On this journey we will cover an adventure cycling from Shiraz, where one day was the capital of the Persian Empire, towards the Caspian Sea. The distance on the between two cities is around 1200 km and we have around 500 km cycling. You will visit main attraction of Shiraz, Esfahan, Kashan and Tehran as well as small towns, villages, oases in the desert and the Caspian Sea. Also you will cross different terrains with variety of climate of high mountains, deserts, national parks, rivers and costal roads of the Caspian. There will be combination of gravel road, dirt road, paved road and some single tracks. In main cities you will have sightseeing of UNESCO sites as well as other highlights of the towns with experience of the taste of local restaurant. There will be a total of 10 days of cycling between the Shiraz to Caspian and we will have 5 NON-cycling days. The journey is led by professional crews and supported by vehicle. An English speaking MTB guide will be with the group from the beginning to the end. In the main cities for cultural exploring, an English speaking local guide will join us to have more knowledge of this ancient country. A vehicle will be with us during the entire of the tour and it would be helpful for who would like to skip a part of the road.
Dena is a protected area because of its vast range of plants, several endangered endemic mammals and natural resources. Oak species dominate the highlands, while wild pistachio and almond plants are common at lower elevations. Hackberry, walnut, and pear trees are scattered throughout this eco-region. A variety of animal life, such as brown bear, eagles, wolves, various wild cats including caracals, lynxes and leopards, and wild goat have long made their homes in the region. Dena is home to a vast range of plant species and several endangered and endemic mammal species. On the other hand many large rivers, including Karun, Dez, and Karkheh originate from this area flowing into the Persian Gulf. Scenic waterfalls, pools, and lakes add beauty to the mountainous landscape.
The central part of Dena (Dena National Park) was registered by UNESCO on their list of Biosphere Reserve sites. A biosphere reserve is an ecosystem with plants and animals of unusual scientific and natural interest. It is a label given by UNESCO to help protect the sites in the world.
Up to the present time, the vast majority of people living in the area practice a nomadic lifestyle.
The cultural diversity of the local communities, including the nomad communities are manifested by their languages, traditional production activities, herding, food products, dresses, festivals and dances.
Hyrcanian forests form a unique forested mountainous area that stretches 850 km along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The history of these broad-leaved forests dates back 25 to 50 million years ago, when they covered most of this Northern Temperate region. Their biodiversity is remarkable: 44% of the vascular plants known in Iran are found in the Hyrcanian region, which only covers 7% of the country. To date, 180 species of birds typical of broad-leaved temperate forests and 58 mammal species have been recorded, including the iconic Persian Leopard. Iran is a large country with a lot of mountains, vast deserts, and lush forest. To have an idea how big its is, from Nowshar (on the Caspian Sea coast) to Band Abbas (on Persian Gulf coast) it’s about
1,500 km which is equal to the distance from Paris to Budapest and also from the north west of Iran (Bazargan) to the south east of the country (Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman) it’s around 2,650 km which is close to the distance between Paris and Istanbul. So with that example, you can easily understand cycling the whole of Iran in short trip is impossible. If you want to combine cycling activity to explore the main highlights of Iran in a couple of weeks, you have to have transfers in some parts and keep the cycling to the most beautiful parts of the country. On this route, in addition to UNESCO world heritage sites and cycling, we have tried to add plenty of Iran’s little known attractions to our cycling route. You will also be more in touch with local people along this route.
Kavir (Desert) National Park is a 400,000 hectare protected ecological zone in northern Iran. The park is located 120 kilometres south of Tehran and 100 kilometres east of Qom, and it sits on the western end of one of Iran’s two major deserts, the Dasht-e Kavir (Sand Desert). The area is dominated by Daracheh-ye Namak (Salt Lake), a huge white saltpan just outside the park boundaries. This is actually a salt marsh, and water flows into it from the north via the Qom river, which also flows through the northern part of Kavir National Park. The Qom river is one of the very few permanent rivers through the entire desert in Iran.
Other prominent features include the high reefs of elevated rocks in the park, and streaked-grey fans of alluvial wash spreading from the base of these outcroppings. The area appears quite barren and brown, though it is populated with a sturdy desert scrub. The large, semi-circular rock outcropping in roughly the park’s centre is Siah Houh (Black Mountain). Beyond the park’s eastern boundaries are the Sand Desert and Central Desert to the south.The park includes landscapes of desert and steppes, and is sometimes known as “Little Africa,” for its safari-like wildlife, including native goats, rams, hyenas, wolves, gazelles, leopards, the rare Asiatic cheetah and the Persian panther. Typically, the area receives around 150 millimetres of rain a year, most of which falls between November and May. The vegetation in the region has adapted to drought and salty soils. To retain water and combat grazing by animals some plants grow leaves with thorns, much like thorn trees and bushes found in African desert landscapes.
Adventure Iran fixed group departure tours.