• Duration

    9 day trip

  • Start

    Tehran, Iran

  • Finish

    Tehran, Iran

  • Group size

    Min 3, Max 12

  • Included meals

    9 Breakfast, 0 Lunch, 1 Dinner

  • Accommodation Grade

    Standard

  • Transport

    Mini Bus

  • Ages

    Min 15

  • Trip Notes

    Printable trip note

Iranian Culture and Heritage Tour

Visit Iran in 9 days

Enquire about this tour

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS & ITINERARY

Starting in Tehran by a comfortable couch, you will journey through beautiful landscapes and some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites, arid mountains, and rural villages. You will learn about the traditions and cultures of a land whose influence has been felt for thousands of years. Welcome to the once-forbidden land of Persia.
 
On this trip, we will explore the beautiful cities of Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, Meybod, Naein, Isfahan and Kashan, and will uncover Persian history at the impressive Persepolis; though, the real highlight of any trip to Iran is meeting the locals, arguably the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth who are always ready to welcome visitors with a smile.

Tour Highlights

  • Journey to Tehran, the city of colorful lights, intriguing sounds, and never-ending motion
  • Visit Nasir Al Molk Mosque (or the Pink Mosque) in Shiraz
  • Discover Persepolis, home of Darius the Great
  • Visit Yazd, the city of Zoroastrians, as well as beautiful Meybod and Na'in nearby
  • Spend the day in Isfahan exploring Imam Square and its mosques
  • Wander through the bazaar in Kashan
  • Meet Iranian people and be welcomed to their country

Free Special Entertainments (Optional)

  • » Half a day experiencing the Nomadic life and staying alongside an Iranian nomad family that is likely to be one of the most memorable parts of your journey. Read more…
  • » Half day Persian hospitality tour to spend time with an Iranian family, learn and help to cook homemade foods and eat like Iranian people. Read more…
  • » One-day tour of Iran’s Northern railway and crossing the Alborz mountains on SURFIRAN's private train (Departure every Thursday 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM). Read more…
  • » Watch a Zurkhaneh performance.  Zurkhaneh is a form of traditional martial arts in Iran, where men practise callisthenics and other body-building exercises in a ring. In 2010 Pahlevani and Zoorkhaneh rituals inscribed on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Read More…
  • » Visit an old system of water supply called Qanat. Read More…

Travel Itinerary

DAY 1: TEHRAN

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


Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 2: FLY FROM TEHRAN TO SHIRAZ

This morning, we will take you to a World Heritage Site, the lavish Golestan Palace (A UNESCO World Heritage). Built during the Qajar Dynasty, that rose to power in the late 1700s, this fabulous walled complex is centred 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.

Then, we will walk around Tehran Bazaar, few steps far from Golestan Palace. Walking along the Bazaar route, we go to Timche Akbarian. Timche Akbarian dates back to Qajar era (almost 260 years old) when its main purpose was to exchange money. Later it was developed into the first bank of Iran and was ran mainly by Jews who were the prominent residents of Oudlajan neighborhood. 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 dishes. 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.

In the afternoon, 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.

This evening, we will take you to the airport to take a flight to Shiraz.


Overnight: Standard Hotel (3 & 4 Stars)
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: SHIRAZ

After breakfast, you will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) which is few steps far from Vakil Bazaar. It was built at Mirza Hassan Ali Nasir-al Mulk’s command (one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty); it took 12 years to complete it 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 the 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 has exploded into thousands of butterflies all around.

Continue your exploration in Shiraz at the beautiful orange-scented Narenjestan Garden, laid out in the 19th century during the Qajar Dynasty.

Then, you will visit Karim Khan Citadel which was built during the Zand Dynasty.

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.

You will end your day on a tranquil note in the lovely garden-tomb of Hafez, one of our most outstanding poets to feel the taste of Persian Literature. Hafez is one of the great poets who has impressed everyone with his mastery. His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding.


Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: SHIRAZ – PERSEPOLIS – YAZD 5 h 16 min (449 km)

Today, we have a full day of driving to reach our destination of Yazd (A UNESCO World Heritage); it is a good idea to stock up on locally bought and easily found dates and pistachio nuts for the journey.

We will have some stop on our way to visit the Legendary City of Persepolis (A UNESCO World Heritage), the former capital of Darius the Great which was founded in 512 BC. There was no more impressive construction in the ancient world than Persepolis, except perhaps the Karnak in Egypt. Darius built the terrace, Apadana (great audience hall), Tachana (a palace), and the Monumental Staircases; 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.

