Iran: Women's Expedition
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aud $3,474.10
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Cost/day
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About This Tour

Join Intrepid on our first ever female-only, female-led 12-day expedition through Iran. Designed to allow travellers a unique opportunity to discover the customs, food, challenges and lives of local women of Iran through a range of experiences otherwise off limits to our normal mixed gender groups. Although gender segregation is not typically Iranian, strict dress codes imposed by Islamic Law have meant many places & ways of life have become segregated by default. Step inside the hidden world of an Iranian beauty salon, wander through a female only park, and travel by public transport in the female-only carriage of the metro, local buses and an overnight train. Experience rural nomadic life with Qashqai people, meet young female entrepreneurs, and learn secret recipes from those in the know. This trip will expose you to a range of fascinating local women; young, old, religious, conservative, rural, modern and liberal. We would love to open up these real life experiences to all our travellers; however, in order to operate in a socially responsible and culturally sensitive manner this is simply not possible. At least not yet! If you're interested in travelling to Iran on a similar itinerary, check out some of other group departures or speak to your booking agent about a tailor-made itinerary.

Highlights

  • Shop for, prepare and enjoy a five-course meal at a local cooking school in Tehran. It’s a chance to not only experience a lively Iranian bazaar but learn age old secret recipes from local women.
  • Enjoy a picnic in one of Iran’s increasingly prevalent women’s-only parks, one of the few places women can enjoy the sunshine without a hijab
  • Immerse yourself in rural nomadic life on a beautifully remote homestay with the Qashqai people. Enjoy a meal, sing songs, try on the local dress, and give bread-baking a go
  • Step inside the fascinating hidden world of an Iranian beauty salon. You’ll see that these oases for many local women
  • Travel by public transport in the female-only carriage of the metro, local buses and an overnight train
  • Join a female scarf shop owner in Tehran to learn the many different ways of tying and wearing the iconic Middle Eastern garment
  • Experience the wondrous remains of the ancient capital of Persepolis – the scale and grandeur will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world.
  • While summer is a tempting option, there’s the equally attractive option of beating the crowds and going in winter. It’s actually our favourite time of year to experience this magical country so consider booking on a departures that runs during the cooler months of December through to February.

Itinerary

Welcome to Iran. You will be met on arrival at Shiraz International Airport and transferred to your hotel. The adventure starts with a welcome meeting at 12 pm. Many travellers arrive in Iran with a perception that's way off compass. There's an idea that it will be like, say, Saudi Arabia – that women are not allowed to drive, that they can’t work or get an education, that they are highly conservative and religious. And there’s no doubt that in Iran you will see very conservative, religious women dressed head-to-toe in the ‘Chador’ (meaning ‘tent’ in Farsi). But with half of Iran’s population younger than 35, you’ll find far more young Iranian women with head scarfs pushed back low on the head, bright coloured clothing (some of it figure-hugging), high heels, and an immaculately made-up look with red lipstick and nails. Parks exclusively for women are popping up all over Iranian cities. It is one of the few places women can exercise, picnic or simply enjoy the sun hijab free. You'll head to one with your leader for a stroll, a chat to the locals or perhaps a picnic. In the evening, dine in a traditional restaurant for a taste of some local dishes. Follow this with a visit to one of the many fashionable cafes which are quickly becoming a popular hang-out for young Iranians.

Rise early and head to a local bakery to sample some fresh bread, before driving to Iran's premier attraction, Persepolis (approximately 1 hour) .Once the centre of the Persian Empire and one of the great cities of the ancient world, Persepolis was constructed in the reign of Darius I and took more than 150 years to complete. On the way back to the hotel we will make a special stop to visit the Shahcheragh shrine (Mosque). Shāh Chérāgh (Persian: شاه چراغ ) is a funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz, Iran, housing the tomb of the brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim and brothers of 'Alī ar-Ridhā. Enter the female only section of the Mosque and have a talk with a female specialist guide who will explain more about the religious importance of the shrine, and the Islamic faith in general. Later, in the evening, we'll head to a popular gym to join a yoga class with local women. Yoga studios, gyms, swimming pools are among the ‘private’ spaces which have become segregated by default in modern Iranian life. They're safe and legal places where women can remove the Islamic dress, be themselves, and relax – without moral reprimand from the stricter elements in their society. Afterwards, enjoy a sample of some popular local street food.

