A unique Women's Only Tour where we will explore the cultural nuances of Iran. We will experience the dichotomy of a land that once was the centre of learning and civilization to the modern metropolis it has now become. We also learn about the pivotal role women have played in history, their role in present-day society and the important role they play in the family environment. An artistically tailored tour, we will come back with a better understanding, appreciation and respect for this beautiful region.
|Tour Duration||:||14 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||04 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||12 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Tehran
Welcome to Tehran. We are cordially welcomed and transferred to our hotel for our unique Women Only Tour. Check in time starts from 1400 hrs.
Overnight: Espinas Hotel or Laleh Hotel, Tehran (2 nights)
Day 02: Tehran
Our full day tour of Tehran starts at the National Museum, where we will be given an anthropologist’s explanation on the history of women in the ancient world. Tehran is a city of museums and our next visit is to the first of many attractions that women appreciate most – the famous Crown Jewels Museum. Here we see the displays and riches of the Persian imperial families of the 16th century. We culminate the day at the lavish Golestan Palace (WHS), a masterpiece of the Qajar era built within the beautiful Persian Gardens featuring pools with orange groves, palms, planes and cypress trees. Welcome dinner – Persian food, Persian style. (B, D)
Day 03: Tehran/Shiraz (Flight)
An early morning flight to the city of Roses and Nightingale – Shiraz. Today’s exploration begins at the Arg or the citadel of Karim Khan Zand. It was during his dynasty that Shiraz became the capital and started flourishing. With its imposing walls and watch-towers, Arg resembles a mediaeval fortress. We wind our way through the Vakil Bazaar with its courtyards, caravanserais and old shops. Lunch at a private house and meeting with a group of local women – truly a rare experience. After lunch we visit the famous Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque known as the “pink mosque”. The 128 years mosque’s architecture was so designed so that its outer walls are lined with pink floral tiles characteristic of the Qajar period. We move on to Narangistan, a traditional town house (biruni) built for the Governor’s court. With its exquisite buildings and garden built for opulence and show, Narangistan had three functions - business, ceremonial reception and residential dwelling. Lastly we visit another Persian Garden the Bagh-e Eram Garden (WHS) which now is part of the Shiraz University Botanical Garden and a very popular public park. The Koran refers to Eram (Iram) as a paradise-garden, hence, the name has been ascribed to several royal gardens in Persia and in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). It is picnic time here every evening and we get the opportunity of meeting many Iranian families and ladies only groups who are always very keen to converse with foreigners.
Overnight: Homa Hotel or Zandieh Hotel, Shiraz (2 nights) (B, L)
Day 04: Shiraz
No tour of Iran is complete without Persepolis. Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C.E Persepolis (WHS) is the greatest and best-preserved monument to the achievements of the Achaemenid kings. It was created specifically for the observance of NouRuz (New Year), a period of rebirth when the desert briefly blooms. Envoys from vassal states of the Empire would come to pay tribute to the king. We visit the Palace of Xerxes, the Gate of All Nations and the 100 Column Hall. What is certain is the truth of Darius’s words, “I made it, adequate, secure and beautiful”. This is an astonishing and profoundly moving site and an experience not to be missed. Next we visit the famous Naqsh-e-Rostam containing the rock-tombs of Darius, his successor, Xerxes and 2 other kings. Returning to Shiraz we have yet another experience of Iranian home culture as we attend a cooking class with a local family, specializing on Shirazi cuisine which is amongst the popular one in Iran. (B, D)
Day 05: Shiraz/Yazd (Drive)
First stop today will be of Pasargadae (WHS), the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 6th century BCE. Acknowledged as the founder of Persia. Pasargadae was the capital of the first great multicultural empire. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, the Achaemenid empire was the first to respect cultural diversity. Its architecture synthesized elements found in Egyptian, Elamite, Mesopotamian and Median societies. Next is the Sarv-e Abar-Kuh (cypress of Abarkuh) reputed to be over 4000 years old. We continue to Yazd – the birthplace of one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world. The 3500 years old Zoroastrianism influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam was founded by the Persian, Prophet Zoroaster.
