Be mesmerised by the richness of Iranian culture and scenery

Conservative and unconventional, deeply religious and deeply surprising, Iran doesn’t fit into any easy pigeonhole. Spend two weeks following the ancient Silk Road through this under-touristed country to discover refined Islamic cities, colourful bazaars, ancient ruins, fascinating nomadic cultures and shimmering deserts. Whether you're relaxing in a teahouse in Tehran, enjoying guided tours of ancient cultural sites, or breaking bread with locals on the harsh Iranian plateau, the warmth and hospitality of the Iranian people is endearing, and the profound beauty of their land is mesmerising.

Cyber Sale - Save BIG on trips worldwide

Finals days for our biggest sale of the year! Hurry, book by 8 December to lock in your 2020 adventure for less.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Tehran, Iran
Finish
Tehran, Iran
Destination
Iran
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
HPSN
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover an Iran beyond the media portrayals of a repressive and dour regime – this is a country full of warm, lively and friendly people.

  • Explore the rich history told in the ancient ruins that lie across the country, many of which sit in remote and isolated landscapes that only add to their magic.

  • Experience the wondrous remains of the ancient capital of Persepolis – the scale and grandeur will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world.

  • Immerse yourself in rural nomadic life with a remote homestay with the Qashqai people in Fars Province, enjoying meals, stories and songs.

  • Slip into the heeled-sandals of a Silk Road merchant with an overnight stay in a classic 16th-century caravanserai, located in the vast salt desert of Zein-o-din.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. It is very important that before you sign up for this tour you are committed to following a strict dress code (particularly for women) in what may be quite warm weather. Women must wear a headscarf and must also have their arms and legs covered. Men must also be conservatively dressed with arms and legs covered.

  • Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran and severe penalties will be incurred by anyone attempting to bring it into the country. Drug laws are also extremely strict, and travellers face lengthy jail terms if caught. As a foreigner, you will likely be whisked through customs but note that random bag checks do occur.

  • This trip has some wonderful accommodations experiences that really immerse you in the culture of Iran. For this reason, on three nights there is no single supplement available, as we stay in unique accommodations like a restored caravanserai, the home of a nomadic family and an eco-lodge. These are all basic with limited or shared facilities

  • You’ll find many of the spectacular ruins and sites in Iran are not managed as tightly as you may be used to. The pathways around some of the sites may be uneven, rocky or dusty. Some of the guided trips may involve quite a lot of walking in remote locations where you will be exposed to the elements. Please bring comfortable walking shoes and be prepared with hats, sunscreen, water or layers for cooler weather.

  • Iran is a big country and this trip covers a lot in two weeks. Be prepared to sit back in your private vehicle (or on a train) and watch the scenery go by on some long travel days.

  • Please note that we use a local supplier for your arrival transfer. As tourism is a developing industry in Iran, it is possible your driver will not speak English.

  • Getting a visa for Iran can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. It may take a couple of weeks to get your authorisation code, and then it can take up to 30 days to receive your visa back from the embassy or consulate. Rules can and do change often – this is the nature of the destination. We are here to help you through it.

Itinerary

Welcome to Tehran! Iran's capital is exciting, noisy and chaotic. Home to 15 million people, Tehran is the country's beating heart and where its true national identity is found. Expect to see women wearing full-length chadors competing for space with young and hip girls in figure-hugging manteau and headscarves. You will be met on arrival at Tehran International Airport and transferred to your hotel. There will be a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. After the meeting, your leader can give you advice on where to go for good Iranian cuisine like dizi (soup stew mashed into a paste). Most traditional restaurants will also feature a live band playing classic Iranian tunes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tehran - Carpet Museum - IRR300000
  • Tehran -Treasury of National Jewels - IRR3000000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

In order to arrange your airport transfer, please provide your flight details to your travel agent or Intrepid rep two weeks before your trip begins. Once you have provided your flight details, a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel on arrival.

