Today we wil have a full day's drive to the stunning old Safavid-era capital of Esfahan. Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings,
photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is
essential on any overland trip!).
On the following day we will have an included walking tour of the central highlights of Esfahan, including the showpiece central square of Naqsh-e Jahan and its surrounding mosques and royal palaces, the old bazaar, and the beautiful Jameh Mosque, one of the oldest in Iran. On our second full day here, we will have free time to explore more of Esfahan's incredible sites, such as its ancient bridges, the curious 'Shaking Minarets', the Armenian Vank Cathedral, or the evocative Martyrs' Cemetery. In Esfahan we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Activity Approximate Cost
Visit the magnificent and colossal city square of Naqsh-e Jahan, the centrepiece of the Safavidera city of Esfahan Included in Kitty
Explore the Shah Mosque, the public mosque of Esfahan built by Shah Abbas I and a masterpiece of Persian architecture Included in Kitty
See the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, once a private mosque for the emperor and his harem and home to some of the world's most beautiful and masterful internal tilework Included in Kitty
Explore the grand palace of Ali Qapu and discover the stunning wall paintings of the former residence of the Safavid emperors Included in Kitty
Wander the streets of Esfahan's old bazaar, dating from the 17th century Free
Walk around Esfahan's historical centre and visit the five iconic Safavid-era bridges across the Zayandeh river Free
Visit the Vank Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox church set up by the Armenian diaspora in the 17th century Free
Visit the stunning Jameh Mosque in Esfahan, one of the oldest mosques in Iran and an amalgamation of several different styles of Persian architecture Included in Kitty
See the curious 14th-century 'Shaking Minarets' in Esfahan, famous for the effect that if one minaret is shaken, the other will shake as well IRR 5000
Visit the very moving Martyrs' Cemetery of Esfahan, a patriotic tribute to soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s Free
Explore the site of the ancient Zoroastrian Fire Temples near Esfahan, where you get incredible views over the city and the surrounding valley IRR 40000
The friendly and beautiful city of Esfahan is often described as "the Jewel of Persia". The city rose into prominence when it was made the capital in 1598CE during the Safavid era and the reign of Shah Abbas I. During the 17thCentury, some of the most beautiful and inspiring architecture in the Islamic world was constructed in Esfahan. The cool, blue tiles of the buildings contrast perfectly with the hot dry Iranian countryside around it - and as you wander the city's streets, get lost in the bazaar and relax in the beautiful municipal gardens, it won't be long before you find yourself falling in love with this magical place.
A good place to start your explorations is Imam Square, with the Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace and Chehel Sotun Palace all located nearby. From the Ali Qapu Palace you can get excellent views of the bustling Imam Square and Esfahan's enormous covered bazaar, which houses over 5kms of narrow winding alleyways. The bazaar is famous for its brass work, miniature paintings, block-printed cloth and, of course, carpets. The nearby Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque has some of the finest interior tilework to be seen in the whole world. Other sights worth seeking out are the Friday Mosque and the many magnificent river bridges.
There are no meals included on this day.