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Blue Domes | Iran 12 Day Tour

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Iran 12-day Tour
This itinerary would be a good choice that covers some most important highlights of Iran in the main cities of TehranKermanShirazYazd,  Isfahan and Kashan. You can also experience the lifestyle, local cuisine, and desert life. 


Trip info & Itinerary 

Iran, situated between Central Asia, Europe and Arabian peninsula, is among the most interesting destinations in the world. There are few places in the world which have a history and culture as rich as this remarkable country - Formerly known as Persia. 

"Blue Domes" is a 12-day Iran tour that takes you from the colorful palaces and Persian masterpieces of history, art and architecture to the oasis and desert landscapes which amaze every spectator by its unique scenery. You will visit the most attractive sights of the country in 12 days to experience the history and life style of Iranian people - whether it’s the Achaemenid capital at Persepolis or the astonishing Imam Square in Isfahan.  

In this trip we will visit the country’s most important attractions that has no equal in the Islamic world. The brightest star of all is, of course, Isfahan; a name that recalls the majestic architectural and intellectual achievements of Persian culture, together with Kerman, Shiraz, YazdTehran, and Kashan.  Our "Blue Domes" trip starts in the capital city of Tehran, then we fly south to Kerman, the region of Kalouts and citadels and continues to Shiraz, the home of the famous Poets, and to Persepolis, an incredible example of the rule of Achaemenid Empire. Our trip returns to Tehran via Yazd and Isfahan; amazing cities famous for their Islamic architecture, ancient bridges, mosques, minarets, and tree-lined avenues.

The "Blue Domes" traces the magnificent legacies of the Persian Empire which will not fail to inspire, old desert towns, ancient citadels, the snow capped mountains, vast deserts, oasis towns and spontaneous engagement with the locals that provide surprise at every point of our diverse itinerary. 

Detailed Itinerary 

Duration: 12 Days 

Cities to be visited: Tehran, Kerman, Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan, Kashan

Click on each day program to view the details

Day 1: Arrival, Sightseeing in Tehran - O/N Tehran

After arrival at Tehran Airport (IKIA), our representative will meet and transfer you to your hotel to rest.

In the morning, we will visit the National Museum of Iran, where you can see fabulous historical items from 5000 BC to the advent of Islam in Iran which shows a brief history of our land.

After the museum we'll walk to the Golestan complex (a UNESCO World Heritage) The glories of the Qajar Era are played out across this complex of palaces set around an elegant garden, ornamented with mirrors, paintings, glazed tiles. After the visit we walking along the Grand Bazaar dating back to the Qajar era (almost 260 years old). 

In the afternoon we will also visit the National Jewels of Iran located in the central bank of IRI. 


- Golestan palace 

- National Museum of Iran

- Iran national Jewels Museum    

Tehran View

Learn about TEHRAN Close

Tehran is a metropolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, warm friendly people. It deserves at least a few days of your Iran trip itinerary.
The city can be roughly divided into two different parts - north and south. The northern districts of Tehran are more prosperous, modern, cosmopolitan and expensive while southern parts is more historic and commercial. 
At the time of the Zand dynasty, Tehran was a small town that was significant from a strategic point of view. The first king of Qajar dynasty, Agha Mohammed Khan, chose Tehran as the country's capital in 1778, and most of its growth started during the reign of a subsequent Qajar monarch, Fath-Ali Shah (Agha Khan's Successor) 

Even though the Qajar dynasty was in a period of decline, Tehran soon took the shape of a modern city. The structure of large government buildings, new streets, recreation centres, urban service organizations, and academic and methodical centres were started, even as most of the old gates and buildings were destroyed and the city's old architectural fabric replaced by a contemporary one.

A combination of factors make Tehran a pleasant place to visit: The dry climate which is constantly cool (except in summer time), the proximity of the mountains, the parks and gardens where flowers blossom all through the year. The Alborz range on the north of Tehran, which hosts Damavand -the highest peak in Iran- provides fantastic conditions for ski lovers in the winter. In winter, the mountain hotels and ski resorts at Shemshak, and Dizine are full several days a week. Some specialist skiers consider the snow value in northern Tehran to be one of the most excellent in the world. Read more 


Day 2: Afternoon flight to Kerman, O/N Kerman

Today, we'll visit the residential palaces of Mohamad Reza Shah, his father and some members of the former Iranian royal family . Its huge garden occupying an area of 180 hectares , makes Sa'ad Abad the greatest cultural complex in modern Tehran consisting of 7 palaces. After this visit, a short stop at Tajrish local market will be a memorable experience. 

