Cycling holiday in Iran

“Superb cycling and so much more on this Iran holiday – ancient sites, welcoming homestays, remote villages and free days out of the saddle, too.”


Tehran | Tehran Bazaar guided walk | Qom | Kashan | guided tour of Fin Garden | Abyaneh | local homestays for seven nights | free day in Esfahan | Shahreza | Izad Khast | private tour of Izad Khast Castle | cooking and meals in local homes | traditional Iranian dancing | Pasargad UNESCO World Heritage Site | Naqsh-e Rustam | Marvdasht | Persepolis guided tour | Shiraz | Cypress of Abarkuh | Yazd city walking tour including Jameh Mosque | free day in Yazd

Description of Cycling holiday in Iran

A 16 day cycling holiday in Iran takes you into an exciting modern-meets-ancient world, to discover Persian ruins, deserts, bazaars, thriving cities and exquisite gardens. This is a fully supported small group holiday, with a backup vehicle transporting you between cycling routes and friendly local guidance throughout. In between the biking, you’ll visit incredible sights, left behind by countless civilisations and people, finding out along the way that, despite its representation in the media, Iran is a wonderfully friendly country populated by warm, lively people. You’ll spend seven nights of the trip staying in family homes, too, which is the perfect way to experience Iranian hospitality and there are a handful of free days, with no cycling, so you can rest tired legs.

The holiday begins and ends in Tehran, where you can tour the bustling bazaar, and then takes in the gorgeous Fin Garden in Kashan, the mosques of Esfahan, the mudbrick town of Abyaneh, and ancient Izad Khast where you’ll enjoy a private tour of the castle ruins. See the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pasargad and the striking necropolis Naqsh-e Rustam, cut into a cliff, Petra-style! No trip to Iran is complete without visiting spectacular Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire and once the centre of the known world, as well as the old towns of Shiraz and Yazd.

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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Cycling holiday in Iran

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Water conservation is a hot topic in Iran which has seen a massive population increase in the last two decades. Our trained tour leaders are well versed in advising travellers on initiatives to manage water consumption and we are working with our suppliers to encourage better management of this precious commodity. This maybe by way of water refilling opportunities in hotels and more signage to encourage water conservation practices. A visit to the water museum in Yazd is an excellent opportunity to discuss using age old water conservation methods to help in the present. On cycling trips it is easy to use plastic excessively, especially in hot climates like Iran. Rather than use single-use plastic bottles we refill our water bottles from a large water drum kept on our support vehicle.

Our greatest contribution to minimising our transportation's impact on the environment is to simply travel by bike, avoiding any use of energy or fuel. When we do use a vehicle we are committed to providing local experiences and as part of this philosophy during this trip we use local forms of transport wherever possible. This could be using the metro system in Tehran rather than private transport which minimises the impact on local residents using the roads for daily routines, it could also be that we choose to walk to avoid already congested traffic in cities. Where we do use a support vehicle we will always ensure that it is an appropriate size to suit the cyclists it supports - no using a 16 seater minivan if we only have 10 people travelling.

On this trip we use a local Iranian supplier who we educate and train on our commitment to responsible business, from waste and water management to ensuring we are leaving as minimal a foot(tyre)print as possible.


An important part of travel is mixing with the locals and experiencing “real life” in destination. On this trip, along with hotels/guesthouses, we stay in the homes of local Iranian people. This gives them the opportunity to earn money directly rather than having to deal with expensive agents or middle men.
We also use only Iranian cycling guides and support staff, as well as local guides in many destinations.

This trip visits a local home in remote Izad Khast for dinner which enables us to talk freely with locals, try great food and helps to sustain a local family. In Marvdasht we stay with a local family of cyclists who spend a day riding with us. We source local activities which we believe are sustainable to the economy in that they allow the flow of income from visitors to be distributed to a greater audience rather than remain concentrated with tourism providers, this could be as simple as spending time in a local café, to cooking classes in a home and shopping at small local stores.
The role of females in society is often misunderstood in Iran. To help combat this we try and ensure as many of our cycling trips as possible have a head female cycling guide.

While not an official charity, an important part of this trip is avoiding hotels and staying in the homes of local Iranian people in what essentially amounts to an Iranian version of Airbnb. This locals them the opportunity to earn money directly rather than having to deal with expensive agents or middle men.
As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles for Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa.

Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles for Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence.

All aspects of this trip (on the ground) are operated by local Iranians, including all our cycling guides, support vehicle drivers, local site guides, and accommodation providers. We provide our cycling leaders with a formal 4 day cycling training so that they are up to speed with the needs of our travellers and help update their skills.

Locals know where the best food, souvenirs, local crafts and entertainment can be found. This trip is operated by local Iranians and we ensure any shopping opportunities, from the sizeable Tehran Bazaar to the tiny villages we stop off at while cycling along the way, are authentic experiences that showcase Iran's inspiring and unique culture and crafts.

Our philosophy is to act local and that means respecting the local laws which include the wearing of a headscarf for all women and ensuring that both men and women are conservatively dressed in legs and arms covered. Alcohol is strictly prohibited and we do not participate or encourage the participation in any activities in country that are contrary to this law. We also take care to form genuine and mutually beneficial relationships with local people. An excellent example is in the remote village of Izad Khast that rarely sees a Western visitor. Our team is introduced to the local mayor and the gates to the deserted ruins of the castle will be opened for a private tour. Dinner is at a local home followed by traditional dancing.

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