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  • Golden Compass New Zealand Freephone number 0800-132-385
  • 0800-132-385

Persia & Iran - Past & Present
Commences Tehran 01 November and ends Tehran 16 November 2019

  • Program Status Places Available
  • Price $9,590
  • Program Code GCTPER19
  • Single Supplement $1,440
  • Activity Rating Moderate
  • Program Leader Mark Goodwin

Tour Itinerary

  • 15 Nights
    • 3 - Tehran 
    • 1 - Kashan 
    • 3 - Isfahan 
    • 3 - Yazd 
    • 1 - Zeinoddin Caravanserai 
    • 3 - Shiraz 
    • 1 - Tehran 

 Commences Tehran 01 November and ends Tehran 16 November 2019

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the Iranian capital, Tehran, with its sumptuous Golestan and fascinating S'adabad Palaces, as well as a number of the city's interesting museums 
  • Stay in Isfahan, whose Naghsh-e Jahan Square is one of the world's largest, and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. 
  • Overnight in the charmingly renovated Zeinodin caravanserai near Yazd and be in awe of this 16th century building and surrounding environment. 
  • Discover the UNESCO-protected ancient site at Persepolis, World Heritage Bisotun and once highly decorated Bishapur
  • Experience the fabled and historic city of Shiraz with its elaborate palaces, mosques and gardens 
  • Meet the local people and sample the delights of Iranian cuisine

Tour Overview

Iran is often in the news. There have been periods of political deadlock with the USA, as well as hopes of rapprochement, especially in July 2015 with the signing of a landmark nuclear agreement and the associated lifting of sanctions by the US, EU and United Nations. The future of this agreement is presently in some doubt but we have led many groups to Iran and there can be no doubt as to the warmth of this country's people and the generous hospitality afforded to our participants.

Our 15-night tour of Iran allows you to discover fascinating archaeological sites, stunning holy mosques and lavish palaces, where Persian kings lived and ruled and learn about today's Iran and the everyday life of its people.

We begin in Tehran, the capital of Persia since the late 1700s. We visit the Golestan Palace, the oldest of Tehran’s historic monuments dating from the 16th century.

In the centre of Isfahan, we marvel at the rich beauty of one of the largest urban squares in the world. Shah Abbas the Great built this graceful ensemble in the early 17th century and it is home to two beautiful mosques. In Yazd, we visit the Fire Temple and the Tower of Silence. We continue with our amazing journey and explore another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Persepolis, considered to be one of the most important sites of the Ancient World. We next venture to the fabled city of Shiraz with a history stretching over 2,500 years. We will be amazed by the colourful Nasir–ol–Molk Mosque with some of the finest examples of Persian Islamic tile-work and architecture. Nearby, we visit the ancient city of Bishapur with strong Hellenistic-Roman and Persian influences in the architecture of its buildings. We will spend time in the wonderful old bazaars in Isfahan and Shiraz and sample the delights of Iranian cuisine.

We will spend time in the wonderful old bazaars in Isfahan and Shiraz and sample the delights of Iranian cuisine.

Tour Inclusions

  • 15 nights in en-suite hotel accommodation
  • Typical local breakfast daily, 14 lunches and 15 dinners
  • Local flight between Shiraz and Tehran
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach
  • Transport, lectures and field trips as indicated 
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides 
  • Services of a Program Leader
  • Gratuities and necessary tips
  • Detailed Program Information Booklet

Mark Goodwin

Mark Goodwin has been in the travel profession for over 35 years, first as a tour guide, then rising to Director of Operations with SAGA Holidays, the UK's leading tour operator for the senior market, as Commercial Director with Rank Education, one of Britain's leading educational operators, as Director of Operations with the Travel Organisation, the UK's then leading conference and incentive Operator and the last 20 years as President and CEO of Golden Compass. Mark has now retired from his role as CEO but still enjoys arranging and leading specialist groups for Golden Compass Tours.

Mark is double Honours graduate from King's College London in Modern Languages – French and German, an Associate of Kings College (Divinity) and a Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism, as well as a past Member of the Institute of Directors.

He has taught in France as well as spending significant periods of time in Germany, Italy and Austria as well as travelling extensively through almost all of Europe and North Africa. He has led a number of tours through Scandinavia, the Baltics and the Balkans.


This program includes placeswhich can only be explored on foot and where walking tours may be a little longer and not always on the flat. Accommodation may have some stairs and or have some rooms which may involve some walking to access.
All our programs naturally involve some walking in order to discover bet­ter the places visited and, although we arrange porterage where this is available, participants are expected to be able to handle their own bags. Our program leaders will always try to make as much of the program as possible available for those who find walking longer distances, uphill or down steps difficult but, in same places, this cannot always be avoided.
If you have any concerns at all about your level of fitness, please do not hesitate to talk to us and discuss further with the experts who know the particular demands of each program.

Register your interest early

Follow these simple steps to secure your place on one of our unique tours:

  1. Select the program or programs you are interested in joining and make a note of the program code that appears next to the program price (eg: GCTAD14).
  2. Access the Golden Compass booking form here.
  3. Complete the details you have available (we understand your flights and travel insurance details may not be confirmed when you make your booking).
  4. Print and sign your form, then simply scan and email your form direct to info@goldencompasstours.co.nz. If you prefer you can fax your form to +44 (0) 1494 431 144, or post it to our New Zealand postal address at:

  Golden Compass, P O Box 3452 Shortland St. Auckland 1140, New Zealand.

Please note we require a deposit of NZD500 per person per program with the full balance for each tour being due 70 days prior to the start of your program or programs in the UK, Europe, North Africa or Asia. 

Once the deposit payment has been taken you will then be sent your confirmation letter either by email or post (as you prefer). An invoice for the balance will be issued to you 12 weeks prior to the departure of your first tour or tours. Full payment by MasterCard, Visa or electronic bank transfer is required 70 days prior to the start of your tour. 

If you need any assistance please call our Freephone number on 0800 132 385.