Fixed Departure Date : 7th April – 18th April 2019. See Itinerary below for details.
Have you watched Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road series on ITV and been struck by a sudden urge to see the splendours of the Islamic Republic of Iran?
Do you want to be immersed in and intoxicated by one of the Silk Road’s most beguiling, yet misunderstood nations?
This expertly-curated Persian odyssey will follow Joanna’s Lumley’s footsteps across Iran. A land of incredible diversity and phenomenal beauty, Iran was once the thriving heart of the mighty Persian empire, and we’re sure you’re going to adore it just as much as Joanna did.
From the bustling bazaars of Tehran to the mud-brick antiquity of Yazd; from the emptiness of the Dasht-e-Lut desert to the pleasure gardens of Kerman; from the ancient wonders of Persepolis to the Abbasid architecture of Isfahan, this country will astound you. And that’s not to mention the superlative defying Persian cuisine or the humbling hospitality of the Iranian people
As you travel, you’ll not only gain a deep insight into how the Silk Road shaped this fantastic country, but what it means to be a modern Iranian.
The trip will be led by one of our directors, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent – an award-winning adventurer, travel writer and TV producer – alongside a fantastic local guide. Antonia was a producer on Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road series, spending a year researching and designing Joanna’s journey and filming several episodes of the series with Joanna and the crew. Thanks to these months of specialist research, this is a completely unique opportunity to follow directly in Joanna’s footsteps: to travel to the places featured in the series, meet the people she met, stay in the same hotels and much more. No other company can give you this same experience.
||Arrive: Isfahan International Airport
Depart: Shiraz Shahid Dastgheib International Airport
||Please arrive on the date that this trip is scheduled to depart.
See Itinerary for details
- All meals
- All transfers and transport
- Professional guide
- Entrance fees
- Coffee, tea, filtered water and fresh fruit throughout
- Visa for Iran
- Guide gratuity
We’ll pick you up at the airport and be with you throughout this amazing trip.
You are going to love it.
Where will we be staying?
We’ll be staying in a variety of accommodation – from larger hotels in Isfahan and Shiraz to local hotels in Yazd and Kerman and wonderful, family-run guesthouses and even camping in the Kalout Desert. The accommodation has been chosen to give you a real glimpse of life in Iran.
What size of group will it be?
Our group sizes are always small, allowing for an intimate experience of the cultures we meet along our path. On this trip we won’t have more than ten guests, plus Antonia and the local guides and drivers. We usually find groups are made of like-minded people, both male and female, from a wide age range.
How is this different to other ‘Silk Road’ expeditions I’ve seen?
We have been living, breathing, reading, researching and travelling the Silk Road for the past five years and – with this trip – are in the unique position that one of our directors, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, was the producer on Joanna Lumley’s ITV Silk Road series. Antonia, who is an award-winning travel writer as well as a TV producer and expedition leader, spent a year researching and designing Joanna’s route – the people she’d meet, the stories she’d tell, the places she’d visit – and then travelling across some of these countries with Joanna and the crew. This expedition gives you a completely unique opportunity to follow in Joanna’s footsteps: to travel to the places you’ve seen in the series, meet some of the people she met and much more. No other company can give you this experience.
What will the weather be like?
It’s Spring, when Iran has yet to really begin to heat up, so you can expet pleasantly warm days around 16-20 degrees C and cool nights - down to around 5 degrees C - especially in the desert. But have no fear, we will supply you with a detailed packing list after you’ve signed up.
I’m a solo traveller – is this for me?
Yes. More than 85% of our expedition clients travel alone as part of our group.
Do you charge single supplements – I can’t see them in your information?
We try not to. We don’t believe that solo travellers should be penalised with extra charges. It goes against our ethos, so unless totally unavoidable or astronomically expensive, all costs are included in the expedition price. In the case of this Iran trip, we will get single rooms in some places but in others the accommodation is based on two sharing a twin room. If you'd like to book single accommodation throughout then there is a supplemental payment of £310 that we must charge, sorry!
What kit do I need to bring?
We will provide you with an information pack after signing up to this trip, and this will detail any particular equipment we think either necessary or useful.
What vehicles will we be travelling in?
We'll be travelling by small 'midi' bus in comfort to most locations on this trip. 4x4's are not necessary.
How much are flights?
This is a moving feast! It depends on where you are travelling from and how you want to get there. From London, it’s around £500 return (outbound to Isfahan and return from Shiraz) with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. We can offer flight inclusive packages also though. Again, we’ll send you an information pack containing all the information you need when you book your place.
What will the food be like?
Very, very good. The food in Iran is justly famed and you'll enjoy a dazzling array of dishes. Vegetarians are well catered-for and you'll also have meat and fish. This isn't the country to come on a diet!
Will I have to share a room?
Yes, at times. There will be hotels and guest houses where we will have separate rooms and wherever possible we will arrange this, but there will also be times where we are staying there is scant option but to share rooms. This is all part of the adventure, and a reason we love to travel here. It makes sense for light sleepers to bring earplugs, in case of snorers.
Do you perform proper risk management on your expeditions?
Yes. We are members of TRIP – the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group – and perform detailed country risk assessments prior to departure, in line with the ISO 31000 international standard for risk assessment. We also maintain close contact with the relevant Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for countries we plan to visit, in addition to making use of the Australian Smart Traveller assessment tool, and the US State Department’s OSAC service. Beyond this, we have a full set of risk management and disaster contingency plans for each expedition and are expedition first aid trained by Crux Medical. For final back up we also use the services of Remote Medical Support that allows us to have a UK expedition doctor on the end of a telephone line wherever we may be. And we always carry a satellite phone. We really don’t mess around when it comes to safety.
I can’t do your dates but love the sound of your expedition – can you be flexible?
Yes. We offer set group dates for many of our expeditions, but we can organise and deliver bespoke expeditions to groups and individuals to suit your itinerary and budget. More information is available on our Tailor Made
Is it a guaranteed departure?
As with any new, pioneering itinerary we need to reach a minimum number of guests to make this viable. For this trip, we need a minimum of 6 guests. When you express interest in this expedition, we will send you a deposit invoice to hold your place. This is refundable according to our terms and conditions if we do not reach the minimum numbers. We recommend that you do not book your flights or other arrangements until we have communicated that the expedition is definitely departing as planned and will aim to do this in order to give you at least 5 months prior to the scheduled departure in which to make your travel arrangements.
Is it good value for money?
We are very proud of the routes we design and the way in which we travel them. We don’t cut corners and we plan meticulously. We are a small company that treats every guest as our friend and you won’t find that kind of service in many places. 85% of our customers have re-booked to travel again with us and some of them come on a trip every year. We also do annual expedition and remote medicine training and pay for 24/7 remote medical assistance cover. We employ professional military-grade risk assessments and plan for every possible negative scenario whilst hoping that none ever come to pass. We take our obligations to you and your safety very seriously and this all does cost money. We think the price represents great value for an experience you won’t find elsewhere. This trip is also being led by one of our directors, Antonia, so you are in good hands.
Is this really for me?
If you love adventure, new places, friendly people, wild landscapes, history and culture then yes! However, if you’re the sort of person who is going to be worried about the lack of flush loos in a desert camp, might complain that the road to Persepolis is too bumpy (it isn’t!) or frets about Wi-Fi availability, then this probably isn’t your bag.