Dear Intrepid World Traveler

Spend a most amazing Thanksgiving this year in Isfahan, Iran! You may have already experienced the warm welcome American tourists receive when they visit Iran.  This fascinating itinerary focuses on the western part of Iran, including Khuzestan the Cradle of Civilization. This special itinerary includes all four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire:  Pasargadae, Ecbatana, Susa and Persepolis.

Start in Tehran where we see the Crown Jewels. Head west to Hamadan. You’ll see the archaeological site of Ecbatana, the winter capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Visit the Biblical sites including Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai’s tombs,  You’ll be introduced to a remarkable Iranian physician and philosopher of the 11th century CE, Abu Ali Sina or Avicenna (Latinized) and learn about his most famous works, The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine.  We’ll explore the temple of Anahita, which during the third century B.C. was erected to the Mother Goddess. She was worshiped in ancient Persia along with Ahura-Mazda and Mithras. Continue to Kermanshah to behold Darius I the Great’s inscription at Bisotoun (6th century B.C.), one of the most famous sites in Near Eastern archeology. Nearby you’ll see Taghe-e-Bostan (224-651 A.D.) where the Sassanid kings chose a sensational setting for their rock reliefs. Journey south – and back in time – have a walk around a 12th century BC ziggurat, Chongha Zanbil. Susa is another of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire. We’ll learn about the hearty nomadic Bakhtiera tribe whose annual migration was documented in the classic film “Grass”. Skipping to more recent times, in Ahwaz (Ahvaz), we’ll learn about the Iranian Oil industry of nearby Abadan. Continue to Shiraz, the gateway to Persepolis, a delightful and relaxed city known for its gardens, poets, and nightingales. Isfahan, the Pearl of Iran, deserves numerous visits. There is always something to learn in the desert city of Yazd, with its ancient technological systems using bafgirs (windcatchers), qanats (water channels from the mountains), and yakhchals (ice houses), making life in the desert along the Silk Road thrive for the Zoroastrians. A U.S. State Department travel warning exists for Iran, as it has for several years. Travel warnings are often political tactics, which can be considered much more desirable than other forms of conflict.  Call me if you have any concerns. We’ll prepare you completely with briefing material on customs and regulations including attire. With our highly educated and very personable local guide, Bahman Zenhari, by your side, your driver and their assistant, you can rest assured that you will have an amazing experience to treasure and share with others. Whether you have an interest in ancient history, the archaeological and cultural aspects of Iran including carpets, or modern-day life, this trip should appeal to everyone who has an appreciation for beauty, crafts, and a rich historical treasure trove. Gwen Erwood

Iran Itineraries

Treasures of Persia, May 13–27, 2023

Return to Iran, May 29–June 11, 2023

Return to Iran, October 8–21, 2023

Thank you for visiting Iran with us. — Gwen

Wonderful guide in Iran; loved sites that we visited there with sufficient time to explore these sites due to small group. Covered many of world Heritage sites plus people-to-people opportunities. Food was outstanding in lovely restaurants selected by our guide.

Barbara Rylander


Excellent in every sense. Enjoyed the trip to Iran immensely and everything was well organized – many times I wish to go back again…. 4 stars

Vlad Horvath