Jill Cherry is a landscape architect, horticulturist and garden historian. She has directed such prestigious gardens as those of the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, Canada and the parks and urban forest system of the City of Toronto, Canada. She has traveled widely for her garden research, including Japan, France, United States and the UK. Most recently she has been pursuing her interest in Islamic gardens and their pre-Islamic antecedents. So far this has taken her to Morocco, Iran, Turkey and Southern Spain. She is particularly interested in the influence that the Persian garden has had on the gardens of other cultures in the Islamic and non-Islamic world. A personable and enthusiastic communicator, Jill has taught at college level and made numerous acclaimed presentations. She looks forward to sharing her passion for Persian Gardens with the clients of Bestway Tours and Safaris.
From legendary to modern Persian gardens, a heritage of nearly 3000 years, this tour focuses on the artistic and architectural traditions of Iran with a special emphasis on gardens. Led by garden and landscape expert Jill Cherry, we explore historical sites, palaces, mansions, mosques, museums and above all, the Persian gardens. As the ‘cradle of civilization’, Persia and modern-day Iran have much to excite the garden enthusiast and lover of the fine arts. Experience the gardens that inspired poets through the ages and that influenced the gardens of Mughal India, North Africa and Moorish Spain. The tour itinerary follows the very successful 2015 tour hosted also by Jill Cherry. To read reviews please go to the Testimonials Page.
|Tour Duration||:||15 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||10 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||20 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: April 15, 2017: Arrive Tehran
Welcome to Tehran. We are cordially welcomed and transferred to our hotel. Our unique tour of the legendary Persian Garden begins. Check in time starts from 1400 hrs.
Overnight: Espinas Hotel, Tehran (2 nights)
Day 02: April 16, 2017: Tehran
A full day tour of Tehran starts with the lavish Golestan Palace (WHS), a masterpiece of the Qajar era built within a handsome garden featuring pools with orange groves, palms, planes and cypress trees. Next we visit the famous Crown Jewels Museum, which displays the riches of the Persian imperial families from the 16th century Safavid era. Followed by the Carpet Museum – home to hand woven Persian designed carpets - from the 18th century to the present. Welcome dinner – Persian food, Persian style. (B, D)
Day 03: April 17, 2017: Tehran/Kerman (Flight)
We spend a leisurely morning in North Tehran close to the mountains to which residents traditionally retreat during the heat of the summer. Then afternoon transfer to the airport for a flight to Kerman. Meet & transfer to hotel.
Overnight: Pars Hotel, Kerman (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 04: April 18, 2017: Kerman
Morning visit to Rayen Castle – the medieval mudbrick city of Rayen is similar to the Bam citadel, which was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003. Rayen displays all the architectural elements of aabode town. It is extremely well preserved, despite of numerous natural disasters that have destroyed similar structures nearby, and it is one of the most interesting sites in Iran. At Mahan we visit the Shahzadeh Garden, the Prince’s Garden (WHS) dating to the early 1880s. The walled garden is terraced with fine water cascades, pools and fountains. Nearby is the shrine of Ne’matollahVali, a 15th century Sufi poet. The buildings and courtyard gardens here create an atmosphere of tranquility and seclusion. The central pool is surrounded by cypresses and umbrella pines overlooked by the brilliant blue dome of the Safavid shrine. (B, D)
Day 05: April 19, 2017: Kerman/Yazd (Drive)
We visit the Bagh-e Pahlavanpur Garden (WHS) on the way to Yazd - a desert oasis and centre of the Zoroastrian culture. Pahlavanpur is an excellent example of a village garden, built for the pleasure of the leading village families. After checking in to our hotel, evening free at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Daad, Yazd (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 06: April 20, 2017: 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 windtower set within walled gardens. The garden contains a rectangular pool leading from the pavilion and is lined with cypress, pines and groves of pomegranate, quince and grapes. 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. (B, D)
Day 07: April 21, 2017: Yazd/Shiraz via Abarkuh and Pasargadae (Drive)
Today we drive to the ‘Garden City’ of Shiraz and stop en route to see the Sarv-e Abar-Kuh (cypress of Abarkuh) reputed to be over 4000 years old. Next we visit 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, Cyrus was passionate about gardens and imported a wide variety of ornamental and useful plants. This site contains tangible evidence of one of the earliest gardens in Persia and indeed, the world. The garden’s sophisticated design forms the template for the evolution of the Persian Garden. Remains of the garden and palace buildings, together with the nearby mausoleum of Cyrus can be seen today and is an exceptional testimony to Persian civilization. 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.
