Jewels of Persia by Bicycle

Price from
US$ 3,495
Duration
15 days
Distance
636 km
Tour code
IRN-IRN
Next departure
17-Sep-2017
Number of Cycling Days 9 full, 1 half
Average Distance Per Day: 65
0
150 Km
Average Climbing Per Day: 492
0
2,250 m
Accommodation
Basic
5 Star
Total Cycling Distance 636 km
Accommodation Included
Bike Hire US$180
Single Supplement US$275
Child Pricing N/A

All About this Tour

There's no shortage of culture and history on this tour through Persia, Iran's cultural heartland. Travel along ancient trade routes through the footsteps of one of the world's oldest civilizations. Take in the expansive desert landscape, sleeping under the tapestry of a starry night sky, and marvel at the glittering opulence of city bazaars, oasis gardens, and some of the Middle East's most treasured mosques. Cycling through this storied region gets you up close and personal with history and some of the friendliest, most inviting locals in the world.

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Itinerary

Day 1

Meet up in Shiraz, the birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafez and Sa'di, for a tour briefing and welcome dinner.

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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.

Day 4

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.

Day 5

A change of scenery today as we head into the mountains. We transfer to the town of Aspas, which is at an altitude of 2362 m. From here we will have a stunning day through the foothills of the Zagros mountains. There is one 5 km long climb at the 30 km mark, so save up your energy. We overnight at the town of Eqlid, one of the highest Iranian cities at 2250 metres, it is also considered the border between the high mountains and the desert.

Day 6

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.

Day 7

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.

Day 8

We start the day with a look at Narenj Castle, one of the most important relics of the area dating back to the period before the advent of Islam to Iran. We cycle to Nain where we'll see one of the earliest remaining mosques in Iran and a Sassanid era fort.

Day 9

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.

Day 10

Free day to continue exploring Isafahan. Visit the Cheehel Sotoon Palace, Fri mosque, Armenian church and the many historical bridges.

Day 11

Cycling on the old road towards Natanz we skirt along some mountains as we ride through arid terrain. From here we transfer uphill to Abiyaneh. 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.

Day 12

An amazing downhill to start the day! Coming down from 2,500 metres we'll overnight at 955 metres in 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.

Day 13

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.

Day 14

This morning we'll take a city tour to discover the capital of Iran. The afternoon will be free for you to spend sometime at the National Museum where you will be amazed by the priceless collection, jump into the busiest bazaar in Iran or maybe sip some tea in an era-house near Golestan Palace. We'll meet up in the evening for a farewell dinner.

Day 15

We'll provide one group transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Additional journey information

Meets: Shiraz
Ends: Tehran
Fly in to: Shiraz International Airport (SYZ)
Fly out of: Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)
Countries visited: Iran
Minimum age: 18 (on scheduled departures)

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