Since 1999 Zagros Ltd has been conducting annual spring and autumn tours in Persia for groups of 12 to 18 tourists from around the world. These tours have proved to be so exhilarating and popular that many participants have returned for a second exciting visit.
Dr Harry McQuillan and his wife Maureen, who together founded the tour company, have travelled extensively over several decades. They have a very special affinity with Persia where they met and lived for 20 years in various parts of the country. This couple speak Farsi, the Persian language, and accompany all tours in Persia. They are well known there whether it be in the bazaars or amongst the nomad tribes.
During the 2014 tour the Iran Cultural, Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organisation presented Harry with a certificate of appreciation for his exploration and tourism efforts in Iran.
Harry McQuillan has a Ph.D degree in geology and spent many years on horseback geologically mapping vast tracts of the Zagros Mountains He is a recognised lecturer and has published extensively. His special expertise is in the geology and structure of the richly oil bearing Zagros Fold Belt. For 5 years he was Associate Professor of Geology at Shiraz University. Harry has a passion for the country's ancient culture and has a natural aptitude for bringing to life, not only the geology of the Zagros but also the country's history chronicled in an abundance of archaeological sites some of which he has recorded for the first time. His discovery in 1963 of the remains of the last known Persian lion in a high mountain "tang" gives him a special link to the past when Elamites presented lion cubs to Darius at Persepolis 2500 years ago.
Maureen McQuillan, who assists in all tours to Persia, initially went to work for an influential family in Tehran. After meeting Harry she accompanied him on exploration surveys in the Zagros Mountains amongst the nomadic tribes. When the family lived in Shiraz she established a primary school and had social contact with many Persian families.
The McQuillans are assisted by a Persian guide, Leila Farmani, who has an extensive knowledge of the country and its history and ensures an efficient travel and accommodation programme. Leila is an especial adjunct to our tours since she has spent time in New Zealand and has experience in India, Turkey and Germany where she has represented her country in travel exhibitions. Leila visited many of her New Zealand tourists in their homes during her time in NZ.
Dr Harry McQuillan and his wife Maureen, who over several decades have developed a very special affinity with Persia
"Harold Nicholson once wrote 'fields of gold, hills of amethyst and two thousand years of silence' when describing Iran.
How apt, - but it does not illicit the fragrance of orange blossom in Shiraz, the magnificent tribal and woven rugs, the blues in the mosques of Esfahan, the excitement of finding fossils in the Zagros Mountains and the overpowering sense of history found while visiting Persepolis.
Maureen and Harry have a great knowledge and love of the country, and their tour for us will always be a highlight in our memories"
Margaret & Arthur Henley
Atawhai, Nelson, New Zealand.
"Iran is an Islamic country full of history - way back even before Christ! It's an eye opener for a Malaysian to visit the origin of the Islamic civilisation".
Tan Sri, Dato, Hj, Dr. Ahmad Azizuddin,