Iran, known historically as Persia, boasts a history spanning some 5 millennia, and is old as time itself.
Titch – always on the lookout for new and unusual destinations, visited the country in October 2011 with our expert tour guide , Leila Firmani, from Shiraz: the heartland of many of Iran’s architectural gems.
The tour kicked off in the capital city. Teheran, representing modern Iran in all its manic glory; art galleries; hip cafés; excellent restaurants and a fascinating mix of peoples, before moving on to Kermanshah, Hamadan, Ahwaz, Shiraz (stepping off point for Passargade and Persepolis, the latter exuding all the power and grace of the Achaemenids summed up in one of the world’s greatest ancient sites), and onto Isfahan; the latter city having been Shah Abbas’ majestic capital with its grand mosques, enchanting bridges and incomparable Imam Square.
Thereafter we dropped down to Yazd (an ancient forest of windtowers and brown, twisting lanes full of romantic hotels and restaurants); onto charming Abyaneh, Kashan, with its fine bazaars and exquisitely-restored Qajar-era mansions, combined with a wonderful relaxing atmosphere, before heading onto Qum (or Qom) and ultimately back to Teheran for a final night in Iran.
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