Nomadopedia is a 18-day tour across Iran, in search of Iran’s Nomads’ rich history, culture & heritage while ‘Migrating’ with them. We’ll hike, camp, and live with 3 different Nomadic tribes to learn what nomadic life is really like among them. We’ll also visit the UNESCO-registered monuments.
Day 1: Tehran
Day 2: Fly Ahvaz / Arrive Shushtar
Day 3: Reaching the Nomads in the Zagros Mountains
Day 4: Nomads’ Odyssey
Day 5: Nomads’ Odyssey
Day 6: Nomads’ Odyssey
Day 7: Nomadic Villages
Day 8: Nomadic Villages / Isfahan / Persian Bath
Day 9: Relaxing day in Isfahan
Day 10: Isfahan
Day 11: Isfahan / Sepidan / Qashqai Nomads
Day 12: Qashqai Nomads / Shiraz
Day 13: Shiraz
Day 14: Shiraz (Persepolis & Pasargadae) / Maymand
Day 15: Nomads of Maymand / Kerman / Mahan
Day 16: Keshit / Shahdad
Day 17: Shahdad / Kerman / Tehran
Day 18: Tehran / Departure
* The Nomads’ Odyssey of this tour can be performed in Apr, May, Sep & Oct. The location of the nomads varies depending on the season. So, depending on which migration route we take, we may see different sites.
● Visiting 3 nomadic tribes & experience Kooch (Seasonal Migration) with Bakhtiari Nomads.
● Living a nomadic life & getting acquainted with Nomads’ culture & history.
● Hiking the magnificent Zagros mountain ranges & enjoying its breathtaking sceneries.
● Visiting Iran’s historical monuments.
Karoon River / Haft-Tappeh / Chogha-Zanbil / Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System / Negin Bridge / Shimbar Waterfall / Dezpart Steps / Ancient Nomadic Trails / Mt. Zagrous Hinterlands / Sar Agha Seyed Village / Isfahan / Naghshe Jahan Square / Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque / Ali Qapu Palace / Imam Mosque / Chehel Sotoun Palace / Vank Cathedral & Armenian community / Persepolis & Pasargadae in Shiraz / Kerman / Mahan / Maymand cave dwellings / Tehran
Hiking / Camping / visiting historical sites, touristic spots
● Golestan Palace
● Grand Bazaar
● Treasury of National Jewels
● 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 crispy rice dish, Tahchin, in one of the old well-known restaurants in the bazaar. 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.
● Karoon River
● Mostofi House
After we picked you up from your early morning flight to Ahvaz, we’ll have breakfast together and 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 stay will be in Shushtar.
● Mighty Zagros Ranges
● Bakhtiari Nomads
● Scenic Nomadic pathways
Today, we are going to start our nomadic adventure in the Zagros mountains. We will get our backpack 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.
● 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.
● Khoye Village
● Nomadic handicrafts
Today, we’ll say goodbye to the Nomads to continue our expedition to an amazing green village: Khoye village. 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. For the night, we will stay in one of the cozy village houses.
* Depending on the Kooch route, we will see different nomadic villages
● Sar Agha Seyyed Village
● Persian Hammam
Today, after breakfast we’ll leave Khoye to go to 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. Then, in 5 hours, we will reach Isfahan. Experiencing Persian Hammam (bath) and Persian massage after days of hiking will put the most refreshing end to our Kooch.
Today, you have the whole day for yourself relaxing and seeing around if you like.
● Naghshe Jahan Square
● Ali Qapu Palace
● Imam Mosque
● Jame’a Mosque of Isfahan
● Si-o-se-pol & Khaju Traditional Bridge
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. The afternoon is yours to have some rest. Sunset is the best time to go to Si-O-Se Pol Bridge, Khaju Bridge, or the other bridges. For dinner the amazing Isfahani cuisine Beryan & Khoresht-e Mast awaits us.
● Jolfa Neighborhood
● Vank Church
● Nomads of Shiraz: Qashqai Nomads
Today, in the morning we’ll go to the Jolfa neighborhood to visit Vank church. Then, we’ll go to Sepidan; a mountainous area on the hillside of Zagros mountains, in the northwest of Shiraz. Here, we are going to visit the second main nomadic tribe of Iran: Qashqai Nomads, to taste a different nomadic way of life. For the night, we’ll stay with them.
● Qashqai Nomads
● The Arg of Karim Khan
● Tomb of Hafez
In the morning, we’ll still stay with the nomads. Around noon, we reach Shiraz. First, we have lunch, then we’ll go visit the Arg of Karim Khan where the best architects & artists of the time were invited by Karim Khan to work on his citadel. Hafez, the most famous and acknowledged Persian poet is buried in Shiraz. People believe Hafez’s poems give them clues to the future. We can try our chance by his tomb too.
● Pink Mosque (Nasir al-Mulk Mosque)
● Narenjestan Garden
● Karim Khan-e Zand Complex (Mosque, Hamam, Bazaar)
● Saray-e Moshir
In the morning, after having our breakfast, we go to Nasir al-Mulk Mosque. The moment we step inside the mosque, it is not hard to see why people call it Pink or rainbow Mosque. Mausoleum of King of the Light, one of Imam Reza’s 17 brothers is our next destination. This glittering shrine is a great place to sit & see the blue-tiled dome & its dazzling gold-topped minarets. Then, in the two-story caravanserai of Seray-e Moshir, we can do a bit of shopping. We’ll also go to Karim Khan-e Zand Complex (Mosque, Hamam, Bazaar). In Shiraz, nothing is more pleasant to the eye than its vast green gardens. We’ll go to Narenjestan Garden to see one of these beauties built in the Qajar era.
● Naqsh-e Rostam
● Maymand: 12,000-year-old cave village of semi-nomads
Today, we start our journey to go to Persepolis; the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and Naqsh-e Rostam. Then, we’ll have our lunch in Sa’adat Shahr where we are going to have a traditional dish. In the afternoon, we’ll go to Pasargadae & the ancient capital of the Achaemenid Empire, located in Kuh-e Rahmat (Mountain of Mercy). In the evening, we bid Shiraz province farewell to go to visit the last group of Iran’s Nomads who live in one of the most fantastic authentic villages of Iran; Maymand. For the night, we’ll stay in a historic hand-made cave in the village.
● Ganjali Khan Complex
● Bazaar of Kerman
● Shah-Nematollah Vali Tomb
In the morning, we will go around Meymand village to devour the beauty of this historic village. Then, we will move to Kerman where the historic past of the city is fully represented in Ganjali Khan Complex in the old center of the city which is a fantastic example of the Persian architecture of the Safavid era. Jabalieh Dome is the next ancient national monument we are going to visit to know more about the history and architecture of Kerman. Then, we are going to have a wonderful time wandering around the ancient bazaar of Kerman. The age of this grand bazaar goes back to 600 years ago. Then, in 15 minutes we will reach Mahan District. We will visit Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine & Mahan Garden which used to belong to the Prince of Mahan. Apart from the historical point of view, what is so amazing about this garden is the stark contrast between the lush green environment of the garden and the desert-like environment on the outside. For the night, we’ll stay in Keshit village.
● Kalut Shahdad Desert
Would you be interested to go for a swim in the middle of a desert? We can do just that in Keshit village in Kerman province. Keshit, another Iran adventure destination, is a green oasis in the middle of the desert. A sandy idyllic village, with palm trees and small green farms, it is truly a marvelous site in such a dry environment. With a short hike, we can reach the lake and waterfall in this village, where we can take a dip in the cool water. Then, we will go to Shahdad. The strange and magnificent Kaluts (sand formations) look like a deserted city from the distance. Kaluts used to be underwater millions of years ago and this geological phenomenon is the result of high-velocity winds beating at the sand for millions of years. For the night, we can either camp in the heart of the desert, or stay in an ecolodge.
● Shahdad & the Kaluts
● Train to Tehran
We will experience the sunrise in the desert and visit the strange and magnificent Kaluts (sand formations), salty river, Qanat (a historic irrigation system), Nepkas, etc. Kaluts look like a deserted city from the distance. Kaluts used to be underwater millions of years ago and this geological phenomenon is the result of high-velocity winds beating at the sand for millions of years. Our next destination is Kerman and then Tehran.
● Saadabad Historical Complex
Today, in Tehran, if you have time, we are going to visit some other must-sees in Tehran.
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The few days I spent with them was like a dream to me. It was such a powerful experience, a total immersion in nature and in the nomads’ life!