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The Ultimate Iran Adventure

Step into Persia, properly

DIFFICULTY: Moderate

TOTAL DISTANCE: 1200 km

MAX ALTITUDE: 3100 meters

TOUR DURATION: 12 days

TOTAL HIKING DAYS: 3 Days

LODGING: Mix of local, camp, hotels

GROUP SIZE: 12 people

Overview

Gorgeous mosques. Mouth watering food. Trekking to remote nomadic camps. Persian culture. City highlights. Artisan markets. Massive sand dunes. 

This is the kind of adventure tour in Iran that we want to take you on.

Come with us as we experience the Zagros Mountains, stay in remote Qasqhai nomad camps, explore the culture of some Iran’s most beautiful cities, and become a member of a fun-loving team of adventurous travelers.

We’ve been leading trips in Iran for the last several years and we have formed many lasting relationships here. Our unique connections allow us to show you a side of one of the most fascinating countries on the planet and experience Iran in a way that others can’t.

So join us on an Iranian adventure of a lifetime and let us guide you through all the buzz, beauty, and wonder that this country has to offer. 

Nobody travels in Iran like Epic does – we guarantee it. 

Who This Trip is For

Iran is for you if you enjoy…

  • NATURE: Iran is home to some of the most stunning desert and mountain landscapes in the Middle East. We’re going to explore as much as possible.
  • TREKKING: We embark on a multi day trek through nomadic settlements, walking between camps in the Zagros mountains. This is what a real adventure tour in Iran is all about.
  • LOCAL CUISINE: Because we travel to different regions in Iran you have the opportunity to taste a variety of mouth-watering food – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Seriously, all the meals are the best.
  • HISTORY: The Persian Empire formed one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen. If you love history, there is something to learn around every corner.
  • OFF THE BEATEN PATH ADVENTURE: We visit places in Iran that solo travelers can’t go to. The trip is for travelers who truly want to connect to places, local people, landscapes, and food without being rushed in the process. 
  • LOCAL HANDICRAFTS: We make sure to include some of the most authentic bazaars and handy craft shops in the country as a part of this itinerary. Be prepared to bring lots of gifts back home.

Upcoming Dates

Dates

Spots

Deposit

Full

September 18th - 29th (2022) Limited$600$2400
October 1st - 12th (2022)SOLD OUT$600$2400
May 8th - 19th (2023)Available$600$2400

Have a question or ready to book?

Whether you’re just curious about this trip or are ready to make a deposit, we’re here for you.

To submit an inquiry or make a trip deposit, please fill out and submit the form below.

    Your Trip Leaders

    Pedro Ricardo Dias

    Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

    Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro will be leading his 11th tour in Iran with EBT this coming spring 2022.

    When Pedro’s not working as a guide with Epic Backpacker Tours, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning his next adventure missions, logistics, and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

    Highlights of our Iran Tour

    • Discover the highlights of Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz
    • Embark on a multi-day trek between off the beaten path nomadic camps
    • Experience genuine Iranian hospitality
    • Marvel at the ruins of Persepolis
    • Take in the stunning architecture in Isfahan
    • Devour delicious Persian meals and foods 
    • Learn about Qasqhai nomadic culture
    • Explore ancient mosques, markets, and important historical sites
    • Visit the former USA Embassy in Tehran
    • Meet with local artisans 
    • Sleep in comfortable hotels and guesthouses 

    Itinerary

    Arrive into Tehran airport where you will be met by the EBT team (if you are arriving within 24 hours of the start of the tour); we’ll ferry you to HQ where you can relax and freshen up. Note: accommodation pre-tour is not included.

    Once back at our beautiful boutique hotel, you can freshen up until we head out into the fabled city of Tehran, an ancient city of proud traditions, bustling markets and friendly people.

    In the afternoon we will go north to Tajrish to explore a photogenic local bazaar. We’ll also visit Imamzadeh Saleh Mausoleum, one of Tehran’s most attractive shrines and a beautiful spot to people watch at sunset.

    We wrap up the days’ activities with a visit to Tabiat Bridge – an iconic green park with nice city views of Tehran.

    In the evening, we celebrate our first days’ adventuring in Iran with our first group meal together. Lots of tasty traditional Iranian food will be on the menu!

    Today, we take to the streets to properly explore this massive city of +10 million inhabitants.

    Tehran is very different across neighborhoods and there is a strong contrast between the North and the South.

