Spend about two weeks traveling across Iran on this true nomadic adventure. Discover Iran’s Nomads’ rich history, culture & heritage while ‘Migrating’ with the Nomads. You will hike, camp, and live with 3 different types of Nomads as you learn what nomadic life is like among Iran’s main Nomad Tribes. This 14-day trip also takes you through Isfahan and Maymand before ending in Shiraz where you will visit the last group of Nomads.
Day 1: Fly Ahvaz / Arrive Shushtar
Day 2: Shimbar Waterfall / Dezpart Step
Day 3: Nomadic Odyssey
Day 4: Nomadic Odyssey
Day 5: Nomadic Odyssey / Khouye Village
Day 6: Sar Agha Seyed Village / Chelgard / Koohrang
Day 7: Arrive Shahr-e Kord / Isfahan
Day 8: Isfahan
Day 9: Shiraz
Day 10: Nomads of Shiraz
Day 11: Shiraz (Persepolis & Pasargadae)
Day 12: Nomads of Maymand
Day 13: Kerman / Mahan
Day 14: Fly Tehran
● Visit 3 types of Iran’s Nomads & experience Kooch (Seasonal Migration) with Bakhtiari Nomads.
● Live a nomadic life & get acquainted with Nomads’ culture & history.
● Hike the magnificent Zagros mountain range & enjoy its breathtaking sceneries.
● Visit 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 / Koohrang Spring / Shahr-r Kord / Isfahan / Persepolis & Pasargadae in Shiraz / Kerman / Mahan / Maymand cave dwellings / Tehran
Hiking / Camping / visiting historical sites, touristic spots
Half Challenging / Half Relaxing (10/10)
An early morning flight brings you to Ahvaz. We pick you up from the airport. After breakfast, we will have a short visit to Ahvaz and Karoon River before setting off on an introductory tour of Shushtar. Then we will drive to Haft-Tappeh (excavation site, which consists of dozens of hills) and Tchogha-Zanbil (This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a ziggurat of the Elamite domination era). In the afternoon, you can tour Shushtar’s historical watermills. We will have lunch in the traditional Mostofi Museum and Restaurant. we will stay the night in Shushtar.
This morning, we will drive to Negin Bridge and Shimbar Waterfall. We will have lunch in a local home which is the last point we are going to have electricity. In case we have more free time, we will visit Dezpart Steps. In the afternoon, we will have a 3/4-hour hike to reach the nomads’ black tent in Mt. Zagros. Enjoy the views & lovely weather to conclude your evening. Tonight, under a starry sky, we will have a hot meal & a cozy tent to camp to gather our strength for the next day which is the day of the KUCH (Migration)!
Today, we are going on a pilgrimage to the first group of Nomads. They are the Bakhtiari Nomads living in the Zagros Mountain range. They are the most authentic Nomads of Iran who do seasonal migrations the same way their ancestors did. We are going to do ‘Kooch’ (Migration) with them and by doing the ‘migration’ and living a nomadic lifestyle for a few days, we are going to soak up a simple nomadic life, as if we live in the past. It is like a ‘living museum’ of the indigenous people of Iran. That’s why it is called an ‘Odyssey’; because after these series of experiences, we are going to learn so many things about life & ourselves.
This morning, take in the spectacular view of the flock wandering around the surrounding green pastures. Today is the day of the migration: A Great Day for the Nomads. For 3 days we accompany them in their epic migration in Zagros mountain ranges. During these 3 days, we have an overall of 42 km hiking. ‘Flexibility’ is a keyword since there is no fixed plan due to the Nomads’ ever-changing routine (sometimes we face some unexpected adventures to which we need to adapt ourselves). While moving behind the flock in Zagros mountainous regions, don’t forget to devour the scenic beauty of the area – a view you will never forget. You are all surrounded by imposing mountains or oak trees with the sound of sheep’s bell in your ears. Take photos and soak up the view. In the afternoon, when the Nomads stop moving & set up the black tent, you have plenty of quiet to enjoy the spectacular surroundings. At nights, a cool night’s sleep under the starry sky in the lower mountain temperatures would be quite enjoyable. You will never forget the authentic nomadic lifestyle you experienced while doing Kooch.
On day 5, we will have breakfast with our nomad family, then we say goodbye & continue our expedition to an amazing mountain village called Khouye. After 3 days of migration with the nomads, a comfortable cozy village house would be a perfect lodge. Here we are rewarded with vast fruit orchards and wonderful old village houses. From the village, we will also have a fabulous view of the surrounding mountains. We will stay in the village for the night.
After breakfast, we have the chance to go through the village. Then after bidding farewell to our host family, we will go to an amazing historical stepped village; Sar Agha Seyyed Village. Here we have the chance of appreciating the views of the old village houses where the yard of one, is the roof of the other. Zagros has always been the highest and hardest part of each nomadic migration. For more than thousands of years, Nomads have stopped in this village on their way to summer or winter pastures. We will hike for 15 minutes and visit a salt mine near the village. Then we will continue our road to Chelgerd where we will stay in a Hotel. Koohrang Spring is the next awesome destination. It is the biggest spring in Iran which is very rarely visited by travelers due to the exposed nature of the place & the rough road. For the night, we will get back to the hotel.
At noon, we reach Isfahan. Today and tomorrow, we do some sightseeing in Isfahan which is famous for its unique Persian architecture. There is also a Persian proverb saying ‘Isfahan is half of the world’ refers to its so many palaces, mosques, gardens, bridges, etc. We will visit some famous places in Isfahan like Naghshe Jahan Square / Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque / Shah Mosque / Ali Qapu. The afternoon is yours to have some rest. Then / Chehel Sotoun Palace / Si-o-se Pol Bridge / Khaju Bridge are visited. Now, we are steeped in the rich history and culture of Isfahan. A good rest in the hotel awaits us.
On day 9, we move to Shiraz. We’ll arrive there in the evening. One of the top experiences in Shiraz is a visit to Hafezie. Hafez, the most famous Persian poet is buried in Hafezie. People believe Hafez poems can give them insight into their future. We will also visit some other monuments & historical places like Narenjestan & Karim Khan-e Zand Complex where the best architects & artists of the time were invited by Karim Khan to work on his citadel. The highlight of day 10 is the Pink Mosque with its otherworldly colorful colors. The moment we step inside the mosque, it is not hard to see why people call it the Pink or rainbow Mosque.
At noon, it is time to go and visit the nomads of the area called Qashqai Nomads. They are the second biggest Nomad Tribes in Iran who speak in the Azeri language. Again here among Qashqai Nomads, we have the opportunity to step back in time and explore another main ethnic group in Iran. After staying a night with them, on day 11, we will move to Naqsh-e Rostam & Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Achaemenid Empire, located in Kuh-e Rahmat (Mountain of Mercy). It is among the world’s greatest archaeological sites.
Today, first at first, we bid Shiraz farewell and then we prepare ourselves to visit the last group of Iran’s Nomads who live in one of the most fantastic authentic villages of Iran; Maymand. This village is registered in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In Maymand, we are going to stay with semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists villagers in an unusual form of housing, which you’ll find it quite surprising. The hand-carved cave dwellings are extraordinary since they remind us of the ancient times when people inhabited caves. These semi-nomads do semi-migration (Kooch) with their livestock to some surrounding pastures. We are going to have a serene tranquil night in these caves in MaymandMoon Ecolodge.
In Kerman, 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 of the outside.
You fly to Tehran & prepare for your homeward flight. If you have time, we are going to visit Golestan Palace, Grand Bazaar of Tehran, Melli Garden, Jewelry Museum and Tabi’at Bridge.
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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!