back to Iran


A Persian Odyssey

Our ten day journey of around six hundred miles takes us from Shiraz in the south to Tehran in the north and is packed with interest. We spend two or three nights at each of four excellent hotels, plus one single night, and we include all meals, with lunches featuring local specialities.

There is a dress code for women, but it is not as strict as it used to be, and our groups have been surprised at the liberal dress code of the younger locals. Iran is a dry country but the Iranians are masters of the art of non-alcoholic concoctions


  1. Fly To Shiraz

    We meet at London Heathrow. Our Turkish Airlines flight via Istanbul departs at 1125 and arrives in Shiraz at 0230 on Thursday morning.

  2. Shiraz

    Morning free. Visit the Church of St Simon, tombs of Hafez and Sa’adi and the bazaar. Two night stay at the Homa Hotel.

  3. Persepolis

    Visit the tombs at Naghsh-e Rostam and legendary Persepolis, built by Darius and Xerxes in the 5th and 4th Centuries BC as a summer capital with wonderful palace complexes.

  4. Yazd

    We leave Shiraz and drive to Pasargadae, capital of Cyrus the Great, continuing to Yazd, a caravan city on the edge of the desert. Two night stay at the Moshir Al Mamalek hotel.

  5. Yazd

    Visit the village of Chak Chak, a pottery workshop in Maybod and experience wool-weaving in Mohamadiye

  6. Traditional arts

    Visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Dowlatabad Gardens and the Friday mosque. Drive through Na’in, the geographical heart of Iran to Isfahan. Three night stay in the Abbasi Hotel.

  7. Isfahan

    Visits today include the Khaju Bridge, the Vank Armenian Cathedral and the Imam Khomeini Square

  8. Isfahan

    Visits include the Madrase-ye Chahar Bagh, the Masjed-e Jame, and Chehel Sotun and time to explore the bridges, coffee houses and bazaar.

  9. Abyaneh Village

    We drive to the mountain village of Abyaneh for lunch, before continuing to Kashan. Overnight in Kashan at the Negarestan Hotel.

  10. Kashan

    We visit the Fin Gardens and the former merchant house of Taba-Tabai. Dive to Tehran via the Mausoleum to Ayatollah Khomeini. Two night stay at the Laleh Hotel.

  11. Tehran

    We see the imperial crown jewels, and visit the Golestan Palace museum complex.

  12. To London

    Morning free. Turkish Airlines flight via Istanbul departs Tehran at 1540 and arrives into Heathrow at 2100.

Essential Information

The price you pay is inclusive

The only extras you need to budget for are drinks and shopping. We include lunches and gratuities to guide, driver and hotel staff.

2018 Price: £2,995, Single Supplement: £545, Travel Insurance Premium: £79/£119


Flights, Hotel accommodation, Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Sightseeing programme, Entrance fees & guiding, Gratuities

All meals are included. Lunches will feature local specialities, with a more international choice in the evenings.

Not included

Travel Insurance, Single Room supplement

Passports, visas and health

Diplomatic relations are restored between Britain and Iran and embassies have now re-opened in both countries, BUT British and American passport holders must visit the Iranian Consulate in London in person to process visa applications. It is not possible to send someone on your behalf as your finger prints are required.

We start the visa application process with you twelve weeks before departure, when we send your final invoice. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK and has two adjacent blank pages available for your Iran visa.

Please check your passport for Israeli stamps. Entry to Iran will be refused if your passport contains evidence of travel to Israel, even if you have been granted an Iranian visa. Note this is not confined to an Israeli visa stamp and also includes Egyptian and Jordanian entry or departure stamps obtained at the land border with Israel. Please ensure that stickers/bar codes are removed from your passport cover.

We recommend that you carry with you a photocopy of the main page of your passport and the visa page.

Some hotels will hold on to your passport at check-in and give it back to you on departure.

Travel Insurance

The McCabe recommended insurance policy is designed for the older traveller. The premium for this pilgrimage to Iran is £79. Travellers over 75 pay £119. We also recommend that older travellers obtain a note from their doctor stating that they are fit to travel. Do feel free to shop around as there are many suitable insurance options including annual policies on the market. We do insist that all travellers take out medical insurance.

A key feature of our recommended policy is that there is no requirement to call a Medical Help Line as most pre-existing conditions are covered.

You can read the full policy wording here.


Flights are from Heathrow and regional airports via Istanbul.

We recommend a Wednesday departure, but other days are possible.


During our journey we stay in the best available hotels, all of which are of a very acceptable standard. Rooms have private facilities. The highlight is the Abassi hotel in Isfahan, like a palace, and said to be the oldest hotel in the world.

You can click on the hotel websites below.

Homa Hotel in Shiraz 

Moshir Al Mamalek hotel in Yazd 

Abbasi Hotel in Isfahan

Negarestan Hotel in Kashan

Laleh Hotel in Tehran

How strenuous

We break our journey to Iran in Istanbul with a four hour flight to Istanbul and a further four hour flight on to Shiraz. (Iran is 3.5 hours ahead of UK time). Some coach journeys will be long, but roads are good and frequent stops will be made. The walking aspect is not unduly arduous and we feel any reasonably fit person will enjoy this experience.

Dress Code

Men should wear short or long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, but not shorts. For women the rules are more strict but you will be surprised at how colourfully and easily local people dress. The aim is not to draw attention to the shape of your body nor to have any flesh showing except your face and hands. A headscarf is compulsory – take lots, the more colourful and cheerful the better. The perfect outfit would be a loose, long-sleeved top worn over trousers or a full skirt with knee-high socks and comfortable shoes or sandals. Bare feet are acceptable. A local alternative is to wear a “roupush” a thin cotton robe, worn on top of any clothes.


Iranian cuisine is varied and delicious. Rice is a main ingredient in most meals served with vegetables and meats. Kebabs are freshly cooked and are generally served with grilled tomatoes and side dishes. Yogurt mixed with garlic or cucumbers is a real favourite. Expect tasty casseroles, thick soups and a diverse variety of salads and pastries. Iranian food is well known for using fresh, local ingredients, especially fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. Freshly baked flat bread eaten with cheese is a real treat.

Alcohol is not available and none should be taken with you. Iranians compensate with a wide variety of non-alcoholic treats, often yoghurt based.


Practical information

Travelling Alone

Many of our passengers travel alone and object to expensive single room supplements. McCabe Pilgrimages will accept individual bookings on a 'guaranteed share' basis. We charge the basic price and accommodate you with a person of the same sex also requesting shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with you, you will be accommodated in a single room at only 50% of the usual single room supplement. For single travellers who do require single accommodation this should be requested when booking and, if available, the normal supplement will be payable.

The McCabe Educational Trust

For many, meeting the ‘Living Stones’ of The Land becomes a real highlight of their pilgrimage. The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on pilgrimage. On your pilgrimage you will meet some of these people. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £15 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Full Financial Security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website HERE

Read reviews


Upcoming Pilgrimages

We have no tours scheduled to this destination at present.

Send to a friend

    Travel club

    A portfolio of tours with our regular travellers in mind

    Read more