Discover the hidden treasures of Iran
Despite over 4,000 years of written history and organised civilisation, Iran still lies off the beaten track for most travellers. With the international sanctions lifted, tourism is now slowly building up, so we decided to set up a tour to visit the most spectacular places before the secret is out.
On this truly unique tour we will photograph magnificent mosques, fabulously tiled palaces, and other stunning historical buildings. But we will not only show you the best examples of Iran's glorious architecture, we will also show you the mind-blowing scenery of one of the friendliest countries on the planet. During our scouting tour we managed to find some truly hidden locations where even our local guides had never been before!
We are exited to show you our favourite locations, but Iran is a big country and they happen to be far apart. From our experience, however, this is actually a good thing - the more difficult it is to get to a location, the fewer people will have been there and the more original your images will be. But even though we may still tweak our itinerary here and there, these are the locations we will visit on this tour.
One of the most magnificent natural wonders that usually gets passed are the spectacular colourful mountains of Tabriz. Just out of Tabriz an interesting mountain chain appears and is painted with hues of copper, red, green, orange and yellow. This work of art by mother nature is called the Aladaglar Mountains. These mountains are said to be the result of millions of years of minerals and sandstone being pressed together and oxidised, making these phenomenal mountains look like giant layer cakes. This magical place is otherworldly, giving the feeling of walking on Mars.
Isfahan is the capital of Esfahan Province. The Persians call it "Nesf-e-Jahan", meaning "Half The World". Due to its beautiful hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An ancient town and capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722, it was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree. Its architecture, tree-lined boulevards and relaxed pace make it one of the highlights of Iran. On this tour we will focus most of our attention on the many beautiful mosques and historical buildings.
Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC) and is among the world’s greatest archaeological sites. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. The English word Persepolis is derived from Greek and means "the Persian city”. The site includes a 125,000 square meter terrace, partly artificially constructed and partly cut out of a mountain. Although set on fire and destroyed by Alexander the Great in a gesture symbolising the destruction of Persian imperial power, its still impressive ruins permit a fairly complete reconstruction of its original appearance. Ruins of a number of colossal buildings exist on the terrace. All are constructed of dark-grey marble. Fifteen of their pillars stand intact. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.
The Lut Desert is a large salt desert located in the provinces of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan. It is the world's 27th-largest desert, and was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2016.
Seven years of satellite temperature data show that the Lut Desert is the hottest spot on Earth. The Lut Desert was hottest during 5 of the 7 years, and had the highest temperature overall: 70.7°C (159.3°F) in 2005. Luckily for us, we will be there when it’s a lot more pleasant!
What makes this desert so different from most other deserts, it that it is filled with an endless amount of fascinating rocks. In terms of photography, shooting deserts doesn’t get much better than this. We spent a lot of time driving deep into uncharted terrain where even the local guides never go, and we have found several amazing photo locations that will blow you away!
Tour dates 2019 - tour 1: 12 October - 30 October 2019
Tour date 2019 - tour 2: 25 November - 12 December
Tour date 2021: February/March (final date not yet set)
Tour leaders: Marsel van Oosten & Daniella Sibbing and local guide
Fee: 8,850 USD per person for the 2019 tour with a single supplement of 750 USD for those that want a single room (not possible in the desert). The 2021 tour fee will be slightly higher.
Deposit: 1,500 USD
Group size: min. 8, max. 12
Photography level: all experience levels (non-photographing partners will also enjoy this tour a lot!)
Genre: landscape and travel photography
Fitness level: easy to moderate (you'll climbing some hills)
- domestic flight(s) and airport tax
- English speaking local guide
- all local transport
- rental of 4x4 vehicles and local guides in the desert
- all entrance fees and park fees
- all accommodation
- all meals
- all alcoholic drinks 😂
- drinking water and all soft drinks
- all tips and gratuities
- daily briefings
- photographic instructions
- in the field tips & tricks
- image reviews
- loads of fun
And what's not
- international airfares
- expenses of personal nature
- insurances and visa