13 days Small Group Tours 28th Jun - 10th Jul 2018Register for 2019 via our enquiry form Tailor make this journey and make it yours

Price

$6893 AUD per person

$1607 AUD single supplement

Inclusions

  • Visa permit
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • Domestic flight Shiraz to Tehran in economy class
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Service of an English speaking local guide
  • Private transportation
  • Scrubba Wash Bag

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Drinks unless otherwise mentioned
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
  • Inoculations
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Venture through a lesser known side of Iran as you explore Lar National Park on foot. This protected area of natural beauty is home to a spread of wildflowers and array of wildlife. Local nomads who still retain their time old traditions call this stunning region home as Mt Damavand towers overhead. Enjoy camping with nomads as you learn how they live off the land before taking a step from natural Iran into ancient Persia.

Explore the cradle of Persian civilisation, Shiraz, as you follow the path through Persia's history through Yazd, Isfahan and Kashan. This gentle tour is suitable for all nature lovers who are looking to embrace the great outdoors as well as learn and understand about Persia's fascinating history turquoise domes and welcoming people.

Day 1 - Arrival

Welcome to Tehran! You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure.

Tehran is quite often smoggy and manic. Many travellers do not spend much time here at all.  Although it is a concrete jungle, there is a fascinating side to this hectic city. Expect bold fashion statements, a range of ethnic and international restaurants, chic cafes and plenty of museums and art galleries.

What Tehran lacks in history, it makes up for it with impressive museums. (D)

Overnight at Ferdowsi Hotel or similar

Day 2 - Lar National Park

This morning following breakfast, depart Tehran at 8am and head to Eera. The drive is approx 2 hours.

Changing vehicles in the village, before venturing up into the hills, once reaching our starting point, it is time to then start walking tour down the hill and alongside the flowing river. Lunch today is a barbecue of kebabs which will fuel you as you continue our walk through the lush fields of this protected area of outstanding natural beauty.

This national park is an important ecosystem of lakes, mountains and grasslands. Due to its diverse ecology, many species of birds, mammals including brown bears, reptiles, amphibians and fish call Lar National Park home. For centuries local people who have adopted a nomadic way of life have explored the riches of the land and its seasonal offerings.

Later afternoon, you will arrive to your first camp site where you will mingle with the nomads and taste their cuisine and learn their traditional baking skills.(B,L,D)

Overnight camping

Day 3 - Lar Lake

An early start this morning as you observe the start of the daily life of the nomads and the movement of their cattle. Feel free to join in and help as they herd and shuffle their animals along.

Following an early breakfast, it is time to continue your walk. Walking for around 4 hours before stopping for lunch, later this afternoon we will reach our next camp site which is not too far from the beautiful Lar Lake.

Heavy rainfall and snowfall in the area result in pure natural fresh water which forms permanent springs, streams and river to this lake. This area is well known in for its natural poppy fields which cover a vast area around the lake in the spring and also for its exclusive red dotted trout fish. If the weather is warm, feel free to take a swim. (B,L,D)

Overnight camping

Day 4 - Shiraz

At dawn and after breakfast, walk along the lake to reach Div Asiab before returning to Tehran after lunch. This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shiraz. Upon arrival, we will be met and transferred to our hotel. (B,L,D)

Overnight Shiraz 4* Hotel

Day 5 - Shiraz

It is time to explore Shiraz – the heart of Fars province, the cradle of Persian civilisation. You will visit Persepolis, which is probably the most impressive pre-Islamic monument in Iran, with its astonishing columns, ceremonial staircases, chambers and stunning reliefs celebrating the triumphs of the Achaemenids. You will also visit the necropolis of Naqsh-e Rostam near, the burial place of Achaemenids emperors. You will then drive back to Shiraz for a stroll through the Bazaar and a visit to the tomb of the great Iranian poet, Hafiz. (B,L,D)

Overnight Shiraz 4* Hotel

Day 6 - Yasuj

This morning, following breakfast, you will be transferred to Yasuj (176 km). This area is famous for its natural beauty of thick oak, Persian turpentine and maple forests, and is home to various nomadic tribes. The city has come to be known as the Nature Capital of Iran because of its lush vegetation, fertile soil and scenic waterfalls. It is also a wonderful place to witness wildlife and there are many eco tourism projects now starting in this area to protect it.

