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Day 1 UK to Istanbul
Istanbul to Tehran

Today depart the UK on the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. Once in Istanbul connect onto the Turkish Airlines flight to Tehran. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Tehran
Arrive into Tehran where you will be met and transferred to the Espinas International Hotel where you will stay overnight. Capital of Iran, Tehran is a vast city, more modern, chaotic and progressive than any other in the country. With little recorded in any great detail before the 1200s, Tehran was declared the capital in 1795 and since then has not looked back. As the political and cultural heart of the nation, Tehran is blessed with many museums and gardens and, later, visit the Qajar era Golestan Palace, the excellent Glass and Ceramics Museum, the Treasury of Iranian National Jewels and the Carpet Museum. (N)

Day 3 Tehran to Hamadan – 337 kms
Today drive to Hamadan stopping en-route at the old Safavid capital of Qazvin to see the Jameh Mosque and 16th century shrine of Imamzadeh-ye Hossein. Leaving Qazvin continue to Hamadan and stay two nights at the Parsian Azadi Hotel. One of Iran’s oldest cities, Hamadan was once the summer capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Later see the Ganj Nameh inscriptions, the oldest Achaemenian rock carvings in the region, then visit the tomb of Esther and Mordecai. End the day at the Gonbad-e-Alavian – a 12th century structure and one of the finest examples of Seljuk architecture in Iran. (B)

Day 4 Hamadan
After breakfast leave Hamadan and drive to Taq-e-Bostan. The site of Sassanian era rock bas-reliefs, Taq-e-Bostan occupies a dramatic setting around a pair of grottos and dates from the 4th century AD. From here head to Bisotun, where there are a series of UNESCO recognised bas-relief carvings which have been described as the Persian Rosetta Stone. Leaving Bisotun make one last stop to see the ruins at Kangavar before returning to Hamadan. (B))

Day 5 Hamadan to Isfahan – 464 kms.
This morning leave Hamadan and drive to Isfahan for a three night stay at the Abbasi Hotel – a converted Safavid caravanserai, or at the Kowsar Hotel. Located on the banks of the Zayandeh-rud River, Isfahan is Iran’s third largest city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a history dating back nearly 3,000 years. Considered by many to be one of the most important historical cities in Central Asia, Isfahan is magnificent, an exquisite collection of mosques, palaces and bazaars making it one of the finest cities of the Islamic world. (B)

Day 6 Isfahan
With your guide, start the day at Imam, or Naqsh-e Jahan, Square. The focal point of the city, the square leads to the highly decorated Imam Mosque which, with its intricate blue-tiled mosaic design, is a masterpiece of perfection and proportion. Before lunch visit the 17th century Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and majestic Ali Qapu Palace and in the afternoon explore the district of Jolfa, Isfahan’s Armenian Quarter with its thirteen churches. End the day with a leisurely stroll along the river with its ancient bridges. (B)

Day 7 Isfahan
Today visit the Jameh Mosque, a many faceted structure over one thousand years old and believed to have been built on the site of a Zoroastrian temple. With over 800 years of Islamic architectural design, the mosque is a veritable treasure-trove. In the afternoon visit the elegant Chehel Sotun Palace, constructed during the Safavid period, and the Hasht Behesht Palace which was once considered the finest palace in all of Isfahan. (B)

Day 8 Isfahan to Shiraz – 485 kms
Leave Isfahan after breakfast for the drive to Shiraz. On the final leg of your journey to the city stop at Pasargadae, the capital and last resting place of Cyrus the Great. Stay for three nights in Shiraz at the Grand Shiraz Hotel or at the Homa Hotel. The capital of the southern province of Fars, Shiraz is renowned as a centre of learning, and poetry, for its remarkable gardens and sophisticated architecture which has been acknowledged both within Iran and throughout the wider world. (B)

Day 9 Shiraz
Start the day at the tombs of Hafez and Saadi – two of Iran’s greatest poets. From here visit the Pars Museum which is set in the Bagh-e Nazar gardens, then the Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh – a focal point for religious activity in the city and one of the holiest Shi’ite sites in Iran. With its blue-tiled domes, grand courtyard and towering minarets, the shrine is a wonderful place to soak up the atmosphere and watch the many pilgrims. End the day at two gardens, the Bagh-e Eram and the Bagh-e Narenjestan – the first famous for its tall cypress trees and the latter for its 19th Century pavilion. (B)

Day 10 Shiraz
Today visit Persepolis and Naqsh-e-Rostam. Start at Persepolis, the embodiment of the splendour and power of the Achaemenid Empire and a city, even today, of monumental grandeur. Begun in 522 BC, highlights include the Apadana Palace, the Tripylon, the Palace of 100 Columns and the Treasury. In the afternoon, visit the Achaemenian rock tombs of Naqsh-e-Rostam. Hewn out of a high cliff, four of the tombs are thought to be those of Darius I, Xerxes I, Darius II and Artaxerxes I. (B)

