“A ring in the heart of Persia” is a classic, ring-shaped journey in the heart of Persia, during which you can follow the traces of the ancient Persian civilization, through the most beautiful cities in the country. After visiting Tehran, the modern capital of the country, the journey continues to Kashan, Yazd and Isfahan. These are the most fascinating cities in Iran, they are located in the central area of the country and have the Iranian desert areas as their peculiarity.
Few places in the world are able to offer us the opportunity to be in contact with the followers of Zartosht, known as Zarathustra: the prophet of the Zoroastrians, 15 centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, founded the first monotheistic religion. In Iran religious culture is a relevant point, there is a metamorphosis between the cult of Zoroastrianism and Shiite Islam. The procedure of religious changes arouses keen interest since even today during your journey to Iran you can visit some places of worship of the great religions of the world such as: the Fire Temple in Yazd, the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque in Shiraz and the Vank Cathedral in Isfahan.
Only by traveling, you can discover these intoxicating wonders that during the tour, reveal themselves to our eyes. Moving from Shiraz to Isfahan, from Persepolis to Isfahan, from Tehran to Kashan we can admire the history of a land full of beauty that with its seductive charm tells an enchanting reality inherited from the Persian Empire.
During our trip we will discover the fantastic tombs of Darius and Xerxes in Naghsh-e-Rostam that are tinged with orange at sunset, a unique and enchanting sight.
The Tour “A ring in the heart of Persia” is feasible all year round, because the climate is dry continental.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||IKA International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 3 hours before the flight.|
1st Day, Homeland - Tehran
Departure by scheduled flight. Arrival in the capital of Iran, Tehran located at the mountain slope of the Alborz. Meeting with the guide of SITO TRAVEL. Transfer to the hotel, overnight.
2nd Day, Tehran
We begin the journey with a visit to the capital of Iran, Tehran: the most lively and so-called Iranian effervescent city. The Iranian megalopolis with more than 12 million inhabitants, demonstrates its refinement in a chaotic atmosphere like all the big cities in the world. Tehran is, however, a fundamental page of modern history which, making its extraordinary museums such as the Museum of Jewels available to travelers, hides the most important collection in the world. The artistic progress, the architectural interventions and the revival of the many traditional Persian style cafes makes Tehran a fascinating maze to surprise the traveler in an urban corner.
Visits of Tehran
– National Archaeological Museum of Iran, which traces history, art and culture through archaeological finds dating from the 6th millennium BC. up to the seventh century AD Islamic period. In the Museum of Tehran, there is a splendid collection of ceramics and bronze pieces in addition to temporary exhibitions of objects of high archaeological value held every semester which will then be loaned to other museums such as that of Venice, Berlin and so on.
– Golestan Palace located near the Grand Bazaar is a remarkable complex that has its roots in the 16th century when Tehran slowly transformed from a village to a real city. Golestan means the place of flowers because it is a typical example of the wonderful Persian gardens. Modern Iranian history owes so much to the complex that where the last Pahlavi dynasty crowned itself by proclaiming the aforementioned Cyrus the Great. Then a visit to the entrance to the Grand Bazaar of Tehran where merchants have been selling everything from soup to nuts for thousand years.
– National Jewelry Museum, (open only from Saturday to Tuesday) located in an abnormal safe with a 25 cm thick door, is set up in the underground chests of the Iranian Central Bank. It houses the crown jewels, the globe studded with gems, a riot of precious stones, tiaras, crowns of the Pahlavi family and the largest pink diamond in the world known as Darya-e Nour (Sea of Light) of 182 carats is a symbol of Nader Shah’s victory in 1739 brought to Iran after his victorious campaign in India.
– Alternative to the Museum of Jewels is the Carpet Museum.
– A pleasant walk on the bridge of Nature; modern work of the Iranian capital Tehran. The Nature Bridge is a pedestrian walkway, built over one of Tehran’s main highways and connects the two green hills of the city. The bridge was designed by a 26-year-old Iranian woman named “Leila Araghian”. Since its opening in 2014, the bridge has won many international awards. Leila herself said she designed it with the aim of approaching people.
Dinner in typical restaurants in Darband, the north of Tehran at the foot of the mountain, Transfer to the hotel, overnight.
