Budapest to Tehran by Rail
Discover once and for all what it really means to cross from west to east on this 28-day rail tour from Budapest to Tehran. Stroll the streets of Budapest, chug along through the incredible Romanian countryside, gaze upwards at the dome of Aya Sofia in ancient Istanbul, and then explore the main cities of Iran and wonder how it is you didn't make it here sooner. Your expert CEOs know just where to take you to make the most of your introduction to this part of the world.
Train, private vehicles, public bus, metro, ferry, walking.
Hotels/pensions (22 nts), overnight train (5 nts).
Local Living: Dinner with Local Family, a‡avuÅŸin. Budapest orientation walk. Romanian villages and countryside tour (half-day, from Sighisoara). 'Dracula's Castle' (Bran). Bucharest orientation tour. Hike to Arbanasi village. Sofia orientation walk. Istanbul city tour with local guide. Anitkabir visit. Traditional dinner with local family (Ga¶reme). Open Air Museum visit. Trans-Asia train. Mt Ararat day trip (Van). Ishak Pasha Palace visit. Ahtamara Island visit. Van Castle visit. Tehran city tour, including Sa'd Abad Palace and the national Jewel Museum. Karim Khan Citadel visit (Shiraz). Vakil Mosque visit. Hafez and Sa'adi tombs visit. Persepolis guided tour. Naqsh-e-Rostam visit. Koran Gate visit. Pasargadae visit. Isfahan city tour. Golestan Palace visit (Tehran). National Museum visit. Carpet Museum visit. Transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Discover the rich and varied culture of Eastern Europe, visit 'Dracula's Castle' and charming Slavic villages, soak in the dramatic scenery of Cappadocia, absorb the ancient history of the region, marvel at the dazzling bazaars and colourful mosques.
Day 14 Ankara/Goreme (1B, 1D)
Visit Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atata¼rk, before driving to the Cappadocia region. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 15 Goreme (1B)
Enjoy an included visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum before free time to explore this unique region. Opt to see it from above on a hot air balloon ride.
Day 16 Goreme/Tatvan (1B)
Enjoy one more morning in Cappadocia before driving to nearby Kayseri. Board an overnight train for Eastern Turkey.
Day 17 Tatvan/Van
Arrive to Tatvan and board a ferry for the scenic ride across Lake Van. Arrive to the other side and the town of Van in the afternoon.
Day 18 Van
Enjoy a day trip to Mt Ararat with a visit to the Ishak Pasha Palace.
Day 19 Van
Use a full day here to enjoy Lake Van. Drive to Gevas for a short cruise to Ahtamara Island to visit a beautiful Armenian Church. Opt to swim at the local beach.
Day 20 Van/TehrÄn
Enjoy another day in the Van area with a visit to the Van Castle. Board the Trans-Asia train in the evening for the journey to Tehran.
Day 21 TehrÄn
Spend the day absorbing the scenery from the train, arriving into Tehran in the evening.
Day 22 TehrÄn/Shiraz (1B)
Explore Tehran with a local guide, visiting the Sa'd Abad Palace and National Jewel Museum before boarding an evening train to Shiraz.
Day 23 Shiraz (1L, 1D)
Arrive in Shiraz in the late morning. Spend the day visiting the Karim Khan Citadel, Vakil Mosque, and the tombs of Hafez and Sa'adi.
Day 24 Shiraz (1B)
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Persepolis, the ceremonial palace of Darius, and admire its amazingly well-preserved carvings. Later, wander the streets and mingle with the students in laid-back Shiraz.
Day 25 Shiraz/Isfahan (1B)
Stop at the Koran Gate and the UNESCO-listed Pasargadae complex en route to Isfahan, one of the finest Islamic cities in the world.
Day 26 Isfahan/TehrÄn (1B)
Tour the beautiful city of Isfahan, enjoying the famous square, mosques, and bartering at the bazaar. Hang out on the many bridges that make Isfahan unique, or shop for an authentic Persian rug. In the evening, board a final overnight train to Tehran.
Day 27 TehrÄn
Arrive early and enjoy a final day of sightseeing in the busy capital of Tehran. Visit Golestan Palace, the National Museum, and the Carpet Museum.
Day 28 TehrÄn (1B)
Depart at any time.
Day 12 Istanbul
Take a city tour with a local Turkish guide. Opt to visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Aya Sofya, and the TopkapÄ± Palace.
Day 13 Istanbul/Ankara (1B)
Enjoy some free time in the morning before catching a train to Ankara.