After arriving in Tehran, drive to Hamadan one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world linking Mesopotamia with the Iranian plateau. The ancient sites at Bisotun and Kermanshah form a series of historical monuments and carvings that are of exceptional importance in the ancient history of Persia. En route to Shiraz visit the site of Susa, a capital city of the Elamite, Achamenian and Parthian Empires.
Shiraz is a beautiful city famous for its poets and its many gardens. Explore its winding bazaar and enjoy a cup of tea in one of its many peaceful teahouses. Visit Persepolis - the City of the Persians - built by Darius the Great over two thousand years ago and subsequently used by two more Achaemenian kings. Walk through the Apadana where Darius the Great once held audiences and received visitors. Superb bas-reliefs decorate the stairways and depict people from as far away as Ethiopia bearing tribute to the Persian kings. Dominated by tall ochre-coloured cliffs is Nash-e Rostam where the enormous tombs of four Achaemenian kings have been hewn out of stone.
Isfahan is perhaps the most beautiful of all Iranian cities. Its moment of glory came in the seventeenth century when Shah Abbas I reconstructed the town. He initiated one of the worlds grandest projects in city planning. Mosques, palaces, bazaars and public parks were built under the monarch’s personal supervision. Staying at the wonderful Abassi Hotel which has been converted from an old caravanserai, explore this remarkable city of soaring minarets and domes of glistening turquoise and cobalt blue. The journey finishes in Tehran, home to some of the finest museums in the Middle East.
The journey is open to the alumni of the SOAS Specialist Art Courses.
Maximum Party Size: 20