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Iran Cycling Holiday - 12 days
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Mixed Groups,Cycling

12 Days / 11 Nights Trip to Iran

Iran Cycling Holiday - 12 days

A country with a history of diversity will surely change your perception of life. Experience the local cuisine, the mosques, deserts, and everything in between.
Iran, that’s right you will surely be running back to wanting more from this country after your visit. If you're drawn to places where echoes of ancient civilisations resonate down through the ages, Iran could be your thing. Some of history's biggest names – Cyrus and Darius, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan – all left their mark here.
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  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Starting From
    $2,860
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Social Cycles
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

A visit to Tehran.
Highlight #1
A visit to Tehran.
This is the nation's dynamic beating heart and the place to get a handle on modern Iran and what its future will likely be.
The friendly city of Isfahan
Highlight #2
The friendly city of Isfahan
Persians call Isfahan “Half the world” or “Nesf-e-Jahan” because of its architecture and living breathing works of art that surround you at every turn and studded with sites to see.
Cultural hotspot in Shiraz!
Highlight #3
Cultural hotspot in Shiraz!
Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for over 2000 years, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry and wine.
Video

Iran in 4K

Watch this video in 4K by Reza Nazemi showcasing the beauty of Spring in the Alborz Mountain range.

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Itinerary

Arrival day

The concrete jungle of Tehran can seem a little daunting at first, but it doesn’t take long to get your bearings and feel right at home. We don’t have a lot of time scheduled in Iran, so we’d recommend you arrive a few days early to have a good look around. You can check out one of the many museums, mosques or markets.  Our first official activity for the evening is a welcome dinner at a ‘local’s favourite’ restaurant. This is arguably the best ‘dizi’ in Iran!

Our first NGO, ex-US embassy and Qom

We start the day with the wonderful people from Omid-e-Mehr foundation. Learn how this incredible NGO empowers local disadvantaged young women through three key areas: self empowerment, education and training. Starting in 2004, Omid-e-Mehr was set up to help victims of sexual, physical and mental abuse. Today, it has over 200 young women enrolled in it’s program. In the afternoon, we will start to make our way to Qom, the second holiest city in Iran.

Our first cycle day

We’ll take the van in the morning to get out of town into the foot of the mountains. This is where we start our first cycle day as we begin a gradual climb from 2000m to 2800m asl over the first 17km. After a bit of undulation, we finish the day at 1950m asl around the 31km mark, before getting into the van and driving to Kashan. The terrain is a mixture of sealed road (13km) and gravel (18km). We plan to arrive into Kashan in the comfort of a hotel to give you a chance to rest, relax and explore the incredible town of Kashan at your leisure.

Hammams, historical houses, ancient gardens

We’ll arrange the van to take us to Fin Gardens (about 10km out of town) for the morning, but the rest of the day is yours to explore. Kashan is a really interesting city that is rarely spoken of outside of the country, but is a common tourist destination for locals. And for good reason. The Agha Bozorg Mosque is an excellent example of 19th century architecture, the bazaar, Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse and Bagh-e-Fin Garden are all easy to get camera crazy over. Of course, this is an opportunity to soak up the cultural surrounding by just taking rest.

Local villages and a 20km climb

We drive out of the traffic of Kashan and onto a quiet road, some 1400m asl. The 20km climb is broken up by exploring some of the local villages on the way. Don’t be surprised if the locals invite us in for tea, and if so, expect a feast of fruit, dates, home made sweets and of course, black tea. The day finishes at 2200m asl in the small historical village of Abyaneh. Make sure you take some time to go for a stroll and marvel at the wonderful red colours of the mud brick town.

Cycling to great heights through incredible mountains

From Abyaneh we tackle the mountain range to the West. A slow 13km climb will take us to new heights of 2800m above sea level into a land of complete remoteness and rural fascination. These are the roads less travelled, let alone cycled, and these are the roads that lead to great adventures and authentic experiences. We will arrive at a tiny village near some ancient ruins, before being picked up by the van to transit into Esfahan. It’s important to note that the majority of this ride is not supported by either vehicle as the terrain is not suitable. There is an alternate (sealed) route that riders can take that is supported.

