Get acquainted with the Kurdish lifestyle in the West parts or Iran, explore the extraordinary landscapes and get magnetized by the ancient sites the West parts of Iran has to offer. The hospitality of the local people is surprising even though most of them only master the Kurdish language.
Take a stroll through the streets of the ancient city of Ilam, Hamadan and Sanandai where you will visit stunning historical buildings dating way back to the Persia era and even to the very first civilizations on earth. Visit impressive gorges, lakes and caves giving you a fantastic impression of the natural spots Iran has to offer.
Day 1: Ilam
Upon arrival in Ilam, your driver will be meeting you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel where you will check-in.
This day, you will explore the third largest city within the Kurdish region of Iran; Ilam. This city is surrounded by forests and a mountainous landscape resulting in a pleasant climate.
A city tour awaits you, taking you for a stroll through the ancient streets of Ilam where the architecture is a combination of modern and traditional styles. The traditional style is clearly visible at the Falahati palace, dating back to 1908 where it was built under orders of the governor general. Continue onwards to the Vali Castle that was built about 100 years ago in the Qajar period out of brick, gypsum and marble. You will continue the city tour with a visit to the Rabbit hills after which you will have the afternoon free at your own leisure. It might be a great idea to visit a local restaurant and experience the Iran cuisine.
Day 2: Raziyaneh canyon
Today, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and bring you along to a day trip to the Raziyaneh canyon; Kaferin gorge. This unique gorge is located in the southeast of Ilam and played an important role in the water supply for locals. Here, you will find a wide range of wildlife including squirrels and deers, multiple caves and bas reliefs from the ancient days of Persia. You could even go for a hike here as the gorge is about 2km and has a height of 700m.
In the afternoon, you will visit the ancient city of Badreh which dates back to 500 AD after which you will head back to the hotel and have the evening off.
Day 3: Zingan cave
After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the Zingan cave which is one of the most well-known natural spots Ilam has to offer. This cave is located in the heart of the desert and locals tend to call this marvelous gorge the forgotten heaven. This long cave with its vestibules, stalagmites, fern, alga and other plants is quite spectacular and is very attracting to visit.
Day 4: Kermanshah
Today you will head down to Kermanshah where its modern roots date back to the 4th century. It is considered to be the home of the very first civilizations on earth as there are villages dating back to almost 10.000 B.C. Along the way towards this city, you will enjoy the marvellous landscape of the Zagros mountain.
In Kermanshah, you will visit Moaven al Molk which is one of the elegant and magnificent monuments dating back to the Qajar period, Biglar Beygi Tekiyehs and Tag-e Bostan meaning ‘Arch made by stone’ as it is a site with a series of large rocks from the era of Sassanid. Afterwards, you will end the city tour at the old bazaar.
Day 5: Palangan village
A day trip to Palangan village awaits you, very well known for its amazing constructions, food and warm welcoming people who only speak Kurdish. This village is carved in the heart of the mountains and left unspoiled leaving an eco-friendly design.
On the way back to your hotel, you will visit the Sarab-e Niloufar lake, located at the foot of Mount Komijar. The surface is covered in water lilies and it is surrounded by recreational facilities like the lake-house that was home to Sassanian monarchs.
Day 6: Hamadan
Today, you will drive toward Hamadan, one of the earliest civilizations of Iran. Along the way, there is a visit to the world heritage site of the Bistoun Complex containing several artefacts from the ancient days of Persia, and a visit to the Anahita Temple of Parthians. 5km south-west of Hamedan, the ancient inscriptions of Ganj Nameh of King Darius the Great are carved in granite. You will get the opportunity to witness these writings.
Day 7: Hamadan
Way back, Hamadan was home to some of the great thinkers and artists of that period. Poets, other writers and anthologists came from there as well as some physicians and philosophers. Nowadays, it is an important trade center on the main highway from Baghdad to Tehran.
Today, a city tour through this ancient city is waiting for you in which you will visit the Avicenna tomb, the Baba Taher tomb and Hegmataneh ancient city as well as the tomb of Ester and Morkhai.
Day 8: Sanandaj
From Hamadan, you will drive to Sanandaj known for its natural beauty, freshwater springs and mountainous geography. Get amazed by the local art and architecture which is an important part of this city. On your way here, there will be a visit to the Ali Sadr cave which is one of the largest subterranean water complexes in the world. Enjoy the clear waters and the stunning rock formations.
Day 9: Sanandaj
Today, there will be a city tour planned in Sanandaj in which you will visit the Asef mansion, get inspired by the Anthropology museum and visit the bazaar along with the Abidar hills.
Day 10: Departure Sanandai
It is time to say goodbye to the ancient West of Iran with its magnificent natural landscapes and head back home.