• Duration

    13 day trip

  • Start

    Tehran, Iran

  • Finish

    Tehran, Iran

  • Ages

    Min 15

  • Included meals

    Not Included

  • Transport

    AC vehicles

  • Physical rating

    ■□□□□

  • Trip notes

    Printable trip note (Coming soon)

Ashura Tour in Iran

A Lifetime Opportunity To Witness The Ashura Ritual

Price per pax

Contact Us

Enquire about this tour

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Muharram is the first month of lunar calendar when my people try to show their love and respect for Imam Hussein (the grandson of Prophet Muhammad) in lots of traditional rituals during the first ten days of this month. The tenth day of Muharram, known as the Day of Ashura, is the most important day of the Mourning as it’s the day of Imam’s martyrdom.

This tour is an opportunity to experience Passionate Ashura in Yazd. Although these rites take place in numerous parts of Iran and you can visit the gangs of mourners in every street, in some cities including Yazd, they are held much more glorious with more Iranian local foods as Nazri.

There are various traditions such as Ta'zieh, a kind of street theater in costume inspired by historical and religious events which happened in Karbala battle about 1400 years ago and Nakhl Gardani, carrying a majestic wooden Nakhl – a symbol of Imam Hussein’s coffin – on the shoulders of mourners.

TRAVEL ITINERARY

DAY 1: TEHRAN

After arriving in Tehran from Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) our representative will meet and greet you then you
will be transferred to hotel for rest.


Overnight: Tehran

DAY 2: TEHRAN

This morning we take you a World Heritage Site, the lavish Golestan Palace. Built during the Qajar Dynasty that rose to power in the late 1700’s, this fabulous walled complex is centered on a landscaped garden with tranquil pools. Many of the elements you’ll admire today date to the 19th century when local Qajari architects and artisans were looking to integrate traditional Persian style with elements of Western and Russian origin. The palace buildings are among the oldest in modern Tehran and they are still regarded as a crowning achievement of the Qajar era.

Time permitting, we can walk around Tehran Bazaar, few steps far from Golestan Palace. At first, you'll visit Old Sepah Salar Mosque. It's built about 150 years ago, one of the last historical grand structure which is remained up to now.

Near Grand Bazaar, you’ll also visit the oldest Jame mosque of Tehran. From here we’ll continue along the Bazaar route, we go to the Timche Akbarian.

Timche Akbarian dates back to almost 260 years from the Qajar era when its main purpose was for exchange and gold. Later it was developed into the first bank of Iran ran mainly by Jews who were the prominent residents of Oudlajan neighbourhood. As of today, there’s no bank or money exchange but the place has been delicately restored into a Dizi Sara and the tea house where tea comes in thin waist cups and along with sugar canes.

Dizi doubtlessly is one of the most delicious and traditional Iranian food. Eating it has a special custom. Dizi is a Mesopotamian stew usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric and dried lime. Everything is mixed and cooked together.

We will also visit the Carpet Museum of Iran, home to a dazzling collection of Persian carpets collected from around the country and representing centuries of extraordinary art and skill.

Dining in the capital offers a chance to experience another slice of modern life. In our carefully selected city restaurants, you’ll sample traditional Iranian cuisine as it’s enjoyed today by the cosmopolitan citizens of the capital. You’re likely to meet smiling young Iranians who are delighted to engage with you.


Overnight: Tehran

DAY 3: TEHRAN - FLY TO ISFAHAN

This morning you will visit National Museum of Iran, where you can see fabulous historical items from 5000 BC to the advent of Islam in Iran which shows the brief history of our Land. The National Museum of Iran now has two new complexes. The Museum of the (post-) Islamic Era which is consists of three floors. It contains various pieces of pottery, textiles, texts, artworks, astrolabes, and Adobe calligraphy, from Iran's post-Islamic era and The Prehistory section of the National Museum of Iran is devoted to artefacts ranging from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Covering a wide spectrum of materials ranging from terracotta, metal, stone, and bitumen.

