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Search Walking Holidays

Armenia And Iran Unveiled

Explore the treasures of Iran and Armenia - two beautiful and often misunderstood and underestimated countries.

From£2,889

  • Armenia

    Iran

  • 15 nights
  • Pioneer

  • Apr

    Sep

    Oct

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 42550

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4

Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.

Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.

Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover two countries away from the tourist trail.
  • Explore the lush countryside and trails of Armenia on foot.
  • Visit Persepolis - one of the world’s more significant archaeological sites.
  • Ancient Persia - discover tea gardens, tombs, mosaics and bazaars.
  • Uncover Tehran’s highlights including Golestan Palace - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Dig beneath the surface with local guides who help you uncover the culture, history and idiosyncrasies of each country.

Experience the underexplored on this dual country holiday through Armenia and Iran. In these two visually opposing countries, this trip meanders through the stunning lush expanse of Armenia and the romantic desert wilderness of Iran.

Armenia is a country immersed in history and the first to adopt Christianity as the state religion; you will see how religion plays a huge part in Armenian culture. Beginning in Yerevan or ‘The Pink City’, enjoy a guided city tour before discovering the countryside the best way possible, on foot. Explore and experience the beauty of monasteries, ornate fortresses, a volcanic crater view, and the cave village of Khndzoresk.

Your time in ancient Persia offers a wonderful insight into modern-day Iran. Often unexpected is how overwhelmingly friendly Iranian people are, and how good the food is. You’ll visit sites including the Towers of Silence in Yadz, the impressive stain glass illuminations in Nasir Almolk mosque, and the Persian city ruins at Persepolis. Savour aromas of spices, sweet tobaccos and rich cuisine, observe ornate tilework and magnificent domed buildings. You’ll also hear the call to prayer and people watch at Si-o-se Pol bridge as the sun drops from the sky and lights reflect off the water.

In both countries, you have not only a Ramblers tour leader, but also a local guide. The way we see it, local guides know their country inside out and are the ideal people to help you delve beneath the surface. Of course, the best way to explore both countries is on foot, so we have carefully selected what we consider to be the best walks to show you the culture, history and contrasting beauty of Armenia and Iran.

This holiday has a pioneer status to indicate the spirit of adventure, as things may not always go as expected. Hotel standards are not as fancy as they are in Europe, and cultural differences require you to adhere to an alternative dress code. This tour combines traditional walking in mountains, with city sightseeing walks. 

Come explore and experience Armenia and Iran with Ramblers Walking Holidays!

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Yerevan via Paris (Air France) returning Tehran to Heathrow via Istanbul (Turkish Airlines).
  • Airport transfers.
  • Road transfer between countries.
  • En suite accommodation with breakfast.
  • All lunches and dinners taken in hotels or in local restaurants.
  • English speaking Armenian and Iranian guide throughout.
  • All local transport costs.
  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified).
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill).
  • Discretionary tips.
  • Optional excursions.
  • Insurance.
  • Visas. An invitation letter for Iran will be sent to enable you to apply for your visa.

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Yerevan

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Welcome to Yerevan in Armenia, you will transfer to the hotel where we have a late welcome dinner upon arrival.

Day 2

Yerevan

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast, we enjoy a full-day guided tour of Yerevan, also known as ‘The pink city’ because of the colour of the stone used for building. This city is full of contradictions; top of the range Mercedes drive alongside Ladas which look like they should be behind glass in a museum. Hipster wine bars and fashion boutiques nestle themselves beside old-fashioned teahouses. Few traces of the city's ancient past remain intact, with most buildings dating back only as far as the Soviet era. There is, however, a wealth of gardens and parks, and beautiful public areas.

On today’s tour we visit Republic square, Mashtots Avenue, the House of Opera and Ballet after Aram Khachaturian and the park ‘Cascad’.

We then visit the Manuscript Museum of Armenia, better known as Matenadaran where all the ancient Armenian Manuscripts are kept. Finally, our day takes a different twist as we pay a visit to The Genocide Memorial complex, Armenia's official memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, built in 1967 on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd.

Day 3

Yerevan - Garni - Havuts Tar - Geghard – Sevan - Yerevan

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 - 4 hours

  • Distance

    5.6 miles

Following breakfast, we depart for Garni to explore this centre of Hellenistic and Roman culture, as well as the ancient residence of the royals of the Arshakuni dynasty. We stop at the temple dedicated to the sun goddess Mythra, and the remains of walls of the third century BC, as well as Roman baths. We enjoy a walk to the Monastery of Havuts Tar, an impressive half ruined walled monastery, on a point of high land across the Garni River gorge from Goght which is reached in just under an hour on foot.

