Return to Iran

15 days from £3980 per person

A tour for those travellers who are either returning to Iran or who like to venture to places rarely visited by the ordinary traveller, 'Return to Persia' introduces another side of this fascinatingly diverse country. With monuments and scenery that rival the more established destinations, this tour encompasses not only the forested mountains of the Caspian Sea and the Silk Route caravan trail that borders the fringes of the Great Salt Desert but also sites such as the tomb of Mongol Khan Oljaitu and the Gonbad-e-Qabus tomb.

Journey Highlights

Tabriz is the largest city in the Iranian Azerbaijan region. It is an academic city with some of the most prestigious universities and cultural institutes. Tabriz is famous for its confectionary.

Ramsar is a popular seaside resort for Iranians. The town offers hot springs, the forests of the Alborz Mountains and the Shah’s former palace, now an atmospheric hotel.

Iran’s second city, Mashhad was a major oasis city on the Silk Road and home to many literary figures. The shrine of Imam Reza is here and each year millions of pilgrims pay their tributes.

Day 1 London to Tehran

Fly with British Airways directly to Tehran. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Tehran

Arrive into Tehran in the early morning, where you will be met and transferred to the Espinas Hotel (room reserved from Day 1) where you will stay for two nights. In the afternoon visit Archaeological, Glass and Carpet Museums.(N)

Day 3 Tehran to Qazvin – 245kms

This morning drive to the Assassin castle of Hassan-e-Sabbah at Alamut and climb 700 steps to the battered ruins and a great view. Afterwards return to Qazvin where you will stay overnight at the Marmar Hotel. (B)

Day 4 Qazvin to Zanjan – 160kms

In the morning tour Qazvin then drive the 160kms to Zanjan visiting en-route the superb and imposing 14th Century Tomb of Oljaitu at Sultaniyeh. Stay one night at the Zanjan Grand Hotel. (B)

Day 5 Zanjan to Tabriz – 294kms.

Today visit Zanjan’s Ethnographic Museum then driven via Bostanabad onto Tabriz. Stay for two nights at the Tabriz International Hotel. (B)

Day 6 Tabriz

In the morning visit the Blue Mosque with glorious but much-damaged tile work, as well as the Arg and the Azerbaijan Museum. In the afternoon visit the troglodyte village of Kandovan. (B)

Day 7 Tabriz to Astara – 416kms

Leave Tabriz and continue onto Ardabil to visit the complex of Safavid buildings surrounding the Tomb of Sheikh Safi-ed-Din. Afterwards continue onto the border town of Astara on the Caspian where you will stay overnight at the Espinas Hotel. (B)

Day 8 Astara to Ramsar – 287kms

This morning drive along the Caspian Sea and up to the picturesque mountain village of Massuleh before continuing onto Ramsar. Stay two nights at the Ramsar Kowsar Hotel, Reza Shah’s 1930s showpiece. (B)

Day 9 Ramsar

Today you are at leisure on the Caspian Riviera where you could visit the old Royal Palace or take an opportunity to walk in the woods. (B)

Day 10 Ramsar to Gorgan – 384kms

Today continue through the rice fields of the Caspian shore via Chalus and Sari to Gorgan. Stay one night at the Nahar-Khoran Tourist Inn. (B)

Day 11 Gorgan to Mashhad – 577kms

This morning leave Gorgan and drive out to the spectacular 11th Century tomb tower at Gonbad-e-Qabus, perhaps the world’s tallest brick monument. Continue on into Khorasan through wild country with excellent spring flowers to Mashhad, pausing at the beautifully decorated brick Radkan tomb tower, once a guidepost on the old caravan routes. On your arrival in Mashhad stay for two nights at the Javad Hotel. (B)

Day 12 Mashhad

Mashhad, the burial place of the 8th Shiite Imam, is the country’s holiest city. Today visit the outer courts and museums of the amazingly gilded Holy Shrine complex as well as the Khwaja Rabi mausoleum and the tomb of the 18th Century king Nader Shah. At nearby Tus, visit the tomb of the poet Ferdowsi. (B)

Day 13 Mashhad to Shahrud – 482kms

Today take the desert road westwards along the Silk Route, visiting Nishapur and the Tomb of Omar Khayyam as well as the magnificent caravanserai at Miandasht. Stay overnight near Shahrud at the Bastam Tourist Inn. (B)

Day 14 Shahrud to Tehran – 401kms

After breakfast, visit the complex of early Islamic buildings around the tomb of Bayazid Bastami then drive on towards Tehran visiting en-route one of Persia’s earliest mosques at Damghan. Stay overnight in Tehran at the Espinas Hotel. (B)

Day 15 Tehran to London

Depart Tehran on the British Airways flight to London Heathrow. (B)

KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request

What To Do Next?

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 unique journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some advice, please call us or simply request a quotation

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Experts in Private Guided Journeys

For over 27 years Pettitts has led the field in arranging unique tailor-made journeys. Our expert well-travelled team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same. Please call us for more information or complete our enquiry form to request a quotation.

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