Day 11 Shiraz to Kerman – 543 kms
Leave Shiraz and drive to Kerman stopping en-route at the Sassanian palace at Sarvistan. Once a major Sassanian stronghold, the complex provides a wonderful opportunity to see a Sassanian structure at close quarters. Continue on to Kerman and stay two nights at the Pars Hotel. Located far from the rich farmlands of the north of Iran, Kerman owes its existence to being a desert trading city and an important junction on the caravan routes connecting Persia and the Indian subcontinent. (B)

Day 12 Kerman
After breakfast drive to the small town of Mahan. Strongly associated with Shah Ne’matollah Vali – the founder of a Sufi dervish order in the 15th century – visit his shrine and the Bagh-e Shahzde, a beautiful Qajar era garden which surrounds the palace. In the afternoon, leave Mahan and return to Kerman and its cavernous Grand Bazaar. One of the key features of any visit to the city, the Grand Bazaar, or Bazar-e Sartasari, is one of the oldest trading centres in Iran and is a vibrant and colourful place to explore. (B)

Day 13 Kerman to Yazd – 387 kms
Today drive to Yazd and stay for two nights at the Moshir Garden Hotel. Described by Marco Polo as ‘good and noble’ after he had stopped here en-route to China, Yazd is a charismatic and historic desert city and has been continually inhabited for a remarkable 7,000 years. Famed for its traditional Persian architecture, Yazd was a beneficiary of the desert trade routes, flourishing during the 14th and 15th centuries and known throughout the world as a centre for silk, textile and carpet production. (B)

Day 14 Yazd
Start the morning in the heart of the old city – an atmospheric maze of sun-dried mud brick buildings and labyrinthine alleyways famous for its ‘wind catchers’, an ancient form of air-conditioning designed to catch and circulate cooling breezes. Visit the 14th century Jameh Mosque famed for its simple elegance and towering minarets which are the highest in Iran and, after lunch, explore an area which has the largest Zoroastrian community in Iran and visit the Ateshkadeh Temple with its sacred eternal flame. (B)

Day 15 Yazd to Kashan – 419 kms
Today drive towards Kashan stopping first at Nain and later at Natanz. Located in the heart of Iran, Nain is an ancient centre for carpet making whilst Natanz is home to the beautiful Jameh Mosque and the Islamic complex of Imamzadeh-ye Abd al-Samad. Continue on to Kashan and stay overnight at the beautiful Saraye-e-Ameriha Hotel. Considered by many to be the epitome of everything that is typically Persian, Kashan is famed for its mosques, caravanserais, stately gardens, carpets and ceramics. (B)

Day 16 Kashan to Tehran – 258 kms
This morning visit the Bagh-e Tarikhi-ye Fin which is one of the finest gardens in Iran. First planted during the Safavid period, the garden is a classical interpretation of paradise. From here visit some of Kashan’s traditional 19th century mansions, the most important of which are the Khan-e Borujerdi and Khan-e Tabatabei built by wealthy carpet merchants, then in the afternoon drive via the holy city of Qom to Tehran where you will stay two nights at the Espinas International Hotel. (B)

Day 17 Tehran
Today visit the National Museum which includes the Archaeological Museum, with its excellent collection of finds from Persepolis, Shush, Rey and Ismail Abad. Afterwards, head outside of the city to visit the Sa’ad Abad Palace and Museum complex which is situated within a spectacular mountainside parkland that was once the royal summer home. With more than 10 buildings to explore, highlights are the White Palace, the Nation’s Art Museum and the Green Palace. (B)

Day 18 Tehran to Istanbul
Istanbul to the UK

Today transfer back to Tehran Airport to catch the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. On your arrival connect onto the onward Turkish Airlines flight to the UK. (B)

Planning your journey: We can design a unique journey to suit you as our tours are totally tailor made. By combining your own ideas with our knowledge and experience we can help you to create your own journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some general or specific advice, please call us on 01892 515966 or simply send your ideas to info@pettitts.co.uk. On receipt of your enquiry we will provide you with a full written quotation together with our suggestions and recommendations.


Prices vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season, however, an indication to the current cost of this itinerary is £4,100. All prices are per person and are based on a minimum of TWO persons travelling together and sharing a twin bedded room with meals as indicated. If you wish to travel alone we will be pleased to assist you with your arrangements and can provide a proposal on request.

Note: Meal Basis (N) = No Meal; (B) = Breakfast; (L) = Lunch; (D) = Dinner

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Pettitts Travel is a trading name of CTT Group Ltd.