Trip Search




Persian Caravan

Departing: Muscat, Oman - 26 days
Countries visited: UAE, Oman, Iran, Armenia & Georgia

Set off aboard our Persian Caravan from Muscat into the heart of a region rich in fable and legend, its many-faceted travel pleasures will be revealed one country at a time.

  

 

Itinerary

Note: This journey is also available in the opposite direction, Tbilisi to Muscat. Please contact one of our Travel Advisors for dates and more information.

Days 1-5. Muscat and the Sultanate of Oman
From the moment this journey unfolds in Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman we know that we are in for a treat. The sultanate occupies a desert region on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula at the confluence of Arabic, Asian and African trade routes. In the capital we find ancient watchtowers guarding the bustling port where dhows go about their business, and in the bazaar the distinctive aroma of frankincense conjures up images of slave markets and exotic spice trading from long ago. 

Following the coast, past inviting wadi oases which offer a welcome break from the inhospitable terrain, we veer inland for Wahiba Sands, a seemingly impenetrable mountain range of sand dunes to locate a Bedouin camp. Farther on, there are mountain villages around Nizwa and Jebel Akhdar where life goes on much as it has for centuries. Afterwards, we travel through the desert to Dubai, with its futuristic towers of silver and glass glistening in the bright sunlight. 

 
Days 6-16. Across the Persian Gulf for Persia's ancient cities
From Dubai we sail across the Persian Gulf fro Iran, and travel to Yazd, one of the world's oldest cities. Once important for the Zoroastrian faith the old town retains much of its original character, and is noted for its fine confectionary and woven silks. Striking mountain scenery leads to the ruins of the 6th century city of Pasargadae, which are later surpassed by Persepolis - originally constructed by Darius the Great and destroyed by Alexander the Great. Its ruins still tell the story of the glory and power of the Achaemenid Empire. 

Our road leads on to Shiraz - the city of poets, before we feast our eyes on the glittering domes, astonishing mosaics and intricate bridges in the magical city of Isfahan. In Tehran, we discover a bustling modern metropolis and excellent museums. Near Tabriz, we see the remarkable bee-hive type dwellings and unique handicrafts of Kandovan village. 

Days 17-26. Unforgettable Caucasus Nations
Across the Armenian border we are treated to magnificent mountain views. At Goris we inspect troglodyte dwellings in the surrounding peaks. Later we seek out ancient cliff top monasteries and quaint villages before discovering a stout stone caravanserai which once sheltered silk traders and their livestock as they traversed the high mountain passes. Winding through the Ararat Valley to Yerevan, the national capital, there's time to try 'dolma' - Armenia's famous dish of stuffed vine leaves. A visit to Echmiadzin - Armenia's first church and cathedral - reminds us that this is the first country in the world to embrace Christianity as its official religion. 

In Georgia, we find Mtskheta its ancient capital and the site of the first Georgian Orthodox church. By contrast we visit Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, the revered or feared former head of the Soviet Union - depending on your outlook. Uplistsikhe offers a splendid rock-hewn settlement well known to travellers on the Silk Road, while the fortified city of Sighnaghi, now the country's wine centre, has been restored to its original glory, and offers panoramic views of the Caucasus Mountains. 

Back in the elegant, atmospheric capital of Tbilisi we choose one of its finest restaurants for dinner and a traditional folk show to bring together the unique cuisines, amazing culture, and fascinating history of this amazing country on our final night. 

Note: Please see our Journey Itinerary for important information on dress standards for female travellers. Iranian law, enforced at border crossings requires all female travellers to comply with minimum standards during their stay.

 

Essentials

Group Size
15 maximum, plus Tour Leader.

Accommodation
Hotels - 21 nights (twin share)
Desert Camp - 1 night (twin share)
Train - 2 nights
Ferry - 1 night

Meals
27 in total. Breakfast (22), Lunch (2) & Dinners (6)

Travel by
Train: There are 3 rail sectors on this journey;
- Bandar-e-Abbas to Yazd (Day train)  
- Tehran to Tabriz (1 night)
- Yerevan to Tbilisi (1 night)
Ferry: From Dubai to Iran.
Other: For ‘Scheduled Sightseeing’ we generally use a small minibus, and for ‘City Exploring’ we use local taxis, public transport and go on foot.

Sightseeing
Scheduled sightseeing is part of the itinerary and includes all transport, entrance fees and English speaking local guide. While to numerous to detail here, extensive 'Scheduled Sightseeing' is provided in the following cities: Muscat, Bandar-e-Abbas, Yazd, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tehran, Tabriz, Yerevan and surroundings, Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Gori and Sighnaghi. Please refer to the Journey Itinerary for full details.

Visas
Are required for Oman, Iran, Armenia and Georgia. Sundowners Overland will provide full visa support including detailed visa guidelines.

Want to linger longer?
Want to spend more time exploring the Georgian capital city or continue your travels following the Black Sea coast into Turkey? Ask one of our a Travel Advisors how - we can make it happen!