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  • Akhshigan Our Tours
    Code: 51
    Round Trip
    The Marvelous and Magnificent IRAN
    In nineteen days, you’ll be exposed to the mountain, caves, lagoon and diverse history, culture and landscapes. To summarize, you will visit: *A modern industrialized city with signs of an old civilization of 2,500 years old * The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Takht-e Soleymān * Magnificent man-made cave homes that are still inhabitable * The Shrine of Sheikh Safi, an eminent leader of the Islamic Sufi * An exceptional ensemble of royal architecture of Persia’s Sassanid dynasty, and the spiritual center for Zoroastrians * A Cave belongs to second Jurassic period
    The Marvelous and  Magnificent IRAN
    The Marvelous and  Magnificent IRAN

    The Marvelous and Magnificent IRAN
    Best season: Spring


    Day 1. Arrival in Tehran

    Upon arrival in IKA airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hot
    You'll stay overnight at your hotel. (L/D)

    Day 2. Natural Mirror
    Wouldn't it be nice to find the actual location of natural mirror? Well, you asked for it and we’ll make it happen
    Today you will catch the beauty of the salt lake, located on the south of Alborz Mount. While there would be enough rain you will find a big mirror in front of you. It is also called “Imperial Lake “.
    You have enough time taking photos & sightseeing.
    Then driving to Kashan, dating back to 9,000 years ago, where scientists believe is the first place that man started to live in a city. It is an important center for the production of high-quality pottery and tiles. The name Kashi, meaning "Tile" in Persian, is coming from the city name of (Kashan). By some accounts, Kashan was the origin of the three wise men who followed the stars that guided them to Bethlehem to witness the nativity of Jesus, as recounted in the Bible.
    In Kashan, you will visit the World Heritage Site listed Bagh-e Fin (Fin Garden), which is a historical Persian garden. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran.
    Kashan has hundreds of large traditional houses built by wealthy merchants during the Qajar era. There are some particular buildings that are of most importance. Khan-e (house of) Tabatabaei and Khan-e Boroujerdi.
    You will stay overnight in a traditional house in Kashan. (B/L/D)
    Total drive for the day: 250 km

    Day 3. Cave & Hot water springs
    Today you will drive to Naragh to visit a 70 million years old cave, an alive and natural one. As soon as you enter the cave you feel cool air & crystalline images will surprised you.
    You will take your time to enjoy walking & sightseeing, and then later having lunch in Delijan, will give you enough energy to get ready to visit a temple named Khorhe, means “sun rising ". Location and area history is dating back to the second millennium BC, where you can see two remaining columns which are glaring.
    Passing 2000 BC to present, stay overnight in Mahallat, Spa is available (B/L/D) Total drive for the day: 160 km

    Day 4. Bird watching & sand dunes
    Early morning you will drive to the Meighan wetland, where annually receives more than 12 thousand migratory birds from Siberia, located in a desert environment, which makes a unique and interesting features. Later having lunch & sightseeing in Arak will make the rest of your day. (B/L/D) Total drive for the day:180 km

    Day 5. Median capital
    Today you start driving towards next destination, the Varkaneh, which is a 400 years village. You will walk through the cobblestone alley & having break in a traditional house.
    Now you hit the road to the Median capital, thither you will visit tomb of two illustrious Iranian.
    One of them is Avicenna, who was a Persian physician and philosopher and profoundly influenced medieval Islamic and Christian philosophers. He is thought to create over 400 works on a variety of topics but only about 250 have survived. His most famous works are The Book of Healing – a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine – a medical encyclopedia that became a standard medical text at many medieval universities.
    The other one is Baba Taher Hamadani, popularly poet, mystic, who loved God, nature and human being. In the evening, you'll have dinner at a restaurant and head to your hotel to relax (B/L/D) Total drive for the day: 213 km

