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Connections Boutique Group Journeys

Persia: A Tapestry of Ancient & Modern Iran 2018


12 Days from $5,995

Limited to 24 guests

Be one of the privileged few to experience cultured, extraordinary Iran, discovering antiquities from its Persian past as well as modern-day charms; visiting seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include iconic Persepolis; and exploring its enriching blend of archaeology, art, culture and hospitable people.

A&K Advantages

Immerse yourself in the rich and diverse Persian history, culture, art and religions of Iran — a land rarely experienced by American travellers

Visit seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Eram Garden, Persepolis, Pasargadae and the Masjed-e Jāmé (Friday Mosque) in Isfahan, a masterpiece of Iranian architecture

Experience a performance featuring traditional Iranian musical instruments, followed by a discussion with local musicians

Learn about the intricacies of Persian miniature art as you peer through a magnifying glass during a private demonstration with an artist and professor at the local university

Explore Iran's iconic, colorfully hued tile work when you visit various famed mosques throughout the country

30 meals, with 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 9 dinners

Itinerary at a Glance

DAY 1
ARRIVE TEHRAN, IRAN
DAY 2
TEHRAN | City of Museums
DAY 3
TEHRAN & SHIRAZ | Priceless Relics
DAY 4
SHIRAZ | The “City of Roses and Nightingales”
DAY 5
PERSEPOLIS | Ancient Archaeological Wonders
DAY 6
YAZD | Discovering Pasargadae
DAY 7
YAZD | Towers of Silence, Temple of Fire
DAY 8
ISFAHAN | Persian Marvels
DAY 9
ISFAHAN | Visual Feast
DAY 10
ISFAHAN | Spellbinding Architecture
DAYS 11–12
DEPART TEHRAN
DAY 1
ARRIVE TEHRAN, IRAN

Arrive in Tehran, where you are met by your A&K representative and transferred to your hotel.

Espinas International Hotel
Espinas Palace Hotel
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DAY 2
TEHRAN | City of Museums

Set out to explore the bustling, cosmopolitan capital of Tehran, a mountain-fringed city replete with 7,000 years of Persian history. Take a glimpse into its fascinating past when you view prehistoric and ancient artifacts at the National Museum of Iran, among them silver and bronze objects, manuscripts, and tiles from various post-Islamic periods. Pause for lunch before continuing to the ornate, textile-filled Carpet Museum of Iran, taking note of its Iwan-style entrance with Art Deco-style brickwork, as well as the extensive collection of old and new Persian carpets and rugs. Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Rejoin fellow guests this evening for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.

Espinas International Hotel
Espinas Palace Hotel
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Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3
TEHRAN & SHIRAZ | Priceless Relics

Begin the day at the Reza Abbasi Miniature and Calligraphy Museum, where you gain insight into the arts of Persian pottery, miniature painting and calligraphy dating back to the second millennium. Proceed to the breathtaking Golestan Palace complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest historic monuments in Tehran. See its impressive Marble Throne Hall, the Shams-ol-Emareh (Sun Palace) and several of its other stunning galleries. At the National Jewelry Treasury — situated in the limited-access vaults of the Central Bank of Iran — marvel at the glimmering, priceless collection of crown jewels and gems. Transfer to the airport and board an evening flight to Shiraz. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Zandiyeh Hotel
Shiraz Grand Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4
SHIRAZ | The “City of Roses and Nightingales”

Embark on a city tour of Shiraz, named for the wine once produced here. Discover some of its idyllic, iconic gardens, which inspired others from Andalusia to India and beyond, including historic Eram Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built during the 13th century. Later, visit Madrassa Khan, an active theological school, where you may have the chance to interact with teachers and students. Also view the beautiful pink-tiled, 19th-century Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque; the garden-situated tomb of celebrated lyrical poet Hafez; and the Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh.

Zandiyeh Hotel
Shiraz Grand Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5
PERSEPOLIS | Ancient Archaeological Wonders

Set out on a half-day excursion to one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, Persepolis. Upon arrival in the expansive, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings, see remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes, in addition to fabled bas-reliefs that depict kings, courtiers and gift-bearing representatives of the Persian Empire. Also, visit Naqsh-e Rustam to see the Kába-ye Zartosht (fire temple/sanctuary), Royal Tombs and seven magnificent Sasanian rock-reliefs, including one depicting Shapur the First’s victory over Roman Emperor Valerian. Return to Shiraz this afternoon, with time at leisure. Then, gather with fellow guests for a private visit to a Persian carpet shop to witness an ancient weaving demonstration, followed by the opportunity to browse.

Zandiyeh Hotel
Shiraz Grand Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6
YAZD | Discovering Pasargadae

Drive to Yazd, stopping en route at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pasargadae, where you see the impressive tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire. Also, witness the remains of three palaces, set within the vast plain of Dasht-e-Morghab. Continue to the desert town of Abarkuh, observing its storied 4,000-year-old cypress tree before arriving in Yazd.

