Iran Bible Experience Tour
Explore the land of ancient Persia and home to many biblical sites and events.
Iran bible tour is designed for those who are interested to explore the land of ancient Persia and home to many biblical sites and events from Queen Esther along with Mordecai who saved the empire’s Jewish population; Cyrus and Artaxerxes I and II were among its famous kings; and Nehemiah led the Jewish exiles from Susa back to Jerusalem. Book now for a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit one of the world’s most ancient, beautiful and enigmatic countries.
Journey to Tabriz to visit Maryam Na-Na Church, the largest and oldest Christian church.
Going to Jolfa to visit the Monastery of Saint Stepanos.
Journey to Tehran to visit the Saint Sarkis Cathedral, an Armenian Apostolic Church.
Visiting Armenian Cemetery which consists of 5 main parts, namely, Armenian Apostolic, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Catholic, and Assyrian.
Visiting Jolfa District in Isfahan to meet Iranian-Armenians as well as Vank and Bethlehem Churches.
DAY 1: TABRIZ (ARRIVAL)
After arriving at Tabriz International Airport, our representative will meet and greet you; then, you will be transferred to the hotel to take a rest.
DAY 2: TABRIZ
This morning, we start our full day of sightseeing by visiting the Saint Mary Church of Tabriz. It is the largest and oldest Christian church in Tabriz and a notable center for Armenian national and religious ceremonies held by the Armenian community of Tabriz. Then, visit Maryam Na-Na Church in Maralan District. The last church to visit in Tabriz is Saint Sarkis Church in Lilavan District.
The next to visit is Kabud Mosque. The magnificent Kabud Mosque was completed in 1465, but skilled artisans spent another quarter-century painstakingly covering the entire mosque with intricately-painted, brilliantly blue tiles and calligraphy. Often referred to as the Blue Mosque, this magnificent landmark was extensively damaged by two 18th-century earthquakes. But as you stand before the north façade with much of its original tile work still intact, you’ll get a glimpse into the enduring artistic legacy of Iran’s ancient dynasties.
We will end our day by visiting Shah Golu (El-Golu), a large park with an artificial lake in the middle. It is a really good place for afternoon strolls.
DAY 3: TABRIZ – MAKU 3 H 20 MIN (246 KM)
Today, in Tabriz, we will visit Arg-e Alishah, an imposing but unfinished 14th-century monument that later served as a military fortress during the Russo-Persian Wars of the 19th century.
We’ll end our sightseeing in Tabriz at the Grand Bazaar, the only bazaar on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The present-day structure, a vast maze-like complex of bricked arches and vaulted passageways, still evokes the spirit of its earliest days when Tabriz was one of the most important commercial centers along the ancient Silk Road. It’s a wonderful place to chat with engaging merchants and browse for jewelry, carpets, and spices. But with 4 miles of shops, you’ll also mingle with friendly residents who are here to shop for spices and other daily staples.
Then, we will go to Maku where you will visit an Armenian monastery known as the Saint Thaddeus Monastery or Qareh Kelisa (the black church). Located in a mountainous area, the monastery and its typical Armenian conical roofs are visible from long distances.
DAY 4: MAKU – JOLFA 2 H 44 MIN (190 KM) – TABRIZ 1H 50 MIN (132 KM)
This morning, we will go to Jolfa to visit the Monastery of Saint Stepanos. It is situated in a deep canyon along the Araxes, on the Iranian side of the border between Iran and Nakhchivan. It was originally built in the ninth century and was rebuilt during the Safavid era, after being damaged through wars and earthquakes. It is part of the Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, which are inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
In this area, we can also visit the Chapel of Chupan, a small historic Armenian church building in a mountain valley west of Jolfa near the Aras River. Then, move towards Tabriz.
DAY 5: TABRIZ - TEHRAN (FLIGHT) 1 H 30 MIN
This morning, we will take a plane to Tehran. After arriving in Tehran, the first place to visit is Saint Sarkis Cathedral, an Armenian Apostolic Church. It is the cathedral of the Armenian Diocese of Tehran, one of three Armenian dioceses in Iran, whose prelate is Archbishop Sepuh Sargsyan.
The next to visit is Saint Mary Church, another Armenian Apostolic Church. On February 13, 2002, the church was registered by the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran as a national monument.
Then, we will take you to a World Heritage Site, the lavish Golestan Palace. Built during the Qajar Dynasty, that rose to power in the late 1700s, 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.
Then, we will walk around Tehran Bazaar, a few steps far from Golestan Palace. Walking along the Bazaar route, we go to Timche Akbarian. Timche Akbarian dates back to the 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 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. Afterwards, you will visit an Armenian cultural center called Ararat.
DAY 6: TEHRAN
This morning, after having breakfast, we will visit an Armenian Cemetery called Doulab Cemetery. It consists of 5 main parts, namely, Armenian Apostolic, Eastern Orthodox (Russians, Georgians, and Greeks), Roman Catholic, Armenian Catholic, and Assyrian (Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic, and Protestant). (This site can be visited if the tourists are interested in).
In the afternoon, we will visit the National Museum of Iran, where you can see fabulous historical items from 5000 BC to the advent of Islam in Iran which shows a brief history of our land.
We can have a coffee in one of the old coffee shops in Tehran that belong to Armenians. One of the most beautiful ones is Loghanteh Café.
DAY 7: TEHRAN – HAMADAN 3 H 40 MIN (320 KM)
Today, we will leave Tehran for Hamadan. Hamedan province is situated in Middle Western Iran. The province is famous for its raisins (1500 hectares of vineyards) and in the Persian rug trade, it ranks second only to Kerman.
