• 22 Days from
    $4532 p/p in USD
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TRAVEL PARTNER

Oaksland Travel

  • Iran
Destinations

Destinations

Iran,

Tour Type

Tour Type

Guided, Small Group

Safari Standard

Safari Standard

Budget

Tour Overview

Explore Iran’s Lut Desert on this epic desert traverse. Discover an ever-changing landscape of star dunes, shifting sands and rock sculptures, camp in the desert, visit historic villages, enjoy local cuisine and learn how the locals have adapted to life in these harsh conditions. The journey may be via old abandoned routes or former Silk Road and at the end you arrive at Yazd, an ancient city and heart of civilization in Central Iran. For those with a passion for Persia and who want to experience the geology, desert stars and solitude of the desert, this is the adventure tour for you.

General Information

  • Safari types:
    Camping Safari, Desert Safari, Guided Safari
  • Activities:
    Walking Safari
  • Getting around:
    Transfer Vehicle
  • Start/end:
    Start/end in Tehran

General Information

  • Duration: 22 days/21 nights
  • Max group size: 15
  • Tour category: Active/desert safari/adventure
  • Tour difficulty: 3/5
  • Accommodation: Hotel/local house/camping 
  • Transportation: Private car for 2-3 pax, suitable minibus for bigger groups, 4×4 safari vehicle during expedition times, 1 domestic flight
  • Best time to go: Late September to late March
  • Meals: Full board
  • The sightseeing schedule may change due to arrival times, at your guide’s discretion and depending on official and unofficial holidays of some museums
  • Hotel check-in time is generally 2:00 pm – depending on your arrival time, you may need an early check-in and will need to book an extra day

RATES – PER PERSON EUR

2-3 pax from EUR 4,005 per person

4-6 pax from EUR 3,365 per person

7-9 pax from EUR 2,780 per person

10-12 pax from EUR 2,590 per person

What's Included

  • 8 nights in hotels double/twin rooms (single room supplement applies)
  • 9 nights in local house, 5 nights in camp (sleeping equipment is traditional comfortable mattress and blankets, no bed, no single/private rooms in the guesthouse, single tent supplement applies)
  • All meals – 22 breakfasts, lunches and dinners
  • Refreshments (2 bottles of water + fruits + snacks per day)
  • Professional licensed guides and drivers
  • All transfers and transportations (private car for 2-3 pax, suitable minibus for larger groups)
  • 4×4 safari vehicle during expedition times from Day 2 to Day 16 (the vehicles are completely safe, comfortable and technically in good condition, but they could be old models. At least one extra 4×4 car will accompany the tour to support technically and bring tour stuff during expedition days)
  • Local flight
  • All entrance fees
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • All road tolls and vehicle taxes
  • Extra supplies for emergency situations
  • Visa authorization code processing fee

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Visa fee
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips to local guides and drivers
  • Sleeping bag and mattress (mandatory)

Disclaimer

  • This itinerary is owned and delivered by ‘Oaksland Travel
  • All prices are ‘From’ and may vary at the time of booking
  • Display price is usually based on two people sharing
  • Oaksland Travel‘ reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
  • All itineraries are subject to availability

Day by Day Overview

Welcome to Iran. You will arrive at Tehran’s IKA airport, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel for a rest. We will visit the capital depending on your arrival time.

Accommodation: 3* or 4* hotel, Tehran

In the morning we will take a flight to Tabas. Here we visit Kal-E Jenni canyon, a mysterious natural wonder. This canyon has been shaped by water movement and erosion throughout the centuries. The tunnels of Kal-E Jenni valley, named “Khane-ye-Gabr”, and their side chambers are believed to have been ancient human habitats or Mithras follower’s temple.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

We will go to Kharv village to visit Kal Sardar canyon. A river valley flows through the canyon, which originates from a number of hot and cold water currents. This unique phenomenon means the difference in the water temperature of the river sometimes reaches 10 degrees. ‘Morteza Ali Bath’ and ‘Qanbar’ spring are the main sources of the hot and cold waters that flow to the river. After walking across the river, we arrive at a historical site called Shah Abbasi Arch – the narrowest dam in the world.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

Today we visit the historical villages of Esfahak and Nayband. Walk around the beautiful and green village of Nayband and its special architectural style. Then head into the Naybandan Wildlife Sanctuary where the breathtaking landscapes, majestic mountain ranges, sandy plains and hilly desert plains are home to mammals including cheetah, leopard, caracal, gazelle and ibex as well as exotic birds such as bustard and cuckoo.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

Today we move to the northern Lut Desert, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world’s 27th largest desert and one of the hottest and driest places in the world, temperatures on the surface of the sand have been recorded as high as 70C. Here we will see the only nomads in the area and gain an insight into their lifestyle as well as visit Lut water reservoirs along ancient caravan routes.

Accommodation: Camp

We head to Lut hot spring complex where you can relax and improve your health before continuing to Khusf city. Here most of the current architecture is from the Safavi and Qajar period.

Accommodation: Hotel in Birjand

A full day city tour of Birjand begins in Akbariyeh Persian garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an outstanding example of gardens from the Qajar dynasty. We will also visit the ethnic museum of Birjand, Shokatabad garden and take a walk through the old bazaar of Birjand, a city known for its saffron, jujube and handmade carpet exports.

Accommodation: Hotel in Birjand

Our first stop will be in Kaji Namakzar Wetland, a vast salt-marsh which due to its excessive salinity has become a salt lake and is a wondeful place to see plentiful birds and animals. Our journey continues to the mysterious Makhunik village in eastern Iran, known as the ‘fabulous land of little people’. We end our day by visiting Tajmir village where its local dolls are spectacular and famed and each doll has a story to tell you.

Accommodation: Local house

We will drive to visit the Heydarabad region of the Lut Desert and its mysterious land of fossils.

Accommodation: Local house

A few hours drive takes us to Dehsalm village where we see lush palm groves, domed mud-brick houses and camels with carpet saddle bags. We continue into the desert and on our way see the mountains known as the Miniature or Martian Mounts, which create a dramatic landscape and have led to this road becoming one of the most beautiful places in Iran. We also visit ancient windmills (Asbad), a smart technique to grind grains. It was the people who lived in the eastern parts of Iran in ancient times who harnessed a natural threat, the strong winds, in the production of essential bread.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

We will gain a rare experience of staying and hiking in the eastern Lut Desert landscapes for two days. There are high sand dunes and various sand structures in the eastern Lut known as Rig-e-Yalan which resemble a rectangle. The sand pyramids vary in height, sometimes reaching 500 meters. They are void of life and have ripple marks like the ocean floor created by the shifting winds. This region is home to the world’s hottest spot. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the dunes are a great place for skiing on sand.

Accommodation: Camp

Adventure into the Lut (Yalan Dunes).

Accommodation: Camp

Today we drive towards the heart of the Lut Desert, traverse Zaban-E-Mar canyon, which means Snake Tongue, visit Salty River and see salt crystals & polygons. We end the day by relaxing, fixing the eye upon the endless skyline of the desert and enjoying the beautiful desert sunset.

Accommodation: Camp

We will cross egg-shaped hills created in salt lands towards the ever-changing landscape of sand dunes. These sand dunes look like stars that are shining on the plains. West of the star dunes, there is one of the most exciting geomorphological structures of Lut called kaluts, a beautiful natural phenomenon found only in the Lut Desert.

Accommodation: Camp

Today you will continue your exploration of the kaluts. Created by extreme soil and water erosion caused by wind and rain, they are unique structures in the desert. From a distance, they look like the ruins of an enormous legendary city with grand palaces and buildings of different heights. We will also visit the world’s biggest nebkhas, created when sand and gravel are trapped by Tamarisk trees. Then we cross the desert to Shahdad historical city, visiting an ancient caravanserai in Shafiabad village.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

An early excursion takes us to visit the unique mud-brick citadel of Bam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the origins of which can be traced back to 6th to 4th centuries BC. Its heyday was from the 7th to 11th centuries due to its strategic location on the Silk Road. We will have one stop on our way to visit 1000-year-old Sirch Cypress tree.

Accommodation: Hotel in Bam/Kerman

On the way back from Bam, we will stop in Rayen to visit the citadel. It is considered the biggest earthen structure of Kerman province after Bam citadel. From here we will drive a few miles to Mahan where we will meet Sufis who have traveled a long way to pay homage to their Sufi master Shah Nematollah Vali in his shrine. Relax in UNESCO World Heritage Site Shahzadeh Garden, a great example of Persian gardens that represents a high contrast between a lush garden and a harsh desert in the background.

Accommodation: Hotel in Kerman

In Kerman, we will visit Ganjali Khan Complex which was constructed during Safavid dynasty and includes a caravanserai, water reservoir (Ab Anbar), mosque, school, square, bazaar and a bathhouse. We will head to Maymand rocky village from here.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

We explore the troglodyte village, believed to have been built by primary people thousands of years ago. Due to its rocky structure, the village has remained intact. Many of the residents still live in the man-made and natural caves created by their ancestors. You will experience a night stay in the ancient rocky cave guest house.

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse

We will drive to Yazd, one of Iran’s oldest continuously inhabited towns, for a full day tour in the city center and a few important monuments around the city. In Amir Chakhmaq Square you’ll see a very impressive Hussainiya – a congregation hall for Shia commemoration ceremonies. With three tiers of recessed alcoves, all perfectly proportioned, its facade is one of the city’s most photographed landmarks. After that, we will walk around the old area of the city and visit Yazd Jame mosque where you can gaze upon the tallest minarets in the country, and Fahadan district to feel the desert architecture culture. Among the many other historic sites to be seen in Yazd are beautiful old homes and the Dowlat Abad Garden. Standing by the garden’s long reflecting pool, you’ll be shaded by ancient cypress trees. Ahead of you is an 18th-century hexagonal pavillion with a beautiful stained glass window and a graceful wind tower – the tallest in Iran.

Accommodation: 3* hotel/Eco-lodge

Yazd is also the center for Iran’s small Zoroastrian community. Today we visit the Fire Temple, the place of worship for Zoroastrians, often called Dar-e Mehr (Persian) or Agiyari (Gujarati). It is one of the nine AtashBehrams, the only one of the highest grade fire in Iran where Zoroastrians have practiced their religion since 400 BC. Here you will find information about one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. After that we will visit Tower of Silence (Persian:Dakhma), you’ll learn about one of the traditions of this ancient pre-Islamic religion. Until the mid-1900’s, the dead were transported to this tower where they were left to decompose and be devoured by birds.

Accommodation: 3* hotel/Eco-lodge

You’ll be transferred to Kerman Airport this morning for your flight to Tehran. After arriving in Mehrabad Airport our tour guide will transfer you to IKA airport to connect with your international flight back home.</

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