    Day 6. Alvand Mount
    Today you start a journey by visiting Ancient inscriptions Ganjnameh, located on the King's Road in ancient Persia. It is about beliefs, ideas and greatness of king’s ancestors. A lengthy inscription in cuneiform script carved on the face of two rocks which are approximately two meters in height. Similar to the bas-relief of Bisotun, these twenty line inscriptions are also given in three languages, Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian. The inscriptions belong to Darius and Xerxes and consist of a genealogical account of the Achaemenian monarchs and the adoration of Ahuramazda.
    Then you will catch the Alvand summit (3574 m.) via a green land named “Mishan plain”.
    This mount with its deep valleys, lush greenery, springs, lawns, hills and flora is amazing.
    After a day full of sight-seeing and a delicious dinner, you will head back to hotel, to get ready for tomorrow. Good dream (B/L/D)

    Day 7. Caving, boating & Camping
    Today, your expedition takes you to the Alisard cave.
    Ali Sard Cave, with the length of 11500 m, is the longest cave of Iran and because of its 2100 m long water paths through which boats can pass, it can be known as the longest water cave in the world. But, what turns the cave into an exceptional one is that it is covered by a double-roof. Colorful stalactites all around the roof create wonderful sceneries. During the ministry of Haj Mirza Aghasi in Qajar era, when Qanat excavation was common, a canal was excavated from outside into cave. At the point the canal was being joined to the resource, the water was being discharged uncontrollably and the water level was reaching zero. But the villagers, who were using this water for the agricultural purposes, made the canal deeper, built a stone fence, and made a dam in front of the canal to control the water. Afterwards, to develop the water resource, they made some other canals and narrow water paths to collect the waste waters and lead them back to the cave. Thus, they made a dam inside the mountain.
    And, this was the first time in the history that a dam was built inside a mountain, and Iranians were the first people who used it to collect water. Drive to Takab via Bijar, if time permits you will have a short stop there to visit traditional bazar.
    After a day full of sight-seeing and a delicious dinner, you will overnight in your tent, to get ready for tomorrow. -(B/L/D)
    Total drive for the day: 313 km
    Day 8. Takht-e Soleymān, the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary
    Today you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Takht-e Soleymān, the remains of an exceptional ensemble of royal architecture of Persia’s Sassanid dynasty, and the spiritual center for Zoroastrians. It is one of the most fascinating and mysterious sacred sites in Iran and the world.
    The historic citadel is consisted of a 14 m high oval-shaped outer wall with 38 defense towers. The wall houses the remains of several monuments such as Azargoshnasb Fire Temple and Anahita (angle of water) Temple. An important centerpiece of the site is the crater lake, around 112 m deep which is fed by an underground spring. Fire of the temples was provided using a natural volcanic gas brought using ceramic pipes to sustain an eternal flame in the Fire Temple. It is written in the ancient literature that this fire has been burning for more than 700 years. In Takht-e Soleymān, Zoroastrians had showcased the magic harmony of the four astrology elements, Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
    Then, you'll hit the road for a 5 hours’ drive to Kandovan. You will overnight in local houses to rest and to get a deeper knowledge of the cave-living lifestyle that Kandovan people enjoy and flourish.(B/L/D)
    Total drive for the day: 325 km

