This female-only tour offers a unique opportunity to learn about Iranian life and customs direct from the women who live there.
Persian Veils will take you into a world that’s little-known or understood in the West. You’ll meet women of all ages and backgrounds, who will happily share insights into the richness and traditions of their culture, along with the challenges that they face.
This is cultural exchange at its most fundamental and authentic. You’ll amble through women-only parks, ride in the female section of public transport, visit a beauty salon where no-one needs to wear head coverings, and spend the night at a female-hosted homestay.
Persian Veils is about making connections and realising how much we share in common. This exploration into food, family and the beauty of an ancient culture reveals that what really lies behind the veil is the humanity that binds us all.
Salam! Welcome to Iran. You will be met on arrival at Tehran International Airport and transferred to your hotel.
|ACCOMMODATION (double/twin)||4 or 5 star hotel / Homestay / Boutique hotel|
INCLUDED IN QUOTED PRICE
- Iranian visa invitation letter with reference number issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Inbound and outbound airport transfers
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking vehicle
- Professional English-speaking tour guide for the duration of the tour
- Entrance fees to various sites as per itinerary
- Daily breakfast, 7 lunches and 3 dinners
- 9 nights in 4 or 5 star hotel / 1 night Homestay / 3 nights traditional boutique hotel (Old traditional house converted to small boutique guesthouse)
- Tips – driver and guide
- Meals where not mentioned in the itinerary
- Entrance fees for sites not mentioned in the itinerary
Welcome to Iran! You’ll be met and transferred to your hotel to relax after your journey and meet Nadia, your guide. Your tour begins in the afternoon with a trip to Golestan Palace, one of the oldest complexes in Tehran and one of Iran’s most beautiful palaces. Next, we’ll visit the Grand Bazaar and explore its different corridors, each one devoted to different types of goods. We’ll also explore the Imam Mosque next to the Bazaar. Then we’ll take a ride on the Tehran Metro, sitting in the “women only” section—a great opportunity to meet and chat with the locals. The popular Artists Park is our next destination and we’ll have dinner in the lovely café there. Accommodation: Hotel Esteghlal or similar
Your day begins with a visit to the National Museum of Iran before heading to Tehran’s northern hills and the city of Tajrish. There, we’ll sample and learn about different types of patisserie and pickles at the vegetable market before lunching at a café specialising in traditional Persian cuisine. Next, we’ll visit the beautiful shrine called Emamzade Saleh, housed inside a “mirror” mosque, with its walls lined with silver. We’ll enter the “women only” section of the mosque. In the evening we’ll head to the Cinema Museum of Iran, housed in the historical Ferdows Garden (Baghe Ferdows). Accommodation: Hotel Esteghlal or similar
Today, we travel to Kashan, about four hours’ journey from Tehran. We’ll make a few stops on the way to both rest and explore significant historical sites. Our first stop is the enormous Imam Khomeini Shrine. On our arrival Kashan, we’ll visit Fin Garden, an exquisite traditional Persian garden thought to be the oldest in Iran. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the Kashan Bazaar and take tea at an authentic tea-house. Tonight we’ll dine with a local Iranian family, who will explain the dishes being served, share recipes and chat with you about life in Kashan. Accommodation: Traditional Persian boutique hotel
We start the day by visiting two traditional houses famed for their architecture: Tabatabaei and Broujerdi. Then we’ll tour the amazing underground town of Noush Abad (“city of cold, tasty water). Depending on the time year, we’ll head next to either the unforgettable Maranjab Desert, or to the city of Niyasar, famed for its Damask rose gardens and rosewater. Accommodation: Traditional Persian boutique hotel
Today we drive to the wonderful city of Isfahan. On the way we’ll stop at the village of Abyaneh, located at the foot of the Karkas Mountains. Abyaneh is famous for its architecture, the unusual reddish colour of its buildings and its people, who still maintain many of their traditional ways. We’ll arrive in Isfahan In the evening, just in time to walk to its famed historical bridges. Accommodation: Traditional Persian boutique hotel
Visitors to Isfahan often consider it the highlight of their tour. We’ll have a very full day in the city, beginning with a visit to the World Heritage-listed Naghshe Jahan Square, before moving on to the grand palace of Ali Qapu. Next, we’ll spend time at Women’s Mosque, also known as Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, famed for its intricate and very beautiful tile work. In the evening, we’ll visit a beauty salon to chat with the women there and learn some Iranian beauty secrets! We’ll join a local family for dinner and discover more about Persian cuisine and traditional recipes. Accommodation: Traditional Persian boutique hotel
We’ll continue to explore Isfahan, heading into the Armenian quarter to see Vank Cathedral, famous for its gorgeous frescoes, and the stunning collection of traditional instruments on display at the Isfahan Music Museum. Accommodation: Traditional Persian boutique hotel
We leave Isfahan and travel 400km to one of the oldest towns in Iran: Yazd, the “City of Windcatchers”. On the way we’ll visit the ancient mud-brick village of Kharanagh. First settled by the Zoroastrians, Kharanagh’s history dates back 2000 years. Next, we’ll stop at Meybod to visit an old Caravanserai and then Narin Ghale, an enormous citadel of 700 rooms. This structure is also 2,000 years old. Traditional Persian boutique homestay
Today we explore Yazd. We’ll begin by visiting a Dakhme or Tower of Silence. These were places where Zoroastrians would leave the bodies of their dead to be eaten by vultures, as part of a ritual purification. We’ll then continue on to the Zoroastrian Fire Temple. The flame here is said to have been burning for the last 1,500 years. Later, we’ll visit the oldest part of Yazd to see the amazing wind towers for which it is famous, and the beautiful Jameh Mosque. Yazd is famous for its confectionery and patisserie, so naturally we’ll try some sweets while we’re here! Traditional Persian boutique homestay
Today we’ll stay with a Zoroastrian family in the small medieval town of Taft. We’ll have the opportunity to chat and learn more about their religion and culture while strolling among the pomegranate trees in the garden. This is a day of relaxation. We can go go for a gentle cycle or stay in and watch a famous Iranian movie with English subtitles. Dinner will feature traditional Zoroastrian food. Traditional homestay (sleeping on either a basic bed or on the floor on a tick mattress), shared bathroom
We leave Taft and drive approximately 450km to the wonderful city of Shiraz. On the way we’ll stop to explore two famous UNESCO world heritage sites, Pasargadae and Persepolis. These atmospheric places were constructed at the height of the great Achaemenid Empire. Traditional Persian boutique hotel
Your morning in Shiraz begins with a visit to a traditional Iranian female-only haman (bathhouse) for a cleanse and massage. In the afternoon we’ll see some of the highlights of this city of poets, flowers and literature, including the tomb of the much-loved Persian poet, Hafez, and the stunning, World Heritage-listed Eram Garden. We’ll have dinner in a traditional restaurant. Traditional Persian boutique hotel
We begin by visiting two gorgeous buildings: the Pink Mosque, named for the colour of its extensive tile work, and the Shah Cheragh (“King of the Light”) shrine, a pilgrimage site since the 14th century, famed for its mirror mosaic work. We’ll also visit the beautiful Narenjestan house. Later, we’ll wander around the bazaar and visit the imposing citadel of Karim Khan. On our last night in Iran we will dine with a local family to taste homemade Persian cuisine and experience more of the legendary hospitality of the Iranian people. Traditional Persian boutique hotel
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and go to the airport. If there’s time before your departure, we’ll go to the bazaar and have a coffee before heading to the airport. We wish you safe travels home and many beautiful memories of Iran and its people.