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Iran Adventure

From US$ 3,675 US$ 3,491
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highlights
  • 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. Modern Iran is a great fusion of civilisations – the Archaemedians, Alexander the Great, the Parthanians, Sassanians, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols, and Safavids – who all left their mark in innumerable ways.
  • 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 beautifully remote homestay with the Qashqai people.
The Iran Adventure tour starts and ends in Tehran. The Iran Adventure is an Explorer tour that takes 14 days taking you from Tehran, Iran and through other destinations in Asia.

Welcome to the hidden world of Iran. Travel through this fascinating country to discover refined Islamic cities, colourful bazaars, ancient Persian ruins, fascinating nomads and shimmering deserts. Whether you're relaxing in a teahouse in Tehran, enjoying guided tours of ancient cultural sites, or breaking bread with nomads on the harsh Iranian plateau, the warmth and hospitality of the Iranian people is endearing and the profound beauty of their land is mesmerising.
Welcome to Iran. You will be met on arrival at Tehran International airport and transferred to your hotel. There will be a Welcome Meeting at 12pm today. Please refer to your hotel noticeboard or talk to reception for more details. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have this on hand.

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 visit the superb Golestan Palace to view some of the excesses of the Qajar rulers, ramble through the enormous bazaar, and visit the Iman Khomeni Mosque. Later, you could try some fine Iranian cuisine like dizi (soup stew mashed into a paste) while enjoying traditional music at a local restaurant. As there's only a short time in Tehran on this trip, perhaps arrive a few days early and spend some time visiting the sites.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Catch a flight today from Tehran to Shiraz (approximately 2 hours). Shiraz is considered the Pearl of Persia and its very name evokes images of ancient times: tranquil gardens, lavish mansions, colourful woollen rugs, art, philosophy, poetry and of course, the famous Shiraz red wine (although, unfortunately, no longer found here). Shiraz is also a renowned centre of learning and boasts many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Known as Iran's cultural capital, this city was home to two of Persia's most famous poets in the 13th and 14th centuries, Hafez and Saadi, whose mausoleums are found here. Today you’ll take a walking tour around the city, stopping by Shahcheragh – a beautiful mausoleum for one of Imam Reza's brothers and the holiest site in Shiraz. You’ll also stop by Jame Atiq mosque, one of the oldest mosqes in the country. The tour ends with a visit to a traditional teahouse in the wonderful Bazar-e Vakil. In the bazaar you might also spot the members of nomadic groups who come to the city to stock up on provisions.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Your first stop today is Iran's premier attraction, Persepolis (approximately 1 hour). It was once the centre of the Persian Empire and one of the great cities of the ancient world, constructed in the reign of Darius I and taking 150 years to complete. The imposing gateways, exquisite relief carvings and towering columns will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world.
Later, consider visiting the lovely Eram Gardens, also known as the ‘Garden of Paradise’ (Bagh-e Eram), or the tombs of Hafez and Sa'di. Hafez was a Persian poet who is regarded as a literary giant and folk hero. Sa'di, another great poet and writer from Shiraz, was more of a scholar. Appreciate the intricate artwork of their tombs and understand their continued relevance and importance in Iranian society. In the centre of town is the Arg-e Karim Khan, a mud-brick citadel from the 18th century, a time when the whole of Persia was ruled by Karim Khan from Shiraz. Don't miss the room exhibiting historic photos from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the legendary tales depicted on the tiles at the entrance gate.There are many activities to fill your day, please speak to your trip leader who can help you with planning your day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Shiraz - Bagh-e Eram Gardens - IRR 150000
  • Shiraz - Tomb of Hafez - IRR 150000
Enjoy a free morning  in the ‘City of Flowers and Nightingales’, which has managed to retain its provincial, relaxed atmosphere and is a lovely place to explore. Perhaps visit the colourfully decorated Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, where sunlight streaming through stain glass windows fills the interior with kaleidoscopic colours. Later, in the afternoon travel on to meet your nomadic hosts. The Fars Province is famous for its nomadic people, and the barren landscape provides a stark contrast to the vibrancy and hospitality of its inhabitants. Iran has over 500 different nomadic tribes. The largest, the Qashqai, are Turkic speaking pastoral nomads who winter near the Persian Gulf and summer on the central Iranian Plateau. The area north of Shiraz has been the home of nomadic tribes for centuries. Migration was a way of life and herding cattle, sewing carpets and embroidery formed  the basis of these tribal economies. Today most of the nomads are more settled in the villages in the region but local tradition still prevails. We spend this evening in a simple local village home as we discover this way of life, share a meal some stories a song or two and perhaps even learn how to make local bread.
Accommodation
  • Nomad Tent or village homestay
Optional Activities
  • Shiraz - Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque and Khan Madraseh - Free
