World Heritage Tours - World Heritage Tours - Tours in the Middle East, Tours in South America, Tours in Indochina, Tours in Africa,  African Safaris

World Heritage Tours - World Heritage Tours - Tours in the Middle East, Tours in South America, Tours in Indochina, Tours in Africa,  African Safaris



Click for the BBB Business Review of this Tours - Operators & Promoters in Burnaby BC

Ask a Question
For more information on world heritage tours and pricing, just call us today and a representative will be happy to speak with you!

1-800-663-0844
bestway@bestway.com

 

JOURNEY FROM IRAN TO CENTRAL ASIA
A World Heritage Sites Tour of Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan
Both the Persian and the Moghul Empires crossed beyond the political borders as we know them today and the result is the varied historical, cultural and ethnic variety of this fascinating region. Our program covers the historical and cultural centers in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in addition to the other "stans" and highlights some of the many wonders of Iran. This is novel program and one that will be remembered for a long time to come.


Tour Summary
Map
Day

Place
01
Tehran (IRAN)
02
Tehran
03 Tehran / Shiraz
04
Shiraz
05
Shiraz / Esfahan
06
Esfahan
07
Esfahan
08
Esfahan / Tehran / Mashhad
09
Mashhad / Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
10
Ashgabat
11
Ashgabat / Merv / Ashgabat
12
Ashgabat / Tashauz / Khiva (UZBEKISTAN)
13
Khiva
14 Khiva / Bukhara
15 Bukhara
16 Bukhara/Gijduvan/Samarkand
17 Samarkand
18 Samarkand
19 Samarkand/ Tashkent
20 Tashkent/Khujend (TAJIKISTAN) / Tashkent (UZBEKISTAN)
21 Tashkent / Bishkek (KYRYZSTAN) / Issyk-Kul
22 Issyk-Kul
23 Issikul / Bishkek
24 Bishkek / Almaty (KAZAKHSTAN)
25 Almaty

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Visited
This tour has been tailored to include the following World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites covered on this tour
Persepolis (1979)
Meidan Emam, Esfahan (1979)
Itchan Kala (1990)
Historic Centre of Bukhara (1993)
Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (2000)
Samarkand - Crossroads of Cultures (2001)
State Historical and Cultural Park "Ancient Merv" (1999)
Kunya-Urgench (2005)
Detailed Itinerary

Day 01 Friday: Arrive Tehran (IRAN)
On arrival, we are welcomed to Tehran, the pearl of Persia. After checking into our hotel, we enjoy a leisurely evening and rest up, before our formal itinerary of exploring this country rich in history and culture begins. Check in time starts from 1500 hrs.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (2 nights)

Day 02 Saturday: Tehran
Full day tour starts off with a visit to the Carpet Museum which has an excellent collection of Iranian hand woven carpets, followed by the Museum of Reza Abbasi. This museum named after the most famous miniaturist in the Safavid era, was opened in 1977. It exhibits artifacts dating back to prehistoric, ancient and Islamic periods and is particularly rich in Islamic calligraphy. Next is visit to the Crown Jewels Museum and lastly, we visit the Archaeological Museums with its fine collection including a stone capital of a winged lion from Susa and a 6th century B.C. audience hall relief of Darius the Great from the Treasury at Persepolis. The museum has items dating back from the Sumerian Period (4500 B.C.) to contemporary times. (B, D)

Day 03 Sunday: Tehran/Shiraz (Flight)
Morning visit the Glass and Ceramic Museum, Golestan Palace, the Ethonological Museum and Sa'dabad Palace. Late afternoon transfer to the airport for our flight to Shiraz, traditionally known as the city of Roses and Nightingales.
Overnight: Persepolis Hotel, Shiraz (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 04 Monday: Shiraz
Shiraz is the capital of the Province of Fars. Our visit today will include the Eram Garden, the tombs of Saadi and Hafiz - two of the most well known Persian poets, Nasirol-Molk Mosque, Afif-Abad Garden, Narenjistan Museum and the traditional Vakil bazaar. (B, D)

