Be the hero of your very own 1001 Nights fairy tale as you let yourself be enchanted by the colors and scents of ancient Persia, by bustling bazaars and the silence of the deserts. Discover European traces throughout your journey by following the route of Alexander the Great. Explore 3,000 years of history, 2,700 miles of rail tracks and 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Your exclusively chartered air-conditioned train takes you safely and comfortably through magnificent scenery. Sound asleep in your cozy cabin on board, you travel to your next destination overnight, hotel stays in between give you the advantage to explore the most exciting stops in depth.
|Tour Duration||:||12 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||60 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||120 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Tehran
Today, we welcome you at Tehran airport, from where a transfer brings you to your hotel. Check in time starts 1500 hrs.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night)
Day 02: Over the Alborz Mountain
Your private train departs in the morning from Tehran station. Your journey on board the train starts with a brunch in the restaurant car during the 90 minutes journey to Garmar. Due to technical reasons with the rail tracks you have to change the train in Garmsar and continue in a modern train exclusively chartered for you. A genuine rail adventure is waiting for you! During your journey through the Alborz Mountains, landscapes are changing quickly and now and again, red and green ribbons appear on the austere hills. From one moment to another a wild west scenery changes into a cultivated piece of land where poplars and reed are signs of the proximity of water. On the way to Savadkouh you pass numerous bridges, viaducts, tunnels and terminal loops. Drinks and a lunch box will be available. The train will stop at Firuzkuh for dinner before heading back to Garmsar where you re-embark the Persian Explorer train.
Overnight: on board the train (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 03: Mashhad
Mashhad is one of the seven holy sites of the Shiite Islam and the only one in Iran. Here you find the mausoleum of the eighth Shiite Imam, Ali ibn Musa ar-Reza, who is said to have been poisoned at Calif al Ma’mum’s behest. The sanctuary in his honor consists of numerous patios and features one of the most comprehensive art collections in the whole of Iran. (B, L, D)
Day 04: Mashhad/Kerman/Mahan
You are crossing the desert landscape of the Iranian plateau on your way to Kerman today. Breakfast is served on board. You arrive at Kerman for lunch. The city of Kerman is famous for its carpet manufactory. Afterwards you will go on an excursion to the nearby oasis of Mahan. You start with the sightseeing of the 19th century Royal building, Prince Garden and tomb of Mahan. Later we visit the sanctuary and tomb of the famous, Soufi, Shah Nematollah Vali, dating back to the Mongol Era. Encourage yourself for to climb the stairs to the roof top and get spoiled by the beautiful view. From this elevated position you will learn about the structure of the tomb’s dome and enjoy scenic view towards the mountains. Back in Kerman you will check-in at Pars Hotel for one night.
Overnight: Pars Hotel, Kerman (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 05: Mahan/Lut Desert/Kerman
Early breakfast in the morning. We take the advantage of the fresh and cool morning to head towards the Lut desert. Astonishing sceneries wait for you in this desert, nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016. Return to Kerman for lunch. Afterwards, during your guided city tour you see the Friday Mosque and the Mosque Ganj Ali Khan. You stroll around the spice bazaar and enter a tea-house where you taste local specialties such as the sweet treat Kolompeh – a small shortcrust cake filled with date sauce. In the evening the train continues in the direction of Yazd and dinner is served on board.
Overnight: on board the train (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 06: Kerman/Yazd/Isfahan
In the morning, you reach the most exciting desert city of Iran: Yazd. Wind towers and domes dominate the city founded by Alexander the Great. Here, you visit the Zoroastrian fire temples and towers of silence, where the dead were once buried after the Zarathustra rite. The Yazd Water Museum introduces you to the desert city’s water supply by the Qanat system and gives you an idea of the green and water-refreshed life of a well-to-do family’s home. While you are taking your lunch in the dining car, your private train heads towards Isfahan, where your hotel room is waiting for you. Today’s dinner will be served in the lovely courtyard of a former caravansary.
