Gulf to Caspian 18 Days

Day 1: Arrive to Shiraz. Visit Shiraz

Shiraz is the sixth most populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. It is regarded as one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia. Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature and flowers.

Shiraz is the birthplace of two famous Persian poets Hafez and Saadi. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city. O/N in Shiraz. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Nasir Almolk mosque

- Hafez Tomb

- Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh Shrine

- Karim Khan Citadel

- Vakil mosque

- Vakil Bazaar

Day 2: Visit Persepolis and Necropolis. Fly to Bandar Abbas

Magnificent Persepolis, the center of the great Persian Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenids embodies the greatest successes of the ancient Achaemenid Empire. Persepolis, Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., was built on a huge terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex. The monumental staircases, exquisite reliefs and imposing gateways leave you no doubt how grand this empire was.

Next is Necropolis, the magnificent burial place of Achaemenid kings. The site also provides seven bas-reliefs dating back to Elamite and Sassanid periods. O/N in Bandar Abbas. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Persepolis

- Necropolis

Day 3: Take the ferry to Qeshm Island.

Located between the opening of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, Qeshm Island is Iran's second free trade zone and a unique tourism hub. Qeshm has semi-equatorial climate and is hot and humid most of the year. The island experiences pleasant falls, mild winters and springs, and very hot summers.

One of the largest islands in the world, Qeshm boasts numerous natural, historical, religious and trade attractions. The Portuguese Castle built by Portuguese commander Alfonso de Albuquerque in 1507, the Bibi Ab-Anbar (cistern), the historical Laft Port where the Lanj boats used by the inhabitants of southern Iran to sail, trade and fish on the Persian Gulf are made and the Achaemenid era (550-330 BC) Gooran Dam are some of the historical attractions of Qeshm.

The island has several villages that are unique in their culture, costumes and nature. Konarsiah Village is where visitors can explore local traditions and taste local delicacies and Shibderaz Village is where Hawksbill turtles hatch.

Tourists or those visiting the island on business can enjoy recreational activities such as fishing, horseback riding, auto racing and water sports or rejuvenate at Qeshm natural spas. With its beautiful sunsets and its sensational historic attractions, Qeshm can be a perfect tourist destination for those seeking a truly memorable experience of the Middle East. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Chah Kouh Valley

- Stars Valley

- Laft

Day 4: Visit Horomz Island

Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf is well-known for its eye-catching ochre, a red-colored earth pigment that attracts domestic and foreign nature lovers and holidaymakers. Also spelled Hormoz, the island covers an area of approximately 42 square kilometers, most of which fairly uninhabited. It is sprawled in the Strait of Hormuz, 8km from the mainland.

It is probable to traverse much of the land in a single day by car. However, there are a few popular spots, some on the beaches and some in the valleys where eco-tourists prefer to camp out for days. The sunny coastline is made up from striking blend of golden beaches and amazing steep cliffs and slopes. The arid island gets unbelievably hot during midday so that ideally, winter may be the best time to pay a visit. In summertime its temperate can rise to over 43 degrees. O/N in Qeshm. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Portuguese Castle

- Rainbow Valley

- Valley of the statues

- Salt Cascades

- Mofanegh Beach

- Museum and art gallery of Ahmad Nadalian

Day 5: Take the ferry to Bandar Abbas and Drive to Minab

O/N in Minab. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Anthropological Museum of Bandar Abbas

- Hindu Temple

Day 6: Visit Minab and drive to Kerman

Minab is famous for fishing (especially shrimps) and for agriculture (especially date palms and mangoes). It lies on the main official road connecting Bandar Abbas, the Makran and the Baluchistan Province. The population are mainly Shi'a Muslims but Sunni minority do exist, and the language they speak is Minabi (locally Minow), a dialect which is something between Bandari, Balochi and Persian. Once a week, a well known bazaar called "Panjshambe bazar" or in Minabi language "Peyshambe Bazar" (Thursday's Bazaar) attracts people from all over Hormozgan, and beyond. O/N in Kerman. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Minab Thursday market

Note: To visit Thursday market in Minab, you have to be there on Thursday from morning to noon.

Day 7: Visit Mahan and Rayen.

