About Fars Province
Fars (or Pars) province, located in the south of Iran, is the cultural capital of the country and considered the original homeland of the Persian people and it has also a remarkable nomadic culture and the strongest historical heritage.
This province is located in south of the Iran and its center is Shiraz. It has an area of 122,400 km² and it’s population is around 4.6 million people, 38.1% villagers, and 0.7% nomad tribes. The word “Persian” is from the cultural capital of Iran and found in many ancient names associated with Iran.
Shiraz is city of poets, love and immortal flowers. During the Zand dynasty’s era ,it was also the capital of Iran and the celebrated birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi. This historical city surprised all tourists that a city itself has so few surviving historical monuments when there are such archaeological treasures in the neighboring countryside.
Why travel to Fars pronive?
Persepolis,the top attraction in Shiraz, was the ceremonial capital of the First Persian Empire in the 7th century B.C.The Persian Empire was the greatest empire in the world (center of the world),. Nowadays, it’s an impressive ruined complex and one of the top touristic attractions you will see when you travel in Iran.Persepolis is next to Marvdasht. Persepolis is a pretty ruined place, and behind each stone is a significantly different experience.
Pasargad as first dynastic capital of Achaemenid Empire, by Cyrus II the Great and homeland of Persians, with gardens, palaces and mausoleum of Cyrus are the most obvious example of the first phase of royal Achaemeind ,art and architecture and unique testimonies of Persian civilization. Pasargad was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. It is considered to be the first empire that respected the culture diversity of its different people. And Achaemenid, architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures show this article.
This Historical place, belongs to Shapur period, the second Sassanid ruler (son of Ardeshir I) and the famous emperor who defeated the Romans, Bishapur holds significant historical importance as, its construction was combination of both Roman and Persian art and architecture had been combined.
Naqsh—e Rustam is located 3km drive northwards from Persepolis across the main Shiraz to Isfahan road. It’s name, a legendary Persian warrior, were given to this place by locals seeing the Sasanian rock reliefs of jousting and investiture scenes, but the four Achaemenid tombs carved high into the rock face are more dramatic for today’s visitors.The first, on the left, was probably the tomb for Darius II; the next for Artaxerxes I; the third and most imposing, held the remains of Darius the Great ; and the last, on the adjoining rock face, was carved for Xerxes I or possibly Xerxes Il .
Tomb Of Hafiz (Aramgah-e Hafiz), the great Shirazi poet (1326—c1390) who wrote lyrical poems about love and the beloved, which are understood to be imbued with deep Sufi mystical meaning; his epithet ‘Hafiz’ alludes to his memorizing of the Quran by heart.
Karim Khan Zand ordered a suitable tomb to be built in 1773 to honor this famous son of Shiraz .
Sa’di Tomb (Sa’dieh)
Tomb of Saa’di, known also as the tomb of Sa’dy or Sadiyeh, is one of the major tourist attractions of Shiraz. Many Iranians and foreigner pay a visit to this funeral place and show their respect to Saadi and interest in his works, prose and poems. This Iranian poet is a globally known scholar whose words have touched many hearts across the world and wakened up many minds to take new steps in their lives to reach higher levels of humanity. The ambiance of this location is much more attractive than its architecture although it has got interesting character by itself.
Composed of an impressive courtyard, a praying hall of around 48 columns and sublime mosaics and tiled portals, Vakil mosque was built in the 18th century.Like most tourist attractions in Iran, it is better to come at sunset time.The mosque, however, receives loads of local visitors every day so.
The city of Gor
In today’s modern Firouzabad is where the city of Gor stands, an ancient city that dates back to the Achaemenid period but, after Alexander the Great destroyed the city, it was Ardeshir I, the founder of the Sassanid Empire, who rebuilt it.
The city is of huge historical importance, as it was one of the first cities ever built using a circular plan and it was so precise that some famous scholars claimed that he used a compass to build it.The center of the ruined city is dominated by a 30-meter tower called Terbal, a landmark whose original purpose is unknown, even though some believe that it served as a mere city symbol.
