Iran is a country full of wonderful surprises, a vast and fascinating history, profound beauty and warm and welcoming people.
From the capital of Tehran, we travel west through the highlands to the city of Tabriz, home to one of the oldest bazaars in the world.
From there we will then cross the border into Turkey and the Kurdish town of Dogubayazit, before overlanding to Cappadocia where we explore the underground cities and Byzantine rock-hewn churches of the Göreme Valley.
Finally we will travel west to the city of Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.
Border Information: if joining in Istanbul, you will most likely enter Turkey at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IATA code: IST).
There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting.
If you are travelling beyond Tehran, your tour leader will need to carefully check your visa situation for your entire trip - if anybody that has arranged to apply for an Iranian visa in Istanbul, we will visit the Iranian embassy immediately after our meeting. the rest of the day will be free to explore the incredible city of Istanbul.
In Istanbul we will stay in dorm accommodation in a fantastic hostel with good facilities, which is a 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Istanbul before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Istanbul.
*Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*
Today we will have a free day to explore the myriad of highlights in the old Byzantine and Ottoman capital. There are many places to visit, such as the spectacular Blue Mosque, the colossal Hagia Sophia, the bewildering Grand Bazaar, the phenomenal Topkap Palace, and a ferry cruise on the Bosphorus river.
Today we start our journey with a full day's drive east to Göreme, a small enchanting town in the heart of the Cappadocia mountains.
In Göreme we will stay in a well-equipped hostel - please note that dorm beds are sometimes used here.
Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
We will have a 2 full days to explore Göreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during our time here.
Over the next two days we will travel through the stunning landscapes in eastern Turkey towards the Kurdish town of Do ubayaz t.
We will aim to wild camp or stay at a basic local campsite near Sivas on the first night, and near Erzurum on the second.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours each day.
Today we will complete our drive to the Kurdish town of Do ubayaz t. On arrival we will have an included visit to the Ishak Pasha Palace and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and the nearby Mount Ararat.
In Do ubayaz t we will stay in a basic local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Border Information: Exit Turkey at Gurbulak, enter Iran at Bazargan.
Today we will drive across the Iranian border to the city of Tabriz, where we will have free time to explore some of the sights of the old town.
In Tabriz we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.
Today we will continue our journey east to the small town of Zanjan, where we have free time to explore and possibly visit the fascinating historical laundry hall of Rakhatshor-Khaneh.
In Zanjan we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Today we will have an included visit to the impressive Dome of Soltaniyeh, just outside of Zanjan. The 14th-century mausoleum is the 3rd largest dome in the world.
After our visit we will continue our drive to the buzzing and chaotic Iranian capital of Tehran.
In Tehran we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Border Information: If leaving in Tehran, you will most likely exit Iran at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA code: IKA).
This morning we will have an included tour of the stunning Golestan Palace and the fascinating National Museum of Iran.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Tehran. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight.
Please note that due to restrictions on citizens of the UK, USA and Canada being permitted to remain unaccompanied in Iran, we will only be able to book one extra night of accommodation in Tehran for these nationalities at the end of this trip. You will also be required to book an airport transfer in advance via Dragoman. Please ensure the correct dates for your plans are clearly stated on all your visa applications.
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Trip Name: Istanbul to Tehran
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: $1,740
Supplier Tour ID: ZUI1/162960
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