12 Day Iran Adventure

Women Only

Trip price: $4,150

Deposit: $1,200

Iran is a mix of big UNESCO heritage sights, incredibly friendly locals, magical history, and… well, you’ll have to come for yourself to see why people rave so much about this country.

On this women-only trip, you’ll savour cities, villages, deserts, and mountains worth seeing – and avoid tourist traps. There’ll be time to stop and just take it all in, and you’ll have the freedom to enjoy things your own way.

Highlights

Women only! Get ready for some laughs together

Small groups, maximum 12 spots

Spend the night in a Caravanserai along the Silk Road

Stroll through the alleyways of Yazd

Witness the pink mosque of Shiraz

Visit Esfahan, Iran’s most beautiful city

Explore the ruins of Persepolis

Wander through local bazaars

Trip Details

Price

$4,150 AUD (twin share)

  • $1,200 deposit.
  • 2 week cooling off period applies.
  • Lifetime Deposit. If you need to cancel, your deposit is transferable to other trips.
  • Twin Share: we’ll match you with a roomie if you’re travelling solo.
  • Private supplement available: $1,056 AUD, max 4 spots.

 


Trip length

12 days, 11 nights


Dates

We have had a lot of interest for our Iran trips, so if you’re thinking of coming please do not hesitate to get in touch.

September 2022:

Starts: Tehran, 26 September 2022

Finishes: Shiraz, 7 October 2022

Sold Out

March 2023:

Starts: Tehran, 6 March 2023

Finishes: Shiraz, 17 March 2023

May 2023:

Starts: Tehran, 3 May 2023

Finishes: Shiraz, 14 May 2023

Important note:

Due to limited availability, this date is now only available to those who are joining the Tunisia trip on April 21 or Silk Road trip on May 16. All airport transfers and hotel nights are included between trips.

We still have spots in the March trip, which also has an excellent climate for visiting Iran.

May 2023:

Vegan Food Tour

Starts: Tehran, 22 May 2023

Finishes: Shiraz, 2 June 2023

This is our first ever Vegan Food tour. While Vegans are welcome on ALL our tours, this trip will be different – the group will visit vegan restaurants/food stops for each meal. Where vegan restaurants don’t exist, we will pre-arrange delicious vegan food. Non-vegans are welcome, but all food taken as a group will be vegan.


Meeting point

Saina Hotel, Tehran
Phone: +98 21 8810 0042


Ending point

Karim Khan Hotel
Phone: +98 71 3223 5001


Group size

Maximum 12 — guaranteed departure


Participation requirements

Please see our “Is this trip right for you?” section to see the participation requirements.


Included

  • Transport: Private vehicle. To make the Iranian experience, we’ll share a taxi and ride the Tehran metro at least once. Leader/Guide: 1 English speaking tour leader throughout. Local guides as outlined in the itinerary
  • Entrance/Admission: Fees, where applicable with included activities
  • Airport Transfers: Arrival and departure transfers are included on a group basis.Note: Flight Details are required 60 days in advance.
  • Our bus is connected to the Internet whenever you need it (where available). Coffee, cake, snacks and drinks are included. We’ll help you out with customs, culture, and currency exchange and whatever we can think of to provide the best possible Iran experience – introductions to our local friends, photography tips and fireworks. We won’t skimp on inclusions, there really are no “added extras” or “optional activities” on our Iran trip – we are the best value and quality adventure in Iran.

Not included

  • Tip Kitty
  • Any visas required. Australian passport holders have a relatively simple online process to apply for their e-Visa. We will gladly help answer any questions you have as you pass through the process.
  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Late check out at hotels
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips for leaders, guide and driver
  • Personal Expenditure
  • Personal Insurance

Our accommodation

Iran has a developing travel industry, meaning that the standards are quite different. Wherever possible, we have focused on finding memorable accommodation that is full of life. In nearly all cases, we’ll enjoy a mix of clean and comfortable 3- and 4-star hotels.

Why Choose This Tour?