Mahan is a city in Kerman County and is well known for Shazdeh Garden (Prince Garden) which is a historical Persian garden and a world heritage site and the tomb of Shah Nematollah Vali, a poet, sage, Sufi and founder of an order of darvishes. O/N in Kerman. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Shazdeh Garden

- Tomb of Shah Nematollah Vali

- Rayen Citadel

Day 8: Visit Kerman and drive to Yazd

Kerman city is located on a high margin of Kavir-e lut (Lut Desert) in the central south of Iran, is the Capital of Kerman Providence. Kermani people are experts of constructing gardens and Qanats. Kerman is counted as one of the oldest cities and its name is derived from the Germaniol race listed by Herodotus, and its construction is attributed to Ardashir I of Sassanid Dynasty (Ardashir-e Babakan) in 3rd century CE. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Ganjali Khan complex

- Kerman Bazaar

- Zeinodin Caravanserai

Day 9: Visit Yazd

The city of Yazd is located in the eastern part of central Iran situated on the high, desert plateau that forms much of the country. Amidst the immense desert, Yazd retains its sterling of old in religion, traditions and architecture. Recognized by UNESCO as holding one of the oldest architecture all over the world. The word Yazd means, feast and worship. The city of Yazd has resisted the modern urbanization changes and maintained its traditional structure. The geographical features of this region have made people developed special architectural styles. For this reason, in the older part of the city most houses are built of mud-bricks and have domed roofs. These materials served as insulation preventing heat. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Towers of silence

- Fire Temple

- Jame Mosque

- Dolat Abad Garden

- Old part of city

- Amir Chakhmaq Complex

Day 10: Drive to Isfahan Naein

Naein is a desert city in Isfahan Province, which has desert climate and experiences extremely hot summers and relatively cold winters. The history of the city dates back to the Achaemenid and Parthian eras when Naein served as an administrative center for Yazd. Naein is the producer of one of the finest and most sought-after Persian carpets. The Naein is made of high quality wool or silk and has a Shah Abbasi design. The Naein rug often has blue highlighting on cream or ivory backgrounds. The city highlight of attractionsin Naein is the Jame Mosque, which is one of the first Islamic places of worship built in the country. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Naein Jame Mosque

Day 11: Visit Isfahan

A city of immense beauty and unforgettable experiences, Esfahan has been dazzling travelers for ages. Esfahan, the legendary city which never fails to enchant its visitors, is the pearl of traditional Islamic archeology. Nesf-e Jahan, Half the world, is a popular rhyme with the name of Esfahan and an example of praise lavished by the inhabitants and poets on their city. Its profusion of tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings gives it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city and the many artisans working here underpin its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. Walking through the historic bazaar, over the picturesque bridges and across the UNESCO-listed central square are sure to be highlights of your holiday. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan Square(

- Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

- Imam Mosque

- Aliqapu Palace

- Chehel Sutoon Palace

- Bazaar

Day 12: Visit Isfahan

One of the oldest and most important religious structures of Iran, the Jame Mosque of Isfahan is magnificent example of the evolution of mosque architecture as well as the development of Islamic arts over twelve centuries.

Archeaological findings suggest that the mosque was built over the ruins of a Sassanid (226-651 CE) Fire Temple during the Buyid era (934 - 1062). After the Seljuq conquest (1038-1118) when Esfahan became the capital of the new empire, much importance was placed on embellishing the city's Jame Mosque. When a fire damaged the mosque, a new four-iwan plan was given to the mosque during reconstruction efforts, making it the first Islamic building to adapt the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. The Jame Mosque of Isfahan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Today's tour includes:

- Jame Mosque

- Armenian Quarter

- Vank Cathedral

- Khaju Bridge

- Si-o-Seh Bridge

Day 13: Drive to Tehran via Abyaneh and Kashan

The city of Kashan, which lies in a desert at the eastern foot of the Central Iranian Plateau, 220 kilometers south of Tehran, was once a popular vacation spot for Safavid Kings.

The pearl of Iranian deserts is the birthplace of many arts and crafts. Tilework or Kashi-kari is one of the many arts perfected by Iranians and it is notable that the Persian word for tile (kashi) is derived from the name of this city. Zari bafi or the art of weaving with a gold string has been passed from fathers to sons in Kashan for over 2,000 years which you can eye witness in Kashan Bazar .

The city has also found fame for its many traditional mansions. The most delicate of Persian arts and crafts have been employed in the design and decoration of these mansions. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Abyaneh Village

- Fin Garden

- Agha Bozorg Mosque

- Bazar

- Tabatabaee House

- Borjerdi House

Day 14: Visit Tehran

Tehran is a cosmopolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, and warm friendly people. A combination of factors make Tehran a pleasant place to visit: The dry climate which is constantly cool (at least in the evenings), the proximity of the mountains, the parks and gardens where flowers blossom all through the year, the alleys of trees in the avenues or even smaller streets, and even the water that runs down from the upper city along deep and wide gutters which look like small rivers during spring. The Alborz range on the north of Tehran, which hosts the highest peak in Iran, provides fantastic conditions for ski lovers in the winter. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Golestan Palace

- Bazar

- Archeological Museum

- Jewels museum

Note:Jewelery Museum is closed on Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays. It will be replaced with Carpet Museum. Tehran Grand Bazaar is closed on Fridays and official holidays and only some shops are open around the Bazaar.