At the Treasury of National Jewels inside the Central Bank of Tehran, you’ll be dazzled by a breathtaking collection of crown jewels, many of them gathered from around world during the Safavid Dynasty that ruled from 1502 to 1736. Also part of this glittering collection is the Naderi Throne; made of wood, covered in gold, and encrusted with more than 26,000 precious gemstones, some believe that this throne was inspired by the legendary Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor who built the Taj Mahal.

In evening, we take you to the airport in Tehran for your included flight to Isfahan. After arriving in airport our local guide transfer you to the hotel.


Overnight: Isfahan

DAY 4: ISFAHAN

As the 17th-century capital of the Safavid Empire, Isfahan was one of the world’s greatest cities – architecturally striking, wealthy beyond imagine, and politically powerful with Europeans, Ottomans, Indians and Chinese coming to its court – the heart of a vast Persian Empire that stretched from the Euphrates River in present-day Iraq to the Oxus River in Afghanistan. Indeed, its grandeur inspired the rhyming proverb, Isfahan Nesf-Jahan (Isfahan is Half the World).

This afternoon, your exploration continues in Imam Square. This 17th-century site is one of the largest public spaces in the world. Here in the square, you’ll visit the 17th-century Shah Mosque, revered as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and easily recognized by its magnificent tile-work and soaring cupola and minarets. In the Ali Qapu Palace, you’ll marvel at its beautiful music rooms and the balconies where Safavid kings would sit to enjoy the polo matches unfolding in the square below. You’ll end your day exploring the Qeisarieh Bazaar that surrounds Imam Square. With hundreds of local vendors that specialize in traditional arts and crafts, it’s a wonderful place to shop for pottery, enamel, jewelry and delicately inlaid board games.

Next up is Chehel Sotun. Set in a landscaped and forested park in front of a tranquil reflecting pool, this graceful pavilion was built by Shah Abbas II for entertainment and court receptions. Entering through a portico with twenty slender wooden columns, you’ll discover soaring halls embellished with frescoes, paintings and mosaics; the Hall of Mirrors is especially breathtaking! In the afternoon, you’ll return to the center of town to continue exploring the shops and landmarks that surround Imam Square.

Today, you’ll join our expert guide to begin your exploration of the city, starting with some of the centuries-old, still elegant bridges that span the Zayandeh River. The 14th-century Shahrestan Bridge, for example, evokes the greatest aqueducts of ancient Rome and is the oldest bridge in Iran. Other famous bridges on the Zayandeh River are Sio-ce-Pol and Khaju. There are sluice gates below the bridge to let the water runoff from Zayandeh River in the spring, and there are beautiful stone archways above each gate. These archways provide a great acoustic place for every man who wants to sing. You can always find a man or a group of men singing under the bridge. The songs are usually about betrayal or unrequited love. You have the chance to chat with these men and listen to their songs.


Overnight: Isfahan

DAY 5: ISFAHAN

Continue your exploration in Isfahan at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Simple at first glance but wondrous in its rich detail and bold design, the Masjed-e Jamé is another masterpiece of Iranian architecture, covering nearly 5 acres in the heart of this historic city. This is one of the oldest congregational mosques in the country, and its construction and embellishment over the past twelve centuries illustrate a number of important periods in Islamic architecture.

Your foray into Isfahan’s architectural treasures continues at the Harun-e Velayat Shrine. Built in 1512, the shrine’s dome offers a particularly fine example of Iranian tile work. Gazing up at the graceful 11th-century Ali Minaret, the oldest in Isfahan offers further insight into the skill of Iranian architects and builders.

In the city’s Armenian quarter, you’ll delve more deeply into the region’s complex history as you visit several churches including the 17th-century Vank Cathedral with its lavishly decorated interior and unique blend of Islamic and European architectural elements.


