Damavand Expedition

Ascent to Damavand (5671m), Alborz mountain range, Iran

Bearing the same shape as Mount Fuji, Damavand (5671m) is Iran’s highest peak, easily accessible from Tehran, even though it is located in the Mazandaran province. Damavand is also a volcano, still capable of expelling streams of sulfuric acid strong enough to kill a wayward goat. Although the climb itself is considered to be one of the more accessible trekking routes, it is very demanding, requiring the climber to be in exemplary physical condition. After the ascent to Damavand (5671m), we will visit Isfahan, Shiraz, Naqsh-e-Rostam and Persepolis. Isfahan is Iran’s masterpiece, the jewel of old Persia and one of the most distinguished cities of the Islamic world. It is a city in which you’ll find yourself soaking in the hectic atmosphere of the bazaar, daydreaming in one of Isfahan’s many gardens, or enjoying a cup of tea in the city’s numerous but equally peculiar tea houses. However, above all, Isfahan is a place for you to enjoy the sophisticated elegance of Persian culture, which is at its most apparent in Imam square, also a UNESCO world heritage site, including: the Imam mosque, the mosque of Sheikh Lotfhollah, Ali Qapu palace and Chehel Sotun palace.

Shiraz, another city of elegance, has been celebrated for ages as the heart of Persian culture. At the height of its glory, the city was awarded with the epithet ‘’Dar al-‘lim’’ (House of knowledge), its name becoming synonymous with literature, poetry, flowers, roses and wine. Shiraz was also one of the most significant cities of the medieval Islamic world and the capital city of Persia during the Zand dynasty (1750-1781), when plenty of the city’s beautiful buildings were built or restored to their former glory. Shiraz is still a city of poets; after all, the graves of both Hafez and Sadi are found within its walls. Persepolis, another UNESCO world heritage site, grew through a culmination of immense skill and knowledge attributable to the many peoples over which Persia ruled over at the time; unconditionally Persian in its ideology and design, yet still equally cosmopolitan in its exquisite architecture and artistic direction. The settlement’s location epitomizes the many successes of the old Achaemenid Empire.

This multicultural destination is utterly unique in today’s world, undoubtedly the greatest achievement of the old Middle Eastern civilization which survives to this day. It was during the reign of Darius I (the Great), around 518 BC, that work on Persepolis first started. Certain historians believe that the location was originally chosen by Cambyses II, the son of Cyrus the Great. It also catered to future kings as well, specifically Xerxes I (the Great) and II, Artaxerxes I, II and III, until it was destroyed by Alexander the Great. The stone tombs of Naqsh-e-Rostam are magnificent. Carved from cliffs high above ground, the four mausoleums believe to belong to Darius I, Artaxerxes I, Xerxes I and Darius II. The tombs of the later Artaxerxes’ (II and III, respectively), were built above Persepolis using Naqsh-e-Rostam as their model.

Itinerary

Day 1

We arrive in Tehran, pick up from the airport and go straight to our 3* hotel accommodation. In the evening, after we had the time to unpack and unwind, we’ll take a short walk around the city to get to know Iran’s culture and people. Overnight stay.

Day 2

Breakfast, then transfer to Darband square (1850m). Acclimatization climb to peak Tochal (3957m), then back to Darband square. Reaching the peak is also possible via a gondola lift. Transfer to hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 3

Breakfast, then transfer to Polur. Arriving there, we have transfer by 4×4  to Goosfand Sar (3040m). Overnight in containers.

Day 4

Breakfast then 4 hours walk to Bergah mountain lodge (4250m). In the afternoon we head for an acclimatization climb to a nearby hill and then return to our lodge. Overnight stay.

Day 5

Breakfast. Today we have an extra day for a proper acclimatization. We hike to (4600m) and then return to our camp. Overnight stay.

Day 6

Summit day for Damavand (5671m).We will leave mountain hut around 04:00 and climb to the top 6-7 hours. Return to Bergah in 3 hours’ time.  Overnight at mountain hut „Bergah”.

Day 7

After breakfast, in a 3-hour trip we’ll return to Goosfand Sar. Transfer to Tehran. Rest in a hotel.

Day 8

Breakfast, then transfer to Tehran airport. There we say our goodbyes and you catch your flight home.

Dates & Prices

August 18th, 2019
Spots available: 5 750 €, Per Person
August 25th, 2019
Spots available: 7 750 €, Per Person

FAQ

What’s included in the price?
To maximize convenience, we include as much as possible, so you can just relax and think about hiking. Here’s what’s included:

  • Total 7 nights. 4 Nights in mountain chalets and 3 nights in a three star hotel / twin or double room
  • Breakfast and dinner at the hotels and B&B at the mountain huts on Damavand
  • 4 days guided ascent on Damavand (5671m)
  • All local transfers to/from airports
  • Tickets for national parks
  • Mt. Tochal gondola lift
  • Minibus transport: Tehran – Reyneh – Tehran
  • Climbing permit
  • Professional mountain guide

Price doesn’t include the following:

  • Plane tickets to & from Tehran
  • Lunch throughout the tours in Iran
  • Food and beverages throughout the ascent to Damavand (5671m)
  • Personal expenses such as telephone bill, internet access, souvenirs, laundry etc.

You will need to cover flights; insurance and extra spend. You’ll need to book your flights to and from Tehran, travel insurance and cover other personal expenses (etc. drinks, souvenirs…).

What’s the hike like?
The hike is strenuous to very strenuous. First day is hike, that last 3 to 4 hours, with easy pace. You will walk on mountain trail. It is safe and solid. It can be windy and cold because it is more than 3.000 above sea level. Second day the hike is moderate, but you should walk slowly because it is more than 4000 above sea level. Third day is for rest and acclimatization. Fourth day is the summit day when you walk up 6 hours and back 3-4 hours.

What skills/experience/fitness do I need?

You need high level fitness level. The previous hiking experience at altitudes up to 4000 above sea level is mandatory. Your guide will give you full instructions and a safety briefing at the start.

What do I need to bring with me?

  • Backpack (up to 50l)
  • Sleeping bag (up to -10 degrees Celsius / comfort zone)
  • Gaiters
  • Trekking poles
  • Head lamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Cotton t-shirts
  • Trekking socks
  • Active underwear
  • Polar jacket
  • Gore-Tex jacket
  • Trekking pants
  • Gore-Tex pants
  • Gloves
  • Polar of woolen cap
  • Hiking shoes
  • Toiletries kit
  • Sunscreen  SPF 50 & lip balm

What are the guides like?
All the activities on this trip will be led in English by qualified and professional guide.

What’s the food like?
All food is local and is freshly cooked. These include domestic cheese and other local milk products, lamb meat specialties, fish, local fruit, fresh fruit and vegetable. We can organize your meal in the way you like. The drinks are not included.

Can my dietary requirements be catered to?
Absolutely. Just let us know when you fill in your travel documents.

When can I go on this trip?
Book on to our pre-set dates above. If you are considering alternative dates, the perfect time for this adventure is between June and  September.

What’s the weather like?
Summer and early autumn are the best periods to visit this region. In summer the average temperature in Iran can be around is 35 degrees, but on the mountain is colder and temperature is around minus 10 degrees Celsius. Autumn is slightly chillier but still really pleasant and colors are stunning. On the top of the mountain there can be some snow parts.

Which flights should I book?
You should book flights to Tehran airport (Iran capital).

How do I meet the transfer?
At your arrival, the transfer will be holding a sign with the name of the tour. We’ll give you all extra details before travelling.

How big will the group be?
This trip will run with a minimum of 6 people, and a maximum of 15. Please note, if there are not 6 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled. Please contact us for confirmation before booking your flights, or book with a credit card.

Can I customize the trip?
Of course! For private groups of six or more the trip can run on any days you wish, be extended or changed to suit your needs. Inquire now for a private trip.