This year we are spicing things up with our Iran itinerary and taking you to a different side of this must-see country, seeing all the must-see sights as well as the more hidden ones.
In the thriving capital of Tehran you will visit the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini and revolutionary martyrs cemetery before you see the famous anti-US propaganda adjoining the facades of buildings and the former US embassy.
You then hit the road for Esfahan and see royal palaces and mosques, local bazaars and hang out with locals at the gym watching ancient Persian workouts. In Yazd you will see ancient Zoroastrian temples and the famed towers of silence before we stroll around the UNESCO site of Persepolis outside of Shiraz.
This tour is open to all nationalities except Israeli, if you are from the UK, the USA, Canada or Colombia we advise booking no later than 3 months before the tour to give us time to secure the visa codes. As always YPT provides full visa support for all nationalities. This is a tour for true Pioneers and comes right after our Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Tours which means they can be easily combined! All tours can be done as standalone, or combined with discounts. For an epic adventure, you can also join our combo throughout the Caucasus, taking in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and the unrecognised republic within.
Morning or afternoon arrival by flight. Those coming from our Kuwait Tour arrive at 14:30 where we are picked up and taken to our hotel.
Meet up with the group at 5pm in the hotel lobby
Visit to the heart of Old Tehran to soak up the night time atmosphere, drink some local tea and people watch.
Traditional Iranian dinner of kebabs at famous restaurant Ayaran restaurant, near Ferdosi square.
Overnight in New Naderi Hotel or similar
Wednesday 23rd March – Tehran
Head out on our day tour of the main sights of Tehran with first stop being a visit the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Head on to the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery, expect to see a lot of locals around paying their respects
Stop at the Shah’s Monument AKA Revolution Monument for photos
Drive through Tehran past anti-US propaganda and the US embassy (possibility of actually seeing inside the embassy, something which was considered impossible only a couple of years ago!).
Lunch of local Iranian dishes
Explore the Erbat Museum with its heavy doses of brutality and propaganda, not for the fiant-hearted!
Shopping in the Tajrish Bazaar of Tehran and visit a nearby mosque.
Dinner at the Armenian Club. Armenians are the main ethnic Christian minority in Iran.
Overnight in New Naderi Hotel or similar
Thursday 24th April – Tehran-Esfahan
Drive to Esfahan (4-5 hours) with plenty of stops for breaks and photos
Lunch in a restaurant in one of the smaller cities on the way.
Go to the famous old Khaju bridge.
Walk across bridge and mingle with locals.
Visit one of the oldest carpet shops. Explanation on a variety of Persian carpets and opportunity for a purchase. The presentation involves a show how carpets are made and explanation of 30 different styles of carpets.
Dinner in a local restaurant of the local speciality of chelo kebab
Evening visit to the 300-year-old Abbasi Hotel for traditional Iranian tea.
Overnight at the centrally located Esfahan tourist Hotel.
Friday 25th March – Esfahan
After breakfast we head straight to the beautiful Ali Qapu Royal Palace dating from the early 17th century
Sheikh Lotfollah mosque and Ali-qapoo palace.
Explore the Naqsh-e Jahan Sqaure, the second largest public square in the world after Tian’anmen Square in Beijing!
Lunch in a traditional restaurant at the square.
Visit the Imam Mosque, famed for its traditional architecture, previously called the Shah Mosque before the revolution
Chance to change money for small crisp rial denominations. There is an official change place with good rates but they also have a stack of small denominations that they hold. (They remembered us from last time and changed some money for the group).
Visit Zurkhane gym to watch an ancient Persian sport workout, a strength building exercises done with traditional drum and bell music.
Dinner in a local restaurant
Overnight at the Tourist Hotel.
Saturday 26th March– Esfahan-Yazd
Check out of hotel for the drive to Yazd (4 hours)
We have lunch on arrival before diving straight into the amazing city of Yazd – 5000 years old and a centre of Zoroastrian culture
Visit the must-see Amir Chakhmaq complex and nearby mosque
Explore the old city and the Jame Mosque and head to Rafieian’s Old House, over 250 years old and a great example of traditional architecture in the region
Dinner of the local kebab in one of the old-fashioned Persian restaurants in the city
Overnight in Yazd
Sunday 27th March – Yazd-Shiraz
After breakfast we head to the beautiful Dolat Abad Garden and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple as well as the famous Yazd Tower of Silence
Lunch in Yazd before we hit the road for the drive to Shiraz (5 hours)
On arrival we visit the citadel in the centre of the city and mingle with locals.
Free walk around or relax with tea and shisha at a tea house.
Dinner in Saray E Mehr restaurant in the middle of bazaar for traditional Di Zi dish
Overnight in Parsian hotel.
Monday 28th March – Persepolis-Shiraz
Up bright and early to visit the colour stained mosque when the morning light shines through spectacularly.
Drive to Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire during the Achemaenian era and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, burned to the ground by Alexander the Great but the ruins are one of the top sights in the whole of Iran
Lunch at traditional restaurant called “Paradise” on the way to Necropolis tombs.
Persepolis covers a vast area and we will explore the palaces, forts and treasury
Drive back to Shiraz where we will visit the botanic gardens of Shiraz.
Stop for traditional Shiraz ice cream at a famous local shop.
Visit a famous Hafeizieh Iranian poet’s park and tomb. Great opportunity to mingle with locals and take photos.
Dinner at hotel or out to a fast food joint for burgers, falafel, and sambusas
Overnight in Parsian hotel.
Tuesday 29th March – Shiraz
End of tour with YPT able to arrange your onward travel back to Tehran (if required) or airport transfer to Shiraz International Airport where you can catch a flight to Doha, Dubai or Istanbul to connect back home.
· Iranian visa code
· Accommodation on twin share basis with breakfast
· Transport to complete the itinerary including domestic flight and international ferry ticket
· English speaking local guide and expert YPT guide at all times
· Entrance fees unless otherwise specified
· International flights to/from the tour
· Iranian Visa Fee on arrival or at an embassy as applicable
· Pre-tour accommodation (€40) and single supplement (€180)
· Shiraz-Tehran Flight on last day of Group A (€50) if departing from Tehran
· Lunches, dinners and personal expenses
· Tips for the local guides and drivers
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.