Overnight: Homa Hotels, Shiraz (3 nights) (B, D)
Day 08: April 22, 2017: Shiraz
Today’s exploration begins with the Arg or citadel of Karim Khan Zand. It was during his dynasty that Shiraz became the capital and during his benevolent reign the city thrived. With its imposing walls and watchtowers the Arg resembles a mediaeval fortress. The residence within is approached through a garden with pools, flowing water and orchards of orange trees. Next stop is the Pars Museum, also known as the Nazar Garden with its octagonal pavilion, which was the former mausoleum of Karim Khan Zand. We will then wind our way through the Vakil Bazaar with its courtyards, caravanserais and old shops. Later in the day we visit Bagh-e Eram Garden (WHS) now the Shiraz University Botanical Garden and a 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 Samarkand (Uzbekistan). The long axis of pools and waterfalls descends a series of terraces with orchards of oranges and pomegranates and avenues of majestic cypress trees. (B, D)
Day 09: April 23, 2017: Shiraz
We begin another day in the ‘city of gardens’ at the Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque, known as the ‘pink mosque because 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 opulance and show, Narangistan had three functions - business, ceremonial reception and residential dwelling. The garden with its adjacent waiting rooms served as a shady courtyard for visiting guests. Later we drop into the Jahan Nama park and end the day at Hafez’s tomb. The 14th century poet Hafez is beloved by present day Iranians who come here to celebrate his poetry. (B, D)
Day 10: April 24, 2017: Shiraz/Isfahan (Drive)
This morning we drive to the ancient ruined city of 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 Nadhsh-e-Rostam containing the rock-tombs of Darius and his successor, Xerxes. Then continue by road to the beautiful city of Isfahan.
Overnight: Abbasi Hotel, Isfahan (3 nights) (B, D)
Day 11: April 25, 2017: Isfahan
The beauty of Isfahan is best described by the proverbial saying, Isafahan is ‘Half of the World’. 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. Before returning back to the hotel, a stop will also be made at Allahverdi Khan Bridge, which is one of the many historic bridges over the River Zayandeh. (B, D)
Day 12: April 26, 2017: 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). The garden, now a public park, radiates from the pavilion with water rills and the avenues are lined with towering elm trees. We will end the day end at Khaju Bridge, which is considered the most beautiful bridge in Isfahan. (B, D)
Day 13: April 27, 2017: Isfahan/Kashan (Drive)
Desert drive to Kashan, a town set within an area known for rose cultivation and the distillation of rosewater. We will visit the rose fields so popular with Iranians. Next, we visit two 19th century merchant mansions, Borujerdi and Tabataba’i, with their courtyard gardens and wind towers.
Overnight: Hotel Nagerstan, Kashan (1 night) (B, D)
Day 14: April 28, 2017: Kashan/Tehran (Drive)
We will begin the day with a visit to the magnificent Fin Garden. Completed in 1590, it is the oldest extant garden in Iran. The abundance of water and dappled light summarize the essence of the Persian garden as a walled oasis within a desert environment. We then take a scenic drive to. Evening, we have our Farewell Dinner at a Persian restaurant.
Overnight: Espinas Hotel, Tehran (1 night) (B, D)
Day 15: April 29, 2017: Depart Tehran
After an interesting insight into the Persian Gardens and the Treasures of Iran, 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).
This is a suggested program for private tours. Please contact us for details.
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|2018||This is a suggested program for private tours. Please contact us for details.|
Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 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.