Ottoman & Persian Explorer

Starts: Istanbul, Turkey
Finishes: Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Visit: Istanbul, Göreme, Sivas, Doğubayazıt, Tabriz, Zanjan, Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis, Yazd, Khoor, Damghan, Shirvan, Ashgabat

Tour Type: Group Tour

Accommodation: Budget


Save $498 on this trip
This 26 day overland tour journeys from Ashgabat to Istanbul through Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan


    • History & Culture

Trip Details

The Trip

Product Code: 167533
Tour Type: Group Tour
Accommodation: Budget
Transport: User Defined##Overland expedition vehicle
Guide Language: Engligh
Travel Styles: Overland Expedition

Starts: Istanbul, Turkey
Finishes: Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Duration: 26 days
Physical rating: Basic


    • Explore the Early Christian underground cities of Derinkuyu or Kaymaklı, used as a hiding place from persecutions for centuries
    • Walk through the beautiful ancient valley of Ihlara, containing the beautiful rock-hewn churches built by the Cappadocian Greeks during the Byzantine era
    • Visit to Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border
    • See the spectacular Dome of Soltaniyeh, the huge mausolem of the Ilkhanate (Mongolian) emperor Öljeitü built in the 14th Century and the 3rd largest dome in the world behind the Cathedral of Florence and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
    • Explore the former royal complex of Golestan Palace, a huge site built in the 16th century and Tehran's oldest monument
    • Learn all about Iran's rich and fascinating history at Tehran's National Museum of Iran
    • Visit the magnificent and colossal city square of Naqsh-e Jahan, the centrepiece of the Safavid-era city of Esfahan
    • Explore the Shah Mosque, the public mosque of Esfahan built by Shah Abbas I and a masterpiece of Persian architecture
    • See the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, once a private mosque for the emperor and his harem and home to some of the world's most beautiful and masterful internal tilework
    • Explore the grand palace of Ali Qapu and discover the stunning wall paintings of the former residence of the Safavid emperors
    • Visit the stunning Jameh Mosque in Esfahan, one of the oldest mosques in Iran and an amalgamation of several different styles of Persian architecture
    • Visit the stunning Shah Cheragh Mosque, a major pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims
    • Explore the 19th century Nasir ol Molk Mosque, famous for its extensive coloured glass art
    • Visit the Narenjestan Palace in Shiraz, the former home of the wealthy Qavam family of merchants
    • Stay overnight in the incredible restored Safavid-era circular caravanserai in the remote deserts south of Yazd
    • Head out on a guided tour of the incredible historic ruins of the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis, founded by Cyrus the Great in 550BCE and invaded by Alexander the Great in 330BCE
    • See the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence outside Yazd, used until the 1960s to place bodies of the deceased so that they did not touch and pollute the sacred elements of fire or earth
    • Visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, where they keep a sacred fire that has supposedly been continuously burning since 470CE, the only Zoroastrian eternal flame of its type outside of India
    • See the stunning ancient Jameh Mosque of Yazd, built in the 12th century and a fantastic example of Azari architecture
    • Learn all about the intriguing and ingenious historical methods of getting water to the desert town of Yazd at the Yazd Water Museum
    • Freely explore the huge city square and mosque at the Amir Chakmaq complex, built in the 15th century
    • Discover the atmospheric winding streets and beautiful adobe architecure of Yazd's Old Town, one of the oldest towns in the world
    • Explore the ancient desert town of Khoor and see its beautiful palm trees and ruined castle
    • Explore the ancient town of Bastam, containing monuments dating from the Ilkhanate Period when Iran was controlled by the Mongol Empire
    • Visit the partially-ruined Tarikhuneh Mosque which features 18 rear columns dating from around 760CE, making this one of the oldest mosques in Iran
    • Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city
    • Explore, shop and haggle at the vast Tolkuchka Sunday Market
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
    • 10% Camping - 90% Hotels