Overnight: Isfahan

DAY 6: ISFAHAN - YAZD 3 h 48 min (323 km)

Leaving Isfahan behind, we’ll have a short stop in the small town of Na’in, an ancient community with origins dating back to the 8th century to visit the Jamé Mosque. It is one of the oldest mosques in Iran and is known for the beauty of its brickwork. You’ll learn more about the region’s cultural traditions.

Today is the ninth of Muharram is named Tasoa. You can visit domed mosques, walking on the street, listening to Persian poetry and participate in this special festival.

Your overland journey continues to the most sacred Zoroastrian site in the world, Chak Chak. Once there, climb the steep hill with over 300 steps, to reach the Pir-e-Sabz Fire Temple, the most sacred of the Zoroastrian mountain shrines. The shrine enclosure is floored with marble and its walls are darkened by fires kept Eternally Burning in the sanctuary. In the cliffs below the shrine are several roofed pavilions constructed to accommodate pilgrims. Each year from June 1418 thousands of Zoroastrians flocks to Chak Chak for pilgrimage.

From here we will continue to Yazd, driving through a desert lined with mountains, often snow-capped. We start our tour of Yazd after arriving in this city. Yazd is one of Iran’s oldest continuously inhabited towns, its silhouette punctuated by minarets and the ingeniously-designed wind towers that capture desert breezes to cool homes during the hot summer months.


Overnight: Yazd

DAY 7: YAZD

Muharram is the first month of lunar calendar when my people try to show their love and respect for Imam Hussein (the grandson of Prophet Muhammad) in lots of traditional rituals during the first ten days of this month. The tenth day of Muharram, known as the Day of Ashura, is the most important day of the Mourning as it’s the day of Imam’s martyrdom.

Today is Ashura and you have a chance to experience Passionate Ashura in Yazd. Although these rites take place in numerous parts of Iran and you can visit the gangs of mourners in every street, in some cities including Yazd, they are held much more glorious with more Iranian local foods as Nazri. There are various traditions such as Ta'zieh, a kind of street theatre in the costume inspired by historical and religious events which happened in Karbala battle about 1400 years ago and Nakhl Gardani, carrying a majestic wooden Nakhl – a symbol of Imam Hussein’s coffin – on the shoulders of mourners.

The ceremony in Amir Chakhmaq starts when the heavy decorated Nakhl is carried on the shoulders of hundreds of male mourners, old or young, symbolising the coffin of Imam Hussein and his martyr companions. This ritual is called NakhlGardani (literally carrying and turning the Nakhl). Almost all the other male mourners gather in the centre and the women in a bigger circle around them and on the rooftop of the buildings nearby. The population is said to reach millions, especially in the nearby town of Taft where so many tourists also visit to watch the ceremony. There are some guys standing on top of the Nakhl, among them, an old Sayyed (descendant of the prophet) chants Ya Hussein and guides the passionate mourners carrying it, so that no one is left under. They turn the Nakhl several times around the square and at the same time the people cry out religious chants.

After the Nakhl-Gardani ritual, people continue mourning and listening to the religious sermons until sundown. After the night prayers, they hold the Sham-e Ghariban (literally the night of the strangers) as candlelight vigil for the martyrs of Karbala. Children often go to different districts holding candles and light up the streets, symbolizing children of Imam Hussein and his companions who search for the corpses in the dark night of the Karbala desert. And that is how and when the massive rituals to observe the first ten days of Moharram end in Yazd.

DAY 8: YAZD - SHIRAZ 5 h 17 min (449 km)

We have a full day of driving today to reach our destination of Shiraz; it is a good idea to stock up on locally bought and easily found dates and pistachio nuts for the journey.

On route we will stop at Pasagarde, UNESCO World Heritage Site, tomb of Cyrus the Great and former capital of the Achaemenid Empire. We will spend some time exploring the site and though not as striking as Persepolis, there is a great viewpoint where we can look over the site and the surrounding area.

From here we will continue to Naqsh-e-Rustam, the Necropolis where Darius and his successors are buried. Carved into the side of a cliff, the site is extraordinary in its magnitude and sheer ambition and does not disappoint even after the impressive Persepolis.

