If you’re someone who enjoys seeking out the underappreciated or immersing yourself in centuries of history, then Iran is your ideal destination. Home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth, this area is rich in the unusual and soaked in ornate splendour. |
Group tours of this country are becoming increasingly popular. They offer travellers immersive learning experiences that often include educational and inspiring lessons from expert lecturers. Below we’ll take a sneak peek at a truly stunning selection of sites you can see on your visit.
Friday Mosque of Isfahan
We’ll start with what is often the last destination on a group tour: Isfahan. Although this might seem like a bizarre place to begin, in many ways it is the perfect introduction to the upside-down, creative-yet-obscure, known-but-misunderstood country that is Iran.
The city’s mosque is an imposing addition to the skyline and is beautifully guarded by the old town that surrounds it. Dating back to the eighth century, this ancient place of worship has been through much reconstruction and redesign. Its simple exterior belies a truly magnificent interior. Whilst walking through the main chamber, distant vaults bathe the geometrically-tiled floors in Middle Eastern sunlight.
This is the perfect way to end an Iranian tour. Never fear, though, as there is plenty more to see before this blissful ending.
The Shrine of Nematollah
You can expect to be mesmerized by the divine shrine. The site is a lot larger today than when the Iranian poet and mystic, Shah Nematollah Vali, lived here. A tremendous maze of rooms and lush gardens have been extended from the simple and austere room in which she originally prayed. The entire space is linked by a sea of turquoise tiles that are meant to symbolise the Iranian sky.
You can feel centuries of history and devotion wash over you at this fifteenth-century holy site, making this a unique part of any group tour.
This is without a doubt one of the most extraordinary places to visit in Iran. The town is largely in ruins now but, in its heyday, was a centre for the great kings of Persia. Their wealth and power allowed them to construct an imposing town of remarkable size. Buildings were adorned with detailed carvings, each telling their own heroic tale whilst statues stood guard over streets and palaces.
Today, visitors can catch a glimpse into the splendour of this special past by viewing the towering columns of Darius I’s audience hall. The carved tombs of various kings of old are also worth a look.
The more you discover about Iran, the more you feel the urge to jump on the first flight heading that way. Don’t fight the feeling – and while you’re there, remember that a group tour will provide both company and peace of mind as you discover ancient delights.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays for over 30 years. Recently his well-received group tour itineraries, which venture to the far corners of the globe, have been included in Prestige’s luxury holiday portfolio. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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