Just a few kilometers from the city of Gor, Ardeshir I built a stunning palace for himself, not as a defensive structure but just to show his royal power and prestige.The palace has been beautifully renovated and, perhaps, the most important thing to say about it is that, during its construction, it was the first time ever that someone used domes in the construction of a building.
Afif-Abad Garden is a museum complex in Shiraz, Iran. Located in the affluent Afif-Abad district of Shiraz, the complex was constructed in 1863. It contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden, all open to the public. It’s an old and beautiful garden with it’s residence by the middle of the city. A very quiet and pleasant place to visit and take lots of photos even for couples. You can also rent traditional clothes for more interesting photos.
Bagh-e Dalgousha ,the extensive grounds broadly retain their 1820 layout ,although the water channels have been relined with tacky turquoise tiles and the original mud-brick walls were destroyed in 2000 for new railings. In the centre stands a pavilion from late Zand or early Qajar times, in this dramatic setting with the surrounding hills and tall cypresses. Together with the Bagh-e Eram, this garden and a small one within the newly opened Arg of Karim Khan Zand are the best examples of the ‘classical’ Persian garden outside Mahan and Kashan.
Narenjestan-e Ghavam (Qavam Houose)
Narenjestan-e Qavam Garden in Shiraz Belongs to Qajar era and located on the eastern side of the end of Lotfali Khan Zand Avenue. Due to plenty of sour orange trees it is called Narenjestan. It has been a place where ordinary people went for administrative purposes and public meetings as well as meetings among Qajar dignitaries and nobles were held there
Shrine of Imamzadeh-ye Ali Ebn-e Hamze
Located just outside of the city center, this is a real off the beaten track shrine that not many people know about and where Emi Ali, a disciple of the 8th Shia Imam, rests.The mosque seems like a small reproduction of the Shah-e Cheragh shrine, as the interior is also decorated with those peculiar mirror-mosaic-walls. Like most holy shrines, the entrance is free and, unlike in Shah-e Cherag, here you take in your camera and tripod without any problem.
Vakil Bazzar, is one of the finest bazaars in the Middle East.
From caravanserais to bathhouses and over 200 carpet stores, this is a great place to take some nice street pictures after lunchtime, when the harsh sun of Shiraz is at its fullest. Nasir al-Molk mosque. This is, by far, the most photographed building in Shiraz and, probably, in Iran as well. At sunrise, the light goes through its colorful vitrines, creating a luminary, colorful effect on the carpet of the praying hall. After sunrise, this is just a regular, not very exciting mosque, so given the high price they charge for entrance, I wouldn’t recommend coming. Try to be there just before sunrise as the mosque gets filled with tons of tourists, so you really want to get there first, otherwise is practically impossible to take a photo without people in it.
Karim Khan citadel
Named after Karim Khan, the founder of the Zand dynasty (18th century) and where he used to live for some time, today, this fortress is a real landmark in Shiraz, where all the Iranians come to hang around the beautiful, tall walls.There is one tower which is, slowly, sinking into the ground, to the extent that it’s perfectly visible. Inside the fortress, there is also a museum which, even though I didn’t go, people say it’s not really worth the money.
Ghal’e Dokhtar Castle
A fortified castle constructed in a highly strategic position in order to protect the region and the different Sassanid cities, today, this castle is mostly in ruins and, unfortunately, when I went there, it was under renovation, so the place was filled with ugly fences.
However, the castle is located in an epic location from where you can appreciate stunning views.
Maharloo Lake (Pink Lake)
A very strange tourist attraction in Iran.Many Iranians talk about it as if it was something cool.On the weekend, you will see plenty of locals taking selfies, smiling and having fun.However, in my eyes, this is a real natural disaster, similar to the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as, basically, it is a lake which has dried out almost completely and become a mini-version of the Dead Sea.It has become a tourist attraction because some parts of the lake, where there is still water, have become pink due to the color of the sediments that were underneath.Moreover, this used to be a salty lake, so the dried-out area is covered by a thick layer of salt, giving the impression that is snow.The lake is around one hour’s drive from Shiraz.
Colossal Statue of Shapur and Carvings
Like I said before, Shapur was a powerful emperor, famous for defeating the Romans in three different battles, including the capture of Valerian, the first Roman emperor to ever become a prisoner of war.