From here, we will drive a couple of miles 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.

Then, you will visit Pasargadae (A UNESCO World Heritage), the 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.

Continue to Yazd and check into the hotel.


Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: YAZD

Yazd (A UNESCO World Heritage) is one oldest continuously inhabited towns of Iran. Its silhouette punctuated by minarets and the ingeniously-designed wind towers that capture desert breezes to cool homes during the hot summer months. Yazd is also the center of Iran’s Zoroastrian community, which is where you’ll begin the day’s sightseeing.

At the Tower of Silence, you’ll learn about one of the traditions of this ancient pre-Islamic religion. Until the mid-1900s, the dead were transported to this tower where they were left to decompose and be devoured by birds. Zoroastrian tradition considers a deceased body to be “unclean” and this process of excarnation prevents contact with either fire or earth– both of which are considered to be sacred.

At the still-active Zoroastrian Fire Temple, you’ll see a flame that is said to have been burning for the past 1,500 years. It’s an important pilgrimage site for the faithful and here our expert guide will offer additional insight into one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions.

In Amir Chakhmaq Square, you’ll see a very impressive Hussainiya– a congregation hall for Shia commemoration ceremonies. With three tiers of recessed alcoves, all perfectly proportioned, its facade is one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.

The next place to visit is the Friday Mosque, built in 1324, where you can gaze upon the tallest minarets in the country.

Among the many other historic sites to be seen in Yazd are beautiful old homes and the Dowlat Abad Garden. Standing by the garden’s long reflecting pool, you’ll be shaded by ancient cypress trees. Ahead of you is an 18th-century hexagonal pavilion with a beautiful stained glass window and a graceful wind tower– the tallest in Iran. All around are flowering fruit trees and other ornamental plants and trees.


Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

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

Your overland journey continues to the small town of Meybod, where your first impression might be its striking monochromatic architecture of desert brick. But set along an ancient trade route, Meybod also offers a number of fascinating sites to visit including its caravanserai. Built in typical Safavid style, this ancient desert inn features verandahs, shaded passageways, and nearly 100 rooms– some of which are now used as artisan workshops. At the local icehouse, you’ll learn about the thick-clay construction and subterranean chamber that allowed local residents to have ice and food storage before refrigeration– even during the intense desert heat of summer!

Moving towards Isfahan our next stop will be in the small town of Na’in, an ancient community with origins dating back to the 8th century. We will visit the Jame mosque of Naien and then go to Isfahan.

Your overland journey continues in 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 e jahan (Isfahan is half of the World).

Together with your expert guide, you will begin your exploration of the city by visiting some of the centuries-old, still elegant bridges that span 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 Zayandeh River are Sio-ce-pol and Khaju. There are sluice gates below the bridge to let the water runoff Zayandeh River in the spring, and there are beautiful stony 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: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: ISFAHAN

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

Your exploration continues in Imam Square (A UNESCO World Heritage). 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. You will also visit Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, also known as the Ladies Mosque, as it was built for the Shah's harem, renowned for brightly colored domed ceiling, where the light creates the image of a peacock. 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 exploration of the square by visiting the Qeisarieh Bazaar. 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 Palace (A UNESCO World Heritage). 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 city’s Armenian quarter, you’ll delve more deeply into the region’s complex history as you will visit several churches including the 17th-century Vank Cathedral with its lavishly decorated interior and unique blend of Islamic and European architectural elements.


Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: ISFAHAN - KASHAN – TEHRAN 5 h 2 min (460 km)

Leaving Isfahan behind, your first stop this morning will be in Abyaneh village. Abyaneh Village is known as the Red Village because of its red soil and houses. The houses of Abyaneh bear an ancient architectural style, featured by the use of clay as the construction material and latticed windows and wooden doors.

Then, we will visit Kashan, a town originally famous for its textiles and ceramic production, but now better known for Fin Garden (A UNESCO World Heritage) and its extensive bazaar and hamams.

Fin Garden (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) is our first stop; a relaxing and visually impressive Persian garden with water channels all passing through a central pavilion. There is also the chance to buy some rose water, a local specialty, outside of the site.

Then, you will visit Boroujerdi Traditional House. It was built about 130 years ago in reign of Qajar dynasty (1857) by Iranian famous architect Ustad Ali Maryam. The owner was Haj Seyed Hasan Natanzi, a well-known merchant who mostly dealt with people of Boroujerd city. That’s why the house is known as Boroujerd's House.

Afterwards, we will visit the bazaar area, a widespread complex filled with hamams and mosques; one hamam has been converted to a traditional teahouse where we will stop for those who need a break from shopping.