- Afternoon flight to Kerman (Duration 01:25 h) 


- Sa'ad Abad Palace Complex 

- Tajrish Local Market 

Tajrish Bazaar Tehran

Day 3: Drive to Rayen Citadel, O/N Kerman

On this day we seize the opportunity to visit Rayen citadel, 100 km from Kerman. This ruined citadel was inhabited until 150 years ago and is believed to be 1000 years old.

On the way back we stop in a small town called Mahan, situated in the south of Kerman, where a UNESCO heitage site called Shazde Garden, appears right in the middle of an arid and flat desert. To complete the joy, we will then go to Shah Nematollah Vali shrine. A sufi mystic and poet of 15th century. Spectacular Turquoise dome of the building is easily recognized from far away.

After return to Kerman, we finish the visits with Ganjali Khan Complex which consists of a traditional Bathhouse (Persian Hammam) , a Bazaar, a Caravanserai and a Mint. 


- Ryan citadel

- Shah Nematolah Vali Shrine

- Shahzadeh Garden (UNESCO Site)

- Ganjali Khan complex

- Bazaar

Rayen Citadel

Learn about KERMAN Close

Kerman has always been an important center on the trans-Asian trade routes. Believed that it was founded in the early-3rd-century AD by Ardashir I, who was the founder of the Sassanian dynasty. From the 7th century Kerman was ruled in turn by the Arabs, Buyids, Seljuks, Turkmens and Mongols, and then until the Qajar dynasty by a further succession of invaders and regional despots. Kerman only gained its security under the central government of Tehran during the 19th century.
Kerman’s continuity was its commerce, the evidence of which can still be seen in the many caravanserais around the bazaar. As trade moved more to the sea in the 16th century, Kerman relied more on the production of carpets and pistachios.that is why the city is known as the city of green gold. Read more


Day 4: Drive to Shiraz , O/N Shiraz

Now it’s time to enjoy the nature through the long but very scenic road of Kerman - Shiraz. We will pass the mountains, fig lands, lakes and salt lakes. Near Shiraz there will be a short photo-stop at Maharlu Salt Lake to be fascinated by the pink color of water and -if in right season- there is also opportunity to watch migrant birds, such as Dalmatian Pelican and flamingos. 

Sarvestan palace is also planned to be visited en-route. This Palace was built by the Sasanian king Bahram V (Or Bahram Goor) (r. 420-438), and dominates an immense, empty plain. The name "palace" is a bit misleading, because the monument's function is probably a royal hunting lodge. 


- Sarvestan Palace

- Maharlu Lake 

Day 5: Sightseeing in Shiraz , O/N Shiraz

After breakfast, we will visit Nasir-al-Molk Mosque (or Pink Mosque) which was built by one of the princes of the Qajar Dynasty, in 1888. Its interior reveals a magnificent masterpiece of design with stunning pink color. We will then walk to continue the exploration in Shiraz old town at the beautiful orange-scented Narenjestan Garden, laid out in the 19th century. Today You’ll have free time to explore and shop in the Vakil Bazaar, home to hundreds of stores, and beautiful courtyards. We will end our sightseeing day in the lovely shrine of Ali bin Hamza, a shi'ite saint. 