3rd Day, Tehran – Qom – Kashan
If we go down to the south of Tehran we arrive in Qom, one of the holy cities of Iran, dominated by the imposing sanctuary dedicated to Hazrate Masumeh; Fatima Innocent was the daughter of the seventh Imam Musa ibn Ja’far and sister of Ali ibn Musa al-Reza, eighth Imam of the Shiites and descendant of the prophet.
Hazrate Masumah was born in 789 AD. in the city of Medina; when in 816 he was going to Marv to visit his brother, she would have become ill (or injured during the looting of the caravan damage) when the caravan carrying her was arriving in Saveh, she was transported to Qom where she died at the age of 27. Thousands of Middle Eastern Shiites go to Iran every year, dedicating themselves to the rituals of pilgrimage to the sanctuaries of their saints. In the complex of the Sanctuary of the Hazrate Masumeh it is possible to reach the burial chamber, where men and women separately touch the sepulcher.
Arrival in Kashan, the caravan city on the edge of the Dasht-e-Kavir desert.
In Kashan there is also the Bagh-e Fin, one of the most famous Persian gardens that can be visited during the trip to Iran. The Fin garden was designed by the Shah Abbas I (1557-1629), as an earthly vision of Paradise. The concept of the Persian Garden takes the soul only when the traveler listens to the melody that springs from the lapping of the water, along the path of the various canals. Even today, the central water pond called the “camel’s throat” (Shotor Galu) and it has the duty to distribute the water in all the side channels, using the simple theory of communicating vessels. In 1600 the Persian Garden in Iran became important because the Shah Abbas I chose it as the ideal place for the royal coronation when he ascended the throne. But two centuries later, the Qajar kings also chose the Persian Garden Fin in Kashan as operational headquarters of the Court. In the middle of the green of the Fin only cypresses and plane trees can tell us about the symmetry and elegance of the plan of the Persian Garden. On the other hand there are still the magnificent frescoes in the building built by the Qajar kings that date back to the 70s of the 1800s, and finally, to find out the secrets of the Fin Garden, we must enter the Historical Hammam complex, which is famous for the story of the assassination or suicide attempt of Amir Kabir, the reformist of the Qajar administration.
-We will visit Sultan’s Hamam with a splendid roof and the Mosque and Madrasa Agha Bozorg, a Koranic school.
Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a traditional hotel.
4th Day, Kashan – Ardestan – Naein – Meybod – Yazd
When we talk about the house, in Kashan it always represents an exemplary model for getting to know the local culture better. Because in addition to having the millenary hill, Kashan displays its nineteenth-century villas, also known as bioclimatic houses. It should be known that Kashan enjoys a desert climate and a remarkably hot summer period. The invention of the city’s inhabitants led to the birth of a house in two or three different levels where the person can be simply to cool or warm in a living room or a hall depending on the current season. But the importance of the city is not only the variety of houses that exist. Kashan is known rather for the production of valuable Rose Water of Persia. In fact, the trip to Iran now absorbs its original perfume, that is, the perfume of rose petals that is grown on the central hills of Iran. This beautiful city arose in a green oasis, still today hosts some of the most beautiful traditional houses in the region, such as the magnificent home of wealthy merchant of Tabatabaei family. During the visit we can contemplate the details in of a house patriarchal mold, where the head of the “Pedar” family tends to gather the sons and have them in the same villa as a matter of availability and family economic management. Furthermore, the nineteenth-century mansion highlights two factors of Iranian-Islamic architecture: introversion and extroversion.
After the visit of Khan-e Tabatabaei departure for Yazd, along the way we visit the two ancient mosques in Ardestan and Naein and the historic center with the Bazaar, now in disuse.
Along the way we visit the town of Meybod with the characteristic hand-painted ceramic factories.
There is a complex that includes a Caravanserai and its Icebox. This construction with the shape of Trullo served above all for the conservation of ice during the summer. Ice production took place during the winter in the outdoor pools in front of the icebox. With its conical shape, it protected the internal tank that contained ice and protected it from the sun. The diameter of the internal tank – corresponds to the level of the entrance door – also reaches 13 meters and gradually decreases, almost 6 meters, the diameter decreases. Therefore, the internal height of the icebox from the lowest part to the highest point of the dome was 21 meters.
