Iran is the center of Shiite’s world. There are around 200 million Shia Muslims in the world today. Between 70 million and 75 million Shias live in Iran, representing nearly half of the world's Shia population. This has made Iran the spiritual center of Shiite’s world. With 3 major cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Qom.
Mashhad. Imām Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imām of Twelver Shi'ites. It is the second largest mosque in the world. This complex is the center of religious tourism in Iran.
Shiraz. Shah Cheragh is the most important place of pilgrimage within the city of Shiraz. Ahmad (Shah-e Cheragh) came to Shiraz at the beginning of the third Islamic century (approximately 900 AD), and died there. During the rule of Atabeg Abū Sa'id Zangi (~1130s AD) of the Zengid dynasty, the chief minister to the monarch by the name of Amir Muqarrab al-din Badr al-din built the tomb chamber, the dome, as well as a colonnaded porch.
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is traditional mosque located in Shiraz. It’s particular architecture has made it one of the most unique mosques in the world. You can only see the light through the stained glass in the early morning. It was built to catch the morning sun, so that if you visit at noon it will be too late to catch the light.
Qom. Qom is counted as one of the focal centers of the Shi'a both in Iran and around the globe. Since the revolution the clerical population has risen from around 25,000 to more than 45,000 and the nonclerical population has more than tripled to about 700,000. Its theological center and the Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine are prominent features of the provincial capital of Qom province. Another very popular religious site of pilgrimage formerly outside the city of Qom but now more of a suburb is called Jamkaran. Qom's proximity to Tehran, Iran's capital, has allowed the clerical establishment easy access to monitor the affairs and decisions of state. Many grand ayatollahs hold offices in both Tehran and Qom; many people simply commute between the two cities as they are only 156 km apart.
Day 1. IKA - Tehran. Tehran Airport our representative will meet and assist you on your arrival, transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2. Tehran. Visiting the holy shrines of Shah-Abdol-Azim and Imam Khomeini in Tehran. Followed by a light tour of natural beauties of Tehran, such as Darakeh and Darband. Overnight Tehran.
Day 3 – Tehran - Mashhad. Morning flight to the holy city of Mashhad. The capital of Khorasan province in northeast Iran and the second largest city in the country, Mashhad is best known for its beautiful pilgrimage shrine of Imam Reza. The shrine was built on the site of the village of Sanabad, where Imam Reza died in 818 AD. Pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Imam Reza. Spending a wonderful evening at the shrine. Overnight Mashhad.
Day 4 – Mashhad. On our second full day in the beautiful city of Mashhad, you will be going to Ghadamgah, mausoleum of Ferdowsi the grate Iranian epic poet as well as a sightseeing tour in the urban areas of Mashhad where you can witness breathtaking scenes of thousands of pilgrims in one of the holiest cities of Shiite Islam. Overnight Mashhad.
Day 5 – Mashhad - Shiraz. Half day city tour of Mashhad. Evening flights to Shiraz. Overnight Shiraz.
Day 6 – Shiraz. City tour of Shiraz, after an easy morning we will start by paying a visit to Zandiyeh Complex, the residential palace of Zand dynasty. We continue to Vakil complex, Vakil Mosque, Bazar and public bath that are remaining from his reign. We will chill out at the traditional tea house of Saray-e Moshir to have a fully Persian experience, a quick visit to Nasir al-Molk Mosque will conclude our morning tour before lunch. Afternoon visit to the Holy shrine of Shah e Cheragh. Overnight Shiraz.
Day 7 – Shiraz. Excursion to the most magnificent city of the ancient world, Persepolis. The area is composed of various reception halls and palaces, private palaces, royal treasury and fortifications. We continue our excursion by visiting Naghsh-e-Rostam, the Achaemenian necropolis before returning to Shiraz. Free afternoon in Shiraz. Overnight Shiraz.
Day 8 – Isfahan. Morning drive to Isfahan. We will visit Naghshe Jahan square and all the surrounding attractions: the famous Imam Mosque (Royal Mosque), located the southern side of the square with wonderful architecture and tile-work. We then visit the multistory Aliqapu Palace, stood on the western side of the square, from which the Safavid kings used to view the polo games and ceremonies. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque (or Ladies Mosque) is located on the opposite side of the square and is visited next. Overnight Isfahan. Overnight Isfahan.
Day 9 – Isfahan. Starting another wonderful day in Isfahan, we start in the morning by visiting the Friday Mosque followed by Chehelsotun (forty columns) palace. We will then visit Vank Cathedral and the Armenian quarter of the city. We wil then head to the banks of Zayanderud river, the soul of the city. There are several historical bridges over this river, erected during the Safavid era (17th Century). Siosepol (33-arch) and Khaju bridges are the most famous ones. We enjoy visiting these two interesting bridges, walking along the river bank or paddle on a boat from one to the other (depending on the season). Overnight Isfahan.
Day 10 – Esfahan – Qom. Morning drive to holy city of Qom. Transfer to hotel. Evening visit to the holy shrine of Fatima Masuma. Overnight Qom.
Day 11 - Tehran – IKA. Last visit to the holy shrine of Jamkaran. Transfer to Tehran. In case there is some time left before your flight, you'll have the opportunity to buy some souvenirs or alternatively free time. Transfer to the airport for the flight.
Caspian sea extension tours can also be added to this tour if you wish to enjoy the beautiful coast of the Caspian Sea. A lighter version of this itinerary is available excluding Isfahan visit.
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All of our itineraries can be combined with other cultural and educational programs, as well as eco tours and trekking. Don't forget that we specialize in individual tours tailored specially for you, so if you have any requests or suggestions, please feel free to message us at firstname.lastname@example.org