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Silk Route

Istanbul - Ashgabat via Iran

26 DAYS THROUGH Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan
PRICE:
$3,125 (USD) + 1,330 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
26 days
ACCOM:
10% Camping
90% Hotels
PHYSICAL:
TRIP CODE:
IIA
DEPOSIT:
$350 (USD)

Itinerary

Day 1 - Tehran ( 14th Oct 2018 )

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 Dragoman. Please ensure the correct dates for your plans are clearly stated on all your visa applications.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Included

Explore the former royal complex of Golestan Palace, a huge site built in the 16th century and Tehran's oldest monument

Included in Kitty
Included

Learn all about Iran's rich and fascinating history at Tehran's National Museum of Iran

Included in Kitty
Optional

Visit the Iranian Artists' Forum in Tehran, a large gallery for the country's best young artists to feature their work

Free
Optional

Explore the S'ad Abad Museum in the spectacular mountainside near Tehran, once a royal summer home during the Pahlavi period

USD 4.5
Optional

Visit the shocking Ebrat Museum, once the prison used by the Shah's brutal secret police before the revolution of 1979

USD 5
Optional

See Tehran's iconic Azadi Tower, the inverted Y-shaped memorial built in 1971 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the first Persian Empire

USD 2.5
Optional

See Tehran's Museum of the Islamic Period and its interesting collection of artifacts from various stages of Iran's history (when open)

USD 3
Optional

Visit the viewing tower at the top of the iconic Milad Tower, one of the world's tallest towers at a height of 435 metres

USD 8
Optional

Visit the Laleh Park in central Tehran, an oasis of calm and a well-designed green space to observe local life pass by

Free
Optional

See some of Iran's most precious treasures at the Treasury of National Jewels, including the 182 carat Darya-ye-Nur (Sea of Light) which is thought to be the world's largest uncut diamond, and the phenomenal 34kg Globe of Jewels, made with over 51,000 precious stones

USD 4.5
Day 2 - Zanjan ( 15th Oct 2018 )

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!).

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Included

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

Included in Kitty
Optional

Visit the historical underground hall of Rakhatshor-Khaneh, once used as the entire city's laundry-place

Free
Day 3 - Tabriz ( 16th Oct 2018 )

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.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Optional

Wander through the ancient bazaar of Tabriz, once one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road and the largest covered market in the world

Free
Optional

Visit the Constitution House of Tabriz, where the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1907 was launched, which established the Qajar Dynasty and the country's parliament

Free
Optional

Learn all about the vast history of Tabriz and the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan in the Azerbaijan Museum

Free
Optional

Visit the beautiful Blue Mosque of Tabriz, built in 1465 and refurbished in 1973

Free
Optional

See the grave of Shahriar, the beloved local poet whose Azeri-Turkish and Persian literature has been translated into more than 30 languages across the world

Free
Day 4 - Doğubayazıt ( 17th Oct 2018 )

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

Today we will drive across the border to Turkey and the Kurdish town of Doğubayazıt. 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 Doğubayazıt we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Included

Visit to Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border

Included in Kitty
Day 5-6 - Erzurum, Sivas ( 18th Oct 2018 to 19th Oct 2018 )

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 ( 20th Oct 2018 )

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 - 5-7 hours.

Day 8-9 - Göreme ( 21st Oct 2018 to 22nd Oct 2018 )

We will 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.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Optional

Take a hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia

EUR 135
Optional

2-3 nights to discover Cappadocia's Goreme Valley and underground troglodyte cities and caves

TRY 15
Optional

Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves

TRY 5
Optional

Explore the ancient pre-iconoclastic Byzantine rock monastery of Zelve

TRY 15
Optional Learn how to make the traditional Central Turkish dishes of dolma and sarma at a Turkish cooking class EUR 55
Optional Take an Oriental Dancing (belly dancing) class to learn the techniques of this beautiful form of dance EUR 70
Optional Drive through the stunning landscape of Cappadocia on an ATV quad biking trip USD 65
Optional See the harvesting of the grapes and learn all about the process of making the local drink of pekmez (September to mid-October only) EUR 50
Optional Discover the incredible scenery of Cappadocia on horseback EUR 40
Included

Explore the Early Christian underground cities of Derinkuyu or Kaymaklı, used as a hiding place from persecutions for centuries

Included in Kitty
Included Walk through the beautiful ancient valley of Ihlara, containing the beautiful rock-hewn churches built by the Cappadocian Greeks during the Byzantine era Included in Kitty
Optional

Discover the ancient techniques of Cappadocian pottery at the village of Avanos

Free
Optional

Head out for a fun evening of dinner and various Turkish dancing displays

TRY 90
Optional Witness the hypnotic Sufi Whirling Dervishes ceremony at an ancient caravanserai near Göreme EUR 35
Day 10 - Istanbul ( 23rd Oct 2018 )

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 ( 24th Oct 2018 )

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 Topkapı Palace, and a ferry cruise on the Bosphorus river.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Optional

Guided city tour of Istanbul

TRY 50
Optional

Visit the incredible Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century

TRY 25
Optional

Explore the atmospheric underground Basilica Cisterns, built by the Byzantines in the 6th century

TRY 20
Optional

Explore the majestic Topkapı Palace, the huge palace of the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years

TRY 35
Optional

Visit the Çemberlitas Baths, a traditional Turkish Hamam, for a bath and massage!

USD 20
Optional

Explore the phenomenal Blue Mosque, built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I - a stunning icon of Istanbul

Free
Optional

See the splendour of Istanbul from a boat trip on Bosphorus Strait, which marks the boundary of Europe and Asia

USD 17
Optional Explore the colossal markets of the Grand Bazaar - once the centre of all trading between Europe and Asia, and the most visited tourist attraction in the world Free
Optional Take a long day trip out to Gallipoli, the site of the infamous battle in World War I USD 100
Day 12 - Istanbul ( 25th Oct 2018 )

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

DATES & PRICES

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Trip Notes
Departing: 19 Apr 2018
Returning: 14 May 2018
Duration: 26 days
Route: Istanbul - Ashgabat
$3,150 + $1,340 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350
available
Departing: 14 Oct 2018
Returning: 8 Nov 2018
Duration: 26 days
Route: Ashgabat - Istanbul
$3,150 + $1,330 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350
available
Departing: 18 Apr 2019
Returning: 13 May 2019
Duration: 26 days
Route: Istanbul - Ashgabat
$3,125 + $1,340 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350
available
Departing: 13 Oct 2019
Returning: 7 Nov 2019
Duration: 26 days
Route: Ashgabat - Istanbul
$3,125 + $1,330 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350
available

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