Arrival in Yazd. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
5th Day, Yazd
To understand the root of Zarathustra’s philosophical thought one must know its fundamental principles. Zarathustra’s message established the difference between good and evil therefore what was right from what was wrong. Zoroastrianism has existed for three thousand years in Iran and it is the first monotheism in the world. According to Zarathustra, the only God, Ahura Mazda, creator of the sensitive and supersensitive world, causes an eternal conflict with the forces of darkness, led by the antidium called Ahriman. So the followers of Zarathustra have the task of choosing between black and white and contributing with their own actions to save the world. After the arrival of Islam in the seventh century, this religion, from the ancient Persian Empire, was abandoned by most people. During the trip to Iran you will hear many times the name of Ahura Mazda and his own antidium Ahriman; the first means “Wise Lord”, characterized by infinite light, omniscience and goodness and is a “Benevolent Spirit”, opposite to the “Evil Spirit”, the second is the lord of darkness, violence and death.
Breakfast. Full day dedicated to visiting the city, one of the most interesting in Iran
– Atash-Kadeh – Fire Temple. It is wrong to think that Zoroastrians worship fire. Before going to a Fire Temple, where sacred fire still burns, one must recognize Fire as the sacred element because, according to this philosophy, it is the Source of Purity and Light. This is the true direction in which the Zoroastrians practice their worship. Here in Yazd in the Temple of Fire this sacred flame has been burning for over 15 centuries and has never been extinguished. The priestly duty or that of the Magician of the Temple is to empty the ashes and supply the wood to keep the flame lit, so that practitioners can turn to it because it is considered a source of good.
– The Water Museum. In Iran, especially in desert areas like Yazd, there was an underground irrigation system that supplied the oases with fresh water from the underlying aquifers, through a system of underground channels even twenty kilometers long, with inspection wells called “mil”, artificially excavated along the path of the canal. These vertical wells guaranteed access to the underground tunnel, both for the withdrawal of water and to facilitate the necessary maintenance works.
The channels, in Persian known as Kariz or Qanat, were dug by yielding the natural inclination of the ground, so that they conveyed the waters of the aquifers towards the cultivation land or an inhabited center. Even in the long path, the channels suffered minimal loss of water by evaporation and did not contaminate drinking water
Through the Water Museum you have the opportunity to know the details of this millennial work of Iran.
– Historic center and ancient Fahadan district. Yazd owes its fame mainly to the architecture of the old town, entirely built with Adobe; the most important monuments of the historic center, however, are the so-called “wind towers” which overlooking the roofs and which can be seen from afar. For this reason, Yazd has also been called the “city of wind towers”.
These towers, called badghir (literally “wind catcher”) serve to provide the necessary ventilation, since houses do not have many windows to the outside. During the day, Badghir removes hot air from the inside and, during the night, conducts fresh air from outside to inside the building. The system takes advantage of two environmental conditions: the difference in air pressure and the difference in temperature.
In Fahadan, in addition to the wind towers, we can admire other very important buildings because the city was considered so safe that, on the occasion of the invasion of Persia by Genghis Khan in the early thirteenth century, many intellectuals and scientists took refuge there.
– Masjed Jame – The Friday Mosque – The two tallest minarets of Iran rise from the portal of this mosque, With a height of 48 meters.
This mosque is not only famous for the height of the minarets, but also for the splendid main portal, decorated with inlaid majolica tiles; it is in fact an artistic masterpiece that offers one of the most fascinating works of travel in Iran. To observe the details of the cut of the majolica tiles, just get close to the main facade.
Then, in the labyrinth of the old town, surrounded by walls, we can visit the refined examples of traditional houses, without entering sites such as the Mausoleum of Seyed Rokn od-Din, the cenotaph of the 12 Imams, 12th century, with the inscription in Kufic letters of the names of the 12 Shiite Imams and the so-called Alexander Prison.
