Iran is one of the most beautiful and diversity rich countries I know. Everybody who comes to this country for the first time is astonished and pleasantly surprised by how far apart prejudices and reality differ. Especially the friendliness, eagerness to help and openheartedness of the people in Iran have no match anywhere in the world.
With our Grand Iran Cruise, we offer the possibility for travelers to explore nearly the whole country with a little more time available. We start and end the tour in the probably most beautiful city of the country, in Isfahan. From there we travel across the Zagros mountains until the city of Zanjan, and from there, with a short side-tour across the Elborz mountains we turn South East to Bam, and then back to Shiraz and Isfahan.
The tour price does not include the flight to Isfahan and return. We recommend to fly with Turkish Airlines.
1. Day: Take-off
The adventure shall begin. You board your plane, and a few hours later, you will land in Isfahan.
2. Day: One day in Isfahan
Your first day in Persia. After a few hours of sleep and a good breakfast, we get on the road for a sightseeing tour in Isfahan. The Naqsch-e-Dschahan Place ("mirror of the world") is our goal. Another more current name is Imam Place. It is one of the largest city places of the world. We visit some of the mosques and palaces around it and afterwards enter the bazar with its busy life. In the afternoon we get acquainted with the bikes.
Later on we take a walk at the banks of the Zayandeh River. Then dinner in one of the most famous restaurants of the town.
3. Day: From Isfahan to Khorramabad
Today we get moving in the direction of the Zagros mountains. The further we proceed, the more mountains and curves are on our way. Pure pleasure for bikers!
4. Day: Daytrip across the Zagros mountains
The area around Khorramabad is a spectacular landscape. Many Iranians escape from the nervousness and the heat of their cities, to calm down and relax in the mountains. We also will mount our bikes and explore this beautiful landscape.
5. Day: From Khorramabad to Kermanshah
We stay in the Zagros mountains. It is a short trip today. We don't need to hurry and may fully enjoy the pleasures of a curvy beautiful ride across this landscape. In Kermanshah, we visit Taq-e Bostan. Here we find a group of rocky paintings from the time of the Sassanids Empire. They are considered among the most beautiful and well-kept examples of Sassanidic art.
In the direct neighbourhood of the paintings, fresh water comes out of the mountains and forms a tiny lake. Under the shadow of the trees it is nice to relax for a while.
6. Day: Ride from Kermanshah to Hamadan
Our last day in the Zagros mountains. Hamedan is one of the oldest, if not the oldest town in Iran. Under the name of "Ekbatana" it was the capital of the Meder Empire many centuries ago, and later on the capital of the Achämides Empire. Unfortunately there is nothing left from this glorious period in the history of the town.
Ibn Sina, one of the most important philosophers and medical doctors of his time(980-1037) spent the last years of his life in Hamedan.
7. Day: Excursion to Ali Sadr and Lalejin
Today the bikes don't work. We take the bus to the flowstone caves in Ali Sadr and to the pottery town Lalejin. The excursion ends with a visit of the Hemataneh Park near Hamedan with the impressive waterfalls.
8. Day: Ride to Zanjan
Also today we will enjoy a picturesque ride. Before reaching Zanjan, our goal for the day, we will visit the "Dome of Sultaniyeh".
9. Day: Daytrip to Behestan Castle
This daytrip is voluntary. Aside a 10 km long gravel road, the roads are good, with a a very picturesque landscape and many curves.
The Castle can be only looked at from outside. A very picturesque building.
10. Day: Ride from Zanjan to Qazvin
We could take the direct road to Qazvin, but we'll take a detour, which takes us to the edges of the Elborz mountains, including a lake where the wind blows to strong that you think you'll fly off your bike. But don't worry, so far everybody enjoyed the tour without any injuries.
11. Day: Daytrip to the fort of Alamut
For today's tour, the saying "The road is the goal" wholeheartedly shows its validity. There are hardly any left-overs of the the Alamut fort, and the attempts to reconstruct it ended somewhere in the beginning. But the road is fabulous, and without exaggeration, I can say that it is the most beautiful part of the whole journey, for bikers as well as other friends of spectacular landscapes.
