(Standard tour) 3 & 4* hotels (mix) from £2472.00 Inc. Direct flight BA
Tour departure schedule
Overview: Discover the joy of travelling by camel on the 16 day Manzel tour.
This trip gives you the experience of what it would have been like to travel before the invention of cars. You will take the well trodden road of ‘a manzel’ which is the 33 km journey merchants would make every day in the past. You will travel from Zeinoddin to Sar Yazd by camel before spending a night staying in a desert. Just imagine enjoying a night in the wilderness looking up at the starry sky – total bliss. Be awe-inspired by the beautiful gardens, tombs, and ruins across Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Persepolis, Necropolis and many more places. The trip includes accommodation, meals as stated, sightseeing tours and transfers.
- Experienced English speaking guide for 17 days
- 15 nights accommodation
- Direct Flight BA
- Domestic flights
- Breakfast and lunch
- All the entrance fees
- Invitation letter for Iran visa
- Transfer by guide
Day 1 – Arriving Tehran
Enjoy Iran’s warm hospitality from the moment you arrive on your pre-dawn flight to Tehran airport. Here you will be cordially greeted by your representative who will transfer you to your hotel. You will have time to rest and relax before your morning tour of Tehran starts. Today you will see for yourself how Tehran is a modern megalopolis, which prides itself in having unique museums with immense and unrivalled collections and artefacts dating from the earliest onset of history to the present era. Your tour will begin with a trip to the Archeological Museum, which is one of the rare places in the world where you can experience the “evolution of mankind” through the marvellous display of historical relics. Next on the agenda is lunch where you can savour the distinctive flavour of Iranian cuisine. Lunch will be set in an exquisite traditional Iranian restaurant where you will sample a wide range of delightful Persian dishes and desserts. Afterwards, you will visit the Crown Jewels Museum that is home to one of the greatest diamonds – Darya-e-Noor which means ‘sea of light’. At the end of the day, you will get a chance to see a variety of Persian hand-woven carpets and rugs in the Carpet Museum which houses more than 100 spectacular pieces from all over Iran. On top of that, you will also be given an insight into the history of these carpets. Finally head back to you hotel and sleep off any jet lag.
Day 2 – Tehran & Boushehr
Start the day with a hearty breakfast to fuel yourself up for a busy day sightseeing. You will start the day with a morning visit to Sa’ad Abad Complex which is home to 18 magnificent historical palaces – 2 of which you will visit. Learn how this palace was built by the Pahlavi dynasty before heading to the Ceramic Museum. Then you will enjoy a tasty Iranian lunch in a traditional restaurant. Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Boushehr. Once you land, you will be transferred to your hotel to unwind.
Day 3 – Boushehr, Shiraz, Bishapur & Chogan
In the morning you will visit Boushehr port which is on the Persian Gulf. Attractions of Bushehr include the stunning coast line, seasonal bazaars, and historical relics. In the afternoon, you will be driven toward Shiraz. En route you will visit Bishapur which is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan. The next stop will be Tang e Chogan which is a valley with a river north of the ancient city of Bishapur. Be wowed by the 6 giant rock carvings on walls telling the story of the Roman Empire defeat. Finally as night falls, you will arrive at your hotel in Shiraz.
Day 4 – Shiraz
Today you will unlock the beauty of Shiraz which has a reputation as being the centre of Persian culture for more than 2,000 years. Early in the morning, you will relish in the highlights of Shiraz when it was the capital of Iran during the Zand Dynasty. You will be inspired by the glorious Karim Khan palace, the splendid Vakil mosque, Vakil Bazaar and Saray-e-moshir with its splendid architecture as well as the interesting ethnic souvenir shops, Nasir Almolk mosque. Next, you will stop for a mouth-watering Iranian lunch at one of the traditional restaurants of Shiraz. After lunch, you will pay homage to the city’s famous poets such as Hafez and Sa’adi with a visit to their tombs. In the evening, you will visit Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh which is the tomb of Emir Ali, a nephew of Shah Cheragh, who also died here while en route to Khorasan to help Imam Reza. Be prepared to marvel at its structure which includes eye-catching bulbous Shirazi dome, dazzling Venetian mirror work, stained-glass windows and an intricate, ancient wooden door. Take a stroll through the Jahan Nama Garden and witness its tall and proud cedars. Finally explore the Delgosha Garden and Khajoy-e-Kermani tomb from where you can enjoy stunning views of Shiraz. At night, you will unwind with dinner inside a restaurant in the north of Shiraz.
Day 5 – Persepolis & Necropolis
After a scrumptious breakfast you will head out for an excursion to Persepolis. Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C, Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site. It seems that Darius planned this impressive complex of palaces not only as the seat of government but also, and primarily, as a show place and a spectacular centre for the receptions and festivals of the Achaemenid kings and their empire such as Nowroz. The next stop will be Necropolis, which sits opposite the mountain of Rahmat, and also boasts seven bas-relief sculptures dating back to Elamite and Sassanid period.
Day 6 – Isfahan, on the way visit Pasargadae & Izad khast
Today you will travel toward Isfahan, but will make a few short stops in Pasargadae to visit the most important and majestic monuments there. The first stop will be to the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the originator of the Achaemanian Empire. At 500 years BC, it is the oldest historical tomb. The wonderful architecture of his tomb, and the huge land that surrounds it
impress it many visitors. Next you will reach the Complex of Izadkhast which is located in the Fars Province of Iran. The complex consists of Izadkhast Castle, a caravanserai, and a Safavid-period bridge. The castle structure is of particular interest due to the different architectural styles incorporated into the construction of the building, including Sassanid and Qajar periods. Finally you will arrive in Isfahan where you will check into your hotel to relax.
Day 7 – Isfahan
Prepare to be awe-inspired by Isfahan which is considered the pearl of traditional Islamic archaeology. Isfahan prides itself in having fascinating historical garden palaces. Legend has it that the city was founded at the time of Tahmoures or Keykavous and because of its glories has been entitled “Half the World”. Your tour will start with a trip to the famed Imam Square, which is also known as Naqsh-e-Jahan, and is a huge square – second in the world to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. You will also tour the architectural marvels of Sheikh Lotfollah, Imam Mosques, Chehel Sutoon and Hasht Behesht Palaces. Make sure your camera is full charged so that you can snap the intricate artwork inside these landmarks. Finally, you will visit one of the most famous bazaars in Iran, where you can buy the arts and crafts that Isfahan is renowned for.
Day 8 – Isfahan
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Isfahan’s Jame mosque which holds in itself the passage of several centuries of historical Islamic evolution. This mosque is a gallery of Islamic architecture in which the progress of the architecture from the outset of Islam until recent times is evident. Then you will visit Vank Church which is one of the most beautiful Armenian churches in the world and will undoubtedly capture the attention of every Christian. Your day will conclude with a visit to Monar Jomban which is the tomb of a Sufi and boasts shaking minarets and some historical bridges. You will have the evening free to spend at leisure. Relax in your hotel or explore Isfahan’s nightlife.
Day 9 – Driving to Zeinoddin on the way visiting Meybod
Today you will move toward Zeinoddin, before making a pit stop in Meybod. Meybod is a major desert city in Yazd Province which goes back to the pre-Islamic era and, hence, is home to many ancient monuments. Today you will visit Narin Ghal’e, which is one of the oldest castles in Iran that dates back to the Sassanid era. Chaparkhaneh and Abbasi Caravansaries are some other historical buildings in this city that you will visit.Next you will travel to Zeinoddin, and visit the Safavid Caravanserai in the heart of desert. This fourteenth century building once served as a resting place for caravans merchants of the Silk Road. It has now been restored and received 2 awards from UNESCO in 2005 and 2006. Here you can contemplate life as you enjoy the tranquillity of the desert.
Day 10 – Moving from Zeinoddin to Sar yazd by camel (one Manzel)
Today you will discover how people travelled before the invention of cars and used camel as a means of transportation. Learn how old Iranians passed the distance between cities following a group named Caravan and how the places where they would rest was called Caravanserai. Historians believe that every Caravan would travel around 33 km every day and usually there would be a Caravanserai at the end so they could rest or do business. This distance is known as a “Manzel”, which you too will experience today as you will travel from Zeinoddin to Sar Yazd by camel. At night, you will stay in a historical Sar Yazd Caravanserai. Just imagine spending the night in the wilderness looking up at the starry sky.
Day 11 – Yazd
This morning you will be driven to Yazd which is the driest major city of the country and the centre of the ancient culture of Zoroastrianism . It has a unique architecture that has been adapted to the desert that surrounds it. It is known for the high quality of its handicrafts, silk weaving and delicious sweets. Today you will tour Dakhmeh which includes exploring the Temple of Zoroastrian fire, and the tower of silence where Zoroastrians would leave the dead corpse to be eaten by vultures, before visiting the wind towers. After a fascinating day, you will head back to your hotel in Yazd to put your feet up.
Day 12 – Ferdows & Dasht-e-Kavir
Today you will travel to the desert village of Ferdows which is famed for its hospitable citizens. They are so friendly that they build their homes in two parts. One part is dedicated for their own use and the other part is built for guests. You will stay overnight in one of these houses and enjoy their hospitability. It will no doubt be one of the most unique experience you will have.
Day 13 – Mashhad & Gonabad
After a delicious breakfast, you will head for Mashhad. En route you will visit Gonabad, where you will see the famous Khanghahs Sufi Monastery. Make sure you get your camera ready to snap this fascinating landmark. Finally, you will stay overnight in Gonabad.
Day 14 – Mashhad
Start the day with a delicious breakfast before travelling to Mashhad to visit the Imam Reza Shrine. Keep our eyes open for the golden dome which is the reason many pilgrims travel several months to catch a glimps of. Of course even if you are not an Iranian, you can still feel the influence of this holy place. Mashhad is where the Shiite Imam Reza was martyred and thus is an important site for Shiite Muslim pilgrims. The Shrine’s complex also includes the Goharshad Mosque, a museum, a library, four seminaries, a cemetery, the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, a dining hall for pilgrims, and vast prayer halls. Finally head to your hotel in Mashhad and unwind.
Day 15 – Mashhad & Tehran
Culture vultures will enjoy exploring Mashhad which is a city filled with history. Your full day city tour in Mashhad will start at the Imam Reza Holy Shrine, before heading to Tus to visit the tomb of Ferdowsi, the great epic poet of 10th century AD . Ferdowsi is famous for writing Shahnameh, which literally means “Letter of the King”. After that you will explore Harounieh, which is a nice structure with an unknown historical function. Finally you will have a night visit to the holy shrine of Imam Reza and see worshippers praying, before a flight back to Tehran.
Day 16 – Depart Iran
Relish in the final breakfast of your holiday. Enjoy the sunshine before you pack your bags and are transferred to the airport for your flight back to the UK. As you leave Iran, you will no doubt take away with you many fond memories. If you would like to extend your stay or travel in a premium cabin then please speak with our travel specialists who will be happy to assist you.
Niayesh boutique hotel in Shiraz – The hotel is located in a historical and cultural region of Shiraz – the city of literature, culture and civilization. It features a traditional style of Iranian architecture and carpentry. Another big plus is the special courtyard which home to a collection of flowers, large trees and colored windows. A tranquil restaurant and coffee shop is set in the courtyard and serves tea, espresso coffee, qalyans and a limited menu of home-style dishes.
Hotel facilities & amenities:
- Air conditioning
- Courtyard garden
- Room service
Room facilities & amenities:
- Individually decorated rooms
- Air conditioning
Isfahan Aseman hotel – This hotel is located in the heart of the historical city of Isfahan and features restaurants, a coffee shop, friendly atmosphere, as well as experienced and trained staff.
Hotel facilities & amenities:
- Air conditioning
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
- Room service
- Free breakfast
Room facilities & amenities:
- Tea and coffee making facilities
- Bottled water
- Satellite TV
- Air conditioning