Stroll through the streats of Susa, the most ancient city of Iran where the empire of Elamites was founded and discover the very first civilizations on earth as there are villages dating back to almost 10.000 B.C. on this 17-day itinerary through Iran. Enjoy the marvellous landscape of the Zagrod mountain, visit breath-taking mosques and get amazed by the local art and architecture of Iran. Experience ancient ruins, the hospitality of the Iranian people and explore the canyon and desert.
Day 1: Tehran
Upon arrival at Tehran, you will meet your local driver who will take you to your hotel to check-in. A city your awaits you, visiting the Golestan palace, the Jewellery museum and the old bazaar.
Day 2: Shushtar
Today, you will have an early morning flight to Ahvaz where you will continue with a day trip to Susa, the most ancient city of Iran where the empire of Elamites was founded. Visit one of the outstanding temples of Elamite also known as the Chogha Zanbil and take a stroll through the streets of the old city of Darius the first where the ruins of his palace are located.
In the afternoon, head to Shustar to visit its world heritage site; the hydraulic system.
Day 3: 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. There will be a stop in the ancient city of Ilam which is the third largest city within the Kurdish region of Iran. This city is surrounded by forests and a mountainous landscape resulting in a pleasant climate. Here, you will pay a visit to the Vali castle that was built about 100 years ago in the Qajar period out of brick, gypsum and marble.
Additionally, you will visit the Sar Pol Zahab which is the oldest city in this region and has several artefacts from the Elamite dynasty and from even earlier eras.
Day 4: Kermanshah
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: Sanandaj
From Kermanshah, 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 to Sanandaj, there will be a visit to the Palangan village which is well-known for its amazing constructions, food and warm welcoming people who only speak Kurdish.
In Sanandaj, there will be a city tour planned in which you will visit the Asef mansion, get inspired by the Anthropology museum and visit the bazaar along with the Abidar hills.
Day 6: Hamadan
Today, you will be heading to Hamadan and along the way 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.
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.
Day 7: Hamadan
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 before starting your city tour in Hamadan 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: Zanjan
From hamadan, you will head onwards to Zanjan, the city that has been the capital of Persia in the 14th century. Pay a visit to the Soltanieh dome, the central of several ruins in Soltaniyeh. It is one of the largest brick domes in the world and paved the way for other Iranian styled constructions to be more daring; such as the dome of the Taj Mahal.
Day 9: Kandovan
Today, you will spend your day near the massive Sahand mountain located in North-West Iran. With its 3.707m, the Sahand mountain is the highest mountain in the East Azarbaijan province. Here, you will visit a local tribe and enjoy the gorgeous scenery also called a piece of heaven on earth. This is a volcanic village and gives you a unique experience. Along the way, you will pay a visit the world heritage site of Takht-e Solyman located in a volcanic mountain region. Here, you can visit the sacred Zoroastrian sanctuary.
Day 10: Tabriz
From Kandovan, it is only a short drive to your next stop; Tabriz. This is the city of Azeri people where you will be welcomed with open arms as they have a very hospitable attitude towards strangers despite their lack of communication. Here, you can visit the blue mosque of Tabriz, the Azerbaijan museum and the bazaar.
Day 11: Tabriz
Today, a day trip to Jolfa is planned where you will visit one of the first monasteries of Christianity; the Saint Stephanous church. This holy place is situated in a deep canyon and built in the ninth century, but has been damaged by wars and earthquakes throughout the centuries. Here, you can enjoy the stunning scenery of the Arax River.
After exploring the Sain Stephanous church, you will head back to Tabriz where you will have your afternoon off and have some time to find some souvenirs or absorb more of the Iran history and architecture.
Day 12: Ardabil
Enjoy the lovely drive from Tabriz to Ardabil where you will visit the world heritage site of Sheikh Safi al-Din. This ancient building dates back to the Safavid period and is seen as a spiritual retreat that perfectly resembles the medieval Iranian architecture.
Day 13: Anzali
Today, you will meet your driver at your hotel after which you will head from Ardabil to Anzali. Enjoy the magnificent views while driving aside of the Heyran gorge where Iran shares its border with Azerbaijan.
Day 14: Fuman
From Anzali, it is only a short drive to Fuman. This city is known for its statues including the statue of Anahita. Additionally, this is an area where rice has been cultivated for many years and it is home to the koluche cookies. From here, you can hike to the Rudkhan Castle which is one of the military castles dating back to the Sassanid Dynasty.
Day 15: Qazvin
Your driver will take you for a short drive from Fuman to Qazvin, one of the capitals of Safavid. Here, you will have the opportunity to visit the old bazaar and the Chehel Sotoon Palace, located in arboraceous gardens and once known as the Pavilion. It is a landmark of the Safavid period and was built in order of the second king within the Safavid Dynasty.
Day 16: Tehran
In the morning, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and head back to Tehran where you will have a free day at your own leisure where you can celebrate this beautiful and memorable adventure through the West of Iran or maybe plan your next visit.
Day 17: Departure Tehran
It is time to say goodbye to the ancient West of Iran with its magnificent natural landscapes and head back home.