12. Day: Daily trip to Teheran
Once more our bikes will have a day of rest, and we'll take a bus ride to Teheran.
13. Day: Drive from Qazvin to Kashan
On our way to Kashan, we come across small villages, where our appearance will cause an uproar, and when we'll take a break, we'll be surrounded within a few minutes by a curious mass of people. These encounters often end in interesting discussions and many many selfies.
14. Day: A day in Kashan
Kashan is famous for its beautiful rich merchant houses, but also for its mosques and a precious bath house. During our half-day, guided tour across the city, we will study these highlights more carefully.
15. Day: Day trip to Abyaneh and Fin Garden
Abyaneh is a small village in the mountains, with picturesque historical buildings and streets. Also the inhabitants try to keep old traditions alive as much as possible. The whole village is like a big museum.
Following the visit to Abyaneh, we drive to one of the most beautiful and most famous gardens of Iran, the Fin Gardens near Kashan.
We'll also enjoy a spectacular mountain part, because Abyaneh is located amidst beautiful mountains, only connected to the outside world by a very curvy road.
16. Day: Ride from Kashan to Yazd
We will mainly be driving today. On the way we can visit a brick factory and whatever come to our sight in the villages and towns we are crossing.
17. Day: A Day in the city of Yazd
In my opinion, Yazd is one of the most beautiful cities of Iran, besides Isfahan of course. If you like, you might get to know the city during a sightseeing tour with a local guide. Otherwise you can spend the day as you like.
18. Day: Ride from Yazd to Kerman
Now we take a sharp turn towards the South-East. We're now on the road of the overland tours. This road leads to border with Pakistan. So far we won't get. Our destination for the day is Kerman.
19. Day: Ride from Kerman to Bam
And we continue in the South-Eastern direction till we'll reach Bam, where we will visit the old mud part of the town. The earthquake of 2003 nearly completely destroyed the old town, many people died. I can't say how much progress the reconstruction has made, but we'll see ourselves.
20. Day: Ride from Bam to Shahdad
After arriving in Shahdad we will deposit our luggage in the hotel and pack a small backpack just for one night, because tonight a very special adventure is waiting for us. We will spend the night under the open sky in the desert. And lso dinner will be served in the desert. I'm sure, this will be an unforgettable experience.
21. Day: Shahdad
Today we will just relax, spending the day in our resort in Shahdad or taking smal walks in the village.
22. Day: Ride from Shahad to Sirjan
Sirjan is only a necessary stop on the way from Shahdad to Shiraz. To drive the whole distance would take too long.
23. Day: Ride from Sirjan to Shiraz
Now we reach the most Southern point of our journey, Shiraz. Shiraz is the city of poets and writers, in whose memory they built some very beautiful monuments.
24. Day: Daytrip to Persepolis
One last time, we leave the bikes and take the bus to Persepolis, where we will enjoy a guided tour through this ancient seat of the monarchs.
25. Day: One Day in Shiraz.
Persepolis is a good reason for visiting Shiraz, but the city itself has a lot to offer, for example its huge traditional bazar, some very beautiful museums, a huge beautiful park, enough to spend a day here.
26. Day: Ride from Shiraz to Yasuj
In Yasuj , we made about half of the distance to Isfahan, and we only stop here, because the complete ride would have taken too long.
On the first Grand-Iran-Cruise we found a nice spot near a small waterfall for a typical Iranian picknick, with bread, cheese, water melon and non alcohol beer.
27. Day: Ride from Yasuj to Isfahan
Now we are in Isfahan again. The circle closes.
28. Day: One day in Isfahan
Today you have the chance to once more explore Isfahan. The relaxed atmosphere literally invites the visitor to enjoy the town without any stress.
29. Day: Flight back.
That is the end of this Iran Cruise. Early in the morning, the plane will take you back home. We hope, no, we are certain that you will leave for home with a completely new impression of this beautiful country and its people. Tell other people about it! Tell them, how friendly and open the Iranian people are, and convince your relatives and friends, to also pay a visit to this country!