Then, we will drive to Tehran.


Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Room Available
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: TEHRAN (DEPARTURE)

Our representative will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your flight time.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers from/to Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA)
  • A domestic flight from Tehran to Shiraz
  • 8 nights of accommodation in standard grade hotels
  • Land travel in Iran by an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Services of an Iranian tour guide throughout the tour
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 0 lunches, and 1 dinner

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

  • International airfares, taxes, and surcharges
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry or phone calls
  • Visa authorization number fee
  • Visa costs
  • Tips to local guides and drivers
  • Entrance Fee

SPEAK TO OUR EXPERTS

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

MAHDI ESHRAGHI
m.eshraghi@surfiran.com
+98 912 147 4530

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.

DATES & PRICES

Start DateEnd DateDBL Room (P/P)SGL Room Request
12 October 201820 October 20181200.00 EUR1380.00 EUR
09 November 201817 November 20181200.00 EUR1380.00 EUR
07 December 201815 December 20181100.00 EUR 1250.00 EUR
01 February 201909 February 20191100.00 EUR 1250.00 EUR
01 March 201909 March 20191200.00 EUR 1380.00 EUR
12 Apri 201920 April 20191200.00 EUR 1380.00 EUR
03 May 201911 May 20191200.00 EUR 1380.00 EUR
01 June 20199 June 20191200.00 EUR 1380.00 EUR

Price Information

Prices listed are on a per person basis, sharing accommodation (unless otherwise stated). Prices do not include international flights.

Most tours are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book as an individual, you will be roomed with someone of the same sex. However, on many tours we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. An arrival transfer is included on this trip
  2. This trip starts at 9:00 in the morning on day 2
  3. The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 17 kg per person plus hand luggage.
  4. Please note deposits for this trip are refundable and transferable (We only deduct the bank transfer fee) as per our terms and conditions.
  5. A single supplement is available on this trip.

Accommodation

We use good quality hotels rated at the Iranian Local House 3 star level on this tour. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards . Accommodation is based on double or twin en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will have a private double room. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a twin room with another traveller of the same sex. If there are no other single travellers available to pair up with at the time of your booking, then we will add the single supplement to the tour price, but will refund this or deduct it from your balance payment if we are able to pair you up later on.

Transport

In your trip we use private AC Van, Middle Bus or Bus throughout this tour, subject to the final size of the group.

Transfers

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.

Dates & Prices

We run regular small-group departures on this tour. All departures are guaranteed to run if a minimum of 6 travellers is reached. If we do not reach this minimum number (which happens very rarely), we will offer you the option to either pay a small supplement to do the tour exactly as planned, to change your date, to transfer to another tour, or we will provide you with a full refund. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website and in our brochure. Please check the website for the most up-to-date prices and any special offers.

Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on 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.

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.

Joining Info

These tour joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.

  • Joining Point: Watch this space as we announce the point soon.
  • Address: Tehran
  • Time and place: 09:00 am on day 2

ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR

CALL US

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

+98 (21) 8884 3831

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


Opening Hours:

8:30am – 5.00pm Sunday to Wednesday

Reviews

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 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 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 Visited October 2016TripAdvisor

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.

StephenVisited November 2016Read more

TRAVEL TO IRAN – TIPS AND INSPIRATION

2 reviews for 9-Day Iranian Culture and Heritage Tour

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Buckley Mike

    If you are considering a trip to Iran be it to see its archeological history, to meet very welcoming and open people to see stunning architecture and scenery or to just form your own view on the country then I recommend contacting Surfiran to discuss your options.
    The uncertainty about whether the trip would proceed an having to carry a large amount of cash o finance it. Also our trip would have benefited from being a couple of days longer which would have made it less rushed.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Peter Trindler

    Our 25 days travel was a full sucess.
    We had the opportunity to visit numerous historical sites and could experience the variety of the landscapes. Major “succes factors” were the professional guidance of Davoud Dehghan and his particular nice personality. At any place we felt welcome and appreciated the friendliness of the local people.
    Surfiran was an excellent partner and choice. Our guide, Mr. Davoud Dehghan, did an excellent job.
    He is a very good guide with excellent knowledge about history and monuments, is very flexible, has kindly manners and is also a very good driver. It was a real pleasure to be guided and accomponied by him. This is not “enjoyed least” , but a recommendation:
    The home stay in Meymand was interesting and okay. However, the accomodation is really with minimum comfort which should be explained/announced in advance in the travel documentation.

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