Adventure Associates

A journey from ancient Persia to modern Iran

Modern Iran is perhaps the most misunderstood country in the world. Home to the world’s greatest concentration of World Heritage listed historic sites and arguably one of the modern world’s most controversial nations.
The aim of our journey is to visit and learn about the ancient treasures of Persia and to understand the Iran of today. To find out what it really is like living in modern Iran we will to walk with the people, visit their homes, talk to mullahs and hear from people in the bazaars.

  • Accommodation in 4 & 5 star hotels handpicked for their history, character and charm, including the Abassi Hotel in Esfahan
  • Explore Esfahan – home to the most majestic collection of buildings in the Islamic world
  • Wander ancient Persepolis with it’s world heritage listed ruins
  • Experience real Iranian hospitality in the desert oasis of Garmeh
  • Explore Shiraz – the heartland of Persian culture
  • Marvel at the soaring minarets and blue tile domes of Yazd with it’s qanats and badgirs
  • Explore the unique architecture of Masuleh, one of Iran’s most picturesque villages
  • The Blue Mosque and UNESCO listed Bazaar of Tabriz
  • Alborz Mountain Chain and Caspian Sea
  • Photogenic Kandovan – the ancient Troglodyte settlement

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATIONShiraz – Iran / Tehran – Iran

06 November 2019 – 20 November 2019 This is a guaranteed departure

Private departures also available – between March – May & September – November  

DURATION15 days/14 nights
PRICES per person

AU$7,990 twin share rate 

AU$9,350 single rate 


GROUP SIZE4-12 Guest
Adventure Associates Escort
Local English speaking guide
All Accommodation
All Meals as specified
All transfers, sightseeing, domestic flights and touring as indicated
Bottled water
Entrance fees sightseeing tours/park entry fees
All currently applicable service charges and taxes
International air-tickets and taxes
Guide gratuity
Excess baggage on any flight
Vaccination costs
Passport or Visa fees
Travel Insurance
Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry
Any other meals or sightseeing not specified in the detailed itinerary

Additional information


Day 1

Shiraz is the heartland of Persian culture and one of the most important cities in medieval Islam. It is synonymous with poetry and wine, education and nightingales. This beautiful city, set in a fertile valley once famed for its vineyards, is home to exquisite mosques and splendidly manicured gardens. We begin with a visit to the Masjed-e Nasir-al-Molk, one of the most elegant mosques in southern Iran with its exquisite blue tiling, intricately carved pillars and beautiful stained glass. Today we also visit the Narenjestan Garden, wander through the bazaar to Vakil Bath and Masjed-e Vakil. Dominating the city centre is the fortress Arg-e Karim Khan. Built in the early Zand period, the walls feature ornamental brickwork. In the evening we visit the tomb of the famous poet Khajeh Shams-ed-Din Mohammed or Hafez. Overnight Shiraz. L,D


Day 2

After breakfast we set out for Yazd and  Persepolis, the ancient Achaemenid empire, the ruins we see today hint at the grand scale of this once great empire, which was built over a period of 150 years from 520BC. During our time at Persepolis we also visit the Naqsh-e Rostam. These four tombs are believed to be those of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I. Another 50kms north we visit the ruins of the city of Pasargadae, established by Cyrus the Great in around 546BC. After lunch we continue on our way to Yazd via the town of Abarkuh, Overnight Yazd. B,L,D


Day 3

Yazd is a maze of historic streets and lanes, an enchanting place to wander through.  The city has some of the finest examples of architecture and Persian mosaics in Iran. Many of the old buildings have magnificent wind catchers (badgirs) with large underground areas. Today we explore the Masjed-e Jameh, one of the most stunning mosques in Iran, the Ateshkadeh (Zoroastrian Fire Temple) and the Towers of Silence. Following lunch we hope to visit the water museum where we learn the importance of the Qanats (underground water channels). Given its location sandwiched between two deserts, water and its management has been crucial to the survival of the city throughout millennia. The museum examines the role water has played and provides insight into the lives of the men who at great risk maintained the tunnels. Later in the afternoon we wander the old city and bazaar. Overnight Yazd. B,L,D


Day 4-5

After breakfast we embark on our road journey to the desert town of Garmeh. Enroute we take time to visit Meybod, a sprawling mud brick town approximately 50km north if Yazd. Here we find the crumbling Narin Castle, which dates back to Sasanian times. From the top we are treated to fantastic photo opportunities with views across Meybod and into the desert. A true desert oasis, Garmeh is a picturesque 1500 year old mud brick village surrounded by date palms. It is a wonderful place to experience true Iranian hospitality and home cooking, and showcases another unique and ancient side of Iran. Overnight home stay. B,L,D


Day 6

We embark upon our road journey to Esfahan. Enroute we stop at the Jame Mosque in Na’in. This mosque was built in the 10th and 11th Century, it was one of the first mosques constructed in Iran, and it remains one of its most outstanding monuments. Na’in is also famous for it’s wool textiles and high quality carpets, although Esfahan is the best place to see carpets from all over Iran. On arrival in Esfahan we check in to our accommodation. The evening is a lovely time to walk by the river and cross the historical bridge. Overnight Esfahan. B,L,D


