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If you think just because Iran is an Islamic country, you are going to find mosques here, you are wrong! Iran has a wide range of religious destinations. From secluded shrines in the heart of the rocky mountains to the most visited sites in Iran. It's always a good experience to visit some of the most well-known religious sites from all religions. So, stay with Apochi to find more about Top 6 Religious Destinations in Iran.

1

Imam Reza Holy Shrine - Mashhad

Imam Reza Holy Shrine

With more than 12 million visitors per year, Imam Reza Holy Shrine is one of the most important most visited attractions of Iran. It is like a castle of light in the heart of Mashhad, Iran. It is mainly known for the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Twelver Shiites; but it’s certainly more. You don’t have to be religious to visit this place. With its libraries, museums, research centers, seminaries, and outstanding architecture, this complex is one of the largest cultural centers of Iran and Islam.

Who Was Imam Reza?

Imam Reza was the eighth Imam of Shia (one of the two main branches in Islam) and one of the descendants of Prophet Muhammad. He lived from 765 to 818 during Abbasid Caliphs (an Islamic steward). Based on the Shia point of view, the Caliph Al-Mammon had faced numerous problems. As Imam Reza was a popular figure in that time, Al-Mammon summoned Imam Reza to the capital city of Tus (the former name of Mashhad), to be his successor.

With nine courtyards (sahn), twenty-eight Halls (ravvaq), libraries, mosques, museums, and so on, Imam Reza Holy Shrine covers an area of more than 598,657 square meters in the center of Mashhad city. This complex has a long story and it hasn’t had this current look from the beginning. During five dynasties and over more than 2800 years, it experiences fundamental changes and structures. During the Timurid era and reign of Shahrukh Mirza, Mashhad experienced urban growth. He frequently visited Mashhad to pilgrimage the holy shrine. By the rule of his wife, Goharshad, a large and beautiful mosque was built beside the shrine known as Goharshad Mosque.

Imam Reza Holy Shrine

Mashhad welcomes travelers all around the year, but the best time to travel to visit Imam Reza Holy Shrine is during fall and spring when the weather is mild and the complex is relatively less crowded.

Piece of advice? It is better to visit Imam Reza Holy Shrine in usual days other than Islamic and Persian holidays like Eids, Ashura, Tasua, Nowruz, … during these times, it is extremely crowded in these times of the year.

2

Zoroastrien's Dakhmeh (Towers of silence)

It is probably one of the scariest tourist attractions of Yazd! But don’t worry, there is nothing to be scared of. This place is more interesting than horrifying. Zoroastrian’s Dakhmeh or Towers of silence is a place where Zoroastrian people used to place their deceased. Let’s read more about this mysterious place. So, try not to faint and welcome to the realm of the dead …

Based on Zoroastrian’s beliefs, human remaining is unclean. Also, they consider soil as a holy element, so no human shall be buried because the soil will be polluted. So, instead of putting the corpse into the soil (here it comes the scary part), they put them for predators and birds (usually vultures) to feed on them! Now you know why they built towers of silence in height. It is worth to mention that in Zoroastrian’s religious strongly condemns mourning for the dead. This unusual ceremony has more than 3000 years’ dates.

Zoroastrian corpse or “Nasu” were transferred by people named Nesakesh from home to the Dakhmeh. After delivering Nasu to Dakhmeh officials, the corpse was exposed to the sun and birds until only the bones are left. After this weird purification, there is a person in there who was never allowed to leave the Dakhmeh, putting the remaining bones into the “Ostudan” (Ossuary) in the middle of the Dakhmeh. The way that the corpse was arranged is interesting too. They were placed in circles, men in the outermost layer, women in between, and finally children in the center. It is worth to mention that all ceremonies in Dakhmeh were stopped since the 70s.