Day 15: Visit Tehran

Saadabad is a cultural and historical complex that covers an area of 110 hectares and is located at the northernmost part of Tehran.The complex contains 18 palaces belonged to the royal families of Qajar and Pahlavi, in a unique and beautiful garden.

The complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s, and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved there in the 1970s. After the 1978 Revolution, the complex became a museum. O/N in Tehran. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Sa'ad Abad Complex

- Tabiat Bridge

- Tajrish Bazar

Day 16: Drive to Ramsar via Chalus road

Ramsar,Known as the bride of Iranian cities, Ramsar is the westernmost city in Mazandaran, which borders the Caspian Sea in the north,Tonekabon in the east and Gilan Province in the west. The city, which connects the Caspian provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, has Mediterranean climate with very hot summers and cool and humid winters.Ramsar is a popular sea resort for Iranians, offering visitors hot springs, a view of the green forests of the Alborz Mountains.The hot mineral springs located at the heart of this city have therapeutic properties and are said to benefit those suffering from rheumatism, skin disorders and joint pain. O/N in Ramsar. Today's tour includes visiting:

- Chalus road

- Radioactive Hotsprings

Day 17: Drive to Masouleh via Lahijan and Anzali

Masuleh is a breathtakingly beautiful village located 1050m above sea level in the Talesh mountains. Built into the steep mountainside means the streets are built on top of the flat roofs of the houses below.Masuleh architecture is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Masuleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout. It is the only city in Iran with such a prohibition. However, the small streets and many stairs simply wouldn't make it possible for vehicles to enter.O/N in Masuleh.Today's tour includes visiting:

- Tea Farm in Lahijan

- Anzali Lagoon

- Masouleh Village

Day 18: Visit Masouleh and drive back to Tehran to depart Iran

Today we are going to drive back to Tehran (370 KM). Today's tour includes visiting:

- Gilan Rural Heritage Museum


- Prices are based on 2 people sharing a room. If you want to book a single room for the tour then additional supplement is charged.

- We have designed our tour packages to cover a wide-range of tastes and to be fun. If you don't find what you are looking for here please contact us and we will design a package especially for you.

Tour Detail & Price

Duration : 18 Days

Min Group Size : 1

Max Group Size : 10

Locations : Shiraz-Bandar Abbas-Qeshm Island-Minab- Kerman-Yazd-Isfahan-Kashan-Tehran-Ramsar-Anzali-Masouleh

Meals : Breakfast

Accommodation :
Hotels 3&4*

Transport : Car-Airplane

Tour Guide : Included

Entrance Fees : Included, mentioned sites in itinerary

Letter Of Inivitaion : Included

Price : 2200 Euros

Best Seasons :

Peyrou From  France
We had been conducted by Mohamed from Chiraz to Yazd through Persepolis and surrounds and Pasagardes and we spend a good day with this good driver and friendly person Bruno

Kerman Daily Tour
David From  France
I asked for a tailor made travel in order to visit the south part of Iran, Kerman, Kalut desert and fortress of Bam. All the services were according my requests, the guide by car took me where I wanted, that was perfect. l definitely recommend step to Iran for a good travel experience without worries in this amazing country.

Helen  From  Lebanon
Many thanks to Shahram from step in Iran, who was reliable, understanding and with his good knowledge made our trip wonderful. Highly recommended.

Ancient Persia Pakage
Anna From  Italy
We had such a wonderful time in discovering the beauty of Persia. Everything was arranged by step to Iran, visa procedure, accommodation, domestic flights. Many thanks to Ali, reliable and capable guide whose precious explanations we appreciated a lot.

Gem of Persia
Edwin & Diana From  The Netherlands
We had a wonderful holiday in Iran en that was also because of our tour guide Shahram Rafie of Step To Iran. He has a lot of knowledge about the history of Iran and it’s cultural heritage and tells enthusiastically about it. Although we had beforehand an itenary, he organized spontaneous things in between: climbing into ancient desert cities, visiting a carpet shop with explanation by the carpet seller, doing a jeep safari, etc. This was of course always in consultation with us. We also had enough time to do things on our own. Furthermore he arranges everything, like a roomchange or a place in a full (!) restaurant; and knows the best restaurants in every town. Last but not least he is a nice guy, which is important when you travel together for a couple of weeks. So we love to visit Iran again, with Step To Iran.


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