Travel by local VIP bus to one of Iran's highlights, Esfahan (500 km; approximately 6–7 hours). We'll arrive in the late afternoon. Esfahan is simply one of the finest places in the Islamic world. A 16th-century rhyme called it 'half the world' and, after spending a few days here, you might agree. There's an abundance of fine Islamic buildings, most of which are covered with the blue mosaic tiles Iran is famous for. There's also an enormous bazaar, the perfect place to shop for exquisite Persian carpets. Or you can relax by the tranquil gardens, picturesque bridges and superb palaces. This evening, take a stroll down to the Zayandeh River and have a look at its historic bridges, which appear to have been lifted straight out of a fairytale. At several of the bridges local people gather to talk, drink tea and sing beautiful folk songs. It's a magical place to while away some time, and one of the most atmospheric places in all of Iran.

Start the day with a half-day tour of the city, visiting the UNESCO heritage-listed Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the exquisite Sheik Lotfollah Mosque. At the latter site, your guide will you give you an insight into life under Persia's greatest ruler, Shah Abbas. The tour starts at the immense Imam Square (formerly Naqsh-e Jahan Square), the second-largest square in the world. Surrounding the square are several grand buildings, such as the Ali Qapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Qeysarieh Portal and the majestic Imam Mosque. Located in the west of Imam Square, the Ali Qapu Palace covers six floors and was originally built as the main palace of Shah Abbas. In the afternoon, explore the atmospheric bazaar with its wonderful scents and spices, musical merchants' cries and, of course, thousands of locals bargaining for their most desired items. Walk the covered lanes of this sprawling marketplace, where shafts of light filter through celling and lattice, and browse for fabrics, spices, jewellery and other treasures. Along the way, we'll stop for a cup of tea in a old teahouse.

Travel to Tehran by public VIP bus (450 km; approximately 5–6 hours). On arrival check-in to your hotel and freshen up. Later this afternoon, embrace the lively Behjat Abad Market for an evening food adventure. Shop for fresh seasonal produce and fragrant spices. Then head over to the cooking school where one of the local female cooks will teach you how to create some of the most delectable Persian dishes.This class will include Tahchin and another side dish called Morasa polo, with appetizers like Mirza Qasemi, salads, and an Iranian dessert; Sholeh Zard. Once the wafting aroma of the delicious meal dissipates the kitchen, we’ll set the table and gather for a huge Persian feast as we chat and exchange experiences with these women.

Head out on a walking tour with your leader. Check out some of the small boutique fashion retailers that are popping up; you may have noticed by now that skirts and dresses are becoming increasingly common. Stop by a scarf shop and learn a few new techniques by which to tie a headscarf. Then experience the local metro, sitting in the women's only section. Later on, why not embrace the Iran's burgeoning cafe culture and visit one of many modern coffee shops inspired by images of the west on Pinterest and Instagram. Afterwards, head back to the hotel to freshen up before your overnight train journey. Although gender segregation as such is not a product of Iranian culture, strict dress codes imposed by Islamic Law have meant many places and ways of life have become segregated by default. Women can and often do opt to travel in a female only compartment of trains, buses and subways. This evening we will be travelling in the women-only compartment of the train. You may find the dress code far more relaxed in this domain.

One of Iran's most alluring cities, Yazd is the heart of the Zoroastrian religion. On arrival, set out on a walking tour visiting the Jameh Mosque, notable for its fine mosaics and beautiful exterior. From here you are ideally placed to explore the older parts of the city, which are some of the oldest on Earth according to UNESCO. Walk the narrow kuches (lanes), past simple courtyards and the ornate doors of the mud brick buildings. One of the most distinctive features of Yazd are the wind towers (‘badgirs’) that capture even the softest of breezes and send them to the buildings below; it's a kind of forerunner to modern air-con. The water museum shows how the quants (underground water channels) brought water to the city from the mountains for thousands of years. You will also visit the Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, both vestiges of the city’s Zoroastrian heritage. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire and water are agents of ritual purity, and the fire in the Atashkadeh Fire Temple is said to have been burning continuously since 470 AD.

Today you have the choice of taking an optional excursion outside of Yazd, which includes the impressive Kharanak mud brick village, Chak Chak fire temple, and the Meybod citadel. The impressive town of Kharanak is believed to be 1,000 years old and you can explore the abandoned structures of this hillside settlement, peering into the houses of wealthy merchants and hammans (bathhouses). You will also explore the valley and nearby mountains and get great pictures of the aqueducts that formed part of the underground water system. The system is still used to irrigate the fields here – great shocks of green that sit against the brown desert. Chak Chak is one of the most important Zoroastrian pilgrimage sites in Iran, and you’ll climb up the mountainside to reach the fire temple – your efforts rewarded with wonderful views. Chak Chak means ‘drip, drip’, named for a trickle of holy water that drips inside the temple. After lunch, check out Narin Castle, thought to be the oldest mudbrick structure in Iran, and explore the still growing town of Meybod before returning to Yazd. If you're after a more relaxing day, then you can simply stay at the hotel – a traditional 19th-century traditional mansion – puff on a qalyan or try the local favourite, camel fesenjun, in the shady courtyard.

Head towards the town of Eghlid. In ancient times Eghlid acted as the principal gateway from the north to Persepolis, as other routes were too mountainous and difficult to pass. After checking into the hotel, we head out to visit Sassanid Empire ruins which date back 1,800 years, a Zoroastrian ‘Tower of Silence’, and the sacred shrine of Eghlid. Zoroastrianism, which dates back over 4,000 years, was the state religion of Iran before the arrival of Islam. Followers believe there is one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), and they worship communally in a Fire Temple or Agiary. The intriguing Towers of Silence are part of the Zoroastrian tradition. The towers are raised circular structures where the dead are laid out to be picked clean by scavenger birds.

Continue towards the Fars Province, an area famous for its nomadic people. Here the barren landscape provides a stark contrast to the vibrancy and hospitality of its inhabitants. Iran has over 500 different nomadic tribes; the largest, the Qashqai, are Turkic pastoral nomads who winter near the Persian Gulf and summer on the central Iranian Plateau. The area north of Shiraz has been the home of nomadic tribes for centuries. Migration was a way of life and herding cattle, sewing carpets and embroidery formed the basis of these tribal economies. Today most of the nomads are more settled in the villages in the region but local tradition still prevails. We spend this evening in a simple local village home. Discover traditional costumes, share a meal, some stories, a song or two and perhaps even learn how to make local bread with our host.

Make your way back to Shiraz, the ‘City of Flowers and Nightingales’ which has managed to retain its provincial, relaxed atmosphere. There we visit the colourfully decorated Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, where sunlight streaming through stain glass windows fills the interior with kaleidoscopic colours. This afternoon we step inside the hidden world that is the Iranian hair salon.The hijab comes off, the conversation is lively, and the music is blaring. Treat yourself to a manicure, or perhaps a wash and blow wave. In post-revolution Iran, opening a beauty salon was one of the most conventional ways for Iranian women to attain financial independence. Often the basement of a building, or an extra room in the house, would be converted for this purpose. Off limits to men, these salons have become oases for many of Iran's women. Head to the supermarket with your leader to shop for ingredients before invited into a local home to cook and enjoy a meal. Such a first-hand experience of local life is a highlight for many travellers in Iran.

With no further activities planned, you're free to depart at any time. Checkout time is 12 midday.

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  • This tour is operated by: Intrepid
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Availablility

Ensure you check the Terms and Conditions before you book.

Tour start and End Book Seats Available Price Single Supplement
2020-03-07 - 2020-03-18 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-03-21 - 2020-04-01 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-04-04 - 2020-04-15 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-04-18 - 2020-04-29 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-10-10 - 2020-10-21 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-10-24 - 2020-11-04 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-11-07 - 2020-11-18 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2019-09-28 - 2019-10-09 Yes from $3,822.00/pp2% off $1,102.50
2019-11-09 - 2019-11-20 Yes from $3,787.70/pp2% off $1,102.50
2019-09-21 - 2019-10-02 Yes from $3,822.00/pp2% off $1,102.50
2019-10-26 - 2019-11-06 Yes from $3,577.00/pp2% off $1,102.50
2019-11-16 - 2019-11-27 Yes from $3,474.10/pp2% off $1,102.50
2019-10-03 - 2019-10-14 Yes from $3,719.10/pp2% off $1,102.50
2019-10-12 - 2019-10-23 Yes from $3,753.40/pp2% off $1,102.50
2020-01-18 - 2020-01-29 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-02-15 - 2020-02-26 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-04-11 - 2020-04-22 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-05-23 - 2020-06-03 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-05-09 - 2020-05-20 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-09-05 - 2020-09-16 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-09-19 - 2020-09-30 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-09-26 - 2020-10-07 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-10-03 - 2020-10-14 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-10-17 - 2020-10-28 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-10-31 - 2020-11-11 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-11-14 - 2020-11-25 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-11-21 - 2020-12-02 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
2020-11-28 - 2020-12-09 Yes from $3,596.60/pp2% off Not available
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Terms, conditions and other important information

Check full terms and conditions

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND CONTRABAND: Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran and severe penalties will be incurred by anyone attempting to bring it into the country. Drug laws are also extremely strict and travellers face lengthy jail terms if caught. If found, pork products, obscene material (even glossy magazines showing people in immodest poses), and controversial literature will all be confiscated by custom officials. Upon arrival, you as a foreigner will likely be whisked through customs but note that random bag checks do commonly occur.

Hotel (8 nights),Guesthouse (1 night),Home Stay (1 night)

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made, should this occur. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite, this is noted in the special information section on each day FACILITIES In some accommodations bathrooms may be what can be referred to as a "wet room" this simply means that the shower recess will have no lip on it and may not even have a curtain. Extra care needs to be taken as if you are not familiar with this type of facility you may slip. Bathroom shoes are provided to prevent this and we recommend you use them. Most hotel in Iran do not offer coffee and tea making facilities. HEATING and COOLING air-conditioning is not always available and as this is a desert country the temperatures can be warm to very hot in the day and cooler in the evening. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

WEEKEND & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN IRAN: Thursday (afternoon) and Friday are the weekend in Iran. Please note that there may be changes to operating hours of sites, museums and stores. Iran also has a lot of public holidays. The dates of many of these holidays change annually as they are scheduled according to the lunar calendar. If you are arriving over a weekend or public holiday we recommend you change some money beforehand as Currency Exchanges will be closed over these days RAMADAN 2019 In 2019, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 6th  May through until 4th  June, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected IRANIAN NEW YEAR: Please note that the Iranian New Year will take place from 20 March to 2 April 2019. Many Iranian banks and government offices will be closed for the week of this period. Iran Authorisation code request forms will not be accepted or processed during this time by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran

GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below: Uppersia - Pazira Travel Company: +989 337 408 300

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Forough Boutique Hotel District 8 Fars Provence Shiraz Shiraz IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF

Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. In Iran, in accordance with local regulations your Leader will also be a licensed Tour Guide and will not only have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip; but will also have specialised knowledge on the sites visited and provide full guiding services.

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. DRINKING WATER: As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT  A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available: Day 6: Overnight Train;  Day 10: Village homestay WELCOME MEETING  This trip starts at noon (12pm) on Day 1 TRANSFERS An arrival transfer is included on this trip.  Due to visa regulations for US, UK, and Canadian passport holders a departure transfer is required.  Please discuss with your booking agent. ADDITIONAL ACCOMMODATION US, UK and Canadian passport holders arriving before trip commencement are required under visa regulations to reserve additional accommodation with Intrepid as the in country host. There are further travel restrictions that apply to these nationalities such as requiring a registered guide to be with them at all times. VISA INFORMATION IRAN Please note that US, British and Canadian passport holders will need to book this trip at least 2 months before departure as this is the length of time it takes to process a visa for these nationalities. There may also be further travel restrictions that apply to these nationalities such as requiring a registered guide to be with them at all times. Please see our online visa information for more details. Simply select the relevant nationality in the drop down list to access detailed visa information http://www.intrepidtravel.com/iran-visa-application-form IMPORTANT MONEY MATTERS Please note that travellers cannot use debit or credit cards while in Iran. You will need to bring all the money you will need for your entire trip with you. Please read through the money matters section of your essential trip information for further details

Join Intrepid on our first ever female-only, female-led 12-day expedition through Iran. Designed to allow travellers a unique opportunity to discover the customs, food, challenges and lives of local women of Iran through a range of experiences otherwise off limits to our normal mixed gender groups. Although gender segregation is not typically Iranian, strict dress codes imposed by Islamic Law have meant many places & ways of life have become segregated by default. Step inside the hidden world of an Iranian beauty salon, wander through a female only park, and travel by public transport in the female-only carriage of the metro, local buses and an overnight train. Experience rural nomadic life with Qashqai people, meet young female entrepreneurs, and learn secret recipes from those in the know. This trip will expose you to a range of fascinating local women; young, old, religious, conservative, rural, modern and liberal. We would love to open up these real life experiences to all our travellers; however, in order to operate in a socially responsible and culturally sensitive manner this is simply not possible. At least not yet! If you're interested in travelling to Iran on a similar itinerary, check out some of other group departures or speak to your booking agent about a tailor-made itinerary.