    • Guided city tour of Istanbul (Price: TRY 50)
    • Visit the incredible Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century (Price: TRY 25)
    • Explore the atmospheric underground Basilica Cisterns, built by the Byzantines in the 6th century (Price: TRY 20)
    • Visit the Çemberlitas Baths, a traditional Turkish Hammam, for a bath and massage! (Price: USD 20)
    • Explore the phenomenal Blue Mosque, built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I - a stunning icon of Istanbul (Price: USD )
    • Explore the colossal markets of the Grand Bazaar - once the centre of all trading between Europe and Asia, and the most visited tourist attraction in the world (Price: USD )
    • See the splendour of Istanbul from a boat trip on Bosphorus Strait, which marks the boundary of Europe and Asia (Price: USD 17)
    • Explore the majestic Topkapı Palace, the huge palace of the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years (Price: TRY 35)
    • Take a hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia (Price: EUR 150)
    • Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves (Price: TRY 5)
    • Explore the ancient pre-iconoclastic Byzantine rock monastery of Zelve (Price: TRY 15)
    • Learn how to make the traditional Central Turkish dishes of dolma and sarma at a Turkish cooking class (Price: EUR 55)
    • Take an Oriental Dancing (belly dancing) class to learn the techniques of this beautiful form of dance (Price: EUR 70)
    • Drive through the stunning landscape of Cappadocia on an ATV quad biking trip (Price: USD 65)
    • Discover the incredible scenery of Cappadocia on horseback (Price: EUR 40)
    • Discover the ancient techniques of Cappadocian pottery at the village of Avanos (Price: USD )
    • Head out for a fun evening of dinner and various Turkish dancing displays (Price: TRY 90)
    • Witness the hypnotic Sufi Whirling Dervishes ceremony at an ancient caravanserai near Göreme (Price: EUR 35)
    • Wander through the ancient bazaar of Tabriz, once one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road and the largest covered market in the world (Price: USD )
    • Visit the Constitution House of Tabriz, where the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1907 was launched, which established the Qajar Dynasty and the country's parliament (Price: USD )
    • Learn all about the vast history of Tabriz and the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan in the Azerbaijan Museum (Price: USD )
    • Visit the beautiful Blue Mosque of Tabriz, built in 1465 and refurbished in 1973 (Price: USD )
    • See the grave of Shahriar, the beloved local poet whose Azeri-Turkish and Persian literature has been translated into more than 30 languages across the world (Price: USD )
    • Visit the historical underground hall of Rakhatshor-Khaneh, once used as the entire city's laundry-place (Price: USD )
    • Visit the Iranian Artists' Forum in Tehran, a large gallery for the country's best young artists to feature their work (Price: USD )
    • Explore the S'ad Abad Museum in the spectacular mountainside near Tehran, once a royal summer home during the Pahlavi period (Price: USD 4.5)
    • Visit the shocking Ebrat Museum, once the prison used by the Shah's brutal secret police before the revolution of 1979 (Price: USD 5)
    • See Tehran's iconic Azadi Tower, the inverted Y-shaped memorial built in 1971 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the first Persian Empire (Price: USD 2.5)
    • Visit the viewing tower at the top of the iconic Milad Tower, one of the world's tallest towers at a height of 435 metres (Price: USD 8)
    • Visit the Laleh Park in central Tehran, an oasis of calm and a well-designed green space to observe local life pass by (Price: USD )
    • See some of Iran's most precious treasures at the Treasury of National Jewels, including the 182 carat Darya-ye-Nur (Sea of Light) which is thought to be the world's largest uncut diamond, and the phenomenal 34kg Globe of Jewels, made with over 51,000 precious stones (Price: USD 4.5)
    • Wander the streets of Esfahan's old bazaar, dating from the 17th century (Price: USD )
    • Walk around Esfahan's historical centre and visit the five iconic Safavid-era bridges across the Zayandeh river (Price: USD )
    • Visit the Vank Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox church set up by the Armenian diaspora in the 17th century (Price: USD )
    • See the curious 14th-century 'Shaking Minarets' in Esfahan, famous for the effect that if one minaret is shaken, the other will shake as well (Price: IRR 5000)
    • Visit the very moving Martyrs' Cemetery of Esfahan, a patriotic tribute to soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s (Price: USD )
    • Explore the site of the ancient Zoroastrian Fire Temples near Esfahan, where you get incredible views over the city and the surrounding valley (Price: IRR 40000)
    • Explore the stunning citadel of the Arg of Karim Khan in Shiraz, built by the emperor Karim during the Zand Dynasty in the late 18th century (Price: IRR 20000)
    • Visit the tranquil site of the tomb of Hafez, a famous 14th-century Persian poet whose collected works are regarded as the pinnacle of Persian literature (Price: IRR 60000)
    • Visit the phenomenal site of Naqsht-e Rustam near Persepolis, the cross-shaped tombs of four of the great Emperors of Persia chiselled into the cliff face (Price: USD 10)
    • See the fascinating centuries-old practice of Varzesh-e Bastani at the Yazd House of Strength, a curious blend of strength training, martial arts and wrestling, accompanied by traditional music (Price: IRR 10000)
    • Visit the splendid ancient brick building of Imamzadeh Jafar in Damghan, which has an appearance similar to a North African castle (Price: USD )
    • See Damghan's Jameh Mosque and it's fine brick minaret dating from the mid-11th century (Price: USD )
    • Learn about the history and culture of Turkmenistan at the huge National Museum in Ashgabat (Price: USD 10)
    • See a myriad of incredible and impressive hand-woven carpets in the Ashgabat Carpet Museum (if open) (Price: USD 10)


