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The Alborz mountains of Iran boast a fascinating and complex history; their castles have protected Zoroastrian worshipers against the Muslim invaders of Saudi Arabia in the 7th Century, and 500 years later, housed the infamous 11th Century Order of ‘Assassins’.
The Assassins, whose reputation was made famous by the writings of Marco Polo and Crusaders, amongst others, were part of a religions sect of Ismailis Muslims, led by the much feared Hassan-i Sabbah. They found themselves fighting for power against both other Muslim groups in the region, but also invading Christian Crusaders. Using Alamut castle as a base, Sabbah expanded his influence to nearby towns and districts capturing and inhabiting mountain fortresses as he went.
(Available as a private adventure)
Assassins were known for the psychological warfare methods they used to draw their opponents into submission as well as for their ‘fida’, warriors who carried out espionage and assassinations of the key enemy figures of the day. This tour takes us through this beautiful and remote region of NW Iran; giving us the opportunity to bathe in history, in natural hot springs, and in the stunning views for which this part of the country is famous.
The UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advise against travel to Iran. As such, the dates showing for this adventure are dependent on a change to the situation and Iran being assessed as safe to visit. We are happy to keep you updated on when this is the case so please do let us know if you are interested in this wonderful itinerary.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is only available for part of the trip.
Carbon Compensation is not the perfect solution, and it is important to first reduce our carbon emissions as much as we can, yet trees remain an excellent natural technology to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow global warming.
For every client and guide who attends a YellowWood Adventure, we donate £30 to our partner charity WeForest to plant 15 trees to (over) compensate for the carbon footprint of the tour.
We also invite our clients to match this with an optional additional £30 for another 15 trees to be planted to help compensate for the carbon footprint of their international flights.
WeForest run many tree planting and tree maintenance projects such as this seedling nursery in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil and many other projects in other countries including Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & India.
Click Here to find out more about their amazing projects around the world.
We fully believe in, and practice Responsible Tourism, using hotels run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip. We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available.
Day 1 & 8: Tehran: Aramis Hotel, No. 1752 VAli Asr St. Vali Asr Square, Tehran, Iran. +21 889334012. Ensuite rooms, Wifi, Aircon, Restaurant & coffee shop.
To spread the benefits of our group visiting, we use a range of hotels in Qazvin (Day 2), Masule (Day 3), Ardabil (Day 4&5), Anza (Day 6) & Tabriz (Day 7), which are of a consistently high quality (3 & 4*). You can expect ensuite rooms, air conditioning and wifi.
We understand that it is useful to leave details of all your accommodation with friends/family whilst you are away, so before your trip we will email you a full list of the accommodation.
The temperature ranges that you may experience on this trip are significant and so in spite of air conditioning at hotels, and warm bedclothes as required, we recommend that you bring layers of clothing that can be worn separately to remain cool, or together, to warm up.
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you on your holiday will be an experienced, approachable and knowledgeable English speaking, Persian guide as well as one of our YellowWood leaders. This ensures you access to the right cultural information and support on your trip, with your Persian guide offering insight into local history, life and customs and the YellowWood guide managing the hiking side of the holiday and ensuring the smooth running of your adventure.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures the optimum level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it for you.
Many of our adventures involve an element of hiking or trekking. The focus for this adventure is exploring the highly perched fortresses of the Alborz mountains. You need to be in good health and be happy to walk up some steep gradients at a steady pace, plus have an open mind to adventure travel, and experiencing different cultures to your own, first hand.
Walking distances are not extensive, nor will you be walking for more than around 4 hours a day, but terrain will be steep and uneven to access the fortesses, on narrow pathways without rails. There will not be any scrambling on this holiday. The pace will be down to the natural speed of the group, and there will be plenty of pauses for photography etc. You will only be carrying a daypack.
Your YellowWood adventure starts in Imam Khomeini International Airport. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be very daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible, to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool such as www.momondo.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net when searching for flights. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure. As well as international flights, there is also a domestic flight required from Tabriz to Tehran, on Day 8 of the itinerary.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. We also receive notifications direct from the FCDO so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
Imam Khomeini Airport is fully functioning and modern airport with the facilities that you would expect from an International Airport. You will not have to fill out a visa form on the plane, but ladies will need to put on their head scarves before disembarking. All tourists will need to purchase a visa at the airport on landing. Please ensure you read our Visa Section thoroughly and ask if you aren’t sure of anything.
So, before you are met by your guide &/ driver, who will have a sign with your name on, as well as the YellowWood logo, you have a couple of jobs to do!
Toilets can be found in the arrivals lounge.
On arrival at the your hotel, you will be welcome to settle into your room.
NB: Members of the group may land at different times if they are from diverse destinations. We all meet up at the hotel and have time to refresh before heading to a local restaurant for lunch (if timings work out that way) and a trip briefing before our City Tour.
We use domestic flights with an Iranian National Airline to fly from Tabriz to Tehran on Day 8 of the holiday. Domestic flight baggage allowance is 30kg so has an impact on how much you bring with you on your international flights. You may be able to leave some items in Tehran to collect on our return to the Hotel Aramis on the evening of Day 8, before you fly home on Day 9.
Holiday insurance is essential for all Yellow Wood Adventures. Unfortunately anyone without insurance is not able to take part in the holiday, so please make sure you arrange cover. We recommend sorting your insurance when you book so that if you have problems during the run up to your holiday, and need to cancel, you are covered, particularly in the light of effects that the pandemic has had on travel.
Prior to the holiday, we will ask you to send us details of your insurer, policy number, 24 hr emergency assistance contact details and the name, address, and telephone numbers of your NOK or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
Your insurance needs to cover you for moderate hiking with the following fairly standard inclusions:
We would also recommend that you have cover for the following optional items:
For information on Iran, such as climate, weather, language, social norms, food & drink etc, please have a read of our Country specificinformation.
All adventures can be tailored as private bespoke trips.
Please contact us for more information:
+44 207 846 0197
Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit (£300/$400/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if 56 or <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for
Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.
+44 207 846 0197