Explore the ancient city of Ecbatana is this 15 day tour, and create memories that will last a lifetime!
|Location||Ahwaz, Hamadan, Isfahan, Kashan, Kermanshah, Qazvin, Shiraz, Tehran, Yazd|
Day 1: Arrival
On your first day, you will arrive in Tehran and be transferred to a hotel.
Your second day will begin with a full day visit to some of the major museums in Tehran, including Iran’s National Museum which displays an authentic collection of prehistoric and ancient artifacts consisting of pottery dating as far back as 6-7 millennium B.C.
You will also get to visit the Abguineh Museum. This museum has an exquisite collection of Islamic and pre-Islamic ceramics made from glass. The third museum we will visit is the Carpet Museum, which hosts an amazing collection of old and new Persian rugs and carpets made from the top carpet-weaving centers in Iran.
To start the third day, we will drive to Hamadan, with a stop in Qazvin to visit the beautiful shrine of Shahzadeh Hussain and the Friday Mosque of Qazvin. Once we arrive at Hamadan, we will visit:
- The Tomb of Esther & Mordecai, a popular Jewish pilgrimage center.
- The 12th century Alavyan Tomb Tower.
- The Tomb of Avicenna, Iran’s renowned philosopher, scientist and physician.
- Ganjnameh, the ancient inscriptions by Darius I, and his son Xerxes, carved on the side of the Alvand mountain.
On day four, we will drive to the Kermanshah through Kangavar, a small ancient town from 200 B.C. We will visit the Temple of Anahita, the Goddess of water and fertility.
Next, we will visit Bisotun to see the Royal Achaemenid Inscriptions, which depict Darius I facing the nine rebel kings. Once we arrive in Kermanshah, we will visit several historic Sasanian reliefs at Tagh-e-Bostan, which depict hunting scenes and the honoring of the Sasanian kings, including an enormous statue of Khosrow II mounted on his favorite charger, Shabdiz from AD 591-628.
On the fifth day, we will drive to Ahwaz, by way of Islam Abad Gharb and the Province of Ilam to see the remains of the Sasanian Bridge at Pol-e-Dokhtar. If we have time, we may stop to visit Shushtar, a quaint town that sits atop limestone cliffs above the Karun River, which has a rich history in and of itself.
Day six will be a full-day adventure to Chogha-Zanbil to visit the ziggurat which was built by Untash Gal, the King of Elam around 1250 B.C. This gigantic man-made mound was the highlight of the city of Dur Untashi, and dedicated to the great god Inshushinak, represented in the form of a bull.
Next we will visit Haft-Tappeh or Seven Mounds, which was discovered in the 1960’s. We will also visit Susa, which is one of the oldest civilizations in Western Asia, dating back to 5,000 B.C. You will also get to see the remains of Achaemenian palaces and the Tomb of Daniel, the biblical prophet.
On day seven, we will drive to Shiraz, visiting Bishapur on the way, which is a Sasanian city built by Shapur, the second Sasanian king. In this building complex, you will see a central chamber, a larger courtyard covered with mosaics and the remains of a temple dedicated to Anahita, the Goddess of Water and Fertility. There are also six Sasanian rock-reliefs at Tang-e-Chogan that commemorate Shapur’s victories over the Romans and other enemies.
The eighth day will include a tour of Shiraz to enjoy:
- The famous gardens including the Eram Garden.
- The tombs of Hafez and Sa’adi, Iran’s greatest lyric poets.
- The Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, known for its beautiful pink tiles.
- The Arg-e-Karim Khan, an 18th-century citadel.
- The Madrassa Khan, a Theological School. You will be able to meet teachers and students of the school.
- The Qajar-period Narenjestan Garden/House.
- The Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz.
- The Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh.
Day nine will be a full day of exploration to Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the Ancient World. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid empire. You will see the remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes.
We will also visit Naghsh-e-Rostam to see Ka’be-Zardosht and Royal Tombs. Additionally, you will get to see seven amazing Sasanian rock-reliefs including Shapur the First infamous victory over Valerian the Roman Emperor. Lastly, we will go to Naghsh-e-Rajab, a nearby grotto that contains several other Sasanian reliefs.
During day 10, we will drive to Yazd and visit Pasargadae on the way. Pasargadae is a simple but very impressive site that contains the tomb and remains of the palaces of Cyrus the Great. We will also stop over at the small desert town of Abarkuh to see the Cyprus tree which is over 4,000 years old. Then we will have a tour of Yazd and visit the Maidan-e-Mirchachmagh.
Day 11 will include:
- Sightseeing in Yazd, the center for the small Zoroastrian community in Iran.
- Visit one of the two Zoroastrian abandoned Towers of Silence (Dakhma). These towers date back to the 18th century.
- A visit to the active Zoroastrian Fire Temple. The fire of the Zoroastrian Fire Temple has been burning for around 1,500 years.
- The Friday Mosque, which has the highest portal and minarets in Iran.
- Visit Islamic monuments in the old Fahadan area such as the Selijuk shrine, Ziaieyeh Theological School, and the Dowlat-Abad Garden which contains an 18th century hexagonal house.
We will have a full city tour of the amazing city of Isfahan, the 17th century capital of the Safavids. You will see historical sites and monuments, such as:
- The famous bridges of Shahrestan, Khajou, and Sio-se-pol.
- The Armenian Quarter with several churches, including the famous Cathedral of Vank.
- The Maidan-e-Naghsh-e-Jahan, one of the world’s grandest squares containing several sites such as the Ali-Qapu Palace. You can experience the palace’s enchanting music rooms and a balcony overlooking the Maidan, where Safavid Kings would view polo games.
- The Sheikh Lotfollah and the Imam, two of Islamic world’s greatest mosques. Both contain magnificent architecture and tilework.
- We will end with the Qeisarieh Bazaar, which contains hundreds of shops where you can buy Isfahan’s world famous arts and crafts.
Day 13 will consist of:
- A full day of sightseeing in Isfahan to visit the Friday Mosque, with the popular Uljaitu Mihrab of the II-Khanid period. The Friday Mosque is one of the world’s greatest mosques.
- Visit the Chehel Sotun Palace, built by Shah Abbas II in the 17th century.
- The Hasht Behesht pavilion, built in 1670 by Shah Solayman. It is known as the Pavilion of Eight Paradises, and is set among tree-lined alleys with a beautiful reflecting pool and water rills.
In the morning we will drive to Tehran, stopping over at the quaint town of Natanz to visit the Islamic Complex. Afterwards we will travel to Kashan to visit the historical garden of Fin. The garden of Fin was first planted during the Safavid period and was kept alive using water from the Sulaimanieh Spring nearby. We will visit Taba-Tabai House, which is an example of a 19th century merchant residence.
Lastly, we will drive by the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini on our way back to Tehran.
Day 15: Departure
On the final day of the tour we will drive back to IKA airport for your departure flight.