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11 days 10 nights
With this journey, we discover the mountain regions of Iran and the border population Caspian Sea. A different Iran, rich in pastoral and rural traditions, but also in very beautiful natural environments characterized by Hyrcanian Forest, volcanic areas, thermal springs, very colorful rocks, Caspian Sea and coastal lagoons rich in birds and water lilies. Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests, on July 10th of 2019, were registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Tabriz and Ardabil we discover an important bazaar in Silk Road, still steeped in ancient traditions. In Kandovan we discover a rock city carved into the cliffs, in a landscape that recalls the most famous Cappadocia. In Masuleh we come into contact with the most beautiful rural traditions and meet the nomads in the mountains of the Albroz Mountains. There are many wonderful landscapes here that are worth catching, so even if you’re not a photographer, make sure you bring your camera with you!
For more information about Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests click here!
Iran Salam! Arrival at IKA airport in Tehran, meet our friendly agent. Based on arrival time, Transfer to Hotel, or have a short city tour.
Overnight in Tehran.
Breakfast at hotel. Spend the day visiting Tehran: bagh –e Melli gate and Golestan Complex, declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Among the most striking buildings of Golestan palace is the Palace of the marble throne. This splendid structure is completely adorned with marble sculptures, stuccos, mirrors, enamels, wooden sculptures that are the embodiment of the splendor and extreme beauty of Persian architecture. And then take a walk in Tehran bazaar . The main market of the Iranian capital, in fact, in the beauty of its intricate 20 square kilometers, is decidedly monumental. In the afternoon visit of the Jewerly museum (if possible, open from Saturday to Tuesday from 2.00pm to 4.30pm).
Overnight in Tehran.
Early in the morning departure for Masuleh. On the way visiting Saravan forest. The forest is full of trees and unique plant species. It is also home to an incredibly wide range of wildlife. The two rivers that cross it and the algae covered by the lake, give it that mystical feeling that baffles every single person who visits there are also Museum of Rural Heritage in this forest that you can visit. Then we will arrive in Masuleh. We stop to visit a characteristic mountain village.
Overnight in Fuman.
After breakfast we enter the most inaccessible mountain areas of Rudkhan castle: about 25 km southwest of Fuman rises to 670-715 m height between two peaks, the imposing remains of the fortress, which was built during the Seljuk domination.
Overnight in Bandar Anzali.
After breakfast we will visit Caspian Sea and its views. We go down from the mountains to reach the Caspian Sea where we will be surrounded by completely different atmospheres. The coast alternates beaches with small centers with bazaars and restaurants and attracts tourism from Tehran every year. Some larger centers like Bandar Azali have fishing ports. The heights surrounding the coast are covered by rainforest and in Anzali the freshwater lagoons, rich in birds and water lilies are famous: we can have a boat trip to discover this enchanting nature.
Overnight in Bandar Anzali.
Departure for Talesh. On the way visiting Gysoom forest park. A part of the Forest of Hyrcarnian Forest. The climb leads through the aforementioned Hyrcarnian forest of Talesh Mountains: the high rain on the windward side of the Alborz (up to about 1600 mm per year), not only allows the cultivation of wet rice, but at a higher altitude also a extremely lush vegetation. This forest of Hyrcarnian, with Persian oak, Fagus orientalis, wood iron and Caucasian wingnut, just to name a few, also a rich fauna, the brown bear, the lynx, the wolf and the leopard are native. If possible we will also visit Visadar waterfall.
Overnight in Asalem.
Drive to Ardabil via Asalem-Khalkhal road. A Passage through the magical mountain route of Heyran, you will enter a winding road that crosses a jungle with tall and marvelous trees (Continuing the forests of Hyrcanian), after about an hour of driving, you will reach a point where the earth is covered by wide green fields. The landscapes are so beautiful that you will immediately agree with those who call this road "The dreamy road of Iran". Then we will arrive at Heyran road. There are many tourist facilities. The cable cars are 1500 meters away and stop in the Fandoglu forest.
Overnight in Heyran.
After breakfast drive to Ardabil and we will visit Sheikh Safi aldin Ardabili mausoleum, which is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. Then we will continue to Sarein, the hot water spa in Iran.
Overnight at the hotel Sarein.
Drive to Meshkin Shahr and visit the longest suspension bridge in the Middle East. This bridge is located on the Hyrcanian forests. Then we will go to Kaleibar, borderlands, the passage of ancient caravan routes. The route winds through the mountains with views of the volcanic mountains and meets small villages that deserve a few stops. Kaleibar, a village famous for its wild nature and ancient fortresses perched among the rocks, visiting Babak Fort which was built at a height of about 2300 meters from the sea.
Overnight in Kaleibar.
After breakfast drive to Tabriz. Tabriz, the capital of western Azerbaijan. In this day visit the great Bazaar (UNESCO heritage and one of the largest covered markets in the East), the Archaeological Museum and the Blue Mosque (1465), an example of the flourishing architecture that characterizes the Turkmen domination of the Shah Jahan.
Overnight in Tabriz.
After breakfast, we have an excursion to Kandovan. Kandovan, the village carved into the rock. We leave the city to quickly reach the territory dominated by the Sahand volcano, which has shaped the territory with its eruptions. Man, since ancient times, has inhabited these regions exploiting the characteristics of the landscape, especially by digging dwellings in the volcanic rock. The village of Kandovan is a real gem, entirely excavated in the tuff and still partially inhabited. We go hiking among these rocks, to admire the landscape and discover this interesting reality. Return to Tabriz. Transfer to the airport.