Apr, May, Sep, Oct
We’d recommend you arrive a few days earlier to Tehran to have a good look around, as we don’t have a lot of time scheduled here. You can check out one of the many museums, mosques or markets. Brett, one of the tour facilitators will be in the city to greet you and offer some local advice. Our first official activity for the evening is a welcome dinner at a ‘local’s favourite’ restaurant.
We start the day with the wonderful people from Omid-e-Mehr foundation. You will 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. This is an ideal place (and time) to see Muharram, the mourning of Imam Hossein. The festivities of this religious occasion will follow us on our whole trip across Iran in September, but nothing will be more prevalent that what you will witness in Qom.
In the morning, we’ll take the van and 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 1400m to 2800m asl over the first 30km. After a bit of undulation, we finish the day at 1750m asl at the 70km point, before getting into the van and driving to Kashan. 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.
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, a popular 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. And then there is the food to eat and rugs to buy! Of course, this is an opportunity to soak up the cultural surrounding by just taking rest. Take your camera for a walk, drink tea with a local stranger and let the local hospitality guide you.
We drive out of the traffic of Kashan and onto a quiet road, some 1400m asl. The 25km 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.
From Abyaneh we tackle the mountain range to the West. A slow 22km 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 the tiny village of Meymeh (200m asl), before being picked up by the van to transit into Esfahan. It’s important to note that the first 22km of this ride from Abyaneh is not supported by either vehicle as the terrain is not suitable.
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 Congress 60, another NGO, to learn a little more about the what happens beneath the surface of this friendly and welcoming community.
Today we have 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, not too far from the Dena Protected Area. The elevation of our destination is at the 1500m asl point, and although it”s not all downhill on the bike, there certainly is more down than up!
More mountains, villages and cycling.
We continue our journey on bike through the mountains for a further 30kmk or 35km, depending on the route we go and the confidence of the group. 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 beated tracck 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.
Starting at an altitude of 1700m, we will climb to a peak of 2500m over the first 60km, before descending to 2300m for the evening in the next 10km. This is the last cycle day of the trip and the distance we cycle towards Shiraz will depend on the group and the time we want to arrive. Having two support vehicles and a small group allows for greater flexibility in our cycling day and everybody should be able to have a great day. Shiraz is another fabulous city and one that wants to be explored. We’ll have the entire following day to explore, but the mosque and Hafez Tomb are great places to visit for sunset and evening times.
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. We’ll spend part of the day visiting our final NGO of the trip, while the rest is yours to explore what suits you best (and to grab some of that last minute shopping!)
Today we have a long drive via Izad Khast. We’ll drive straight to the country’s premier attraction, Persepolis. 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. Officially made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
It’s a long day in the van, but we’ll get you to Tehran by early evening to say goodbye.
|06/09/2019 to 17/09/2019|
|07/10/2019 to 18/10/2019|
We will stay in hotels in the bigger cities, Tehran, Kashan, Esfahan and Shiraz (7 nights) and in local homes in the smaller towns (4 nights). Prices are based on sharing rooms, but a single room supplement can be arranged for an additional $490, however, it only applies to hotel nights.
-In Tehran, we will visit Omid Foundation, who work towards empowering vulnerable young women through education and training. Hemayataz Koodak work with distressed families with young children, offering support and guidance.
-For every tour, all riders are requested to contribute a nominal sum for the purpose of a donation. Usually AU$200 per rider. During the course of the tour, you are given the chance to engage with, and learn from, local NGOs. We visit no less than three NGOs during the Iran tour and spend some time learning about their projects, strategies and challenges. At the end of the tour, the riders are then empowered with new found knowledge and have the opportunity to combine the allotted donation money and make an impact towards a project of their choosing. We spend 1-2 hours with each NGO who are then remunerated, should they accept it, regardless of whether or not there is a follow up donation from the group.
We are a team of Mountain Leaders who are passionate about sharing the mountains and warm, friendly culture of Iran with visitors from around the world. We love being outdoors and lead ski, trekking, rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, cycling, canyoning and caving tours all around Iran.
We run tours in all four seasons and work every day to put Iran on the map as a top outdoor adventure destination. Come and see what you have been missing here in Iran!
My name is Hamed, and along with Hussein, I co-created Iran Plateau - a Tehran based guiding agency who leads outdoor activities and adventures throughout the country. I also serve as the president of the National Mountain Leaders Association here in Iran.
We love what we do and look forward to having you join us.
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