Alluring Secrets of Ethiopia and Iran (20 days)

Day 6

Lalibella, Ethiopia

Day 7

Lalibela, Ethiopia

Day 8

Aksum, Ethiopia

Day 12

Persepolis, Iran

Day 13

Pasargadae, Iran→ Yazd, Iran

Day 18

Tehran , Iran

Day 19

Tehran , Iran

Day 20

Dubai, United Arab Emirates →Tehran , Iran


Day 1
08 Apr 2018
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sheraton Addis Dinner

Against warm air and strikingly clear skies, there’s

an alluring caress that pulls us towards the capital this

morning. The exotic nature of Addis Ababa attracts all

things curious, including us. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner.

Day 2
09 Apr 2018
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sheraton Addis Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, drive to Mt Entoto where exquisite views

of the capital and surrounding countryside are revealed.

Continue to the churches of Mariam and the Archangel

Raguel before exploring the National Archaeological

Museum. Home to the 3.2 million year-old skeleton, Lucy,

the museum’s most acclaimed exhibition enlightened great

forward thinking within the theory of evolution.

Lucy has the first documented example of the modern

human pelvis, reorientated for upright walking so as to

free our hands and conserve energy for the growth of

our brains.

Before dinner this evening, we visit the Fistula Hospital

where we bear witness to the charity work of doctors.

Day 3
10 Apr 2018
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Kuriftu Resort and Spa Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transported from the bustling cityscape of Addis Ababa,

the classic Ethiopian surrounds of Bahir Dar could not

provide a sharper contrast. This afternoon, admire Blue

Nile Falls. A natural treasure of Bahir Dar, smouldering

mist rises with each ferocious plummet. We continue

to the former Palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. Watching

over the Blue Nile, jacarandas line the palace’s path.

Relaxation commences at the Kuriftu Resort and Spa.

Day 4
11 Apr 2018
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Gondar, Ethiopia
Mayleko Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The surface of Lake Tana is scattered with religious

fragments. On its 37 islands, ancient churches and

monasteries hide. Discovering them by boat, local

fishermen paddle alongside us in narrow papyrus

canoes. Inside some of the monasteries, we may peek

at the remains of Ethiopian Emperors by candlelight.

This afternoon we continue to Gondar, and make our

home at the Mayleko Lodge for two nights.

Day 5
12 Apr 2018
Gondar, Ethiopia
Mayleko Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Once the capital of Ethiopia for nearly 200 years,

Gondar welcomes us early this morning and introduces

itself through a tour of its major historical sites. We visit

the fascinating 17th century castles and palaces where

we have the chance to wander amid stone walls at leisure.

Among many, we visit Castle Fasiladas.

At Tikmat this afternoon, we witness worshippers

plunging into the water, re-enacting the baptism of

Christ. Before returning to our hotel, we will also see

the mural-covered walls of Debre Berhan Selassie and

experience authentic Ethiopian azmari music performed

by a pair of minstrels.

Day 6
13 Apr 2018
Lalibella, Ethiopia
Mountain View Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Carved by hammer, chisel and – so legend goes – the

slight touch of angels at night, today the 13th century

rock-hewn churches of Lalibela await. These 11 buildings

were commissioned by King Lalibela after a pilgrimage

to Jerusalem. Or after having a private word with angels

(legend and history recount the story differently to this day).

Each structure has been excavated by hand, and is under

the perpetual watch of an Orthodox priest.

We explore the site, set against a backdrop of astounding

mountain ranges, then retire to the Mountain View Hotel.

Day 7
14 Apr 2018
Lalibela, Ethiopia
Mountain View Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, choose from these Your World experiences:

- Set off by mule or on foot to encounter the clifftop

Churchof Asheton Maryam.

- Explore the cave church of Neakuto Leab.

Embarking on a 4WD adventure, uncover the Axumite

cave church of Yemrehanna Kristos. The olive-wood panels

on which the church stands seemingly float above moory

grounds. Vervet monkeys may be spied in acacia trees.

Day 8
15 Apr 2018
Aksum, Ethiopia
Yared Zema International Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continuing our path along the historic route, we venture

to our final Ethiopian destination. Aksum only reveals that

which she wants us to know, and today we pry open the

enigma’s hidden secrets, wandering off the beaten track.

In the wrecks, relics and ruins, stone stelaes divulge

ancient tales through the voice of inscriptions dating

back over 1,600 years.

We retire tonight to the Yared Zema International Hotel.

Day 9
16 Apr 2018
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Grand Hyatt Dubai Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we farewell Ethiopia, enjoying a short flight to

Addis Ababa and onward to Dubai where we check into

our hotel, the Grand Hyatt Dubai.

Day 10
17 Apr 2018
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Shiraz, Iran
Homa Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Join a morning flight to Shiraz in Iran and spend this

afternoon on your own schedule. We dive into the city’s

intricacies until the sun casts a chalky tinge over vast

plains. Enjoy three nights at the Homa Hotel.

Day 11
18 Apr 2018
Shiraz, Iran
Homa Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

History told from brittle parchment and not the fingertip

of a tourist in sight. Iran is in a league of its own. We spend

our afternoon amongst the kaleidoscope of colour that

filters through the stain glass windows of Nasir ol Molk

Mosque. A wondrous reflection of fragmented hues

envelop the building.

