Map of Premium Iran including Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Colour, charisma and ancient cultures combine in Iran

Admired by many and explored by few, Iran’s spellbinding history and enchanting culture make it a destination like no other. Discover Ancient Persia on a 13-day Premium round-trip from Tehran and come face to face with glittering mosques, quiet hillside villages and dazzling bazaars. Learn what it means to be local during priceless interactions with Iran’s kind-hearted people and uncover a nation with so many stories to tell.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tehran, Iran
Finish
Tehran, Iran
Destination
Iran
Style
Premium
Theme
Explorer
Code
HAPP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Visit Yazd – once a major stop along the ancient Silk Road – and discover the role religion plays in the city, from the impressive Jameh Mosque to the Zoroastrian towers and temples.

  • Experience the joys of Persian cuisine during a welcome dinner of north Iranian specialties in Tehran, dinner in the home of a local family in Kashan, a visit to a traditional sweet shop in Yazd and a home cooked meal with a Zoroastrian couple in Taft.

  • Explore one of the greatest cities of antiquity in Persepolis. The relief carvings and towering columns will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world.

  • Spend two fabulous evenings in your feature stay accommodation – the Dad Hotel in Yazd. Enjoy traditionally decorated rooms paired with fabulous facilities and an enviable location in the heart of the city.

  • Your local leader is on hand each day to give to bridge connections with the locals, give you an insight into Iran’s rich history and take you to the best bazaars, making your adventure in this intriguing country a breeze.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. It is very important that you adhere to a strict dress code – particularly for women – in what may be quite warm weather. Upon arrival in Iran, all women must wear a headscarf and must also have their arms and legs covered. Men must also be conservatively dressed.

  • Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran and severe penalties will be incurred by anyone attempting to bring it into the country. Drug laws are also extremely strict, and travellers face lengthy jail terms if caught. Other prohibited items include pork, material deemed obscene by Iranian law (which can include non-pornographic materials like fashion magazines), and controversial literature. These will all be confiscated by customs officials. Upon arrival, you as a foreigner will likely be whisked through customs but note that random bag checks do occur.

  • It's becoming increasingly difficult to confirm preferred hotels due to limited four-star options in the region. While we will always look to the next suitable alternative, in some cases these may not be centrally located. It's important to note that local star ratings may not match those you are used to. In some locations, the three-star hotels are a better quality (and location) than the four-star hotels and are priced accordingly.

  • Iran is a big country and you’ll cover a lot in two weeks, which means some long travel days and a busy itinerary. All land travel is in private air-conditioned buses, with regular stops along the way.

  • In 2022, Ramadan will take place from 2 April to 1 May. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience. However, some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period.

Itinerary

Welcome to Iran! Your adventure begins in Tehran, the country’s exciting and chaotic capital. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet your leader and fellow travellers for an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive with time to spare, you may like to pay a visit to the Treasury of National Jewels – be sure to time your visit, as it is closed on some days of the week. After your meeting, join your leader and small group for a welcome dinner. As you won’t visit northern Iran on this tour, your taste buds will take a trip there when you dine at a restaurant serving regional Gilani specialities. Perhaps try some Mirza Ghassemi, a tasty smoked aubergine dish, or Baqala Qatoq, a flavoursome stew. Follow the local’s lead and make an event out of a meal, relishing good company and wonderful food.
Accommodation
  • Tehran Grand Hotel II or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tehran - Welcome Dinner
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Tehran - Carpet Museum of Iran - IRR300000
  • Tehran -Treasury of National Jewels - IRR3000000
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel. Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. This journey takes approximately 1 hour.

