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Northern Iran: Assassins’ Castles & Alborz Mountains


A world away from the Iran of deserts and cities lie the beautiful Alborz Mountains that rise up from the Caspian Sea. Our trip into this seldom visited part of this fascinating country offers a glimpse into a quieter, greener and more traditional side of Iran. We start by travelling to Alamut, one of the castles on Freya Stark’s route in her 1930s classic book, “The Valley of the Assassins”.

Then, after a visit to the impressive Roodkhan Castle and the beautiful and traditional village of Masule, we’ll head up into the higher ranges of the Alborz Mountains for some walks amongst some stunning mountain scenery. Here we may encounter the nomadic Shahsavan, pastoralists who have spent their summers on these high pastures tending to their herds for thousands of years. Using a variety of accommodation from hotels to homestays to camping, this trip combines both cultural and active elements to offer a balanced and varied insight into Iran’s mountainous North-West.

This diverse trip finishes with a stunning drive along the Azerbaijan border to Jolfa with its Armenian monastery and vibrant Tabriz with its 7km2 covered bazaar, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


  • Uncover the story of the Hashshashin, the ‘Order of Assassins’, and visit their castles
  • Haggle amongst the labyrinth alleys of Tabriz bazaar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy rural traditions and local hospitality as you stay with a local family in a remote village
  • Walk through the beautiful Alborz Mountains and wild camp along Neor Lake
  • Visit Golestan Palace and the Royal family’s extraordinary crown jewels in Tehran
  • Journey along the Azerbaijan border to Jolfa and see its Armenian monastery

Tour Includes:

  • Full services of a Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
  • All transport., predominantly in minibuses with the occasional 4WD
  • 14 nights' accommodation (10 in hotels, 2 in homestays and 2 camping)
  • All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
  • A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through our office)


Trip rating:

Adventure Rating
Adventure Rating - 8

Tours that fall into this category will often involve remote, unpredictable and long journeys in emerging destinations. They can be incredibly rewarding but are definitely best suited to experienced travellers.

Comfort Rating
Comfort Rating - 3

You can typically expect most nights to be spent in simple but authentic accommodation. Some nights may be spent in homestays or camping. If you’re specifically looking for luxury this is probably not the trip for you!

Fitness Rating
Fitness Rating - 7

These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section

Culture Rating
Culture Rating - 5

With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a good balance between exploring cultural sights (such as museums and historical buildings) on some days and experiencing the wonders of the great outdoors on other days.

Talk to us about Iran


If you like shopping, Iran has plenty to offer. Be sure to take cash, as credit cards may not be accepted.

Speak to one of our team on
+44 (0)20 8741 7390 or use the simple online form below

More Group Tours in Iran