Discover Iran’s Paradise Gardens
- Tour Name: Discover Iran’s Paradise Gardens
- Duration: 14 Days
- From: On Request
Between Desert and Paradise. Persian Garden Tour.
Severe winters with blizzards and brutally hot summers. Iran is a land that has always forced its inhabitants to cope with its natural extremes. However, the strong contrasts of soaring mountains with enormous views and the ever present desert with its vast emptiness also stimulated humans’ imagination since ancient times. From the 6th century BC on, Persian emperors became gardeners and materialised in the midst of vast land perfected places of pleasure and contemplation. European travelers of all epochs were astonished by the intelligent and innovative engineering solutions and the unimaginable royal luxury their eyes saw. However, Persian garden shave always been more than places of lush beauty. With their fresh waters, shadowing trees, aromatic flowers and all sorts of animals, they inspired grandeurs of Persian literature and poetry. As Conception ofcelestial paradise (paradise is a Greek derivation from Old Persian pairidaezameaning“all around walled”), Persian gardens influenced garden architecture and metaphysical thinking from India to Spain.
Persian Garden Tour focuses on the role Persian gardens played throughout history in various cultural and social aspects of Iran’s society and thus opens your eyes to more than garden design.
Day 1: Arrival at Shiraz. City & garden tour.
We start our tour at Shiraz, the Mecca for Iran’s gardening culture. For acclimatization, we spent the first day in the city’s lush gardens. We learn how gardens influenced Persian lyric at the tombs of Hafez and Saadi. In the afternoon, we visit the atmospheric bazar with its colorful hustle and bustle.
- EramGaren (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Tombs of Hafez and Saadi (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Naranjestan Garden &Qavam house
- Vakil-Bazar (UNESCO World Heritage)
Day 2: Pasargadae & Persepolis.
Today, we visit Pasargade, the place where in 6th century BC the story of the Persian Gardens all begun when Cyrus the Great materialized the first ChaharBagh for his palace. Furthermore, with Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire and necropolis of the ancient kings at NaqsheRostam, two more highlights of this tour are awaiting us.
- Pasargadae (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Persepolis (UNESCO World Heritage)
- NaqsheRostam (UNESCO World Heritage)
Day 3: Drive to Kerman.
We are heading for a long trip to Kerman. Lean back and enjoy the open range of the Iranian Plateau. On the way, we visit Sarvestan a Sasanian hunting lodge and pass by Bakhtegan Salt Lake. Before reaching Kerman, welift the secret ofSirjan’s stone garden.
- Bakhtegan lake
- Stone garden in Sirjan
Day 4: Kerman, Mahan.
Kerman and its surroundings is the perfect place to get a feeling for the natural contrasts that shaped the idea behind the classical Persian Garden. Near Kerman, in the middle of vast land we visit the beautiful Shahzadeh Garden and learn about the meaning of gardens in Islamic mysticism at the Shrine of Sufi leader Shah Nematollah Valiin Mahan. Later that day, we visit Rayen Castle, a well-preserved desert citadel. The late afternoon, we spent at thehistoricbazar in Kerman.
- Shahzadeh Garden (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine
- Rayen Historical Castle
- Kerman Historic Bazar
Day 5: Drive to Birjand.
We leave Kerman for Birjand. On the way, we pass Shahdad, which lies at the heart of Lut desert and is known as the hottest place on earth. Also on our way, the marvelous mountain landscape of Tapeha-ye Marikhi.
- Lut desert at Shahdad (UNESCO World Nature Heritage)
- Tapeha-ye Merikhi
Day 6:Birjand, Tabas.
In Birjand, we won’t miss Akbariye Garden and the residency garden of Emarat-e Rahimabad. Afterwards, we enjoy a picnic at ruin village of Esfahaq before reaching Tabas, the green pearl in Kavir desert.Later that day, we see thecanyon Kal-Jeniand visit theoasis village Ezmeyghan.
- Akbariye Garden (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Emarat-e Rahimabad
- Arg-e Birjand (from outside)
- Picnic at Esfahaq
- Canyon of Kal-Jeni
- Oasis village Ezmeyghan
- Overnight stay in local Eco Lodge
Day 7: Drive to Yazd. (5h)
We start into the day visiting small but marvelous Golshan Garden in Tabas. Afterwards, we cross Kavir desert to reach our today’s destination Yazd. The biggest and most famous of Iran’s desert towns is also a center of Zoroastrianism, and thus offers good opportunity to learn about the conceptualisation of celestial garden in this ancient Iranian religion.
- Golshan Garden
- Tower of Silence
Day 8: Yazd.
With its extensive system of qanat-canals, Yazd is also the ideal placeto get insights into the water management system of traditional Iranian cities and gardens. What is more, Dowlatabad Garden hosts the tallest wind tower in Iran and the city’s old district welcomes us to tarry around in its narrow alleys.
- Dowlatabad Garden (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Friday Mosque (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Yazd Historic district (UNESCO World Heritage)
Day 9: Drive to Esfahan.
Leaving Yazd, we have opportunity to enter one of the oldest known water canals (called qanat) of the world. Afterwards, we pass by the southern end of Kavir desert and see a traditional Caravanserai with its icehouse as well as one of Iran’s oldest mosques. Today’s destination is Esfahan, the capital of the Safavid Empire.
- ZarachQanat (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Caravanserai Meybod
- Friday Mosque Nain
- Walk at ZayandehRudin Esfahan
Day 10: Esfahan.
In Esfahan, the Safavid Kings materialised inimitable splendor in form of palaces, mosques, public spaces and royal gardens. Today we focus on how the lifestyle on the royal court and its lush gardens shaped the image of Persian savoire de vivre. The afternoon, we spent at Esfahans famous bazar.
- Imam Square (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Sheikh Lotfallah& Imam Mosque (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Ali Qapu (UNESCO World Heritage)
- ChehelSotun (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Esfahan Historic Bazar (UNESCO World Heritage)
Day 11: Esfahan.
We start visiting Esfahan’s ancient Friday Mosque that offers aunique opportunity to talk about architectural development of mosques in Iran. Afterwards, we have a walk through the Armenian quarter with its Mediterranean flair and talk about Persian garden’s influence on theconcept of Garden of Eden. In the afternoon, we enjoy a tea (or coffee :) in thegarden of famous Caravanserai-hotel Abbasi.
- Friday mosque (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Armenian Quarterand Vank Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Music museum
- Abbasi Hotel / Garden
Day 12: Drive to Tehran. Kashan.
Heading to Tehran, we visit Fin Garden in Kashan, one of the oldest Persian gardens still in use. Here we hear the storythis gardenhas to tell about Iran’syounger political history and how gardens found their way into broader society through wealthy merchants. Afterwards we head to our final destination, Tehran.
- Fin Garden (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Tabatabai House
Day 13: Tehran.
Iran’s pulsing capital is the ideal place to understand themeaning of gardens in nowadays Iran. Our last day’sprogram is composed in a manner thatreflects the evolution of Iran’s gardens.Golestan palace garden represents the days of classical royal gardens, whereas Niavaran Palace Garden and Abo Atash Park show how the idea of garden changed during the last one and a half century. Sky-highMilad tower offers us a spectacular view over Iran’s never sleeping capital.
- Golestan (UNESCO World Heritage)
- Milad Tower
- Abo Atash park &Tabiyat-bridge
Day 14: Flight back.