Walking in the corridors of Gashtasb Altars: Magnificent tour of the West of Iran

  • Destination: Bonab, Mahabad, Maraghe, Marivan, Qazvin, Sanandaj, Takab, Tehran, Zanjan
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Price: $2100

West of Iran – Zanjan, Qazvin, Kordestan

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Day 1

Tehran to Qazvin

Our journey kicks off early in the morning from Tehran, driving on the highway to Qazvin. The first part of our trip is going to be the Qazvin, a city full of historical treasures while representing an outstanding cultural texture. While in Qazvin, we will visit inn of Saadosaltaneh,the ancient bazaar of Qazvin, two magnificent mosques called Nabi and Jame. For lunch, we made a rather extreme decision and decided to try a local dish. After lunch, we continued our visit by checking out some other historical places- namely, mansion of KolahFarngi, ‘Hosseinieof Aminiha, Ghajar Bath, and some water storages which is called “Ab Anbar.” In the afternoon, however, our plans were a little different in the sense that we just hung in the town, going to some confectionery stores to enjoy some of legendary sweets of the city. After the tour of the town was over, we went back to the hotel to re-energize for the hard days to come.

Day 2

Takhte Soleiman

Moving on from Qazvin, we drive on a beautiful road to Zanjan. Our road trip would have been far more interesting if we had started our trip in the grape picking season. After about two hours we will get there, and the first activity we decided to take up was visiting a historical mansion- at any rate, an ancient house belonging to Ghajar era. The Museum of Archeology is this house, livening up the place to more extents. In this museum, besides some historical objects, there are some ancient corpses kept here, the interesting point being that these bodies have stayed intact after thousands of years because of having been buried in a salt mine, hence the name- salt people. Having enjoyed out visit to the museum, our next destination would be a small town mostly known for its natural excrescence created as a result of soil erosion and mountain decays. In geology, such redundancies are known as Hoodoos. Through the fabulous road of Dandy we get ourselves to the most significant altar of Sasanian Era: Takhte Soleiman.There are also some beautiful historical places which we got to enjoy beside the lake while we were taking great pleasure in breathtakingly beautiful sunset. After the sunset, we move to Takab, which is about twenty miles away from here.

Day 3


Starting off our day by trying local farm products is a pleasurable experience. Once again, we head out into meanders roads of this region to get ourselves to the beautiful cave of Crefo, a unique cave going back to the third geological era. As evidence has it, in different eras, there seem to have been people dwelling in this cave who, apparently, have built rooms and residential space for themselves inside the cave. After our visit, we move off to Sanandaj, hoping to enjoy tasty local cuisine and the local music of this region. After lunch, we pay a visit to museum of KhaneKord as a result of which we got ourselves familiarized with Kords’ culture, clothing, and their music. After checking into a hotel, we go for exploring town. Visiting bazaars, drinking some tea in a park overlooking town, and enjoying the stunning view are other activities we got to experience. Going back to hotel, we reboot ourselves for the day to come.

Day 4


Today is going to be a nature sightseeing day so that our day would the less demanding. We stayed in the hotel a little bit more in order to be up and running for enjoying our day to the fullest. We move off to a small border town called Marivan and set up camp in a nearby place. Aside from boat ride, which is an inseparable part of our trip to the lake, we were astonished by exceptional taste of freshly cooked fish. After lunch, we move on from the lake and head off to the village of Oraman Takht, a one of a kind village owing to its distinctive architecture. The night will be spent in a local cozy hotel. As opposed to what you might think, range of activities in such a small village is countless- walking in the village, sightseeing of old-fashioned houses, shopping for handicraft, and enjoying local cuisine. At night, in order for our experience to be to the fullest, we decided to take part in a local music festival and get ourselves engrossed in the atmosphere. If you go there in May, you get to enjoy traditional and historical ceremonies during which a variety of local dances are performed.

Day 5


Through border roads between Iran and Iraq, and by getting away from the border and crossing the shore of the Zarinerud River, we will eventually be in Mahabad after having passed a couple of small towns on our way. Lunch in town and checking out the second largest water cave in Iran- Sahulan Cave that is, are our next plans, after which we will be visiting pond of Kani Barazan. A pond which is a perfect habitat for animals like flamingos, coots, swans, and cranes. With a little bit of luck, if you can get there during the migration season, you will be thrilled by watching some of the most exotic species of birds, nowhere else to be found. Having watched the sunset, we go back to our rural residence near the lake, reside in a local rental house, and get delighted by trying local breads, the smell of which takes you over the moon.

Day 6


Moving to the Lake of Uromia, one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world, and then moving on to Bonab for trying its famous kebab is our plan along the way. Maraghe is the next town on our way, a historical city proud of its ancient observatory, dating back to seven hundred years ago. Visiting limited objects left from this observatory, we move on to visiting this town’s historical towers. With any luck, we will get the chance to check out the Paleontology Site of this town, known to be the biggest of such sites in Iran. The sixth night will be spent in Maraghe.

Day 7
Zanjan to Tehran

From Maraghe and through the Tabriz Highway we head off to Zanjan, the plan being to have dinner in a traditional restaurant of invaluable historical value, dating back to 250 years ago. On the way back, we pay a visit to the Dome of Soltanieh, the third largest domes of the world; however, among brick domes in the world, this dome is by far the largest. This visit rounds off our trip, and we will be back in Tehran after covering about 180 miles.

Economy Accommodation High Season Low Season
  • West of Iran – Zanjan, Qazvin, Kordestan
Single $2100 $1900
Double $1700 $1500


 Map of the tour : Scroll to zoom