Please note that we use a local supplier for your arrival airport transfer. As tourism is a developing industry in Iran, your driver may not speak English.
Today you will get acquainted with Tehran during a full-day tour with your knowledgeable leader. Begin your explorations at the World Heritage-listed Golestan Palace – an opulent masterpiece of the Qajar era embodying early Persian design. Continue with a stroll through the Tehran Old Bazaar – still the economical heart of the country, your leader will help you navigate the mystifying maze of stalls selling everything from copper to carpets. Then, make a visit to the National Museum. While it may not look as inspiring as other city buildings from the outside, inside is a treasure trove of Iran's rich history. Keep your eye out for the Salt Man from Zanjan – preserved in salt for centuries.
Accommodation
  • Tehran Grand Hotel II or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tehran - City Tour
  • Tehran - National Museum of Iran
  • Tehran - Golestan Palace
  • Tehran - Old Bazaar
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the Treasury of National Jewels is closed on Wednesday and Thursdays and is not included today. If you would like to visit this museum, it is open from Saturday to Tuesday, so we suggest allowing time either on Day 1 or at the end of your Iran adventure.
Drive to Kashan in the morning – a merchant town known for its high-quality ceramics, silks, carpets and fine houses. Visit the lush Bagh-e Tarikhi-ye Fin (Fin Garden), a classical Persian garden that contains Kashan's Fin Bath. This is where Amir Kabir – the Qajarid chancellor and a nationalist hero – was murdered under the orders of King Nadir al-Din in 1852. Spend time at the fascinating Tabatabaei Historical House. Built in the 1840s for the affluent Tabatabaei family, exceptional attention was paid to every architectural detail of this building as dictated by the geography and climate of the area. Spend the evening in Kashan and experience Iranian hospitality as your group shares an evening meal with a local family. Gain a special insight into Iranian life and hear about their brave and unconventional career paths – one of your hosts is a female tour guide in this very religious city. After a wonderful evening sharing food and stories, retire for the evening at your accommodation – a traditional Iranian-style house.
Accommodation
  • Morshedi House I or II or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kashan -Tabatabaei Historical House
  • Kashan - Bazaar
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens (entrance fee and guide)
  • Kashan - Home-cooked Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3 hours.
After breakfast, depart for the ancient desert city of Yazd, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major stop on so-called caravan routes to Central Asia and India during the Silk Road period. Stop en route in Ardestan, a small village that charms with its old clay houses. Continue to Aqda, a lesser-known and delightful village, where you’ll enjoy a Persian lunch in a beautiful restaurant that has been lovingly converted from an old house. Relax on the fabulous rooftop and enjoy a meal celebrating the pomegranate orchards of the region. Arrive in Yazd in the late afternoon and indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to a renowned confectionery maker at Haj Khalifeh Ali Rahbar. Taste generations of expertise at the oldest and most well-known sweet shop in the city, where treats are made with traditional techniques. The next two evenings will be spent in the Dad Hotel, your feature stay accommodation. A celebration of Iranian architecture, this historical building has been stunning visitors since 1928. Large rooms flaunt traditional décor – Persian carpets and colourful tiles are paired with modern amenities. The grand courtyard garden is the hotel’s gorgeous centrepiece, and accommodating staff and swish service will make you feel at home.
Accommodation
  • Dad Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yazd - Traditional sweet shop visit and tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4.5 hours.
It is sometimes difficult to confirm your Feature Stay in Yazd, and for this reason, we have selected an alternative unique accommodation experience in Yazd, which is the Laleh Hotel. If you would like to confirm in advance which hotel your tour will stay at, please check with an Intrepid booking agent 30 days prior to departure.
This morning your leader will introduce you to the old part of the city. Begin at the Amir Chakhmaq complex then follow your leader through narrow lanes, past courtyards and mud-brick buildings, hearing the city’s tales and legends along the way. Your leader will point out Yazd’s badgirs, which are windcatchers that blow cool breezes into the buildings below as an ancient form of air conditioning. Afterwards, visit two vestiges of Yazd’s Zoroastrian heritage on a trip to the Fire Temple and the Towers of Silence. Zoroastrianism, dating back over 4000 years, was the state religion of Iran before the arrival of Islam. This evening, head to the tiny village of Taft where you will be welcomed into the home of a Zoroastrian family for a home cooked dinner. After spending the afternoon learning about the history of Zoroastrianism, you’ll have the unique opportunity to speak to your hosts about how the religion plays into their modern lives. Learn how to make a special Zoroastrian bread then sit back and enjoy a traditional meal among the house’s pomegranate and tamarind trees.
Accommodation
  • Dad Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yazd - Zoroastrian Fire Altar and Towers of Silence
  • Yazd - Amir Chakhmaq Complex
  • Yazd - City Tour
  • Yazd - Home-cooked Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
This morning, travel from Yazd to Shiraz. On the way, stop at the ice houses of Abarkooh. These ancient domed structures were used to store ice and food for thousands of years, keeping produce fresh in the days before refrigeration. Your leader will explain how their clever design combats Iran’s sweltering summer heat. The Abarkooh Cypress tree is the focal point of this village and is believed to be 4500 years old – a popular symbol of 'life and beauty'. Take a moment to stand in its shade as your leader tells you how this miraculous tree is thought to be the oldest living organism in Iran. Continue to Shiraz, arriving in the late afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Zandiyeh Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Abarkooh - Cypress of Abarkooh
  • Abarkooh - Ice Houses
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 6 hours.
This morning is dedicated to exploring Shiraz on a walking tour with your leader. Many of the local ruins date from around AD260 where Valerian, the only Roman emperor to have ever been a prisoner of war, lived out his last days in captivity. Rise early this morning to catch the first rays of the sun as it seeps in through the stained glass of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque. Continue to the Vakil Bazaar and the Khan citadel. Bazaar-e Vakil is regarded as one of the best markets in the country, specialising in fine carpets, handicrafts, textiles and spices. Iranians will opt for a post-lunch nap to avoid the midday sun, so do as the locals do then regroup in the afternoon for further explorations. Drive out to the vast complex of Bagh-e Eram, known as the Garden of Paradise and wander through its majestic grounds. Afterwards, visit the tombs of literary and folk heroes Hafez and Saadi where your leader will regale you with stories of their lives. Nearby is the Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh – one of the holiest sites in Shiraz. The structure serves as a mausoleum to one of Imam Reza’s brothers and the forecourt is often packed with Shiite pilgrims. The rest of the day is free for your own discoveries.
Accommodation
  • Zandiyeh Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Shiraz - Saadi and Hafez Tombs
  • Shiraz - Eram Garden
  • Shiraz - City Tour
  • Shiraz - Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
  • Shiraz - Vakil Bazaar
  • Shiraz - Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Begin the day with a drive to a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site – the remains of Persepolis. Once the centre of the Persian Empire, it is considered one of the great cities of the ancient world. The Takhte Jamshid complex of palaces was known as the historic marvel of the country, constructed over 150 years as the ceremonial capital of Darius I’s Achaemenid Empire. Continue on to Naqsh-e-Rajab – the site of four limestone rock face inscriptions and bas-reliefs that date to early Sassanid times. While today only small ruins remain from those once-magnificent structures, your leader will bring the city’s history to life and make it easy to imagine what it looked like in its glory days. This evening, you have the option to participate in a highly recommended hands-on cooking class. The class is held in a local home with all directions and recipes provided in English. You may also choose to explore the town and enjoy an Iranian meal in a restaurant. Speak to your leader about your options so they can help tailor a great evening.
Accommodation
  • Zandiyeh Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Persepolis - Entrance and guided tour
  • Persepolis - Naqsh-e Rustam Necropolis
Optional Activities
  • Shiraz - Home-cooking Class - EUR60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 2 hours.
Depart from Shiraz and head towards the city of Esfahan. Along the way, stop for a guided tour of Pasargadae – an ancient city built by Cyrus the Great that precedes Persepolis. It may not be as well preserved as Persepolis, but your leader will point out the architectural genius of the Achaemenids with its beauty of simplicity and balance. Arrive in Esfahan in the afternoon and take some time to settle in, then in the evening, head down to the Zayandeh River and witness the historic bridges arching over the water. The stunning Si-o-Seh Pol (bridge of 33 arches) lights up at night, best viewed either on the banks of the river or at a local teahouse. While away some time in this magical location, truly one of the most atmospheric that Iran has to offer.
Accommodation
  • Keryas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pasargad - Pasargadae (entrance fee and guide)
  • Esfahan - Si-o-Seh Pol Bridge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 6 hours.
There’s plenty of time to soak up the sights and atmosphere of Esfahan, often considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Esfahan reached its peak during the reign of Shah Abbas I in 1587 when it was declared the capital of Persia, yet much of its past glory still remains despite the country’s capital later being shifted to Shiraz and then Tehran. Begin today’s adventure through Esfahan with a guided walk through Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Imam Square). Covering an area of 82,500 square meters, it’s the second largest in the world. There are many grand buildings in the surrounding area such as the Ali Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and bustling Qeysarie Bazaar – your leader will share information on their backstories and significance. The rest of the day is free for more independent exploring of the city.
Accommodation
  • Keryas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esfahan - Qeysarie Bazaar
  • Esfahan - Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
  • Esfahan - Naqsh-e Jahan Square
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Esfahan - City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue discovering Esfahan with a guided visit to the Vank Cathedral, located in the Armenian quarter of the city. The striking interior of this building boasts gilded ceilings, intricate wall architecture and eye-catching paintings. Your leader will explain how Armenian Christians were brought to the cathedral by Shah Abbas I, who placed great value in their skills as artists and merchants. They have been allowed to practice their religion in peace but are confined to this single area of the city. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this beautiful city at your leisure. Perhaps peruse the jumbled stalls of the Grand Bazaar, or settle into one of the city’s cosy teahouses and watch the world go by.
Accommodation
  • Keryas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esfahan - Vank Cathedral
Optional Activities
  • Esfahan - Chehel Sotun Palace - IRR500000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast this morning, begin the journey back to Tehran, stopping in Iran's second holiest city, Qom, for the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Fatima Masumeh. The lavish golden-domed building is the final resting place of Imam Reza’s sister, and thousands of Shi’i Muslims make the pilgrimage here each year to ask for Fatima’s blessings. Arrive in Tehran and check in to your hotel, then head to the Tabiat Nature Bridge for the afternoon. You may like to spend some time relaxing over a light meal at one of the many restaurants by Ports Park, situated on one side of the bridge. On the other, the rolling trees of Taleghani Park offer a great opportunity for a stroll. This evening, enjoy a final Iranian feast during a farewell dinner with your group and leader at a fantastic local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Tehran Grand Hotel II or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tehran - Tabiat Nature Bridge
  • Qom - Shrine of Fatima Masumeh
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours.
With no activities planned for today, your adventure in Iran will come to an end today after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (10 nights), Feature Stay (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Tehran - Welcome Dinner
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Tehran - City Tour
  • Tehran - National Museum of Iran
  • Tehran - Golestan Palace
  • Tehran - Old Bazaar
  • Kashan -Tabatabaei Historical House
  • Kashan - Bazaar
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens (entrance fee and guide)
  • Kashan - Home-cooked Dinner
  • Yazd - Traditional sweet shop visit and tasting
  • Yazd - Zoroastrian Fire Altar and Towers of Silence
  • Yazd - Amir Chakhmaq Complex
  • Yazd - City Tour
  • Yazd - Home-cooked Dinner
  • Abarkooh - Cypress of Abarkooh
  • Abarkooh - Ice Houses
  • Shiraz - Saadi and Hafez Tombs
  • Shiraz - Eram Garden
  • Shiraz - City Tour
  • Shiraz - Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
  • Shiraz - Vakil Bazaar
  • Shiraz - Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh
  • Persepolis - Entrance and guided tour
  • Persepolis - Naqsh-e Rustam Necropolis
  • Pasargad - Pasargadae (entrance fee and guide)
  • Esfahan - Si-o-Seh Pol Bridge
  • Esfahan - Qeysarie Bazaar
  • Esfahan - Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
  • Esfahan - Naqsh-e Jahan Square
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Esfahan - City Tour
  • Esfahan - Vank Cathedral
  • Tehran - Tabiat Nature Bridge
  • Qom - Shrine of Fatima Masumeh