- Narenjestan Garden

- Vakil Mosque

- Bazzar

- Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque

- Imamzadeh Ali bin Hamze shrine

Nasir Al Molk Shiraz

Learn about SHIRAZ Close

Shiraz, "The city of roses and poets", is the heart of Iran’s history and a center for the rich Persian literary heritage. Known as the cultural capital of Iran, the provincial capital of Fars province has been a cradle of civilization and art for many centuries. Famous philosophers, thinkers and poets produced their masterpieces in this beautiful city. Shiraz is situated in a plain surrounded by two mountain ranges offering a mild climate and magnificently impressive gardens to this city. Shiraz, one of Iran's oldest cities and the fourth biggest in the country, has been the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty and hosts quite a few interesting historical sites. Shiraz is known as the city of flowers and nightingales, referring to its beautiful gardens and two very famous poets; Sa'adi and Hafez. There are quite a few beautiful mosques and other historical buildings showing the fantastic architecture, tile works and mirror works of Zand and Qajar era. Read more 


Day 6: Visit Persepolis & Necropolis- O/N Shiraz

We visit Persepolis in the morning when the site is relatively not crowded. A comprehensive tour is provided bringing to life the history of this magnificent ruin. Ruler of the largest empire the world had ever seen, Darius I started constructing the great metropolis capital to serve as a ceremonial capital in around 512 BC. Subsequent Achaemenian kings, including Xerxes, added their own palaces over the next 150 years. A good three hours is needed to explore Persepolis.

A short drive away is the four impressive burial tombs of Darius and his successors, Naghsh-e Rostam, which have been hewn from the rock. After the group arrives back in Shiraz, the time will permit a good visit to tomb of Hafiz.


Half day tour of Persepolis Complex (UNESCO Site)
Rock tombs of Naqsh-e Rustam
Tomb of Hafiz


Learn about PERSEPOLIS Close

Now an archaeological site in Iran, the ancient city of Persepolis was founded by Darius the Great in 518 BC as the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.
On an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, the great king created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the ruins at Persepolis led to its recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. 

Though evidence of some prehistoric settlement at the site has been unearthed, Persepolis inscriptions reveal that construction of Parseh began under Darius I (r.522–486 BC). As a new king, Darius made Persepolis the new capital of Persia that could replace Pasargadae, the capital and burial place of Cyrus the Great. Built in a remote and mountainous region, Persepolis could not be used as royal residence and was mainly visited in the spring in occasion of Iranian new year celebration called Nowruz

Many parts of this complex were built and decorated during the reign of Darius I, Xerxes and Artaxerxes I; but the construction and completion of Persepolis palaces continued until the end of the Achaemenid rule.The luxurious palaces of Persepolis were used as the spring residence of Achaemenid kings for centuries and are still considered as one of the most prominent and enduring historical sites of ancient Iran. Read more about Persepolis >>

A few km further, another interesting visit will be Naqsh-e Rostam or Necropolis: Darius the great decided that the burial place of the Achamenid kings had to lie a few miles from Persepolis, and he chose the cliff site of Naqsh-i Rustam (also Naqsh-e Rostam) where some old Elamite works already stood as the home of the large tombs hewn out of the vertical rock face. Instead of creating a mausoleum in the form of a house like that of Cyrus II at Pasargadae, here the architectural formula was totally changed with the realization of colossal tombs cut directly out of the mountain face and visible from a great distance.  Read more about Naqsh-e Rostam >>


Day 7: Drive to Yazd via Pasargadae- O/N Yazd

We embark on the 450 km lovely drive from Shiraz to Yazd which in some parts is very picturesque.
En-route, we will stop at Pasargadae the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire that lies in ruins. Pasargadae reveals the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty in 500 AD.


- Pasargadae – Tomb of Cyrus The Great (UNESCO Site)

- Abarkuh old Cypress tree


Learn about PASARGADAE Close

The dynastic capital of Pasargadae was built by Cyrus the Great during 6th century BC with contributions from different peoples of the empire founded by him. It became a fundamental phase in the evolution of the classic Persian art and architecture. With its palaces, gardens, and the tomb of the founder of the dynasty, Cyrus the Great, Pasargadae represents exceptional testimony to the Achaemenid civilisation in Persia. The 'Four Gardens' type of royal ensemble created in Pasargadae became a prototype for Western Asian architecture and design. Pasargadae is located in the plain on the river Polvar, in the heart of Pars, the homeland of the Persians. The position of the town is also denoted in its name: 'the camp of Persia'. Read more 


Day 8: Sightseeing in Yazd - O/N Yazd

Yazd is one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns of Iran. The old town of Yazd dominated by minarets, adobe structures, and the ingeniously-designed wind towers that served as cooling systems, would be a highlight of this trip. Yazd is also the center of Iran’s Zoroastrian community, which is where you’ll begin the day’s sightseeing.