For a local flavour, we stop by a local Armenian house for the opportunity to participate in the preparation of the ‘Lavash’ Armenian bread. From here we continue to Geghard Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site named after the spear that pierced the body of Christ. This medieval monastery in the Kotayk province, partially carved into the rock face, and located in a very spectacular deep canyon. It dates back to the 4th century according to local tradition.


Day 4

Yerevan - Aragats - Yerevan

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5-6 hours

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    100/1200m

Today we drive to Mount Aragats (60 kms / 1 hr 20 mins) and we start our walk from Kari Lich Lake. The lake is at 3,200m and will be the highest point we will reach on this holiday. We descend from the lake, across open moorland on good tracks to the castle ruins of Amberd Fortress. On the way we may see the nomadic Yazidi sheep herders in their summer pastures. We drive back to Yerevan for dinner.

Day 5

Yerevan - Khor Virap – Artabuyk - Smbataberd - Tsakhats Qar – Hermon

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3-4 hours

  • Distance

    6.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    670m

After breakfast we take a trip to Khor Virap Monastery, a living witness of Armenian Christian history, notable as a monastery and pilgrimage site thanks to Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia, was imprisoned there for 13 years. Here we enjoy spectacular views of the sacred Ararat Mountain - an immortal symbol of Armenia.

We then depart for the village of Artabuynk, where we begin trekking to one of the largest fortresses in Armenia, Smbataberd and to Tsakhats Kar. Monastery consists of two groups of structures; the western group was built in the 10th century and now is half-ruined, the eastern group is comparatively well-preserved. Both buildings were built during the 11th century. We continue onto Yenghis Village and overnight. The drive distance is 150 km and approximately 3 hours.

Day 6

Hermon – Tatev – Khndzoresk – Goris

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We make our way this morning to visit the monastic complex of Tatev, one of the main tourist attractions in Armenia. Not only are the buildings stunning, but the surrounding scenery is magnificent. Previously a famous educational institution, many contemporary scientists and philosophers were educated there. Here we can use the world’s longest rope-way and visit the cave village of Khndzoresk.

After this visit, we stop for lunch before continuing onto Goris where we overnight. The approximate drive time today is 140 km and 3.30 to 4 hours.

Day 7

Goris – Meghri - Tabriz (Iran)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast, we drive to Norduz border crossing where we wave goodbye to Armenia, vehicle and local guide, before meeting another vehicle and a guide who stays with us for the remainder of the trip. This is where we enter the city walking and sightseeing portion of the holiday. Before crossing over to the border, women will need to cover their hair with a scarf and all group members need to be modestly dressed. Please see the holiday information sheet for more details.

From here we continue onto the city of Tabriz, en route stopping off to visit Saint Stepanos Monastery in Jolfa. Registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Saint Stepanos Monastery is a treasure that dates back to the 9th century and is located within a deep canyon of the Aras River. It is perhaps one of the most brilliant examples of Armenian monasteries (whilst being located in Iran) in the world, with many decorative features. Please note this is a long day and we will not arrive into Tabriz until late afternoon.

Day 8

Tabriz - Shiraz

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

Today with the local guide, we head out and enjoy a city tour visiting the Blue Mosque, Municipality tower, Tabriz grand Bazaar, Mashrooteh house, and Arg Ali Shah.

The Blue Mosque is one of those attractions that stops you in your tracks. Incredible architecture and ornate tilework leave visitors with the ‘mouth hanging open’ experience. The Tabriz Municipality Palace, also known as Sa'at Tower (Clock Tower), was built in 1934 as the municipal office of Tabriz and was previously the office of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party after the Second World War. For fantastic people watching, we then head on over the Grand Bazaar to explore the UNESCO-listed labyrinth which covers some 7 sq km, with 24 caravanserais (sets of rooms arranged around a courtyard) and 22 impressive timches (domed halls). We finish the tour with a stop to Mashrooteh House and Arg Ali Shah, a 700-year-old city symbol and one of the oldest historical attractions in Iran, as well as Tabriz itself. According to historical notes and quotations, this citadel was the only high-rise building visible from a long distance. From here we transfer to the airport for our flight to Shiraz, before transferring to the hotel.