From here we will drive a couple of miles to the legendary city of Persepolis, the former capital of Darius the Great and founded in 512 BC. There was no more impressive construction in the ancient world, except perhaps Karnak in Egypt.

Darius built the terrace, the Apadana (great audience hall), the Tachana (palace), the monumental staircases and his son, Xerxes, added the harem and the Hall of 100 Columns. Alexander the Great entered Persepolis in January 330 BC and then committed an uncharacteristic act of wanton destruction that still mystifies historians today, burning the mighty city to the ground. Though a shadow of its former self, the soaring pillars, terraces and sculptures of Persepolis still remain, probably most impressive are the bas-reliefs which line the site, telling the story of ancient governors and kings that came to Persepolis to pay tribute to the Persian Emperors.

Then we’ll continue to Shiraz.


Overnight: Shiraz

DAY 9: SHIRAZ

After breakfast will start your full day tour of Shiraz.

At first, you will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque). It built by the order from one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty, Mirza Hasan ‘Ali Nasir-al-Mulk, it took 12 years to complete in 1888. Its interior reveals a magnificent masterpiece of design with stunning colors. This is a space where light and worship intertwine. The mosque comes to life with the sunrise and colors dance throughout the day like whirling dervishes. It reflects on the ground, walls, the arches and the towering spires. It even reflects on the visitors as if a colorful ball is hit by the first sun ray and explodes to thousands of butterflies all around.

Then you’ll have time to explore and shop in the bustling Vakil Bazaar, home to hundreds of stores, beautiful courtyards, and even an ancient caravanserai.

After that,  you will visit Eram Garden with its aromatic myrtles, beautiful flowers, fruit trees, and towering cypress (one of which is said to be 3,000 years old). You will also visit Karim Khan Citadel. Built during the Zand Dynasty.

End your day in Shiraz on a tranquil note in the beautiful orange-scented Narenjestan Garden, laid out in the 19th century during the Qajar Dynasty.


Overnight: Shiraz

DAY 10: SHIRAZ - AHVAZ 7 h 30 min (537 km)

In the morning, we drive to Ahvaz. But on the way, we'll have a chance to visit several outstanding sites dating back to Elamite (3-5 thousand years ago) and Sassanid eras (1800 years ago). These monuments are interesting and worth visiting.

Bishapur city remains is situated south of modern Faliyan in the Kazerun County, on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. The road linked the Sassanid capitals Istakhr (very close to Persepolis) and Ctesiphon.

The next marvellous step will be Tang-e Chogan which is a valley with a running river to the north of the Ancient City of Bishapour. There are 6 rock reliefs telling the story of the Roman Empire defeat by Sassanid king, Shapur II (309 -379) and also King Bahram II (276–293) conquering Arabs and rebels.

We will continue to Ahvaz and check in to our hotel.


Overnight: Ahvaz

DAY 11: AHVAZ - FLY TO TEHRAN

Today we drive from Ahvaz towards Susa to see the exquisite beauty of the magnificent Chogha Zanbil Temple, the temple belongs to Elam Period, 3200 years old. It is one of the few extant ziggurats outside Mesopotamia. Archaeological excavations undertaken between 1951 and 1962 revealed the site, and the ziggurat is considered to be the best-preserved example in the world. In 1979, Chogha Zanbil became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

After visiting Haft Tape Museum near the Ziggurat, we’ll visit the Tomb of Daniel, a very famous Jewish saint. We’ll continue the tour and will drive to the next city known as Shushtar where is popular for waterfall and mills, the old water reservoir system of Persia.

In this city, you’ll see a Historical Hydraulic System (A registered site in UNESCO world heritage) and a traditional house. We will return to Ahvaz from here for your included flight to Tehran where you’ll be escorted to the Hotel.


