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Turkey & Tehran Discoverer Istanbul - Tehran

Trip Overview

This 12 day overland tour journeys from Istanbul to Tehran through Iran, Turkey
12 DAYS THROUGH Iran, Turkey
of 2 reviews
Was From: $1,325 USD + 380 KITTY USD
Now From: $1,126 (USD) + 380 KITTY (USD)
12 days
Overland expedition vehicle
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
$350 USD


  Guided tour of Golestan Palace in Tehran

  Learn about Iran's fascinating history at the National Museum

  See the spectacular Dome of Soltaniyeh

  Wander through the ancient bazaar of Tabriz, the largest covered market in the world

  Overnight in the Kurdish town of Doğubeyazıt

  Overland Eastern Turkey and wild camp en-route

  Guided tour of the valley of Cappadocia

  Take an optional balloon ride over Cappadocia

  Visit the incredible Blue Mosque

  Explore the many amazing sites of Istanbul



Day 1 - Istanbul ( 9th Apr 2020 )

Border Information: if joining in Istanbul, you will most likely enter Turkey at Istanbul Atatürk 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 Tehran, your tour leader will need to carefully check your visa situation for your entire trip - if anybody that has arranged to apply for an Iranian visa in Istanbul, we will visit the Iranian embassy immediately after our meeting. the rest of the day will be free to explore the incredible city of Istanbul.

In Istanbul we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

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 Sales team 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.*

Day 2 - Istanbul ( 10th Apr 2020 )

Today we will have a free day to explore the myriad of highlights in the old Byzantine and Ottoman capital. There are many places to visit, such as the spectacular Blue Mosque, the colossal Hagia Sophia, the bewildering Grand Bazaar, the phenomenal Topkapı Palace, and a ferry cruise on the Bosphorus river.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

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

Guided city tour of Istanbul

TRY 50

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

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

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

See the splendour of Istanbul from a boat trip on Bosphorus Strait, which marks the boundary of Europe and Asia

USD 17

Explore the majestic Topkapı Palace, the huge palace of the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years

TRY 35
Day 3 - Göreme ( 11th Apr 2020 )

Today we start our journey with a full day's drive east to Göreme, a small enchanting town in the heart of the Cappadocia mountains.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 4-5 - Göreme ( 12th Apr 2020 to 13th Apr 2020 )

We will have a 2 full days to explore Göreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during our 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

USD 180

Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves


Explore the ancient pre-iconoclastic Byzantine rock monastery of Zelve

TRY 15

Learn how to make the traditional Central Turkish dishes of dolma and sarma at a Turkish cooking class

EUR 65

Take an Oriental Dancing (belly dancing) class to learn the techniques of this beautiful form of dance

EUR 70

Drive through the stunning landscape of Cappadocia on an ATV quad biking trip

USD 65

Discover the incredible scenery of Cappadocia on horseback

EUR 45

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 6-7 - Sivas, Erzurum ( 14th Apr 2020 to 15th Apr 2020 )

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 Sivas on the first night, and near Erzurum on the second.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours each day.

Day 8 - Doğubayazıt ( 16th Apr 2020 )

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.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border

Included in Kitty
Day 9 - Tabriz ( 17th Apr 2020 )

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.

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


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


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 10 - Zanjan ( 18th Apr 2020 )

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 11 - Tehran ( 19th Apr 2020 )

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 12 - Tehran ( 20th Apr 2020 )

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


Visit the Laleh Park in central Tehran, an oasis of calm and a well-designed green space to observe local life pass by


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


This group overland journey has multiple departures.
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Trip Notes
Departing: 9 Apr 2020
Returning: 20 Apr 2020
Duration: 12 days
Route: Istanbul - Tehran
$1,126 USD + $380 Kitty (USD)
Was $1325.00 - Save $198.75
Deposit: $350 USD
Departing: 28 Sep 2020
Returning: 9 Oct 2020
Duration: 12 days
Route: Tehran - Istanbul
$1,126 USD + $320 Kitty (USD)
Was $1325.00 - Save $198.75
Deposit: $350 USD
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.


Not as much camping as I would have liked for an overland trip
Suzanne M
I loved Tehran and I also really enjoyed being on the road - the actual journey. It was a fairly small group so we had a lot of room on the truck which helped, but also the whole idea of being on the open road and camping in places where probably nobody, certainly no tourists, had camped before. It helped make for a very special trip.
Jonathan S