Optional Activities are entry only. Please . The National Jewelry Treasury is open Sat - Tue (2:00 PM - 4:00 PM)

Discover Tehran on a walking tour with your local leader. Visit the World Heritage-listed Golestan Palace, an opulent masterpiece of the Qajar era that is decorated with beautifully painted tiles and set around an elegant garden and the National Museum.  Check out the labyrinthian Tehran Grand Bazaar before heading to the train station in the afternoon. Remember to grab some snacks before you go so you’ve got something to munch on for dinner on board your train journey this evening.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tehran - Golestan Palace Entrance
  • Tehran - City walking tour
  • Tehran - Iran National Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The current schedule for the train from Tehran to Yazd will see us departing Tehran on the 15.50 service which will arrive in Yazd at 22.00.  After breakfast this morning please check out of your room and ensure you have all your belongings.  Your luggage will remain on the bus today and after our city tour we will travel direct to the station.
Welcome to Yazd! This ancient desert city was a major stop on the caravan routes to central Asia and India during the Silk Road period – Marco Polo even visited the city on his way to China – and it retains a rustic feel to this day. Hit the streets on a walking tour, visit the Amir Chakmaq complex, then walk through the narrow kuches (lanes) past simple courtyards and the ornate doors of local mud brick buildings.
One of the most distinctive features of Yazd are the badgirs (wind towers) that capture even the softest of breezes before sending them to the buildings below, cooling them off as a forerunner of modern air-con. Learn how underground water channels kept the city hydrated with H2O from the mountains with a visit to the Water Museum. Finally, stop in at the local Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, both vestiges of the city’s Zoroastrian past. In Zoroastrianism, fire and water are agents of ritual purity, and the fire in the Fire Temple is said to have been continuously burning since AD 470.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yazd - Guided walking tour
  • Yazd - Fire Temple and Towers of Silence visit
  • Yazd - Amir Chakmaq visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning join an excursion outside of Yazd, including stops at the abandoned Kharanak mud-brick village, a hike to the mountaintop Chak Chak fire temple, you will also explore the valley and nearby mountains with their ancient irrigation system and water ducts. 

In the afternoon, continue to Zein-o-din Caravanserai. Set in the Dasht-e Lut salt desert, this classic desert inn was built during the 16th century. A night's stay in a caravanserai is a wonderful chance to step into the shoes of a Silk Road merchant, as most of the rooms remain unchanged from days gone by, with carpets covering raised wooden floors and heavy curtains separating rooms from the hallway. Like Silk Road travellers before you, experience a rich red sunset while the night sky fills with stars.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yazd - Kharanaq-Chak-Cahk Excursion
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast, begin the 6-hour journey to Shiraz, with a stop en route at Abarkooh. Spend a little time checking out Abarkooh’s ancient icehouse (a passive refrigerator), and a 4000-year-old cypress tree. Continue to Shiraz, arriving in the late afternoon. A city of poets and gardens, Shiraz has been considered the centre of Persian culture for thousands of years. Get your bearings on a walking tour with your leader.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Abarkuh - Cypress of Abarkuh
  • Abarkouh - Ice Houses
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise and shine for a day of exploring this artistic city.  First thing this morning we visit the colourfully decorated Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, where sunlight streaming through stain glass windows fills the interior with kaleidoscopic colours, best enjoyed in the early morning light.  Take to streets on a walking tour and discover the Karim Khan citadel before strolling the alleys and lanes of one of Iran's most loved Bazaars Vakil, a great spot to sit and chat and enjoy a glass of orange blossom tea.  The highlight of the tour today may be your guided visit of Shahcheragh. This glittering mosque and funerary monument is a popular pilgrimage site, sure to impress even non-believers with its beauty and grandeur.  We finish our tour today at Bagh e Eram Gardens arguably one of the most famous and beautiful Persian gardens in all of Iran. Later perhaps get your leader to take you to the Tomb of Hafez see his intricately carved tomb, where Iranians come to pay their respects and place flowers, your local Leader just may recite some poetry for you.

 Settle in this evening for a home-cooked meal with some locals. A city of artists and dreamers, the perfect introduction to Shiraz is through its people.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Shiraz - City walking tour
  • Shiraz - Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque
  • Shiraz - Shahcheragh guided tour
  • Shiraz - Bagh-e Eram Gardens
  • Shiraz - Home cooked meal
Optional Activities
  • Shiraz - Tomb of Hafez - IRR500000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Just 1 hour from Shiraz lies the ancient city of Persepolis. Once the centre of the Persian Empire and one of the great cities of the ancient world, Persepolis was constructed during the reign of Darius I and took 150 years to complete. The imposing gateways, exquisite relief carvings and towering columns still impress today. Enjoy a guided tour of this splendid and somewhat mysterious ancient city. In the afternoon, journey into Fars Province. Your hosts this evening are Qashqai, Turkic speaking pastoral nomads who winter near the Persian Gulf and summer on the central Iranian Plateau. For many, migration is still a way of life, though some traditionally nomadic communities are now settled in villages scattered throughout the region. Spend the evening with a family in one such local village, sharing a meal, stories and songs.
Accommodation
  • Home Stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Persepolis - Entrance and Guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information

Backpacks are not permitted in Persepolis.

Tonight’s accommodation is very simple. We share close quarters in the home. For your comfort, a simple foam mattress, pillows and blankets are provided, but consider bringing your own thermarest (or similar) if you’d like the extra padding. Warm clothes are also a good idea. Expect the unexpected – anything can happen, from a simple night in with local families to an invitation to a nomad wedding! Bathrooms facilities are shared, but a western toilet is available.
Spend the morning baking bread with your host family, before saying goodbye and hitting the road for the 4-hour drive to Izadkhast. On arrival settle into your eco-lodge and get to know your hosts. Izadkhast is a relatively small city with a population of around 10,000, primarily known for the unique ancient buildings that lie within the city boundary. Your night here is a great opportunity to experience more of local life in Fars Province.
Accommodation
  • Eco Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your accommodation this evening will have shared facilities.
After breakfast explore the Complex of Izadkhast with your leader. Many aspects of the ancient city remain, such as the caravanserai where Silk Road travellers would have stopped to rest hundreds of years ago. You’ll also explore a bridge from the Safavid era and go inside the city’s eponymous castle to wander through alleyways and rooms built, like all structures here, from earthen materials. But perhaps the most poignant structures in this ancient city are the small homes where it’s easy to imagine common folk living over 1500 years ago. Continue to Esfahan (2 hours), which a 16th-century rhyme described as 'half the world'. After spending a few days here, you might be inclined to agree. On arrival head out for an orientation walk with your leader, making your way to Khaju Bridge. Join the locals, who gather to talk, drink tea and sing folk songs in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Izadkhast - Complex including castle and Caravanserai
  • Esfahan - Khaju & Si-o-seh Pol Bridges
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Soak up the atmosphere of Esfahan during a half-day tour of the city. Your leader will give you some insight into life under the rule of Shah Abbas, also called Abbas the Great, who came to power in the 16th century and moved the kingdom’s capital to Esfahan. Begin the tour at the immense Imam Square (formerly Naqsh-e Jahan Square), which covers an area of 82,500 square metres and is surrounded by Iranian master architecture like the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Qeysarieh Portal and the Imam Mosque. Continue to Ali Qapu, a grand 17th-century palace with six floors that can only be accessed by a spiral staircase. Next up is the local bazaar, where you can walk the covered lanes and browse for fabrics, jewellery and other treasures with the locals. After the tour, the rest of the day is free for you to do as you please.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esfahan - Sheik Lotfallah Mosque
  • Esfahan - Iman Mosque entrance and guided tour
  • Esfahan - City walking tour
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Esfahan - Qeysariye Bazaar
Optional Activities
  • Yazd - Jameh Mosque - IRR500000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Set out on a morning walking tour of the Christian-Armenian quarter of Esfahan with your leader. This area of the city, known New Jolfa, was established the early 17th century. Abbas the Great transported over 150,000 Armenians here and offered them an oasis of religious freedom in exchange for their contribution to the economy and culture of Esfahan. After exploring a little with your leader, you are free to check out Esfahan at your own pace. The Vank Cathedral is worth a look if you’re impressed by frescos (even if you’re not, these are particularly stunning), as are the famous Manar Jomban (Shaking Minarets). The Chehel Sotun Palace, with its garden and pools, is a serene place to while away an hour. Your leader is there to help you get the most out of your free time, so don’t forget to ask their advice on which sites to prioritise.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esfahan - Manar Jomban (Shaking Minarets)
  • Esfahan - Vank Cathedral
Optional Activities
  • Esfahan - Chehel Sotun Palace - IRR500000
  • Esfahan - Esfahan Music Museum - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Your leader my suggest a group tour for your free time. It is important to note that under the regulations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran, USA, UK and Canadian passport holders cannot participate in independent travel in Iran and must take the guided tour option, or stay in their hotel during free time. Please speak to your travel agent or Intrepid rep for more details.
This morning drive 2 hours to Kashan, a merchant town known for its high-quality ceramics, silks, carpets and fine houses. Spend time at the fascinating Tabataei House, built in the 1840s for the affluent Tabatabaei family, exceptional attention was paid to every architectural details of this building as dictated by the geographical and climatic conditions of the area.  Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure in Kashan, perhaps relaxing in your accommodation. In the evening, travel to a local family’s home to share dinner and enjoy some classic Iranian hospitality.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kashan - Meal with local family
  • Kashan -Tabataei house
  • Kashan - Bazaar
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast check out the lush Fin Garden (Bagh-e Tarikhi-ye Fin), a historic and classical Persian garden that contains Kashan's Fin Bath. It was also the site of an assassination in 1852. Bid farewell to Kashan and return to Tehran (approximately 3 hours). As this is the final night of your tour, be sure to pick your leader’s brain for any last-minute tips on where to shop and what to eat, and consider organising to eat dinner as a group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens entrance and guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Intrepid Iran Adventure has come to an end. If you’re not flying out until tomorrow, consider taking an Urban Adventure to get to know the city a little better. Perhaps meet a local family in their home for enlightening conversation over a delicious home cooked meal on the Persian Hospitality tour. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Tehran-tours.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 5 dinners

