People, Travel

Iran the New Destination for Train Tours

Iran the New Destination for Train Tours
Iran the New Destination for Train Tours

The first of the 1001 Nights European train tours series will depart from Iran today.

Iran has recently become a favorite destination for train tours, the first of which entered on September 29 via Tabriz and ends today in Tehran with tour passengers making the last leg of their journey by air via Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international airport (IKIA), Ibrahim Pourfaraj, head of Iran’s Tour guides Association, told Financial Tribune.

The train departed from Turkey with 65 passengers from Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Britain, Australia, Spain, China and Belgium, passing through the Iranian cities of Tabriz, Zanjan, Yazd, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tehran.

The second tour of the 1001 series started on October 5 with passengers flying into Tehran but returning to Istanbul on the 1001 Nights train. The 6-day train tour will depart from Iran on October 11.

The 1001 tours are a result of co-operation between three companies: Antonina, a Turkish company, Lernide a German Co, and the AITO, an Iranian tourism company.

Two other tours, eastbound and westbound, are to take place soon. The first (eastbound) tour is called the “Jewels of Persia”. The tour involves travel via the luxury train called “Golden Eagle” at the cost of £8,695 per person. The 15 day tour starts in Hungary on October 14 and will enter Iran on October 24, passing through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey before entering Iran.  In Iran, the first stop will be Zanjan.  The train will continue on to the cities of Yazd, Isfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis and ending in Tehran on October 28.  The five day tour of Iran will involve exploring historic and World Heritage sites, as well as towns off the beaten track.

The second (westbound) Jewel of Persia tour leaves from Tehran on October 27 and will involve visits to Mashhad, Mahan, Kerman, Shiraz and Marvdastht (the location of Persepolis), Isfahan, Zanjan, leaving Iran 8 days later, through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and arriving in Hungary.

There are two further trips being arranged for 2015. The tours are a joint venture by the Danube Express, the only private train in Central Europe to have en suite facilities, the “rail-cruise” tour operator Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, and the Pasargad Tours, an Iranian travel company.