Turkey & Tehran Discoverer

This 12 day overland tour journeys from Istanbul to Tehran through Iran, Turkey

  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZUI2/157615
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Tehran, Iran
  • Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Tehran
  • Zanjan
  • Tabriz
  • Doğubayazıt
  • Erzurum
  • Sivas
  • Göreme
  • Istanbul



Day 1: Tehran

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

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. You will also be required to book an airport transfer in advance via us. Please ensure the correct dates for your plans are clearly stated on all your visa applications.


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 mausoleum 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 - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).


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 - 4-5 hours.


Day 4: Doğubayazıt

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.


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.


Day 7: Göreme

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

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

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.


Day 8-9: Göreme

We will have a 2 full days to explore G reme, 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.


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 - 10-11 hours.


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 Hagia Sophia, the bewildering Grand Bazaar, the phenomenal Topkap Palace, and a ferry cruise on the Bosphorus river.


Day 12: Istanbul

Border information: if leaving the trip in Istanbul, you will most likely exit Turkey from Istanbul Atat rk International Airport (IATA code: IST).

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 Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

    • 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 (Mongolian) emperor Öljeitü built in the 14th Century and the 3rd largest dome in the world behind the Cathedral of Florence and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
    • Visit to Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border
    • Explore the Early Christian underground cities of Derinkuyu or Kaymaklı, 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
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
    • 20% Camping - 80% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • History & Culture
  • Overland Journey