Behind the Veil

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $6,625
  • Length: 17 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Middle East, Iran
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Tour Description

Journey to the heart of Persia as you enjoy the luxury of traveling with a small group and gaining privileged access to this little-visited land. Begin in Tehran where local guides will introduce you to the history and culture of Iran at museums, palaces and the country’s national bank, which houses the incredible crown jewels. Then travel west to Hamadan and enjoy privately guided visits to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the north of the country, Tabriz is one of the friendliest cities in Iran. Stay in a unique cave hotel in the fairytale land of Kandovan, whose inhabitants live in houses carved out of compressed volcanic ash. Travel south to the city of poets, Shiraz, and then venture into the past on a privately guided tour of the ancient city of Persepolis. Enjoy Isfahan, the cultural capital of Iran, and relish its iconic bridges, massive mosques and fabulous palaces.

  • Stroll the ancient bazaars of Isfahan and Shiraz with your private guide
  • Explore the fabled ruins of Persepolis, one of the great cities of ancient times and the crown jewel of legendary Persian kings
  • Tour the archaeological treasures around Hamadan, several of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Spend two nights in a unique cave hotel carved into the fantastic volcanic landscape of Kandovan
  • Visit the former home of the Ayatollah Khomeini on a privately guided tour

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 3

Tehran, Iran

Arrive in Tehran on Day 2 and embark on a city tour which will include the Central Bank and a viewing of the crown jewels, including a 182-carat diamond and a globe covered with nearly 51,000 gemstones. Visit the Rose Garden Palace, which houses a museum dedicated to Iranian life in the various provinces of the country; the National Archaeological Museum; and a carpet exhibition where you will learn about the various styles and designs of Persia’s most famous export.

Espinas International Hotel, Tehran

DAYS 4 & 5

Hamadan

Visit the archaeological sites of Taq-e-Bostan with its spectacular 6th-century bas reliefs; the 5th-century B.C. site of Bisotun and the Achaemenian Rock inscriptions. Immerse yourself in ancient history including the tombs of Bab Taher, and Esther and Mordecai.

Parsian Azadi Hotel, Hamadan

DAY 6

Tabriz

En route to Tabriz, stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Takht-e Suleiman (Throne of Solomon), one of Iran’s most important ancient holy sites. Then explore Tabriz, Iran’s most welcoming city, with visits to the ancient Blue Mosque and one of the oldest and largest bazaars in the Middle East.

Pars Hotel, Tabriz

DAYS 7 & 8

Kandovan

Drive to the mysterious 13th-century village of Kandovan; many of its homes have been carved into cone-shaped, compressed volcanic ash formations. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Church of St. Thaddeus. Back in Kandovan, your unique hotel has been carved from the rock itself.

Laleh Kandovan International Rocky Hotel, Kandovan

DAYS 9 & 10

Yazd

Return to Tehran, stopping at the residence of the Ayatollah Khomeini before catching your flight for Yazd. In the evening light you may see the famous Towers of Silence on the hilltops outside of Yazd. Visit medieval mosques, traditional wind towers and beautiful architecture in this fascinating and remote outpost.

Safaieh Hotel, Yazd

DAYS 11 - 15

Pasargadae, Shiraz, Persepolis Isfahan

Drive to Shiraz via Cyrus the Great’s capital of Pasargadae where you will visit Cyrus’ austere tomb, his opulent palace and the ruins of this once-great city. Then enter Shiraz, once the cradle of royal civilization in Persia. The city offers a multitude of delights, including the great university; the mausoleum of one of Persia’s greatest poets, Hafiz; and the incredible bazaar. Then spend a day exploring the ruins of Persepolis. Travel to Isfahan, one of the most beautiful cities in Iran and the 17th-century capital of the Safavid Dynasty. You’ll see palaces and gardens, churches, mosques and the extensive Isfahan Bazaar with its hundreds of shops offering everything under the sun.

Homa Hotel, Shiraz Aobrbasi Hotel, Isfahan

DAYS 16 & 17

Abyaneh, Tehran Depart for Home

After breakfast, depart Isfahan for Abyaneh, a beautiful remote mountain village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to Kashan to visit the unique Boroujerdi Residence and beautiful Find Garden. On Day 17 you will be taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.

Espinas International Hotel, Tehran

Departures

Pricing Information

April 15, 2012

From $6,625.00 per person double occupancy.

From $1,035.00 single room supplement.

October 7, 2012

From $6,625.00 per person double occupancy.

From $1,035.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

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Tour Notes