    Day 9. Kandovan, The Magnificence of Civilization in Depths of Ground
    After having a refreshing breakfast & try the local honey and cheese that have a pleasant hint of wild plants and flowers of the region, you will explore the incredible village of Kandovan. This village is a magnificent example of man-made cave homes that are still inhabitable. Existing for more than 800 years, this remarkable place offers scenic beauty for its travelers. Built out of volcanic ash and debris spewed during an eruption of nearby Mount Sahand, the rocky cone-shaped structures of Kandovan were compressed and shaped by natural forces into cone-shaped pillars containing pockets. The cave homes, excavated from volcanic rocks and tuffs are comparable to the dwellings in the Turkish region of Cappadocia. They are called "Karan" in the local Turkic dialect, a word that translates as the plural of the word "beehive". Today, you will walk through the scenic village to admire this marvelous structure.
    For lunch, you will head to Nobar Hammam (bath) which was used as a public bath until 1994, and nowadays is turned into an amazing traditional restaurant in Tabriz, a modern industrialized city with signs of an old civilization of 2,500 years old. After many years of examining numerous documents, biblical references, and various holy texts, some archaeologists believe that all signs pointed toward the city of Tabriz being the actual Garden of Eden.
    Having some of Iran's most famous museums, holding some of the cultural events and harboring a couple of most prestigious Iranian universities, the city is considered a major hub for science and culture in Iran. The monuments that we see now in Tabriz are mostly dating back to the Ilkhanid, the Safavid, and the Qajar dynasties. Some of the monuments are unrivaled masterpieces of architecture, which you will spend ample time exploring. You will start at Kabud (Blue) Mosque tiled with superb blue ceramic and then head to Municipal Hall with its iconic Saat (Clock) Tower. It was used as the central office of the city municipality. Nowadays it is the site for Municipality Museum.
    If time permit, you will have a short visit of the Ark-e-Alishah (Ark Citadel), a 28-meter wall that is the remnants of Tabriz city citadel and city wall. You will then head to your hotel. When you are ready to head out for a walk, you will walk to El-Goli, a grand park with a big rectangular artificial lake in the middle of the Park. In the middle of the lake, there is a palace that used to be a summer residence for the Iranian royal families during the time that Tabriz was the capital of the state. After the sunset, you will head back to the hotel to have dinner and relax. (B/L/D)
    Total drive for the day: 55 km

    Day 10. Babak Citadel

    Around 816 CE, Babak began to recruit followers inciting to hate the Arabs and rise in rebellion against the caliphate. Babak's campaign, however, was not just a military campaign but one to restore the Persian language and culture. The forces he put together soon seized castles and garrison outposts. The numbers at his command grew as others joined his campaign until it grew to 100,000 men (by Abu'l-Ma'ali's account), then 200,000 (by Mas'udi's account) and 300,000 (by Baghdai's account).
    From 817 to 837, Babak's force fought hard. His insurrection developed into the most serious revolt the Arabs had faced since their invasion of the Aryan lands
    Babak's Castle exists today as ruins on a mountain top and, it is known variously. It is known as Badd, Ghaley-e / Qale-e Babak and Qala-e Jomhur
    The castle itself was not built by Babak. Its origins goes back to the Sassanian era (c 249-650 CE) and possible even the Parthian era (c 227 BCE - 249 CE).

    Today, Babak has become a national hero and the castle's ruins have become an Iranian nationalist symbol and the castle is also known as the Castle of the Republic or the Immortal Castle. Every July 10th, many Iranians journey to the castle to celebrate the life and ideals of Babak and his companions. Their sacrifice in the giving of their lives while seeking to free Iran from Arab domination as well as their efforts for the preservation of Iranian culture are also honored.

    Tonight you will stay in hotel to get ready for another climbing on 2 next days (B/L/D). Total drive for the day: 190 km

    Days 11-12. Sabalan Sacred mount.
    Today you will drive to the nearby city of “Meshgin Shahr”, and will continue towards shelter. You will have a relaxed evening tonight.
    According to some beliefs, Mount Sabalan was the place where Zoroaster meditated for some years, so Mt. Savalan is one of the important sacred places in Zoroastrianism.
    Based on nomadic beliefs, when all the snow of Sabalan melts, the end of time will come.
    Early morning on second day, you will start climbing, to catch the 4811 m. the peak Sabalan (B/L/D)
    Sabalan summit Crater Lake in the volcano's oval shape and a depth of approximately 40 meters. Sabalan Lake is the highest lake in the world that the terms of it is unique. Lake is frozen mostly.
    Back to shelter, having diner & rest (B/L/D) Total drive for the days: 185 km

    Day 13. Ardabil, the holy city of Sufism
    Today you will drive towards your next destination, the city of Ardabil. It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the magnificent Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble which we will visit today. Sheikh Safi, an eminent leader of the Islamic Sufi order established by the Safavids, was born in Ardabil where this complex is located. The ensemble comprises several monuments like the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail I, Chini Khaneh (house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (house of paradise), Khānegāh (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid Khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The ensemble includes well-preserved and richly ornamented facades and interiors, with a remarkable collection of antique artifacts. It constitutes a rare ensemble of elements of medieval Islamic architecture.
    The shrine was the home to the two “Ardabil Carpets”, the world's oldest dated carpets and two of the most beautiful and historically significant in the world. Unfortunately, both of the carpets are now far from their home, the larger one is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the other one in Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
    In the evening, we will have dinner at a local traditional restaurant, and head to your hotel to finish another day full of sight-seeing and exploration. (B/L/D)
    Total drive for the day: 110 km