We’ve put together the perfect balance of adventure, fun, authentic experiences, great food, and interesting accommodation… that is, the kind of trip you could never organise unless you had your own group of friends spread around Iran

We've got a team of the best guides who love travel and know how to serve you... and perhaps the most important bit: we know exactly where the great food is hidden

This trip is for active women who are culturally curious and who love to try new things – it's all about the right balance of fresh air, food, and cultural experiences

The accommodation is perfectly located and handpicked – we’re chasing an amazing time during the day plus a good night’s rest

Iran Map Tour Itinerary
Click the tabs to find out more

Itinerary

Day 1: Tehran

Welcome to Tehran! This afternoon, we’ll ease into things by visiting a couple of Tehran’s most famous landmarks: Azadi Tower & Tabiat Bridge. The bridge represents Iran’s future and offers fantastic views of the city – and even better, it was impressively designed by a 25 year old Iranian woman. We’ll have dinner nearby at one of our favourite spots.

Accommodation: Saina Hotel Tehran or similar
Included: Dinner

Day 2: Tehran

Day 2 is packed to the gills with fun. First, we will visit the former US embassy, aka ‘The Nest of Spies’, famous for the 1979-81 hostage crisis and now a museum. From there, we’ll explore the city – getting lost in the enormous Grand Bazaar, stopping at a tea house before visiting Golestan Palace. Then, follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain as we ride the metro to Darband in the foothills to the north. You’ll enjoy a true Iranian shashlik (kebab) grill here.

Accommodation: Saina Hotel Tehran or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 3: Kashan

Today we’ll leave Tehran for Qom, and take a private tour of this centre of religious study – the birthplace of the Iranian Revolution. From there, onto Kashan, our favourite small city in Iran – picturesque bathhouses and a beautiful garden await but the highlight is the magnificent Kashan Bazaar, formerly a Silk Road trading hub. Our accommodation is a beautifully restored classical Persian building.

Accommodation: Negin Traditional Hotel (or similar)

Included: Breakfast & lunch

 

Day 4: Abyaneh, Esfahan

After checking out more of Kashan, we’re back on the road today with a visit to the village of Abyaneh, one of the oldest and most visually fascinating villages you’ll ever see. We’ll eat lunch here and explore the alleyways. We’ll finish the afternoon driving into Esfahan – my favourite city in all of Iran. It’s around this time of the trip that we begin to access places even the locals don’t ever get to see.

Accommodation: Hasht Behesht Hotel Esfahan or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 5: Esfahan

Today starts with a tour of Esfahan’s most famous site: the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. One of the wonders of the Islamic world, we’ll take a morning to soak it in. In the afternoon, you’ll have some free time: use it to wander the hallways of the Esfahan Bazaar and interact with the friendly local merchants. Then, join us again to listen to the groups that gather to sing under the ancient Khaju bridge.

Accommodation: Hasht Behesht Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 6: The Desert Calls

In a desert city, you need ingenuity to survive. See an example of this as we visit a Yakchal in Meybod city – a building that served as an ancient type of evaporative cooler. Its sole function was to keep winter’s ice frozen all throughout the summer – in a desert with no electricity! We set forth once more to Yazd. Explore the twisting laneways with us and enjoy the food, which is as good as it gets in Iran. 

Accommodation: Dad Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 7: Yazd

Iran isn’t just famous for Shia Islam alone: it’s also known for Zoroastrianism sites such as the Towers of Silence, where the dead were returned to nature through the mouths of hungry vultures. We’ll also visit the Wind Towers – ancient Iranian air-conditioning, and learn the secrets of the desert city that thrived, before taking some free time to wander and enjoy this UNESCO Heritage City.

Accommodation: Dad Hotel or similar
Included: Breakfast & lunch

Day 8: Caravanserai

For 500 years, tired travellers and traders stopped to rest in Caravanserais along the Silk Road. Tonight is your turn to stop, sit back, and feel the history. Watch the sunset and gaze at the stars from the courtyard – just how it was done hundreds of years ago – and perhaps light a cheeky firework indoors. The accommodation itself is very simple so be ready for that, but oh, how special it is. We’ll keep the location a secret for now, as this one is still off the tourist trail.

Accommodation: Caravanserai
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner
Driving time: 1 hour

Day 9: Persepolis

Persepolis has a short, wonderful, yet bloody history. It would have been longer if not for Alexander The Great, who left burning ruins in his wake. It doesn’t take a history buff to enjoy Persepolis – it represents the most glorious period of Persian history. Take as long as you like to explore – our hotel is located just outside the entrance gates.

Accommodation: Apadana Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast & lunch

Day 10: Shiraz

Persepolis has one last gift to give before we move on: Naqsh-e Rostam: home to the tombs of four Persian Kings, carved out of a cliff.

From there, it’s on to our final city: Shiraz, the most friendly city in Iran. Vakil Bazaar was established in the 11th century and is still a thriving hub of traders and eateries. Eat slowly and enjoy the atmosphere. After a visit to the nearby Vakil Mosque, you’ll get the chance to wander the bazaar or relax in the hotel.

Accommodation: Karim Khan Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast & lunch

Day 11: Shiraz

Nasir Ol Molk – the Pink Mosque – might possibly be the most photographed mosque in the world outside of Mecca. We’ll be getting up to see it in all its early-morning glory. Enjoy free time getting to know Shiraz, before taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare your new Iranian favourites.

Accommodation: Karim Khan Hotel (or similar)
Included: Breakfast & dinner

Day 12: Shiraz

We’ll be blinking away tears today as the group bids farewell to each other over a traditional Persian breakfast. Take the day to savour your final Iranian memories – exploring more of Shiraz or perhaps heading to the bazaar (you may have guessed by now, there’s one in every city!). There, you’ll pick up some gifts – can we suggest saffron or a Persian carpet?

Included: Breakfast

The Essential Info

Iranian culture is very inviting! Each person you will meet on our tour will be happy to meet you and enjoy your company. Please know that we’ll do everything we can to provide an amazing trip, but if you’re having issues of any sort, please let your group leader know as soon as possible.

Visas

Australians need to apply online for their visa. We’ll supply an invitation letter for you, along with instructions for how to use it.

After booking, we’ll send you a form to fill out in order to obtain your visa grant notice – the equivalent of an invitation letter. You must do this as soon as possible once you receive the form.

We will obtain a “visa grant notice” for each guest. It’s a visa pre-approval, meaning the visa is ready for collection upon arrival in Iran, or it can be used to obtain the visa via the Iranian embassy in Canberra. If you receive a visa grant notice, everything at the Canberra embassy can be done using the postal service.

Dress Code

This is compulsory, as is wearing a long blouse that covers your bosom, arms up to your wrists, and, yes, the shape of your bottom.

Upon arrival, we can help you find additional appropriate clothing if you don’t have enough.

Iranians in general are very forgiving regarding these rules, as they understand how unusual it is for foreigners. You’ll be asked gently to adjust your scarf or blouse, perhaps. That really is as bad as it gets.

You need to have a hijab or scarf on before your plane lands in Iran. Don’t worry about buying one: a hijab is included in the trip price and we’ll send it to you in the mail, complete with instructions about how to put it on. If you have any questions about any of your clothing or blouses, you can send any questions or photos through.

Please understand that it’s normal to be nervous before going to Iran the first time. You can check in with us to ensure that your clothing is appropriate.

Leggings and jeans are fine — you don’t need to worry about wearing loose-fitting pants. T-shirts are also fine, so long as they’re covered by a Blouse or Iranian Manto. Again, the long blouses used in Iran are sold everywhere, and we can help you obtain more if needed.

There’s no need to worry about your footwear, at least in terms of the dress restrictions. Open shoes are permitted.

One last thing: your clothing can be as bright and colourful as you want it. You’ve probably seen photos of Iranian women dressed in black, but most Iranian women do not dress like this. They dress colourfully, stylishly and LOVE using make-up – in fact, the typical Iranian woman uses a lot more make-up than the average woman in Australia.

Money Matters

Bank cards are NOT usable in Iran, so you’ll need to bring cash for spending. Food and drinks won’t require much, but bigger purchases such as a Persian rug will require more. Read below.

You will not be able to use ANY bank card or credit card in any place in Iran. Prepaid travel cards will not work, and you won’t have access to any additional source of funds.

We recommend being prepared to spend the equivalent of around $500 AUD. It’s possible to spend much less, but you’ll most likely find yourself buying souvenirs or food, and it’s good to not have to stress about not having brought enough. If you want to buy a rug, and we recommend that you do, you’ll need to bring more.

Note: The price of a Persian rug varies significantly according to quality and size. Rebeca’s rug cost $260 AUD and is small (approximately 1.2m by 0.7m). Rugs of higher quality and size can cost thousands of dollars.

Money Exchange

AUD can buy Iranian Rials no problem, but the exchange rate may not be favourable. Those who bring EUR or USD will find it easier to change money in general and get better rates. Our guide will assist you to change money while on the ground. It’s also possible and recommended to change at least some money at Tehran airport. Money changers are both present and reputable.

Note: Only bank notes in perfect condition will be accepted: they need to be clean and unmarked (i.e., not written on or marked in anyway).

Frequently Asked Questions

Reserve your place at Patch Adventures.com.au or email contact@patchadventures.com.au! There is a maximum group size of 12.

A deposit of $1,200 is required to hold your spot. Payment can be made by credit card (fees apply) or bank deposit.

There is a cooling off period of 2 weeks. (Applicable to all bookings made 110 days in advance.)

We have implemented a ‘lifetime deposit’ guarantee. Deposits are not refundable, but they are transferable at any time, right up until the first day of the trip.

The final balance of the trip is required 95 days in advance of the departure date. Our suppliers require upfront payment well in advance to guarantee availability.

Note: prior to the payment of your full balance, the final price may change if there is significant variation in the AUD:EUR exchange rate; this trip pricing is based on an exchange rate of 1 AUD:0.65 EUR.

Please refer to the full terms and conditions for further information.

 

This tour doesn’t have any dedicated exercise component. If you’re able to walk for several hours with breaks around a town, you’ll be fine. This trip is not appropriate for those who need to use walking aids: in signing up, you confirm that you have the basic fitness level required to do a 2-3 hour walking tour.

Airfares are not included. 

Yes. It is $1,056 AUD and there are two available. This is a condition placed by our accommodation providers and is charged strictly at cost.

Iran is a country that feels as safe as Australia and even safer than other popular destinations such as Italy or Spain. Iranians are very grateful for their growing tourism industry and are determined to prove that the world’s perception of their country is wrong. Don’t take our word for it; Google it and you’ll find hundreds of travel blogs saying the same thing. As with all travel, you need to keep your head on your shoulders and take all normal necessary precautions.

Yes, although in Iran it’s more like a loose scarf than the hijab you might be familiar with.  This is compulsory, as is wearing a long blouse that covers your bosom and, yes, the shape of your bottom (seriously!)

Iranians in general are very forgiving regarding these rules, as they are fully aware just  how unusual it is for foreigners to adapt to this. 

Hollywood has created images in people’s minds that with a tiny slip of cultural norms by tourists, a nasty man will come up to you and berate you in front of others. This is the exact opposite of the truth. If needed, you may be asked very kindly, discreetly to adjust your hijab or blouse. That really is it all there is to it. 

You’ll need to have a hijab with you for arrival at the airport, but don’t worry about buying one: a hijab is included in the trip price and we’ll send it to you in the mail. If you have any questions about any of your clothing or blouses, you can send any questions or photos through to us for assistance.

Please understand that I was also nervous before going to Iran the first time. I wished I had someone that I could check in with regarding the cultural rules – at Patch, we’ll be that someone for you.

In all public places, yes.

Unfortunately, to keep with cultural and legal norms in Iran, it is not possible to offer this trip as a mixed group. We will, however, from time to time offer some mixed group trips. Keep an eye on the website for more.

Yes, unless you take the single supplement option. You do not need to book with a friend. If there are spots available, feel free to book immediately.

Our guide will assist you to change money while on the ground. It’s also possible and recommended to change at least some money at Tehran airport on arrival. Money changers are both present and reputable.

Iran does not have access to ATMs, therefore you need to bring sufficient cash with you for personal expenditure and incidentals. $500 USD (equiv) approx will be much more than enough in nearly all circumstances, unless you come planning to buy things to take home.

I had no intention of buying a rug.

Then, I spent $300 AUD on my own beautiful (small) Persian rug. Next time I visit, I plan on buying another. The rugs are, in a word, amazing, and will attract even the most hardened anti-souvenir warrior. On the day I spent $300, I saw someone gladly hand over $1,600 for one of the most beautiful creations I’ve seen in my life.

Our guides will help you get the right deal, and do not receive commissions. Don’t be scared about rip-offs or fakes – our able team will take care of you.

We will manage the process alongside you. Australian and NZ passport holders generally find it simple to acquire an Iranian visa. It’s a 2 step process where we organise a  ‘Visa Grant Notice’ for you. This is issued by the Iranian government, and then you apply for your actual visa.  Australian passport holders  can obtain their visa at the Embassy in Canberra or choose an eVisa option at Tehran Airport. This is the most popular option. The current cost is steep, though: 138 Euros for Australians.

USA, Canada, and UK passport holders should check in with us regarding visa requirements before booking.

Don’t See Your Question Here? Check Out Our FAQ Page!

ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS?

PLEASE CONTACT CONTACT@PATCHADVENTURES.COM.AU AND WE WILL BE GLAD TO ASSIST!

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