Enjoy visiting the nomads of this region. You have the opportunity to experience their daily life, taste the traditional food such as Nan-e Baleat, a dark brown traditional bread made from acorn flour, Sholeh Massi, a soup made with dough (Persian yogurt drink), rice, pennyroyal and caramelised onion, served with fresh local butter and perhaps Ash-e Kardeh, a soup made with a local herb named Kardin (Biarum bovei) that is marinated in lime juice and cooked with rice and wheat. (B,L,D)

Overnight Yasuj 4* Hotel

Day 7 - Yazd

Depart this morning for a full day drive to Yazd, (385 km), during which you will pass through the Zagros mountains which offer breathtaking landscapes. En-route, you will visit Abarkuh, a small town which has some fine examples of the early Islamic architecture and is home to the Abarkuh Cypress, a magnificent centuries old tree. Yazd itself is a spectacular desert town. With its quaint winding alley ways and traditional mud-brick houses, it is sure to be one of your highlights. (B,L,D)

Overnight Yazd 4* Hotel

Day 8 - Yazd

Yazd has been the centre of Zoroastrian culture so your day covers the Fire Temple and towers of silence. In the afternoon, stroll through the old town visiting its historical sites: the stunning Friday Mosque, Amir Chachmaq
square and pavilion and the magnificent Dolat Abad garden with its unique wind tower. (B,L,D)

Overnight Yazd 4* Hotel

Day 9 - Isfahan

Another early morning start for the 322 km drive to Isfahan. Travel through some stark yet mysterious deserts with surprise hamlets of civilisation scattered through this almost desolate region. Enjoy a break in the journey at Narin Castle, the caravansary complex in Meybod, about 55 km outside Yazd. Your next stop is the small town of Nain, the town which gave its name to one of the finest carpets. Nain is home to one of the earliest and most beautiful mosques. Continuing onwards to Isfahan, you will arrive in the early evening.

Isfahan’s profusion of tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings gives it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city, and the many artisans working here underpin its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. Walking through the historic bazaar, over the picturesque bridges and across the Unesco-listed central square are sure to be highlights of your holiday. (B,L,D)

Overnight Isfahan 4* Hotel

Day 10-11 - Isfahan

Enjoy an unrushed two days of strolling in Isfahan. Visit Nesf-e Jahan (half the world) which is full of architectural jewels and also a great centre for trade and handicrafts. During our two-day stay in Isfahan you will visit the highlights of the
city with time to explore the bazaar and shop in the many boutiques of the great square. The great Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Maidan-e Imam) is surrounded by the 16th and 17th C Mosques, a magnificent palace and arcades and the entrance to the 17th century bazaar, full of life and things to buy and an architectural gem in its own right. You will visit the Jame Mosque – a magnificent complex, built from the 10th to the 17th C – a miracle of space and decoration. Continue on to Julfa, the historic Armenian neighbourhood with churches displaying a disorienting mix of Christian symbols and liturgy with a distinct Iranian architectural style. (B,L,D)

Overnight Isfahan 4* Hotel

Day 12 - Kashan

Another early morning drive to Tehran (just over 450 km). En route you will visit the ancient city of Kashan where you will go to Fin Garden, a 16th to 19th classic Persian walled garden, full of flowing water and little pavilions. Enjoy lunch in Kashan followed by visits to one or two traditional palazzos. Arrive in Tehran late in the evening for a relaxing dinner and a well deserved night’s rest.

Overnight Airport Hotel

Day 13 - Departure

Following breakfast, the day is yours at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)