On arrival into Shiraz airport in the early morning hours you will be met by a Travel The Unknown representative and transferred to your hotel. After some sleep meet in the hotel lobby at 11am sharp. Today's tour will visit Khan Madrassa, the Narenjestan gardens and house, the 19th century Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, and the Holy Shrine of Ali Ebn e Hamze Shrine. You will also have the chance to visit the tomb of the famous Iranian poet Hafez. There will also be an opportunity at some point today for any ladies to buy suitable clothing for their time in Iran (if required). In the evening visit the famous Vakli Bazaar. Overnight stay in Shiraz.
Overnight in Homa Hotel, Shiraz
Meal plan: Breakfast
Khan Madrassa, a theological school in Shiraz, was founded in 1615. After being partly destroyed by earthquakes, only the elaborate entrance portal remains of the original building. Still in use and having been rebuilt, the roof offers excellent views over the Baazar.
Vakil Bazaar is the most famous of Shiraz’s markets. With its wide brick avenues, it is more roomy than most and was originally intended to enhance Shiraz’s role as a trading centre in the Zand era when it was built by Karim Khan. It acts as a living ethnographic museum and is a great place to people-watch, with frequent visitors from the Persian Gulf, various Nomadic tribes and people from all over Southern Iran. The lovely Serai Mushir is a caravanserai near the Southern Vakil Bazaar that is also worth visiting.
Shiraz is the capital of Fars province in Iran and the fifth most populous city in the country. The earliest references to the city date back to 2000 BC and it has been an important trading centre for over a thousand years. It was briefly the country's capital on two occasions in the Zand and Saffavid eras. It is famous for its poets, including Hafez and Saadi.
The poet Hafez is buried on the north bank of the Khoshk River in Shiraz, his hometown. Hafez wrote poetry with numerous references to wine and love in the 14th century and is recognized as the master of the Ghazal, a form of poetry composed of five to fifteen couplets. Built in 1953, Hafez's tomb is engraved with some of his works. It is a place of pilgrimage for Iranians, who treat their poets the way rock stars are treated in the West.
Ladies clothes shopping opportunity - as clothing in Iran can be difficult for ladies we will take you for a short visit to a market to pick up some items of clothing appropriate to the local customs, fashions and, of course, restrictions.
Nasir Ol Molk was a wealthy governor of Shiraz during the Qajar era and built this private mosque to his own personal taste. It is a very colourful affair known as the “Pink Mosque” for its liberal use of pink tiles. Its design follows advanced mathematical and geometrical patterns and the wooden elements are made from expensive walnut wood. Some bricks are also made of wood and were designed to insulate the building from earthquakes. There is also a well that used cows to pull up water. The mosque, however, is most famous for its stained glass windows.
Imamzadeh-ye Ali Ebn-e Hamze is a 19th century shrine built on the site of older shrines. The current incarnation boasts a huge bulbous Shirazi dome, stained glass windows that allow plenty of light to enter and mirror work that is truly dazzling.
Narenjestan-e-Ghavam (also known as “Qavam House”) is a beautifully-set historic house built by the Qavam Family who were originally merchants from Qazvin (west of Tehran). The inside is ornately decorated with mirrors, inlay work and hand-painted tiles. The gardens, Bagh-e-Ghavam, boast seven types of orange trees and display beautiful symmetry.