautiful city of Isfahan, you will visit many of the city's most famous sites. Included will be visits to Naghsh-e Jahan Square, the Imam and Sheikh Lotfollah mosques, two of the Islamic World's greatest mosques, the Khaju Bridge and the Ali Qapu Palace with its enchanting music rooms and balcony overlooking the Maidan from where the Safavid Kings watched polo games. 

Stay: Abbasi Hotel or similar

Meals: B D

Day 9

On the second full day in Isfahan, you will enjoy a visit to the Vank Cathedral and the Jameh mosque of Isfahan, a Unesco world heritage site since 2012. From here you’ll drive on to the Chehel Sotoun Palace. Built by Shah Abbas II in the 17th century, its twenty wooden columns are idyllically mirrored in a shimmering pool, giving rise to its name ’The Palace of Forty Columns’. Your final visit will be to the Hasht Behesht pavilion, built in 1670. Delightfully intricate, its tree-lined alleys, reflecting pool and water rills are a true oasis. You’ll then have the option of further visits to the bazaar and the city’s shops.

Stay: Abbasi Hotel or similar

Meals: B

Day 10
Natanz - Kashan - Tehran

Today you will be driven to Tehran after breakfast, stopping at the charming town of Natanz to visit a beautiful Islamic complex en route to visit the Fin Gardens near  to Kashan. You will also visit the former merchant’s house of Taba-Tabai, before staying overnight at a hotel located conveniently close to the airport, ready for your flight home on day 11.

Stay: Novotel Hotel (or similar)

Meals: B D

Day 11
Fly home

After breakfast fly home, arriving back in the UK later the same day.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

11-day tailor-made private tour from £3,280 pp incl. flights

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