Transport

Train, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), Guest House (1 night) Eco Lodge(1 night), Home Stay (1 night)

Included activities

  • Tehran - Golestan Palace Entrance
  • Tehran - City walking tour
  • Tehran - Iran National Museum
  • Yazd - Guided walking tour
  • Yazd - Fire Temple and Towers of Silence visit
  • Yazd - Amir Chakmaq visit
  • Yazd - Kharanaq-Chak-Cahk Excursion
  • Abarkuh - Cypress of Abarkuh
  • Abarkouh - Ice Houses
  • Shiraz - City walking tour
  • Shiraz - Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque
  • Shiraz - Shahcheragh guided tour
  • Shiraz - Bagh-e Eram Gardens
  • Shiraz - Home cooked meal
  • Persepolis - Entrance and Guided tour
  • Izadkhast - Complex including castle and Caravanserai
  • Esfahan - Khaju & Si-o-seh Pol Bridges
  • Esfahan - Sheik Lotfallah Mosque
  • Esfahan - Iman Mosque entrance and guided tour
  • Esfahan - City walking tour
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Esfahan - Qeysariye Bazaar
  • Esfahan - Manar Jomban (Shaking Minarets)
  • Esfahan - Vank Cathedral
  • Kashan - Meal with local family
  • Kashan -Tabataei house
  • Kashan - Bazaar
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens entrance and guided tour

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Iran Adventure trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. Single Supplement - A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 4 (Caravanserai) Day 7 (Home stay) Day 8 (Eco-lodge) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. 

2. Welcome Meeting - This trip starts at 6.00pm on day one.

3. Transfers - A complimentary airport arrival and departure transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

4. Visa Information - Please note that US, British and Canadian passport holders will need to book this trip at least 3 months before departure as this is the length of time it takes to process a visa for these nationalities. The application for visa should be made at the time of booking or at least 3 months prior to departure date. There may also be further travel restrictions that apply to these nationalities including restrictions for when you can arrive and depart. Please see the visa section in this essential trip information below for more details and ensure you discuss options with your booking agent before confirming non-refundable airfares.

Please see our online visa information for more details. Simply select the relevant nationality in the drop down list to access detailed visa information http://www.intrepidtravel.com/iran-visa-application-form

5. Important Money Matters
Please note that travellers cannot use debit or credit cards while in Iran. You will need to bring all the money you will need for your entire trip with you. Please read through the money matters section of your essential trip information for further details

6. This itinerary has many included activities and free time for you to rest, relax or discover. Please keep in mind that under the regulations of the Iranian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, US, UK and Canadian travellers must be accompanied by a local host (Intrepid's local Operator) on all activities. For this reason your Tour Leader may suggest optional activities during this free time that are organised by our Operator at your own expense. Alternately this free time is the perfect opportunity to relax in your hotel.

7. Booking Conditions
Please note deposits on this trip are non refundable and non-transferable as per our Terms and Conditions. You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit per person for your booking to be confirmed.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information

Reviews