3

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque

Nasir-Ol Molk Mosque

Nasir-Ol Molk Mosque is one of the most ancient mosques of Shiraz and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sites in Iran. Nasir-ol Molk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque, looks like an ordinary Islamic mosque at first sight, but as the sun rises, the art of architecture turns the mosque into a huge kaleidoscope. Sunlight, passing through mosaic windows, paints the walls and floor carpets with hundreds of colors. Magic will vanish in a couple of hours, so plan your visit for an early morning.

In 1876, Mirza Hassan Ali Khan who was famous to be called Nasir-Ol Molk, Fars province ruler, decided to leave a mosque as a memory of himself for the next generations. He was the son of Ghavam-Ol Molk and one of Qajar noblemen and known to be a just and fair ruler. Accordingly, he constructed the mosque and the construction was finished after 12 years in 1925.

multicolored concrete hallway

But there were no glasses with distinct colors or special doors and windows until 1969 when these beauties were added to the structure of the mosque by Haj Mirza Ayat. This mosque used to contain a mosque, a house, a bath, and a storehouse. However, a huge part of it included an indoor space, an entrance to the house, bath, water storage, and the space between the mosque and the house was totally destroyed when Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street was being built.

4

Vank Cathedral

The Holy Savior Cathedral or the Church of Saintly Sisters is widely known as Vank Cathedral. It is an Armenian church, located in the New Julfa district in the center of Isfahan. The name “Vank” derives from the Armenian word “monastery”. Due to its outstanding interior, Vank Cathedral is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Isfahan.

The cathedral has a domed sanctuary, looking a lot like Iranian mosques, but semi-octagonal apse and raised chancel makes it western-looking. The variety of building styles, used for the cathedral and its surroundings, reflects the history of the district, filled with European travelers, missionaries, and mercenaries.   The exterior of the cathedral is built of modest yellow brick and gives the mistaken impression of what should be inside the church.

The interior of Vank Cathedral is a true masterpiece of art, representing frescos, carvings, and tiles. The paintings combine Bible stories on the dome, Persian floral ornaments on the ceilings and Armenian national motifs on the walls. Visitors can also see scenes of the life of Armenian martyrs being tortured by Ottomans. Frescos are framed with golden and blue tiles, creating a warm and rich atmosphere inside the church.

5

Shah Cheragh

Shah Cheragh

Shah Cheragh is a holy monument in Shiraz. It is the tomb of Ahmad and Muhammad the sons of Imam Musa. Ahmad-Ebne-Musa (Ahmad the son of Musa) was on his way to Khorasan to join his brother Reza (the 8th Imam of Shia). But he was killed under Mamun (the Abbasid caliph) command in Shiraz. Queen Tashi Khatun ordered to build a mosque and theological school in the vicinity of the tomb, so the tomb became a pilgrimage center in the 14th century.

In the 14th century, Queen Tashi Khatoun (Abu Eshaq King’s mother) commanded to make renovations for the tomb. They built a tall dome and an extensive mausoleum within 5 years. And right next to the tomb, they built a large school. She also devoted some of the stores near the bazaar to the tomb. In 1506, King Ismail did a massive renovation for the tomb. 85 years later, half of the tomb was destructed by an earthquake. Then it was renovated once again under Nader Shah Afshar’s command.

6

Jamkaran Mosque

Jamkaran Mosque

Jamkaran Mosque is located in Jamkaran Village, within a 6-kilometer distance from Qom, the second religious capital city of Iran. Shia people believe that the construction of Jamkaran Mosque has some affiliations with Sheikh Hassan Ebn Mesleh Jamkarani. He had claimed that he had seen Imam Zaman, the 12th Imam of Shia, who had ordered him to build the mosque during their meeting. Just recently, the mosque has gained a great reputation among the pilgrim, especially young people.

Getting back in time to the point when the decision upon building the mosque was made, we encounter Hassan Ebn Mesleh Jamkarani. It is said that this man had a meeting with the 12th Imam of Shia, Imam Zaman (Saheb Al Zaman), in which the Imam ordered him on building the mosque. Jamkaran Mosque has been repaired and renovated several times since its construction. The mosque has had a small building before the Revolution of Iran but has improved a lot after that. It is interesting to know that the government of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad donated £10 million to fund the project of expanding the small mosque into a massive mosque.

Int. Mobile SIM Card in Iran

Call, SMS & the Internet connection in Iran.

Tour FAQ

For one-day tours in Iran fully prepayment is required. For multi-day tours with the cost over 800 EUR, you have an option for partial prepayment and paying the rest upon your check-in.
If you don’t have access to your credit card or there is an issue with the online payment, please contact our support team via tour@apochi.com.

Depending on a tour, you can book one day in advance and earlier. Multiday tours in Iran require more preparation, so these ones should be booked in advance.
On the page of a tour on Apochi.com, you will see all available dates. Please take into consideration our cancellation policy while booking.

For one-day tours in Iran, our cancellation policy allows you to cancel your booking and get the full refund in case of cancellation more than 6 days in advance. If you want to cancel your tour booking in 1-5 days in advance, 50% will be refunded. Cancellation less than 24 hours in advance is non-refundable.
For multiday/multicity tours we have different cancellation policies. Please check cancellation policy for each individual tour.

You can choose the time for some half-day tours or private tours in Iran. For some group activities, events or full day tours the time can not be changed.

While booking for the most of the tours you can add round-trip transfer service to your order and we will pick you up from any location in the city and bring you back after the tour is finished. If the place of your accommodation is not listed on our website, contact our support team via tour@apochi.com to arrange your transfer services.
You can also use public transport or take a taxi, the address of starting point will be written in a confirmation email from Apochi.com. In this case please be at the starting point at the time.

In case of using transfer services your guide will wait for you in the lobby of your hotel.
For multicity tours n Iran your guide will meet you upon your arrival at the Tehran airport (IKA airport).
For short sightseeing around cities of Iran, your guide will wait for you in front of the entrance/in a noticeable place in starting point. For all tours, we require your phone number and we will stay in touch via call or messengers. Let us know about your preferences via tour@apochi.com.

In case if we have any departure for the same day of your trip, we would be happy to connect people to a bigger group. Ask our support team about available opportunities during days of your stay via tour@apochi.com.

We support nature-friendly approach and accept both printed and digital voucher. You can save the confirmation letter on your phone or another mobile device to show to the guide.

Absolutely yes. Contact us via tour@apochi.com to let us know if your plans have changed. Please mention that last minute changes may cause some fee.

For unforeseen situations, we do our best not to charge a fee. However, some charges are coming from our partner operators and are out of our control.

Sure. Please check timetable to be sure if you have enough time for joining the next tour.

We provide certified English speaking tour guides for public tours in Iran. If you need private tour, special services or language, contact us via tour@apochi.com.

Question?

Ask your questions about traveling to Iran from our travel experts:

Tehran to ... Flights FAQ ...

There are about 11 flights from Tehran to Isfahan per week with a flexible schedule.

Tehran to Isfahan flights takes about 1 hour on average.

The prices for Tehran to Isfahan flights start from 29 €.

 

Late in spring and and during summer is the best time to find cheap flights from Tehran to Isfahan. Therefore, you will find the cheapest flight deals to Isfahan during this time.

According to the laws, if you do not hold an identity document you won’t be allowed to take the flight just with your flight ticket.  In case you do not hold any identity document you can use your driving license or credit card.

Mehrabad International Airport supports domestic flights and Imam Khomeini International Airport provides international flights. So to fly from Tehran to Isfahan you should go to Mehrabad Airport.

It depends on the airline that provides the flights from Tehran to Isfahan. Please check the main article or visit Iranian Domestic Flight Baggage Allowance.

It is necessary to have your flight ticket printed or on your cell phone and valid identity document (driving license and passport) with you when boarding.

Different airlines have different policy. You can find the elaboration on that in the main article.

There are about 5 airlines that provide direct flights from Tehran to Isfahan. You can find their names and logos in the main text.

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