Day 05 Tuesday: Shiraz/Esfahan (Flight)
Morning excursion to Persepolis, which in Greek literally means the capital of Persia, lies 60 kms/37 miles north of Shiraz. Persepolis is the last and final ultimate expression of the ancient Middle East. Construction began by Darius the Great (521 - 468 B.C.) as the focus of the mighty Achemenian Empire nearly 2500 years ago. Our next stop is Naqsh-e-Rustam - tomb of the famous Rustam. Late evening transfer to the airport for our flight to Esfahan, another highlight city. Legend has it that Esfahan was founded at the time of Tahmourass or Keykavous. During the Safavid Era (16th and 17th Century A.D.), Esfahan was a city of Gardens and Palaces.
Overnight: Abbasi Hotel, Esfahan (3 nights) (B, D)

Day 06 Wednesday: Esfahan
Full day tour of this magnificent city includes Hasht Behesht Palace (built in 1680 A.D. during the rule of Suleiman II, the Armenian Vank Church, Friday Mosque and the famous bridges. (B, D)

Day 07 Thursday: Esfahan
Today visit includes Imam Square (Naqsh-e- Jahan) with its Sheikh Lotfollah and Imam Mosques, Aliqapu Palace, Chehel Sutoon Palace (40 pillars) built by Shah Abbas as a hall of audience and visit what definitely a most famous bazaar in Iran. (B, D)

Day 08 Friday: Isfahan/Tehran/Mashhad (Flight)
This morning we are transferred to the airport for our flight to the holy city of Mashhad via Tehran. All roads in Mashhad lead to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza and thus this evening our tour starts with a visit to the courtyard of the shrine (open only to Muslims), followed by the pilgrim’s bazaar.
Overnight: Homa Hotel, Mashhad (1 night) (B, D)

Day 09 Saturday: Mashhad/Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN - Drive)
Our fascinating tour of Iran comes to an end today as we cross another frontier, this time to Turkmenistan after an interesting scenic drive to the city of Ashgabat.
Overnight: Nisa Hotel, Ashgabat (3 nights) (B, D)

Day 10 Sunday: Ashgabat
Full day sightseeing tour of the capital city of Turkmenistan – we shall visit the Talkuchka Sunday Bazaar, also known as the Turkmen’s Carpet Bazaar then the famous archaeological site of Nisa, which served as the winter capital of the Parthian rulers. Next visit is the National Museum of History & Ethnography. There is a rich collection from the Neolithic sites along the slopes of Kopet Dag mountain ranges. The Bronze age period is highlighted by finds from Murghab river and from the sites of Margiana. The highlight of the museum is the remarkable collection of ivory rythons from Nisa. A vase collected from the main stupa structure in Merv is believed have contained body relics of an important Buddhist monk. The other galleries are dedicated to the ethnic collection from famous Turkmen jewelry to costumes of various Turkmen tribes. There is also a big collection of the bridal decorations for the horses. Our next stop is the city mosque and the Presidential Square. (B, D)

Day 11 Monday: Ashgabat/Merv/Asghabat
Travel to one of the ancient archaeological sites of Merv by taking flights in/out of Mary town. We shall have a detailed visit of Merv by visiting Gaiyur Kala, Erk Kala and Sultan Kala. We shall also see the impressive mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar one of the powerful Khorezmian ruler. The archaeological site of Merv often mentioned as Margiana by classical writers is a rich city, which was part of the Achaemenian empire in 6th century BC, the city was invaded by the Macedonians under Alexander the Great and passed through successive rulers till it was invaded by the Arabs in 8th century AD serving as part of a springboard for their invasion of Central Asia. In the Islamic era it was known as the ‘Mother of the cities’, which flourished as an important town on the Great Silk Road running to Parthia. It was invaded by the Mongols in 13th century who depopulated the city by mercilessly killing more than a million souls. The archaeological museum of Mary is situated in the town and was selected to house the finds from the archaeological sites. There is a fairly large collection of Bronze age sites of Gonur Tepe and the artifacts found are comparable with the Sialk and Baluch sites of the same age. There is also ethnic section dedicated to the local tribes. (B, Snack, D)