– The ancient Bazaar and the Amir Chakhmagh complex
– Dinner at the restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
6th Day, Yazd – Abarkuh – Pasargade – Shiraz
Breakfast. Departure for Shiraz and before leaving Yazd, we will visit
– the Towers of Silence, here everything stops, in this place there is in fact a cemetery used until about 70 years ago and it is very different from the common ones because it is a sacred place for the Zoroastrians. In this particular holy field, the deceased were brought to the top of the tower by special workers the “Salar”, and they were the only ones who could touch the dead. The corpses were left inside circular buildings and there the bodies, thanks to the atmospheric agents and vultures, became bones and were subsequently moved to the well in the center of the tower, where they would find perpetual rest. The four elements of nature: air, water, fire and earth are considered sacred by the Zoroastrians. The earth could not be contaminated with human remains therefore the burial of the bodies was not foreseen and cremation was not planned for the same reason. These places were called: the Towers of Silence, And here the silence is true, deafening, softened only by the sound of the wind.
Halfway before arriving in Shiraz we will make a visit to the town of Abarkoh: a particular urban example where the construction of the houses involved the use of Adobe (bio architecture) which acted as insulation during the summer and winter. The same system has been applied for the construction of an ancient icehouse that supplied and produced ice in the hottest months of the year. In Abarkuh we visit one of the oldest cypresses in the world which according to some sources will be approximately 4000 years old.
– The journey continues with a visit to the archaeological site of Passargade, The city was the first capital of the Persian Empire founded in 546 BC. from Cyrus the Great during his reign. In Pasargade the real Pardis or Paradise the “Persian Garden” was born. Among the monuments and ruins on the site there are three royal palaces and a magnificent bas-relief: The Private Palace of Cyrus the Great, the Palace of the Audiences and the Tomb of Cyrus. Pasargade was once surrounded by two rivers, which brought water into the city through a peculiar irrigation canal that decanted and supplied water passing through the Persian Garden.
Arrival in Shiraz. Dinner in restaurant and overnight in hotel.
7th Day, Shiraz – Persepolis – Shiraz
Breakfast. Half of the day dedicated to Persepolis excursion, Persepolis is a sacred city founded by Darius in 524 BC to celebrate Nowruz festival (new day), or rather the Persian New Year, on 21st March. Persepolis was conquered and burned by Alexander the Great as looting revenge that Xerxes did during the Persian wars. The excursion to Persepolis opens a book to the visitor to delve into the details of a majestic city where Darius and Xerxes brought the best craftsmen who were paid and insured by royal law. Here you do not just admire an architectural study but with the wonderful bas-reliefs of the Apadana Palace you can browse an ancient anthropological book. Among the ruins you can visit its imposing palaces that never cease to impress travelers: such as the Palace of Hundred Columns where the King received the generals to then go to the audience hall called Apadana palace with a square plan and six rows of columns, up to 19 meters high, which include the brilliant anti-seismic system for supporting the ceiling during the any shocks. The access stairways depict Satrap’s processions and the imperial guards called the Immortal soldiers.
Return to Shiraz and we will visit:
-The mausoleum of Hafez, the Sufi mentor, the great poet of the 14th century A.D. The mildness of Persian philosophy was born between the lines of Hafez’s poems. What makes the poet immortal is the transversality of the meaning of his poetry which makes the fruit of his “Sufi” thought understandable to all readers, it is enough to find a translation of his Divan “The collection of Poems”. If Shiraz is the homeland of mystical poetry, it owes it to their poets.The surprise of the visit to the mausoleum consists in the fact that Hafez’s word is related to Bacchus and Venus, so to speak, that it is aversive. -For which you read Hafez walking in his heavenly garden to understand the contradiction that exists between a sweet stilnovo movement with the modernity occurred: perhaps it could seem a subversive poem!
– The Vakil complex: Mosque and Bazaar is unique in Iran for its painted brick architecture, vaulted ceilings created to keep the air fresh in summer and the heat in winter.
– The Saray-e-Moshir caravanserai, unique in its kind, because we enter the spring courtyard, where we can engrave a new “Iter” (process) for the dream world; here the imagination can range. Usually the term Caravan brings to mind the colors of the desert environment, something that has to do with dromedaries and desert sand.
Dinner in restaurant and overnight in hotel.
8th Day, Shiraz – Naqshe Rostam – Isfahan
After breakfast before leaving for Isfahan, we will visit the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque in Shiraz, one of the most beautiful sites during the journey to Iran.
