IRANORIGINALTOURS

IRAN ESCORTED BESPOKE TOUR

Become mesmerized by the richest art heritages in world history from architecture and painting, to pottery, and sculpture.

information

country
Iran
start
Shiraz
finish
Mashad
duration
22 Days, 21 Nights
available seat
9

    All Transports by A/C Van

  English Speaker Tour Guide

   All attraction Entrance Fees

   one persian cooking class

   All meals, Snacks (in Iran)

 


4,450 USD

Dates & availability

General Information

Together we travel through this fascinating old-country to discover refined Islamic cities, colourful bazaars, ancient Persian ruins, and shimmering deserts.

  • NZ Travel and Tour guarantees an authentic experience as we take care of every details of your travels, allowing you to relax and enjoy Iran’s beautiful culture and diverse scenery.
    • The wisdom of our expert guides will take your Persian experience to the next level. Whether you’re relaxing in a tea-house in Tehran, exploring ancient cultural sites or breaking bread with nomads on the harsh Iranian plateau, you’ll be charmed by the warmth and hospitality of the Iranian people.
  • We believe Iran is a safe country to travel in Middle East.
    • Whether you travel alone or with our organized tour, you are bound to be mesermised by Iran’s beauty. We are here to help create memories that will last a lifetime with outstanding recommendations so you may enjoy the smooth travel through one of the oldest cultures (and least advertised in western media).

Itinerary

Tours _ Iran _ Itinerary

Our first day in Iran is in Shiraz, the beautiful city in South of Iran known as the Pearl of Persia. The very name evokes images of ancient times: exotic, tranquil gardens, lavish mansions, colourful woollen rugs, art, philosophy, poetry and of course, the famous Shiraz wine (although it is no longer found here). Shiraz is also a renowned centre of learning and boasts many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Shiraz is known as Iran's cultural capital, home to two of Persia's most famous poets in the 13th and 14th centuries, Hafez and Sa'adi, whose mausoleums are found here. People of Shiraz are famous for being laid back and relax, growing up surrounded by gardens and poetry. · At Shiraz International Airport, your tour guide meets and companys you to Karimkhan Hotel (http://karimkhanhotel.ir/), or a similar class hotel, to check in and relax. Then we gather for refreshments and a brief Welcome Meeting at noon in Hotel. · We enjoy a delicious meal for lunch in “Haft khan” Restaurant Complex (http://www.haftkhanco.com/Home.aspx?id=1) with the name is taken from the Seven Labors of Rostam or Haft-Khan-e-Rostam. The story of Haftkhan was retold by Ferdowsi in his epic poem, Shahnama. · We start the afternoon walking though the holiest site of Shiraz, Shah-e-cheragh, a beautiful mausoleum. Shah-e-Cheragh (King of the light) is of two of Imam Reza's brothers; Ahmad and Mohammad that took refuge in the city during the Abbasid persecution of Shia Muslims at the beginning of the third Islamic century (approximately 900 AD) . The forecourt is usually busy with pilgrims coming from different cities of Iran. · We continue our tour to see one of the oldest mosque in the county, Jame Atiq Mosque, uniquely designed to take breaths away with its beautifully written verses from the Qur’an and arabesque designs with flower-and-bird motifs, with its ceilings decorated with stalactites in an appealing way, and ornamented with Qur’anic verses on all four sides. · Next we visit the incredibly colourfully decorated - Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque – to see sunlight streaming through stain glass windows fills the interior with kaleidoscopic colours, or the theological college of Khan Madraseh. · We finish our tour for the day in a traditional tea-house in the wonderful Bazar-e Vakil, were we may spot the members of nomad groups who come to the city to stock up on provisions. · We enjoy our traditional Iranian dinner in the evening and take the rest of evening to relax. Meals: Lunch, Dinner
From Shiraz will drive to one of the top Iran's premier attraction, Persepolis (trip approximately 1 hour). Persepolis was once the centre of the Persian Empire and one of the great cities of the ancient world, constructed in the reign of Darius I and taking 150 years to complete. The imposing gateways, exquisite relief carvings and towering columns will leave everyone in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world. In 330 BC, Alexander the Great destroyed the city, and while today only the smaller ruins remain, the grandeur is still impressive. Today, we’ll have a local tour guide, specialised for this World Heritage Site, to fascinate you with Persepolis. · For lunch, we head to a local restaurant · We continue to visit Naqsh-e-Rostam (10 km, 15 min away), a cave-tomb containing the bodies of several Achaemenid kings, including Darius the Great. · We return to Shiraz to visit the lovely, vast garden complex known as the ‘Garden of Paradise’ (Bagh-e Eram). We take our time to wander the grounds, filled with local visitors, where artificial rivers run through an impressive collection of cypress trees and pool in front of a colourful palace. · We visit the tombs of Hafez, known as Hafezieh. Hafez was a Persian poet who is regarded as a literary giant and folk hero. His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran, who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-14th century Persian writing more than any other author. · We visit the tomb of Sa'di known as Sa’dieh. Sa'di, another great poet and writer from Shiraz, was more of a scholar. As visitors of Hafezieh and Sa’dieh we appreciate the intricate artwork of their tombs and understand their continued relevance and importance in Iranian society, and perhaps listen to some poetry being recited. · We enjoy the dinner and have the evening to ourselves. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
In the morning, we start our day visiting the countryside of Shiraz - Qalat village to take a walk around its ruins. · We visit a mud-brick citadel - Arg-e karimkhan - from the 18th century, a time when the whole of Persia was ruled by Karim Khan from Shiraz and we enjoy the display of historic photos from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the legendary tales depicted on the tiles at the entrance gate. · We head into Vakil Bazaar for shopping, the main bazaar of Shiraz located in the historical centre of the city. It is thought that the market originally was established by the Buwayhids in the 11th century AD, and was completed mainly by the Atabaks of Fars, and was renamed after Karim Khan Zand in the 18th century. The bazaar of Shiraz has beautiful courtyards, caravansarais, bath houses, and old shops which are deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques. Like other Middle Eastern bazaars, there are a few mosques and Imam-zadehs constructed beside or behind the bazaar. · We have dinner in bazaar and you will have time to enjoy the night. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After an early breakfast (7.30 am), we leave Shiraz to explor Yazd – the ancient desert city. On our way, we stop first in Pasargad(140 km, 2 hrs). Pasargadae – an ancient city in old Persia - was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization. We take our time to explore this UNESCO world heritage site. · We continue on your journey (160 km, approximately 2hrs trip), arriving at the historical town of Abarqu, located in the desert valley beneath the Zagros Mountains. We visit the town’s main sights, an ice house (a specially constructed house that acted like a fridge), the 11th century Gonbad Ali Dome, the Khan-e Aghazadeh Qajar-era mansion, and a 4,000-year-old cypress tree. · We have a brief picnic to enjoy Persian snacks and refreshments before we reach Yazd (another 165 Km, 2 hrs trip). · Upon arrival in Yazd, we enjoy a delicious meal for dinner and rest in a museum-setting hotel, Hotel Museum Fahadan of Yazd. http://www.mehrchainhotels.com/SC.php?type=static&id=19&mid=81 Meals: Breakfast, Picnic and Snack, Dinner
