Shiraz in southwest Iran is on the "Once Forbidden Lands" itinerary. (Mir Corp. )
The Silk Road conjures exotic goods -- ivory, wine, spices and gold -- transported along a network of trade routes between Asia and Europe. Mir Corp. hosts a 20-day trip along one route, from Tashkent in Uzbekistan to Tehran, where hand-made carpets are still sold along the way.
"Once Forbidden Lands of Central Asia & Iran" starts in the Uzbeki capital of Tashkent, continues on to Turkmenistan's capital city of Ashgabat and visits Tehran, Persepolis and Isfahan as well as other parts of Iran. It highlights craftsmen, markets, museums, ancient ruins and mosques that provide a window on culture past and present.
When: April 30, 2012, and Oct. 29, 2012.
Price: $6,695 a person double occupancy; single supplement, $995. The price includes accommodations, guides, most meals, transportation (including internal flights), museum and national park entrance fees, airport transfers, baggage handling and other items. International airfare is not included.
Note: The U.S.State Department issued a travel warning in October 2010 saying Americans visiting Iran "may be subject to harassment or arrest ..." Two American hikers had been imprisoned in Iran since 2009 on suspicion of spying and entering the country illegally. They were released Wednesday.
Info: Mir Corp., (800) 424-7289