• Spend four nights in the captivating city of Shiraz, brimming with cultural treasures from across its 2,000 year history
• Delve into the labyrinthine desert city of Yazd from its stunning mosque, glittering with mosaics, to its serene Towers of Silence
• Isfahan’s Royal Mosque, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture, enchants alongside the Lotfollah Mosque and the beautiful Portico of Qaysariyyeh
Depart Heathrow 2135 on British Airways.
Arrive Tehran 0645 and transfer to hotel for overnight stay. Afternoon: Golestan Palace (lavish masterpiece of the Qajar era), Treasury of National Jewels.
Morning in Tehran: National Museum of Iran (archaeological artefacts), Sa’d Abad Palace (White Palace). Transfer to Hamadan for two nights.
Hamadan: Hegmataneh hill (remains of the ancient city of Ecbatana), Mausoleum of Esther and Mordechai, tombs of Avicenna and Baba Taher, 12th century Alavian Dome, Achaemenian Ganjnameh inscriptions.
Kangavar (huge Temple of Anahita), Bisitun (famous inscriptions of Darius I, key to decipherment of cuneiform script), Taq-e Bostan (Sassanid rock reliefs). Overnight stay in Khorramabad.
Via Dezful (outdoor water system) and ancient city of Susa (settled since 5th millennium BC) for two nights in Ahvaz.
Tchogha Zanbil (ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam, with enormous ziggurat), Shushtar 5th century hydraulic system.
Long drive through beautiful landscapes to Shiraz for four nights. En route: ancient city of Bishapur.
Shiraz: Pars Museum and Nasar Garden; Vakil mosque, bathhouse and bazaar; Qavam House; Eram Garden; Tomb of Hafez.
Firuzabad (ancient Gur, Sassanaid palaces).
Persepolis (ruined halls and stunning bas reliefs); Naqsh-e Rustam (burial site of Achaemenid rulers); Naqsh-e Rajab (Sassanian royal reliefs).
Via Pasargadae (tomb of Cyrus the Great) and Abarkooh (ancient cypress tree) for two nights in Yazd.
Yazd: Towers of Silence, Zoroastrian Fire Temple, 14th century Jameh Mosque, Amir Chakhmaq Complex (symmetrical sunken alcoves), Water Museum, Dowlat Abad Garden.
Via Maybod (caravanserai, pigeon tower, ice supply) and Nain (one of the oldest Jameh mosques in Iran, ethnography museum) for two nights in Isfahan.
Isfahan: Naghsh-e Jahan Square and monuments, Chehel Sotun palace, historic Bazaar.
Morning in Isfahan (Friday Mosque, Vank Cathedral, Armenian Quarter). Via Natanz (Jameh mosque, shrine of Sheikh Abdul Samad) for overnight stay in Kashan.
Morning visits in Kashan (Fin Garden) before returning to Tehran for overnight stay.
Depart Tehran 0835, arriving Heathrow 1125.