Mosques, markets, city squares and an NGO

Esfahan is the number one tourist destination in Iran, and for good reason. Being one of the oldest cities in Iran, some 2500 years, Esfahan is famous for it’s tree lined boulevards, Life-Giving River, The Zayandeh-Rood, abundant and beautiful mosques, bazaars, bridges and city squares. Esfahan is an incredible city to explore and discover through the diverse food, cafes and teahouse’s. We will also dig a little deeper and meet another NGO, to learn a little more about the what happens beneath the surface of this friendly and welcoming community.

A 44km cycle day, with more down than up

As standard, we will drive out of the city of Esfahan to quieter roads. At a starting elevation of 2300m asl, we’ll make our way through remote outback Iran, via small villages to a small town, right in the middle of the Dena Protected Area. We’ll reach our highest elevation of 3200m asl. There are not a lot of kilometers to cycles, but don’t underestimate the challenge ahead. It’s all on sealed road, barely any traffic except for our trusty support van. We finish up in the tiny village of Sisakt, where we’ll stay in a local home, as there are no hotels.

More mountains, villages and cycling

We continue our journey on bike directly from the acommodation through the mountains for a further 30kmk to 45km, depending on how you’re feeling. The beauty of cycling out in these back end roads is that it is an opportunity to witness true Iranian hospitality. Tourists are covered with kindness and are considered by some to be ‘guests from God’. These off the beaten track roads will give us the opportunity to take our time and stroll through local villages on the way, whilst enjoying local foods and capturing that amazing photograph.

Cycling into a Persepolis sunset

Starting some 45km out in a tiny village, a relaxed cycle will take us all the way into Persepolis for a final leg on the bikes! On the way, we’ll stop off at Naqshe-e Rustam, colossal royal tombs carved in a stone cliff face. The biggest tourist attraction in all the land, Persepolis, is just a further 5km ride. This ancient empire was built in 518 BC by Darius the Great as the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Empire. Alexander the Great burnt the city to the ground in 330 BC, but many remnants of its former glory remain and Persepolis lives on as one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. A short drive into Shiraz will take us to the hotel.

The city, the people, the monuments

We take a full day here to explore, relax and reflect on the experience over the previous couple of weeks. Shiraz is a photographers dream with highlights such as Eram Gardens, Nasir al-Mulk mosque, Vakil mosque and bazaar, Karim Khan citadel just to name a few.  Spend the day at leisure or follow Hamed and co to some of his favourite places. In the evening, the group will meet for our last local feast!

Goodbyes, a long drive via Izad Khast

Straight after breakfast, we’ll make our way towards Tehran with the van. Options are available for those who wish to spend more time in Shiraz, or make their way to Yazd. We’re happy to assist in getting you where you need to go for the remainder of your Iran experience. For those choosing to come back to Tehran, we’ll arrive around 10pm. On the way, we’ll stop for one of the greatest lunches in the tiny village of Izad Khast, home to an incredible attraction of ancient ruins and a caravanseri.

Inclusions

 11 x nights accommodation (2 in local homes)

 Full Bicycle hire, not including helmets

 Minimum 3 x support staff, including cycle guide, driver and cultural tour manager

 2 x support vehicles for the ride with water and fruit

 Minimum two NGO presentations with local staff across Iran

 Multiple field trips to villages and communities

 Entry and guided tour of Persepolis UNESCO world heritage site

 Entry and guided tour to Fin Gardens in Kashan

 Food & Beverage as per the itinerary (see daily for details)

 (11 x breakfasts, 6 x lunch and 8 x dinners)

 Visa grant notice for passport holders eligible for Visa on Arrival

 Airport transfers for arrival 

Not Included

 International flights

 US$150 donation to NGOs (optional)

 Tips and Gratuities (from US$0 to US$100 pp)

 Departure airport transfer (US$20-US$25)

 Travel insurance

 Visa’s

 Visa grant notice for UK, USA and CAN passport holders (US$120)

 Other items of a personal nature 

 Additional 5% GST

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Dates and prices

Start date

26 Mar 2021

End date

06 Apr 2021

4+ Spots left

12 Days / 11 Nights

$3,289

$2,860

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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This Trip Is Operated By Social Cycles

Our purpose is to educate people about the in depth cultural issues in developing countries through group cycling adventures. To enable the freedom of financial dispersion with firsthand understanding of NGO efficiency and sustainability, and to eyewitness differences made to beneficiaries involved. 

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