Day 12 Tuesday: Ashgabat/Tashauz/Khiva (UZBEKISTAN – Flight and drive)
Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Tashauz. Meet & drive to Khiva via Kunya Urgench, this was the capital of once powerful Khorezmia, which was flourished under the Achaemenid rule in 6th century BC. Then was wrested away from the last of the Persian rulers the Sasanids by the invading armies of the Arabs. Later powerful Turkic tribes who were converted to Islam took reins of the Kingdom and under whose rule the city flourished when great scholars of the Muslim attended the court of Khorezmshahs. A powerful and merciless invasion of the Mongolid hordes put an end to the ruling dynasty.
Overnight: Hotel Malika, Khiva (2 nights) (B, Snack, D)

Day 13 Wednesday: Khiva
Today we explore the World Heritage Site at Khiva, a city where time has stood still. Our visit starts with the main site of Ichan Kala followed by Kalta Minor, the Kunya Ark, the Rakhimkhon Madrassah, the Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud, the Friday Mosque and the Tashauli Palace and Harem. To complete the feeling, we climb the Khodja Minaret to take in the amazing fairy tale panorama. (B, D)

Day 14 Thursday: Khiva/Bukhara (Drive)
Our drive to Bukhara is through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert. Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this barren landscape. Prior to arrival in Bukhara, a visit will be made to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the Summer Residence of the former Emirs of Bukhara.
Overnight: Hotel Zargaron Hotel, Bukhara (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 15 Friday: Bukhara
One of the grandest of Uzbek centers, Bukhara is an open museum with many mosques, madrassahs and a grand minaret. We spend the day visiting some of the finest examples of Islamic Architecture in the world, where exquisite tile and mosaic work complements the beautiful brick-work; no wonder the city is a World Heritage Site. Our visit includes the Lab-e-Khauz Complex with the Nadirkhon Devanbegi Madrassah, the Mogak Attari Mosque and the Poi Kalon Minaret. We also visit the Madrassahs of Aziz Khan and the Ulugbek Ark Fortress, the residence cum army headquarters of the Bukharan Emirs that houses an interesting collection of objects from those days and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, which features some of the best 10th century brickwork, with a marked Persian influence. (B, D)

Day 16 Saturday: Bukhara/Gijduvan/Samarkand (Drive)
This morning we start off with our visit to a local family ceramic factory in Gijduvan then continue onto visit the World Heritage Site of Shakhrisabz, home town of Tamerlane. This historic centre contains a collection of exceptional monuments and ancient quarters, which bear witness to centuries worth of history, and particularly to the period of its climax in the 15th century under the empire of Tamerlane.
Overnight: Hotel Samarkand Plaza, Samarkand (3 nights) (B, D)

Day 17 Sunday: Samarkand
The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures and has been declared a World Heritage Site recently. Founded in the 7th century BC as ancient Afrosiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. We start our day with visit to the Urgut Market, which is known in this region. Next stop is the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient Afrosiab and the Historical Museum of Uzbek Culture & Art, with the wooden coffin of Tamerlane and a large copy of the Koran. We culminate the day with a visit to the Ulugbek’s Obervatory & Gur Emir, the mausoleum of Tamerlane. (B, D)

Day 18 Monday: Samarkand
We save the best for last. Our tour today takes us to the major monuments and includes the Registan Mosque and the adjoining madrassas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound. (B, D)

Day 19 Tuesday: Samarkand/Tashkent (Drive)
Early morning depart for Tashkent.  Upon arrival check in at the hotel then head out immediately to visit the old part of the city, the Kafelsashi Mausoleum, the Barak Khana, the Tila Shaikh Mosque and Archives, Kukeldesh Madrassah, the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the Navoi Theatre.   The evening is free, with an opportunity to see a local opera or ballet (optional).
Overnight: Hotel Dedeman, Tashkent (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 20 Wednesday: Tashkent / Khujend, TAJIKISTAN / Tashkent, UZBEKISTAN
Today we will be crossing over to Tajikistan for a day excursion to visit Khujend, which is the second-largest city of Tajikistan and Alexandria Eschate of Antiquity, visiting the Historical Museum of Sughd, the Panjshanbe Bazaar and the beautiful mausoleum of Shaikh Moslehuddin, a much respected Saint of the region.  Return to Tashkent in the evening. (B, D)

Day 21 Thursday: Tashkent/Bishkek, KYRGYZSTAN/Issyk-Kul (Flight and Drive)
We arrive at Bishkek after a short flight from Tashkent. Once clearing through Customs & Immigration, you will be met at the exit gate for a transfer to Issyk-Kul with en-route visit at Burana Tower Archaeological Museum, which is situated on the site of a caravan town dating to the 10th Century AD. We arrive Issyk-Kul in the evening. The enchanting Issyk-Kul Lake is surrounded by high mountains, with 134 rivers flowing into the lake, with traditional yurts dotting the landscape, this truly is a picturesque landscape.
Overnight: Royal Beach Hotel, Issyk-Kul (2 nights) (B, Snack, D)

Day 22 Friday: Issyk-Kul
This morning we head out first to visit the petroglyphs. The petroglyphs represent a most important source of studies on history, tangible and intangible heritage of the ancient and medieval Kyrgyzstan and dated back to the period between II millennium B.C. and VIII century A.D. Continue on to Karakol city to visit the Preshevalsky Museum, dedicated to the memory of Nikolai Michailovich Preshevalsky, an enthusiastic explorer accredited for his excellent works on flora and fauna of the Issyk-Kul region. He was also known for breeding a tiny horse in the steppes of Tibet, which later came to be known as the Preshevalsky Horse. Before returning back to the hotel, stops will also be made at a Russian Orthodox Church & Dungan Mosque. (B, D)

Day 23 Saturday: Issikul/Bishkek (Drive)
Drive back to Bishkek. Check in at the hotel then head out to visit the History Museum famous for its collection of Bolshevik Revolution artifacts. Next stop is Frunze’s Jouse, named after the Soviet General Michael Fruze, who won Central Asia for the Blosheviks in the Civil War. Last stop will be made at the Osh Bazaar.
Overnight: Silk Road Lodge, Bishkek (1 night) (B, D)

Day 24 Sunday: Bishkek/Almaty, KAZAKHSTAN (Drive)
Head out early this morning, driving through the heart of the Zailiysky Steppes, with beautiful sceneries we head off to another stan. This time it is Kazakhstan, one of the largest countries in the world. Check in at the hotel then immediately set out to visit the Zhenkov’s Cathedral, an extraordinary Russian Orthodox Church built of wood. We then take a walk through beautiful Panfilov Park. Later we visit the History Museum.
Overnight: Hotel Otrar, Almaty (1 night) (B, Snack, D)

Day 25 Monday: Depart Almaty

Our tour comes to an end today as we bid farewell to the last of the Central Asian Republics. After following many branches of the silk trader’s routes, it is our time to bid farewell with “Sau Bolinizder”, as you are transferred to the airport for your departure flight. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. (B)

B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

Back to top



Departure Dates

2015
Please call for details - 1-800-663-0844 / 1-604-264-7378


Prices
Season Tour Price US$ Single Sup US$
2015

Please call for details - 1-800-663-0844 / 1-604-264-7378

Tour Price Includes Tour Price Does Not Include:
• Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
• Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, Snack, D=Dinner)
• All sightseeing and transfers
• Services of local English speaking guide
• Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
• Visa Support as required

• International Airfare / Departure Taxes
Domestic & regional airfares (from $ 860.00)
• Airport / Border Taxes
• Travel Insurances
• Visa Fees
• Drinks / Beverages with meals
• Tips / Gratuities to Drivers & Guides

Domestic / Regional Airfare NOT INCLUDED in Tour Price
Tehran / Shiraz, Shiraz / Esfahan, Esfahan / Mashhad, Ashgabat / Tashauz and Tashkent / Bishkek

Estimated International Airfare (not included in tour price)
East Coast US $ 1400
West Coast US $ 1600
Please note: This tour operates with a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 10 participants.

Other Dates / Customized Itinerary / Languages
In addition to our set programs we are also pleased to offer customized tours.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Customized tours can be conducted in English, French, German, Spanish or Italian. Each departure is conducted in the designated language only.

Contact Information
Bestway Tours & Safaris
Fax: +1-604-264-7774
206–8678 Greenall Ave Phone: +1-604-264-7378
Burnaby B.C., Canada Toll Free (US & Canada): 1-800-663-0844
V5J 3M6 Email: bestway@bestway.com
33 years in small group journeys

Back to top

photographs © Peter Langer
World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Americas World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Middle East World Heritage Tours - Tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia