The final stop on your day-trip outside the city should be Pasargadae, an Achaemenid political center that predates Persepolis. Another 50 kilometers north of its more famous successor, it’s not the most convenient of destinations, but the striking solemnity of Cyrus the Great’s ancient tomb, now surrounded by inhospitably harsh terrain, justifies the effort. The founder of the Achaemenid Empire, his isolated tomb is built upon a broad-stepped base, and was allegedly visited by Alexander the Great himself, after he conquered Persepolis.