Iran Cycling Tour
Day 1- Arrival-Tehran
Welcome to Iran. Tehran, Iran’s capital, locating on the slopes of snowcapped Alborz mountains, is the nation’s dynamic beating heart and a combination of modernity and history. You will be met on arrival at Tehran International airport and transferred to your hotel. After taking a short rest, head to the downtown Tehran and explore its different cultural layers. We visit national museum of Iran, aging more than 70 years. It is not only the largest museum of History and Archaeology of the country, but ranks as one of the few most prestigious museums of the world in regard to grand volume, diversity and quality of its huge monuments. soon after, we head to 30 Tir street. Though being brimmed with cultural features, the street had lost its heydays hustle and bustle. In spite of being located in the heart of Tehran’s old district and as a result lined with museums and culturally remarkable landscapes, it wasn’t until recently that 30 Tir street became one of locals’ favorite hangout spots. It boomed once again and become Iran’s first food street. People line before every shop patiently to get their order ready. Our next stop is Abgineh museum, at the end of this historical street. It is full of pottery works and ceramics. The last place we visit on the first day of our tour is Golestan palace and museum (UNESCO world Heritage Site). We can review Qajar history by walking through the Halls and Gallery and a stunning Garden inspired by the European architecture.
Day 2- Tehran-Ghom
Ghom is Iran’s second holiest city where we can visit some very strong religious tights in Iranian culture. To understand Iran’s culture better, Ghom can give you the opportunity. Consequently we visit Hazrat-e Masume holy shrine and wander in local Bazaar. Tomorrow we start our Iran Cycling tour.
Today we start our Iran cycling tour from Ghom to Kashan which is about 70 Km. First they transfer us to mountainous area then we start biking. After getting to the 70 Km point, we are at 1750 m. Climb aboard the car and drive the rest of the way to Kashan. Although it is a small town in terms of size but actually is an influential one in Iran’s history. Finally, relax in a very traditional hotel (restored and reopened) which once used to be a living place of locals. You can easily feel at home. This isn’t merely an Iran cycling tour, but we can squeeze handpicked attractions during the trip.
As a piece of notice, Iran cycling tour is suitable for both professionals and amateurs. This small city has amazing stories to tell and awe-inspiring detailed stucco of town’s influential families’ houses reveal millions of secrets. Tabatabaei and Borujerdi houses are bearing most of these stories. The later one is said to be built for the sake of a passionate love, where you can still feel its sweetness. Another Iranian garden with high walls and higher cedars, quite visible from behind wall, is our next stop. Fin Garden (UNESCO world Heritage Site) and its famous historical bath in which one of Iran’s greatest prime ministers has been murdered has buried stories for years. During Iran cycling tour we discover Iran Villages and cities on our way therefore culture is an important element in the trip.
Same as previous days we Pedal from kashan to Abyaneh village. An exotic red village on the way to Isfahan. Some of the best things to do in Isfahan are, ironically, not in Isfahan. Locating 70 kilometer southeast of Kashan, Abyaneh is like a red diamond, an oasis, in the middle of desert context. Red baked-clay houses bear an ancient architectural style. Women mostly wear red knee-length skirt and white floral long scarf. Usually in spring you can take a leisurely walk among the narrow and sloped lanes, pass the village only Jame Mosque with a big decorated wooden door and greet with old women sitting in a group of two or three in the region’s custom. You can’t see them anywhere in Iran but in this small village. We experience 25 Km altitude changes while biking to Abyaneh and settle in the village hotel.