Yazd, this historic desert city was the major stop on the caravan routes to Central Asia and India during the Silk Road period – Marco Polo visited the city on his way to China – and it retains a rustic feel. Yazd is the heart of the Zoroastrian religion. · We start out tour in the fascinating city of Yazd by a walking tour to visit the Jameh Mosque, notable for its fine mosaics and beautiful exterior designed to draw people inside. · We explore the old part of the city, one of the oldest on earth according to UNESCO. A walk in the narrow kuches (lanes) is the best treat, passing simple courtyards and the ornate doors of the mud brick buildings. · We enjoy one of the most distinctive features of Yazd - the wind towers (‘badgirs’) - that capture even the softest of breezes and direct them to the buildings below in a forerunner of modern air-con. · After lunch, we visit The water museum that shows how the quants (underground water channels) brought water to the city from the mountains for thousands of years. · We explore the Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, both vestiges of the city’s Zoroastrian heritage. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire and water are elements of ritual purity, and the fire in the Atashkadeh Fire Temple is said to have been continuously burning since 470 AD. · We have time to take visit local shops and enjoy our afternoon in Yazd before dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On this day we enjoy an excursion outside of Yazd, to see the impressive Kharanak mud brick village, Chak Chak fire temple, and last but not lease the Meybod citadel. · We explore the abandoned structures of Kharanak - a striking town believed to be 1,000 years old. We enjoy this hillside settlement, peering into the houses of wealthy merchants and “hamams” (bathhouses), the valley and nearby mountains. Here, we find the aqueducts that formed part of the underground water system that is still used to irrigate the fields here – with shocks of green against the brown desert. · After a climb up the mountainside, we reach the fire temple of Chak Chak– one of the most important Zoroastrian pilgrimage sites in Iran. Chak Chak means ‘drip, drip’, named for a trickle of holy water that drips inside the temple. · After lunch, we will visit Narin Castle, one of the oldest mudbrick structures in Iran, to explore the still growing town of Meybod before returning to Yazd. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We head to visit Garmeh that is a small village in the middle of central desert of Iran, with 260 people, three camels, a few goats and 3 dogs resting in shades of palm trees – the source of unlimited fresh dates. · On our way to Garmeh we stop in Bayazieh – an ancient castle with 700 rooms near Khor-Bianak located 400 km from Isfahan. Bayazeh Castle, also registered on National Heritage List, will capture you with its antiquity of thousands of years. It is designed in several stories, protected by the high walls from the attacks of thieves and plunderers. § We enjoy staying the nights at the guesthouse in the village, Ateshooni the traditional Homestay where you can enjoy traditional Iranian meals and when the night comes you will sleep on mattresses on the floor and enjoy the peace and privacy of your desert stay. This guesthouse and a charming coffee place are family-owned business. They improved the life of locals of this oasis. § After lunch, we leave to catch the sunset by the Salt Lake with an enchanting ambience in the evening. After a beautiful afternoon, we can enjoy the hospitality of oasis people before we return to hotel to rest in our traditional bed-settings. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Traditional Homestay
In the morning, after a light breakfast, we start our day walking through Palm Orchards to reach the village’s only water source, the spring of Garmeh. Life of oasis depends on this spring that flows out of the foothills of the aforementioned mountains, quite close to the heart of the village. This is the only source of life for the gardens and Date Palm orchards that make this oasis such a special place. Many travellers have passed through the area for many years. A good example is a famous Persian poet, philosopher and adventurer by the name of Nasser Khosro who passed through the area about 950 years ago and mentioned this area in his famous travel writings - very well known to literate Persian readers. As an example of the more well known European travellers of the last few centuries; one can note the names of Seven Hedin and Alfonse Gabriel who visited Garmeh about a century ago. But why did these famous people noted Garmeh specifically? Well, this day is your chance to find the answer. · From Garmeh, we will arrive in Mesr, a village in the heart of desert. We come here to listen to the incredible silence of desert. Mesr - an oasis located in the central desert of Iran – is known as Dashte-Kavir in Persian. The central mountain ranges of Iran which are predominantly isolated oasis are close by. As far as we know, it has been thus for several thousand years. The documented history of human settlement in the area is as far back as 4000 years ago but there exists some relatively reliable evidence that suggests human habitation as far back as 7000 years ago. The main activity for the natives during this incredibly long period had been some form of agriculture and wresting sustenance out of the harsh and unforgiving conditions that are the reality of this land. During more recent historical times (from about 2000 years ago), the oasis was placed on the main route of the famous Silk Road and therefore the main trading route between China and Europe. We will have lunch before a desert safari to the heart of sand dunes. We will catch the sunset as we enjoy a traditional drink around bonfire. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Traditional Homestay
