13 Day Distinct attraction in nature & culture

Best season: Oct. to Des & Mar. to Jun
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Expedition Summary
In a 13-days tour, you can take a closer look at culture of Iran by visiting different caravanserais (roadside inns) which can provide a great opportunity for photography and bird–watching in protected areas. Excursions in Iranian breathtaking nature make your vacations truly exceptional. In one region, you will visit artistic handicrafts and in another, you can acquaint with one of the great mystics of this country.
Itinerary Details:

Day 1. Arrival in Tehran

Arrival in Tehran and being transferred to hotel. Depend on arrival time and your free time, you will spend the afternoon in “Naderi Café” to have lunch. Throughout the 1330s and early 1340s, the mentioned café was a resort for famous and popular intellectuals such as Sadegh Hedayat, Simin Daneshvar, Jalal Al Ahmad, Nima youshij, etc….we will head back to hotel to take a rest. (L/D)

Day 2. Visit Tehran

After breakfast, you’ll have an excursion in Tehran old Bazaar, Golestan Palace complex and maybe jewelry Museum (if it was open). (B/L/D)

Day 3. Safavied Caravanserai

After having breakfast, we will move toward Damghan and along the path, we will visit Deh-Namak caravanserai which dates back to the Safavid era. An old monument with a courtyard, an entrance gate, a dais, four verandas, twenty four chambers that can represent the architecture of that special time. Camel stall, four watchtowers and four discharge platforms in each corner are the other beautiful parts of this caravanserai. After visiting Deh-Namak, we will continue the road to Semnan to visit the Arg Gate which is one of the historical masterpieces of Qajar Era. At the top of the gate, a part of the battle of Rostam & White Demon story has been shown by colorful illustrated tiles. After that, we will visit an old bath called Hamam Pahneh, established in 9th century, composed of 3 parts: cloakroom, stove and bath. One of the most amazing parts of the bath is the tiled portal. On the both sides of the wooden entrance gate, decorated with iron studs, there are 2 images of a Qajar officer and a commander with swords in their hands.
We will continue the road toward Damghan and by visiting Ghoosheh caravanserai, we will get acquainted with another instance of architecture in Safavid era. Then, we will visit Cheshmeh Ali, the monuments that were built in the middle of a lake during Qajar Rulers era, Agha Mohammad Khan and Fath Ali Khan. Cheshmeh Ali has got 2 separate parts: one is Gharavol Khaneh , a brick monument with Safavid style of architecture ,used in Agha Mohammad Khan era , and the other is a 2 stages stone-based brick monument ,located in the middle of a lake , built in Fath Ali Khan era.
We will finish the third day staying in Damghan Touristic Hotel. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 340 km

Day 4. Ghale Bala village

After breakfast, we’ll head to Shahrud, in the path we will visit Ahovan caravanserai, established in 1097, during Safavid Shah Suleiman era, used by the pilgrims of the 8th Imam of Shiite Muslims. Then, we will visit Yaghmaian House in Shahrud, the only house in the city that has windward. The house was built in 1304 by a master builder, called Mahdi Heydarian, who came from Yazd, so it can be the best reason why this house has windward. Windward, spring house and guest rooms are located on the west side of the yard, and on the north side you can see the winter rooms. Then, we will move toward Ghale Bala village and will rest in a nice local house. So we will have a great opportunity to taste local foods, visit handicrafts workshops and have a short walk around the village. Drapery is one of the regional handicrafts. The woven cloth, depending on the used raw materials, has various usages. Meanwhile, all the villagers know very well about the sericulture and the silk yarn production. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 220 km

Day 5. Touran National Park

After breakfast, we will head for a short safari in the Touran National Park, Biosphere Reserve and Wildlife Refuge. Touran is home to one of the largest populations of the critically endangered Asiatic Cheetah in the world, and has the largest population of Persian onager and two species of Gazelles, the Goitered Gazelle and the Indian Gazelle. During our safari, we will spot some of the wildlife of the national park, and if lucky enough, even a Cheetah.
There are lots of other wild animals existing in Khar Turan such as wolf, jackal, fox, hyena, cheetah, caracal, leopard, wildcat, jebeer ghazalle, deer, wild goat (Iranian subspecies)… as mammals, Hubara Bustard, Iranian Ground-Jay, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Snowcock, quail, See-see partridge, eagle , stone curlew, dove, owl, roller, Isabelline Shrike, Wagtails, sparrows… as birds, and also various categories of reptiles such as turtles, agamas, salamanders, skinks in this area.
After having lunch in the nature, we will head back to Ghale Bala to take a rest in local house and have dinner. (B/L/D)

Day 6. Green village

After having breakfast and saying goodbye to the village, we will head to Biarjomand village and continue the path to Bayazid Bastami’s tomb in Bastam who was one of the pioneers in mysticism. In addition to talking about the unity and introducing divine love, he has promoted people to love other creatures and to be sympathetic to each other. In the next step, we will head to Mojen, a green village on the border of the desert, where its potteries, castles and old Juniper trees represent the history of this region. The most significant factors that make Mojen as an exception in the eye of tourists are its architecture style and beautiful nature. In this city, houses are located around a hill, and between 2 rivers branched from surrounding mountains. At the end of the day, we will head to Gorgan through a less crowded road that has got fascinating landscapes. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 290 km

Day 7. Golestan National Park

We will move toward Kalaleh and Golestan National Park and will head to “Boom Kolbeh” near Golestan National Park, to have lunch and take rest. Our afternoon plan will be hiking in and around National Park frontier and watching magnificent scenery of sunset. This program will give you a great opportunity to get acquainted with local handicrafts, music and also to have special local meals. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 170 km

Day 8. Turkmen life style

Today’s plan is to have an excursion in Golestan National Park and visit its rare plants such as alnus, fig, burry, wych elm, Medlar, Crataegus hawthorn, rock spray, walnut, raspberry, pomegranate, pear, fern, barberry, Manna, Astragale, Manna of hedysarum and many other kinds of steppe species and Aras species that can make you impressed.
Visiting local houses and Turkmen tents called “oy”, making bread and trying to work with traditional weaving equipments will make your trip more interesting. The second day at boom kolbeh will be finished by having local meal as dinner and watching the starry sky of Turkmen Sahra. (B/L/D)

Day 9. Khaled Nabi

After breakfast, we will move toward a mountainous region to visit the Khaled Nabi Cemetery and Shrine complex .Khaled Nabi was one of the Arab prophets after Jesus, lived in Anoushiravan era, and had been inviting people to Christianism. Also watching wonderful tombstones, carved by Indian and Central Asian immigrants, will be amazing. These tombstones are the symbols of Phallic religion, a common belief in India and Central Asia, which have been entered our country by communications and commercial affairs. Then we’ll visit Alem Baba Mausoleum which is built on a range of hills, and its altitude is lower than Khalid Nabi’s. There are lots of cylindrical shaped stones which are more than 2 meters height, and about 600 pieces of stones scattered on the slopes of mountain, mostly on eastern slopes. There are also some other single stones, located in surrounding hills overlooking Hezar Dareh.
These carved stones are divided into 3 groups:
Long cylindrical, straight and perpendicular stones in the shape of a male penis, which is specific sign for men’s graves. The body and the cross-section are circular; some of them were carved as a candle and others as a hat or a helmet at the end. Their heights are from 60 cm to 4 m above the ground level. The cross-shaped or hemispherical stones, built like 2 large breasts, which may show the women’s graves. They are smaller than the stones mentioned before and their cross-sections are Ram’s horn–shaped stones. In Turkmen culture, ram is the symbol of power and domination, and this sign is the most common symbol of Turkmen people, found in headstones, column heads, druggets and felts. After visiting the cemetery and taking pictures, we will take a rest at the yard and have local meal as lunch. Then we will continue along the path to visit Gonbad Kavoos Tower and after that we will head to Gorgan. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 260 km

Day 10. Miyankaleh

After breakfast, we will visit the Miyankaleh wildlife sanctuary, consist of Gorgan Bay, Ashoora Deh Island and the peninsula of Miyankaleh. This sanctuary has been registered as one of most important environmental resources around the world by UNESCO. Miyankaleh sanctuary is the last remained area of semi-wooded shores of Caspian Sea and is a place for aquatics and migratory birds that, every winters, fly towards the region from the northern countries to spend cold seasons. After watching birds and taking pictures, we will move towards Sari to taste local meals, rest and recover. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 150 km

Day 11. wildlife

Today, we will visit the wildlife refuge of Dasht Naz near Sari, located in spectacular green area. After breakfast, we will visit the Persian fallow deer. Then, on the way back to Tehran, we will stop at Veresk, to take a look at its famous bridge and listen to its construction story. Veresk Bridge is one of the largest bridge of Iran’s railway which was built in Veresk district of Savadkuh, Mazandaran. The mentioned bridge, as an engineering masterpiece, was reopened in 1315. Veresk Bridge that connects the North-Tehran railways, was built at an altitude of 110 m on a valley with the span of 66 m, by using rudimentary equipments. During the Second World War, Winston Churchill, the British prime minister, named it “Bridge of Victory” .The name of this bridge was registered in Guinness Book of Record, in the section of “bridges higher than 61 m”.
We will finish by taking pictures, continuing along the path towards Tehran and heading to hotel. (B/L/D)
Total drive for the day: 330 km

Day 12. Tehran

After having a long trip to visit Iran’s culture and nature, today we will visit Sa’dabaad palace, a cultural complex at the north of the city. This complex is established in Darband Valley, in an area of 300 hectares. It includes 180 hectares of forest, springs, aqueducts, gardens, greenhouses and paths. Jafarabad River passes through the palace yard. During the reign of the first Pahlavi, gardens of the palace were irrigated by this river but in Second Pahlavi era , due to giving half of the water to the peasants and since the water is not enough anymore for irrigation, they had to use a dozen of aqueducts.
In the afternoon, by walking in Honarmandan Park, you will get to know with young people and artists, and after dinner you will be transferred to hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 13: Departure flight

Today is the last day of the tour, so depending on departure time, you will be transferred to International Airport, and if time permits, we can have a short city tour. (B)
We hope to see you here once again to visit other parts of Iran

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