Price person (sharing double) $2,817 ($108/day)


$315 per person for bookings made 56 days or more prior to departure

Full Amount for bookings made less than 56 days prior to departure

Cancellation: Strict

Trip Notes

Price does not include airfare (to the Trip start & from the end location)

Trip Price generally includes accommodation, transport/transfer, activities, services of a professional guide & more. (Please refer to the include/excludes section for details)

Tour packages spare you the hassles of trip planning, a la carte booking, organizing and managing the logistics at a foreign location.


Personalize itinerary with your departure date

Turkey, Turkmenistan Istanbul, Göreme, Sivas, Erzurum, Doğubayazıt, Tabriz, Zanjan, Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis, Zein-O-Din, Yazd, Khoor, Damghan, Shirvan, Ashgabat
Local Culture & Cuisine,Historical Sites


Tour Operator


Dragoman has a proud history, standing at the forefront of the overlanding industry since the company's formation in 1981. Our first overlanding expedition to Nairobi and back set off in the summer of 1982, with our first trips to Asia following in 1984. In 1989, Dragoman launched operations in South America, and in 1994 (now with 13 trucks) we expanded out to Central America.

2001 Dragoman took over the assets of Encounter Overland, and we have been proud overlanding partners with Intrepid since 2008. Dragoman became the owners of Imaginative Traveller in 2011, the same year that our first truck arrived in South East Asia. Finally, in 2013 we entered North America, and were the first ever overlanding company to visit Burma.

In Business Since 2008

Operator Rating:

Save 5%

Book With 4 Friends/Family

4 or more: everyone saves 5%

The more friends you bring on a trip, the more you will save. Bring enough friends and you will travel for free!

Copy this promo code


Apply promo code while booking

Save 7%

Book With 6 Friends/Family

6 or more: everyone saves 7%

The more friends you bring on a trip, the more you will save. Bring enough friends and you will travel for free!

Copy this promo code


Apply promo code while booking

Save 10%

Book With 8 Friends/Family

8 or more: everyone saves 10%

The more friends you bring on a trip, the more you will save. Bring enough friends and you will travel for free!

Copy this promo code


Apply promo code while booking

Save 5%

Book a Trip priced $1900+

When you book a trip over $1,900; You save 5%

Copy this promo code


Apply promo code while booking