From Persepolis to
Isfahan: exploring Iran (8 days)
Tehran is a living and growing capital city and as in
the recent two centuries, the most important events in the history of
the whole country take place here. Tehran with its numerous museums
houses the most important collection of recent and remote Persian art
and culture. Shiraz, the city of nightingales, poetry and roses is the
center of Fars Province. Fars has had a role of great significance in
the Iranian civilization. This province is greatly indebted to the
settlement of the Achaemenid and Sassanian dynasties for its glorious
cultural heritage. Scattered all over the territory of Fars are
monuments materializing the rapid progress of the province in both
pre-Islamic and Islamic era.
A visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis is one of the
highlights of any trip to Iran. Persepolis is the best preserved of
Persia’s ruined cities and the finest legacy of the great Achaemenid
Empire which ruled Persia between 559 and 330 BC. The most impressive
features of the ruins are the splendid bas-reliefs, which adorn many of
the staircases and palaces on the site and provide a rich treasure house
of ancient history. At Necropolis you will find the tomb of the three
powerful Achaemenian Kings carved into huge rocks overlooking one of the
oldest Zoroastrian fire temples. At Pasargad, the first structure you’ll
come across is the tomb of Cyrus the Great. Legend has it that when
Alexander the Great arrived at Pasargad, he was greatly distressed by
the destruction of the tomb and ordered its restoration.
Yazd is still home to Iran’s largest community of Zoroastrians, and the
best place to visit an Ateshkadeh (House of Eternal Fire) and the Towers
of Silence, the Zoroastrian burial grounds. Although the temple is
modern (built in the 1940s), the sacred fire has been burning since 470
AD. Yazd is also an ancient city with its unique desert architecture and
its “Badgirs”, the wind towers designed to catch and circulate the
merest breath of wind. The mosques of Yazd are like no others and the
magnificent Jame Mosque dominates the old city. Its remarkably high,
tiled entrance, flanked with two magnificent minarets and adorned with
an inscription from the 15th century, is simply superb. This city has
always been a great weaving center, known for its silks and other
fabrics even before Marco Polo passed through along one of the Silk
Routes in the late 13th century.
Isfahan is Iran’s masterpiece, the jewel of ancient Persia and one of
the finest cities in the Islamic world. The exquisite blue mosaic tiles
of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings, its expansive bazaar and the city’s
gorgeous bridges demand as much of your time as you can spare. The
history of the city dates back to 2700 years ago. It was the capital of
Iran in a number of the post-Islamic periods, but its golden age was
during the Safavid dynasty in 17th century. Isfahan with numerous
monuments for which it is world-famous has the greatest attractions for
tourists. It is really a "musée vivant".
Click on the Map above for an
|Best Time to Travel: From the
beginning of March to the end of May, and from the beginning of
September to the end of November. A good time to travel is a couple
of weeks before or after each New Year. Visit the south of Iran
during January and February. For trekking or skiing, Iran is a year
Inoculations are recommended for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Polio,
Typhoid. None of the above are obligatory for entry in Iran. Malaria
is present in a number of regions of Iran, thus prophylactics are
recommended (Contact your GP)
The Currency is the Iranian rial (IRR).
Time zone difference is GMT +3 1/2
Visa is required in advance for entry(download
in Pdf format).
Electricity: round European plug type required. Voltage: V220
Bottled mineral water is available throughout the country and you
are advised to drink this.
Population is approximately 68.5 million people.
Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%,
Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%.
Religions: Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 9%, Zoroastrian,
Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i 2%.
Languages: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and
Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%,
Turkish 1%, other 2% people.