Overnight: Daad Hotel or Moshir Hotel, Yazd (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 06: Yazd
With its winding lanes, mud-brick old town, Yazd is one of the highlights of any trip to Iran. We start our exploration with a visit to the Bagh-e Dolat Abad Garden (WHS), with its renowned pavilion and wind-tower set within walled gardens. Next stop is the Zorastrian Towers of Silence followed by the Temple of Fire. Next we will visit the Water Museum where we will gain an understanding of the all-important qanat irrigation system upon which Iran has depended since antiquity. We will wander the old city of Yazd known for its unique adobe buildings and quality handicrafts and visit the acclaimed 14th century Friday Mosque. A stop will also be made at Ghanadi Haj Khalifeh – Iran’s oldest confectionary maker! (B, D)
Day 07: Yazd/Isfahan (Drive)
Today we head for the beautiful and enchanting city of Isfahan, best described by the proverbial saying, “The beauty of Isfahan is that of half of the world”. En route we visit a carpet weaving workshop, where we have a chance to meet the weavers – many of whom are women. Persian carpet designs and weaving styles are the best kept secrets as many countries have tried to replicate but not succeeded. Even today, as we drive into the city, we actually feel the majesty and grandeur of this historical city.
Overnight: Abbasi Hotel or Kowsar Hotel, Isfahan (3 nights) (B, D))
Day 08: Isfahan
Our full day tour includes visits of the Meidan Emam (WHS) or Naghshe Jahan Square and visit Sheikh Lutfollah Mosque, Emam Mosque, Ali Qapou Palace and Qeisarieh Bazaar with hundreds of shops displaying local arts and handicrafts. Yet another opportunity to “wine” and dine with an Iranian family and actually experiencing the family cultures. Our hosts may be a multi generational family hone, or single unit with own kids. Irrespective, the cultural interaction is always very interesting to observe. (B, D)
Day 09: Isfahan
Continue touring the beautiful city starting with the WHS 841AD Masjed-e Jameh (Friday mosque). With 476 separate domes, it is a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over eight centuries. The Chehel Sotun Palace, is famed for its soaring 40 wooden columns reflected in the surface of the grand rectangular pool. Visit the 1660AD Hasht Behesht Palace (Palace of the Eight Paradises). This Persian garden, now a public park, radiates from the pavilion with water rills and the avenues are lined with towering elm trees. We end the day at Khaju Bridge, the most beautiful bridge in Isfahan and a popular place for families and friends who gather every evening to meet and mingle. It is almost like a carnival every day. Time permitting, we visit the Vank Cathedral – also known as the Church of Saintly Sisters and of Armenian sect. (B, D)
Day 10: Isfahan/Kashan (Drive)
Driving north towards Tehran, we see desert conditions till we reach the alluring oasis of Kashan, which is set within an area known for rose cultivation and the distillation of rosewater. We visit two 19th century merchant mansions, Borujerdi and Tabataba’i, with their courtyard gardens and wind towers – an architectural masterpiece. Later we visit the famous Bagh-e-Fin Gardens yet another of the WHS.
Overnight: Nagarestan Hotel or Ameriha Hotel, Kashan (1 night) (B, D)
Day 11: Kashan/Qamsar/Tehran (Drive)
A unique experience day today we head for Qamsar Village. Here we will join the local rural ladies and do some Rose picking. Not known to foreign tourists the rose water collection is a very popular local festival. The best time of the year for this festival is the second half of May. We will also learn how Rose water is produced – and Iran certainly has its own styles and variations that has made the Persian Rose Water world renowned. Outside of the Rose Petal season we visit the legendary Fin Gardens. After this incredible experience we drive to the grand Imam Khomeni Mausoleum. It is the resting place of the father of the Iranian revolution and that of his family members and other leaders. The mausoleum stretched over 5000 acres is a site not to be missed. We continue onto Tehran.
Overnight: Espinas Hotel or Laleh Hotel, Tehran (3 nights) (B, D)
Days 12 & 13: Tehran
These two days will be visiting a very unique park - Mothers’ Paradise Park, which is Tehran’s first women-only park, where women can be seen jogging in spaghetti-strapped tops and lycra shorts! Afterwards we will be meeting with a fashion designer or a jewelry designer. Visit the Music Educational Institute to meet female singers and hopefully also catch a dance performance. A visit to a beauty salon will also be included as Iranian women, with or without the chador are known to love makeup and hair dos. This will be a salon catering and run by women only. Lastly, meet the Iranian National Women’s football team or any other female only sports teams. As we head to the venue for our Farewell dinner will be at a traditional restaurant with live music, we will be treated to an illuminated view of the magnificent 2016 Aga Khan Architecture Award recipient, Tabiat Pedestrian bridge. The female architect of this bridge, Leila Araghian conceived the initial plans at the age of 26. (B, D) (B, D)
Day 14: Depart Tehran
After an interesting insight into the lives of the indigenous Iranian women, we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
May 04 & Sep 07
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|2018||US$ 5660 CA$ 7358||US$ 760 CA$ 988|
Visits on Days 12 & 13 are subject to schedules & availability of the local personnel.
Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 04 and a maximum of 12 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.