Iranian Saffron Tour
Guided excursion to a saffron farm
Iranian Saffron tour is an opportunity to experience and visit Saffron farms and farmers.
We will take you out on a guided tour in Mashhad and our Saffron fields located in Torbat-e Heydarieh. This city is famous for its Zafaran lands. It has the first rank in the world for producing Saffron or Zafaran.
We share our learning and appreciation of farming and rural lifestyle through tasting of Saffron products.
DAY 1: TEHRAN - MASHHAD
Today, we will take you to Mehrabad International Airport to fly to Mashhad where you’ll be escorted to your hotel. Tonight, you are free to explore Mashhad and its famous Mashhad bazaar on your own.
DAY 2: MASHHAD
This morning, we will visit the mausoleum of the eighth Shia Imam, Imam Reza. The shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, Iran, is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Twelver Shiites. It is the largest mosque in the world by dimension and the second largest by capacity.
Then, we move to visit the tomb of Ferdowsi. Ferdowsi, the influential Persian poet and author of the Persian epic, Shahnameh died in 1020 A.D. The tomb of Ferdowsi is a tomb complex composed of a white marble base, and a decorative edifice erected in honour of this Persian poet located in Tus.
DAY 3: MASHHAD TO TORBAT-E HEYDARIEH 1 h 51 min (144 km)
Today, we drive from Mashhad to to Torbat-e Heydariyeh to visit Saffron farms and taste some of the main products contains Saffron like tea, Cakes, Rock candy etc.
We’ll start our day in the Saffron farms. Be captivated by a visit to a saffron garden during which tour lecturer exposes you the culture of this beautiful flower, Crocus sativus and how you can get saffron from it.
Our friendly hosts look forward to sharing their wealth of knowledge and stories of the Saffron in Iran as they guide you through a tasting Saffron tea. We take care to make your experience as enjoyable, informative and interactive as possible. Here you can buy high quality saffron directly from farm owner. In the afternoon we go back to Mashhad.
DAY 4: MASHHAD - FLY TO SHIRAZ
This morning, we take you to the airport for your included flight to Shiraz.
Today, you will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) few steps far from Vakil Bazaar. 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.
After that, 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.
Then you will visit Karim Khan Citadel Built during the Zand Dynasty. Explore Arge Karim Khan, a museum that once served as a fortress and prison. Built in the 12th century under the Zand dynasty, this massive structure provided work for the period’s top architects and artists.
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.
DAY 5: SHIRAZ
Shiraz is famous for its gardens and we’ll visit the Eram Garden with its aromatic myrtles, beautiful flowers, fruit trees, and towering cypress (one of which is said to be 3,000 years old).
After that, you can visit Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh. Shah-e-Cheragh is the most important place of pilgrimage within the city of Shiraz. The tombs became celebrated pilgrimage centres in the 14th century when Queen Tashi Khatun erected a mosque and theological school in the vicinity. Ahmad (Shah-e-Cheragh) came to Shiraz at the beginning of the third Islamic century (approximately 900 AD), and died there. During the rule of Atabeg Abū Sa’id Zangi (1130s AD) of the Zengid dynasty, the chief minister to the monarch by the name of Amir-Muqarrab-al-din Badr-al-din built the tomb chamber, the dome, as well as a colonnaded porch.
Today we will visit the lovely garden tomb of Hafez and Sa’di, two of our most outstanding poets to feel the taste of Persian Literature. Hafez is one of great poets who impressed everyone with his mastery. His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding.
Once the city’s main point of entry, Qur’an Gate stands majestically at the northeastern end of Shiraz. Initially constructed in the 10th century, the gate was restored several times over the centuries to the monumental sight you see today. At night we will visit there.
DAY 6: SHIRAZ - PERSEPOLIS - PASARGADAE - YAZD 5 h 15 min (449 km)
We have a full day of driving today to reach our destination of Yazd; 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 in our way to visit legendary city of Persepolis, 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 Tachara (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, 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.
Then visit Pasargadae, 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 Yazd, driving through a desert lined with mountains, often snow-capped.
DAY 7: YAZD
Today we start our day in Yazd. 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. 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-1900’s, 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 Hussainia – a congregation hall for Shia commemoration ceremonies. With three tiers of recessed alcoves, all perfectly proportioned, its façade is one of the city’s most photographed landmarks. Then visit the Friday Mosque, built in 1324, where you can gaze upon the tallest minarets in the country.
At Zendan-e Eskandar, you’ll find an ancient domed structure with a deep, circular brick-lined pit that resembles a dungeon. According to legend, the complex was built by Alexander the Great to hold prisoners during his conquest of Persia. Others believe it was constructed by the Persians to hold Alexander himself.
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.
DAY 8: YAZD TO ISFAHAN 3 h 48 min (323 km)
Leaving Yazd behind, your first stop this morning will be in 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!
Your overland journey continues to the small town of Na’in, an ancient community with origins dating back to the 8th century. At the local Ethnographic Museum, set in an erstwhile private residence of the Safavid era, you’ll learn more about the region’s cultural traditions.
Continue to Isfahan and check in to our hotel.
DAY 9: ISFAHAN
Isfahan has long been regarded as the focal point of any visit to Iran, ‘Isfahan is half the world’ was the phrase used to describe the city in the 16th century when Shah Abbas moved the capital here. It is still possible to see the Shah’s grand vision as we explore the city today.
We will mainly be focusing on Imam square, one of the largest squares in the world which provides a breathtaking vista. The best view is found from the Ali Qapu Palace, where we admire the fountains and beautiful mosques that make up the square. We will enter the two mosques, first of all Sheikh Lotfollah, 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.
We will then head to the Shah Mosque on the corner of the square, probably the best known mosque in Iran as it is thought to be the masterpiece of Persian architecture. Tonight there is the option to experience zurkhaneh, a traditional strength and wrestling event.
Though visitors are allowed to enter for a fee, this is a part of Iranian culture where locals work out and wrestle whilst a leader bangs the drums, sings and reads poetry.
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!
This afternoon you have time to wander the rest of Isfahan, there is the main bazaar which is approximately 4km long, a great place for shopaholics and those enjoying bartering. The Iranians are much more relaxed than their Middle Eastern neighbors, so the markets are a peaceful experience, though there is always the chance to haggle for a bargain!
DAY 10: ISFAHAN
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.
You will continue your exploration of the city in 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. Another 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 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 11: ISFAHAN - KASHAN - TEHRAN 5 h (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 the Fin gardens and extensive bazaar and hamams.
The Fin gardens are 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.
From here we will visit the bazaar area, a widespread complex filled with hamams and mosques; one hamam has been converted to a traditional tea house where we will stop for those who need a break from shopping.
Walking through the bazaar we get to the Mosque of Mir Emad, which we will visit along with the Masjed-e Jame. Tonight we stay in a traditional house that has been converted to a hotel with a restaurant serving traditional Iranian food – many like to try the aubergine stew, if you have already eaten too many chicken kebabs!
Then we will drive to Tehran.
DAY 12: 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.
In the afternoon, you’ll go to see the National Museum of Iran which is an institution formed of two complexes, including the Museum of Ancient Iran and Islamic Era.
Tonight’s dinner in a local restaurant offers a chance to experience daily Iranian life in Tehran. At night we go to Tehran Nature Bridge where Tehran young couples spend time together.
DAY 13: TEHRAN – DEPARTURE
Our tour guide will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your flight time.
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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.
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 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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