Today you will visit the city of Isfahan, As the 17th-century capital of the Safavid Empire. Isfahan was one of the world’s greatest cities – architecturally striking, wealthy beyond imagination, and politically powerful with Europeans, Ottomans, Indians, and Chinese coming to its court – the heart of a vast Persian Empire that stretched from the Euphrates River in present-day Iraq to the Oxus River in Afghanistan. Indeed, its grandeur inspired the rhyming proverb, “Isfahan Nesf-e Jahan” (Isfahan is Half the World). Capture the marvels of the Safavid dynasty, all in a single square, Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Once used as a polo field, Naqsh-e Jahan square is now a lively traditional bazaar. Marvel at Ali Qapu Palace with its unique features and mesmerizing view of the square from the top, you’ll marvel at its beautiful music rooms and the balconies where Safavid kings would sit to enjoy the polo matches unfolding in the square below. Soak up Islamic architecture in a magnificent Imam Mosque on one side and small but impressive Sheikh Lotfullah Mosque on the other side of the square.
Sip some tea and indulge yourself in an ethnic dish in a great place. Stroll in splendid Chehel Sotoun Palace with the gardens surrounding it. After lunch, the next is visiting with the Chehel Sotoun Palace (World Heritage Site). When you count its columns, you’ll get number twenty. Don’t be surprised. Certainly, ask your guide why does it call 40-columns-palace? The fabulous murals of this palace represent the wars and joys of the Safavid, Qajar kings and Afshar (18 century AD). This evening is your free time. Recommend you to take a stroll at Naqsh-e Jahan Square, and visit the Qeisariyeh Bazaar to spend a couple of hours there. You would get familiar with Iranian handicrafts, and it is worth shopping.
Overnight: Isfahan, Meals: B, L, D