Overnight: Hotel Kowsar, Isfahan (2 nights) and overnight train (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 07 & 08: Isfahan
Take your time to explore this wonderful city! Image of the World is what the locals like to call the Imam Square. With 1,840 ft. x 520 ft., it is not only the second largest, but also one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The marble columns bear witness to the fact of this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s former purpose as a venue for polo games. You cross the threshold to visit the Ali-qapu Palace and a veranda where you can enjoy an excellent view of the Imam Square. Once a private mosque for the Safavid royal families, the Lotfullah Mosque opens its doors for you today. You also visit the Jameh Mosque and the Armenian Quarters and you have enough time to explore the city and its markets on your own. Walk the Zayandehrud River and get to know the city’s two famous bridges. Get enchanted by the merchants’ skills and products on display at the gold bazaar. Two days full of exciting experiences end with a dinner in an oriental style restaurant featuring local food at its best and a visit to a typical zurkhaneh, where the locals go for their sporting activities. (B, L, D) (B, L, D)
Day 09: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Pasargadae and Persepolis
At the site of his victories, the Persian King, Cyrus the Great, built his capital city of Pasargadae. I am Cyrus the King, an Achaemenian, states the inscriptions on pillars and reliefs of the audience hall of the Residence. Your local tour guide shows you all of the attractions of this sprawling archaeological site, including the Cyrus grave. By bus, you reach your next sightseeing spot in about an hour. The kingdom of Darius the First extended from Egypt to Pakistan, and he founded the capital of Para; the Greeks named it Persepolis. Your guide takes you on a discovery tour of the 1,500 ft. x 985 ft. palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Step up the two stairs to the Portal of All Countries, which gives you an idea of the size of the Achaemenid Empire. The Assyrian models of hybrids and bull figures had a defensive and protective function. Discover Apadana Palace, where King Darius received his visitors, and the Naqsh-e-Rostam necropolis of the Achaemenids. A short bus ride brings you to Shiraz, where you spend your night in a hotel.
Overnight: Chamran Grand Hotel, Shiraz (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 10: Shiraz
With the verses of Hafiz in your mind and following the scent of roses, you explore the city of the Persian paradise gardens (UNESCO World Heritage site). Not just flowers and fruit were thriving in the mild climate, but Persian poetry also struck roots here. Experience the hustle and bustle of the Old Town bazaar and discover Nasir-al-Molk Mosque, where the winter prayer hall is one of the most beautiful of its kind. Bud-shaped domed structures are typical for Shiraz – a visit to the Shah Cheragh monument and mosque will show you one of the best examples of this style, before you board your special train to travel to Tehran.
Overnight: on board the train (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 11: Tehran
After your arrival in Tehran, you say goodbye to your charming train staff. In the Iranian capital, you visit Golestan Palace, an exciting monument of the glories and excesses of the Qajar emperors. One of the most oustanding gem collections in the world is on your agenda after lunch. The precious stones are estimated at up to 182 carats! A very special and magnificent exhibit in the extensive collection is the Naderi Thorn, which is decorated with 26,733 gems. In the Archaeological Museum you take a journey through history – here again the impressions gained on your journey are of historical proportions.
Overnight: Laleh Hotel, Tehran (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 12: Depart Tehran
Airport transfer for individual departure. 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).
Apr 12 & Oct 18
Tour PriceWe accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
|Departure(s) 2018||Per Person||Single Room Supplement|
|4-berths sharing compartments (Habibi)||US$ 4070||US$ 495 (for 6 hotel overnights)|
|2-berths sharing compartments (Ali Baba)||US$ 5880||-|
Clothing and alcohol in Iran: The rules that apply to locals also apply to visitors. For men: no shirts with free upper arms and no shorts. For women: wear a headscarf covering the hair. Also, body shape is to be covered. Ankle-length pants and a jacket reaching down to half thigh-length are recommended for women. Waist jackets are not permitted. Alcohol is prohibited.
- Please contact us for possible upgrade to better compartment/category.
- Maximum group size is 26 when sightseeing.
- For Train Info please click here
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 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 email@example.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.