Amazing Villages Of Iran
Duration : 21 Days
Date : 04 JUN 2016
Our tour of Iran was excellent. We loved the combination of history, culture and glimpses of day to day life of modern Iran that it gave us. Our guide, Oveyss, was wonderful and made sure everything worked and we had touches of romance, which truly made our honeymoon a time to remember. We would highly recommend the trip to anyone interested in this part of the world, particularly if he is the guide.
Tour guides are often the key to a successful trip. Oveyss was there to pick us up and provided a wonderful welcome to Iran. He was extremely friendly, helpful and organised throughout the tour and provided interesting information at all the stops. He took us to terrific restaurants and made navigating Iran very easy for us. He made sure we got to our flight and stayed to make sure everything was ok. We both feel we made a new friend in him. We would very highly recommend him.
On the itinerary - on the whole it was excellent. We loved northern and western Iran and would highly recommend that remains part of any future tours. The Alborz Mountains, Massouleh and Rudken castle were the biggest revelations on our trip. The centre and south was equally fantastic, but was largely what we were expecting. The combination of hotels in the cities and more basic accommodation in villages also made it more interesting than the average tour.
In terms of recommendations, here are a few to consider. We would make the tour 1-2 days longer. There is a lot of time in the car in the first week and having a full day in somewhere like Zanjan to allow slightly shorter driving days would allow you to enjoy it more and feel a little less rushed. We did stay a night in Zanjan rather than up at the caves which was better given how isolated the caves are. 2 nights there would have been ideal. The second week didn't feel quite as rushed but we would have loved another day in Esfahan just to explore a bit more.
On hotels and attractions, while generally everyone was very friendly and we were very impressed with the level of English, Hamadan was an exception. We had laundry done there - which seemed to be a great inconvenience to the staff, despite it being a service offered by the hotel. They then ruined two blouses and a pair of trousers of mine (eg the trousers shrunk about 3 cm in length). When Oveys helped me let the staff know they shrugged their shoulders and laughed. While I understand these accidents can happen, the reaction was very disappointing. I would suggest finding a different hotel for that city. Also I would give people the option, if they are travelling alone or in small groups, of staying in nicer hotels in all the cities. The beds in all the hotels were very hard and not very comfortable throughout.
In Esfahan Oveyss also took us to the music museum near the Armenian church. We would strongly recommend making this a permanent part of the itinerary. Hearing about the development of Iran through the evolution in its instruments and music was terrific, as was the impromptu concert!
On the transport - having a relatively small sedan car was helpful given the parking challenges in much of Iran. But if either Scott or I had been taller/bigger people it would have been very uncomfortable. You might want to consider how to manage this for the future.
The flights all worked well, except the airport pick up in Istanbul which had been booked for the day we arrived in Tehran a few weeks earlier. We managed to get a taxi but had to pay the cost again for this.
Also we had some challenges with what meals we're covered and which weren't by the tour. The agent in Tehran has given Oveyss a very different list then the one we had. Oveyss as able to sort out and the list you had given us was what we used, but it might be worth making sure this is clear to everyone for the next tour.
Overall we loved Iran and Turkey, would love to go back to both and would certainly book through you again.
Let me know if there is anything you would like to follow up with us.