Overnight: Tehran

DAY 12: TEHRAN

This morning we take you north of town into the mountain foothills to a lovely park-like setting to visit the Sa’ad Abad Palace. This was the coronation and marriage palace of the Pahlavi Dynasty – and the residence from which the last Shah of Iran fled after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Now a museum, its extensive collection includes period furnishings and décor, and even the personal effects of the last Shah. Our guests also enjoy an exclusive tour through an intimate gallery dedicated to the 20th-century art collection of Iran’s last Empress.

Then we’ll visit the Niavaran Complex that is a historical complex situated in Shemiran, Tehran. It consists of several buildings and monuments built in the Qajar and Pahlavi eras. From here we go to Tajrish Bazaar that is in northern Tehran and a great venue for a spot of afternoon shopping. Boasting a vibrant central section selling fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as traditional Iranian sweets, the other alleyways of the bazaar peddle everyday items alongside traditional crafts and touristy merchandise. The Bazaar backs onto the picturesque Imamzadeh Saleh shrine, a popular local pilgrimage site, and also houses an excellent value kebab restaurant and teahouse.


Overnight: Tehran

DAY 13: TEHRAN – DEPARTURE

Our tour guide will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your' flight time.

Note

Ashura 2017 will begin in the evening of
Friday, September 29
and ends in the evening of
Saturday, September 30

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Domestic flights.
  • All nights accommodation in standard grade hotels and local houses.
  • Land travel by A.C vehicles.
  • Services of an Iranian tour lecturer throughout the tour.

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

  • International air fares, taxes and surcharges
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry or phone calls
  • Visa process fee
  • Visa costs
  • Tips to local guides and drivers
  • Meals

SPEAK TO OUR EXPERTS

Sarah AzadmehrSARAH AZADMEHR
s.azadmehr@surfiran.com
+98 910 928 3853

MAHDI ESHRAGHI
m.eshraghi@surfiran.com
+98 901 981 7359

TAILOR-MADE TOUR

This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. An arrival transfer is not included on this trip. You re welcome to send request for transfer services
  2. This trip starts on day 1
  3. The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 17 kg per person plus hand luggage.

Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on Lut desert tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by making a bank transfer. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

Passports and Visas

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller. For more information about how to get an Iranian visa please visit this page.

ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR

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Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our specialists would love to help you out!

+98 (21) 7761 6210

Or simply drop us an email at contact@surfiran.com

Opening Hours:
8:30am – 5.00pm Sunday to Thursday

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Reviews

Just came back from Iran and I can say that I'm really enthusiast from people and visited places. A very big thank to SURFIRAN because of their help, organization and professional way to manage everything that we need. I do suggest to visit Iran and contact SURFIRAN. they can really help you and make your life easier!

Jacopo and Roberto
Jacopo and RobertoVisited February 2017Read more

Everything was arranged very efficiently. Nothing went wrong. Our guide, Mostafa Farhadi, was remarkable. Not only was he a brilliant driver, but his knowledge of the culture, history and contemporary life of Iran was amazing. He also had superb contacts in all the places we visited.

Stephen
StephenVisited November 2016Read more

We organized a 3 weeks tour in Iran through SURFIRAN. SURFIRAN is a very Professional travel agency who understands their customers needs and expectations. Our stay in Iran was just fabulous, the program built by SURFIRAN was great, we have seen many and many very interesting sites and locations.

Christiane Robichon
Christiane RobichonVisited May 2016TripAdvisor

Most we enjoyed the landscape and wildlife we saw, it was just amazing and not comparable with nature we found in Germany and Europe, one of my greatest experiences! Second we enjoyed the kindness of you guys (Mehdi, Negin and her family, and the two houses we stayed) it was like meeting family and friends :)

Christian, Robin and Tim
Christian, Robin and TimVisited October 2016TripAdvisor

We visited Iran on October 2016 with SURFIRAN travel and tours company. Organization of round trip, hotel accommodation and flights were perfect. Our guide Mostafa was absolutely excellent, helpful, friendly and his information about Iran were very informative. Thanks a lot ! Will come back soon.

Johannes
Johannes Visited October 2016TripAdvisor

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