We depart Garmeh to the city known as Iran's jewel, Isfahan. But before Isfahan, we will stop to visit few oases and enjoy the scenery. Isfahan is simply one of the finest places in the Islamic world with the tranquil gardens, picturesque bridges and superb palaces. Isfahan offers an abundance of fine Islamic buildings, most of which are covered with the blue mosaic tiles Iran is famous for, and an enormous bazaar, perfect for shopping for exquisite Persian carpets and unique silver handcrafts. A 16th-century rhyme called Isfahan 'half the world' and after this trip, you might agree. · We will arrive into Esfahan late afternoon and first we stroll to the ‘Zayandeh-Rood’ River to enjoy the historic bridges, which seem to have come straight from a fairytale. At several of the bridges locals gather to talk, drink tea and sing beautiful folk songs. This is truly a magical place to while away some time, and an atmospheric place to enjoy our evening before we arrive in your hotel, In Isfahan, we stay in ‘Hotel Abbasi’ http://www.abbasihotel.ir/MainFa.aspx?p=1 that is one of the most beautiful hotels in Iran or a similar one. The Abbasi Hotel (formerly known as the Shah Abbas Hotel) was built at the time of king Sultan Husayn of Safavid about 300 years ago. It was built as a caravansary to provide lodging for passengers. The structure has been renovated since the 1950s by André Godard to fight and prevent degradation. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On this day you will soak up the atmosphere of Isfahan, beginning with a half-day tour of the city. Your guide will give insight into life under Persia's greatest ruler, Shah Abbas, with the city reaching its peak during his 16th century reign, when it became the capital of Persia. Even though the capital moved from Isfahan to Shiraz before Tehran, Isfahan retains much of its past glory and you will have the chance to see this through this tour. · We explore the immense Imam Square (formerly Naqsh-e Jahan Square); covering an area of 82,500 square meters it’s the second largest in the world. The square is surrounded by many grand buildings, such as the Ali Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Qeysarieh Portal and the majestic Imam Mosque. It’s truly a remarkable full sight. In the Safavid era, this square was a place for parades, military reviews, polo games and festivals; and once home to entertainers, storytellers, preachers and Silk Road caravans. · This is also a good opportunity for travellers to mix with locals as “Naqshe-e Jahan Square” is popular for local families to meander around and picnic at in the early evenings. Located in the west of Imam Square, the Ali Qapu Palace covers six floors and was originally built as the main palace of Shah Abbas, who used it to receive guests and foreign ambassadors. · We visit the atmospheric bazaar of Isfahan with its wonderful scents and spices, musical merchants' cries and, of course, thousands of locals bargaining for their most desired items. Walk the covered lanes of this sprawling marketplace, where shafts of light filter through ceiling and lattice, and browse for fabrics, spices, jewellery and other treasures. This will be your golden opportunity to collect a few unique items either to pass as gifts or to keep as memoirs of this day. Also, you will enjoy the most delicious traditional cuisines specific to Isfahan that are famous for being so good that their taste will never leave your memory. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On this day, you will have time to wander along Isfahan this lovely city's many tree-lined boulevards. We enjoy the morning by walking through spacious gardens. · We visit the Jameh Mosque (Friday Mosque), the biggest in all Iran and full of lovely designed stuccos, or the fresco-filled Chehel Sotun Palace, a relaxed complex with a water pool surrounded by shady tree. Following that we arrive in the bizarre Manar Jomban (shaking minarets) before Armenian quarter of the city and the Church of St. Joseph of Arimathea. · The Church of St. Joseph of Arimathea has a striking interior of gilded ceilings, walls and paintings. The stunning, delicate artwork of the dome depicts the Biblical story of Genesis, from the Creation to man’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. We also take time to see the museum inside the church that contains some very historic manuscripts before we leave to lunch to enjoy traditional cuisine of Isfahan. · Now, it’s a shopping time. We head back into the bazaar for shopping and to find one of the teahouses tucked away here, the perfect place to rest tired feet and refresh your spirit. · We take a stroll by the Zayandeh Rood, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau in central Iran and stop for a well-deserved chai (tea) at one of the stunning bridges, Si-o-Se-pol (thirty three bridges) that give this part of the city a relaxing, but colourful air. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We leave Isfahan to travel on to our next stop – the charming mountain village of Abyaneh (approximately 2.5 hours), set at an altitude of 2,500 metres and nestled at the foot of Mt Karkus, Abyaneh features mudbrick houses that are arranged in a stair-step shape. · We take a walking tour to inspect the interesting architecture of this ancient red-rock town. The wooden doors – most of which have two knockers (one for men, one for women) – are built in the traditional style, with beautiful patterns and poems carved on them (often the names of the owner and mason). These etchings offer a good picture of ancient Iranian culture. The layout of the houses also hints at the country's occasionally tumultuous history – the buildings were huddled together to protect them from frequent raids by passing armies. · We pass through the local shops and mosque, and enjoy great views of the valley below. · We spend the rest of the day soaking up the relaxed atmosphere of this quiet rural town. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We continue on by private van down the mountains, into the desert through Qamsar and on to Kashan (approximately 2.5 hours). · We will stop in Qamsar where is famous for its rose gardens and rose water. The people of Qamsar collect roses, boil them in special pots and collect their water in beautiful containers. It is a pride for the city that each year, the most sacred Muslim place on earth, Ka’aba (Mecca), is washed with rose water from Qamsar. · We visit Kashan - beautiful oasis city with a very long history – human settlement in the area dates back to the 4th millennium BC. It’s also a merchant town know for its high quality ceramics, silks, carpets, and some of the finest traditional houses in Iran. · We explore these houses with visits to the Khan-e Borujerdi and Khan-e Tabatabei. These 19th-century khans were funded by wealthy merchants and feature lovely courtyards, lush gardens and fine intricate relief designs carved into stone and stucco work. Khan-e Borujerdi was built in the 1840s for the affluent Tabatabaei family because a father set one condition of marriage: that his daughter must live in a home at least as lovely as his own. 18 years later, this exquisite Persian residential home, full of minute architectural details, was completed (though she did marry in the interim). Khan-e Tabatabei is known for its intricate stone reliefs, stucco and great mirror and stained-glass work. · We visit the most impressive Islamic complex in Kashan – the Agha Bozorg Mosque and Madraseh, famous for its symmetrical design. · Later, in the evening, we explore the town's other sights such as the Fin Gardens, a classical Persian vision of paradise and one of the most beautiful gardens in the Middle East. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning, we make our way from Kashan to Tehran (approximately 4 hours). · We head to the capital through Qom, Iran’s second-holiest city after Mashhad. Qom is famous for a brittle toffee called "Sohan" sweets considered a souvenir of the city and sold by 2,000 to 2,500 "Sohan" shops. We will stop here for refreshment and to shop and taste some “Sohan” (1.5 hrs). · On our way from Qom to Tehran (approximately 2hrs), we stop along the way to visit the still under construction holy shrine of Imam Khomeni, the leader of the Islamic Revolution. When completed, the Iranian’s believe the shrine will be one of the greatest buildings in the Islamic world. Revered as the father of the 1979 revolution, Imam Khomeni was buried here in 1989. His funeral was attended by an incredible 10 million people, making it the world's biggest. People from all around Iran come here to pay their respects. · We will arrive Tehran late and we go directly to Hotel to have dinner and rest. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we explore Tehran, the capital of Iran. We use public transport, subway and we walk to visit historical parts of Tehran and avoid traffic. · We visit National Carpet Museum and National Museum of Iran. The Carpet museum is located beside Laleh Park, and founded in 1976. The Carpet Museum of Iran exhibits a variety of Persian carpets from all over Iran, dating from the 16th century to the present. The museum's exhibition hall occupies 3,400 square meters (10,200 ft²) and its library contains 7,000 books. The museum was designed by the last Queen of Iran, Farah Diba Pahlavi. The perforated structure around the museum's exterior is designed both to resemble a carpet loom, and to cast shade on the exterior walls, reducing the impact of the hot summer sun on the interior temperature. · We explore Golestan Palace which is UNESCO world heritage site. The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. It became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology. · We continue our trip to north of Tehran to visit the Sa’dabad Complex. The Sa’dabad Complex is a historical complex situated in Shemiran, Tehran (Greater Tehran), Iran. It consists of several buildings and monuments built in the royal dynasty of Qajar and Pahlavi (1789-1979). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On this day we leave Tehran to pass the Alborz Mountain to see the greenest part of Iran, “Shomal” meaning north. · We continue our trip through Qazvin to the historical village of Masouleh, one of the latest UNESCO world heritages in Iran. · We explore the mountain village of Masouleh that has been here for eight hundred to a thousand years. The existence of numerous graveyards inner and outside of the city proves its old texture. Storied and terracing plan of the city is in parallel to the mountain slope. The combination of such architecture with natural landscapes can be a national and international touristy center and the only way of the inhabitants' living. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Homestay
We leaving village of Masouleh to go to green city of Fuman · We visit Roodkhan castle, located 25 km southwest of Foman city north of Iran in Gilan province. It is a military complex which had been constructed during the Sasanian era (224-651), and later rebuilt during the Seljuq era by followers of the Ismail sect. The castle is built on two tips of a mount, with an area of 2.6 hectares (6.4 acres). Its architects have benefited from natural mountainous features in the construction of the fort. · After we visit the castle, we continue to visit Rasht. We plan to have lunch in Rasht the largest city on Iran's Caspian Sea coast. Rasht is a major trade midpoint between Caucasia, Russia and Iran using the port of Bandar-e Anzali. The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century but its modern history dates back to the Safavid era during which Rasht was a major silk trade hub with numerous textile workshops. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we walk to the roof of Tehran, Mount Tochal and enjoy a Persian Cooking class. · We visit Mount Tochal, Tochal Ski Resort in Alborz using the cable car. · We enjoy our culinary guide, Matin at Tajrish bazaar starting with a walking tour of Tajrish Bazar where we are introduced to exotic spices and Persian ingredients only to be found in this part of the world. This is your unique chance to experience shopping fresh ingredients like locals in Tajrish Bazar. · We have snacks and light meals before heading over to the kitchen where our host chef, Shirin from Tehran will show us her magic to create the most delicious Persian dishes. After a brief introduction, we enjoy a 5 course meal adjusted to the season. Once the wafting aroma of the delicious meal dissipates the kitchen, the table will be set and gather for a huge Persian feast as you chat and exchange experiences. · We have time for shopping for souvenirs. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we leave hotel early in the morning to catch the train at 6:30 am in Tehran central railway station. This train takes us through the desert to Mashhad, the holiest city and second biggest city in Iran. · A simple meal will be served on the train while you enjoy the scenery. Upon arrival in Mashad, you will be transported to your hotel with time to rest and restore energy. · For dinner, we experience a delicious homemade meal in the home of a local family. · We will go to the shrine of Imam Reza after dinner where the lights are most dazzling and the shrine is slightly less populated. Mashhad is Iran’s holiest and second-biggest city with shrine of Imam Reza in its soil. Its raison d’être and main sight is the beautiful, massive and ever-growing Haram (shrine complex) commemorating the AD 817 martyrdom of Shia Islam’s eighth Imam, Imam Reza by the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun (ruled 813–833). The pain of Imam Reza’s martyrdom is still felt over a millennium later and around 20 million pilgrims converge here annually to pay their respects (and no small amount of money) to the shrine. Witnessing the tears and prayers of the believers can be a moving experience, even if you’re not a believer yourself. Many young couples are also here as the city’s also a haven for honeymooners, who believe this visit can bless their marriage. Many come here with their problems from a sick or dying family member to those who lost hope in all other ways, holding this belief that Imam Reza can hear and respond to their prayers. Here, we may experience the sound of Naqare-Khane which is the sound of a sort of trumpet and drums played in Imam Reza's shrine in special occasions. The instrument has a very specific sound that represents a nostalgic role and all the interviewees mentioned that they’d like to be in the shrine in those specific hours to hear that sound. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Today we explore Mashhad countryside. · First we visit Ferdowsi’s tomb. Ferdowsi was a Persian poet and the author of Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), which is the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Iran and the Greater Iran. Having drafted the Shahnameh under patronage of the Samanid and the Ghaznavid courts of Iran, Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature. Ferdowsi is widely regarded as the greatest poet in the Persian language. He was called "The Lord of the Word" and "The Savior of Persian Language. · We continue to the beautiful village of Kang. The old stepped village of Kang is about 30 km from Mashhad, within and climbing above a scenic river valley. It is very quiet and yet not found by many tourists. Here, the weather zipped from cold winds and light rain to sunshine, every hour. · We explore the countryside of Mashhad famous for its vibrant atmosphere with lots of traditional restaurants to experience one of the most traditional Iranian meals called Dizi. · After lunch we visit the village of Jaghargh. Jaghargh is famous for its handcraft and dried fruits where you can taste and collect souvenirs from locals. · This evening you have time to wander around city and take time to walk and enjoy the rest of day. After Dizi for lunch, many feel full for the rest of the day. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Early morning we enjoy our breakfast in one of the most beautiful valleys around Mashhad by walking through valleys out of town for three or four hours. · We visit city of Neyshabour to explore Khayyam and Attar’s tombs. Neyshabur or Nishapur occupies an important strategic position astride the old Silk Road that linked Anatolia and the Mediterranean Sea with China. On the Silk Road, Nishapur has often defined the flexible frontier between the Iranian plateau and Central Asia. Little archaeology has been done on this vast and complicated site. George Curzon remarked that Nishapur had been destroyed and rebuilt more times than any other city in history. Neyshabur is located in 115 km south west of Mashhad in the province of Khorasan. This ancient city has been the home of the great poet and mathematician Hakim Omar-e-Khayyam and the great mystical poet Attar-e Neyshaburi. In addition, Neyshabur has been a major source of Firouz-e (Turquoise) for thousands of years and still a major center of Turquoise trade. · We return to Mashhad and you will be transferred to your hotel to have dinner and take rest before your departure either tonight or tomorrow. · You will be dropped at International Airport of Mashhad. We wish you a safe and smooth flight back home. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You will be transfer to Mashhad international airport after having your breakfast to catch your flight back home. · If you’re flight is from Tehran, you’ll be transferred to domestic airport to catch your flight to Tehran Mehrabad airport (1hr flight) and carry on by airport taxi to the International Imam Khomeyni Airport (taxi trip between the two airport 57 Km, 1hr).

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