BLACK CHURCH (22 DAYS)

BASIC INFORMATION

Duration  Duration: 22 day trip
blank   Start: Tehran, Iran
blank   Finish: Tehran, Iran
blank   Group size: Min 2, Max 8
blank   Included meals: 22 Breakfasts, 0 Lunches, 1 Dinner
blank   Accommodation grade: 5-Star Hotels
blank   Transport: A.C. Minibus / Van
blank   Internet: Free Wi-Fi While Traveling

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

» Explore fabled capitals of ancient empires with our expert trip Leader, well-spoken and experienced in sharing his native land with travelers.

» Stroll in magnificent Persian gardens that trace their design principles to the days of Cyrus the Great.

» Mingle with local residents and vendors in colorful markets including the only bazaar in the world recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

» Discover Pasargadae and Persepolis, cities of the Achaemenid Empire that rank among the world’s greatest sites of antiquity.

» Get to know the warm Iranian people as you dine in fine local restaurants we’ve selected for their delicious Persian food and friendly ambience.

MAP

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ITINERARY

Retrace Persia’s 7000 years of history on this tour which takes you through diverse contrasts of scenery and cultural developments. Amongst a wide range of historically significant buildings you will visit, are the very old Black Church at Tabriz and the even older city of Yazd. Further on you will have the chance of seeing the magnificence of Isfahan, (half the world), the serenity of Shiraz, city of saints and poets, and experience the wonder of the Achaemenian ceremonial capital of Persepolis dating back to 550BC. We are proud to take you on this tour of discovery.

Day 1 : Arrival - Tehran

Arrival Tehran airport, welcome by a Gashttour representative then transfer to hotel and rest. O/N Tehran

Day 2 : Tehran

After breakfast, we shall visit the Sa’dabad Complex palace. Then, visit Archaeological & Islamic Art Museums. The pre-Islam archaeological museum covers Persia’s history from the 5th millennium BC to 648 AD while the Islamic art museum provides a display of Islamic works of art. Then to Golestan palace complex dating from the 18th century AD and later the Jewelry museum to view what is probably the world’s finest collection of precious stones collected over many centuries. O/N Tehran

Tehran

Day 3 : Tehran - Anzali

(485 Kilometers distance)

Cross the magnificent Alborz Mountain range in a modern air-conditioned coach, and drive towards the Caspian Sea at Anzali. On the way we will visit the enchanting mountain village of Masuleh then end our journey in Anzali. O/N Anzali

Day 4 : Anzali - Ardabil

(245 Kilometers distance)

We will visit Anzali Marsh in the morning. This large freshwater lagoon is frequented by a wide variety of migratory waterfowl. In the afternoon we drive north to the Azerbaijan border at Astara thence westwards to Ardebil. O/N Ardabil

Anzali Lagoon

Day 5 : Ardabil - Sarein - Ardabil

(70 Kilometers distance) [Round Trip]

In Ardebil we will visit the Sheikh Safi al-Din (great Sufi) mausoleum complex. There the dome of Allah Allah (about 56 feet high) rises above the tomb. Continue to Sarein, a Spa region at the base of a mountain which sources numerous hot mineral springs of various temperatures known for their therapeutic qualities. O/N Ardabil

Day 6 : Ardabil - Tabriz

(225 Kilometers distance)

Drive towards Tabriz, the centre of a very ancient civilization dating back to 7000 B.C. We shall visit Elgoli, a pleasant hillside garden surrounding an artificial lake on the eastern outskirts of Tabriz. Later we will visit the Blue Mosque before checking in to our hotel. O/N Tabriz

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Day 7 : Tabriz - Black Church - Tabriz

(460 Kilometers distance) [Round Trip]

We shall visit the Black Church, a 1000 year old Christian site within which is the grave of Saint Thaddeus, Black and white stones are utilized in its construction. Return to Tabriz and continue southwards to visit the village of Kandovan with its dwellings carved from volcanic ash deposits. O/N Tabriz

Day 8: Tabriz - Hamadan

(555 Kilometers distance)

Drive to Hamadan, en route we will visit the UNESCO heritage listed site of Azargoshasb dating from 1500 years ago. O/N Hamadan

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Day 9: Hamadan

The city of Ecbatana of the Medes is now called Hamadan and has a history as a place of learning. The tombs of the medical writer Avicenna and the poet Baba Taher are marked by recent monuments. We shall visit the tomb of biblical Esther and Mordechai which is revered as a Jewish shrine. Also we visit an archaeological excavation site and museum at Hegmataneh hill. O/N Hamadan

Day 10: Hamadan - Bisotun - Kermanshah

(195 Kilometer distance)

 

Drive to Kermanshah, en route we will visit at Kangavar the ruins of the Anahita temple built in honor of the goddess of water and fertility. We continue on to Bisotun where ancient rock tablets attest to the magnificence of the Achamenian dynasty. There a large Cuneiform inscription (tablet of Darius I), reveals details of the Persian Empire at its height. We will also visit the stone statue of Hercules carved in the mountain side. O/N Kermanshah

Bisotun

Day 11: Kermanshah - Khorramabad - Isfahan

(575 Kilometers distance)

Drive to Isfahan, en route we will visit the Falak-ol- Aflak castle which dominates in the delightful mountain town of Khorram Abad. O/N Isfahan

Day 12: Isfahan

In the morning we will visit Naqsh-e Jahan square, a huge open square in the center of Isfahan. The square periphery is marked by outstanding Safavid buildings which include the Ali Qapu palace, the Imam Mosque, the Sheikh Lotfollah (ladies) mosque and to the north the expansive bazaar where we can see artisans crafting metal work, Persian miniatures, printing intricate designs on cloth and other activities. In the afternoon, we will visit Si-o-Se Pol (thirty three arches) and Khaju Bridge spanning the Zāyandé-Rūd River. O/N Isfahan

Kermanshah

Day 13: Isfahan

We will visit the Armenian quarter of Jolfa and its Vank cathedral and adjacent museum. Later we shall visit the Friday mosque with its superlative brick and tile work then continue on to the shrine of the shaking minarets and finally visit Chehel Sotoun a Safavid reception palace renowned for its huge wall frescos depicting Persian history. O/N Isfahan

Day 14: Isfahan - Naein - Meybod - Yazd

(330 Kilometers distance)

After breakfast we will drive to Yazd. En route we will visit a carpet workshop at Naein. Later we visit old caravanserai and Narin castle in Meybod. There we can also visit an active pottery market. Then, continue to Yazd. O/N Yazd

isfahan

Day 15: Yazd

Yazd is one of the oldest cities in the world; it is like a living museum. We will visit the Friday mosque, and see tall wind tower cooling systems. We also visit a Zoroastrian temple where a sacred fire has been kept burning for hundreds of years and is now a Zoroastrian pilgrimage centre.. Zoroastrianism was the Persian religion prior to the arrival of Islam in Persia. Then we visit the Towers of Silence, Zoroastrian burial sites on the outskirts of the city. O/N Yazd

Day 16: Yazd - Pasargadae - Necropolis - Persepolis - Shiraz

(460 Kilometers distance)

Drive to Shiraz, en route we will visit Pasargadae, tomb of Cyrus the Great the first Achaemenian king. Then, visit Necropolis (tombs of Achaemenian kings), and the highlight of the tour at the Persepolis the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians at the height of their domination. We continue on and pass through the Quran gate to enter Shiraz. O/N Shiraz

Persepolis

Day 17: Shiraz - Bishapur excursion - Shiraz

(280 Kilometers distance) [Round Trip]

Early morning we go to visit Bishapour, an ancient Sassanian partly excavated city. Our route takes us through superb geology and scenery through Dasht- e Arjan and down a massive escarpment to reach this inspiring spot. Bas reliefs on the rock walls of Tang- e Chogan depict the Persians victory over the invading Romans. We return by the same route to Shiraz. O/N Shiraz

Day 18: Shiraz

We will visit the Eram and Naranjestan Gardens, Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Hafez and Saadi mausoleums, Vakil mosque complex and the most astonishing mirror decoration of the Ali Ibn Hamza Holy Shrine. O/N Shiraz

Eram Garden

Day 19: Shiraz - Kerman

(580 Kilometers distance)

We drive to Kerman through outstanding mountain scenery and the fig plantations near Estahban, the salt pan areas near Neyriz thence via Sirjan to Kerman. O/N Kerman

Day 20: Kerman - Bam - Mahan - Kerman

(385 Kilometers distance) [Round Trip]

We will visit the ruins of citadel around Kerman and at Mahan the magnificent Mausoleum of Shah Nematollah Vali, great Sufi, and the lovely Shahzadeh (Prince) Garden. O/N Kerman

kerman

Day 21: Kerman - Tehran

(1:30 Hours distance by Plain)

Kerman is famous for Persian carpets. There we will visit 17th century Ganjali khan complex including one of the most interesting and ancient bazaars in Iran, a bathhouse with a collection of wax figures showing original bathhouse procedures and a traditional tea house. Afternoon, transfer to the airport & fly to Tehran. O/N Tehran

Day 22: Tehran - Departure

Transfer to Tehran International airport for your departure from Iran.

Golestan Palace

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