Incomparable Iran: History, architecture & people

Incomparable Iran: History, architecture & people

9 Days



Incomparable Iran: History, architecture & people

9 Days Starting and ending in Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran

Visiting: Iran

Tour operator:

YellowWood Adventures

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, 2: Entry Level

Age range:


Special diets catered:

Please advise requests

Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:

Small Group

$3039 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$160
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Tour Overview

On this unique holiday you’ll tour the palaces and Grand Bazaar of Tehran and experience the amazing architecture of Yazd, Shiraz and Isfahan.

This cultural tour takes us on a journey through the very best that Iran has to offer; incorporating its exquisite architectural achievements, peaceful mosques, glistening mosaics, blooming gardens, lavish palaces and Zoroastrian fire temples.

You’ll discover the ancient ruins of the greatest empire the world has ever seen, fresh yoghurts with sizzling meats, glorious tapestries, meandering labyrinthine bazaars, windswept desert plains, and the legendary hospitality of its people.

Each of the cities, towns, villages and even a desert camp we visit have their own unique personalities and hidden treasures, including: Tehran – with its Grand Bazaar and the incredibly opulent palaces of the Shahs; Shiraz – home to the world famous Pink Mosque and other architectural wonders; Persepolis – Seat of the Persian Empire which encompassed almost half of humanity.

Isfahan – its Jame Mosque considered by many to be the pinnacle of Islamic architecture; Yazd – the famous and picturesque Zoroastrian desert city, surviving its harsh environment via water irrigation channels and elegant windcatchers; and many more – including exploring the wilderness via a camel ride in the desert. Add to this the immense variety of Persian cuisine and an incredibly friendly people eager to share their culture, and you have an adventure you will never forget.

Please note

The UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advise against travel to Iran. As such, the dates showing for this adventure are dependent on a change to the situation and Iran being assessed as safe to visit. We are happy to keep you updated on when this is the case so please do let us know if you are interested in this wonderful itinerary.


  • View the palaces & Grand Bazaar of Tehran

  • Experience the legendary Iranian cuisine & hospitality

  • Explore Persepolis, ancient seat of the Persian Empire

  • Wonder at the sublime architecture of Yazd, Shiraz & Isfahan


Expand All
Day 1: Arrival In Tehran & Group Dinner
Accommodation Name: 4 star hotel
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

You will be greeted at Imam Khomeini International Airport by both your YellowWood & local guides, to be transferred to your 4* hotel in Tehran to relax and freshen up. We will then enjoy our first group dinner together, discovering the delicious cuisine of Iran in a recommended restaurant in the city.

Day 2: Tour Of Tehran, Fly To Shiraz
Accommodation Name: 4 star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The capital of Iran, Tehran, is a fascinating, liberal and dynamic city at the base of the Alborz Mountains, which you can see on its skyline. It is the perfect place to start our journey and is full of delights such as the Ahmad Shahi Pavillion in the great wooded Niavaran complex in the North of the city. Home to the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, it has been kept in fabulous condition and houses an array of fascinating souvenirs and ornaments giving insight into how Reza Pahlavi lived and worked. We visit the UNESCO World Heritage 'Golestan Palace' and the other royal buildings in the gardens of Royal Qajar complex of the preceding dynasty; some of the oldest historical buildings in the city and perhaps one of the most spectacular sites you will see on your adventure. For a change of pace we then head to the bustling and vibrant Bazaar before lunch.  This afternoon we drive to Mehrabad airport for our flight to Shiraz; one of the best tourism destinations in Iran. (Flight included).

Day 3: The Wonders Of Shiraz
Accommodation Name: 3 star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Visiting the lush Eram Gardens gives us a wonderful start to our time in Shiraz. It is one of the most beautiful Persian gardens in all Iran, with fragrant flowers, cypress trees (one said to be 3000 years old!), and a beautiful 3 storey pavilion. The beauty doesn’t end here - we move on to the stunning Nasir ol Molk Mosque (1888), better known to the world as the ‘Pink Mosque’. Its incandescent mosaics and stained glass windows cast a rainbow of colours into the interior, as the sunlight shines through them. It is a celebration of Islamic heritage with its design showcasing Islamic art, architecture, and tile making.We dine and stay in Shiraz this evening.

