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Tehran to Istanbul
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Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Travel through the fascinating country of Iran, a country close to our hearts. Iran is a country full of wonderful surprises, a vast and fascinating history, profound beauty and the most warm and welcoming people. From the capital of Tehran, we will travel west through the highlands to the stunning city of Tabriz, home to one of the oldest bazaars in the world. From there we will then cross the border into the incredible country of Turkey and the Kurdish town of Do?ubayaz?t, before overlanding to the magical land of Cappadocia where we explore the underground cities and Byzantine rock-hewn churches of the Göreme Valley. Finally we will travel west to the magnificent city of Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and heaving with awe-inspiring historical sites.


Duration: 12 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 157615
Starts: Tehran, Iran Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
You will visit
  • Tehran
  • Zanjan
  • Tabriz
  • DoÄŸubayazıt
  • Erzurum
  • Sivas
  • Göreme
  • Istanbul

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Tehran

Border Information: if joining in Tehran, you will most likely enter Iran at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.

There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting.

After the meeting we will have an included tour of the stunning Golestan Palace and the fascinating National Museum of Iran.

In Tehran we will stay in a local hotel.

Please note that due to restrictions on citizens of the UK, USA and Canada being permitted to remain unaccompanied in Iran, we would only be able to book one extra night of accommodation in Tehran for these nationalities before the trip starts. Please ensure the correct dates for your plans are clearly stated on all your visa applications.

02

Day 2: Zanjan

Today we will set off from Iran's chaotic capital and head west to the impressive Dome of Soltaniyeh, where we have an included visit. The 14th-century mausolem is the 3rd largest dome in the world.

After our visit, we will continue our drive to the small town of Zanjan, where we have free time to explore and possibly visit the fascinating historical laundry hall of Rakhatshor-Khaneh.

In Zanjan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, borders and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3: Tabriz

Today we will drive to the western Iranian city of Tabriz, where we will have free time to explore some of the sights of the old town.

In Tabriz we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8- hours.

04

Day 4: Do ubayaz t

Border Information: Exit Iran at Bazargan, enter Turkey at Gurbulak.

Today we will drive across the border to Turkey and the Kurdish town of Do ubayaz t. En route we will have an included visit to the Ishak Pasha Palace and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and the nearby Mount Ararat.

In Do ubayaz t we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

05

Day 5-6: Erzurum

Over the next two days we will travel through the stunning landscapes in eastern Turkey towards the central Cappadocia region. 

We will aim to wild camp or stay at a basic local campsite near Erzurum on the first night, and near Sivas on the second.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours each day.

06

Day 7: Göreme

Today we will complete our drive to Göreme, a small enchanting town in the heart of the Cappadocia mountains.

In Göreme we will stay in a well-equipped hostel - please note that dorm beds are sometimes used here.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

07

Day 8-9: Göreme

We now have a 2 full days to explore Göreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during our time here.

08

Day 10: Istanbul

Today we will have a full day's drive west to arrive in Istanbul, the only city in the world that straddles two continents, Europe and Asia.

In Istanbul we will stay in dorm accommodation in a fantastic hostel with good facilities in the historic district of Sultanahmet, a 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

09

Day 11: Istanbul

Today we will have a free day to explore the myriad of highlights in the old Byzantine and Ottoman capital. There are many places to visit, such as the spectacular Blue Mosque, the colossal Aya Sophia, the bewildering Grand Bazaar, the phenomenal Topkapi Palace, and a ferry cruise on the Bosphorus river.

10

Day 12: Istanbul

Border information: if leaving the trip in Istanbul, you will most likely exit Turkey from Istanbul Atatürk International Airport.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Istanbul. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Explore the former royal complex of Golestan Palace, a huge site built in the 16th century and Tehran's oldest monument
    • Learn all about Iran's rich and fascinating history at Tehran's National Museum of Iran
    • See the spectacular Dome of Soltaniyeh, the huge mausolem of the Ilkhanate (Mogolian) emperor Öljeitü built in the 14th century and the 3rd largest dome in the world behind the Cathedral of Florence and the Aya Sophia in Istanbul
    • Visit the Ottoman-era Ishak Pasha Palace in the hills overlooking DoÄŸubayazıt and take in the impressive views of the surroundings, including the famous Mount Ararat
    • Explore the Early Christian underground cities of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli, used as a hiding place from persecutions for centuries
    • Walk through the beautiful ancient valley of Ihlara, containing the beautiful rock-hewn churches built by the Cappadocian Greeks during the Byzantine era
    Accomodation
    • 55% Camping - 45% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • History & Culture
  • Overland Journey