Population: 303,000

Kashan is the epitome of all that is essentially Persian – a city of mosques and caravanserai; carpets and ceramics; bazaars and stately gardens. It is the first of the large oases along the Qom-Kerman road which runs along the edge of the central deserts of Iran.

Archaeologically the area has been shown to have been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC, however Kashan does not appear in written history until the Seljuk period (1051-1220). One story sites Kashan as the place from which the Magi (wise men of Christian legend) set out.

This lovely oasis city was also a favorite of Shah Abbas I who is buried here.