Uncover the sights and splendours of Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey.

Turkey and Turkmenistan are the two most westerly of the Turkic nations, joined by a distinctive culture. Beginning in the surreal city of Ashgabat, we travel to Iran - an amazingly friendly country with a great tradition of hospitality - visiting the stunning Islamic architecture of Esfahan and exploring the ancient capital Persepolis. We follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, heading into Turkey through the mystical lands of Cappadocia and the underground cities of the Goreme Valley, before ending up in the bewitching city of Istanbul. The splendours of this captivating region will be revealed on our truly unique tour.

Start
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Countries
Turkey,
Turkmenistan,
Iran
Themes
Overland
Code
KDOA
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 21
Carbon offset
1 066kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Marvel at the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat
  • Camp amid the rugged Alborz Mountains
  • Explore the modern capital of Iran, Tehran
  • Travel through the magnificent ruins of Persepolis
  • Admire the mosques and palaces of Esfahan
  • See mystical cave dwellings in Cappadocia
  • Get lost on Istanbul’s captivating streets

Itinerary

Welcome to Turkmenistan and the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat.
Make tracks towards the Iranian border today and explore Shirvan, nestled on the banks of Atrak River.
Take a walk around the ancient city of Damghan, perhaps stopping to visit one of the oldest mosques in the world - Jamrh.
Travel into the heart of the central Iranian desert and enjoy a homestay in the small village of Garmeh.
Wind through the old city of Yazd - reputedly one of the oldest towns in the world. Sign up for a scrub in a local hamam or sample some tasty Iranian cuisine.
Keep quiet at the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence before heading to the historical Zein-o-din Caravanserai.
Explore the magnificent ruins of Persepolis en route to Shiraz. Spend free time in town visiting magnificent mosques and mausoleums or shopping in the fabulous Vakil Bazaar.
With stately bridges, blue-tiled Islamic buildings and a gargantuan city square, Esfahan provides welcome splashes of lush colour after a few days in the dry countryside. Take in the splendour of this city by visiting ornate mosques and historic palaces.
Discover the capital of Iran, Tehran, a sprawling, fascinating and intoxicating place. Visit the impressive Golestan Palace or get lost in one of the Tehran's museums.
Camp in the wilds of this beautiful, mountainous region. Discover the unique rock formations in the enchanting Kandovan region.
Nestled at the foot of Turkey's highest peak, Dogubayazit has a romantic palace-fortress that is fascinating to explore.
Travel overland into Eastern Turkey via ancient trade routes. Explore the Enchanted Valley where cones of soft volcanic rock have been carved to create mystical churches and mysterious dwellings.
Discover Cappadocia's Goreme Valley and underground troglodyte cities, fairy chimneys and caves. Perhaps also enjoy a traditional Turkish bath or sip tea with locals in the quaint cafes of this fascinating area of Turkey.
Farewell the fairy chimneys of Goreme and travel to the beautiful salt lake, Tuz Golu.
Visit Istanbul's Grand Bazaar to hunt for a bargain, admire the Blue Mosque or the imposing Aya Sofya. On the cobblestone streets of this fascinating city is where the Turkic and Persian Splendours adventure comes to an end.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (5 nights), Camping (with facilities) (2 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (17 nights)
Included activities
  • Esfahan walking tour
  • Goreme - Guided Goreme Valley tour
  • Guided tour of ancient ruins of Persepolis
  • Tehran walking tour
  • Visit to Lake Tuz

Dates

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Important notes

1. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.
2. Due to a British government travel warning, from September 2012 this itinerary will no longer be able to visit Iran. It will instead travel from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and then through Georgia to Turkey. Passengers already booked to travel in 2012 have been notified. The new itinerary for 2013 will be published by November.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes