Iran - The Achaemenian Heritage
**Currently the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Iran, however most other nationalities are not restricted.
- Lotfallah Mosque in Esfahan
- Persepolis, one of the wonders of the ancient world
- Choga Zanbil and the ancient ziggarat of the Elamites
Iran first gained prominence in the 6th century BC under the Achaemenid dynasty, creators of the Persian Empire, when art and architecture were encouraged to flourish. Further riches survive from the Sasanian Empire, plus splendid buildings from the Islamic period from 642 AD. From then, a near millennium of conquests by foreign powers, have resulted in a spectacular legacy of magnificent tower tombs, mosques, madrasas and shrines. Join Iain Shearer on this stunning tour of one of his favourite countries.
Day 1 London/ Tehran - Fly to Tehran.
Day 2 Tehran – A day of museums with a visit to the Carpet Museum, National Museum and the Glass Museum to see some of the country’s treasures.
Day 3 Tehran – Visit Golestan Palace with its 17 stunning palaces, museums and halls, the breath-taking collections at the Abassi Museum and the Saadabad Pahlavi palace complex.
Day 4 & 5 Hamadan – Depart for Hamadan. On route visit the old Persian rock inscription at Ganj Nameh and ancient Ectabana, the stone lion of Hamadan, the mausoleum of Esther and Mordecai and the tomb of Avicenna.
Day 6 Kangavar, Taq-i-Bustan, Kermanshah - Visit Bisitun to see the bas-relief inscriptions of Achaemenid King Darius and the Sasanian Temple at Kangavar. On to Taq-i-Bustan to see Sasanian-period grottoes and impressive rock reliefs. Overnight in Kermanshah.
Day 7 Ahwaz - Drive to Ahwaz travelling via the remains of the Sasanian Bridge at Pol-e-Dokhtar.
Day 8 Susa - A full day exploring the wondrous sites of the great city of Susa, including the Apadana Palace and UNESCO Chogha Zanbil, reputedly the best preserved ziggurat in the world.
Day 9 Bishapur, Shiraz - Travel to Shiraz with a visit on route to the ancient ruins at Bishapur.
Day 10 Shiraz – Tour of Shiraz, ‘city of poets, literature, wine and flowers’. Visit the Shah-i Cheragh Mosque, the Pars Museum, the Persian gardens and the tombs of the great Persian poets, Hafez and Saadi.
Day 11 Persepolis, Naqsh-i Rustam - Explore the important and impressive Achaemenid sites of Persepolis and Naqsh-i Rustam and the nearby rock reliefs at Naqsh-i Rajab.
Day 12 Firuzabad – Travel to the splendidly preserved Sasanian palace in remote Firuzabad.
Day 13 Pasargadae, Isfahan – Walk among the remains of palaces and the tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae, where there is evidence of the earliest Persian garden. Continue to Isfahan.
Day 14 Isfahan - Explore the stunning Maidan and its ensemble of glorious Saffavid architecture. Visit Lotfallah & Shah/ Imam Mosques, the Ali Qapu palace gateway and the Chehel Soton palace pavilion.
Day 15 Isfahan - See Vank cathedral and lunch in the Armenian Quarter returning via the beautiful bridges that span the Zayandeh Rud.
Day 16 Isfahan, Tehran - Explore the gardens at Bagh-e Fin before returning to Tehran for overnight.
Day 17 Tehran/ London - Return flight to London.
To be confirmed shortly.
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.