Iran is one of the safest and friendliest places you can travel, but it is very conservative. You’ll need to be committed to a strict dress code in what may be quite warm weather. Things don't get much more different to home than this! On arrival in Iran, all women must wear a headscarf, and must also have their arms and legs covered. Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Iran and those trying to bring any in will incur severe penalties. Drug laws are also extremely strict, and travellers face lengthy jail terms if caught. Most foreigners are whisked through customs without any delays, but random bag checks do occur. The pathways around some sites may be uneven, rocky or dusty, and there’s exposure to the elements on some activities. Remember to bring a hat and sunscreen and drink plenty of water. If it’s winter, dress in layers. Iran is a big country and this trip covers a lot, so be prepared for some long travel days. Take the chance to sit back, relax and take in the beautiful scenery between destinations Accommodation at the village homestay will be basic, with limited or shared facilities. Note that we use a local supplier for our arrival transfer. As tourism is a developing industry in Iran, it is possible your driver will not speak English. Debit or credit cards can’t be used in Iran, so you’ll need to bring cash to last you the whole trip. For more information on this, see ‘Money matters’ in the Essential Trip Information. Getting a visa for Iran can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. It may take a couple of weeks to get your authorisation code, and then it can take up to 30 days to receive your visa back from the embassy or consulate. Rules can and do change often - this is the nature of the destination. But we are here to help you through it.

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. DEPOSITS Please note deposits on this trip are non refundable and non-transferable as per our terms and conditions. You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $400 per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed.

Forough Boutique Hotel District 8 Fars Provence Shiraz Shiraz IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF

19 Jun 2019

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also, make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency. TIPPING Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew. TIPPING GUIDE To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground. *Basic restaurants; round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loose change is generally fine. *Up-market restaurants; when checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no ,requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate. *Home Stay; USD2 to USD3 per person *Private Vehicle Drivers;USD2 to USD3 per person per day *Local guides; in Iran your Tour Leader is also your Local Guide  *Your tour leader; you may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Whilst we have used USD as a guide it is perfectly acceptable to tip in local Iranian Rial EMERGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved. TRAVELLERS TO IRAN PLEASE NOTE: Iran is very much a cash economy. This means travellers can rarely use debit or credit cards while in Iran. There are virtually no opportunities to withdraw cash in Iran. ATM’s are non-existent. Credit cards are also only accepted sporadically; there may be rare occasions in tourist-orientated shops that credit cards are accepted, otherwise cash is the main method of trade in Iran. If you are arriving into Tehran on Thursday afternoon or Friday we highly recommend passengers exchange money at the Airport as all other currency exchange houses in the city will be closed until Saturday.

A reasonable level of fitness is expected and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip. Some of the archaeological sites and activities included involve a fair amount of walking.

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We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller Iran is a traditional Islamic nation and a strict dress code is enforced throughout the country. The code of dress must be adhered to at all times. Men must wear long trousers at all times and generally keep themselves neat and tidy. Loose fitting cotton pants are preferable for the Iranian heat. Short sleeve shirts that cover your shoulders and open-toed sandals are now acceptable for men. Women must wear the hijab at all times, apart from in their hotel bedrooms of course. A hijab consists of the manteau, a loose-fitting trench coat that comes down to just above your knees, plus a headscarf. It is not necessary for foreigners to wear a manteau. A headscarf can be of any colour. It's now perfectly acceptable for women to wear a headscarf that shows some of their fringe and you'll see many ladies doing so and Its acceptable for women to wear loose long linen or cotton shirts, or even long light cardigans. These need to be long enough to cover your bottom. Your group leader will advise you of what attire is appropriate during the welcome meeting. Upon arrival in Iran, women not wearing a headscarf, long sleeves, closed shoes and a loose fitting skirt or pants may be refused entry into the country (to avoid this problem bring a thin full-length raincoat, long sleeved shirt or tunic from home). Men must be wearing long trousers upon arrival and shirts that cover their shoulder, or they too may be refused entry.

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. SAFETY IN IRAN: Iran you say, is it safe? In a word, yes. This question will be asked of you many times before you arrive in Iran and long after you return. One of the biggest misconceptions is that Iran is an unfriendly country - this couldn't be further from the truth. You are likely to be greeted with salaams (hello) by the many friendly faces that you'll see during your time here. The Iranian people are famous for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature so don't be surprised if locals invite you into their homes where you'll suddenly find yourself reclining on a Persian carpet with your smiling hosts, drinking tea and sharing food and plenty of laughs. Tourism is in its infancy in Iran and you'll find that the local people will show a genuine interest towards you and want to try out their English on you. Of course, petty crime does exist but probably the only danger you'll face while here is the country's chaotic traffic, especially when crossing the road or even while walking on the footpath.

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Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Expedition

Overnight train,Private Mini Bus,Local VIP Bus,Subway

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING: Occasionally you may experience armed security and convoys between select towns or regions. Convoys are used to ensure all travellers are transported safely and, in many cases, tourists are only allowed to travel in scheduled convoys of buses and jeeps. On rare occasions you may have an armed guard in your vehicle. We want to warn you so you are not alarmed. This is a practice designed to keep tourists safe, although at time it can appear a little overkill.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

HPSF

Iran: Women's Expedition

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. IRAN: Most foreign visitors require a visa to enter Iran. Please be aware that this can be a frustrating and stressful process, and can take from 6-8 weeks. You will need to allow sufficient time for this and plan any other travel around your Iran trip accordingly. The cost of a visa also varies dependent on your nationality, and also changes regularly, making it hard for us to advise of the actual cost. But you should plan for it to cost somewhere around 100-180EUR depending if you get a visa before departure or on arrival. Iranian visas are issued in a two-step process and this will differ according to your nationality. 1. An authorisation code for your visa must be issued by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2. A visa for your passport must then be obtained at an Iranian Embassy once the authorisation code has been issued, or on arrival (depending on your nationality). If you are travelling on UK, USA or CANADIAN passport please be aware that your visa process can take longer due to government regulations. Please check that you will have sufficient time to obtain a visa before departure. Follow the link below and select your nationality in the drop down list to access detailed visa information relevant to you. When your trips has been confirmed you can then proceed to the online visa authorisation code application. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/iran-visa-application-form

W h a t y o u n e e d t o b r i n g w i l l v a r y a c c o r d i n g t o t h e t r i p s t y l e y o u h a v e c h o s e n , t h e c o u n t r i e s y o u a r e v i s i t i n g a n d w h e n y o u a r e t r a v e l l i n g . G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , w e r e c o m m e n d y o u p a c k a s l i g h t l y a s p o s s i b l e a n d m a k e s u r e t h a t y o u a r e a b l e t o c a r r y a n d l i f t y o u r o w n l u g g a g e , a n d w a l k w i t h i t f o r s h o r t d i s t a n c e s . M o s t t r a v e l l e r s c a r r y t h e i r l u g g a g e i n a b a c k p a c k , a l t h o u g h a n o v e r n i g h t b a g w i t h a s h o u l d e r s t r a p w o u l d s u f f i c e i f y o u t r a v e l l i g h t l y . S m a l l e r b a g s o r b a c k p a c k s w i t h w h e e l s a r e c o n v e n i e n t a l t h o u g h w e r e c o m m e n d y o u r b a g h a s c a r r y s t r a p s . Y o u ' l l a l s o n e e d a d a y p a c k / b a g t o c a r r y w a t e r a n d a c a m e r a e t c f o r d a y t r i p s . B e l o w a r e s o m e i d e a s a n d h e l p f u l t i p s o n w h a t y o u s p e c i f i c a l l y n e e d f o r t h i s t r i p . G E N E R A L P A C K I N G L I S T : • T r a v e l d o c u m e n t s : p a s s p o r t , v i s a ( i f r e q u i r e d ) , t r a v e l i n s u r a n c e , a i r t i c k e t s o r e - t i c k e t r e c e i p t s a n d a c o p y o f t h i s d o c u m e n t . • P h o t o c o p y o f m a i n p a s s p o r t p a g e s , v i s a ( i f r e q u i r e d ) , t r a v e l i n s u r a n c e a n d a i r t i c k e t s . • P e r s o n a l m e d i c a l k i t . Y o u r g u i d e w i l l c a r r y a l a r g e k i t b u t w e r e c o m m e n d y o u c a r r y i t e m s s u c h a s m i l d p a i n k i l l e r s , e l e c t r o l y t e s a n d b a n d a i d s . • D a y p a c k • W a t c h / A l a r m c l o c k o r p h o n e t h a t c a n b e u s e d f o r b o t h . • P o w e r a d a p t o r s • I n s e c t r e p e l l e n t • S u n p r o t e c t i o n - h a t , s u n s c r e e n , s u n g l a s s e s • E a r p l u g s a n d e y e m a s k ( y o u m i g h t b e s h a r i n g w i t h a s n o r e r ! ) • W a t e r b o t t l e . W e r e c o m m e n d a t l e a s t a 1 . 5 l i t r e c a p a c i t y . T h e s a l e o f b o t t l e d w a t e r c o n t r i b u t e s t o a n e n o r m o u s e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o b l e m a r o u n d t h e w o r l d . I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e w a t e r i n b o t t l e s , t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f a 1 l i t r e p l a s t i c b o t t l e t a k e s 2 l i t r e s o f w a t e r a n d 2 0 0 m l o f o i l . A l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n e n d u p i n l i m i t e d l a n d f i l l o r d i s c a r d e d i n w a t e r w a y s a n d n a t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t s . • W a r m c l o t h e s i n c l u d i n g h a t a n d g l o v e s - W h e n t r a v e l l i n g i n c o o l e r c l i m a t e s • W i n d a n d w a t e r p r o o f r a i n j a c k e t • T o i l e t r i e s / t r a v e l w i p e s • T r a v e l T o w e l • C l o s e d i n , c o m f o r t a b l e w a l k i n g s h o e s . A s m o s t o f o u r t r i p s i n c l u d e s o m e w a l k i n g e l e m e n t s , w e h i g h l y r e c o m m e n d t h a t y o u t a k e a p a i r o f c o m f o r t a b l e , c l o s e d - i n w a l k i n g s h o e s . C l o s e d - i n s h o e s w i l l h e l p t o p r o t e c t y o u r f e e t f r o m c u t s a n d s c r a t c h e s w h e n w a l k i n g t h r o u g h b u s h / g r a s s - l a n d s , a n d w i l l a l s o a c t a s a b a r r i e r p r o t e c t i o n i n r a r e c a s e s a g a i n s t b i t e s o r s t i n g s . • C a m e r a w i t h s p a r e m e m o r y c a r d s a n d b a t t e r i e s • S w i m w e a r ( i t i n e r a r y d e p e n d a n t ) • C l o t h e s ! B e a r i n m i n d t h a t l a u n d r y f a c i l i t i e s w i l l b e w i d e l y a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h o u t t h i s t r i p . T h e c o s t v a r i e s i n e a c h d e s t i n a t i o n . L U G G A G E L I M I T : O n t h i s t r i p , y o u m u s t p a c k a s l i g h t l y a s p o s s i b l e b e c a u s e y o u w i l l b e e x p e c t e d t o c a r r y y o u r o w n b a g a n d , a l t h o u g h y o u w o n ' t b e r e q u i r e d t o w a l k l o n g d i s t a n c e s w i t h y o u r l u g g a g e , w e s t r o n g l y r e c o m m e n d k e e p i n g t h e w e i g h t u n d e r 1 5 k g . I f y o u r i t i n e r a r y i n c l u d e s a f l i g h t , p l e a s e k e e p i n m i n d t h a t s o m e d o m e s t i c a i r l i n e s h a v e c h e c k e d l u g g a g e l i m i t s o f 1 5 k g . C