After his victories, Shapur ordered artistic carvings that portrayed his glory, as well as a 35-meter statue of himself inside a cave which is today in perfect condition.
Meeting with Qashqai nomads
Moving with their herds from the Persian Gulf to the mountains close to Esfahan within a 1-year cycle, the Qashqai are a group of nomads from Iran, who have Turkic origins and live a traditional life, not very different from the way their ancestors used to live.
In Iran, you have opportunity to visit a couple of nomadic camps and also spend one night with one family, where I was able to learn and see their daily routines.
Popular cities in Fars Province
Fasa , Arsanjan , Izadkhast , Marvdasht
Climate of Fars Province
Shiraz is located in the southern part of Iran in the Faris province at the foot of the Zagros mountain range so it’s climate has distinct seasons, Summers are hot, but Winters are cool. Shiraz contains a considerable number of gardens.
Transportations of Shiraz
Each day many domestic and international flights arrive from various air lines in Shiraz International Airport. Many flights originate in countries such as Syria, Dubai, Abodabi, Saudi Arabia and in special cases Egypt, Russia, and Turkey.After undergoing renovation and redevelopment work in 2005 Shiraz international Airport is identified as the second most reliable and modern airport in Iran (after Imam Khomeini International Airport of Tehran). Domestic flights between Shiraz and other cities such as Tehran, Mashhad, Esfahan, Ahwaz, Abadan, Kermanshah, Boshehr, Baandar Lengeh, Lar, Lamerd, Bandar abbas, Kish, Qeshm, Siry islands, Lavan, and in urgency cases to other airports in Iran.
Shiraz is accessible via freeways to Isfahan, Kerman, Bushehr, Ahvaz and Yasouj, and accessible via road to Bandare Abbas.
Since 2010, Shiraz is connected to Tehran by train. Daily trains connect both cities leaving in the afternoon and arriving the morning after. Check Iranrail for timetables and tickets purchase.
- Eram garden
- Shah-e-Cheragh holy shrine
- Vakil complex:
- Vakil bath
- Vakil bazaa
III. Vakil mosque
- Sa’adi tomb
- Jame-e-Atigh mosque
- Qoran gate
- Afif-Abad garden
- Khan school
- Delgosha garden
Very important historical sites (VIHS) in Fars province:
- Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid)
- Ardashir palace
- Bishapur ancient city
- Sassanid palace
- Qaleh Dokhtar
- Gur historical city
- Istakhr historical city
Shiraz’s Local foods and drinks: Besides all beauties, there is another reason making Shiraz a special destination for tourists and that is its local food. Tourists can easily find traditional restaurants with good customer service adjacent to historical and cultural sites. (Less than a 5-minute walk away) Some local foods:
- Kalam-Polo: do not miss the fortune to test Kalam-Polo, highly recommended.
- Do-Piyaze alu
- Yakhni Adas-Kalam
Note: Salad-Shirazi is one of the most popular desserts, especially for launch. There is a sweet delicious edible called ‘Falude’ or ‘Palude’. It is icy, and local people prefer to eat it in the afternoon. Transportation: Airport: Shiraz international airport (Shahid Dastgheib) has flight to 8 international airports around the Middle East and every domestic airport in Iran. Railroad: Shiraz’s railroad is connected to cross-country rail network, and each day it has two departures to Tehran. Bus: via Shiraz intercity terminals tourists can access every province and city. In Shiraz: Shiraz utilizes metro, bus, taxi, bicycle, minibus services as transportation systems. All of them are frequently used, but the most convenient one is taxi. Taxis are divided into several kinds, like: telephone ‘taxi agency’, share taxi, private taxi, snap, maxim, etc. Snap is the most economical and safest among them. Snap operates exactly like Uber.
What to buy in Shiraz?
Souvenirs of Shiraz
Masqati:Is one of the most delicious sweet between all Shiraz souvenirs , known as Shirazi Halva. There are various kinds of Masqati, including Pistachio, Rose or saffron Masqati and Larestan Masqati that is the most popular one.
Shirazi Faloodeh:The most especial edible souvenir, which is one of the cool and delicious desserts of this city, it is available in cafes, markets, and even Shiraz sights and attractions.
Shiraz herbal essences: Due to special weather conditions, Shiraz is famous for its herbal essences. Shuch as Bahar Narenj, Bidmeshk, and Nastaran.
Candied almonds (Badam Sookhteh): Candied almond is a delicious and long-lasting sweet that is made of roasted almonds in melted sugar.
Khatam Kari: is one of the finest and most beautiful Iranian handicrafts and valuable art that is made up of putting together regular, delicate wood pieces in different colors and shapes and its antiquity dates back to the Safavid eraSilver objects and dishes that When you walk in the Shiraz markets, attract every tourist’s attention.
Wood carving: Woodcarving is one of the most beautiful handicrafts on the wood. Engraving is the art of carving on wood.
Making Felt Alabaster is one of the toughest work that Shiraz artists make it. Felt is made of camel, goat or sheep hair and is prepared after a hard process.It is very time-consuming to make felts because these substrates do not have a warp and they are made of wool. These Shiraz souvenirs are one of the priceless works of art that you can buy.
Traditional Glassblowing ,Ceramic dishes and objects are the other shiraz souvenirs
Including souvenirs and handicrafts of Shiraz Khatam Kari
Foods such as Muscat pancakes are among Shiraz's souvenirs
1- Central tour of Shiraz
After breakfast visit the Nasir Al-Molk Mosque and Madrese Khan
Go Vakil Bazar and in eat lunch in traditional resturant
Then in the evening visit Hafez tomb and Narnjsatan Ghavam
2- Shiraz City Tours : Poetry & History Tour
visit Karim Khan Citadel. Vakil Bazaar, Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) few steps far from Vakil Bazaar. After Lunch , we will visit Holy Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh and end Shiraz day tour on a tranquil note in the lovely garden tomb of Hafez, one of our most outstanding poets to feel the taste of Persian Literature.
3 – Visit Gate of Nation
Visit the most important Shiraz historical attraction, from the great civilization of Persia which shows you the great history of this country. Excursion to Marvdasht 50 km out of Shiraz to Persepolis (the capital of the Achaemenid Empire ) which was recognizes as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1979. The next point , Naghshe Rostam which includes 4 rock tombs of 4 kings of Achaemenid Empire.Then drive to the last point Pasargad which is the first capital of Achaemenid Empire was built by Cyrus the great in 6th century BC.
4 - Sightseeing
A full-day city tour to visit historical attractions and monuments of Shiraz. Start with Nasir al Molk Mosque that is named in popular culture as the Pink Mosque, due to the usage of considerable pink color tiles for its interior design. Then we go to visit Narejestan e Ghavam and Zandiyeh Complex (Vakil complex) that includes Citadel, Bath, Mosque and traditional Bazaar. Bazaar consists of different corridors that the most famous ones are Saraye Moshir and Saraye Fil where you can buy beautiful handicrafts, including Kilim, Gabe, Carpet, Mina, Khatam, Silver accessories and ….Overnight Shiraz
5 - Eco Tour
After breakfast, we will start an Eco tour and drive to Sepidan that is a village near Shiraz. During spring and summer, Sepidan has cool weather and green landscapes where you can enjoy trekking in unique nature and visit Margon waterfall, or other natural attractions based on your preferences. Have local food, experience a memorable time in a local house and see the lifestyle of people reminiscent of the older time. During winter Sepidan is snowy and an amazing spot for skiing. You can have a full day ski tour in Pooladkaf complex. Based on the time you may visit the nomad black tents and their traditional colorful handicrafts hanging on the walls and Persian Kilims and Carpets covering the floor. It is interesting to know that living in the heart of nature makes the nomads capable of addressing their needs with basic materials. They use their herds to provide dairy and meat as their main food. They even cook their own bread. After enjoying your Eco Tour, we return to Shiraz.
6 - Historical & Literature Tour
In the morning Drive to Marvdasht that is in 62 km from Shiraz, to visit Persepolis and Necropolis next to it. Persepolis or Takht_e Jamshid is one of the masterpieces of Iran, that belongs to the history of all people around the World. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Return to Shiraz and your next attraction to visit will be Tomb of Hafez and Saadi the Iranian world-famous poets, that both tombs are in the marvelous gardens.