    First up is the Grand Bazaar – a maze of bustling alleys that stretches for more than 10 km. Later on, we move to Golestan Palace, where we can explore the opulence and excesses of the Qajar Dynasty.

    After lunch, we’ll stop to visit the old US Embassy – focal point of the 79′ revolution, where 52 USA diplomatic staff were held hostage for 444 days. These days the US Embassy is a museum with lots of the original embassy and CIA communication equipment still in the building. 

    We’ll round off the day with another tasty feast of traditional Iranian cuisine!

    Today, we hit the road and drive overland for six hours to reach Varzaneh. We travel overland by a comfortable private vehicle.

    We stop to have a meal at the house of a local family en route. 

    In Varzaneh, we stay in a traditional guesthouse run by a local family and our friend Mohamed.

    Varzaneh is a fascinating village surrounded by epic desert dunes, a colorful salt lake, thriving wetlands and ancient caravanserais – the telltale sign of an important hub along the Silk Road.

    In the morning we head along an old branch of the ancient Silk Road to watch sunrise whilst enjoying an epic picnic breakfast on top of the roof of a particularly stunning abandoned caravanserai. 

    Caravanserais were the inns for camel trains and merchants traveling along the silk road and offer an insightful glimpse into the lives of merchants moving goods moving from east to west along these ancient trading routes. After breakfast, we hike up an epic black mountain volcano where we are greeted with striking views over the Gavkhooni wetlands.

    After some hours of rest and free time, we will then head to the famous salt lake and finish off the day by climbing the dunes to watch the sunset. We can arrange sand boarding if you’re keen to ride some sand waves! If the weather is good and there is no sand storm or rain, we will have a tasty dinner on the dunes, star gaze, and watch as the milky way fills the desert sky.  overhead.

    Isfahan: the legendary city of incredible Islamic architecture, bustling bazaars and opulent bridges crisscrossing the many rivers along which the city has grown…

    Isfahan – also known as Esfahan – is truly unmatched by any other city in Iran (and perhaps the world) so ready your cameras and prepare to be wowed, Esfahan is an absolute delight. This magical city is a living monument to traditional Persia and you can still see many artisans and traditional craftsmen practicing arts handed down over generations.

    The days have have in Esfahan will be a mix of visiting historical sites as a group and plenty of free time on your own to discover the city.  

    The main bazaar has an incredible atmosphere – you feel it as soon as you wander it’s twisting, pulsating, lively lanes – if you want a Persian carpet, a camel skin lamp or a shiny dagger, this is the place to do all of your shopping and especially to buy an authentic Persian carpet.

    The buildings in Esfahan are a delight to architectural buffs (and photographers) and we’ll learn more about traditional Persian architecture throughout our time here.

    We will visit the most famous monuments in the city including Masjed e-Shah, Masjed Lotfollah, and the lively bridges famous for the performers, musicians and artists who entertain the many locals walking across the bridges on their daily commutes.

    On the 2nd day in the city, we head to the Armenian Quarter for a coffee/tea in one of the many hip cafes lining an old cobblestone street. There is an option to visit the Vank Cathedral – one of the few opportunities to visit a church in Iran. 

    Today, we travel south on our way to Shiraz to check out two major historical sites and open-air museums: Nasqh-e Rostam, where the tombs of the great Persian Kings from the Achaemenid Dynasty have stood carved deep into a high cliff for more than 2500 years.

    The other site is the legendary Persepolis, one of the great wonders of the Ancient World. Conceived by Darius the Great, sacked by Alexander the Great, Persepolis is a wonderful place to stroll for a couple of hours and lose yourself amongst this truly ancient city… Afterwards we head to our accommodation in Shiraz where we’ll enjoy dinner and rest up. 

    Today, we step off the beaten track and begin a proper Epic-style adventure: trekking in the Zagros Mountains.

    We’ll be joined by Mr. Mohamed, our local guide and a good friend, and he will lead us deep into the mountains.

    Mohamed will be our leader in the Zagros for the next three days.

    Born to a Qasqhai nomad family, he had been a shepherd until his mid 20’s whilst developing his skills as a guide, he knows the region like the back of his hand and is one of our closest friends in Iran. He will be able to provide a unique insight into life within nomadic communities, as well as the history and traditions of these groups, in Iran.

    The exact itinerary of our trek will depend on the time of year. The nomad families have two primary camps for the year: summer camp and winter camp. 

    For a day by day breakdown of the two different trekking itineraries, check out the trekking information section below. 

