Like our classic tour_ “Discover Persia through Iran (12 days)” _ on this tour we visit the same highlights plus the astonishing province of Kerman. After provinces of Fars, Isfahan and Yazd, Kerman is a major tourist destination of Iran with both cultural and natural sites. The residential rocky village of Meymand, Lut desert and Bam citadel are UNESCO world heritage sites of this province. These three sites alone can bring you an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
On this tour, travelers have the opportunity to experience Persian cuisine either in local houses or traditional cafes and restaurants. All dishes are prepared under full supervision of vegan chefs. Various and authentic Persian dishes are served for every meal. In each city local vegan guides help to introduce the best quality vegan souvenirs and handicrafts.
Arrive at IKA international airport (Tehran) and transfer to your hotel. Have rest till our evening welcome meeting. Have your first Persian dinner. Overnight in Tehran.
Drive to desert city of Kashan to visit House of Tabatabaei (or House of Borujerdi) and the ancient underground city of Nushabad. Overnight in Yazd or Meybod.
Visit Kharanagh 85 km from Yazd. Walk up through the maze-like alleys of this abandoned village to travel in the history. Also visit the holy mountainous Zoroasterian temple of Chak Chak. Have a delicious vegan lunch and rest in Meybod before visiting the amazing desert adaptive architectures developed by old Persians. See how they developed systems to keep ice even in hot summer months (Ice House) or how they fertilized their desert lands for agriculture (Dove Tower) as well as the Narin Citadel and a caravanserai. savour a veganized local dish for dinner. Overnight in Meybod or Yazd.
Yazd, once an important station on Silk road, listed as a world Heritage Site, with its well preserved old districts, has so much to illustrate how Persian civilization adapted in such a desert land! Morning visit to Tower of Silence (the amazing burial ground of Zoroastrians), a Fire Temple with a sacred fire kept alive for 1550 years and then visit to the Zoroastrian Museum, tells you a lot about this ancient religion of old Persia. After Dolatabad Garden, off to a nice spot to have a traditional vegan lunch. We enjoy our evening by walking among the old clay buildings with outstanding wind catchers, Jame Mosque and Amir Chakhmagh square. overnight in Yazd.
Morning departure to Meymand (300 km), a very ancient village registered in UNESCO’s world heritage sites. With people still living it there, this hand carved rocky village has evidences to be inhabited since 12000 years ago. Overnight in Meymand cave guesthouse.
Drive to Kerman (250 km). Walk through one of the oldest bazaars in Iran in Ganjalikhan historic complex. interact with people and look for ancient handicrafts and souvenirs at the stalls. Overnight in Mahan or Kerman.
We head the Shahdad desert in the morning. A short stop in Sirch to visit the great old cypress od this beatiful village. On the way we visit desert attractions like qanat and have lunch in a desert oasis before a one hour trekking in the hot nebkha forest. Enjoy the beauty of different unique shapes of yardangs formed by wind erosion throughout thousands of years. we watch the sunset among the yardangs before going back to Mahan or Kerman.
Morning drive to the old city of Bam (160 km) to visit this magnificent old adobe city and its citadel. Bam, listed in UNESCO world heritage sites is now properly reconstructed after the 2003 earthquake. afternoon visit to Shazdeh Garden, an impressive sample of Persian gardens and Shah nematollah shrine. Overnight in Mahan or Kerman.
leaving Mahan for Shiraz (550 km). night time visit to the marvelous Shahcheragh shrine in Shiraz. Overnight in Shiraz
We start Shiraz city tour by Nasirolmolk Mosque (Pink mosque) and continue with Naranjestan and Eram Garden and an herbal distilling workshop to feel the soothing and relaxing atmosphere of Shiraz for which it is famous for. relax and enjoy a tasty vegan meal with a lovely local family. Evening time in Mausoleum of the great Persian poet, Sadi.
Morning visit to Shahecheragh, a great Imamzadeh shrine. We then head to Vakil complex (bathhouse, Mosque and Bazaar). Spending the afternoon with a local vegan family and have special homemade dishes from Shiraz. in the evening get to know Hafez, in this poet’s Mausoleum, a favorite hangout for local lovers with traditional Persian songs in the air caressing your ears.
Leaving Shiraz for Esfahan (490 km). A Persian vegan lunch beside the ruins of the great Achaemenid capital the “Persepolis” after visiting this glorious awestrucking Persian capital. we then visit “Naghsh-e-Rostam” a great necropolis of Achaemenian and Sassanian Kings carved into huge rocks. Overnight in Esfahan.
The day starts at fabulous square of Naghshe Jahan, the second greatest in the world. get mesmerized by the surrounding monuments of Chehel Sotun, Aliqapu Palace, Abbasi and Sheikhlotfolah Mosque which might be the most glorious showcase of Islamic architecture in the world. Lunch at house of a friendly local vegan family. Free time in the afternoon to explore the square and Bazaar for the unique eye-catching handicrafts of Isfahan. After dinner we have a memorable night walk between picturesque ancient bridges of Siosepol, Jouei and Khajou.
Onto the Armenian quarter in southwest of the city to see how this minority has survived and flourished through history and visit magnificent Bethlehem Church and also Vank Cathedral. Later onto Music Museum of Iran where most Persian musical instruments are displayed and you can enjoy listening to some pieces in a short live concert. Relax at lunch time at a cozy bower in a garden with special vegan dishes from Esfahan. We then go to Jame Atigh Mosque and after that to a “Zurkhane” where, if we are lucky enough, we can watch the athletes doing the ancient Pahlavani sport.
We leave Esfahan to Tehran (450 km). on the way, depending on the time of the year, we visit Barzok or Natanz or Abyaneh. “Barzok”: is a mountainous village where annual Rose Water Festival happens in May or June. Great chance to engage in the festival and see the whole process from picking rose flowers from vast colorful scented gardens to finally distilling the finest aromatic Rose water. Nataz: is a historical city where we can visit a saffron farm in October or November. Abyaneh: an ancient village with red houses and people preserving their unique colorful costumes. Overnight in Tehran.
Breakfast and transfer to airport.