– The Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque. The term “elegance” finds its true meaning inside this sacred space with its splendid polychrome majolica tiles. The spring climate of Shiraz reflects surprisingly on the walls, stained glass windows and the exquisite tile decorations. The masterpiece of artistic beauty of the late 1900s, also called the Rose Mosque, is a welcoming place. However, at first glance, the striking feature of this mosque is the chromatic world from the rose petals, iris and so on.
After the visit, departure for Isfahan
– On the way, we will make a visit to the archaeological site of Naghsh-e- Rostam, is a necropolis and a stunning place, which still preserves the rocky tombs of the great Achaemenid kings. It is not an exaggeration to say that this site is the richest one among all in Iran because here lies a magnificent bas-relief of the Elamites, 1300 BC, the particular forms of the royal tombs and the scriptures in ancient Persian, 400 BC, and finally the very important documents of the Sassanids and manuscripts of the Middle Persian, 300 AD. In a single archaeological site, one can contemplate a Persia from the time of Elam until the defeat of Valerian, the Roman general who fought against Shapur.
At the end of the day we arrive in Isfahan, one of the most beautiful cities in Iran, dinner and overnight at the hotel.
9th Day, Isfahan
The flower of the Thousand and One Nights of the itinerary that we find in Isfahan. The city is a historical framework that completes the journey in Iran. It is no coincidence that Isfahan attracted Pasolini’s attention to shoot some scenes of his film in the Naghsh-e Jahan square. And here’s a Persian saying that says: Isfahan is half the world. In fact, the flourishing of Islamic architecture was born here in the Naghsh-e Jahan Square where the turquoise blue color dominates its mosques and the sky of the ancient Polo field which over time has become the home of the highly prized artistic workshops that embrace the 360 degrees Square. The Safavid age corresponds to the third Persian empire that brought Iranian power back to the throne by establishing a new Persia based on political, religious and military relations. The presence of Vank Cathedral managed by the Armenian Christian community since 1605 AD. it makes a striking example. However, the Safavid power was joined by art and thus a phase of “renaissance” of civilization, culture and Persian arts was born in Isfahan.
The Islamic Renaissance period in Iran saw (sees) artistic lightning under the rule of the Shah Abbas I the Great (1587-1629), a man with an exemplary personality. In Isfahan, in a few seconds, every traveler’s dream comes true, his idealization and mythization of the Middle East: Iran and its Renaissance charm. Just think of the frescoes of the Forty Columns Palace or the splendid ceiling of the Music Hall of the Ali Qapu Palace.
Breakfast. The whole day is dedicated to visiting the city walking through the streets between the Naghshe Jahan square and the artists’ shops.
Visits of the day:
– Royal Square or Naghsh-e Jahan, in Persian (the image of the World) urban center of the city, redesigned by Shah Abbas I. In the large central square Naghsh-e Jahan (about 85,000 square meters) there are two series of arches, in the lower part there are all the workshops of the artists who produce most of Iran’s handicrafts such as miniatures, turquoise and fabrics. Naghshe Jahan square was home to an elite of merchants who were looking for artistic sophistication. in the square there are still the pillars that served to delimit the Polo field built 400 years ago.
– the pretty “Queen’s Mosque or Sheikh Lotfollah”. The majestic masterpiece of the Safavid period is defined in a harmonious and completely recognizable space for its artistic opulence. The Shah Abbas I chose the talented Iranian architect, Ali Akbar Isfahani, to head the construction of the mosque which lasted almost 17 years. The mosque, as the Shah wanted, would have been dedicated to his father-in-law the Lebanese theologian who would later have a Koranic school in Isfahan. The architect Isfahani’s masterpiece put into practice a unique model of a mosque that never existed before. The mosque in fact has neither minarets nor internal courtyard, nor an ablution basin (bathtubs for the ablution)
However, the prodigious external and internal decoration, the play of light towards the mihrab, the magnificence of the calligraphy with the background of the lapis lazuli and finally the complexity and beauty of the floral motifs under the dome meant that the Sheikh Lotfollah in Isfahan would be one of the most beautiful of Iran.
– The Royal Mosque, today’s Imam Mosque. The genius of the architect Isfahani can be seen, willingly and unwillingly (willy-nilly), from outside the interior space of the mosque. In fact, when you contemplate the mosque, in the middle of Naghsh-e Jahan square – former Polo camp – you see an unusual abundance of minarets and a cunning and “designed” deviation (an astute and “wanted” deviation) from Arch. Isfahani for an aesthetic adaptation to the square.