Moshir Al-Mamalek Garden Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7
YAZD | Towers of Silence, Temple of Fire

Explore Yazd, the center for Iran’s small Zoroastrian community. Visit one of the two abandoned Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, dating back to the 19th century. Until some 50 years ago, the dead were carried here and left to decompose. See the active Zoroastrian Fire Temple, its fire burning for about 1,500 years. Then, visit the Friday Mosque, noting its minarets, the highest in Iran. Observe the town’s beautiful old houses and the Dowlat-Abad Garden, an 18th-century hexagonal house with the highest badger (wind-catcher) in Iran. Return to your hotel, where dinner is served this evening.

Moshir Al-Mamalek Garden Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 8
ISFAHAN | Persian Marvels

Spend the day driving to Isfahan, stopping en route in the mud-brick desert town of Meybod, to visit the crumbling Narein Castle dating back to Sasanian times. After taking in panoramic views of the town, visit an old ice house and intriguing pigeon house. Continue to Isfahan, and check in to your hotel. Later, gather with fellow guests for a private visit to a local gallery for a Persian miniature painting demonstration by an artist and professor at the local university.

Abbasi Hotel
Kowsar Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 9
ISFAHAN | Visual Feast

Embark on a full-day tour of picturesque Isfahan, the 17th-century capital of the Safavids. Visit the breathtaking Masjed-e Jāmé (Friday Mosque), the oldest congregational mosque in Iran. It stands as an impressive example of the evolution in mosque architecture, one spanning 12 centuries. Continue to the Armenian Quarter, site of the Vank Cathedral. After lunch, visit a local music museum, where you learn about ancient Iranian instruments, followed by an enriching, engaging demonstration by local musicians. Experience Chehel Sotoun, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by Shah Abbas II in the 17th century for entertaining and receptions. Witness its 20 wooden columns as they reflect in the surface of the pool, as well as magnificent artwork depicting famous battle scenes from Persian history. Then, spend the remainder of the afternoon viewing some of Isfahan’s most iconic bridges: Khajou double-decker bridge and Si-o-Seh Pol, with its 33 arches.

Abbasi Hotel
Kowsar Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 10
ISFAHAN | Spellbinding Architecture

Spend your final morning in Isfahan at the Meidan Emam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the Imam (Shah) Mosque, featuring brilliant, seven-color mosaic tiles; Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, showcasing magnificent architecture and tiles; and the Ali-Qapu Palace, known for its enchanting music rooms and balcony overlooking the famous square below. In the afternoon, explore the famed Qeisarieh Bazaar, which is filled with Isfahan’s storied arts and handicrafts. This evening, attend a private farewell dinner at your hotel.

Abbasi Hotel
Kowsar Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAYS 11–12
DEPART TEHRAN

This morning, drive to Tehran, stopping en route in Kashan. Upon arrival, visit the Tabātabāei mansion, a picturesque, 19th-century merchant’s house offering the chance to see how the wealthy lived amid gracious courtyards with verdant gardens. Continue to Tehran, where a room awaits for you to enjoy prior to departing for the airport this evening or tomorrow morning.

Novotel Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport
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Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Breakfast


Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.

  • Mar 08 - Mar 19
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal Air From
    Availability
    Price
    $5,995
    Single Supplement
    $1,595
    Internal Air From
    $155
    Availability
    Available
    How many people are travelling in your group?
    Please enter a group size 1-10.
  • Apr 05 - Apr 16
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal Air From
    Availability
    Price
    $5,995
    Single Supplement
    $1,595
    Internal Air From
    $155
    Availability
    Available
    How many people are travelling in your group?
    Please enter a group size 1-10.
  • May 03 - May 14
    Call for Availability
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal Air From
    Availability
    Price
    $5,995
    Single Supplement
    $1,595
    Internal Air From
    $155
    Availability
    Call for Availability
  • May 17 - May 28
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal Air From
    Availability
    Price
    $5,995
    Single Supplement
    $1,595
    Internal Air From
    $155
    Availability
    Available
    How many people are travelling in your group?
    Please enter a group size 1-10.
  • Aug 30 - Sep 10
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal Air From
    Availability
    Price
    $5,995
    Single Supplement
    $1,595
    Internal Air From
    $155
    Availability
    Available
    How many people are travelling in your group?
    Please enter a group size 1-10.
  • Oct 04 - Oct 15
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal Air From
    Availability
    Price
    $5,995
    Single Supplement
    $1,595
    Internal Air From
    $155
    Availability
    Available
    How many people are travelling in your group?
    Please enter a group size 1-10.
Journey Details

Internal Airfare: Economy Class from $155 (Tehran/Shiraz)

Minimum age is 18 years old.

First group event: welcome reception at 9:00 a.m. on Day 2.

Last group event: arrival in Tehran at 6:30 p.m. on Day 11.

Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.


Destination Information

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Climate

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CDC Information

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FAQ

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