Desert Astronomy Tour
Entry & Exit Locations:Isfahan – Yazd
Departure Time:3 Hours before the departure flight
- Transportation (Esfahan – Mesr – Tabas – Morteza Ali – Esfahak – Nay band – Chah-e Kuran – Ziaratgah – Gandom Beryan – Kaluts – Keshit – Meymand – Yazd)
- Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Accommodation (4 nights in traditional guesthouses, 1 night camping)
- English speaking guides (Ivan and Fariba)
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
Day 1 - Mesr Desert
- We start in the morning from Esfahan and drive (420 km) to the oasis village Mesr. Some of the most famous sand dunes of Iran can be seen around this small agricultural center in the middle of Kavir desert. Upon arrival to Mesr we will use the afternoon for a walk or an off-road ride on the sand dunes. Sleeping in a typical traditional guesthouse.
Day 2 - Esfahak Village
- After breakfast, we go towards the picturesque town of Tabas. With a population of around 30,000 people, Tabas is also the biggest town that we will visit during our trip. Emamzadeh mosque, elegant Golshan garden, a pretty bazar and streets full of palm trees make Tabas one of the most beautiful small cities in Iran. After lunch we will go to Morteza Ali spring where water from the rocks meets the cold water from the spring. We will put slippers on and enjoy splashing and walking through the shallow mixture of warm and cold water all the way up to the Abbasi dam that is one of the oldest and definitely the thinnest arch dam in the world. After enjoying this desert aqua park we will come to our day’s end destination in the village of Esfahak. Sleeping in a typical traditional guesthouse.
Day 3 - Ziaratgah
- We will spend the morning walking around this really unique place. 40 years ago there was an earthquake that destroyed most of the Tabas area, including Esfahak. The people of Esfahak built a new village just next to the old one and the only renovated houses in the old part are a few accommodation facilities. Walking around we will enjoy spectacular views of the village ruins with date palm trees above and big mountains behind. It will then be time to cross from the Kavir desert to the Lut desert with its famous stone formations Kaluts (580 km). The Lut desert is the only natural sight in Iran protected by UNESCO. On our way to the Kaluts, we will make a stop in the village of Nayband and use the opportunity to take photos of its castle and then later wander around an abandoned caravanserai, Chah Kuran. By evening we will reach Ziaratgah – our destination for the night and a traditional guesthouse in the last village before Kaluts.
Day 4 - Ziaratgah
- We wake up at dawn and a one hour off-road ride will take us to Gandom Beryan, a place with a name that translates as “toasted wheat” and is considered to be the hottest place on Earth. The plateau above the surrounding desert is covered in black volcanic rocks that heat up to temperatures of unbelievable 70°C in summer. After returning to Ziaratgah we will rest in a room with an old traditional air condition system that has been preserved in only a few villages of the Lut desert. In the late afternoon, we will drive and walk around fabulous Kaluts which the Lut desert is famous for. We will climb sand formations to find a beautiful spot for watching the sunset and set up a camp for a peaceful night under the stars.
Day 5 - Meymand Village
- After breakfast, we say goodbye to our hosts in Ziaratgah and move on to the UNESCO protected Zoroastrian underground village of Meymand (580 km). On our way, we pass through the colorful mountains to reach Keshit canyon where a 30-minute walk will reward us with a swim in a wonderful lake inside the canyon. In Meymand a local guide will tell us how one of the oldest villages in Iran was built underground and how Zoroastrianism remained an important part of the villagers’ identity. In this specific settlement shops, mosque and houses were built underground and inside rocks, so it is no wonder we will also spend the night in rooms that resemble a cave.
Day 6 - Departing Meymand to Yazd
- Breakfast and driving to Yazd (275 km) where we say goodbye to each other and finish our desert astronomy tour.
- Day 1 - Mesr Desert
Desert Astronomy TourDiscount:
You probably know Iran is a vast desert country and you have probably heard about famous desert nights full of bright stars. Our desert astronomy tour will show you the best of both. We will experience the night sky in a country with some of the darkest nights in the world and visit villages and exotic desert landscapes that will take your breath away with their adversity. As much as we all like popular cultural and historical centers of Iran, this tour will take you far away from the big cities and show you the life of rural Iran with natural sights off the beaten path that you will hardly find listed in travel guide books. Sand dunes, colorful mountains, rocky deserts and stone formations, the hottest place on Earth, canyons, salt rivers, underground villages and oasis villages of central Iran – those will be just some of the highlights of the best value for money tour in Iran. Our plan is to spice up your trip to Iran with a six-day tour full of experiences that you will never forget. Sure we want your camera to capture unforgettable landscapes and moments but most of all we want you to experience Iran from inside and collect new knowledge about this impressive country. Becoming a real amateur astronomer by the end of the trip will just be a big added value to your already very interesting tour. The tour is run by Ivan and Fariba, married Croatian – Iranian couple working in consulting and development projects in tourism. Ivan moved to Iran to work on new ideas for the growing Iranian tourism market while Fariba is a professional astronomer with experience from teaching in schools and organizing public sky observations.