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Turkey and Tehran Trails Istanbul - Tehran

Trip Overview

This 17 day overland tour journeys from Istanbul to Tehran through Iran, Turkey
17 DAYS THROUGH Iran, Turkey
$2,220 (USD) + 410 KITTY (USD)
17 days
Overland expedition vehicle
2 Dragoman crew, 1 local crew (except in Turkey)
$350 USD



Day 1 - Istanbul ( 5th Apr 2021 )

Border Information:  If joining in Istanbul, you will most likely enter Turkey at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IATA code: IST).

There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10.00am - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting. If you are travelling beyond Tbilisi, your tour leader will need to carefully check your visa situation for your entire trip. 

The afternoon will be free to explore the many sights of the incredible exotic city of Istanbul, including the Grand Bazaar, the Bosphorus River, Hagia Sophia and the phenomenal Blue Mosque!

In Istanbul we will stay in dorm accommodation in a fantastic hostel with good facilities, which is a 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Istanbul before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team or your Sales agent if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Istanbul. 

* Important note - 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

Optional Activities

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

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 Hammam, for a bath and massage!

USD 20

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


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
Day 2 - Gallipoli Peninsula ( 6th Apr 2021 )

This morning following breakfast we will depart Istanbul and begin our journey to the shores of Gallipoli. 

After lunch we will get an insight into what happened between the ANZAC, Allied and Turkish foreces during the first World War and have a guided tour of the Battlefields and Anzac Cove. 

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours

Tonight we will stay in a local hostel in Ecebat

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli on a guided tour through the battlefields.

Included in Kitty
Day 3-4 - Troy, Selcuk ( 7th Apr 2021 to 8th Apr 2021 )

Today we will cross the Dardenelles by ferry and head to Helsik where we will do a short tour of the Troy Ruins. 

We will then continue onto Selcuk where we will be staying for two nights. In the evening we will have free time to explore the area or simply relax in one of the many cafes or tea bars which are great for people watching. 

The second day we will spend the day exploring the Ephesus Ruins and Terraced Houses.

Estimated Drive Time 7 - 8 hours

For the next two nights we will stay in a local hostel

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Walk the marbled streets of Ephesus, one of the best preserved ancient cities.

Included in Kitty

Guided Tour of Ephesus Ruins and the Terraced Houses

Included in Kitty

Guided tour around the ancient ruins of Troy

Included in Kitty
Day 5 - Pamukkale ( 9th Apr 2021 )

Following breakfast we will drive inland towards the small village of Pamukkale. 

After lunch we will have free time to visit the thermal hot springs and traverse through the travertine pools and terraces.

Estimate driving time  3 - 4 hours

Tonight we will either camp near the village or stay in a local hotel

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Admire the brilliant white travertine terraces and submerge yourself in the warm mineral rich pools and hot springs

Included in Kitty
Day 6-7 - Olympos ( 10th Apr 2021 to 11th Apr 2021 )

Today we continue our drive south and aim to reach the popular beach town of Olympos by lunchtime.

We will have free time in the afternoon to relax or explore the local area. 

Estimate Drive Time 5 - 6 hours

On the second day there will be plenty of time to explore and participate in optional activities, in the evening we will walk up to the Chimera Fire Mountain and toast some marshmallows

Tonight we will stay in a basic guesthouse

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

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

Hike up Chimera Mountain and witness the natural phenomenon of never ending fires emerging from the rocks. 


Half day Sea Kayaking adventure exploring the many different caves and beautiful coastline of the Southern Turkish Coast. 

EUR 15
Day 8 - Egirdir ( 12th Apr 2021 )

After breakfast we will leave the beachside town of Olympos and make our way north. 

We will have an included visit of Termessos on the way before continuing our journey towards Egirdir where we will find a good spot to bush camp for the night. 

Estimated Drive time 6 - 7 hours

Tonight we will wild camp near Egirdir

Day 9-10 - Göreme ( 13th Apr 2021 to 14th Apr 2021 )

We have an early start this morning to reach the small enchanting town of Goreme in the heart of the Cappadocia mountians. 

In Goreme we will stay in a well-equipped hostel - please note that dorm beds are generally used here. 

Estimated Drive Time 6-7 hours

We now have a full day to explore Goreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will also be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during your 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 190

Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves


Explore the ancient pre-iconoclastic Byzantine rock monastery of Zelve

TRY 15

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


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

EUR 30

Witness the hypnotic Sufi Whirling Dervishes ceremony at an ancient caravanserai near Göreme

EUR 35
Day 11-12 - Zara ( 15th Apr 2021 to 16th Apr 2021 )

Over the next two days we will travel through the stunning landscapes in eastern Turkey towards the Kurdish town of Doğubayazıt.

We will aim to wild camp or stay at a basic local campsite near Mount Nemrut on the first night, and near Lake Nemrut on the second.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours each day.

Day 13 - Doğubayazıt ( 17th Apr 2021 )

Today we will complete our drive to the Kurdish town of Doğubayazıt. On arrival 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 - 4-5 hours.

Day 14 - Tabriz ( 18th Apr 2021 )

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

Today we will drive across the Iranian border to the 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 - 5-7 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

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

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


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


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


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


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

Day 15 - Zanjan ( 19th Apr 2021 )

Today we will continue our journey east 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.

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

Day 16 - Tehran ( 20th Apr 2021 )

Today we will have an included visit to the impressive Dome of Soltaniyeh, just outside of Zanjan. The 14th-century mausoleum is the 3rd largest dome in the world.

After our visit we will continue our drive to the buzzing and chaotic Iranian capital of Tehran.

In Tehran we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 17 - Tehran ( 21st Apr 2021 )

Border Information: If leaving in Tehran, you will most likely exit Iran at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA code: IKA).

This morning we will have an included tour of the stunning Golestan Palace and the fascinating National Museum of Iran.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Tehran. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight.

Please note that due to restrictions on citizens of the UK, USA and Canada being permitted to remain unaccompanied in Iran, we will only be able to book one extra night of accommodation in Tehran for these nationalities at the end of this trip. 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


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


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)


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


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



This group overland journey has multiple departures.
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Trip Notes
Departing: 5 Apr 2021
Returning: 21 Apr 2021
Duration: 17 days
Route: Istanbul - Tehran
$2,220 USD + $410 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
Departing: 27 Sep 2021
Returning: 13 Oct 2021
Duration: 17 days
Route: Tehran - Istanbul
$2,220 USD + $410 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD