Fourteen days. Eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That’s what’s on the itinerary aboard Golden Eagle Luxury Trains’ new Heart of Persia tour through Iran (from $16,795). Here are some highlights.
Day 1: Tehran
While the Iranian capital is a modern metropolis, you’ll find history at every turn. Practice your haggling in the centuries-old Grand Bazaar. In its maze-like corridors, you can find carpets, perfumes, spices, and gold jewelry, as well as locals picking up household goods.
Day 4: Mahan
Shazdeh Garden was built in the 19th century for the local governor. It’s a prime example of classic Persian style: Handcrafted rock walls and arches, stepped cascading pools, and intricate tile work unite to give the place a larger-than-life, royal elegance.
Day 7: Isfahan
Imam Square is one of the largest city squares in the world, and it’s surrounded by some of Iran’s most impressive Islamic structures. The mosques, imperial palace, and Grand Bazaar drew together the clergy, the shah’s retinue, and merchants during the 7th-century Safavid Dynasty.
Day 10: Shushtar
A system of dams, bridges, mills, and tunnels has been diverting water from the Kârun River into the fortress town of Shushtar for the past 2,000 years. After passing through the tunnels, the water tumbles off a cliff to irrigate the orchard plains below.