Say farewell to your nomad hosts and journey towards the town of Eghlid. In ancient times Eghlid acted as the main gateway from the north to Persepolis as other routes were too mountainous and difficult to pass. Check into your hotel in this sleepy town, then head out to visit Sassanid Empire ruins that date back 1,800 years, a Zoroastrian ‘Tower of Silence’, and the sacred shrine of Eghlid. Zoroastrianism, which dates back over 4,000 years, was the state religion of Iran before the arrival of Islam. Followers believe there is one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), and they worship communally in a Fire Temple or Agiary. The intriguing Towers of Silence are part of the Zoroastrian tradition. The towers are raised circular structures where the dead are laid out to be picked clean by scavenger birds.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Continue on your journey (approximately 1 hour) and arrive at the historical town of Abarqu, located in the desert valley beneath the Zagros Mountains. Check out the town’s main sights, which includes an ice house (a specially constructed house that acted like a fridge), the 11th century Gonbad Ali Dome, the Khan-e Aghazadeh Qajar-era mansion, the Jameh Mosque, and a 4,000-year-old cypress tree. Then travel across the stunning Zagros Mountains and reach the Zein-o-din Caravanserai. Set in the desolate Dasht-e Lut desert, Zein-o-din is a classic caravanserai built during the 16th century under the orders of Shah Abbas, who supposedly built 999 such hostels to promote business. The constantly mobile Silk Road travellers needed places to rest and shelter in the isolated areas between the widely spaced cities and towns, leading to the construction of many such caravanserais. Their main function was to receive travellers and store merchandise, so they were designed to be spacious enough to shelter guests, as well as goods. A night's stay in a caravanserai is a wonderful chance to step into the exotic shoes of a Silk Road merchant, and relive the age when this area hummed with travellers. Most of the rooms remain unchanged from days gone by, with carpets covering raised wooden floors, and heavy curtains rather than doors 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
Get up early and enjoy an authentic breakfast of freshly baked bread. Then enjoy free time to bask in the sunshine on the rooftop of the glorious caravanserai, overlooking the barren landscape of the surrounding desert plains. Travel by private van to Yazd (approximately 1 hour). 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 still retains a rustic feel today. Yazd is also the heart of the Zoroastrian religion. On arrival, set out on a walking tour visiting the Jameh Mosque, notable for its fine mosaics and beautiful exterior. From here you are ideally placed to explore the older parts of the city, which are some of the oldest on Earth according to UNESCO. Walk the narrow kuches (lanes), past simple courtyards and the ornate doors of the mud brick buildings. One of the most distinctive features of Yazd are the wind towers (‘badgirs’) that capture even the softest of breezes and send them to the buildings below in a forerunner of modern air-con. The water museum shows how the quants (underground water channels) brought water to the city from the mountains for thousands of years. You will also visit the Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, both vestiges of the city’s Zoroastrian heritage. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire and water are agents of ritual purity, and the fire in the Atashkadeh Fire Temple is said to have been continuously burning since 470 AD.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Yazd - Kharanaq-Chak-Cahk-Meybod tour
Today you have the choice of taking an optional excursion outside of Yazd, which includes the impressive Kharanak mud brick village, Chak Chak fire temple, and the Meybod citadel. The impressive town of Kharanak is believed to be 1,000 years old and you can explore the abandoned structures of this hillside settlement, peering into the houses of wealthy merchants and hammans (bathhouses). You will also explore the valley and nearby mountains and get great pictures of the aqueducts that formed part of the underground water system. The system is still used to irrigate the fields here – great shocks of green that sit against the brown desert. Chak Chak is one of the most important Zoroastrian pilgrimage sites in Iran, and you’ll climb up the mountainside to reach the fire temple – your efforts rewarded with wonderful views. Chak Chak means ‘drip, drip’, named for a trickle of holy water that drips inside the temple. After lunch, check out Narin Castle, thought to be the oldest mudbrick structure in Iran, and explore the still growing town of Meybod before returning to Yzad. If you're after a more relaxing day, then you can simply stay at the hotel – a traditional 19th-century traditional mansion – puff on a qalyan or try the local favourite, camel fesenjun, in the shady courtyard.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Depart Yazd and embark on a local bus ride to one of Iran's highlights, Esfahan (approximately 5 hours). Esfahan is quite simply one of the finest places in the Islamic world, and a visit here will leave you breathless. A 16th-century rhyme called it 'half the world' and, after spending a few days here, you might agree. There's an abundance of fine Islamic buildings, most of which are covered with the blue mosaic tiles Iran is famous for. There's also an enormous bazaar, which is perfect for shopping for exquisite Persian carpets. Or you can relax by the tranquil gardens, picturesque bridges and superb palaces. You’ll arrive in Esfahan during the late afternoon. This evening, you might like to stroll to the Zayandeh River and have a look at its historic bridges, which seem to have come straight from a fairytale. At several of the bridges local people gather to talk, drink tea and sing beautiful folk songs. This is a magical place to while away some time, and one of the most atmospheric places in all of Iran.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