The Imam Mosque is an unmistakable masterpiece where every decoration and every particle finds its meaning in geometric symmetry. Here the internal courtyard has been decorated with an ablution basin, while around the basin there are the four imposing iwans that represent the majesty of the use of blue colors in the sacred Islamic space. In addition to the decorative beauty, the two-layer dome – 36.3 m. of internal height and 51 m. the external one – from southern Iwan applies a peculiar system to amplify the sound or the calls of the ritual. Walk at a silent pace to hear the rumble.
– The Ali Qapu pavilion, the palace where the sovereign received his guests. Ali Qapu has six floors with a door that connected the square and the Chehel Sotun Palace.
When we are in the square we immediately notice the beautiful terrace with its 18 columns, where you can certainly enjoy a wonderful perspective on the Naghsh-e Jahan square.
The masterpiece of the palace consists of the incorporated details such as the fifth floor vault, the inlaid wooden ceiling, the type of pad applied on the walls of the palace which demonstrate an oriental dreamlike world. Finally, in the spine of the Ali Qapu Palace, a spiral staircase leads up to the enchanting music room decorated with stucco that depicts the vases and other similar themes which together help to make the room more acoustic.
– The Palace of the 40 columns or Chehel Sotun is the pavilion where the King granted the sessions and meeting. Another luxurious Persian Garden shines a few steps from the square and embraces one of the delights of the Safavid Renaissance: the pavilion of the Chehel Sotun Palace that still pulsates in the chest of the Persian Garden as if the luxury of real life had never ended.
Here the frescoes make themselves strummed because it is very little to define them refined and elegant. Admiring the paintings and the stories they narrate means permission to open the cultural and anthropological door to identify oneself with the most important characters in the history of the Middle East of 1600 – 1700.
Dinner in restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
10th Day, Isfahan
Iranian multi-ethnicity is a relevant factor in understanding Iran today. While some nomads resided and still reside in the Iranian plateau for several centuries, other ethnic groups such as Turkmens or faithful of other religions, such as Christians, came to Iran following geopolitical reasons, recognizing in this state tolerance towards other ethnic groups and religions; this has always been an added value given by a millenary culture. Just think, in this specific case, of the Armenians who had to move to Iran on the direct order of the Shah Abbas I. In fact, the Armenians of the Jolfa area of Armenia, in the 1920s, left their homeland forever, devastated due to a continuous conflict between the Ottomans and the Safavids, and came to Isfahan, starting a new socio-religious phase, building both their churches and the headquarters of their so-called Armenian Caliphate. The Jolfa district in Isfahan welcomed the Armenians, and the Shah Abbas I, in a manuscript, signed by himself, allowed them to establish new commercial and religious relationships, giving them some freedom completely supported by the Safavid Court. . The Armenians have opened an important commercial route in the heart of the capital of the Safavids “Isfahan”. In addition, the headquarters of the Armenian Caliphate focuses primarily on the publication of the new religious texts, using the invention of Gutenberg in Iran. All in all Isfahan is a historical summary of the events managed by the Armenians, who still live in the Jolfa district where the architectural (architectonic) beauty and the details of the frescoes of the Vank Cathedral surprise any type of traveler.
– Vank Cathedral and its museum tell the story of the diaspora of the Armenian people who have lived outside their mother earth for more than 300 years. Iran not only knew how to welcome its guests, but above all it protected them from serious conflicts that threatened social life in the Armenian neighborhood of Isfahan. Today, in the courtyard of the Vank Cathedral, the Armenians with such care and caution have opened a new ethnological museum, where you can immerse yourself in the real culture of a country so far and almost, thanks to the information displayed in the galleries of this historic showcase of the Armenian people. But the story does not end here because Vank Cathedral – not the only Church in Isfahan – invites the Armenian community to celebrate religious holidays and above all to commemorate the genocide. In fact, every year on April 24, the Armenians gather in the Vank Cathedral commemorating the deportation and elimination of their compatriots, about 1.5 million dead. As soon as you enter the elegant courtyard of the Vank Cathedral, going down the stairs of the main entrance you will notice one of the most important monuments of the Armenian people, dedicated to people deported during the great tragedy.
– Moving to Isfahan means being surprised and enriched by the local culture. When you go to the Friday Mosque (Masged Jamè) from the Jolfa district, you must absolutely cross the Zayandeh Rud river. On the way you see a simple sign of how the river marked the urban border between the two religious quarters of Isfahan. The passage from the Armenian area, arriving in the hugely popular area of the mosque on Friday, brings us back to the official religion of Iran: Shiism. The visit of the Friday Mosque in Isfahan, to say the least, it is the most important visit because here you can admire the Iranian Islamic architectural progress that occurred from the seventh century until 1900. So it is not wrong to point out that the Friday Mosque is the oldest and most complete in the whole country. Here the details are infinite and the spaces are immense. An exemplary model of an altar called the Mihrab of Oljaito was born in this mosque in the 14th century; the building has a complex stucco composition consisting of three-dimensional inscriptions that blend with floral and geometric carvings. The mosque has two clearly recognizable spaces even for the inexperienced eye: internal space and external space. It is wonderful to admire the monochromatic colors of the brick in the interior space and the turquoise blue and lapis lazuli colors in the exterior space. The passage from one space to another makes us travel through time especially when we are under the magnificent Dome of Taj al-Moluk considered to be the most beautiful, among the brick ones, in all of Iran. – The end of the visit to the Friday Mosque now leads us to an unexpected discovery in the middle of people’s traffic. Here in Isfahan, when a visit ends, another starts and the traveler unconsciously prepares to listen to the narratives of the city as if Shahrzad read them directly from “A Thousand and One Nights”, and here is the popular bazaar immediately after the exit of the main entrance of the Mosque. Now, for those who like to get lost in the popular streets, you must know that the time has come to be free by taking a walk among the shops and the perfumes and in this way you can reach Naghshe Jahan Square in 40 minutes. Before turning right and following the covered corridors of the Bazaar, you can satisfy the traveler’s curiosity by going directly to another historical district of Isfahan, to visit all the synagogues of the Jewish community of Isfahan, where the Jews practice their worship. There is talk of a multi-ethnicity in the true sense of the word and not easily found in other parts of the world.
– The visit of the bridges over the Zayandeh-Rud river, the Sio Se Pol bridge (of the 33 arches) and the Khaju bridge (Pol-e-Kaju).
Free time. Dinner at the restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
11th Day, Isfahan– Natanz – Abyaneh – Airport
The sun is going down and the landscape of the return journey becomes more and more reddish according to the sun’s rays that hit the way back to Tehran. The trip to Iran seems to have started just two hours ago, and as soon as you are slowly understanding Iran and the Iranians, it’s time to close the baggage and return to your country. But there is a special difference in the baggage before departure and after; now it is not full only of many emotions and enthusiasm, but it also includes a lot of culture. Usually the traveler worries about the extra kilos in his baggage and while the color of the sky is fixing, he thinks about how to organize the gifts; he would like to buy everything from pistachios, to fabrics, to turquoise, However, we know that in the baggage there is everything but except of one thing: the hospitality of the people that we found around the Bazaars, in restaurants or in archaeological sites.
This image is engraved in the hearts and it is the immortal souvenir that the traveler takes wherever he goes and for all those who have enjoyed this tour it will be a right motivation and a good incentive to return to Iran for the second time.
– Along the way we will stop the town of Natanz, to admire the Friday Mosque, Masjed Jamè, and the Abdol-Samad Mausoleum.
We continue the journey along the slopes of Karkas’ Mount “vulture” and here we enter a wonderful stage, given by a valley where we found one of the oldest traditional developments of Iran “Abyaneh”, an altitude 2200 meters above sea level. The village, which has its origins in the average age of 400 BC, is surrounded by the ruins of a Sassanid fortress from 300 AD. and it is also famous both for the ocher red color of the houses and for the rose worn on the long scarf worn by the women of the village. (the feasibility of the visit depends on the season and the snow)
The journey continues to the airport. Dinner and short rest at IBIS at the airport.
12Day, Tehran – Home land
Transfer to ” Imam Khomeini” international airport for back flight.