Women only tours to Iran

“Travel with women and a female guide in Iran on a small group tour that takes a uniquely female perspective of life and culture here.”

Highlights

Shiraz | Persepolis | Shahcheragh shrine | Women only yoga class and beauty salon visit | Bakery visit | Cook in a local Shiraz home | Esfahan with half day city tour | Tehran and orientation walk | Market shopping and Persian cooking class | Yazd Fire Temple, Towers of Silence and Jameh Mosque visits | Optional: excursion to see Kharanak mud brick village, Chak Chak fire temple and Meybod citadel | Eghlid and orientation walk | Fars Province homestay with Qashqai people

Description of Women only tours to Iran

Women only tours to Iran are a unique opportunity to travel in this fascinating country on a female only and a female led adventure. Spend 12 days travelling with a group of no more than 12 women, delving deep into the customs and food of Iran and learning about the challenges faced by women here. Enjoy a range of really personal, fascinating experiences that, due to cultural sensitivities, would not be possible on a mixed gender tour. Although Iran is not a hugely segregated society, the strict dress codes imposed by Islamic Law have meant that many places and activities are segregated by default.

As well as visiting some of Iran’s most celebrated sights, including the remains of ancient capital Persepolis, you will also be able to mix with local women in a truly authentic way. Be ready to hear from women of all ages, backgrounds and faiths as you visit a beauty salon, relax with a picnic in a women-only park where women can relax without a hijab, and use the women only carriages on the metro and train. You’ll also enjoy a rural homestay with the Qashqai people, meet some young female entrepreneurs, and learn about Iranian food while cooking with local women in their home.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

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18 Jan 2020
£1715
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15 Feb 2020
£1750
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07 Mar 2020
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21 Mar 2020
£1945
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04 Apr 2020
£1945
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11 Apr 2020
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18 Apr 2020
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09 May 2020
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23 May 2020
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05 Sep 2020
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19 Sep 2020
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26 Sep 2020
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03 Oct 2020
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10 Oct 2020
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17 Oct 2020
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24 Oct 2020
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31 Oct 2020
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07 Nov 2020
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14 Nov 2020
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21 Nov 2020
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28 Nov 2020
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30 Jan 2021
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27 Feb 2021
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13 Mar 2021
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27 Mar 2021
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10 Apr 2021
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24 Apr 2021
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08 May 2021
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22 May 2021
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05 Jun 2021
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04 Sep 2021
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18 Sep 2021
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02 Oct 2021
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16 Oct 2021
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30 Oct 2021
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13 Nov 2021
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27 Nov 2021
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11 Dec 2021
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Responsible tourism

Women only tours to 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.

Environment

Many Iranian hotels and operators provide small plastic bottles of water, so it’s easy to use plastic excessively, especially in the hot climate. However, we suggest that our travellers buy large five or ten litre bottles in order to refill their smaller ones. We are working closely with our suppliers to encourage them to do the same. To further reduce single-use plastics on this trip, we also provide all our travellers with reusable cloth bags.

Water is a precious commodity in Iran. Our trained tour leaders are well versed in advising travellers on initiatives to manage their water consumption. We also ask that our travellers treat this scarce resource with the utmost respect.

As part of our responsible travel philosophy we use local forms of transport wherever possible. On this itinerary we travel by overnight train, public bus and the subway. Whenever public transport isn’t an option, we endeavour to ensure we use private vehicles that are suitable for our small group sizes. For example, we wouldn’t use a 16-seeater minivan if we only have five people joining us on the trip.

This tour is run by our own local Iranian operator who shares our commitment to responsible travel, from waste and water management to ensuring we leave as minimal a footprint as possible. Our local team are also trained on our global responsible travel policies and practices.

Community

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

An important part of travel is mixing with the locals and experiencing “real life” in your chosen destination. On this trip, travelling in a female-only group with local female leaders allows us to access places and experiences otherwise off limits to mixed gender groups. This presents travellers with an excellent opportunity to interact with a range of fascinating local women – young, old, religious, conservative, rural, modern and liberal while respecting traditional cultural values. While our company believes in inclusiveness, these female-led, women-only expeditions offer a socially responsible and culturally sensitive way for travellers to access female-only establishments, experiences and customs in these traditionally conservative countries.

We also stay only in locally-owned hotels or guesthouses that are locally staffed, enabling the money you spend to stay within that community. 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 a meal in a small local restaurant, a home-cooked dinner or a village stay.

Our company’s commitment to women’s equality extends beyond our new range of Women’s Expeditions. We’re committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the business, with the ultimate goal of doubling its number of female tour leaders globally by 2020.

3 Reviews of Women only tours to Iran

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 25 Apr 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Pretty well all of it! Visiting bazaars, cafes and restaurants, historical sites and museums, mosques, and ancient cities. Also the cookery classes, village home
stay, overnight sleeper train - and perhaps most of all - experiencing the warmth and friendliness of the Iranian people. The countryside is beautiful - deserts,
snow capped mountains, river valleys, orchards and rice paddies. Altogether a great experience, and culturally rich. Our guide, Sahar Makaremy, couldn't
have been more helpful and enthusiastic, and she did her best to make the visit a memorable one. She was also a great shopper!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't be put off by the difficulty of getting a visa. Take US dollars or euros, since this is what everyone in Iran wants. Travel light - you can pick up appropriate clothing very cheaply when you're there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so, especially the home stay, and the local cooking classes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 04 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sitting among hundreds of geladas in the Simien Mountains. Walking in those lovely mountains was also great. The castles of Gondar were gorgeous. Well-
designed itinerary but be prepared for a few long days of travel.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring close-toed sandals. Walking boots for the hikes. Walking sticks for the longer hikes. I didn't take malaria pills and did not see mosquitos because we
were at altitude. But others WERE bit by mosquitos so precautions should be taken. Don't change a lot of money at first. Meals can be very inexpensive,
especially if you don't drink alcohol.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We didn't encounter many locals except at the hotels. An option of a cooking class would have been appreciated.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Our guide was excellent and professional, albeit a little jaded. He wanted our group to eat together at least one meal a day, but not everyone was inclined to cooperate. The bus was spacious and comfortable, but the operator should provide at least a bottle of water for each person each day and a refrigerator in the bus. I have never been on a holiday like this where the TO neglected to provide a minimum of water. Also, the operator brought us to two locations, Gondar and Aksum where NO tours were included. But in effect we all wound up paying extra for the tours offered as an "option". That is a cheap nickel-and-diming exercise; these two basic tours should be included, and if you want to raise your base price accordingly, you should do so.

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being forbidden to use the Tehran metro without warning despite the fact that travelling in the women's section of this metro was on the itinerary.
Unforgetable! Probably breach of contract too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you are a UK, US or Canadian passport holder now is not the time to visit Iran. Not being allowed to go anywhere without a local guide was awful. Until Iranian law is changed go somewhere else.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not particularly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A huge disappointment. This holiday was missold. We didn't "enjoy a picnic in one of Iran’s increasingly prevalent women’s-only parks" we didn't visit any
women's parks, we didn't go to "a popular gym to join a yoga class with local women" (according to our local guide no tour group has ever done so and yet
this is still specified in the itinerary), we didn't "experience rural nomadic life with Qashqai people" (we stayed overnight in a village house with a young woman from Shiraz who is a professional tour guide and her brother), we didn't "shop for fresh seasonal produce and fragrant spices" to use in the cooking class in Tehran, also in Tehran we didn't "experience the local metro, sitting in the women's only section", we didn't take an overnight train or travel in the women-only compartment of a train or travel by train, the beauty salon in Shiraz had no other customers so the promised lively conversation didn't happen, again we didn't shop for ingredients before the last meal in Shiraz (or cook), our hostess was in the business of hosting tourists for dinners 5 nights a week. This tour was not the promised opportunity to "experience [Iran's] culture from the female perspective" since I was never able to spend significant
time with women outside the tourist industry.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Maureen,

We write with reference to your recent correspondence to us regarding your travels on our Iran Women's Adventure. I can see you have already been in touch with our Customer Relations team who are looking into your concerns.

Your comments are incredibly valuable to us and we will be taking some time in order to look into the matters raised as we also appreciate that it is important to you that we understand your experience. Your further correspondence has been passed onto our Customer Relations team who will liaise with all appropriate personnel. Please allow us up to 28 business days to reply however we do endeavour to respond to you sooner.

In the meantime, should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. If you prefer to discuss your comments and concerns over the phone, please provide us with your best contact number so we can arrange a call during business hours.

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