You’ll have plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of Esfahan, beginning today with a half-day tour of the city. Your guide will give you an insight into life under Persia's greatest ruler, Shah Abbas, with the city reaching its peak and becoming the capital of Persia during his 16th century reign. Even though the capital was moved to Shiraz and then Tehran, the city still retains much of its past glory. You will start the tour at the immense Imam Square (formerly Naqsh-e Jahan Square), which covers an area of 82,500 square metres and makes it the second largest square in the world. The square is surrounded by many grand buildings, such as the Ali Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Qeysarieh Portal and the majestic Imam Mosque. Located in the west of Imam Square, the Ali Qapu Palace covers six floors and was originally built as the main palace of Shah Abbas, who used it to receive guests and foreign ambassadors. You’ll visit the atmospheric bazaar with its wonderful scents and spices, musical merchants' cries and, of course, thousands of locals bargaining for their most desired items. Walk the covered lanes of this sprawling marketplace, where shafts of light filter through celling and lattice, and browse for fabrics, spices, jewellery and other treasures.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Esfahan - Chehel Sotun Palace - IRR 150000
  • Esfahan - Manar Jomban (Shaking Minarets) - IRR 150000
You have a free day to explore this lovely city, so take time to wander along the city's many tree-lined boulevards and spacious gardens. Visit the Jameh Mosque (Friday Mosque), the biggest in all Iran and full of lovely designed stuccos, or the fresco-filled Chehel Sotun Palace, a relaxed complex with a water pool surrounded by shady tree. You could also discover the bizarre Manar Jomban (shaking minarets). Perhaps head to the Armenian Quarter and the Church of St. Joseph of Arimathea, which has a striking interior of gilded ceilings, walls and paintings. The stunning, delicate artwork of the dome depicts the biblical story of Genesis, from Creation to Man’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Make sure to take a stroll by the Zayandeh River and stop for a well-deserved chai at one of the stunning bridges.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Continue on by private van down the mountains, into the desert, and on to Kashan (approximately 3 hours). Kashan is a beautiful oasis city with a very long history – human settlement in the area dates back to the 4th millennium BC. It’s also a merchant town known for its high quality ceramics, silks, carpets, and some of the finest traditional houses in Iran. See these houses with visits to the Khan-e Borujerdi and Khan-e Tabatabei. These 19th-century khans were funded by wealthy merchants and feature lovely courtyards, lush gardens and fine intricate relief designs carved into stone. Khan-e Borujerdi was built in the 1840s for the affluent Tabatabaei family after the father set one condition of marriage: that his daughter be able to live in a home at least as lovely as his own. 18 years later, this exquisite Persian residential home was completed (though she did marry in the interim). Take some time for lunch, then head to the most impressive Islamic complex in Kashan – the Agha Bozorg Mosque and Madraseh, famous for its symmetrical design. Later, if you have the energy, take some free time to explore the town's other sights such as the Fin Gardens, a classical Persian vision of paradise and one of the most beautiful gardens in the Middle East. In the evening, there's an opportunity to experience some delicious Iranian cooking in the home of a local family.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Kashan - Fin Gardens
This morning, make your way from Kashan to Tehran (approximately 4 hours). Stop along the way to visit the still under construction holy shrine of Imam Khomeni, the leader of the Islamic Revolution. When completed, the Iranian’s believe the shrine will be one of the greatest buildings in the Islamic world. Revered as the father of the 1979 revolution, Imam Khomeni was buried here in 1989. His funeral was attended by an incredible 10 million people, making it the world's biggest. People from all around Iran come here to pay their respects. You’ll also visit the nearby Behesht-e Zahra, an enormous cemetery where many who lost their lives during the Iran-Iraq War are buried. With over 200,000 graves, it serves as a moving reminder of the futility of war. Arrive at your Tehran hotel this afternoon. Tonight you can relive your unforgettable adventure over an optional farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are free to depart at anytime. Please note you must check out of the hotel by 12pm.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotel (11 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Home Stay (1 night)
Meals
  • 13 Breakfast, 3 Dinner
Transport
  • Bus , Plane , Private Mini Bus
Included Activities
  • Tehran - City walking tour
  • Tehran - Golestan Palace visit
  • Tehran - Iman Mosque entrance and guided tour
  • Shiraz - City walking tour
  • Shiraz - Shahcheragh visit
  • Shiraz - Jame Atiq Mosque visit
  • Shiraz - Persepolis guided tour
  • Eghlid - Orientation walk
  • Yazd - City walking tour including Jameh Mosque
  • Yazd - Fire Temple and Towers of Silence visit
  • Esfahan - Sheik Lotfallah Mosque
  • Tehran - Iman Mosque entrance and guided tour
  • Esfahan - City walking tour
  • Esfahan - Ali Qapu Palace
  • Kashan - Meal with local family
  • Kashan - Traditional houses
  • Kashan - Agha Bozorg Mosque and Madraseh
  • Tehran - Shrine of Imam Khomeni
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Tehran are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Iran Adventure tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 14 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 12 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Tehran/Tehran
image description
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Iran Adventure
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. For any departures within 17 June 2018 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Iran Adventure tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Iran Adventure tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Iran Adventure tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    18 Apr 2018

