Iranian Ziggurat 21 day – 20night Code: GA.05

If you want to have a good cross section of what Iran has to offer the tourist then this is the tour for you. You will commence your excursion from the green littoral of the Caspian sea and continue south to the heart of the desert with its expansive terrain arid hills and great salt pans. Continue to the south west across the mighty Zagros mountain range and descend through the foothills to the coastal plains. At Chogha Zanbil you will see one of the world’s oldest ziggurat and a very ancient water purification system. .The route followed takes you to many of the major cities of Iran, archaeological sites, through high mountains with their fertile agricultural valleys and colorful tribal nomads.

Day 01: Tehran – Arrival

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

Day 02: 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

Day 03: Tehran – Ramsar (250 Kilometers distance)
Drive by coach through a beautiful mountainous road which crosses the Alborz range taking us from the semi arid southern slopes to the northern forested slopes which lead down to the rainforests, tea plantations and rice paddies of the Caspian littoral. O/N Ramsar

Day 04: Ramsar – Anzali (155 Kilometer distance)
Drive westwards along the Caspian coast and visit tea plantations and rice growing farmlands and fascinating wooden houses which are a feature of this region.. Arrive at Anzali the largest Iranian port on the Caspian. Visit the Anzali lagoon a large stretch of freshwater paralleling the coast. This area is renowned as a haven for a wide range of migratory water fowl. We may also have the chance to visit a caviar processing factory. O/N Anzali

Day 05: Anzali – Qazvin (225 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Qazvin via another Alborz mountainous road which takes us past the Manjil Dam. Qazvin is a city of antiquity and was the first capital of the Safavids dynasty in the 16th century. Here we visit some archaeological sites. O/N Qazvin

Day 06: Qazvin- Soltaniyeh – Hamadan (245 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Hamadan, en route we will visit Soltaniyeh, a once thriving center whose origins date back to 7000BC. Now it is best known for the incredible huge Mongol Domed Mausoleum built in the 13th century. O/N Hamadan

Day 07: 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 the archaeological excavation and museum at Hegmataneh hill. O/N Hamadan

Day 08: Hamadan – Kangavar – Bisotun – Kermanshah (195 Kilometer distance)
Drive to Kermanshah, en route at Kangavar we will visit the ruins of the Anahita complex, built in honor of the female goddess of water. Continue to Bisotun which can be regarded as a museum of the Persian civilization from ancient time to the present day. We view the huge cuneiform inscribed tablet of Darius I and a bas relief of Hercules preserved in the mountainside. O/N Kermanshah

Day 9: Kermanshah – Khorramabad (310 Kilometer distance)
Our route takes us through the fold belt of the Zagros Mountains. Khorram Abad is a delightful mountain town nestled in a valley in the heart of the Zagros ranges. In the 12th century this was the center of an Assassin guerilla group which resisted non-Persian rulers. The imposing citadel of Falak-ol- Aflak dominates the town. O/N Khorramabad

Day 10: Khorramabad – Ahvaz (340 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Ahvaz. This is a spectacular mountainous route with superb geological exposures of the Zagros Mountains fold belt. O/N Ahvaz

Day 11: Ahvaz – Shush – Chogha Zanbil – Ahvaz (240 Kilometers distance) [Round Trip]
Drive to Shush and visit the archaeological remains of this once beautiful city built 5500 years ago. Continue to Choghazanbil the UNESCO heritage Elamite center with its very ancient ziggurats. Then, return to Ahvaz. O/N Ahvaz

Day 12: Ahvaz – Bishapur – Shiraz (540 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Shiraz via Bishapur, an ancient partly excavated Sassanian city built in commemoration of the Persian victory over invading Romans. The route takes us along the foothills of the Zagros Mountains a region containing many of Iran’s giant oilfields. O/N Shiraz

Day 13: 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 14: Shiraz – Persepolis – Necropolis – Pasargadae – Yazd (460 Kilometers distance)
Drive to Yazd, we depart from Shiraz via the Quran gate and 40km to the north we stop at Persepolis the outstanding ceremonial palace of the Achaemenians dating back to at 550BC.At nearby Necropolis we see four tombs of Achaemenian kings high in the cliffs of limestone. Then continue through mountain scenery to Pasargadae an earlier Achaemenian capital and the location of the tomb of Cyrus the Great. Further on our route crosses the central Iran ranges to Yazd. O/N Yazd

Day 15: 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 through the bazaar and see many wind towers an early Persian innovation providing a cooling system The Friday mosque dates from the 14th century. Silk weaving workshops produce exquisite brocades which are still made on traditional looms. Yazd is also known as a Zoroastrian center .O/N Yazd

Day 16: 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 17: 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 18: Isfahan
We will visit the Armenian quarter of Jolfa, the Vank cathedral, Friday mosque, Shaking Minarets and the palace of Chehel Sotoun. Magnificent murals in the palace interior are a special attraction. O/N Isfahan

Day 19: Isfahan – Abyaneh (175 Kilometers distance)
Drive through high country to the north east to reach Abyaneh, an ancient and fascinating village with its colorfully dressed inhabitants and ochre mud brick houses. There little has changed for several centuries. En route we will visit the Natanz Friday Mosque. O/N Abyaneh

Day 20: Abyaneh – Kashan – Tehran (330 Kilometers distance)
We drive to Tehran. En route we will visit the Fin Garden complex in Kashan. This city is well known for its fine carpets and restored merchants’ houses. Continue to Tehran. O/N Tehran

Day 21: Tehran – Departure
Transfer to Tehran International airport for your departure from Iran.