+441728 861133
Silk Route

Istanbul - Ashgabat via Iran

26 DAYS THROUGH Iran, Turkey (+ 1 more)
RATING:
PRICE FROM:
Was: $3,150 (USD) + 1,130 KITTY (USD)
Now: $2,520 (USD) + 1,130 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
26 days
ACCOM:
10%
90%
PHYSICAL:
TRIP CODE:
IIA
DEPOSIT:
$350 (USD)

Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1 - Ashgabat ( 14th Oct 2018 )

Border Information: if joining in Ashgabat, you will most likely enter Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB).

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 city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. In the afternoon we will visit the famous Ashgabat Sunday Market.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Ashgabat before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Ashgabat. If arriving at Ashgabat airport you will also need to have a confirmed arrival transfer and representative from our local supplier to meet you at the airport. Please contact your sales agent for prices and to book. 

In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel.

*Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city
Included in Kitty

Explore, shop and haggle at the vast Tolkuchka Sunday Market

Included in Kitty
Day 2 - Ashgabat ( 15th Oct 2018 )

Today we will arrange to obtain our Iran visas at the Iranian Consulate in Ashgabat for all members of the group - please note that citizens of the UK, USA and Canada will need to attend the Consulate in person along with your trip leader so that they can take fingerprints as part of the application.

The rest of the day is free to further explore Ashgabat.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Learn about the history and culture of Turkmenistan at the huge National Museum in Ashgabat
USD 10
Visit the huge Turkmenbashi Ruhy mosque on the outskirts of Ashgabat, built in 2004 as the mausoleum of Saparmurat Niyazov, the first president of Turkmenistan after the fall of the Soviet Union
Free
See a myriad of incredible and impressive hand-woven carpets in the Ashgabat Carpet Museum (if open)
USD 10
Day 3 - Shirvan ( 16th Oct 2018 )

Border Information: Exit Turkmenistan at Gaudan, enter Iran at Bajgiran.

Today we will pick up our passports from the Iranian Consulate and head straight across the border to the small town of Shirvan.

In Shirvan we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 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 4 - Damghan ( 17th Oct 2018 )

Today we will drive to the historical town of Bastam and visit the Sufi complex in the centre. After this we will continue to the town of Damghan.

In Damghan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the ancient town of Bastam, containing monuments dating from the Ilkhanate Period when Iran was controlled by the Mongol Empire

Included in Kitty

Visit the splendid ancient brick building of Imamzadeh Jafar in Damghan, which has an appearance similar to a North African castle

Included in Kitty

See Damghan's Jameh Mosque and it's fine brick minaret dating from the mid-11th century

Included in Kitty

Visit the partially-ruined Tarikhuneh Mosque which features 18 rear columns dating from around 760CE, making this one of the oldest mosques in Iran

Included in Kitty
Day 5 - Khoor ( 18th Oct 2018 )

This morning we will take a walking tour of the ancient town of Damghan, including the Tarikhuneh Mosque which features columns dating from the year 760CE.

Following our visit we will continue our journey to the desert city of Khoor, where we have the option to take an evening jeep trip into the nearby salt flats to have dinner.

In Khoor we will stay in a beautiful hotel in the style of a desert caravanserai.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

*Please note that with small groups and at certain times of the year we may be able to stay in a local homestay in the nearby village of Mesr*.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the ancient desert town of Khoor and see its beautiful palm trees and ruined castle

Included in Kitty
Day 6-7 - Yazd ( 19th Oct 2018 to 20th Oct 2018 )

Today we will explore the town of Khoor before driving to the ancient desert town of Yazd, one of the oldest extant towns in Iran.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have an included walking tour of some of the main highlights of Yazd, including the incredible Jameh Mosque, the Old Town and the Amir Chakhmaq complex.

In Yazd we will stay in a local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

See the stunning ancient Jameh Mosque of Yazd, built in the 12th century and a fantastic example of Azari architecture

Included in Kitty

Learn all about the intriguing and ingenious historical methods of getting water to the desert town of Yazd at the Yazd Water Museum

Included in Kitty

Freely explore the huge city square and mosque at the Amir Chakmaq complex, built in the 15th century

Included in Kitty

Discover the atmospheric winding streets and beautiful adobe architecure of Yazd's Old Town, one of the oldest towns in the world

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the fascinating centuries-old practice of Varzesh-e Bastani at the Yazd House of Strength, a curious blend of strength training, martial arts and wrestling, accompanied by traditional music

IRR 10000
Day 8 - Zein-o-din, Yazd ( 21st Oct 2018 )

Today we have an included visit to two important Zoroastrian sites in Iran - the Fire Temple and the Towers of Silence. After this we will take a short drive to the famous Caravanserai of Zein-o-Din, an atmospheric 16th-century guesthouse originally built to accommodate merchants travelling on the Silk Road.

In Zein-o-Din we will stay overnight at the old caravanserai.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Stay overnight in the incredible restored Safavid-era circular caravanserai in the remote deserts south of Yazd

Included in Kitty

See the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence outside Yazd, used until the 1960s to place bodies of the deceased so that they did not touch and pollute the sacred elements of fire or earth

Included in Kitty

Visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, where they keep a sacred fire that has supposedly been continuously burning since 470CE, the only Zoroastrian eternal flame of its type outside of India

Included in Kitty
Day 9 - Persepolis, Shiraz ( 22nd Oct 2018 )

Today we will drive south to the city of Shiraz. En route we will visit the phenomenal ancient ruins of Persepolis, once the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Persian Empire until it was conquered by Alexander the Great in 330BCE.

