A Photographic Passage in Persia 2018

Dates:  8-22 November 2018
Price:  Tour: AUD$7,450 twin share
  • (Earlybird price, discounted by AUD$300, valid for bookings until 30 June 2018, after which pricing reverts to the full price of AUD$7,450* twin share). Single supplement of AUD$950* is available.

  • Number of guests: Minimum 6; Maximum 10.
    Guided by: Mo Hosseini and Lynn Gail
    (* Please note: price may be subject to change in the event of substantial shifts in the AUD to USD exchange rate).

    This all inclusive tour is an in-depth 15 day journey to uncover the treasures of one of the friendliest nations on the planet. You will travel through landscapes home to palaces and blue tiled mosques, where snow-covered backdrops take centre stage and be guided through Shiraz and into one of the most eclectic bazaars, specialising in the finest textiles. You’ll tour through rustic Yazd, a historical part of the Silk Road and visit Persia’s jewel, Isfahan to explore deserted clay houses and witness intricate artwork of ancient cathedrals.

    Amongst the many highlights is a two night stay in an authentic guest house on Qeshm Island, where the age-old Bandari people still dress and live a traditional existence away from the modern world. The island is home to Qeshm Island Geopark, a UNESCO listed park which sustains local communities, and preserves its extensive wildlife in a natural habitat. Lynn and Mo will guide you through all aspects of photography during the tour. The itinerary is designed for all levels, from beginners to experienced shooters.

    Main Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrival in Tehran

    Welcome to Persia. As you arrive to Tehran, you will be transferred to your hotel, where in the evening you will meet your tour leaders, Lynn and Mo, and your fellow travellers in the foyer of the hotel for a welcome drink. Following a briefing, we will head to The Nature Bridge to photograph the stunning city view with the Alborz Mountain in the background. Then we enjoy the first taste of Persian cuisine.

    Day 2: Tehran

    We begin our cultural journey in buzzing capital city of 14 million by walking through history, viewing treasures dating back thousands of years at the National Museum of Iran, and the stunning architecture of the Qajar dynasty at Golestan Palace, Unesco World Heritage site. After lunch in the bustling city's Grand Bazaar where you'll find a winding maze of covered walkways, we make our way to north of the city for a walk at the foot of the mountains overlooking the city.

    Day 3: Tehran to Qeshm Island (2 hr flight)

    We will take a morning flight to exotic Qeshm Island, the largest island in the Persian Gulf. The island is a designated UNESCO Global Geopark. After checking into our authentic guest house, we will walk in Salakh streets and hopefully visit Zinat, the first woman from the island to remove her traditional mask. For sunset we will photograph the Valley of Stars, one of the most spectacular natural sites on the island; it features a series of majestic gorges and canyons, formed over centuries by erosion.

    Day 4: Qeshm

    Our morning starts early to photograph the sunrise over the town of Laft and its intricate stone wind towers that are used as natural cooling systems. We enjoy a boat tour through a vast mangrove forest which is a temporary home for many species of migrating birds. We also walk through and photograph Chahkooh Canyon where the exposed rock is made up of spectacular carvings; the lack of plant life is remarkable. The rounded edges and sharp corners of the canyon create a masterpiece of natural rock formations. We will end the day with a live Qeshm Island music performance in our guest house.

    Day 5: Qeshm to Bandar Abbas & Lar (apx 1hr + 3hrs)

    We say goodbye to Qeshm as we board a ferry to Bandar Abbas. Upon arrival we visit the vibrant fish market of Bandar Abbas. It is an incredibly photogenic place, full of charismatic old fishmongers happy to pose for pictures with their catch. Early afternoon, we will head to the nomadic Qashqai tribe area. Depending our arrival time in Lar, we may have time to visit the old Bazaar of Qeisariyeh. We spend the night in Lar City.

    Day 6: Lar to Qashqai area (apx 4hrs)

    In the morning we continue our journey to the Qashqai tribe area in early afternoon. Numbering around 400,000 the Qashqai are a strong and proud people who uphold their beliefs; they are a fascinating and colourful culture who are a conglomeration of clans consisting of mostly Turkic peoples but also Lurs, Kurds, and Arabs. The majority of Qashqai people were originally nomadic pastoralists and some remain so today.

    Day 7: Qashqai to Shiraz (apx 2hrs)

    Around midday, we farewell the Qashqai people and depart to Shiraz, the city of great Persian Poets. In the evening, we visit the Tomb of Hafez where the lights illuminate and adorn the architecturally stunning resting place of Persia’s finest poet.

    Day 8: Shiraz

    Today we visit Nasir-ol-Molk, an old mosque with beautiful stained-glass windows and saturated light; a photographers’ delight! Other highlights include Narenjestan Persian garden, Shiraz Bazaar, and Shah Cheragh, shrine of the 8th Shia imam’s brother. It is a day full of iconic Persian wonders!

    Day 9: Shiraz to Persepolis, Pasargad, and Abarkouh (apx 4hr)

    We say farewell to Shiraz. On our way to Abarkuh, our first stop is the ruins of Persepolis (500BC) ‘the centre of the Persian empire’. Then, we visit the pyramid-like tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargad (500BC). We check into our accommodation late afternoon in Abarkuh and visit the beautiful historic Aghazadeh mansion and its rooftop wind-towers.

    Day 10: Abarkouh to Yazd (apx 3hrs)

    After breakfast we set out for the drive to Yazd, a desert city with numerous ancient wind towers and mud brick buildings. These wind towers were a sophisticated early form of air conditioning. Mid-afternoon we enjoy a guided walk through the old centre of Yazd and Jame mosque. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, it encompasses thousands of ancient dwellings, screened from the narrow lanes by imposing mud walls. The photographic possibilities are endless as we study light and shade whilst isolating abstract details.

    Day 11: Yazd

    Today we visit the pre-Islamic Persian religion, Zoroastrian Towers of Silence and learn about the practice of historic aerial burials. We discover the ancient and sophisticated method of conservation and transportation of water in a desert area at the Water Museum of Yazd at Chakhmaq Square. In the late afternoon we visit the tranquil Dolat Abad garden with the tallest wind tower.

    Day 12: Yazd to Isfahan with a stop at Kharanaq (apx 4hrs)

    On our way to Isfahan, we will visit the abounded oasis of Kharanaq in the middle of a vast desert and its historical Caravanserai. Caravanserais were the equivalent of a hotel and trade centre for caravan traders and camel trains. After checking into our hotel in Isfahan, we'll visit Imam Square in the heart of Isfahan. On the banks of Zayandeh Rood River, is the ‘flagship’ of Islamic Iran. It was the capital of Persia during the successful reign of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), whose main ruler was Shah Abbas. It's a city with breathtaking charm, enchanting mosques, beautiful gardens and elegant old bridges and palaces. Its heyday of the 16th century has come back to life here making Isfahan the pearl of the Middle East and a photographic highlight. In the evening we will have the opportunity to photograph the architectural gem that is Imam Square with its eye catching fountains and spectacular gardens.

    Day 13: Isfahan

    This morning we view the magnificent reflections at Chehel Sotoun pavilion, Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque, and the bazaar in Imam Square. Today we enjoy siesta and a free afternoon. In the evening, we meet for a walk to photograph the most breathtaking bridges of Isfahan. These 400-year-old brick bridges are beautifully lit up at night.

    Day 14: Isfahan

    Morning of leisure. After lunch we strike up a chord and visit a private Music Museum with a collection of Persian musical instruments including, sitars, kamancheh and tars, in the Armenian neighbourhood of Jolfa. The very last visiting place is the 1650’s Armenian Church, Kelisa-ye Vank. The sumptuous interior is richly decorated with restored wall paintings full of life and colour, including gruesome martyrdoms and pantomime demons.

    Day 15: : Return to Tehran (apx 1hr + 1hr)

    We say farewell to Isfahan and head back to Tehran to catch our flights home.

    Extra Information Level of fitness for the tour: There are no long walks or climbs required during the tour. However, there are a couple of places with some steps and moderate hills. The longest travel time is about 4 hours in a comfortable bus(twice during the tour); we stop for a break or two if needed. Tap water is safe to drink in Iran. This makes the food prepared in the hotels and restaurants safe and bug free. However, many travellers stick to bottled water, which is widely available.


    Main Tour inclusions:
    • All visa costs.
    • Arrival and departure airport transfers.
    • Quality accommodation, characteristic boutique hotels, and guesthouse.
    • All meals during the main tour.
    • Entry into monuments and sites as listed in the itinerary.
    • Land transport in a private air-conditioned vehicle with a driver.
    • English-speaking tour escort/director.
    • Photographic guidance/critique and mentoring from Mo Hosseini and Lynn Gail.
    • International return flights to Iran.
    • Comprehensive travel insurance. All participants are required to take comprehensive travel insurance for this tour. You will need to show proof of travel insurance as a condition of participating in this tour.
    • Photographic equipment. You will need to bring/supply your own cameras, lenses, tripods, batteries, filters, memory cards and so on.
    • Insurance for your photographic equipment while on tour.
    • Alcoholic drinks.
    • Tips.
    • All personal expenses and fees, including laundry, wi-fi, medication, incidental meals and snacks.
    • Any transport and fees outside of the tour itinerary.

    A deposit of AUD$1900 will secure your place on this tour with the balance paid by 30th September 2018. Note that deposits are fully refunded if the tour is cancelled due to not attaining minimum numbers.

    Bookings and deposits can be paid to Lynn Gail (Lynn Anne Gail, ABN 17 208 964 786). Contact Lynn to secure your booking for this tour. To contact Lynn, you can telephone 0422 427 161 (Australia) or +61 422 427 161 (International) or use the form below. Lynn can also be contacted via email at hello [at] culturalconnectionstours.com

    For more information about tour terms and conditions, please refer to: Photography Tours Terms and Conditions

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