(Standard tour) 3 & 4* hotels (mix) from £1741.00 Inc. Direct flight BA
Tour departure schedule
Overview: Discover the beauty of Iran’s traditions on the epic 13-day Lion and Sun Tour.
This trip gives you an insight behind Iran’s lion and sun emblem when you spot the famous motif on many historical landmarks as you travel through this fascinating country. Fall in love with the beauty of Iran as you explore stunning gardens, sparse deserts, and decorative tombs while travelling through Isfahan, Shiraz, Tehran, Yazd, Zeinoddin, Persepolis, Bam, Mahan, Rayen, Naqshe Rustam, Pasargadae and Kashan. Learn how under Safavid and the first Qajar kings, the motif stood for the two pillars of society – the state and the Islamic religion and also appeared on the country’s flag between 1846 and 1980. This tour to Iran is the preferred one by most travellers visiting the country for the first time; it includes the main tourist sites of historical and cultural interest. The getaway includes accommodation, sightseeing tours, meals as stated and transfers.
- Letter for Iran visa
- Direct Flight BA
- Breakfast and lunch
- Arrival and departure transfers
- 13 days transportation across Iran
- 13 days experienced English speaking guide
- Entrance fees to all mentioned monuments
Day 1 – 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 our 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 start with a trip to the National Museum. In the afternoon, you will visit the National 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 your hotel and sleep off any jet lag.
Day 2 – Tehran & Shiraz
Feast on a hearty breakfast to fuel yourself up for a busy day of 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 Pahlavi dynasty before heading to the Museum of Ceramics and Glass. Housed in a beautiful Qajar-era building, the museum has hundreds of exhibits from Neishabur, Kashan, Rey and Gorgan, dating from the 2nd millennium BC to the modern day. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the station to take the night train to Shiraz. When you arrive at your hotel, check in and relax.
Day 3 – Shiraz
Today you will explore Shiraz which enjoys balmy weather and is considered one of the oldest cities of classical Persia as well as being a regional hub for commerce for over a thousand years. Today, you will be awe-inspired when you visit the glorious Karim Khan Palace, the splendid Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bazaar, and Nasir Almolk Mosque. In the afternoon 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.
Day 4 – Persepolis, Naqshe Rustam & Pasargadae
Enjoy a delicious breakfast before visiting the ancient city of Persepolis which was once the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Next you will visit the Naghhe Rustam which is a rocky wall with four royal tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings and bas-relief sculptures. Finally you will stop at the tomb of Cyrus the Great, who was the great founder of Achaemanian Empire. At 500 years BC, this is the oldest historical tomb and features wonderful architecture and huge fertile land. Finally head back to your hotel in Shiraz and unwind.
Day 5 – Drive to Lut Desert
Today you will enjoy the tranquillity of the desert when you travel to the Great Salt Desert, which is the hottest place on earth. Covering more than 50,000sq km in the southeast of the country, the desert has had a reading of 70.7°C – that’s hot enough to fry an egg – quite literally. Today you will be transfer to Lut desert where you can enjoy trekking. You will want to pull out your selfie stick and snap this once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will then stay overnight in traditional house in the village of Dolat Abad.
Day 6 – Visit Bam, Mahan and Rayen
Today you will explore Bam, which is famous for its citadel that was destroyed in the earthquake of December 2003. Today you will visit the ruins of the citadel as well as the tomb of the great Sufi leader Shah Neemat ollah Vali. The gardens that surround the tomb Shazdeh Garden in Mahan, will also be a memorable moment from today. Enjoy walking through the rectangle shaped garden with beautiful flowers and a stunning water fountain.
You will finally visit Rayen Castle where you can learn how it was inhabited until 150 years ago and, although believed to be at least 1,000 years old, may have foundations from the pre-Islamic Sassanid era. Finally you will head to your hotel and unwind.
Day 7 – Zeinoddin
Today 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 8 – 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, especially silk weaving and delicious sweets place. Today you will visit the Jameh mosque and the monumental complex Tekieh Amir Chakhmagh before relaxing in your hotel.
Day 9 – Yazd
Start the day with a delicious breakfast, before a day sightseeing. Today you will tour 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 10 – Isfahan via visiting Nain
This morning you will travel to Isfahan which is in the vicinity of Dasht-e-Kavir and the attractive city of Nain. Along the way you will explore Nain which is known as the city of cisterns and possesses around 80 of them. Once in Isfahan, you will explore two historic bridges including Kaju, which is noted as being one of the finest constructions of Persian architecture. The bridge is 132-meters long and also acts as dam. You will also explore Sioseh Pol bridge which is highly ranked as being one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design. Until recently there were teahouses on the ends which nowadays are abandoned due to the shortage of water and the river drought. Finally stay overnight at a hotel in Isfahan.
Day 11- Isfahan
Prepare to fall in love with 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.
Day 12 – Isfahan, drive to Kashan via visiting Abyaneh
Lose yourself to 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, the tomb of a Sufi, and is famed for its shaking minarets and some historical bridges. You will then be transferred to Kashan, but enroute will visit the UNESCO recognised village of Abyaneh. Enjoy the splendid archaeology and meet the dwellers who speak, live and dress in the original Persian style. Located at the foot of Mount Karkas and in the vicinity of desert, you can appreciate the serenity of this quaint village.
Day 13 – Kashan & departure
Today you will travel to Kashan and visit the famous Fin Garden filled with lush greenery, stunning flowers, calming water fountains and stunning Persian architecture. Immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings as you explore the site for a few hours. You will then also have a chance to visit Tabatabaiha and Borojerdiha houses before exploring the Agha Bozorg Mosque. Enjoy a moment’s tranquillity in the mosque before you are transferred to the airport for your flight back to the UK. As you depart Iran, you will be left with fond memoires of warmth and hospitality. If you would like to travel in a premium cabin or extend your stay, then please speak with our travel specialist.
Zeinoddin Caravanserai – This was built on the orders of Shah Abbas the great in the 17th century. It is located 60km south of Yazd in a vast desert plain. It is well renovated and the accommodation style is almost restored to its original state. Lonely in the heart of the desert, Zeinoddin Caravanserai is the only circular caravanserai left from the Safavid period. It really gives you a taste of a caravan traders’ life on the silk road.
Hotel facilities & amenities:
- Home-cooked Persian cuisine
- Desert location
- Dinning room
Room facilities & amenities:
- Shared bathroom and toilet facilities
Venus Hotel – This 3 Star hotel is located in the business district area in Tehran. It is only 30 minutes away from the International Imam Khomeini Airport, and is close to tourist attractions, historical places and shopping centers.
Hotel facilities & amenities:
- Fitness centre
- Spa and wellness centre
- Indoor pool (all year)
Room facilities & amenities:
- Satellite channels
- Flat-screen TV
- Room service