In Shiraz we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Head out on a guided tour of the incredible historic ruins of the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis, founded by Cyrus the Great in 550BCE and invaded by Alexander the Great in 330BCE

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the phenomenal site of Naqsht-e Rustam near Persepolis, the cross-shaped tombs of four of the great Emperors of Persia chiselled into the cliff face

USD 10
Day 10 - Shiraz ( 23rd Oct 2018 )

Today we will have an included walking tour of some of the highlights of the old city of Shiraz, including the beautifully-coloured Nasir ol Molk Mosque, the incredible mirrored interior of the Shah Cheragh Mosque, and the historical house of Narenjestan.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the stunning Shah Cheragh Mosque, a major pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims

Included in Kitty

Explore the 19th century Nasir ol Molk Mosque, famous for its extensive coloured glass art

Included in Kitty

Visit the Narenjestan Palace in Shiraz, the former home of the wealthy Qavam family of merchants

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the tranquil site of the tomb of Hafez, a famous 14th-century Persian poet whose collected works are regarded as the pinnacle of Persian literature

IRR 60000

Explore the stunning citadel of the Arg of Karim Khan in Shiraz, built by the emperor Karim during the Zand Dynasty in the late 18th century

IRR 20000
Day 11-13 - Esfahan ( 24th Oct 2018 to 26th Oct 2018 )

Today we wil have a full day's drive to the stunning old Safavid-era capital of Esfahan.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

On the following day we will have an included walking tour of the central highlights of Esfahan, including the showpiece central square of Naqsh-e Jahan and its surrounding mosques and royal palaces, the old bazaar, and the beautiful Jameh Mosque, one of the oldest in Iran.

On our second full day here, we will have free time to explore more of Esfahan's incredible sites, such as its ancient bridges, the curious 'Shaking Minarets', the Armenian Vank Cathedral, or the evocative Martyrs' Cemetery.

In Esfahan we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the magnificent and colossal city square of Naqsh-e Jahan, the centrepiece of the Safavid-era city of Esfahan

Included in Kitty

Explore the Shah Mosque, the public mosque of Esfahan built by Shah Abbas I and a masterpiece of Persian architecture

Included in Kitty

See the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, once a private mosque for the emperor and his harem and home to some of the world's most beautiful and masterful internal tilework

Included in Kitty

Explore the grand palace of Ali Qapu and discover the stunning wall paintings of the former residence of the Safavid emperors

Included in Kitty

Wander the streets of Esfahan's old bazaar, dating from the 17th century

Included in Kitty

Visit the stunning Jameh Mosque in Esfahan, one of the oldest mosques in Iran and an amalgamation of several different styles of Persian architecture

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Walk around Esfahan's historical centre and visit the five iconic Safavid-era bridges across the Zayandeh river

Free

Visit the Vank Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox church set up by the Armenian diaspora in the 17th century

Free

See the curious 14th-century 'Shaking Minarets' in Esfahan, famous for the effect that if one minaret is shaken, the other will shake as well

IRR 5000

Visit the very moving Martyrs' Cemetery of Esfahan, a patriotic tribute to soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s

Free

Explore the site of the ancient Zoroastrian Fire Temples near Esfahan, where you get incredible views over the city and the surrounding valley

IRR 40000
Day 14 - Tehran ( 27th Oct 2018 )

Today we will have a full day drive to the chaotic Iranian capital of Tehran.

In Tehran we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty

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

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

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

Free

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

USD 4.5

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

USD 5

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

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

Free

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

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
Day 15 - Tehran ( 28th 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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty

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

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

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

Free

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

USD 4.5

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

USD 5

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

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

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

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

Free

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 16 - Zanjan ( 29th 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!).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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 Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

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

Free
Day 17 - Tabriz ( 30th 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.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

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

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

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

Free

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

Free

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 18 - Doğubayazıt ( 31st 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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border

Included in Kitty
Day 19-20 - Erzurum, Sivas ( 1st Nov 2018 to 2nd Nov 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 21 - Göreme ( 3rd Nov 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 22-23 - Göreme ( 4th Nov 2018 to 5th Nov 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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty
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 Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia

EUR 135

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

TRY 15

Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves

TRY 5

Explore the ancient pre-iconoclastic Byzantine rock monastery of Zelve

TRY 15
Learn how to make the traditional Central Turkish dishes of dolma and sarma at a Turkish cooking class
EUR 55
Take an Oriental Dancing (belly dancing) class to learn the techniques of this beautiful form of dance
EUR 70
Drive through the stunning landscape of Cappadocia on an ATV quad biking trip
USD 65
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
Discover the incredible scenery of Cappadocia on horseback
EUR 40

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

Free

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

TRY 90
Witness the hypnotic Sufi Whirling Dervishes ceremony at an ancient caravanserai near Göreme
EUR 35
Day 24 - Istanbul ( 6th Nov 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 25 - Istanbul ( 7th Nov 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.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Guided city tour of Istanbul

TRY 50

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

TRY 25

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

TRY 20

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

TRY 35

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

USD 20

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

Free

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

USD 17
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
Take a long day trip out to Gallipoli, the site of the infamous battle in World War I
USD 100
Day 26 - Istanbul ( 8th Nov 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

This group overland journey has multiple departures.
Please refine your search by selecting your preferred dates of travel.

I'd like to travel in:
Filter results by:
Start
Finish
Days
Route
Tour Price
Availability
Trip Notes
Departing: 14 Oct 2018
Returning: 8 Nov 2018
Duration: 26 days
Route: Ashgabat - Istanbul
$2,520 + $1,130 Kitty (USD)
Was $3150.00 - Save $630
Deposit: $350
available
Departing: 22 Sep 2019
Returning: 17 Oct 2019
Duration: 26 days
Route: Ashgabat - Istanbul
$3,125 + $1,130 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.

WHAT OUR PASSENGERS SAY

There are no reviews for this trip yet