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



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PASSAGE TO PERSIA
A World Heritage Sites Tour of Iran
The wonders of ancient Persia and modern day Iran in one 11-day program. For a civilisation that goes back to antiquity, it is an art to provide so much in a short and comfortable journey. A Passage to Persia covers the best of this rich heritage to humanity and gives an insight to the marvels of civilisations. In our Passage we travel through Tehran, Yazd, Shiraz and Esfahan. Optional extensions to other regions of Iran are also offered.


Tour Summary
Map
Day
Place
01
Tehran
02
Tehran / Yazd
03 Yazd
04
Yazd / Shiraz
05
Persepolis
06
Shiraz / Esfahan
07
Esfahan
08
Esfahan
09
Esfahan / Tehran
10
Tehran
11
Tehran /Depart

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

World Heritage Sites in Iran covered on this tour
Tchogha Zanbil (1979) The ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam, surrounded by three huge concentric walls, are found at Tchogha Zanbil. Founded c. 1250 B.C., the city remained unfinished after it was invaded by Ashurbanipal, as shown by the thousands of unused bricks left at the site.
Persepolis (1979) Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half- artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site.
Meidan Emam, Esfahan (1979) Built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of the 17th century, and bordered on all sides by monumental buildings linked by a series of two-storeyed arcades, the site is known for the Royal Mosque, the Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, the magnificent Portico of Qaysariyyeh and the 15th-century Timurid palace. They are an impressive testimony to the level of social and cultural life in Persia during the Safavid era.
Pasargadae (2004) The first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II, the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens, and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization. Particularly noteworthy vestiges in the 160-ha site include: the Mausoleum of Cyrus II; Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace, and gardens. Pasaragadae was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.
Detailed Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive Tehran
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.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night)

Day 02: Tehran/Yazd (Flight)

Our morning tour of Tehran will include the Glass and Ceramic Museum and Sa'dabad Palace followed by the Archaeological Museums. The fine collection includes a stone sculpture 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.). Afternoon transfer to the airport for a flight to Yazd, located in the heart of Iran, Yazd was a major stop on the international caravan routes to Central Asia and India. The architecture of Yazd is the most traditionally Persian to be found.
Overnight: Daad Hotel, Yazd (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 03: Yazd
As Yazd is home of the more traditional Persian architecture, we begin our day with a visit to the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence and Fire Temple (where a fire is still kept burning from 5 century AD). We continue to the magnificent Masjed-e Jameh and Amir-Chakhmaq Mosques and then tour Doulat Abad Garden with its traditional ventilation shaft (wind tower). (B, D)

Day 04: Yazd/Shiraz (Drive 409 kms/252 miles)

Morning depart for Shiraz via Pasargadae - the capital of Cyrus the Great where we will also visit his tomb. Shiraz, traditionally known as the city of Roses and Nightingales, and rightly so, is the home of the finest Persian lyrics as well as the cradle of the Persian Civilization.
Overnight: Pars Hotel, Shiraz (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 05: Persepolis

Persepolis is the last and ultimate expression of the ancient Middle East. Nearly 2500 years ago, construction for its magnificent structure was begun by Darius the Great with the intent to make it the focus of the mighty Achemenian Empire. Our tour will also include the Naqsh-e-Rustam where hewn out of a cliff rest the tombs believed to be of Darius I and II, Atraxerxes and Xerxes I. (B, D)

Day 06: Shiraz/Esfahan (Drive)

Our day is spent exploring Shiraz where we start with a visit to the picturesque Eram Garden, famous for its cypress trees. Next we visit the tombs of Persia’s best-known poets: Saadi and Hafiz. While there, why not enjoy a cup of chai at the wonderful atmospheric teahouse where one sit on a floor of cushions and mingle with the locals. Our next stop takes us to the “modern” Nasirol-Molk mosque and the pretty Afif-Abad Garden followed by a visit to the Church of Saint Simmon the Zealot with the famed stained glass windows. This wonderful day culminates with a trip to a labyrinthine bazaar. Continue onto Esfahan - another highlight and a not-to-miss city in any tour of Iran. Legend has it that Esfahan was founded at the time of Tahmourass or Keykavous. During the Safavid Era (16th/17th Century AD.), Esfahan is a city of Gardens and Palaces; a trade center recognized by the saying, "Esfahan is half of the world".
Overnight:Abbasi Hotel, Esfahan (3 nights) (B, D)

Day 07: Esfahan
Esfahan is a city one can never forget. Our tour of this magnificent medina begins with a visit to Hacht Behesht Palace, a charming garden palace, built in 1680, with impressive mosaics and stalactite moldings. Then we are off to see the richly decorated and serene Armenian Vank Church followed by the glorious Friday Mosque. No trip to Esfahan is complete without visiting the famous old bridges that cross the Zayande River. We take some time here to stroll along the riverbanks, mingle with the friendly residents and join the local folks for the famous Esfahani tea. (B, D)

Day 08: Esfahan

Our morning begins with a visit to the Emam Khomeini Square. This majestic square, built in 1612, is constantly bustling with activity. Then, we take in the beautifully proportioned and decorated 17th century Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah and then off to see the magnificent Emam Mosque – one of the most stunning buildings in Iran. Next, a visit to the 6-story Ali Ghapu Palace followed by a tour of the most impressive pavilion and garden, Chehel Sutoon Place built with 40 pillars by Shah Abbas. We finish off this day of exploration with a trip to the most famous bazaar in Iran. (B, D)

Day 09: Esfahan/Tehran (Drive 256m / 414 Kms)
On our scenic drive to Tehran we stop at Kashan, an attractive oasis town, and take in its attractive sights. We visit Tabatabaie Houses and Khan-e Borujerdi, built as a private residence, now a charming museum with a lovely courtyard. We then take in the famous Fin Garden and witness its breathtaking pools, orchards and natural springs. Next we visit Agha Bozorg Mosque famous for its lovely portals and minarets. After lunch, we visit the exquisite Shrine of Fatima in Qum and later we view the Tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Tehran

Morning 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’s era, was opened in 1977. It exhibits artifacts dating back to prehistoric, ancient and Islamic periods and is particularly rich in Islamic calligraphy. Lastly, visit the bazaar for that last minute souvenir. (B, D)

Day 11: Depart Tehran

Morning transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B)


Optional Extensions


1) Caspian Sea & Masuleh

Day 09: Tehran/Ramsar (Drive 195 kms/120 miles)
Morning depart for a picturesque drive to Ramsar. Evening tour of Ramsar.
Overnight: Ramsar Hotel, Ramsar (1 night) (B, D)

Day 10: Ramsar/Rashat (Drive 130 kms/80 miles)

Depart along the beautiful Caspian coastline to Rashat with a stop at Bandar-e-Anjil to visit a caviar factory.
Overnight: Kadoos Hotel, Rashat (1 night) (B, D)

Day 11: Rashat/Tehran (Drive 325 kms/201 miles)
This morning we visit the stunningly beautiful village of Masuleh. Afternoon return back to Tehran.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night) (B, D)

Day 12: Depart Tehran
Morning transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B)


2) Mashhad

Day 09: Tehran/Mashhad (Flight)
This morning we are transferred to the airport for a flight to Mashhad. Afternoon tour of Mashhad.
Overnight: Ghasr Hotel, Mashhad (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Mashhad
Day excursion to Neishapour, visit will also include the tomb of Amar Khayyam. (B, D)

Day 11: Mashhad/Tehran (Flight)
Morning we visit the famous pilgrim’s bazaar. Afternoon transfer back to the airport for a flight to Tehran.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night) (B, D)

Day 12: Depart Tehran
Morning transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B)


3) Susa

Day 09: Tehran/Ahwaz (Flight)
This morning we are transferred to the airport for a flight to Ahwaz. Afternoon tour of Ahwaz.
Overnight: Pars Hotel, Ahwaz (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Ahwaz

Day excursion to Susa, visit will also include Tchogha Zanbil. (B, D)

Day 11: Ahwaz/Tehran (Flight)

Morning transfer back to the airport for a flight to Tehran.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night) (B, D)

Day 12: Depart Tehran

Morning transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B)


4) Kish Island

Day 09: Tehran/Kish Island (Flight)
This morning we are transferred to the airport for a flight to the Kish Island. Afternoon tour of the city.
Overnight: Maryam Hotel, Kish Island (3 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Kish Island
Day free to enjoy this spectacular island. (B, D)

Day 11: Kish Island
Day free. (B, D)

Day 12: Kish Island/Tehran (Flight)
Morning transfer back to the airport for a flight to Tehran.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night) (B, D)

Day 13: Depart Tehran
Morning transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B)

B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

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Departure Dates

2016
Apr 08, May 06, Sep 16 & Oct 14


Prices
Departure Tour Price US$ Single Sup US$
2016 3990 495
Optional Extensions Prices
Cost includes: Flights as per itinerary, Airport Transfers, Hotel Accommodation, Porterage and Guide services.

NOTE:
Meals are as mentioned. Cost is based on per person double occupancy. For single room add single room supplement.
Excursion Names - 2016 Tour Price US$ Single Sup US$
Caspian Sea & Masuleh Please call for details
Mashhad
Susa
Kish Island
Tour Price Includes Tour Price Does Not Include:
• Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
• Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast D=Dinner)
• All sightseeing and transfers
• Entrance Fees to Museums and Sites
• Services of local English speaking guide
• Visa Support as required
• International Airfare / Departure Taxes
• Travel Insurances
• Visa Fees
• Drinks / Beverages with meals
• Tips / Gratuities to Drivers & Guides
Domestic / Regional Airfare INCLUDED in Tour Price
Tehran / Yazd

Estimated International Airfare (not included in tour price)
East Coast US $ 1100
West Coast US $ 1300
Please note: This tour operates with a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 08 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

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photographs © Peter Langer
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