Nomads’ Odyssey (Kooch)

0
10 Days
Availability : Apr, May/Sep, Oct
Tehran
Isfahan
Min Age : 8
Max People : 6


Nomads’ Odyssey, a 10-day classic migration, is the most special tour we offer as a glimpse of an ancient lifestyle almost lost in history. The tour has limited availability during its season and works by the “first come, first served” mode. Traveller groups consist of 3 to max 4 people for each journey. Timing of the Kooch (the migration process) is never set in stone due to wheather conditions and family matters, so you have to respect the flow of life in the mountains.
Trek the famous Zagros mountain ranges in the Bakhtiari hinterlands with us on this hiking and camping adventure. On our way, we cross the ancient nomadic pathways accompanied by a Nomad family in their seasonal migration. Experience the panoramic view of Zagros on the the mountain peaks, witness Nomads’ epic migration, and enjoy Nomadic lifestyle!

Can also observe the map Here

Tour Overview

What you will experience with us

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1: Tehran
Day 2: Ahvaz / Shushtar
Day 3: Reaching Nomads in the Zagros Mountains
Day 4: Nomadic Odyssey
Day 5: Nomadic Odyssey
Day 6: Nomadic Odyssey
Day 7: Nomadic Villages
Day 8: Isfahan
Day 9: Isfahan
Day 10: Kashan / Departure
* We offer this tour in Apr, May, Sep & Oct. The location of the nomad varies depending on the season.
* Depending on which migration route we take, we may see different sites such as Dezpart Stairs & Shimbar Waterfall.

Highlights

● Exploring the Nomad lands & trek the ancient nomadic trails in the Zagros mountains
● Summit Zagros mountain ranges
● Wake up early to shepherd the herd & enjoy watching the sunrise over the Zagros ranges
● Living a nomadic life with people of the mountain

Places Visited

Karoon River / Chogha-Zanbil / Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System / Masjed Solayman / Shimbar Waterfall / Dezpart Steps / Ancient Nomadic Trails / Mt. Zagros ranges / Sar Agha Seyed Village / Isfahan

Activities

Hiking / Trekking/ Camping / visiting historical and urban sites

Activity Level

Challenging (Both 6/10 & 9/10)

Words are incapable of describing such an experience
To get a better sense, watch this short video:

Itinerary

Day by Day Plan

Day 1Tehran

● Golestan Palace
● Grand Bazaar
● National Museum of Iran
● Walking in Si-e Tir Street
Tehran is steeped in various cultures with its ancient monuments dating back to hundreds of years ago. Highlights of the city include Golestan Palace, the old Bazaar of Tehran & the museums. The old downtown alleys are also perfect to explore.
First, we will go to a spectacular gem in the heart of Tehran, Golestan Palace. One of the top experiences in Tehran is a visit to the historical Grand Bazaar where you will find yourself among traditional architecture & local people. We will have a very famous dish in IRANomad House; a 130-year-old Persian house. In the evening, we will go to Si-e Tir Street where a synagogue, a mosque, 2 Christian churches, and a Zoroastrian fire temple are all gathered together.

Day 2Ahvaz / Shushtar

● Karoon River
● Shush
● Haft Tappeh
● Tchogha-Zanbil
● Mostofi House
● Shushtar’s historical watermills
We will go to Ahvaz on an early morning flight to Ahvaz. We will pay a short visit to the Karoon River, Shush, and Tchogha-Zanbil (a ziggurat of the Elamite era). In the afternoon, we’ll shortly visit Shushtar’s historical watermills. Lunch will be served in the traditional Mostofi Museum and Restaurant and the night’s stay will be in Shushtar.

Day 3Reaching the Nomads in the Zagros Mountains

● Mighty Zagros Ranges
● Bakhtiari Nomads
● Scenic Nomadic pathways
Today, after a few hours of driving, we are going to start our nomadic adventure in the Zagros mountains. We will also go shopping. This is our last chance to buy the things we need before going to the mountains. When we reach the mountains, we will get our backpacks and leave the other stuff in the car, and head to the mountains. After some hours of hiking, we will reach the pasture where the nomads are waiting for us. Depending on the nomad family and their kooch route, we will have around 1-5 hours of hiking.

Days 4, 5, 6Nomads' Odyssey

● People of the Mountain
● Scenic Zagros Mountains
● Experiencing the Nomads’ Epic Migration
The morning introduces the spectacular view of the flock wandering in the green pastures. It’s the day of kooch: An important day for the Nomads. For some days, we’ll accompany them in their epic migration in the Zagros mountain ranges. During these Kooch days, we’ll have around 40-80 km of hiking depending on the nomad family we join & the difficulty level of their migration. Moving behind the flock in the Zagros mountains, we’ll be immersed in the scenic beauty of the area – an unforgettable view. We’ll be all surrounded by imposing mountains and oak trees with the sound of the sheep’s bell ringing in your ears. In the afternoon, when the Nomads stop the move, we’ll have plenty of quiet time to enjoy the spectacular surrounding. At nights, we’ll rest under the cool, starry sky or in our tents.
* Flexibility is key in kooch. Migration‘s starting date and its length are both tentative due to weather conditions, kooch & family issues, or similar matters. The day-by-day itinerary is subject to minor alterations as well, which inevitably affects the city tour plan.