Day 9

Shiraz

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    7 hours

Today we enjoy a guided city walking tour of Shiraz. We begin the day when the light is just right, by visiting Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque. This mosque is so beautiful that when the light shines through the stained glass windows, it emanates rainbow-like projections onto the inside like a kaleidoscope. This is truly one of Iran’s real gems. Other attractions we will visit include Karim Khan Citadel, Vakil complex (Bazar, Bath and Mosque), Shah-e-Cheragh Shrine, and Narenjestan Garden.

Day 10

Shiraz - Yazd

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

This morning we make out way towards the mud-brick city of Yazd, stopping en route to visit Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam.

Persepolis is the Greek name for the ancient city of Parsa, which loosely translates as 'City of The Persians' and was at one time the capital of the Persian Empire. Due to its remote mountain location, Parsa was almost impossible to visit during the rainy season of the Persian winter and so the city was used mainly in the spring and summer warmer seasons. These ruins give a fascinating glimpse into history which our guide will bring to life.

From here we move onto Naqsh-e located approximately 12 km northwest of Persepolis, an ancient necropolis where magnificent rock reliefs have been cut into the cliff face. These monstrous tombs of Persian kings stand as a lasting memory of the once-powerful empire that ruled over a significant portion of the ancient world. We then make our way onto the city of Yazd.


Day 11

Yazd

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

Yazd is a magical city to explore on foot and feels very much like the place that time forgot. Sculpted mud buildings merge with the most incredible blue tiles, and domes rise to the skyline. Today we enjoy a full-day guided walking tour of Yazd including the Zoroastrian Fire temple, many wind towers, Friday mosque and Amir Chakhmaq Complex. On top of this, we will visit the older part of Yazd city named Fahada, visiting the Prison of Alexander and 12 Imam Dome. In the evening, we have the option to visit a wrestling event. Wrestling is so entrenched in Iranian life and is taken very seriously indeed. This is likely to be a local club event as opposed to a ticketed event, however, it does depend on the day.

Day 12

Yazd - Isfahan

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

This morning we leave Yazd behind and make our way slowly towards the city of Isfahan. En route we stop and visit the city of Na’in. More than 3,000 years ago, the Persians constructed aqueducts underground to bring water from the mountains to the plains. In the 1960s, this ancient system provided more than 70 percent of the water used in Iran and Na’in remains the best place to see these qanats functioning. We visit Jomeh Mosque to marvel again at the ornate architecture of the early Persians, plus Pirnia house.

In the afternoon, we continue to Isfahan where we check into the hotel upon arrival. When the sun goes down, we enjoy a walking tour to one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, Si-o-se Pol. This is a meeting place for young lovers and where stories are swapped, but the architecture and careful lighting of the bridge is truly something to behold.

Day 13

Isfahan

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

Today we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Isfahan visiting all the main attractions of the city. It is hard to comprehend how one city can have such a magnificent array of sites and beautiful architecture, but it does. On this walking tour, we visit Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Aali Qapu Palace, the magnificent Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Shah Mosque, Chehel Sotoun Palace, Vank Cathedral and a wander around the Grand Bazaar. Today really platforms highlight what has made this city so famous. When we explore the Grand Bazaar, we have the chance to watch and learn from the metal workers, crafting their wares using old techniques.

Day 14

Isfahan – Kashan - Tehran

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

This morning after breakfast, we begin making our way to Tehran, the capital city of Iran and Tehran Province. En route we visit the Fin Garden complex in Kashan city, one of the UNESCO registered Iranian gardens along with Pasargadae, Eram, Shazdeh of Mahan, Chehel Setun, Dowlat Abad gardens. In total, it spans 23000 square meters with a central courtyard surrounded by fortifications. We also visit Borujerdi House with its magnificent ceiling and immense detail, before continuing onto Tehran where we check into our hotel.

Day 15

Tehran

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

Today is our final full day so we take the opportunity to make our way around Tehran on a guided city tour. We will visit the city theater building from the outside, jewelry museum (open from Saturday till Tuesday), National Gate, Golestan Palace, National Museum and old Bazaar of Tehran.

In the evening, we enjoy a penultimate meal and farewell dinner as we take the time to reminisce over the past 15 days in Armenia and Iran.

