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Iran Unveiled

Group Tour

15 Days From £3,665

Overview

From our experience, Iran is one of the most misunderstood countries on earth and it is our mission to dispel many of the clichéd preconceptions as we travel through this fascinating country – from the splendours of Shiraz to the nomadic tribes of the Zagros Mountains – enjoying the fabled Iranian hospitality along the way.

Throughout history Iran, or Persia as it was once called, has loomed large in world history, as indeed it does today. For some, highlights of this ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

14 x Breakfasts
14 x Lunches
14 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use a bus and our feet!

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. 

On this particular trip accommodation varies hugely, from comfortable 4* hotels to a family-run guesthouse with shared bathroom facilities, where it may be necessary to share with more than two people to a room. Most hotels in Iran tend to be functional rather than characterful though! Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Iran Unveiled
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR BEGINS IN TEHRAN

DAY 1: TOUR BEGINS IN TEHRAN

The tour begins at our hotel today around lunchtime. This afternoon we will visit the Archaeological Museum, giving us an introduction to this ancient country, and possibly visit some more of Tehran’s sights, time permitting.

Howeyzeh Hotel or similar
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: IN TEHRAN

DAY 2: IN TEHRAN

A full day’s sightseeing in the Iranian capital today includes a visit to the bazaar and a chance to explore the sumptuous Golestan Palace, the oldest of Tehran’s historic monuments. A World Heritage Site, this stunning complex of palaces and manicured gardens encompasses more than two centuries of Qajar rule. We will also see Iran’s imperial crown jewels this afternoon, one of the largest collections in the world. Housed in the vaults of Iran’s Central Bank, this magnificent display includes several elaborate crowns and a vast quantity of precious gems, including the glorious Peacock Throne. This evening, we will enjoy a cookery demo in a local home - sampling the results for dinner.

Howeyzeh Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: TEHRAN - KASHAN - MATIN ABAD

DAY 3: TEHRAN - KASHAN - MATIN ABAD

This morning we drive south into Iran’s mountainous and desert interior. We stop in Kashan for lunch where we visit the Royal Gardens of Fin, and the Agha Bozorg Mosque, which was built in the 18th century. The mosque is famous for its imposing dome and large sunken Madrassah, and the large wooden door that guards the entrance is said to have as many studs as there are verses of the Quran. We will also have a chance to visit one of the restored merchant houses for which Kashan is famed, before continuing on to Matin Abad, our desert stop for the night.

Matin Abad Desert Eco-Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: MATIN ABAD - YAZD

DAY 4: MATIN ABAD - YAZD

After exploring our desert surrounds, we drive on towards Yazd. We plan to stop for lunch in the small town of Na’in, where we can also visit one of the oldest mosques in Iran. In the afternoon we continue our drive through the desert, hopefully arriving in Yazd in time to watch an eerie sunset from the Towers of Silence, the unique Zoroastrian burial towers.

Moshir Garden Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: YAZD

DAY 5: YAZD

Our first port of call is the Bagh-e-Doulat Abad Gardens, which were once a residence of the former ruler Karim Khan Zand. They consist of small pavilions set in peaceful gardens and the tallest Badgir - wind-tower - in town. We'll also visit the magnificent Jameh - Friday - Mosque and the informative Water Museum. There'll then be time to wander the winding old city streets and bazaar, before trying to visit a Zurkhaneh - House of Strength - a mix of Sufism, nationalism, music and sport into this ancient spectacle.

Moshir Garden Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: YAZD - FARAGHE

DAY 6: YAZD - FARAGHE

Today we will drive through a number of rural villages before reaching Faraghe, home to our host family for the night. The afternoon will be spent in and around the village, seeing the old qanat water system, visiting the local farms and exploring the peaceful countryside. If we’re lucky, our host will entertain us with some traditional music tonight.

Family-run Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: FARAGHE - PERSEPOLIS - SHIRAZ

DAY 7: FARAGHE - PERSEPOLIS - SHIRAZ

Today we drive over a high mountain pass and through picturesque valleys to reach Pasagade. Here we will visit the six-tiered tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the great Persian Empire. We then visit the magnificent Achaemenid tombs at Nagsh e Rostam, cut high in cliffs above the ground, facing respectfully towards Persepolis. After lunch we continue on to the highlight of any visit to Iran: Darius the Great’s fabulous Persepolis. After a few hours exploring the site we finally make our way to our hotel in Shiraz to spend the night.

Pars International Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: SHIRAZ

DAY 8: SHIRAZ

A morning walking tour includes a visit to the imposing Arg-e Karim Khan fortress, with its 14-metre high circular towers which dominate the city centre. There will also be time to explore the bazaar and some of Shiraz’s famous gardens and teahouses before soaking up the atmosphere at the tomb of the great Persian poet Hafez.

Pars International Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: SHIRAZ - YASUJ

DAY 9: SHIRAZ - YASUJ

Today we drive north out of Shiraz, heading to the mountain town of Yasuj. Arriving around lunchtime we will continue our drive through Sisakht into the Golkuh Lake region, passing through a wonderful acorn forested area up to an altitude of 2200m. From the nearby Abzardu Spring, weather permitting, we plan to walk up to Gulkuh Lake at 2600m. There, it is possible to enjoy the scenery in the shadows of the stunning 4000m peaks of the Dena range of the Zagros Mountains. Later, we return to Yasuj to spend the night.

Azadi Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: YASUJ - ISFAHAN

DAY 10: YASUJ - ISFAHAN

We depart Yasuj today and drive on to Isfahan. Upon arrival we will check into our hotel, relax and take a leisurely walk to orientate ourselves in this fascinating city.

Safir Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: ISFAHAN

DAY 11: ISFAHAN

During our sightseeing today we will visit the Chehel Sotun Palace and Museum, and the magnificent Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Here we will explore some of the world’s most beautiful mosques, the Imam - Shah - Mosque and the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. We will also visit the magnificent six-storey Ali Qapu Palace, built in the 16th century to serve as a gateway to the royal palaces that are situated in the parklands beyond.

Safir Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: ISFAHAN

DAY 12: ISFAHAN

Another day to explore this fascinating city. Visit the Jameh Mosque, the Armenian Quarter and the many bridges that cross the Zayandeh River. There will be plenty of time to explore and shop in the famous bazaar, or just to chill out and people watch.

Safir Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: ISFAHAN - ABYANEH

DAY 13: ISFAHAN - ABYANEH

We depart Isfahan this morning and drive on to one of the most fascinating villages in the country, Abyaneh. Abyaneh is one of the last surviving Zoroastrian villages, located in a valley in the Karkas Mountains, and has some magnificent views of the surrounding red mountains. The ancient village is a muddle of narrow and sloped lanes, and crumbling mud-brick houses with lattice windows and fragile wooden balconies that cling to the slope.

Abyaneh Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: ABYANEH - QOM - TEHRAN

DAY 14: ABYANEH - QOM - TEHRAN

After exploring the sleepy village of Abyaneh we will make our way slowly back to Tehran, stopping en route in Qom. Iran’s second-holiest city, it is the golden dome and twin minarets of Fatima's shrine that dominate the city skyline and although part of the shrine is closed off to tourists, we will be able to visit. Continuing to Tehran, our final night will be spent at an airport hotel, conveniently located for onward flights tomorrow.

Ibis Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN TEHRAN

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN TEHRAN

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Challenging Perceptions

When discussing Responsible Travel with our local suppliers in Iran, the conclusion was that simply travelling to this largely misunderstood country was in fact responsible. That way, you see the beauty of the country for yourself, meet its welcoming locals and taste their delicious cuisine. In Tehran, for instance, we will be lucky enough to enjoy a cookery demo in a local home. Similarly, our Iran tours are all locally-led – investing in the people that form a part of the communities we visit, opening up conversations and sharing stories with new friends.  

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
QR 002 London Heathrow (LHR) 20:30 Doha International Airport (DOH) 06:10
QR 482 Doha International Airport (DOH) 08:00 Imam Khomeini Apt (IKA) 10:40
QR 483 Imam Khomeini Apt (IKA) 12:30 Doha International Airport (DOH) 14:10
QR 015 Doha International Airport (DOH) 15:50 London Heathrow (LHR) 20:25

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for Iran.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

It should also be noted that anyone with a passport showing evidence of having visited Israel within the last year (including having entered or left Jordan/ Egypt from posts which are known to border Israel) are likely to be denied a visa for Iran.

Moreover, as of January 2016 US policy (subject to change) has stated that anyone wishing to travel to or via the USA is required to apply for a US visa (rather than an ESTA) if they have travelled to Iran since March 2011. The process is fairly straightforward and you can read more about it here – www.wildfrontierstravel.com/us-visa - but this is just something you will need to be aware of if you have future plans to travel to or via the US.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

The Assassins' Castles

To the north-west of Tehran lie the Alborz Mountains where you’ll find ruined castles and beautiful green mountains. The whole area is very different from the south and provides a great contrast. Allow 3-7 days.

Neighbouring Countries

Fly to Mashhad and continue over the border to Turkmenistan; or cross the Alborz Mountains and continue into Armenia or Azerbaijan. The possibilities are endless!

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Warning

The FCDO sometimes advises against certain parts of this itinerary.

Wild Frontiers has many years’ experience of running trips which contravene FCDO advice but these decisions that are never taken lightly and are always taken in conjunction with our local partners after extensive consultation. As part of the booking process, you will need to sign a disclaimer to confirm you have read the advice, that you are still happy to travel and that you will obtain travel insurance which is not invalidated by the FCDO advice.

For more information, please see the Insurance section or contact us. Non-UK clients should be sure to check the travel advice of their own governments as well as the small print of their insurance policies. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Key Information

CLIMATE

The weather conditions can be extremely varied in Iran, however, spring and autumn are the best times to visit when the days are mainly warm and sunny. On average during these times you can expect daytime temperatures between the mid-20s to late-30s (C) and warm nights. During the winter months (December to March tours) you can typically expect daytime temperatures from 10C to 18C along with cold nights, and there is a higher possibility of rain.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. However, please bear in mind that there is a reasonable amount of walking involved with the sightseeing. Iran is a large country so please be aware that some of the distances we drive between cities on this tour can take a considerable portion of the day.

Please note that if you are a British, USA or Canadian passport holder in order to comply with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) visa regulations it is a mandatory requirement for us to book an airport transfer and a guide to accompany you for any additional time spent in Iran separately to the group.

Some clients feel that the variety of food available in Iranian restaurants can get a bit monotonous, but our tour leaders will do their best to vary the menu as much as is possible. Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians and those with special dietary requirements can be catered for, but the selection and variety is likely to be limited. It should also be noted that Iran is a 'dry' country and it is forbidden to take alcohol into the country.

Women should be aware that it will be necessary to follow Iranian dress code whenever they are out in public, which means being fully covered and wearing a headscarf.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation, but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except for in Faraghe village, where it is likely you will have to share with others due to limited room availability.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Elite policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 5476 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION