11-Day Eastern Iran Silk Road Adventure
Exploring Iran’s Silk Road Cities and Ancient Civilizations (Eastern Part)
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Journey starts from Mashhad in a comfortable coach, navigating through picturesque landscapes and ancient archaeological wonders. This expedition takes you across stark mountains and quaint rural villages. Dive into the enduring traditions and cultures of a country with a history that has shaped the world for millennia. Welcome to the enigmatic land of Persia.
On this exploration, you will visit the captivating cities of Mashhad, Neyshabour, Sabzevar, Bastam, Damghan, Jandagh, Kashan, Rey, and Tehran. Experience the rich history of the Silk Road at its most iconic caravanserais, mosques, castles, and vibrant bazaars. This journey provides a rare insight into a historic route that has been a bridge between diverse cultures and eras, showcasing Iran’s profound legacy.
DAY 1: Mashhad (Arrival)
Upon arrival at Mashhad Hashemi Nejad International Airport (MHD), you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel.
(Today’s plan might be changed according to your flight details)
DAY 2: Mashhad- Sarakhs- Mashhad (280 KM)
To get better acquainted with the historic hotels and hostels in Iran, we started our exploration of the Silk Road with a visit to the caravanserais (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
One of the most famous caravanserais of Iran is called “Robat-e Sharaf” (140 km). Sharaf is a museum of brick and stucco decorations (UNESCO World Heritage Site). On the other hand, this caravanserai is one of the most important elements and facilities of the “Silk Road” and represents a valuable document in this regard.
On the way back to Mashhad we will visit the second most important caravanserai, “Robat-e Mahi” (120 km to Mashhad). Like Robat-e Sharaf, this caravanserai is considered one of the architectural masterpieces of the Seljuk period, characterized by the varied use of bricks and stucco. The remains of the plaster, the variety of brickwork on the roofs, the format of the inscription, and the Islamic motifs make it a valuable historical work.
Evening visit to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza, the 8th leader of the Shiite Muslims.
DAY 3: Mashhad- Neyshabour (135 KM)
After breakfast, check out and drive to the city of Neyshabur. Neyshabur was one of the most important cities in Iran until the Mongol invasion of Persia. At that time, it was called “Abar Shahr” which means “the Greatest City”.
On the way to Neyshabour we will make a short stop in Fakhr Abad village to visit another caravanserai, which has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Neyshabour is famous all over the world for its turquoise. As turquoise was one of the most important products of Iran on the Silk Road, we will visit the 7-thousand-year-old Turquoise Mine of Neyshabur.
We will then, visit the Tomb of Hakim Omar Khayyam (1048-1131), known for his contributions to mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, and poetry.
Our last stop in Neyshabour is the Archeological site of Shadiyakh. An ancient city was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Neyshabour.
DAY 4: Neyshabour- Sabzevar- Bastam (370 KM)
After breakfast, check out and drive to another important city along the Silk Road.
On the way to Bastam, we will make a short stop in the historical town of Sabzevar. Sabzevar played an important role during the Ilkhanid Period.
In Sabzevar we will visit Khosro Gerd Tower, a 900-year-old mil-tower (towers that were used to show the caravans the right way), then we will visit the historical Mosalla (an important mosque) from the 13th century.
Continue to Bastam. On the way from Sabzevar to Bastam there is one of the biggest caravanserais of Iran. This caravanserai is called Myandasht. If we have a chance, we can ride camels (camel riding is available on certain days of the season).
Then we will continue to Bastam. The history of Bastam dates back to about 8,000 years ago. There we will visit the Tomb of Bayazid Bastami (804-874), a famous Persian Sufi. His nickname was King of the Gnostics (Sultan-ul Arefin).
Behind the tomb is the Shahrokhieh School. A school from the Timurid period, which is a very good example of Iranian historical schools.
DAY 5: Bastam- Shahroud- Damghan (85 KM)
After breakfast, we continued our journey to the city of Damghan.
There are two more monuments in Bastam that we will discover before leaving the city. First, we will take a look at the Kashaneh Tower (dating back to the 14th century). Before Islam, this tower was a Zoroastrian fire temple, but like most fire temples in Iran, it became a place of worship for Muslims after Islam.
The Jame Mosque of Bastam, with its magnificent stucco and brickwork, is our last stop before leaving Bastam, which dates from the Seljuk period (12th century).
On the way to Shahroud, we make a brief stop at the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology of Shahroud. It gives us a good understanding of the people, lifestyle, tools, and other historical objects of this area. We continue our journey to Damghan.
This beautiful city was once the capital of the Parthians (150 BC). There we can visit the 3rd historical mosque of Iran, Tarikhaneh, which is 1300 years old. After that, we will have a look at Tappe Hessar (Hessar Hill). Tappe Hessar is one of the most significant archeological sites of Iran.
DAY 6: Damghan- Jandagh (260 KM)
After breakfast, we will drive to Jandagh. Today we will be confronted with breathtaking landscapes in the desert that we may not experience in any other place in the world.
