Tailor-Made Holiday

Iran - Classic Iran

Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd

12 days

from $3,930pp (excluding flights)

This private tour to Iran showcases the stunning archaeological and architectural highlights of this intriguing and mysterious country. 

  • Accompanied by an English speaking guide for the entire duration
  • Receive Iran visa support 
  • Stay the night in the village of Abyane, a traditional Iranian village, to experience life in a small community
  • Spend two full days in Isfahan, considered by some as one of the most beautiful cities in Iran
  • Visit the unique archaeological site of Persepolis

Accompanied by your private English speaking guide, the tour starts in the modern capital Tehran from where you are driven through the desert towards Isfahan via the attractive oasis town of Kashan. Explore Kashan before continuing to the small village of Abyane. Here you spend time exploring the traditional houses, arranged in a stair-step shape so that the roofs of some houses are the yards of others. From Abyane, continue to Isfahan where you have three nights and two full days exploring Isfahan, a city of incredible beauty with some of the most magnificent Islamic architecture on earth.

From Isfahan your journey continues to Shiraz, whose setting and influx of scholars and artists put the town at the pinnacle of the Islamic world in the 13th and 14th centuries. Here, explore the bustling bazaar together with the city’s wonderful 18th century gardens, and pavilions, before plunging deep into Iran’s past and visiting the magnificent ancient sites of Persepolis, Naghsh-e-Rostam, and Pasargadae.

Next, drive to Yazd a place noted for its plethora of blue domes, soaring minarets and hundreds of wind towers. It is also still an important centre for Iran’s Zoroastrian community.

A private tour of Iran requires more advanced planning and preparation than most countries - but those willing to make the effort will be rewarded many times over and find a warm and hospitable land that is blissfully free from visitors.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 5305.5 $ 756

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Tehran

Only the nation's capital since the 18th century, beneath the cities rough façade lies Iran's biggest and most vibrant city; a place where contemporary culture thrives alongside conservative traditionalism. Packed with almost 20% of the country's population, Tehran is squashed up against the foothills of the Alborz Mountains, Iran's biggest mountain range. Despite its reputation as a modern, expanding city, Tehran is not bereft of sites.

Day 2

It is suggested you opt to visit 2 of the four sites mentioned here.

Visit the Golestan Palace
Built within the city's historic Safavid citadel, the Golestan Palace Complex was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. The current structures were largely constructed under the Qajar Shahs, during the 19th century.

Set around carefully landscaped gardens, the buildings within the palace are beautifully decorated with colourful tile work and carved stone work. Fountains dot the gardens, lending to the tranquil atmosphere; at odds with busy Tehran.

One of the highlights of the complex is the Hall of Diamonds (Talar Almas), which contains intricate mirrored ceilings, decorative murals and striking paintings.

Visit the Crown Jewels
"Housed within Iran's National Bank, the National Jewels Museum of Iran represents centuries of accumulated treasures. Beginning with Safavids, Iran's subsequent ruling dynasties alternatively plundered and added to this outstanding collection of jewellery.
Whilst the highlight of the jewels - the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond - was lost to the British and remains safely ensconced in the Tower of London, many stunning treasures remain. Among these the pink Darya-ye Nur diamond, the emerald-encrusted Globe of Jewels and the Peacock Throne are particular highlights."

Visits include the Carpet & National Museums
Explore the city's Persian Carpet Museum, housing over 100 pieces from across Iran. These date back as far as the 17th century and showcase the different regional styles of each of Iran's provinces. Among the highlights is the unique 'Tree of Life with Kings and Notables' carpet.

Continue on to the National Museum, which showcases a collection of Persian artefacts. Housed in an attractive, French-designed building, this museum is packed with objects that reflect Iran's rich history. These include archaeological treasures from the ancient sites of Persepolis and Susa.

Visit to the Glass Museum
"Head to the beautifully housed Glass and Ceramics Museum, formerly the home of an aristocratic Persian family.
Inside, admire the impressive array of artifacts that fill the beautiful interior. Dating back to the second millennium BC, these are arranged in chronological order and encompass a number of different regions."

You will be staying at Espinas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Tehran to Kashan (Road Journey)

See the main sites
Fin Garden is famous not only for its beautiful design as a natural garden but also for a bath in the garden called Fin Bath in which the famous great Iranian Chancellor ’Amir Kabir’ was assassinated by the order of Nasser-al-din Shah of Qajar dynasty. Other important buildings are the Seljuq and Timurid Masjed-e-Jame, with its 11th century Mehrab. Also visit the Agha-Bozorg Mosque, one of the best examples of a Qajar-period mosques in Iran.

Drive from Kashan to Abyaneh (Road Journey)

You will be staying at Abyaneh Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Half day tour of Abyaneh
The fortified village of Abyaneh is located on the north-western slopes of Mount Karkas 2,500m above sea level. The houses are built on top of each other so that the roofs of some houses are the yards of others. The houses are uniform and the doors, most of which have two knockers, are wooden often with patterns, poems and the names of the owner and mason carved on them.