  • Trip title

    Iran Adventure

  • Trip code

    HPSN

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018

  • Introduction

    Welcome to the hidden world of Iran. Travel through this fascinating country to discover refined Islamic cities, colourful bazaars, ancient Persian ruins, fascinating nomads and shimmering deserts. Whether you're relaxing in a teahouse in Tehran, enjoying guided tours of ancient cultural sites, or breaking bread with nomads on the harsh Iranian plateau, the warmth and hospitality of the Iranian people is endearing and the profound beauty of their land is mesmerising.

  • Style

    Original

  • Transport

    Bus,Plane,Private Mini Bus

  • Physical Rating

    2

  • Finish point description

    Parastoo Hotel is located in central Tehran, close to the Iran National Museum and Grand Bazaar. Rooms have ensuite bathrooms, satellite TV, air-conditioning & wifi

  • Finish point instructions

    We highly recommend you arrange a private departure transfer through Intrepid. If you are travelling on a British, US or Canadian passport, you must pre-arrange private transfers through Intrepid. Taxis can be arranged for around USD$50. The trip can take up to two hours depending on the time of your onwards flight and subsequent traffic conditions.

    If you have any difficulties with your departure transfer, please call our local representative Mr Reza: +989 337 408 300

  • Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new or training other group leaders.

    Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. In Iran, in accordance with local regulations your Leader will also be a licensed Tour Guide and will not only have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip; but will also have specialised knowledge on the sites visited and provide full guiding services.

  • Is this trip right for you

    Iran is one of the safest and friendliest places you can travel but it is very conservative. 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. Things don't get much more different to home than this!

    On arrival in Iran, all women must wear a headscarf and must also have their arms and legs covered. Men must also be conservatively dressed.

    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. Upon arrival, you as a foreigner will likely be whisked through customs but note that random bag checks do occur.

    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 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, so be prepared for some long travel days with lots of opportunity to take in the great landscapes.

    Accommodation at the Carvanserai, and Village homestay is basic with limited/shared facilities

    Due to the nature of the nomadic tribes we visit, there may be occasions when they are 'on the move' and we are not able to stay with or visit them. In this situation we will make arrangements to stay with a local village family.

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

    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.

    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.

  • Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

    DRINKING WATER:
    As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements.

    Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

  • Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

    Also, make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
    Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.

    TIPPING

    Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life and is more than just a reward for services rendered. In countries where wages are extremely low it is an essential means of supplementing income. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners and locals have to constantly hand out 'Baksheesh' as well - to park their cars, ensure fresh produce and pick up their mail. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.

    Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.

    TIPPING GUIDE

    To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

    - Basic restaurants – Round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loose change is generally fine.
    - Up-market restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
    - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
    - Your tour leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    EMERGENCY FUNDS

    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.



    TRAVELLERS TO IRAN PLEASE NOTE:
    Iran is very much a cash economy. This means travellers can rarely use debit or credit cards while in Iran. There are virtually no opportunities to withdraw cash in Iran. ATM’s are non-existent. Credit cards are also only accepted sporadically; there may be rare occasions in tourist-orientated shops that credit cards are accepted, otherwise cash is the main method of trade in Iran.

    If you are arriving into Tehran on Thursday afternoon or Friday we highly recommend passengers exchange money at the Airport as all other currency exchange houses in the city will be closed until Saturday.

  • Climate and seasonal

    RAMADAN 2018:
    In 2018, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 15 May through until 14 June, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.


    IRANIAN NEW YEAR:
    Please note that the Iranian New Year will take place from 19 March to 2 April 2018. Many Iranian banks and government offices will be closed for the week of this period. Iran Authorisation code request forms will not be accepted or processed during this time by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran


    WEEKEND & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN IRAN:
    Thursday (afternoon) and Friday are the weekend in Iran. Please note that there may be changes to operating hours of sites, museums and stores. If you are arriving over the weekend we recommend you change some money beforehand as Currency Exchanges may be closed over these days.
    Iran has a lot of public holidays. The dates of many of these holidays change annually as they are scheduled according to the lunar calendar. If you are arriving over a public holiday we recommend you change some money beforehand as Currency Exchanges will be closed over these days

  • A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.

    Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

    ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND CONTRABAND:
    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. If found, pork products, obscene material (even glossy magazines showing people in immodest poses), and controversial literature will all be confiscated by custom officials. Upon arrival, you as a foreigner will likely be whisked through customs but note that random bag checks do commonly occur.

  • Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made, should this occur. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    TWIN SHARE BASIS
    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite, this is noted in the special information section on each day

    FACILITIES
    In some accommodations bathrooms may be what can be referred to as a "wet room" this simply means that the shower recess will have no lip on it and may not even have a curtain. Extra care needs to be taken as if you are not familiar with this type of facility you may slip. Bathroom shoes are provided to prevent this and we recommend you use them.

    Most hotel in Iran do not offer coffee and tea making facilities.

    HEATING and COOLING
    air-conditioning is not always available and as this is a desert country the temperatures can be warm to very hot in the day and cooler in the evening.

    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    DEPOSITS
    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 of $400 per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed.

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (11 nights),Guesthouse (1 night),Home Stay (1 night)

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Physical preparation

    A reasonable level of fitness is expected and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip. Some of the archaeological sites and activities included involve a fair amount of walking.

  • Joining point description

    Parastoo Hotel is located in central Tehran, close to the Iran National Museum and Grand Bazaar. Rooms have ensuite bathrooms, satellite TV, air-conditioning & wifi

  • Joining point instructions

    Iman Khomeni International Airport is located 40km south of central Tehran. On arrival you may be asked to fill out a standard customs declaration form, which you show to the customs officer, who stamps it. It’s best that you keep this form until you leave Iran.

    We highly recommend you pre-book your arrival transfer through Intrepid. We do not recommend taking a taxi from the airport as they can be expensive and there can be lengthy delays waiting for an available one. If you are travelling on a British, US or Canadian passport, you must pre-arrange a private transfer through Intrepid. Please look out for our transfer operator after clearing customs, who will be holding a sign with your name.

    If you have difficulty locating the driver or you encounter unexpected delays before clearing customs and immigration - please call our local representative Mr Reza: +989 337 408 300

    Check-in time at our joining point hotel is after 12 noon. Early check-in is not guaranteed, however if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival.

  • Transport notes

    There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

    SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING:
    Occasionally you may experience armed security and convoys between select towns or regions. Convoys are used to ensure all travellers are transported safely and, in many cases, tourists are only allowed to travel in scheduled convoys of buses and jeeps. On rare occasions you may have an armed guard in your vehicle. We want to warn you so you are not alarmed. This is a practice designed to keep tourists safe, although at time it can appear a little overkill.

    INTERNAL FLIGHT: Tehran to Shiraz
    Please note this flight is included on your trip. The baggage allowance is 17kgs for checked bags.

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Intrepid Travel / Product Category: Explorer
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