Meet up in Shiraz, the birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafez and Sa'di, for a tour briefing and welcome dinner.
Explore Shiraz city by seeing some of the highlights including Eram Garden, Jahan Nama garden and tombs of the famed poets, visit the Zand complex which includes a fortress, Vakil Mosque and the bustling bazaar. After the tour our night will be spent outside the gate of Persepolis where is close to the site in the morning.
We visit the remnants of Persepolis, once the richest city on earth. Founded by Darius I in 518 BCE, the king of kings created an impressive palace complex adorned in gold and silver, ivory, and precious stones. In 330 BCE, Burned to the ground by Alexander the Great the spectacular ruins still reveal the glory of the Achaemenid Empire. We cycle from Persepolis towards Doroodzan and find our campsite.
Today is a full day of riding to Boragh Gorge, the valley of the Polvar River, with the remains of 130 ancient settlements. The landscape here is varied and the terrain involves some climbing on our bikes to our campsite.
As heading into the mountains, a transfer will take us to the town of Aspas, situated at the altitude of 2362 m. We will have one long climb at 30km mark for 5 km before our check-in to the town of Eqlid, one of the highest Iranian cities at 2250 m.
Today we will be cycling through the desert and on an old caravan road. We'll pass a few villages but for most of the ride the stark beauty of sand and sky will be our companion. We overnight at Zein al din Caravansary, one of 999 such inns that were built during the reign of Shah Abbas I to provide facilities to travelers. It will be a unique experience to stay in such a historical place on the Silk Road.
A day off the bikes to explore the city of wind catchers, Yazd, which dates back 7000 years ago. Many of the sites we will see on our city tour will be from Zoroastrians, including the Towers of Silence where the dead were left to be picked clean by the vultures. No longer used, the cemetery is now a quiet, serene place. We'll also wander the maze of lanes and alleys in the old district.
Transfer out and start riding on the old road to Varzaneh, known for a weaving centre. About 12 km west of the town we ride by the ancient Ghoortan citadel which has survived natural disasters and many wars for thousands of years. The last part continues through the dry desert area to Qehi where we overnight at the 350-year-old house.
We have a short morning cycle as we aren't far from Isfahan, a former capital of Persia and now Iran's third largest city. After lunch we'll have a city tour to see why so many people have called this the most beautiful city in the world.
Free day to continue exploring Isafahan. Visit the Cheehel Sotoon Palace, Fri mosque, Armenian church and the many historical bridges.
Cycling on the old road towards Natanz we skirt along some mountains as we ride through arid terrain. From here we transfer uphill to Abyaneh. This ancient village, seemingly melts into the hills as the mud-brick houses blend in with the surrounding rock. Spend the late afternoon wandering the narrow and sloped lanes.
A short ride for today so as to have enough time to explore the alleys of Abyaneh and meet the colourful people. Once coming down from the amazing downhill 1,300 metres the cycling will end in the desert at an eco resort and organic farm.
Riding from our overnight to the town of Kashan, known for the production of high quality pottery and tiles. After lunch we'll take a look around some of historical mansions, the Fin garden and of course the bazaar.
For our last day of cycling we ride directly from the hotel on another old road. It will be a flat ride as we head to Qom, considered the second religious city of Persia. After lunch we'll pack up the bikes and transfer for two hours to Tehran.
We'll provide one group transfer to the airport for your departure flight.