Trekking (Iran central Desert: Dasht-e-Kavir)-cultural visits (Yazd-Kashan-Esfahan-Shiraz)(15days)

Heirs of Persian Empire, between the Middle East and Asia, Iran captivates, as much by the variety of its landscapes as by its architecture witness of a prestigious past. The east of the country is an immense plateau almost uninhabited with a big desert of salt and another of sand. A little altitude, the distant mountain massifs can be glimpsed. Beauty of natural landscapes, but also cultural sites: a very colorful architecture, rich bazaars, monuments that recall the splendor of Persia and its great kings, and the holy cities, Isfahan, Persepolis and Shiraz, wonders of the Ancient Orient, which come to close this trip in Iran.

THE STRONG POINTS OF THIS JOURNEY
“Six days of hiking in the heart of the Iranian desert.
A trip to Iran to discover legendary cities: Kashan, Yazd, Isfahan, Persepolis, Shiraz.
Obtaining the visa on the spot.”

Day 1: flight to Tehran. Day 2: Maranjab, at the doors of the desert. Day 3: discovery of the salt lake of Namak, night in the dunes. Day 4: discovery of Kashan. J 5-6: walk between mountains and canyons, dunes near the oasis of Mesr. J 7-8: Walk between dunes and salty depressions to Khor. Day 9: Transfer to Yazd, visit the Fire Temple, Wind Towers and Silence. J 10-11: Persepolis and its famous ruins, Shiraz and the mausoleum of the poet Hafez, Nasir-ol-Molk, Shah Cheragh, the bazaar. J 12-14: road to Isfahan, visit of Isfahan and its monuments adorned with colorful ceramics, return to Tehran. Day 15: Flight to France.

Heir to the Persian Empire, between the Middle East and Asia, Iran captivates, as much by the variety of its landscapes as by its architecture inherited from a prestigious past. The east of the country is an immense plateau almost uninhabited with a big desert of salt and another of sand. A little altitude, the distant mountain massifs can be glimpsed. Beauty of natural landscapes, but also cultural sites: a very colorful architecture, rich bazaars, monuments that recall the splendor of Persia and its great kings, and the holy cities, Isfahan, Persepolis and Shiraz, wonders of the Orient antique, which come to close the trip.

Day by day

Day1 / Arrival Tehran

Flight to Tehran. Reception, transfer and installation at the hotel in Tehran.

Day 2 / Tehran – Maranjab desert

After a good breakfast, departure by minibus to the south towards the Maranjab desert. Discovery of the desert with a first step, installation for the night at the caravanserai of Maranjab. The comfort is basic, but the place has the merit of being unusual.
4 hours drive. 1 h 30-2 h ride.

Day 3 / Maranjab desert: salt lake and dunes

In the morning, hike on this huge saline depression, which we cross in part to reach a dune area. After lunch, hike in the dunes: we follow the undulations of the blond dunes, while admiring the imposing mountains in the distance and the vast white expanse that spreads at our feet. Settling in the camp, dinner and overnight in tents.
5 hours of walking.

Day 4 / Maranjab Desert – Kashan – Zavareh – Anarak – Alam Haj Bagher

Breakfast, then departure for Kashan. Discovery of this oasis near the desert of Dasht-e Kavir and its old bazaar authentic and always very active. Visit the beautiful Garden of Fin built for the 17th century Shah Abbas and one of the many traditional houses with refined decor. We take the vehicles to go further south. The rocky plateaux follow one another, sometimes dug by a saline depression, we approach the premises of Dasht-e Kavir. Installation of our camp for two nights. Dinner and overnight in tents.
Occasional walks during visits to Kashan. 2 h 30 transfer in the morning and 4 h 30 at the end of the day.

Day 5-6 / Desert of Dasht-e Kavir (mountains and canyons)
Departure on foot at the base of a mountain fold where live some nomads. Desert canyons and plateaus follow one another, abandoned hamlets, beautiful strings of dunes barkanes … The climbs of some mounds offer, they, magnificent panoramas on the surroundings. Return to camp for the night.
The next day we explore the valleys of the imposing Kuh-e-Darmakil massif, whose summit rises to 2,500 meters. At the end of the day, we reach the village of Mesr for a night in a simple hostel in the heart of the village, haven of peace, and welcome shower.
5-6 hours of walking each day. M = D: about 300 m on day 5. M = D: 500 m on day 6.
3 hours transfer on day 6 at the end of the day to reach Mesr.

Day 7 / Mesr

In the morning, walk in the gardens, where the villagers are busy, before leaving for our hike. In the distance, an ocean of dunes whose crests shine under the sun. We are not long in walking in the maze of barkhanes. Then comes a track … Trace of life of the man in this desert universe. The vegetation becomes more present. Between the greenery and the aridity of the desert, the contrast is striking. Installation of our camp near Arousan for two nights.
5-6 hours of walking. M = D: 300 m. 2 hours transfer at the end of the day.

Day 8 / Dunes and salt depression

The dunes fade imperceptibly to give place first to a mountain folding, then to a geological depression. The region lives on the edge of time! Here and there, a caravanserai testifies to the great caravans of camels that once crossed the desert of Dasht-e Kavir. Almost nothing has changed since then. Last steps in the sandstone mountains, dunes and other desert areas. Night in camp.
4-5 hours of walking. M = D 500 m.

Day 9 / Dasht-e Kavir – Yazd (1240 m)

Morning transfer to Yazd (300 km) and arrival in the early afternoon. Built between two deserts, Dasht-e Kavir and Dash-e Lut, this city, one of the oldest in the world, was once the gateway to the mythical Silk Road. Afternoon dedicated to the visit of the city: Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Tower of the Wind, ingenious system of air conditioning of the houses, tower of the Silence where one left the corpses to the vultures. Overnight at the hotel.
5-6 hr transfer in the morning. One-time walks during afternoon visits.

Day 10-11 / Yazd – Perseopolis – Shiraz (1490 m)

Morning transfer to Shiraz (450 km); capital of Persia under the Zand dynasty from 1750 to 1794, Shiraz is the worthy heiress of the Persian lifestyle where the finesse of the decorations of its monuments rivals the charm of its gardens.

En route, discovery of Persepolis, ancient capital of the Achaemenid kings Darius and Xerxes and administrative and economic center. Visit the famous ruins – the Hall of the Hundred Columns, the Gate of Nations, the Throne Room, the magnificent bas-reliefs – one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the Middle East, testifying to the past splendor of the city . When Darius I ordered in 521 BC the construction of this sumptuous palace to make it his capital, he is far from imagining that the place would be a milestone in the history of humanity.

Arrival in Shiraz at the end of the day and check in at the hotel for two nights. First discovery of the city in the evening, with the splendid mausoleum of Shah Cheragh and its walls covered with thousands of small mirrors.

The following day, full-day visits: the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque (or pink mosque) built at the end of the 19th century under the Kajjar dynasty, the tomb of the poet Hafez (14th century), who raised the city as a symbol of the know and poetry, the Friday mosque, the garden of Narenjestan and the bubbling bazaar of life and colors … punctual walks during visits. 6 hours transfer on day 10.

Day 12 / Shiraz – Izadkhast Castle – Isfahan

Transfer to Isfahan. On the way, visit Izadkhast Castle. Located in the province of Fars, about 135 kilometers south of Isfahan, the Izadkhast complex includes a castle, a caravanserai and a bridge from the Safavid period. The castle is particularly interesting to discover because of its different architectural styles, dating from the Sassanid period to the Kadjar dynasty. Arrival for dinner in Isfahan. Installation for two nights at the hotel. Punctual walks during visits.
6 hours transfer approx.

Day 13 / Isfahan (1590 m)

Visit of Isfahan, capital of the Persian Empire during the Safavid dynasty of the 16th to the 18th centuries. Isfahan, trading center and strategic location of southern Iran, is at its peak during the reign of Shah Abbas I. It is in this city that one finds the most important concentration of Islamic constructions of Iran. Visit of the Khaju dam bridge built in 1650 on the Zayandeh rud river or the Shahrestan bridge dating from the XI-XII centuries, the Armenian church. We also visit the palace of Ali Qapu (17th century) gateway to a complex of palaces and gardens, the magnificent Friday mosque, built from the 10th century and a superb example of the aesthetic evolutions of Iranian art. , the mausoleum of Bab Al Quasim dating from 1340, the Imamzaddeh Darb-e Emam, mausoleum founded in the 15th century and … the bazaar which is five kilometers long! In the evening, when the weather is mild, the Place Royale is invaded by people walking or drinking tea on the lawn. Night at the same hotel as the day before.
Punctual walks during visits.

Day 14 / Isfahan – Tehran

We continue the visit of Isfahan, its mosques, its bridges-dams, its gardens, its palaces that we could not see the day before. Then transfer to Tehran.
5:30 am transfer approx.

Day 15 / Tehran

Arrived in France.
NB: the walking times are given as an indication.

Your budget

The price includes

Travel
“Bus or private minibus for road transfers.
NB: When you arrive at the Tehran airport, you may wait a few minutes in the arrivals hall of the airport (maximum 60 min) with our service provider to join other people from the airport. group arriving on flights at the same times, in order to optimize airport / hotel transfers on arrival.”

Accommodation
In town: three-star hotel, local standards, double room base.
In the desert: local house in the inhabitants or tents three places for two people, mattress supplied but not thick and insulating (it is difficult to get this type of product in Iran to date, so we provide you two if necessary and, for those who wish, it is advisable to bring a self-inflating mattress).

Meals
In the city, In the villages and oases: meals taken In the restaurant.
In the desert: hearty and varied meals prepared by the local team. the cook brings a special care to meals and will amaze you with the quality of its dishes.
• In the morning: very substantial breakfast.
• At noon: cold picnic.
• In the evening: hot meal.
Drinks: as a precaution, In Iran, it is better to treat the water. Teas and infusions are served during the day.

Baggage transport

Each participant travels on foot with a light backpack containing the personal items needed for the (half) day (water bottle, camera, protective clothing, etc.). The remaining luggage, available in the evening at the hotel or camp, is transported by vehicle.

Full board for the whole trip
Supervision by a high-altitude mountain guide.
Supervision by an Iranian-speaking or English-speaking -guide.
The assistance of the local team (drivers, cook).
Camping equipment (sleeping tents, foam mattresses) and cooking.
Entrances to the monuments and museums planned for the program and Permit fees for Damavand

The price does not include

Airport taxes from Europe.
The Paris-Tehran flight to and from economy class.
Cancellation insurance / interruption of stay / loss of luggage and assistance
Visa fees
All that is not indicated under the heading “The price includes”.