Day 12
19 Apr 2018
Persepolis, Iran
Homa Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Achaemenid Dynasty, the first Persian empire, was

the largest the ancient world had ever seen, stretching

from Turkey to Egypt, and even touching on Asia. Our

day begins with a trip to Persepolis. Meaning ‘City of the

Persians’, we become acquainted with the original seat

of government during the Achaemenid Empire. Later we

return to Shiraz and perhaps venture to the bazaar or enjoy

a quiet afternoon for reflection.

Day 13
20 Apr 2018
Pasargadae, Iran
Yazd, Iran
Safaiyeh Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, our exploration begins in Pasargadae. Set against

the plain of Dashte Morghab, we delve into this fascinating

archaeological site as we please.

Those among us who relish the refreshing breeze on a

scorching day will simply adore the ingenious buildings of

Yazd, designed to trap the quietest draft and direct fresh

air to stuffy dwellings below. During our time in the desert

town, we stay cool and refreshed at the Safaiyeh Hotel.

Day 14
21 Apr 2018
Yazd, Iran
Safaiyeh Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The road less travelled tempts us today as we immerse

ourselves in one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions,

Zoroastrianism. Beginning with an expedition of one

of the Towers of Silence, we continue to the Zoroastrian

Fire Temple to gain a rare glimpse into the religion.

A primary symbol of the belief, fire, we are told represents

God’s light and wisdom. We also have the opportunity to

see a flame said to have been burning for over 1,500 years.

Day 15
22 Apr 2018
Isfahan, Iran
Abbasi Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sometimes the most fascinating sights are those you least

expect to encounter. Today we embark on an overland

journey to Na’in. Once known best for its ceramic

handiwork, the desert town is now renowned for carefully

crafted carpets and camel-wool cloaks. Continue this

afternoon to Isfahan, where we stay at the Abbasi Hotel.

Day 16
23 Apr 2018
Isfahan, Iran
Abbasi Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Mosques adorned with delicate frescoes. Glistening

ceramics against a backdrop of tender, leafy avenues.

The pride of Persia shines, a rich visual feast.

Visit Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Meaning ‘pattern of the

world’, the square owes much of its brilliance to the

surrounding buildings and mosques. Stroll at leisure

before crowds flock to the promenade. Absorb the lively

air of the afternoon with fierce bargaining at the Qesarieh

Bazaar. The thick husk of pomegranates wait to be

cracked open, revealing tiny arils of sweet juice inside.

Casting a sweet spell, Iranian music dances with spirals

of steaming tea. Ancient Persia is but the close of our

eyes away.

Day 17
24 Apr 2018
Isfahan, Iran
Abbasi Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We take a step closer to the heart of Iran with a visit

to the Masjed-e Jameh, also called the Friday Mosque.

Dominated by four prayer halls, each Iwan is designed

to reflect the era in which it was constructed, the result

of which being a fascinating echo of religious architecture

spanning 1,000 years. We also touch on Chehel Satun

Palace and Hasht Behesht, a 17th century pavilion.

Day 18
25 Apr 2018
Tehran , Iran
Espinas International Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Heading for Tehran, we have reached the final leg of our

journey. En route to the capital, we pass through Natanz

and Kashan. Here, charming oases play with our appetite

for the exotic. For our last two evenings, we unwind at the

five-star Espinas International Hotel.

Day 19
26 Apr 2018
Tehran , Iran
Espinas International Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The sun rises over Tehran on our last day of discovery.

Flecks of sunlight illuminate hand-painted tiles and

heavenly gardens at the former residence of Iran’s last

Royal Family. Later, we have the opportunity to visit the

National Archaeological Museum.

Over dinner this evening, celebrate all that we have

experienced. Share colourful tales with fellow travellers

and raise a glass (of tea, of course!) to our intrepid journey.

Day 20
27 Apr 2018
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tehran , Iran
None Breakfast

This morning, our minds are a patchwork of deserts, bazaars and the sounds of Iran. For our final transfer, we are taken to Tehran airport where we have the opportunity to farewell newfound friends.

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Food & Wine
  • Sightseeing
  • Wildlife & Nature


Travelling across lands more synonymous with famine and struggle than culture and historic significance, we seek an origin story never before disclosed. Extraordinary feats of ancient architecture confound us. The very beginning of mankind is exposed. And we lift a veil on the secrets of Iranian customs. On this journey, we not only unmask the beauty that has been hidden for too long, but countries both visionary and resilient are revealed. Join us on this experience, reserved for a group of just 24.

About Us

Captain’s Choice, creators of the world’s most life-enriching journeys, curated without compromise, continue to innovate and push the boundaries of luxury adventure and travel. Whether by private jet, small group hosted journeys, luxury and expedition voyages or land explorations, every decision is made with the guest’s experience and ultimate enjoyment in mind.

Insider Tip

Captain's Choice is the market leader in private jet travel, offering journeys to various parts of the world aboard its customised 757 jet.

Terms & Conditions

Each of our products has a slightly different set of terms and conditions depending on numerous factors. Please download the brochure containing the journey you are enquiring about and the relevant terms and conditions can be found at the very back.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Captain's Choice

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by