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Iran... From East to West along the Caspian Sea

May 07 to 16, 2019

Iran is home to a quite breathless mix of spectacular madrassas, exquisite mosques and some of the most wonderful examples of Islamic architecture in the world. Everywhere you look, the magnificence of 2,500 years of history lies all around you. Ancient Persia has been the seat of many civilizations and unique contributions in poetry, art, architecture, science and history. Many of Iran’s achievers have contributed to our modern world. Most of the country’s archaeological gems are well preserved and portray a rich historical heritage. Your tour will not only explore ancient ruins and colorful cities but also exotic bazaars and old baths. Marvel at ancient monuments and beautifully tiled mosques. Stroll through medieval bazaars that remain much as they were centuries ago. Stop to visit local nomadic tribes when driving across the vast country. Your journey will take you to Yazd the center of Zoroastrian culture, to Shiraz city of poets which has had major Jewish and Christian communities and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Isfahan, and Persepolis. Come and discover Iran, a repository of grand relics and ruins.

This trip can be added as an extension to Turkmenistan (April 26 to May 07, 2019)

This abbreviated version of our itinerary does not begin to do justice to the many wonderful sights we experienced on this fabulous tour, nor to the delicious Persian cuisine. – Michael A. Rea

Cost per person in single(Land ONLY): $3,350.00

Led by Local guide

Price based on a group size minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 participants

Your tour does not include

  • International airfare

  • Iran visa (Cost is currently $201.00 - subject to change) Passport should not include any Israeli stamps.

  • Items of a personal nature (camera fees at sites, laundry, phone calls, emails, excess luggage, etc.)

  • Travel protection insurance.

  • Transfers if not arriving/departing on scheduled flights/tour dates.

  • Dayroom or overnights necessitated by changes in airline schedules.

  • Tipping to guide, drivers, porters, hotel and restaurant staff.

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in Deluxe and First class properties in most cities & one or two hotels superior tourist class in smaller towns for few nights.

  • All meals (Full-board) as specified in the itinerary: (B-breakfast, L-lunch and D-dinner).

  • All tours as per itinerary including entrance fees and high qualified English speaking guide throughout the trip.

  • Transfers/transportation by comfortable modern A/C vehicle during the whole tour.

  • Mineral water on touring days.

  • All local taxes and service charges on included items.

Trip Grade:

II Active - Some hikes, slightly more demanding walks at or to sites, few elevations, comfortable but busy schedule and some long bus rides.

Lodging Level:

***-**** Moderate to 5* – In larger cities, big modern hotels, typical western standard with ample venues & full amenities. (4- 5 stars) in all cities while one hotel only is a smaller 3* property but comfortable and suitable for one night.

Trip Grade: Moderately-Rigorous Touring

We will be covering great distances by road during this journey. The roads are very good and the air-conditioned vehicle comfortable. You will often be served cold water, tea and fruits along the way. We will make several rest stops (some will not be five star bathrooms and others will be in the beautiful wilderness). It is important to recognize the exhausting nature of some of the long driving days as well as some of the site visits where you might have to climb on uneven terrain and do some walks. Also, it is our responsibility to inform you that despite the immense progress in standard of accommodations over the last years, you might still encounter minor annoyances, such as leaky plumbing fixtures, or hot water interruptions in hotels. This will necessitate a flexible, tolerant attitude and a sense of humor. Women will be required to wear loose, ankle-length dresses with long sleeves or pants and tunic and have their hair covered with a scarf or shawl at all times when outside their hotel rooms.

View Tour Itinerary

Tuesday, May 07
Bajgiran Border – Tous - Mashhad

We will meet you in Bajgiran Border and transfer you to Mashhad. En route we will have a stop in Tous to visit the Tomb of Ferdowsi , a Tomb Complex composed of a white marble base, and a decorative edifice erected in honor of this Persian poet built in the early 1930s.The construction of the Mausoleum as well as its aesthetic design is a reflection of the cultural, and geo-political status of Iran at the time. Then we will visit Huranieh tomb, the old brick building, known as the Huranieh dome, restored in recent decades . Public called this building the Haroonia Prison.There is a memorial stone under the name of Mohammad Ghazali in the middle of the courtyard. We will continue our way to Mahshad. At night we will go to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza Complex contains the Mausoleum of the eighth Imam .The complex consists of 26 buildings, 9 courtyards and 6 entrances Check in the hotel and take a rest.

Wednesday, May 08
Mashhad – Nishapur - Sabzevar-Shahroud

Before leaving Mashhad, we will move to Naderi Garden- Museum Complex, built in 1963 in honor of the Afsharid Nader Shah (King).The Mausoleum consists of the Tomb of Nader Shah, which is Located in the center, and two halls, one is the Museum of Iranian Weapons from different eras and the other is the Museum of Artifacts of Nader Shah Era. En route of Mashhad to Shahroud , first we will have a stop in Nishapur to visit Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam, a Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet. He was born in Nishapur and spent most of his life there. After having a city tour in Nishapur, we will continue our journey to Sabzevar, one of the main roads of the Silk Road to visit Khosrogerd Minaret. This piece of architecture dates back to the 6th century AH. It stands about 38 and is made of bricks. The brick work is enhanced with tablets of ‘Kufi’ inscriptions. Then continue our way to Shahroud, check in the hotel and take a rest. (B,L,D)

Thursday, May 09
Shahroud - Gorgan

Before leaving Shahroud, we will visit Bayazid Bastami Tomb, he had great influence on Sufi mysticism and is considered to be one of the important early teachers of Sufi Islam. Arriving Gorgan we will move to Ghorogh Village to visit a new museum calling Ghorogh Cultural Museum, gathering and exhibiting all the symbols, handicrafts and indigenous knowledge of the villages of the province. (B,L,D)

Friday, May 10

Today we will leave Gorgan to Chalus, enjoying the green road , we will have a short stop in Sari and then continue our route to Chalus, check in the hotel next to the beach and enjoy the beauties of Caspiab sea. (B,L,D)

Saturday, May 11

Time to leave Chalus to Rasht via Ramsar,we will have a city tour in Ramsar for visiting Sadat Mahale Tea-making Factory. Tea production is a major industry in the Caspian Sea area and a large part of its economy. Before 1900, there was no tea production in Iran, but in 1895, an Iranian diplomat named Kashef Al Saltaneh decided to change that. We continue our day by moving to Marmar Palace (Khazar Museum), used to be Reza Shah's Palace. It contains ancient Iranian artifacts, as well as artistic and social works of the people of the Caspian Coast in Northern Iran. Near Khazar Museum , there are another museum calling Aj Museum, the first specialized ivory museum in the Middle East, with the display of highly significant works on ivory, passes information to domestic and foreign tourists. Continue our journey through Chalus, check in the hotel and take a rest. Arriving Rasht we start sightseeing by moving to visit Mirza Koochak khan House, he is an early twentieth century national hero who was the founder of a revolutionary movement based in the forests of Gilan. Then visiting Safi Mosque, It is so called after Mohammad Mirza, known as Safi Mirza, the eldest son of Shah Abbas. Shah Abbas named the same Shaheedieh as it was the site of the murder of young and innocent princes. The Safi Mosque has beautiful plaster and mosaic work. It is important because of the historical, cultural and artistic aspects. We will end our day by moving to Kolah Farangi Building, the wooden building is about 200 year old. (B,L,D)

Sunday, May 12

Before leaving Rasht, we will move to Fish Market, and then continue our route to kalibar. We will have a long driving Passing Khlkhal & Ardebil. In Ardabil we will visit Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Then you will move to Fandoghlou Forest , 30 km from Ardabil, famous because of its beautiful and accessible scenery. We will stay overnight in Ardabil. (B,L,D)

Monday, May 13
Ardabil - Kaleybar

After having Breakfast, we will move to Kaleybar to visit Babak Castle,the well-preserved Babak Castle (Qaleh Babak) lies at an altitude of 2,300m, some 3km from the Kaleybar. This Sasanid castle, named after Babak the warlord, managed to resist the Arab armies until 839CE. In the ruins of the rooms and corridors, pottery and coins dating from the 13th century have been found by Iranian archaeologists and restoration teams. Access is difficult, but the scenery is stunning, taking over an hour each way. We will stay overnight in Kaleybar. (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 14

This is time to leave Kaleybar to Tabriz, arriving Tabriz, we will visit the Constitution House, also known as Khaneh Mashrouteh, is a historical edifice located next to the Great Bazaar . During the years which led to Constitutional Revolution and afterwards the house was used as a gathering place of the leaders, activists and sympathizers of the movement. The most beautiful part of the house is a skylight and corridor decorated with colorful glass and mirrors. Poets Cemetery (Maghbarat-ol-Shoa’ara), will be the next sight to be visited , according to experts, it is more than a cemetery and can be considered as a literary complex. We will end our day by going to the El-Goli Park. A large historic park containing an artificial lake full of beautiful sceneries. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, May 15
Tabriz – Jolfa - Tabriz

Today we will have an excursion to visit Saint Thaddeus the tradition of the Armenian Apostolic Church, also known as Saint Jude, evangelized the region of Armenia and Persia. Thaddeus suffered martyrdom in Armenia, according to the same tradition, and is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Church. Legend has it that a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in AD 68. Then move to Tabriz, and start sightseeing in this city by visiting the Blue Mosque, known in the world as the Turquoise of Islam, and Azerbaijan Museum, displaying a fine collection of per-historic and historic artifacts found in the area; also visit the extensive and interesting Tabriz Bazaar (UNESCO site). (B, L, D)

Thursday, May 16
Tabriz - USA

You will be transferred to Tabriz Airport for departure flight, Wish you a great flight and hope to visit you in Iran once again. (B)

We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed