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.
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.
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.
Breakfast, then transfer to Polur. Arriving there, we have transfer by 4×4 to Goosfand Sar (3040m). Overnight in containers.
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.
Breakfast. Today we have an extra day for a proper acclimatization. We hike to (4600m) and then return to our camp. Overnight stay.
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”.
After breakfast, in a 3-hour trip we’ll return to Goosfand Sar. Transfer to Tehran. Rest in a hotel.
Breakfast, then transfer to Tehran airport. There we say our goodbyes and you catch your flight home.