L O T H I N G & C L I M A T E : P l e a s e n o t e t h a t a s a d e s e r t r e g i o n , t h e M i d d l e E a s t c a n h a v e e x t r e m e w e a t h e r . T e m p e r a t u r e s a r e g e n e r a l l y h o t w i t h l i t t l e r a i n . T h i s c a n b e c o m e e x t r e m e d u r i n g t h e s u m m e r m o n t h s o f J u n e t o A u g u s t . I n t h e m o n t h s o f D e c e m b e r t o M a r c h i t c a n b e v e r y c o l d , p a r t i c u l a r l y n e x t t o t h e r i v e r o r t h e o c e a n a n d o u t i n t h e d e s e r t w h e r e n i g h t t e m p e r a t u r e s c a n d r o p d r a m a t i c a l l y . E v e n i n t h e h o t m o n t h s , i t c a n g e t c o l d i n t h e d e s e r t a t n i g h t . C o n s i d e r b r i n g i n g a s l e e p i n g b a g , t h e r m a l s , s c a r f , g l o v e s a n d a w a r m j a c k e t f o r t r a v e l i n t h i s p e r i o d , e s p e c i a l l y o n i t i n e r a r i e s w h i c h i n c l u d e c a m p i n g s u c h a s o n a f e l u c c a , i n a d e s e r t c a m p , o r a t a R e d S e a b e a c h c a m p . A l i g h t w a t e r a n d w i n d p r o o f j a c k e t i s u s e f u l a n d a h a t i s e s s e n t i a l . V A L U A B L E S : P l e a s e t r y t o a v o i d b r i n g i n g u n n e c e s s a r y v a l u a b l e s , a n d u s e y o u r h o t e l s a f e s t o s t o r e t h e b u l k o f y o u r m o n e y , p a s s p o r t , a n d a i r l i n e t i c k e t s . I t ’ s a l s o a g o o d i d e a t o p u r c h a s e a m o n e y b e l t o r p o u c h t h a t i s e a s i l y h i d d e n . W e s t r o n g l y r e c o m m e n d t h a t y o u p h o t o c o p y a l l i m p o r t a n t d o c u m e n t s e . g . a i r t i c k e t s , p a s s p o r t , v a c c i n a t i o n c e r t i f i c a t e , e t c . a n d k e e p t h e c o p i e s s e p a r a t e f r o m t h e o r i g i n a l s . W h i l e n o t v a l i d , a p h o t o c o p y m a k e s i t v e r y m u c h e a s i e r t o o b t a i n r e p l a c e m e n t s i f n e c e s s a r y . B A T T E R I E S / P O W E R : M o s t o f o u r t r i p s h a v e a c c e s s t o p o w e r t o r e c h a r g e b a t t e r i e s f o r p h o n e s a n d c a m e r a s r e g u l a r l y . W e a l w a y s r e c o m m e n d t h a t y o u c a r r y a n e x t r a b a t t e r y f o r y o u r c a m e r a j u s t i n c a s e . C h a r g i n g o f b a t t e r i e s i s a d v i s e d b e f o r e c h e c k i n g o u t o f y o u r h o t e l r o o m s . P l e a s e b e a r i n m i n d t h e r e m a y b e s o m e n i g h t s w e r e e l e c t r i c i t y m a y n o t b e a s r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e a s y o u m i g h t b e u s e d t o – h o m e s t a y s , b e a c h a n d d e s e r t c a m p s e t c . R E S T R I C T E D I T E M S G e n e r a l l y d r o n e s a r e n o t p e r m i t t e d i n t o a n y M i d d l e E a s t d e s t i n a t i o n o r t h e y r e q u i r e r e g i s t r a t i o n a n d p r e a p p r o v a l p l e a s e r e f e r t o y o u r a i r l i n e c a r r i e r i f y o u a r e c o n s i d e r i n g t a k i n g a d r o n e o n y o u r t r a v e l s o r c h e c k o u t d r o n e l a w s b y c o u n t r y o n l i n e . W e h a v e h a d s o m e r e p o r t s o f b i n o c u l a r s b e i n g c o n f i s c a t e d o r c a u s i n g d e l a y i n c u s t o m s i f c a r r i e d i n h a n d l u g g a g e .

Shop for, prepare and enjoy a five-course meal at a local cooking school in Tehran. It’s a chance to not only experience a lively Iranian bazaar but learn age old secret recipes from local women. Enjoy a picnic in one of Iran’s increasingly prevalent women’s-only parks, one of the few places women can enjoy the sunshine without a hijab Immerse yourself in rural nomadic life on a beautifully remote homestay with the Qashqai people. Enjoy a meal, sing songs, try on the local dress, and give bread-baking a go Step inside the fascinating hidden world of an Iranian beauty salon. You’ll see that these oases for many local women Travel by public transport in the female-only carriage of the metro, local buses and an overnight train Join a female scarf shop owner in Tehran to learn the many different ways of tying and wearing the iconic Middle Eastern garment Experience the wondrous remains of the ancient capital of Persepolis – the scale and grandeur will leave you in no doubt that this was once the centre of the known world. While summer is a tempting option, there’s the equally attractive option of beating the crowds and going in winter. It’s actually our favourite time of year to experience this magical country so consider booking on a departures that runs during the cooler months of December through to February.

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.