Day 7-8

Visually Esfahan is a most stunning city with its tree lined boulevards, Persian gardens and many important Islamic buildings such as the Masjed-e Jameh, Masjed-e Shah, Imam Mosque and square and Chehel Sotun Palace. On our first day in this fascinating city we visit the Imam Square and mosque, Sheikh Lotfolah Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace, and of course a carpet workshop. In the evening we visit the Chehel Sotun Palace and afterwards wander through the Old Square. One of the highlights of our entire journey in Iran is the Jameh Mosque, and we take a few hours here to gain some appreciation of this stunning complex. In the afternoon we visit the Kelisa-ye Vank, and Khaju Bridge, one of the finest examples of Persian architecture at the height of Safavid cultural influence in Iran. It links the Khaju quarter on the north bank with the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayandeh River. Although functioning as a bridge and weir, it also serves as a building and public meeting place. Overnight Esfahan. B,L,D


Day 9

A lovely oasis town on the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir, Kashan is known for its textiles, pottery and tiles. It also has a number of notable 19th century buildings and a lively bazaar. We take time to visit the Fin Garden, and traditional houses of Khan-e Tabatabei and Khan-e Boroujerdi, these are grand houses of their era, featuring beautifully intricate stone reliefs, fine stucco and wonderful mirror and stained glass work. In the bazaar, time permitting, we pay a visit to the Masjed-e Soltani and the 800 year old Mir Amad Mosque. After lunch we continue on our way to Tehran, arriving in the late afternoon we check in to our hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Tehran. B,L,D


Day 10

Tehran is the capital of Iran and has a population of 14 million. The city has many historic mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples, however modern structures such as the Azadi Tower and Milad Tower have come to symbolize contemporary Iran. The vast majority of the population understand and speak Persian, and also identify themselves as Persians. Tehran is a large, interesting and modern city, with nightlife, restaurants and cafés, shopping and business centres, which are a stark contrast to the fascinating ancient sites such as the Golestan Palace.  Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date back to the 19th century. This really is one of the greatest sites in Iran, and we take our time wandering through the complex with our knowledgeable guide. In the afternoon we visit the Jewellery museum, which is so valuable it is now housed in the Central Bank of Iran. Overnight Tehran. B,L,D


Day 11

Leaving Tehran behind we drive north towards the Alborz mountain chain. Enroute we take time to explore the Ghale RudKhan. Located approx. 25 kilometres from Foman city, we take a very worthwhile, one hour hike uphill to access the castle. Believed to be built during the Sejluk dynasty, the most stunning aspect of the castle is its entrance gate. We eventually reach the historical village of Masuleh, one of Iran’s most beautiful villages. Masuleh’s earth coloured houses are built on a steep mountain side and draped in mist shrouded forest. The architecture is unique, in that the buildings are built into the mountain side and are interconnected. Due to the unique layout, motor vehicles are not permitted to enter Masuleh. In the late afternoon we have time to wander the small alleys, visit the charming tea terraces, and of course meet the local people. Continue on towards Ardabil. B,L,D


Day 12

We have a leisurely start today before continuing on towards the tomb of Sheikh Safi at Ardabil via the Caspian Sea. Overnight Ardabil. B,L,D


Day 13

Reminiscent of Capodocia in Turkey, is a settlement of troglodyte homes carved out of rock. Set beyond the ancient village of Kandovan are the foothills leading to Mt Sahand, a volcano which stands at 3707metres. It is a very picturesque landscape and so be sure to have your camera at the ready. Overnight Tabriz. B,L,D


Day 14

Today we visit the UNESCO listed Tabriz Bazaar. This is a magnificent labyrinth which covers 7 square kilometres with 24 separate caravanserais and 22 impressive domed halls. Construction began a millennium ago, and it is an extraordinary experience to wander through the colourful maze and take in the sights and sounds. Another famous site in Tabriz is the Blue Mosque, one of the most glorious building of its era. In the afternoon we take our flight back to Tehran. The rest of the day is at leisure before venturing out for our final dinner. B,L,D


Day 15

Today is the final day of our stunning journey through Iran. After breakfast we transfer to the airport for onward arrangements. B


Arman Gandomkar

Arman is a native of Tehran, and holds an associate degree in tourism from the University of Applied Science and Technology in Tehran. He is fluent in English and has completed courses in advance tour leadership and historical architecture. A lecturer on Iranian handicraft, historical mosques and traditional houses, Arman has also been published in major newspapers for his articles on cultural heritage. Arman is a popular and experienced tour leader, a veritable walking encyclopedia with a professional and personable manner. We are most fortunate to have Arman as our main guide, his passion for his country Iran makes him a favourite with our groups.

How to Book

To book your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us along with your  AU$1000 per person deposit.

Deposit required per person:AU$1000 per person
Balance due:75 days prior to departure
If booking within 74 days of departure:Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.


Cancellation must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 100 days prior to departureAU$500 per person
Between 99 and 75 days prior to departureFull loss of deposit per person
Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure75% of tour cost per person
On or within 30 days prior to departureNo Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

Persia to Iran

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
January 11, 2017

Having travelled many times along threads of the Silk Road in China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, I have acquired a love of Islamic architecture and art. My family had told me stories about crossing through Iran on a bus trip from Bombay to London back in the 1950’s and raved about the beauty of the great blue domes and mosaics of Esfahan. So when Adventure Associates presented their comprehensive itinerary to me, I was excited by the prospect of a visit to Iran during this point of time in history, so I booked at once.
There were five members in our group and we had Arman our excellent Iranian guide who made it his duty to see that we got the most out of everything. Wherever we went we were made to feel comfortable – strangers would approach us with “Welcome to Iran”. One special encounter was joining Iranian women in hot spring baths. That was the first time we had been face to face without scarves or chador – marvellous!
How wonderful it was to see all those stories told to me by my aunt come to life. We returned to Australia feeling we had not only seen incredible historic sites, but we had learnt so much and met so many interesting people and to top it off, paddled in the Caspian Sea.

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