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12 Days of Desert Life

This adventure will start in Tehran and will take you to the cities of Kerman, Yazd, Isfahan and Kashan where you will see the ingenious ways Iranians have adapted to life in the desert. Adobe homes, wind towers, Sabats, Zoroastrian fire temples, Safavid architectural marvels and lush gardens at the heart of some of the driest cities in Iran and Qajar Mansions are some of the things you will see in this trip.

As no trip to Iran is ever complete without a stop in the city of flowers and nightingale, you will visit Shiraz where you will find out why this city is known as the cultural capital of Iran.


Day 1: You will arrive in Tehran well you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.


Day 2: Spend your second day visiting different museums in Tehran. Visit the Qajar mansion which is the location of Abgineh Museum with its pre-Islamic to Islamic era collections of glassware and porcelain.

Go to the National Museum of Iran where you will see intact columns from Persepolis and handmade jewelry from 1,000s of years ago and many other artifacts from all over Iran.

You can visit the Carpet Museum, which has gathered a collection of the finest handwoven carpets by the master weavers of Iran.


Day 3: You will leave for Rayen early in the morning where you will see the Rayen Citadel, a miniature version of the UNESCO registered Bam Citadel, which was once the largest adobe structure in the world prior to the 2003 earthquake that devastated nearly 80 percent of this fortress city.

On the way back to Kerman you will stop in Mahan to visit the blue-tiled Mausoleum of the 14th century Sufi Shah Nematollah Vali and the Qajar Shahzadeh Garden and Mansion.

In Kerman you will visit the Safavid era (1501–1736) Ganjali Khan Complex next to the Kerman Grand Bazaar, which consists of a square, bazaar, bathhouse, mosque, Ab-Anbar (water reservoir), mint and a monument. You will also have time to visit the Muzaffarid era (1314–1393) Jame Mosque.


Day 4: You will drive back to Shiraz and stop on the way in Neyriz to visit the Sassanid (224-651 CE) Sarvestan Palace, which was a hunting lodge for Bahram V (406-438 CE). You will arrive in Shiraz in the evening.


Day 5:  Spend a day outside the city visiting the ruins of one the most magnificent masonry works in the world created over a period of 150 years by one of the oldest civilizations to date. Persepolis was devastated by a fire but its surviving monuments and reliefs still tell of the glory of times gone by.

Let the four gargantuan Achaemenid tombs hewn out of a high cliff at Naqsh-e Rostam take your breath away. You will be amazed by the six massive rock reliefs capturing the stories of the Sassanids and left intrigued by the Cube of Zoroaster and its unexplained origin and function.

After returning to Shiraz in the afternoon, you can visit the tomb of the master of verse Saadi and enjoy a cup of aromatic tea or rosewater scented ice-cream in Hafezieh while consulting Hafiz poems to see what the future may bring!

Visit lavishly decorated Qajar structures like the Pink Mosque (Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque), Karim Khan Fortress (Arg of Karim Khan) and Vakil Bazaar.


Day 6: Head for Yazd early in the morning. On the road you can visit the first Achaemenid capital in Pasargadae and the tomb of Cyrus the Great, who created one of the first Human Rights Charters known to man after freeing the Jews in 537 BC from captivity in Babylon.

After arriving in Yazd, where you will spend the night, you can do a little sightseeing.


Day 7: Head outside the city to see the Dakhme (tower of silence) where Zoroastrians exposed their dead to the sun.

Go to the Atash Behram (Fire of Victory) Temple where the holy fire has continuously burned for 1,500 years.

You can see 12th century Jame Mosque of Yazd, which was built on the ruins of a Sassanid fire temple and is reputed to have the tallest minarets in Iran.

Take a stroll through the historical Fahadan neighborhood and enjoy the architectural beauty of Yazd traditional homes and Sabats (vaulted alleys).

Visit the Dowlatabad Wind Tower and the Dowlatabad Garden, which is an example of the UNESCO registered Persian Garden.

You can also visit Alexander’s Prison, which is believed to have been built at the time of Alexander’s attack on the Persian Empire and later turned into a school named Ziyaeieh.

 In the afternoon, visit the Amir Chakhmaq Historical Complex where you can try some of the delicious local pastries like Persian baklava and Qotab (deep-fried almond-filled pastry) while you wait for the Amir Chakhmaq lights to bring this monument to life. 


Day 8:  Head to Isfahan in the morning where you will stop in Naein where you can see the 10th century Jame Mosque which is considered one of the first mosques to have been built in Iran. You can also visit the Safavid Pirnia House is a (1501-1722) which was originally the residence of the governor of Naein and is now the Desert Anthropology Museum.

You will arrive in Isfahan in the evening.


Day 9 & 10:   Let the splendor of Naqsh-e Jahan Square and Shah and Sheikh Lutfollah Mosques, Ali Qapu Palace and Qeisarieh Bazaar leave you awestruck.

Stop for a rest in the traditional Rouzegar Café and have traditional Persian drinks and snacks or go for a carriage ride around this glorious Meydan (square).

Visit the Jame Mosque of Isfahan, which is the embodiment of the aesthetic tastes of Persian rulers for over 1,000 years. See the 11 bridges of Zayandeh Rood and don’t miss Si-o-se Pol and Khaju Bridge.

Visit Hasht Behesht (eight paradises) Palace and Chehel Sotoun (40 columns) Pavilion.

There will be time to explore Jolfa, the Armenian Quarter of Isfahan, and take a tour of its old churches and Vank Cathedral. Walk through Jolfa’s maze of cobblestoned streets and the inviting cafes situated around its old churches where you can enjoy a delicious meal.


Day 11: You will begin your road trip back to Tehran early in the morning.

You will stop in Natanz on the way where you will see beautiful Islamic structures such as the tomb of a Sufi master named Sheikh Abd al-Samad and the Ilkhanid (1256–1335) Friday Mosque.

Your next stop will be the desert oasis Kashan. Take a tour of Fin Garden, one of the prime examples of the UNESCO registered Persian Garden, and let its Qajar and Safavid baths please your eyes.

Visit the bride of all traditional Persian homes the Tabatabaei House. The delicate decorations used in this Qajar home will be a sight difficult to forget.

You will continue towards Tehran where you can also visit the Imam Khomeini Mausoleum on the way. You will spend your last night in Tehran.


Day 12: Transfer to IKA airport for your flight home.


Note: We have designed our tour packages to cover a wide-range of tastes and to be fun. If you don’t find what you are looking for here please contact us and we will design a package especially for you.


We have designed our tour packages to cover a wide-range of tastes and to be fun. If you don’t find what you are looking for here please contact us and we will design a package especially for you. 

12 Days of Desert Life

  • Highlights

    Seeing the treasures of Tehran, Ganjali Khan Complex in Kerman, Persepolis and Pasargadae in Shiraz, tower of silence and fire temple in Yazd, half of the world in Isfahan and the bride of all traditional Persian homes in Kashan.

  • Duration

    12 days and 11 nights

  • Price

    Depending on the number of travelers

  • Persons

    Minimum 2

  • Features
    • Visa
    • Airport pickup and drop-off
    • 5-star Accommodation
    • Car and driver
    • Professional tour guide
    • All entry passes