Like our classic tour_ “Discover Persia through Iran (12 days)”_ on this tour we visit the same highlights plus a three day deep excursion into the central desert of Iran
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 (250 km) to visit the Persian House of Tabatabaei (or House of Borujerdi) and the Kashan old Bazaar. Afternoon visit to the ancient underground city of Nushabad and Fin garden. Overnight in Kashan.
On the way to the amazing village of Ashin (300 km), you can see great geologic features in desert that shows there was once a big sea. with special architecture and no gas , electricity and tap water, Ashin was resided until a few decades ago. It is now revived by one of its successors where you can have the purest desert life experience. A lifetime experience for adventure seekers.
Visit the desert city of Anarak and its caravansary. We then head to visit Ashtian, a beautiful desert village. Expect desert surprises like abandoned villages that are covered by the moving sand dunes. Prepare for a two hour trekking over sand dunes to see the sunset before we get to Chupanan village. Overnight in Chupanan.
We leave Chupanan for Mesr. A desert village surrounded by sand dunes where you can try desert sports and adventures. Later in the afternoon we visit Garmeh village, a desert oasis, before we arrive at Bayazeh. Here you can walk inside a qanat (underground water channel) and also see the village castle. Overnight in Bayazeh.
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 caravansary. savour a veganized local dish for dinner. Overnight in 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.
We leave for Shiraz (450 km). short stop in Abarkuh to see the over 4000-year-old “Cypress of Abarkuh” on the way. A Persian vegan lunch beside the ruins of the great Achaemenid capital the “Persepolis” and then visiting this glorious awestrucking Persian capital. 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). On the way there is “Naghsh-e-Rostam” a great necropolis of Achaemenian and Sassanian Kings carved into huge rocks and then “Pasargadae” the Achaemenid capital and tome of Cyrus the Great.
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.