Our first stop will be at Haj Ali Gholi Salt Lake. The lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Iran.
Then we will continue to Jandagh. We will pass Moaleman Village, another important village on the Silk Road, and Bar Andaz-e Sar-e Namak (one more exotic place in the central desert of Iran).
Before reaching Jandagh, we have the opportunity to visit Qanat. Qanat is a unique Persian technique that dates back thousands of years and belongs to the cities in deserts, it helps transporting underground water from aquifers to the cities. Persian Qanat has been registered as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Jandagh is a 2000-year-old city built during the Sasanid dynasty by order of Anushirvan, the famous Sasanid King. In this city, there is also a 2000-year-old Castle where people still live. We will stay one night in this castle. Camel riding, stargazing, and desert trekking are fabulous activities in Jandagh depending on availability.
DAY 7: Jandagh- Choupanan- Naeen (225 KM)
After breakfast, on the way to Naeen, we pass Chupanan. Chupanan is the best-organized mud-brick village in the world and we will be surprised by its specific urban context.
Just before Naeen, there is a small town called Mohammadieh. In Mohammadieh we will visit the famous Fortress from the Sassanid period. Right after that, we will get acquainted with historical Water Mills and Cotton Spinning Mills. Then, continue to Naeen.
DAY 8: Naeen- Ardestan- Kashan (223 KM)
Our tour starts with visiting the Narin Castle (from the Sassanid period) and the Jame Mosque of Naeen (the second oldest mosque in Iran from 1200 years ago). The last stop in Naeen will be at the Traditional Bazaar.
Then we continue to Kashan. On the way, we will make a short stop in the city of Ardestan. There we can see a Zoroastrian Fire Temple from 2,000 years ago called “Mehr Ardeshir”. Then, another special Qanat was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Moon Qanat. Then continue to Kashan.
DAY 9: Kashan- Tehran (275 KM)
Kashan played an important role on the Silk Road. It was used as a boot road of the Silk Road. Hundreds of years ago, Kashan was famous for its silk production. The silk was exported to India and Venice.
In Kashan, we will visit the famous Traditional Bazaar and the Timche-ye-Amin Al Doleh. Our next stop in Kashan is the Fin Garden (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Boroujerdi and Tababaei Houses are another place where we can get acquainted with the historical architecture of Persian houses.
Then we will continue to Tehran. On the way to Tehran, there is one of the most beautiful caravanserais in Iran, Deir-e Gachin caravanserai, which is considered the best example and the most renovated caravanserai and is known as the mother of caravanserais in Iran. Then we will continue to Tehran.
DAY 10: Tehran- Rey- Tehran
Today we will visit Rey. This city is one of the oldest (8000 years old) and most important cities in Iran. Rey used to play an important role on the Silk Road.
In Shahr-e Rey we will visit the Gabri Castel (from outside), this castle is 2000 years old. Then we visit the Great Wall of Rey, a relief of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, the Bahram Fire Temple (from the Sasanid dynasty), and our today’s sightseeing ends at the Traditional Bazaar of Rey.
DAY 11: Tehran- IKA (Departure)
Check out after breakfast. We will explore today’s capital of Iran, Tehran. The Capital is the most populated and the largest province of Iran.
We will start our day by visiting the lavish Golestan Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Golestan Palace is famous because it was the residence of all the kings of the Qajar dynasty for about 150 years.
Then, the Tehran Grand Bazaar is the next. This bazaar is the second-largest in Iran and the third-largest traditional bazaar in the Middle East.
Later is the Iran National Museum. Where we could find thousands of objects from 800,000 years ago until the presence of Islam.
The last stop in Tehran is the Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran.
(Your today’s plan might be changed depending on your departure time)
Going to Iran was for me and my friend a long term project. We booked a luxury train trip in 2019 but unfortunately the tour was canceled because of covid. Surfiran offered us a 9-day tour this year and Saye cooperated with us wonderfully in preparing our trip. Read More
We especially appreciated her help in securing a visa for my girlfriend.
We were also lucky that we were the only ones registered in our time slot, so we had an excellent guide, Mehdi, all to ourselves. He knows a lot about Iran’s rich history and current social and cultural life and he willingly answered all our questions.
We visited a lot of very interesting places, learned a lot about the rich historical background of Iran, the hotels were very luxurious, comfortable with fabulous breakfasts, people were very friendly, they smiled at us, established communication, were interested in where we came from and wanted to take a photo with us.
Back at home we recommended Iran to all our friends.
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.
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.
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.
Dates & Prices
The spring (mid-March to May) and fall (September to mid-November) are generally considered the best times to visit as the weather is mild and comfortable, perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Read more about the best time to visit Iran.
The price will vary based on the number of people and any additional services requested. Therefore, please submit your request so that the details regarding the price can be sent to your email address within one business day.
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.
In our premium tours, we book the best 5-star hotels available in each city.
We use a private AC van, middle bus or bus throughout this tour, subject to the final size of the group.
The tour includes a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.
Booking & Payment
If you would like to book this 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.
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