    In both itinerary scenarios, when we finish the trek, we spend the night in a modern hotel in the center of Shiraz. Learn More

    This morning, we’ll head to one the most impressive sights in all of Iran – The multicolored Nasir Al Molk Mosque, which is just around the corner from our comfy accommodation. This is one of the most colorful mosques in the world and a true delight for any photographers in the group. Afterwards, we move to Bagh Narajestan to have a glimpse of the spectacular Persian garden area before exploring its traditional bazaar.

    In the afternoon, the group has free time to explore the bazaar, do some final shopping, chill at a local cafe , or stroll the streets for photo opportunities. Lunch is on your own today.

    We will have our final group meal together (and plenty of laughs and hugs) and EBT staff will be making preparations for tomorrows departure. 

    Sadly our Iranian expedition has come to an end!

    Today is departure day with no scheduled activities planned. 

    EBT staff will arrange for transfers to the airport for those who are flying out over the next 24 hours. Check out of the hotel is around 11 am and breakfast is included. 

    You can choose to stay on at the same hotel if you are not flying home right away, though any additional nights at the hotel are not covered by EBT.

    Please note that for Americans, Canadians, and UK nationalities, you can not stay in Iran on your own without prior arrangements and without paying for a guide for each day you remain in the country. 

    Trekking Information Details

    trekking in iran

    FAQ

    Contrary to what 99% of the world thinks, Iran is generally a very safe place to travel to. Violent crimes against foreigners/tourists as well as kidnapping and terror related crimes are VERY rare in Iran in general.

    American, UK, and European tourists can 100% travel to Iran. We help you sort out the visa paperwork so you can focus on your trip. Never have we had any of our clients be denied entry or a visa – regardless of nationality.

    Read more about visiting Iran as an American here. 

    In cities, we will stay in local guesthouses & nice hotels that offer comfortable, clean facilities. While in the Zagros Mountains / trekking portion of the trip, we will sleep in tents (two people to a tent unless you pay for a single supplement). The tents are provided by us, but you do need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping mat/inflatable pad. 

    The cuisine reflects the soul of the country. From the fertile provinces in the north where rice fields mark the landscape to colorful veggie dishes, slow roasted lamb and dates from the desert to fish from Persian Gulf; Iranian cuisine has something for everyone. It’s some of the best food in the world – and this is not just out bias. We seek out the best local restaurants, and even eat with a few local families. You have not lived until you have tried the food of an Iranian grandmother. 

    The specific flavors and ingredients of the food are unique to Persia. None of the traditional Iranian cuisine is (chili/pepper) spicy at all – like zero tongue-scorching heat – but at the same time very flavorful. Pomegranate, cherries, and nuts seem to be ever present in most dishes. If you are a foodie, you will love how food-focused this trip is. 

    One of the best ways to discover and connect with a new country is through food – and we make sure to have tasty discoveries with the best Iranian food on a daily basis! 

    Didn’t find the answer you working for? Try reading our extensive Iran FAQ page first where we break down the tour in more detail or feel free to get in touch with us using the contact page!

    Iran - Abridged

    Iran (known as Persia until the mid-20th century) has such a prolific and expansive history that it is impossible to detail here. The Persian Empire is more than 2500 years old with conquests involving world-famous (not to mention brutal) leaders; Cyrus the Great, Genghis Khan, and Alexander the Great.

    The Islamization of Iran occurred around 650 and has essentially remained a big part of the Iranian/Persian identity ever since. These Islamic elements that have lasted centuries along with the significant Iranian Revolution that took place in the 1970s have shaped the country into what it is today, the vast majority of the population being Shi’a.

    Nowadays, Iran is a country with many faces. Many ethnic groups, including the Azeris, Baluchis, Kurdish, Lors, and Turkmen are scattered around the country. The majority (60% of the population) are Persians, not Arabs, who only represent 2% of the population.

    There are still nomadic tribes, living their traditional days of old, migrating from winter to summer with their flocks in tow. Regions inhabited by these ethnic groups often seem a world apart with different dialects, clothing, architecture, food, and cultural customs making Iran a fascinating place for any traveler interested in rich, cultural history.

    Iranians are some of the most friendly, genuine, helpful, and respectful people in the world and we are confident in saying that most backpackers who have traveled here would agree.

    Most locals are delighted to see foreigners enjoying their country and many will want to speak with you and ask you to take photographs with their families.

    Additional Resources

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