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|#||Discount group||From adult||To adult||Value|
|1||2 Persons, 1560€ each person||2||2||€-500,00|
|2||3 Persons, 1629€ each person||3||3||€-955,00|
|3||4 Persons, 1310€ each person||4||4||€0,00|
With over 15 million residents, Tehran is Iran’s melting pot of Fars, Azeri, Kurd, and many other ethnicities. Checkout local shopping experiences in the maze-like Old Bazaar of Tehran, before heading off to the famed World Heritage-listed Golestan Palace, in Central Tehran. The 18th c. Qajar-era garden is a masterpiece of hand-painted tiles. Visit the nearby National Museum of Iran, which holds artifacts from ancient and medieval Iran, before resting for the night.
In the morning, head for the famed Alamut Valley, a mix of Patagonia, Switzerland, and Outback Australia. The valley is home to the remains of the heavily fortified lairs of the medieval world’s most feared religious cult. Hike towards Gazorkhan Village for Alamut Castle, the home of the legendary leader of the Assassins, the “Old Man on the Mountain”. Explore the remains of his famed library, garden, and training grounds. Finish the night with a trip to the nearby scenic Ovan Lake. Rest in a local homestay for the night.
In the morning head for the hillside stepped-village of Masuleh. Like many other settlements scattered throughout Iran’s many steep & mountainous folds, Masuleh features multipurpose housing, wherein each rooftop serves as the patio of its neighbors. Take time to explore the village’s ancient architecture, local customs & enchanting alleys. If you’re up for some trekking, you can explore some of the many scenic trails covering a vast landscape of green valleys, misty forests, and 3,000 m peaks. Head to Fuman for the night.
In the morning, head for the ancient shepherding path known as Khalkhal Road in Northern Iran’s Gilan province. The recently-paved road is famed for its rich flora & fauna, cool mountains, and extremely varying climate. A common destination for nature photographers, Khalkhal Road is also home to local farmers selling their organic produce on the roadside. Stop by local Khalkhal villages for a chance to indulge in some fresh cheese or juicy pasture-raised lamb kabobs. Rest in Sarein for the night.
The region surrounding the inactive volcano Mt. Sabalan is rife with geothermal activity. Visit Sarein’s famed Gavmish Goli Hot Spring, believed to have therapeutic properties due to high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. After lunch, head towards the troglodyte village of Kandovan, located near Mt. Sahand. The homes in the village are excavated out of the volcanic rocks and tuffs of Kandovan, much like the ones in Cappadocia, Turkey. After exploring, rest in a volcanic-rock homestay.
After a quick stroll and a local breakfast, head towards the city of Tabriz. The most populated city of northwestern Iran, Tabriz is the center of Iranian Azerbaijan, a Turkic-speaking community renowned for their local heritage. The city is known as Iran’s gateway to Europe. For lunch, try some of the mouth-watering Azeri kabobs, koofteh, or Dolmeh. After a hearty meal, explore some nearby attractions like the 19th c. Amir Nezam House or Qajar Museum, located in one of the oldest quarters of Tabriz.
Visit the Tabriz Municipality Building, known as the Sa'at Tower due to its massive clock. The German-designed building, along with its extensive display of well-maintained utilities and in-house carpet museum, are a must-see. Afterwards, head to the World-Heritage listed Tabriz Grand Bazaar, one of the most important commercial hubs on the Silk Road. Visit the Azerbaijan Museum or Iron Age Museum for some regional history. Finish the day with a trip to the pond-centered Shah Goli Shrine.
In the morning, head towards Zanjan. Stop by Mahneshan for its vibrantly-colored and neatly-layered hills, reminiscent of towering spice piles in the bazaars, a favorite of nature photographers. Once in Zanjan, stop by the Rakhtshooy Khaneh Edifice for a closer look at what life was like for local women a hundred years ago. If open, try to visit the Salt Men Museum for an up-close look at Achaemenid & Sassanid-era salt mummies from the nearby salt mines. Rest in Zanjan for the night.
In the morning, head towards Iranian Kurdistan. On the way, stop by the Dome of Soltaniyeh, the third biggest dome in the world and mausoleum of the 13th c. Mongol ruler Ilkhan Oljeitu. Take some time to explore the detailed structure and its surroundings. Afterwards, head for the city of Sanandaj, one of the major thriving centers of Kurdish culture. Time-permitting, visit the Sanandaj Museum, featuring exhibits of prehistoric, ancient, pre-Islamic & contemporary artefacts. Rest the night in Sanandaj.
Start with Khosro Abad Mansion, a residential palace of the late Ardalan Dynasty, rulers of Kurdistan for centuries. Visit the 19th c. Mastoureh Ardalan Statue, a resident of the mansion & the first female historian of Iran. Visit the Khan Hammam, featuring grey-and-white floral and bird motifs, attractive tiling, and remarkably lifelike ‘bathers. Head towards the Asef Vaziri Monument to learn about classic Kurdish life. Drive to Mariwan. Finish the day with Zarivar or Zrebar Lake, then rest in Mariwan.
In the morning, head for Uraman Takht Village. Known as the “Huraman” throne, the stepped-village of Uraman Takht dates back to Pre-Islamic times. Built into the steep slopes of the Uraman mountains facing the Sirvan river in the valley below, the villagers have unique customs, cultures, and languages that have stayed intact over thousands of years. Explore the nearby Darband-e Dezli region for its gorgeous green slopes and Abshar Maloor Waterfall. Spend the night in an Uraman Takht Homestay.
Drive towards Kermanshah, the largest Kurdish-speaking city in Iran. Explore Taq-e Bostan, an incredibly detailed rock relief from 4th century Sassanid Iran. Carved along a historic Silk Road waypoint, the relief highlights Iranian themes of glory, the fighting spirit & festivities. If possible, visit the uniquely Kurdish themed Jameh Mosque of Shafei. Time-permitting, end the day with the Tekyeh Moaven Al-Molk’s incredibly rich and storyful tileworks. Stop by the Tekyeh’s Anthropology & Jewelry Museums. Rest in Kermanshah.
Head to Mt. Bisotun, the setting for the ancient romantic story Shirin & Farhad. Visit the famed Behistun Inscription, an Achaemenid era stone relief. The inscription is to cuneiform as the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphics. Stop by the ancient Ganjnameh, two Achaemenid-era, mountainside inscriptions written in Old Persian, Neo-Babylonian, and Neo-Elamite. Time-permitting, visit the Mausoleum of Avicenna, known as the “Father of Modern Medicine”. Rest in Hamedan for the night.
Situated in the green foothills of the 3,500 m Mt. Alvand, in midwestern Iran, Hamedan served as the 8th c. BC capital of the Medes. Visit the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, the biblical Jewish queen, the Tomb of Baba Taher, the 11th c dervish poet, and the Alaviyan Dome, a Seljuk-era mosque-turned-mausoleum. Time permitting, head out for an excursion to Lalejin, Iran’s pottery, and ceramic capital. Head to Tehran for IKIA.
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