Discover fascinating Iran, Asia, its stunning palaces and mosques, its bazaars and gardens, but most of all discover the rich heritage of its ancient civilizations. Iran, formerly Persia, is a country rich in history and traditions, and this tour will take you to its most impressive archaeological and historic sites, for an unforgettable holiday in a charming and mysterious land.Read more
Here are the highlights of your itinerary:
After some rest you will drive via Qazvin (enroute visit the beautiful Jame Mosque) and continue to the ancient city of Hamedan. Hamedan, or Ecbatana, is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world.
It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE. City tour in the afternoon: visit Esther and Mordecai Tomb, once Iran's most important Jewish Pilgrimage site. Breakfast included.
In the morning you will drive to Alisadr Cave (70 km) to visit the world's largest water cave. Upon entering, visitors see a large area that leads them through a wide path onto a wharf where they take a boat to continue their tour. Visitors then move through a number of labyrinthine halls, ending in the '"island" located 350 meters from the wharf.
In the afternoon you will travel back to Hamedan. Enroute see Ganjnameh cuneiform rock carvings, an ancient inscription, which has been carved in granite. It is composed of two sections. One (on the left) ordered by Darius the Great (521-485 BC) and the other (on the right) ordered by Xerxes the Great (485-65 BC). Both sections, which have been carved in three ancient languages of Old Persian, Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Elamite, start with praise of God (Ahura Mazda) and describe the lineage and deeds of the mentioned kings.
Drive to Kermanshah via Bisotun. The Behistun Inscription is a multilingual inscription located on Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province. After that visit Taq-e Bostan, a site with some of the finest and best-preserved examples of Persian sculpture under the Sassanids, including representations of the investitures of Ardashir II (379–383) and Shapur III (383–388). Arrival in Kermanshah and check in to your hotel.
After some rest drive to Dezful in the morning. The name Dezful derives from two words dezj (fortress)+pol (bridge), which in combination could stand for 'the bridge to the fortress' or 'fortified bridge'.
In the afternoon enjoy a half day city tour. The old part of the city near the bridge is known as the Qaleh (castle). In the middle of the river, close to the bridge, you can see remains of several water mills built ca. 300 BC. You will also see Dezful caravanserai and Jame mosque.
Full day tour of Khuzestan province's ancient places. In the morning you will drive to Susa, the ancient Elamite capital (today the modern town that was once Susa is called “Shush”). Founded by the Elamites as their capital, it had most importance in the Sumerian, Babylonian and Arcadian periods. Much of what remains today is from Darius’ reign (though there is much pottery that dates from up to 7000 BC). The remains of Darius Apadana Palace can be seen with its 72 pillars, one for each chapter of the Ghath Ha, the Zoroastrian equivalent of the Bible.
Then you will drive on through the desert landscape to Chogha Zanbil, one of few remaining ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia. It is a Unesco world heritage site built in 1250 BC. The vast structure had four separate entrances allowing differing levels of access according to status, leading up to what would have been five levels, with the highest levels only accessible to royalty and the highest leveled priests. Elamite cuneiform inscriptions decorate much of the brickwork.
In the afternoon your last stop will be the water mills of Shushtar, a Sassanid era irrigation system with a series of dams, canals and mills, one of which is still in use. The mills were used to grind barley and wheat. Drive to Ahwaz and check in to your hotel.
After breakfast you are free to depart at anytime.
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