Day 7Nomadic Villages

● Khoye Village
● Sar Agha Seyed Village
● Nomadic handicrafts
Today, we’ll say goodbye to the Nomads to continue our expedition to an amazing green village: Khoye. After some days of migration with the nomads, a comfortable cozy village house would be the perfect lodge. We’ll explore vast fruit orchards and wonderful old houses and see the nomadic handicrafts. Then, we’ll visit the historic stepped village of Sar Agha Seyed with amazing architecture where the yard of one house is the roof of the other. For more than thousands of years, Nomads have crossed through this village on the way to their summer or winter pastures. We’ll hike for about 15 minutes and visit the salt mines near the village. For the night, we will be in a nomadic village.
* Depending on the Kooch route, we will see different nomadic villages

Day 8Isfahan / Persian Bath

Today, after around 7 hours we will reach Isfahan. Of course, it depends on the Kooch route you’ve taken. Then, in Isfahan, we are going to have a Persian bath. Experiencing Persian Hammam (bath) and Persian massage after days of hiking will put the most refreshing end to our journey. In the evening, we’ll go Khaju Bridge and Si-o-se-pol Traditional Bridge crossing Zayandehrud river

Day 9Isfahan

● Naghshe Jahan Square
● Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
● Ali Qapu Palace
● Imam Mosque
● Chehel Sotoun Palace
● Vank Cathedral & Armenian community
Today, we visit some must-see, UNESCO registered sites & places in Isfahan. Here we have the chance to see unique Persian architecture. There is a Persian proverb saying ‘Isfahan is half of the world’, referring to its so many palaces, mosques, gardens, bridges, etc. We will visit some famous places in Isfahan like Naghshe Jahan Square which holds Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and the Imperial Bazaar. For dinner, the amazing Isfahani cuisine Beryan & Khoresht-e Mast await us.

Day 10Kashan / Departure

● Borujerdiha Historical House
● Agha Bozorg Mosque
● Bazaar of Kashan
There are some historic houses in Kashan. We will see Borujerdiha House and its unique architecture. And then Agha Bozorg Mosque, a symmetric architectural masterpiece built in the 18th century. We also go to the Bazaar of Kashan called Timche to know more about the Persian carpet. Then, we will leave Kashan for the airport. Our trip ends in IKA.

Include & Exclude

Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
    • 4 nights hotels & boutique hotels
    • 1 night village homestay
    • 4 Nights ‌Camp
  • Camping Tents
  • Entrance Fee
  • Internal Flight to Ahvaz
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers
Excluded
  • International Flights
  • Mini Bars
  • Laundry 

Every one of our travelers has experienced some unique moments on this tour. I’m here to make it unique for you too 🙂 Schedule an online meeting with me now!

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        Reviews

        From Our Travelers

        Stephanie:
        "The whole thing is about “catching” a nomadic family on their yearly transhumance and sharing a few days with them..."


        After 3 weeks in Iran, I felt I wanted to share something “else” of this amazing country. I had heard (a bit) about the Zagros mountains and only knew it as a large chain of mountains.
        Besides, I am very interested in nomadic life, by the ways in which nomadic people manage to adapt to multiple changes, the skills they have which we have a lot to learn from. And the challenge they represent to sedentary lives. I was really keen on sharing a few days of their life.
        The trip we made has been further any expectations : as I did not have so many, except “take what is happening” and “get in a journey mood” !

        The whole thing is about “catching” a nomadic family on their yearly transhumance and sharing a few days with them, impacting as little as possible their usual organisation.
        It requires flexibility and understanding that these people are not there to organise a trip for you, but are friendly enough to let you accompany them to share a piece of a long and demanding journey for some of them..
        For the “temporary nomads” we have been the main goal is to share in the least intrusive way possible, the journey of a large herd and its owners (“the family”) through beautiful mountains, passes, narrow tracks, shortcuts trails .
        It requires a bit of fitness and a great willingness to face the “unexpected” : no fixed schedule, stops, timetables, menus, etc.
        The rythm of the family and herd decides it – and that is great !