Day 6- Abyaneh-Isfahan
Once more pedal to tackle the mountains to the west. We pass by the villages on the way and climb up to 2800 m above sea level. We bike the way so remote and less traveled yet alone biked but the authentic experience at the end, is worthwhile. Different faces of Zagros mountain range are quite visible here. We get to Meymeh and from there we head to Isfahan. After almost 2 and a half hours driving, we enter Isfahan. Put all the wonders aside, nowhere in Iran can even get close to Isfahan. Four hundred years ago, Isfahan was larger than London and more cosmopolitan than Paris. Elegant bridges crossed its modest river, lavishly outfitted polo players dashed across the world’s largest square and hundreds of domes and minarets punctuated the skyline. As we said before, cycling is only one of the aspects of Iran cycling tour. We mainly bike and secondly explore some must-see natural and cultural monuments.
Day 7- Isfahan
To get the most out of our day in Isfahan, we first visit Naqsh-e Jahan (Meidan Emam) square (UNESCO world Heritage Site) where once polo players boasted about their horse riding abilities in matches to entertain the ruler, Shah Abbas. Breathtaking mosques Shah (Imam) and sheikh lotf-ol-lah, Ali Qapu palace and entrance to a vast bazaar embrace the square. Locals call Isfahan half the world and who ever visited the shining capital of Persia, believe in this rhythmic proverb. The city’s most famous bridge, Si-o Se Po (Bridge of 33 Arches) is nearly 1,000 feet long and 45 feet wide. Another as eye catching, Khaju bridge and delightful coffee shops are a common gathering place in the evenings. Another outstanding masterpiece of Isfahan is Jameh Mosque (UNESCO world Heritage Site). Its yard and azure-tiled arches make you take photos to record the beauty even after leaving the city. To end our fantastic excursion in culture-ridden streets of Isfahan we head to Chehel sotoun Palace (UNESCO world Heritage Site) where 20 pillars double by reflection in the pond in front.
Day 8- Isfahan heights
Being awe-inspired by the historical wonders of Isfahan, it’s time to be surprised by some natural wonders. Biking up and down the surrounding heights, passing by the mountainous area and experiencing authentic natural features, we can see lakes, rivers, springs, mountainous area, vineyards, parks and flowery plains. Depending on timing and obtaining necessary prior permissions we can delve into Sisakht protected area. Sisakht is a lost heaven. It lies in Dena foothills and fortunately is a quiet place where we can breathe clean weather and enjoy the tranquility of the place. We relax our muscles after long biking and refresh for the rest of our trip.
Cycle to Yasuj. During the trip don’t be shocked when locals kindly invite you for tea in their own house. Hospitality is pretty common among villagers. It’s part of their culture to consider strangers as their guests. Nowhere in Iran has such an untouched nature. By dinner we eat at a local restaurant and enjoy the fresh, cheap and in season food served in most of the restaurants.
Day 10- Yasuj-Shiraz
A morning ride through scenic roads within the nice and picturesque Zagros Mountains, makes our last day of cycling. At first sight its looks a common up and down, however we have to climb to a peak of 2500 m over the first 60 km, before descending to 2300 m for the evening in the next 10 km. After a short rest, we explore Shiraz. Shiraz is famous for many things. Once you enter the city, you can feel the friendliness and hospitality among locals. In Shiraz, city of flowers, nightingales and poets, you won’t have trouble finding things to do. Whether you are a history buff or into culture and nature, you won’t be disappointed. You can wander its streets, stroll in gardens, delve into the astonishing traditional bazaars and admire elaborate architectural relics. We visit Vakil complex which is named after the popular Zand-era king’s nickname Vakiloroaya.
Day 11- Shiraz-Airport
Enjoy walking in Arg of Karim Khan whose bitter orange trees smell fills the whole city during spring. In order to know why Persian Gardens are listed in UNESCO we visit Eram Garden (UNESCO world Heritage Site) a best example of Persian garden. Soon after we visit Nasirolmolk mosque, small but by far the most sought after place in Shiraz. Uncommon in mosques, the stained glass windows of the mosque illuminate its Persian carpets with a kaleidoscope of patterned flecks of light. At last and depending on timing we can visit Hafez and Saadi tombs, two of Iranian great poets. We have to finish out Iran cycling tour and pack again and head to the airport. Fly back home.