Yazd lies in an oasis on the edge of the Kavir Desert at the foot of tall mountains. Allow two days to see the Friday Mosque (and its turquoise blue mosaic dome), roam the covered bazaars, observe the historical remains of the Zoroastrian way of life (the Zoroastrians used to leave their dead for the vultures to dispose of) and stroll through the half-buried fortified desert villages nearby. Be sure to have a meal at the glorious 18th-century Khan Bathhouse, now a restaurant, which still boasts beautiful white-onyx pools and stained-glass skylights. 425 mi/690 km southeast of Tehran.

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