Fly to Shiraz International Airport, where a local representative will meet you and take you to your hotel.
Your Iranian experience begins with a city tour of Shiraz, visiting many of the most important historic sites, religious monuments and centres of culture.
You’ll see a whole parade of fascinating places, including Karim Khan Citadel, Vakil Bazaar and Mosque and the colourful Nasirol Molk Mosque dating back to the Qajar era. You’ll also visit beautiful Narenjestan and the holy shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh.
Stay: Three nights in a central Shiraz hotel.
The drive to Isfahan is unforgettable. En route you’ll stop off at Persepolis; the ceremonial capital of the Achemenid kings, featuring the remains of the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes – the era brought to life by bas reliefs of kings and courtiers from across the Persian Empire. At Nagsh ar-Rostam you’ll see the Fire Temple Sanctuary.
In Isfahan itself you can take an evening stroll over the city’s famous bridges. The next morning you’ll discover Chehel Sotoun Palace, Imam Square, Aliqapou Palace, Imam and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosques and Bazaar.
Stay: Two nights in a central Isfahan hotel.
Kashan – Tehran
Day 6: Rise early and visit the Armenian quarter, Vank Church and its Museum, plus the Friday Mosque. Then set off for Tehran and on the way, call off at Kashan to see the Safavid period Garden of Fin with its historic open pavilions.
You’ll visit the Taba-Tabia and Brojerdi historical houses – excellent examples of opulent merchants’ residences – and also pass by the holy city of Qom.
Day 7: Another fitting highlight on your tour of Iran. You’ll be able to visit Golestan Palace and Museum, the Marble Throne Room and gardens. You’ll also see the priceless jewel collection in the vaults of the Central Bank of Iran.
In Iran’s National Museum there are displays of artefacts dating back to the sixth and seventh millennium BC, plus beautiful glassware and ceramics from both the Islamic and pre-Islamic periods. Then it’s time to indulge in a farewell dinner in a traditional Iranian restaurant, complete with live music.
Stay: Two nights in a Tehran hotel.
Transfer to Imam Khomeini International Airport for your flight back home.
Of your various competitors, Ayesha stood out a mile ahead with her advice, decisiveness and willingness to help- RW, India, 2014