Drive from Abyaneh to Isfahan (Road Journey)

Widely regarded as one of Iran's greatest treasures, Isfahan reminds the world of the glories of Persia. Regarded as one of the most beautiful Islamic cities in existence, its cultural and architectural zenith was reached in the 17th century, under Shah Abbas I.

Today, its many wonders remain and so too does its status as a cultural hub. Bisected by the Zayandeh River, Isfahan's green riverbanks are lively places, buzzing with culture. Joining the two sides, the iconic Khaju Bridge is at the heart of this energetic city.

You will be staying at Abbasi Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Full Day of Sightseeing
Spend a day exploring Isfahan's wide range of Islamic architecture, largely built during the reign of Shah Abbas I.

Arguably the most stunning of Isfahan's sights is the vast Imam Square, the second-largest square on earth. Consisting of a huge ensemble of majestic buildings, this square is one of most impressive collections in the Islamic world.

Adjacent to the square are the Imam and Sheikh Lotfallah mosques, both breath-taking in their beauty. The former towers over the southern side of the square with its magnificent blue dome, whilst the latter exhibits exquisitely detailed and complex tile work.

Other highlights include the Ali Qapu Palace, Chehel Sotun Palace and the Jameh Mosque.

You will be staying at Abbasi Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Visit to Armenian Quarter and the bazaar
Head to Isfahan's Armenian quarter, known as Jolfa, and visit some rare examples of Christian architecture.

Take in the 17th century Vank Cathedral with its modest exterior but lavish interior. Decorated with fine paintings and gilded carvings, the inside of the cathedral is beautifully preserved.

Afterwards, take a stroll across one of the city's elegant bridges and visit Isfahan's bazaar, a labrynth of tunnels containing all manner of goods

You will be staying at Abbasi Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Drive from Isfahan to Shiraz (Road Journey)

Ravaged by earthquakes over the centuries, Shiraz's surviving treasures are relatively few, but its relaxed atmosphere remains. Briefly Iran's capital under the Zand dynasty, the city is still considered the country's capital of culture and is renowned for its poetry, wine and roses.

Bizarrely, whilst Shiraz wine is world-famous, the city itself - just like all of Iran - is free of alcohol. Following the Islamic Revolution, wine production was banned and vineyards were either converted to fruit production or destroyed.

Also used as a launch-pad for visits to the nearby site of Persepolis, its proximity to this fabled ruined city more than makes up for Shiraz's own depleted architectural heritage.

Visit beautiful Shiraz
Shiraz was said to rival Baghdad in commerce, art and culture. Its wonderful setting and influx of scholars and artists put the town at the pinnacle of the Islamic world in the 13th and 14th centuries. Later, during the 18th century Zand dynasty, it was to become the capital of Iran. It is by tradition the city of roses and nightingales, of famous poets and beautiful gardens and it is these that you will visit.

You will be staying at Homa Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Visit Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rustam
Head to the ancient ruined city of Persepolis, around 50 kilometres northeast of Shiraz. Founded by Darius I in the sixth century BC as the ceremonial capital of the vast Achaemenid Empire, this enormous complex encompassed a wide range of buildings.

Partly destroyed by Alexander the Great, the city was once surrounded by mighty 18-metre-high walls. Today the ruins include palaces, carvings and massive bas-reliefs from the Sassanian period. The incredible stonework utilised rocks from all over the Persian Empire.

Afterwards, continue to Naqsh-e Rustam, where you will find the rock-cut tombs of the Achaemenid Kings, Xerxes I and Darius I. Accompanying these tombs are impressive carvings all from the Sassanid period, many centuries later, and depict the conquests and investitures of Sassanid Kings, including the famous victory of Shapur the First over the Roman Emperor Valerian.

You will be staying at Homa Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Drive from Shiraz to Yazd (Road Journey)

Trapped between two of Iran's largest deserts, Yazd is an oasis town that is famous for its unique architecture. Generations of adaptation to the harsh desert environment have left Yazd with a distinctive architectural style.

Soaring minarets and hundreds of badgirs - specially designed wind towers - make up Yazd's iconic roof-scape. Such adaptation is a necessity for survival in the city; the nearby Dasht-e Lut was the hottest place on Earth for seven consecutive years during a 21st century scientific study.

The city is also renowned for its Zoroastrian community. Although now much-depleted after centuries of persecution, this religious minority still makes up 10% of the city's inhabitants.

Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

You will be staying at Moshir Garden, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Yazd sightseeing
Yazd is an oasis town surrounded by mountains, its roofscape a plethora of blue domes, soaring minarets and hundreds of wind towers. The old town of Yazd is a labyrinth of secret passages, bazaars and mud brick streets, unchanged for centuries. It was, and still is, an important centre for Zoroastrinism. The shrine of Duvazdah Imam, (the 12 Imams) from the 11th century Seljuq period, the ’Towers of Silence’, pits where the bodies of the dead were left for the vultures and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple are all possible visits.

You will be staying at Moshir Garden, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Drive from Yazd to Tehran (Road Journey)

You will be staying at Espinas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Fly Tehran to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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