We will visit one of the beautiful sights in Hamedan that is called Ester and Mord Khay Tombs. These are the tombs of Ester the Queen of Shoosh (the wife of Xerxes of Iran), and Mordecai (Mord Khay), her uncle. Its structure has been constructed of brick and stone about 11 centuries ago, in order to pay homage to these two personalities. This vicinity is a place for pilgrimage of the Jewish sect and is also held in respect by the Muslims.
Our next site to visit is the Tomb of Baba Taher, which is located in a park, surrounded by flowers and winding paths. Baba Taher is known as one of the most revered and respectable early poets in Iranian literature. He was known by the name of Baba Taher-e Oryan, which suggests that he may have been a wandering Dervish. His poetry has touched many souls.
Our next place to visit is the Tomb of Avicenna. Avicenna was a Muslim Persian physician and philosopher who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine.
DAY 8: HAMADAN – TUYSERKAN – KHORAM ABAD 4 H 30 MIN (310 KM)
This morning, we will go to Tuyserkan to visit the Tomb of the Prophet Habakkuk. The prophet Habakkuk is one of the most enigmatic major figures of the Bible. Counted among the Twelve Minor Prophets and author of the Book of Habakkuk, virtually nothing is known about his life. Evidence suggests that he lived at the end of the 7th century BC, and may have been a contemporary of Daniel. One tradition that originated in apocryphal writings indicates that he might have known David around the time he was incarcerated in the Lion’s Den.
Then, moving south, we will have some stop in Khorm Ababd. In Khoram Abad, we will visit Falak-o-al-Aflak Citedal and the Brick Minaret.
O/N Khoram Abad
DAY 9: KHORAM ABAD – SHUSH – SHUSHTAR – AHVAZ 6 H (400 KM)
Leaving Khorm Abad behind, our first stop today will be in Susa, the ancient Persian city. After visiting this site, the castle nearby and the museum, we will go to the Shrine of Daniel, the prophet. Daniel is counted among the greatest (and among the most adventurous) of the prophets of the Old Testament. He lived during the late 7th and early 6th century BC, during an age when the land of Israel lay under the domination of foreign powers. In the days of the Babylonian Empire, he predicted the conquest of Babylon by Persia, and endured persecution by both the Babylonians and Persians. In the end, he arose to a position of great importance in the Persian court, and in the latter years of his life boldly prophesied about the end of times.
Then, we will go to see the exquisite beauty of the magnificent Chogha Zanbil temple, the temple belongs to the 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.
We’ll drive to the next city known as Shoushtar which is known for its waterfalls and mills, and the oldest water reservoir system of Persia. Visit the Historical Hydraulic System (A registered site in UNESCO world heritage) and go to Ahvaz.
DAY 10: AHVAZ – BISHAPUR – SHIRAZ 7 H 40 MIN (544 KM)
In the morning, we will drive to Shiraz and en route, 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.
Bishapour 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 marvelous step will be Tang-e Chogan which is a valley with a running river at 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.
Then, move towards Shiraz.
DAY 11: SHIRAZ
After breakfast, we will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) which is a 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.
We will continue our exploration in Shiraz at the beautiful orange-scented Narenjestan Garden, laid out in the 19th century during the Qajar Dynasty.
Then, we will visit Karim Khan Citadel built during the Zand Dynasty.
we will end our day on a tranquil note in the lovely garden-tomb of Sa’adi and garden-tomb of Hafez, two 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. Sa’adi is a poet, philosopher, and mystic who is known as the father of alternative tourism. About seven centuries ago, he traveled to different countries and cities. Then, he collected all his experiences in verses and rhymed prose in two books named Boustan and Golestan. These two books give you lots of inspiration and information. We will get a chance to pay homage to tombs of these great poets.
DAY 12: SHIRAZ – ISFAHAN 6 H 30 MIN (510 KM)
Today, we have a full day of driving to reach our destination of Isfahan; 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, 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, but 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, we will visit Pasargadae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 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 Isfahan and check into the hotel.
DAY 13: ISFAHAN
We will start our exploration in Isfahan at a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Simple at first glance but wondrous in its rich detail and bold design, Masjed-e Jamé 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.
Then, we will go to the city center to visit 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. 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. 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!
DAY 14: ISFAHAN
In the city’s Armenian quarter, we will delve more deeply into the region’s complex history as you will visit several churches including the 17th-century Vank Church with its lavishly decorated interior and unique blend of Islamic and European architectural elements. You will also visit the museum inside the church.
The other church to visit is Beyt Lahm Church or Bethlehem Church. It is one of the most important historical churches of the city and belongs to the Shah Abbas I era.
The next to visit in this area is the Music Museum. Walk in the allies of Jolfa and have a coffee at one of the cafes.
In the evening, you will visit 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.
DAY 15: ISFAHAN – KASHAN – TEHERAN 3 H 32 MIN (270 KM)
Leaving Isfahan behind, our 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 go to Kashan, a town originally famous for its textiles and ceramic production, but now better known for Fin Garden and its extensive bazaar and hammams.
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, we will visit Boroujerdi Traditional House. It was built about 130 years ago in the 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 hammams and mosques; one hammam has been converted to a traditional teahouse where we will stop for those who need a break from shopping.
DAY 16: TEHRAN (DEPARTURE)
Our representative will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your flight time.
Arrival and departure airport transfer from/to Imam Khomeini (IKA) Airport
Land travel in Iran by an air-conditioned coach
Services of an English-speaking tour guide throughout the tour
International air fares, taxes and surcharges
Items of a personal nature such as laundry or phone calls
Tips to local guides and drivers
+98 21 8830 1845
+98 21 8830 1845
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.
An arrival transfer is included on this trip
The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 20 kg per person plus hand luggage.
We use private AC Van, Middle Bus or Bus throughout this tour depending on 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.
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.
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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!
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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