12 Day Iran Adventure

March 29, 2020

Trip price: $4420 AUD

Deposit: $1260 AUD

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. 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

Wander through local bazaars

Visit Esfahan, Iran’s most beautiful city

Explore the ruins of Persepolis

Discover the friendliness and hospitality of Iran’s locals

Trip Details
Price

$4420 AUD per person

Deposit: $1260 AUD

Private supplement: $1056 AUD – only 2 available

Note: Don’t have someone to join you? Most of our bookings are from solo travellers. We can easily match you with another group member to help you avoid paying the private supplement. Just ask!


Trip length

12 days, 11 nights


Dates

March 29 to April 9 2020 3 SPOTS AVAILABLE: LAST MINUTE DISCOUNT $3920.

April 12 to April 23 2020 SOLD OUT

Don’t see your dates? Join our waitlist!

Have a group? Contact us and we can arrange a private departure!


Meeting point

Saina Hotel, Tehran
Phone: +98 21 8810 0042


sEnding 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, metro, taxi, airport transfers
  • Leader & guide: 1 English-speaking tour leader throughout; local guides
  • Entrance/admission: fees where applicable with included activities
  • 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 6 dinners

Not included
  • Airfare
  • $100 USD Tip Kitty for Guides & Drivers
  • Any visas required (we can help you obtain your Iran tourist visa)
  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Late check-out at hotels
  • Meals & drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Expenditure of personal nature
  • Personal travel 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 other cities, 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
Day 1: Tehran

Welcome to Iran! We’ll meet you as you arrive at Imam Khomeini International Airport and get you in a transfer to your hotel. We’ll get right into things by visiting a couple of Tehran’s most famous landmarks: Azadi Tower and Tabiat Bridge. The bridge, designed by a 25-year-old Iranian woman, represents Iran’s future. You’ll learn more about it while you’re standing right on top of it, admiring fantastic views of the city. Nearby, we’ll have dinner at one of our favourite spots.

Accommodation: Saina Hotel Tehran or similar
Included: Dinner

Day 2: Tehran

Day two is packed to the gills with fun! First on the list is the former US embassy (also known as “the Nest of Spies”), famous for the 1979-1981 hostage crisis. After the museum, we’ll head out to explore the city by getting lost in the enormous Grand Bazaar and stopping at a tea house before visiting the Golestan Palace. In the afternoon, we’ll follow in Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps as we take the metro north to the foothills of Darband. You’ll enjoy an authentic Iranian shashlik (kebab) grill here.

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

Day 3: Kashan

Today, we leave Tehran for Qom and take a private tour of this centre of religious study and the birthplace of the revolution. From there, it’s onto Kashan, our favourite small city in Iran. Full of picturesque bathhouses and beautiful gardens, the true highlight is the magnificent Kashan bazaar, formerly a Silk Road trading hub. Our accommodation is a beautifully restored classical Persian building.

Accommodation: Negin Traditional House Kashan or similar
Included: Breakfast & lunch
Driving time: 3.5 hours total (Tehran to Qom, 2 hours; Qom to Kashan, 1.5 hours)

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 some of the alleyways. Then, we’ll finish the afternoon driving into Esfahan – our 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
Driving time: 3.5 hours total (Kashan to Abyaneh, 1.5 hours; Abyaneh to Esfahan, 2 hours)

Day 5: Esfahan

Today starts with a tour of Esfahan’s most famous site: the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. As one of the wonders of the Islamic world, it deserves plenty of our time, so we’ll take a morning to soak it in. In the afternoon you’ll have time for yourself 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 Esfahan or similar
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 7: Yazd

Iran isn’t just famous for Shia Islam! It’s also well known for Zoroastrianism sites such as the Towers of Silence near Yazd, where the dead were returned to nature through the mouths of hungry vultures. We’ll also visit the Wind Towers — an ancient Iranian air-conditioning system — 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 more than 500 years, tired travellers and traders have 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 as it was done hundreds of years ago. The accommodation itself is very simple so be ready for that, but we guarantee it’ll be special and memorable. We’ll keep the location a secret for now, as this is a special destination off the tourist trail.

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

Day 9: Persepolis

Persepolis has a short and wonderful, though bloody, history. It may have lasted a bit longer if it weren’t for Alexander the Great, who left burning ruins in his wake! It doesn’t take a history buff to enjoy Persepolis – this magnificent city represents the most glorious period of Persian history, even to this day. Take as long as you like to explore – our hotel is located just outside the entrance gates.

Accommodation: Apadana Hotel Persepolis or similar
Included: Breakfast & lunch
Driving time: 5 hours

Day 10: Shiraz

Persepolis has one last gift to give before we move on: Naqsh-e Rostam. This monument, carved out of the side of a cliff, is home to the tombs of four Persian kings. From there, it’s on to our final city, Shiraz, which is considered by many to be the friendliest city in Iran. Vakil Bazaar was established in the 11th century and is still a thriving hub of traders and eateries. Eat slowly, take deep breaths, 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
Driving time: 1 hour

Day 11: Shiraz

Nasir Ol Molk (the Pink Mosque) is possibly the most photographed mosque in the world of Shia Islam. We’ll be getting up close 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 favourite Iranian dishes.
Accommodation: Karim Khan Hotel or similar
Included: Breakfast & dinner

Day 12: Shiraz

It’s day 12! 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, explore more of Shiraz, or perhaps even head to the bazaar (as you may have guessed by now, there’s one in every city!). Today is the ideal opportunity to pick up some gifts — perhaps some saffron or an additional Persian carpet. Onto your next adventure! And remember… once a Patchie, always a Patchie.

Included: Breakfast & airport transfer

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
Is Iran safe for women?

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Iran is a country that feels as safe as Australia and 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 is wrong. Don’t take my word for it — Google and you’ll find hundreds of blogs saying the same thing. That being said, just like with all travel, you need to keep your head on your shoulders and take all necessary precautions.

Do I need to wear a scarf/hijab?

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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 them 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.

How active is this tour? Is it physically strenuous?

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This tour doesn’t have any dedicated exercise component. So long as you’re capable of walking for several hours with breaks, you’ll be fine. This trip is sadly 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 4-5 hour walking tour.

Can you accommodate my dietary requirements?

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Since we will be sampling authentic Iranian cuisine, it may be difficult to accommodate your dietary needs. Iranian fare is quite meat-heavy, so it is likely to be difficult for us to accommodate vegetarians. If you have any specific questions regarding dietary requirements, please get in touch with us.

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