At Prestige we pride ourselves in crafting authentic travel experiences for you. With decades of experience, we have itineraries and guided tours to destinations all over the world – from Malaysia to Jordan to Crete, we’re here to help you travel the globe. Today I am introducing you to some of the highlights from our excellent tour of Iran.
History and Inspiration in Iran
The Iran tour runs for fourteen nights and introduces travellers to the wonders of the country, from famous Persian kings to modern political history. Guests will glean the insight of expert lecturers throughout the trip who will talk about the complex and fascinating past of this ancient part of the world.
Here are three of the highlights of this tour, encapsulating the variety and quality of the excursions offered.
Persepolis is an ancient capital dating from the Achaemenid Dynasty. It was a city for kings built as a spring-time retreat in a remote mountain location. The town was plundered during Alexander the Great’s invasion of Asia and many buildings were destroyed, but continued to be lived in for hundreds of years after this. However, it eventually fell into disuse by the tenth century CE.
Now Persepolis offers curious visitors stunning ruins with finely-carved reliefs. Some of the most striking sights include:
- The towering columns from the audience hall dating from the time of Darius I
- Ancient carvings, including Darius’s prayer for the protection of the city and its people
- The richly-decorated tombs of the Achaemenid kings with inscriptions carved onto seemingly inaccessible cliff faces.
The Shrine of Nematollah
A visit to the shrine of the Iranian poet and mystic, Shah Nematollah Vali, is an opportunity to get in touch with the religious and literary traditions of the region. This is a beautiful site with calm waters reflecting minarets decorated with bright turquoise tiles. It was built in the fifteenth century and extended in later centuries to accommodate the many pilgrims who flocked to the site. The complex is built surrounding a small room where Nematollah himself prayed.
Friday Mosque of Isfahan
The tour lingers in the last destination, Isfahan, allowing guests to enjoy the colourful splendour of the city. A highlight of this section of the tour is the visit to the Mosque of Isfahan. This incredible building has been in use for hundreds of years and its architecture is a fascinating combination of styles from the eighth to the twentieth century.
There was once a myriad of entrances throughout the old town, creating a network of passageways and paths across the city. Now entrance is permitted through one site only. The mosque has a plain exterior; however, its interior is stunning. From the complex patterns of intricate tilework to sudden shafts of light from distant vaults, this maze of a mosque, like Iran itself, is constantly surprising and continuously charming.