        I did a 7 days trip :
        – one day to discover Shushtar and Chogha Zanbil
        – one day to join the “family” – with beautiful Zagros sceneries, and for our tiny group (2) a first challenge as the planned family had left without us, so a new ride to join another one – and new great scenaries of this mountains covered with oak trees and wild pistachios trees.
        – three days of hiking along the family, with no dirt roads on the way, just trails, passes, springs and rivers to follow.
        – one day to visit a sedentary nomadic village and manage our way out of the mountains through dust roads
        – one half day in Buin va Miandasht, to discover the reality of “georgian villages”

        This whole trip has proved a truly amazing “off the beaten track” experience, all tailored, managed, accompanied in a very nice manner by the great team of Nomad Tours.
        Mohamad, Sarah, Davood, Soroosh have been great to be with in the mountains : cheerful, energetic, caring, reliable and open about the challenges encountered.
        They have a strong commitment to find the “good match” between the needs of “temporary nomads” and the time necessary for them to adjust to new frame of mind (no fixed plans, quick “decision changes”) and the reality of this nomadic families who have a hard journey to take.
        I always felt at ease and secure to ask all the questions I had, and they were great in their “go between” role with the family.
        Our guide in Chogha Zanbil, Saddeq was really nice and easy going, adjusting to our mooods !
        I really appreciated the deeply respectful approach to the whole thing, the way Nomad Tours intends to contribute in a positive and non damaging way to the sustainability of nomadic life, the way they explain things and allows each participant to understrand his/her responsability in taking part in a specific type of trip.
        That encounter with this bakhtiari nomadic life, in these conditions, is really an amazing thing to be able to share. And I feel grateful and privilegied to have been able to share that.

        Nick:
        "The tour itself is simply amazing because you will have the chance to take part in the life of migrating (not settled!) nomads..."


        Me and my friend Paul had the chance to participate in a nomad migration with the help from the amazing nomad tours team. We had a really spontaneous request but still they found a way to manage everything. They picked us up and from the beginning it was not a typical payed touristic tour it felt like going to an adventure with friends. The tour itself is simply amazing because you will have the chance to take part in the life of migrating (not settled!) Bakthiari nomads which is really special. You follow the animals, experience unbelievable beautiful nature in the Zagros Mountains and you can observe and take part in their daily lifestyle. Making bread, yogurt, milking the goats, getting water and firewood and sleep under the stars. I really appreciate also the way the tour is organized because the family don’t get intefluenced in their traditional lifestyle during the tour. We are vegetarian and also this was no problem ! Our guide Mohammed (who is an excellent off the beaten track driver :D) even showed us the unique village of Sar-Agha-Seyed and cared for our special wishes, we even could watch woman weaving amazing carpets and making handicrafts. Also he has excellent knowledge about the nomads and the mountains ,I hope we can go again on kooch and see the very valuable tradition of the Bakhtiari nomads! Thank you Nike and Paul from Germany

        Parisa:
        "Spending days with the most honest, original and hospitable people I have ever met in my life really changed my attitude toward them..."


        As an Iranian girl with Bakhtiari roots, I had this idea that the trip would have little surprises for me, but I was totally wrong. This trip was completely a different, authentic and magical experience. Spending days with the most honest, original and hospitable people I have ever met in my life really changed my attitude toward them, their lifestyle and the way we are all connected to nature. It was also an opportunity for me to face my boundaries and limiting beliefs. In addition, a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spending days between beautiful mountains of Zagros, where the pace of life is really slow, was an unforgettable memory for me. The night I spent with nomads under the clear sky is one of the most memorable nights of my life. I woke up with the beautiful sounds of bells and I felt as “clear as the air and as young as the morning”! I would totally recommend this tour to all people who are seeking new experiences and adventures.

        Redzib:
        "Although first time in Iran, thanks to some lovely Iranian friends, I was privileged to visit the “forgotten people” and have a rather unique experience...."


        Last week me and few other friends traveled to hinterlands of Zagros mountain range where we joined a nomadic family of Bakhtiyari tribe on their epic migration (the ‘kuch’). They are one of the last-standing nomads that still exist in the world, and as much we were excited – they were eager to meet us as well!
        Although first time in Iran, thanks to some lovely Iranian friends, I was privileged to visit the “forgotten people” and have a rather unique experience. For five days we shared the whole experience with a very hospital nomadic family. In the morning we were woken up by the song of hundreds of bells, we eat the fresh made bread, drank the purest doogh, hiked through some amazing slopes and valleys of Zagros mountains, crossed the cold Bozoft river, rest beside the camp fire and slept under the clear skies next to the nomads – until the last day, when the family went deeper into the wild.
        At first there’s nothing but man, animal, and a vast untamed Nature – but at the other hand, there’s much more to the picture that meets the eye. By going way back, I found myself immersed in a very different world, yet a world with which I was able to relate on a very intimate level. After returning back from this, sort of, pilgrimage, I feel like I am on a much better place.
        Traveling souls would found themselves very much at home with the nomads and their herds, so if you are for some “time-traveling” I think you should not miss this chance.
        I was pretty lucky when I found out about his dedicated eco-tourism agency from Teheran, who offers amazing Persia Authentic Nomad Tours. They appreciate and try to preserve this intangible heritage and are quality oriented, with a strong vision of a long-term and socially responsible enterprise. They are very professional and were more than happy to facilitate our desire to try out something different, and to take us on this unique adventure.
        My sincere recommendations!