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium Iran trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 
3. US, British and Canadian passport holders will need to book this trip at least three months before departure as this is the length of time it takes to process a visa for these nationalities. There may also be further travel restrictions that apply to these nationalities including restrictions for when you can arrive and depart. Please see the ‘Passport and Visa’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details. Ensure you discuss options with a booking agent before confirming and booking any non-refundable airfares. We also encourage you to refer to our online visa application for more details. Simply select the relevant nationality in the drop-down menu to access detailed visa information at https://www.intrepidtravel.com/iran-visa-information-and-authorisation-c...
4. This itinerary has many included activities and free time for you to rest, relax or discover. Please keep in mind that under the regulations of the Iranian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, US, British and Canadian passport holders must be accompanied by a local host (Intrepid's local operator) on all activities. For this reason, your leader may suggest optional activities during this free time that are organised by our operator at your own expense. Alternativey, this free time is the perfect opportunity to relax in your hotel.
5. We recommend that before your departure you check your government's latest travel advice for information on travelling in Iran and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our ‘Travel Alerts’ page at https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts
6. Travellers cannot use debit or credit cards while in Iran. You will need to bring all the money you will need for your entire trip with you. Please read through the ‘Money Matters’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details.
7. Deposits on this trip are non-refundable and non-transferable as per our Terms and Conditions. You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit per person for your booking to be confirmed.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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