IRAN Inspiration 14 day – 13night Code: GA.03

Have you ever seen a subterranean lake? Don’t worry, come with us, we will show you an extensive subterranean lake system in limestone caverns near Hamadan. In Hamadan (ancient Ecbatana) you will visit Avicenna’s tomb and Iran will open its gates to you one by one from old castles and palaces to new gardens and museums so don’t miss your chance. We are waiting for your arrival.

Day 01: Arrival – Tehran
Arrival at Tehran airport, welcome by a Gashttour representative then transfer to hotel and rest. O/N Tehran

Day 02: Tehran – Shiraz (1:15 Hours distance by plane)
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. Finally in the evening, transfers to the airport and fly to Shiraz. Meet and transfer to hotel. O/N Shiraz

Day 03: Shiraz- Bishapur –Shiraz (280 Kilometers distance) [Round Trip]
Early morning departure to visit Bishapur, an ancient partly excavated Sassanian city built as a commemoration of Persia’s victory over the invading Romans. Bas reliefs on the rock walls of Tang- e Chogan depict the Persians victory over the invading Romans. During our return to Shiraz there may be an opportunity to see Qashqai nomads in their annual migration. O/N Shiraz

Day 04: 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

Day 05: Shiraz – Persepolis – Necropolis – Pasargadae – Yazd (460 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Yazd, we depart from Shiraz via the Quran gate then, after 40km we reach Persepolis the outstanding ceremonial palace of the Achaemenians 550BC.At Necropolis we see four tombs of Achaemenian kings high in the limestone escarpments. Then through mountain scenery we continue to Pasargadae the earliest Achaemenian capitol and location of the tomb of Cyrus the Great. Further north we cross the central Iran ranges to reach Yazd. O/N Yazd

Day 06: Yazd
According to UNESCO, Yazd is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is like a living museum. We will visit narrow alleys, see the high wind tower cooling systems so essential in this desert city , the Friday mosque dating from the 14th century and a silk weaving workshop where exquisite brocades are still made on traditional looms. O/N Yazd

Day 07: Yazd – Meybod – Naein – Isfahan (330 Kilometers distance)
In the morning we will explore this ancient city and visit a Zoroastrian temple where a sacred fire has been kept burning for hundreds of years at this Zoroastrian pilgrimage center. This is an opportunity to learn about Zoroastrianism which was the Persian religion before the Arabs brought Islam to Iran. Later visit the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence on the outskirts of the city. There burial rituals were performed. In the afternoon drive to Isfahan. En route we will visit Narin Castle and old caravanserai at Meybod and also a carpet workshop at Naein. O/N Isfahan

Day 08: 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.

Day 09: Isfahan
We will visit Armenian quarter of Jolfa, Vank cathedral, Friday mosque, Shaking Minarets and the Safavid reception palace of Chehel Sotoun (forty columns) with its exquisite frescos. O/N Isfahan

Day 10: Isfahan – Khorramabad – Kermanshah (570 Kilometers distance)
In the morning we drive towards Kermanshah. En route we will visit Falak-ol- Aflak castle in Khorramabad once the center of an Assassin guerilla group which battled with Arab rulers. O/N Kermanshah

Day 11: Kermanshah – Hamadan (195 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Hamadan, en route we will visit the Bisotun inscriptions which when translated by Rawlinson in 1835 provided an insight into the history of the Achemenians at the time of Darius and Xerxes. Much later Sassanian bas reliefs are seen at lower levels in the massive rock escarpment. O/N Hamadan

Day 12: Hamadan
Hamadan is a the site of a very ancient center which was the capital of the Medes about 3000 years ago. Formerly called Ecbatana (or Hegmataneh) this city has witnessed many noteworthy historical events. Recent excavations have revealed archaeological treasures which are seen in the adjoining museum. Other places to be visited include the tomb of Avicenna (Ibn Sina) the 10th Century physician, author of early medical texts, the tomb of Mordecai and Ester now a Jewish pilgrimage site, tomb of early poet Baba Taher and the remains of the 12th century Alavian dome. O/N Hamadan

Day 13: Hamadan – Tehran (340 Kilometers distance)
In the Morning we visit the extensive system of subterranean lakes in limestone caverns at Ali Sadr. Afternoon continue to Tehran. O/N Tehran

Day 14: Tehran – Departure
Transfer to Tehran Intl. airport for your return flight.