Day 4: Explore The Ancient Ruins Of Persepolis
Accommodation Name: 3 star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Driving out of the city into the dry deserts of Iran, we are heading towards one of the greatest historical sites in the world!  Persepolis was the ancient capital of the Persian Empire, before it was mostly destroyed by Alexander the Great in retribution for the burning of Athens.  In 480 BC, under the Persian Achaemenid Empire, it ruled the greatest ever percentage of the global population (around 44%) making it the largest empire in history. Wonder at the stone carvings and proud pillars before we drive 20mins to Necropolis to see the tombs of 5 great Achaemenid kings, including Darius and Xerxes. Last on our itinerary today (1hr drive) is the magnificent monumental tomb of Sirius the Great, at Pasargadae.From here we head right into the heart of Iran (6 hr drive), arriving at the ancient desert city of Yazd before dinner, to stay in our hotel… dug into the ground to keep rooms cool!

Day 5: Tour The Desert City Of Yazd
Accommodation Name: 3 star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Zorastrian religion, which pre-dates Islam, is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, founded in ancient Iran around 3500 years ago. Whilst it used to be the official Persian religion, today there are less than 190,000 followers worldwide. We visit the Tower of Silence and a fire temple where Zorastrians worship, believing that fire represents God’s light or wisdom. The fire here has been kept alight continuously since 470AD!  The city’s 12th Century AD ‘Jame’ (town centre) Mosque, with its minarets soaring above the city (they are the highest in the country), is still used today and showcases some of the finest Persian mosaics. Finish today on a high with a rooftop dinner, watching the sun go down amid the city’s windcatchers, for which it is famous.

Day 6: Explore Meybod, Main & Isfahan
Accommodation Name: 3 star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our destination today is Isfahan, a picturesque city that was once one of the largest and most important in Central Asia, due to its location at a crossroads on N-S and E-W trade routes. It is a 3 hour journey by car but we pause en route to look at the mud-brick Narin castle in Meybod. Though crumbling (parts of the settlement date back to 4000BC!), it is still imposing and gives an interesting view showing the development of the city around it. We also visit the Jame mosque and Pirnia house in Nain.  This is a great opportunity to discover some of the smaller towns of Iran and meet the local people there.  We will of course be continuing to discover the country’s delicious foods in many different types of local restaurants.  We finish off the day relaxing in the the calming atmosphere of beautiful Isfahan. 

Day 7: Isfahan Tour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We partake in a full-day excursion in Isfahan to visit it’s cultural highlights, including Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque and the Sheikh lotfollah mosque and Bazaar, before heading to Hasht Behesht and Chehel Sotun Palace. Of course, having a relaxing day at the local Hamam baths, or walking around the many beautiful gardens of the Safavid Palaces is also an option, and you are free to see as much or as little as you like, but we would recommend the Jame Mosque - it is not to be missed! After dinner this evening we can walk down to the famous bridges where many of the city’s inhabitants congregate in the evenings before another comfortable night in our hotel.

Day 8: Camel Riding In The Desert
Accommodation Name: 3 star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

It is well worth the early start and 2 hour drive towards Matin Abad Eco Resort in the desert this morning. We stop en-route to explore the unique Abiyaneh Village and the delicate and refined architecture of Kashan’s Fin Garden and Tabatabieha House. Built in around 1880 it belongs to the Tabatabaei family, one of the most affluent families of Kashan in the 19th Century. It is astonishingly symmetrical and one of the most beautiful examples of traditional Kashan houses. When we reach the resort in the afternoon, you have the option of enjoying a camel ride out into the desert to enjoy the sunset and a camp fire, or relaxing in the café on the hotel terrace for the spectacle of the sun’s rays dipping below the horizon.. We will enjoy our last group dinner this evening, at the resort, where they serve delicious, organic and healthy dishes.

Day 9: Fly Out From Tehran
Meals Included: Breakfast

Leaving the desert this morning concludes our cultural adventure! We have a 3 hour drive from the camp to the airport for flight departures. If you would like to extend your visit with an additional night or more in Tehran, then we will be happy to arrange this for you. Time to reflect on your adventure, and plan your next escape!

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation as detailed

  • Airport Transfers at Destination


  • Fully Guided

    Supporting you on your holiday will be an experienced, approachable and knowledgeable English speaking, Persian guide. This ensures you access to the right cultural information and support on your trip, with your Persian guide offering insight into local history, life and customs as well as ensuring the smooth running of your adventure.

  • Meals

    Meals as detailed

What's Not Included

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • International Travel


We fully believe in, and practice Responsible Tourism, using hotels run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip. We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available.

