Marvel at masterful mosaics, majestic minarets, and mountains

Iran is celebrated for its cultural riches. Its mosques and mausoleums are famous for their glorious ornateness, and the magnificent ruins of ancient cities, particularly Persepolis, are more reminders of Iran's cultural brilliance. GeoEx has been taking travelers to Iran since 1993, introducing its wonders, from the pinnacles of Islamic architecture in splendid Esfahan to the pulsing Grand Bazaar of Tabriz. We trek in the serene Alborz Mountains and visit with gracious nomads in the southwest.

Since GeoEx first dipped its toe in Iran 19 years ago, its tour business here has remained brisk despite the news stories coming out of Tehran. Returning clients regularly remark on “the warmth expressed by people on the streets,” says Jim Sano, the company’s president.

"This was the most popular Middle Eastern trip last year; it’s a carefully curated survey of the capital, Tehran; ancient Hamadan; the blue mosque and bazaar of Tabriz; the green gardens of Shiraz; and the elegant and ornate architecture of Esfahan. Guests are typically the only Westerners in Mashad, Iran’s most important Shiite pilgrimage site."

--National Geographic Traveler, May 2012

National Geographic Trip of a Lifetime