    Day 14. Foggy northern route
    Today you will visit one of the most beautiful and visionary road in the world, with forests & countryside path. Driving from 1500 m. altitude city to -26m. , having delicious and cozy local foods and finally heading to your hotel in Kelardasht (B/L/D)
    Total drive for the day: 465 km

    Days 15-16. Iran’s second highest mount.
    It is now time to head towards your next destination, after an early breakfast you will leave Kelardasht, for the ride up to Tang-e-Galu at about 3200m. “The windy road passed through a stunning landscape of lush green – as the early morning mist burned off – revealing a valley strewn with boulders and dotted with azure glacial lakes” David McGuinness.
    On arrival at Tang-e-Galu, the camping equipment up to mules and local people ascended with them ahead of you, by crossing rivers under vast glacial sheets, wonder valley. After a few hours you will reach the camp spot.
    The area named “Hesarchal” at 3800m, surrounded by high mountains at all sides. Tonight you may saw moon rising above the mountain and enjoy your cozy dinner, then sleeping well in your tent.
    Next day you will wake up early, having breakfast, and will start climbing up Alamkouh, the second highest mountain in Iran with 4850 meters altitude after Damavand peak. It is in the area with more than 45 peaks above 4000 meters height.

    Days 17-18.Tehran
    After having a long trip to visit Iran’s culture and nature in 2 days, you will visit the central Tehran, where many monuments to the glories and excesses of the Qajar rulers are established. You’ll first visit the Golestan Palace complex, the former royal Qajar compound in Tehran. The Golestan Palace, the oldest of the historic monuments of Tehran and a UNESCO World Heritage site, belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel). Golestan Palace complex consists of 17 structures including palaces, museums, and halls. Almost this entire complex was built during the 200 years ruling of Qajar kings. These palaces were used for many different occasions such as coronations and other important celebrations.
    Later, you will head to Grand Bazaar, a huge maze of corridors each specializing in various types of goods, including copper, carpets, paper, spices, and precious metals. Although Tehran's Grand Bazaar economic influence has diminished somewhat in recent years, it remains the largest market of its kind in the world. In Grand Bazaar, you will have lunch first in Sharaf-ol-Eslami restaurant, one of the best and most popular attractions for food lovers. Then you’ll walk in Grand Bazaar towards the Imam Khomeini Mosque for a quiet finish to our hustling and bustling bazaar tour.
    After an afternoon break at your hotel, you will go to Tajrish in the evening to experience the nightlife in Tehran and stroll in its narrow alleys and busy shopping centers. You’ll head back to your hotel after dinner in a new-age contemporary restaurant in Tajrish.
    Next day you will visit Sa’dabaad palace, a cultural complex at the north of the city. This complex is established in Darband Valley, in an area of 300 hectares. It includes 180 hectares of forest, springs, aqueducts, gardens, greenhouses and paths. Jafarabad River passes through the palace yard. During the reign of the first Pahlavi, gardens of the palace were irrigated by this river but in Second Pahlavi era, due to giving half of the water to the peasants and since the water is not enough anymore for irrigation, they had to use a dozen of aqueducts.
    In the afternoon, by walking in Honarmandan Park, you will get to know with young people and artists, and after dinner you will be transferred to hotel. (B/L/D)
    Total drive Kelardasht to Tehran: 170 km

    Day 19. "Bedrood", va "Be Omid-e Didar"
    Today is the last day of your tour. Depending on your departure time, we'll take you to the airport for your departure, and start missing you already! We never like saying "Bedrood" (goodbye), so we say "Be Omid-e Didar" (hope to see you again). (B)


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