Day 1 - 7: Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd & Isfahan: To spread the benefits of our group visiting, we use a range of hotels in Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd & Isfahan, which are of a consistently high quality (3 & 4*). You can expect ensuite rooms, air conditioning and wifi. Yazd is a unique desert city and temperatures during the summer can be very high. As a result, they have taken the initiative to build many of their higher end hotels into the ground to keep the building cool.

Day 8: Matin Abad Eco Resort ( Tel: +98-21 88715232

We understand that it is useful to leave details of all your accommodation with friends/family whilst you are away, so before your trip we will email you a full list of the accommodation.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, Supporting you on your holiday will be an experienced, approachable and knowledgeable English speaking, Persian guide. This ensures you access to the right cultural information and support on your trip, with your Persian guide offering insight into local history, life and customs as well as ensuring the smooth running of your adventure.

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    As detailed in Itinerary.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, You will be greeted at Imam Khomeini International Airport by both your YellowWood & local guides, to be transferred to your hotel.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No, Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, except for the internal flight from Tehran to Shiraz, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool such as or when searching for flights.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    You will not have to fill out a visa form on the plane, but ladies will need to put on their head scarves before disembarking. All tourists will need to purchase a visa at the airport on landing. Please ensure you read our Visa Section thoroughly and ask if you aren’t sure of anything.So, before you are met by your guide &/ driver, who will have a sign with your name on, as well as the YellowWood logo, you have a couple of jobs to do!

    1. On disembarking, your first job, before going through Customs and Immigration, is to purchase your visa. If you are not sure where the ‘window’ for this is, do ask a member of Airport staff as many will speak English.. The cost will vary depending on the type of passport you hold, so please ensure you check this with your embassy before your holiday so you can ensure you have the right amount of currency with you.

    2. At Immigration, they will request to see your passport with visa stamp, as well as a hard copy of your insurance policy. Do not rely on a copy on your phone as there may not be internet coverage.

  • What is the maximum group size?

    The max group size is 12 people.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in Itinerary.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    Yes, Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    Many of our adventures involve an element of hiking or trekking, but the focus for this adventure is exploring the lesser known cultural and historical sights of Iran. You need to be in good health and be happy to explore a city on foot, plus have an open mind to adventure travel, and experiencing different cultures to your own, first hand.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2015

  • Risk Assessment

    YellowWood operates a Safety Management System which encompasses a planned, researched, implemented and reviewed approach to your Health & Safety. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm (hazards) and the assessment of likelihood of hazards occuring, as well as the severity of the outcome of a hazard.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for our latest Covid-19 policies

  • Experienced Leaders

    On all of our adventures you will benefit from the daily presence of an experienced, English speaking local guide. You will also have additional guides at various points during the trip (see itineraries for details).

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    As a visitor to a foreign country, we inevitably leave our mark. At YellowWood Adventures, we are determined that this ‘mark’ will be a positive one. Tourism is not always beneficial and we are conscious of treading lightly in the lands we explore.

Reviews of this Operator




From guiding us through the crowded alleys of Lalibela at Genna to clambering up the dizzy heights of Abuna Yemata this was a trip that surpassed all expectations! Yellowwood hits the right balance of organised small group travel with adventurous, 'off the beaten track' experiences all the while making you feel as if you've travelling with a small group of your friends. Ethiopia is truly a beautiful country with wonderful friendly and generous people throughout. I highly recommend this trip and am already planning for my next Yellowwood adventure!

Ethiopia Adventure, 2020

Absolute trip of a lifetime


This trip was one of the best I've ever done. Getting into the Tian Shan mountains was really quite magical; experiencing the scenery and feeling isolated from the rest of the world, thanks to the personalised feel of the trek, was unrivalled. The quality of the food was also a highlight, and I was catered for as a vegetarian (in a very non-vegetarian place!). Kyrgyzstan is a relatively undiscovered gem, and it was lovely to do a road-less-travelled style trip. Thanks to Sam and YellowWood for taking us on a genuine adventure with a fantastic itinerary. I look forward to joining some more non-traditional trips when possible!"

Kyrgyzstan Adventure, 2019

People and Landscapes of Oman Adventure


Every day was a highlight for me, no specific favourite. Oman deserves all the superlatives it gets -magnificent scenery, safe, friendly environment, welcoming and engaging people. YellowWood delivers a winner on this trip! Kudos to all.

Oman Adventure, 2022

Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Apr 27, 2024 - May 05, 2024
$3199 $3039 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$160 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 26, 2024 - Nov 03, 2024
$3199 $3039 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$160 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    YellowWood Adventures requires a minimum deposit of 400 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of yellowwood adventures charges.

    Up to 57 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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