Our visits start with Towers of Silence, where Zoroastrians used to leave dead bodies until the mid-1900s. According to Zoroastrian rules, dead should not be buried under ground. They were transported to these enclosures built on hill tops, where they were left to decompose. 

The next site will be the Zoroastrian fire temple. At this still-active Zoroastrian Fire Temple, you’ll see a sacred flame that is said to have been burning for the past 1,500 years. 

In Amir Chakhmaq Square, you’ll see a very impressive structure. Although more often described as the entrance to a now non-existent bazaar, the chief function of Amir-Chakhmaq structure is known as a Tekyeh (congregation place for rituals) and the square before it, was to host Ta'ziyeh ( a cycle of passion plays commemorating the martyrdom of the third Imam of Shiites, Imam Hossein) which takes place once a year during the mourning month of Moharram. The site dating from fifteenth century, is named after its builder, Amir Jalal Al-Din Chakhmagh,  governor of Yard.

The next place to visit is the Friday Mosque of Yazd (Yazd Jamee Mosque) built in 1324, where you can gaze upon the tallest mosque minarets in the country.


- Yazd Jameh Mosque

- Mir Chakhmaq Complex

- Zoroastrian Fire Temple

- Towers of Silence

Yazd Old Town

Learn about YAZD Close

The city of Yazd’s first mention in historic records predate it back to around 3000 B.C. when it was related to by the name of Ysatis, and was then part of the domain of Medes, an ancient kingdom of Iran. In the course of history due to its distance from important capitals and its harsh natural surrounding, Yazd remained immune to major troops' movements and destruction from wars, therefore it kept many of its traditions, city forms and architecture until recent times. During the invasion of Genghis Khan in the early 1200’s A.D. Yazd became a safe haven and home for many artists, intellectuals and scientists fleeing their war ravaged cities around Persia.

The city of Yazd is considered the bride of Iranian central desert. It is a treasure of Iranian architecture with the utmost elegance and beauty.
Due to its climatic conditions, Yazd city is full of high wind towers, magnificent reservoirs and huge historical Qanats. All these extraordinary tourist attractions, along with the bazaar and the customs of local people have made Yazd one of the top tourism hubs in Iran.  Read more 


Day 9: Drive to Isfahan via Naein - O/N Isfahan

We embark on the 300km desert drive from Yazd to Isfahan which in some parts is aligned with Pistachio fields. We break the road at Naein (Nain) where we can have lunch and a short visit to one of the oldest mosques of Iran.

Naein Jameh Mosque

Day 10: Sightseeing in Isfahan - O/N Isfahan

Today visits starts from Imam Square or Naqsh-e Jahan. This 17th-century complex is the second largest square in the world (after Tiananmen in Beijing) 

In the square, you’ll visit the 17th-century Imam Mosque, easily recognized by its magnificent blue tile-work and soaring dome and minarets. It is known as the most beautiful mosque of Iran and a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. We will also visit Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, also known as the Ladies Mosque due to its function believed to be the private mosque of the King's wives. It is renowned for a bright color domed, where and its amazing interior.

The next stop will be at Aali Qapu Palace, where you’ll marvel at its beautiful music hall ceiling and the balconies where Safavid kings would sit to enjoy the polo competitions taking place in the square. We'll finish our exploration of the square by visiting the Qeisarieh Bazaar with hundreds of local shops selling traditional handicrafts and art. It’s a wonderful market to shop your souvenirs. 

Next up is Chehel Sotun Palace, set in the middle of a beautiful garden in front of a huge reflecting pool. This graceful pavilion was built under Shah Abbas II for entertainment and court receptions. Chehel Sotoun meaning the "Forty Column" is a long-standing relic of the Safavid rule in Iran, which fascinates visitors with its amazing and original architecture. The splendid mural paintings of Chehel sotoun are just one of its many attractions.  


- Naqsh-e Jahan Square (UNESCO Site)

- Aali Qapu Palace

- Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

- Imam Mosque

- Chehel Sotun Palace (UNESCO Site)

- Isfahan famous Bridges (Si-o-seh & Khaju)

Aali Qapu Palace

Learn about ISFAHAN Close

Formerly described as Florence of Orient, Isfahan is considered one of the finest cities in the Islamic world.
When you tread into the city, it seems as if it has been preparing itself for an impromptu royal visit. It is a city of inspiring architecture, elegant mosques, churches, graceful palaces, beautiful gardens and gorgeous bridges, a city made for the refreshment of humanity.
In Isfahan You can hardly find a street without a wide central pedestrian reservation of trees, fountains and flowers. Behind every corner you stumble upon spectacular remainders of rich past. In its heyday under Safavid Empire when the city flourished and gave birth to its outstanding Islamic and Iranian architecture, Esfahan was a large city with a population of one million and owned many parks, libraries, public baths, shops and mosques that amazed western visitors, who had not seen anything like that at home.
One of the great achievements of Shah Abass I was "The Pattern of the world" or Naqsh-e Jahan Square (now Imam Square) which is a real jewel on Isfahan's crown. 
Somewhere in the west of Imam Square, a beautiful tree-lined boulevard, offers delightful hours of walking under its cool green shades. Chahar Bagh is the main street of Esfahan and traverses Zayandeh Rud through Si-o-se Pol. Zayandeh Rud is crossed by some of the world's most picturesque covered bridges. Read more 


Day 11: Sightseeing in Isfahan - O/N Isfahan

  1. Hasht Behesht Palace
  2. Jameh Mosque
  3. Vank Cathedral Museum

Day 12: Drive to Tehran, via Abyaneh and Kashan /Departure

Kashan is an ancient oasis town, 250 km from Tehran, famous for rose water, hand-woven carpets and great architecture. Kashan was the favorite city of Shah Abbas the Great, the 16th-century king responsible for so much of Iran’s development. Located on an altitude of 1600 m on the rim of the central Salt Desert , the city dates back to prehistoric times. The city name probably means “summer houses built of wood and reeds". Archeological discoveries in the Sialk Hills which lie 2.5 miles (4 km) west of Kashan reveal that this region was one of the primary centers of civilization in pre-historic ages. Read more about Kashan >>

  1. Abyaneh ancient Village
  2. Fin Garden (UNESCO Site)
  3. Tabatabai Mansion
  4. Agha Bozorg Mosque & Madraseh


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Iran 12 days Tour route map - Blue Domes Iransafar Click to view a larger map 


Trip Highlights

Iran 12-day Tour Highlights

The National Museum of Iran

Jewellery Museum

Rayen Citadel

Yazd old Town and its Zoroastrian sites

Isfahan's Naghsh-e-Jahan square

UNSECO world heritage site of Persepolis

Persian Gardens in Kashan & Shiraz

The desert drives 


Tour Dates

Iran 12-day Group tour

Dates 2021

03-14 April - Closed 

09 Oct - 20 Oct - Available 


Tour Price

Iran 12-day Tour Price 

Small group tours 

From € 1350 Per person 

Single Supplement: € 390


Group Size

Min 5 - Max 14 pax

Trip Info

Trip Duration: 12 days
Grade: Active
Activities: Cultural Tour
Accommodation: Hotels / 9 nights


4 - Star Hotels 

2 nights - Hotel in Tehran
2 nights - Hotel in Kerman
2 nights - Hotel in Yazd
3 nights - Hotel in Shiraz
3 nights - Hotel in Isfahan


Air-conditioned bus/minibus/car


Breakfast  12
Lunch   3
Dinner  3

Service Includes

. All Airport transfers
. Hotel accommodation
. Breakfast
. Full-time transports
. Domestic flight
. Full-time Experienced guide
. Visa support & reference code

Service Excludes

. International airfare
. Personal insurance
. Visa stamp fee
. Lunch & Dinner
. Tips & Portages


Important note:

These trip notes represent the most current information for this itinerary, and may supersede any information in the current brochure, including but not limited to the itinerary and price. The itinerary should be seen as a guide only. This itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather, forces of nature and other circumstances beyond our control.


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