Day 16

Tehran

Meals

Breakfast

Unfortunately, today, our two-country adventure comes to an end and we transfer to the airport in Tehran for our flight home with a bag full of memories and new friends.

Meals: Breakfast

From (GBP)£2,889

Departure dates for your selected tour

19th Sep 2020 - 4th Oct 2020 (15 Nights)

17th Oct 2020 - 1st Nov 2020 (15 Nights)

2nd Apr 2021 - 17th Apr 2021 (15 Nights)

17th Sep 2021 - 2nd Oct 2021 (15 Nights)

15th Oct 2021 - 30th Oct 2021 (15 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Yerevan via Paris (Air France) returning Tehran to Heathrow via Istanbul (Turkish Airlines)
  • Airport transfers
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights Premium Economy, Business or First Class and most low-cost carriers have extra legroom seats. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • Visa is required but not included. An invitation letter for Iran will be sent to you.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

Cascade Hotel

The Cascade Hotel is located in the centre of Yerevan. All the rooms are equipped by telephones, fridge's and TV-sets, 24 hours room service, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning.

Arevi Hotel

Located in Yeghegis, Hotel Arevi provides free Wi-Fi, and guests can enjoy a restaurant, free bikes and a bar. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the bed and breakfast.

Mina Hotel

Mina has a shared lounge, garden and BBQ facilities in Goris. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free Wi-Fi throughout the property. At the hotel, the rooms are equipped with a desk, a TV and a private bathroom. All guest rooms feature a wardrobe.

Tabriz International Hotel

Positioned in the center of Tabriz, the Tabriz International Hotel is perfect to reach the city center easily by bus, metro or on foot. Some of the room features include use of the pool and lounge, room service, a refrigerator, a minibar and air conditioning. Getting online is easy with complementary Wi-Fi.

Arg Hotel

The Arg Hotel is located in the heart of the city and walking distance to most tourist hotspots, yet it remains quiet both during the day and night, allowing our guests the full opportunity to both see the city and its attractions and relax at the same time. Refurbished in recent years, the hotel has its own restaurant and coffee shop on the rooftop making your stay comfortable. The rooms offer a television, a small fridge and laundry and room service for food and drinks.

Hotel Laleh Yazd

The Laleh Hotel in the centre of Yazd and located nearby to the Hazireh Mosque and the Alexander Place; some of Yazd’s top attractions. The hotel provides a restaurant and a bar/lounge (non-alcoholic) to make socializing easy. Other facilities include air-conditioning, minibars, complimentary Wi-Fi and a refrigerator in every room.

Piroozy Hotel

Piroozy Hotel aims to make your visit as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. Rooms offer a refrigerator, air conditioning, and a minibar providing exceptional comfort and convenience, and guests can go online with free Wi-Fi.

Parsian Enghelab Hotel

Welcome to Parsian Enghelab Hotel which is closeby to a number of attractions. Rooms at Parsian Enghelab Hotel offer a flat-screen TV and air conditioning providing exceptional comfort and convenience, and guests can go online with paid Wi-Fi. Room service and a concierge are some of the conveniences offered at this hotel. A pool and free breakfast will also help to make your stay even more special.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4/SS moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain as well as city sightseeing, especially whilst in Iran. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the Walks & Excursions section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Holiday Currency

The currency in Armenia is the Armenian Dram. In July 2019, the exchange rate was 592 Dram to GBP1. Cash can be changed at banks and in exchange bureaux. Sterling is difficult to change outside Yerevan. Credit cards and UK debit cards displaying the Maestro and/or Cirrus sign are accepted at major stores and restaurants in Yerevan but far less so outside the capital. There are many ATMs in Yerevan. They accept major credit cards and debit cards with the Maestro/Cirrus or Visa sign displayed on the card. 

The currency in Iran is the Iranian rial. Major hard currencies are accepted in the main cities, but we advise taking all of your spending money in Euros or US$ cash. Once you arrive into Iran, there will be no way for you to get any extra money so please make sure you bring enough cash to last you. There are no cash points for western cards in Iran.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, we recommend the leader collect a tipping kitty from you on day 1. 

Please note, this amount does not include your tour leader, but will include the two local guides. We recommend that you allow your leader to take care of tipping hotel and restaurant staff, guides and drivers, this helps remove awkward situations. 

The recommended amount is US$70 per person, with any unused funds given back at the end of the trip.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

We fly from London Heathrow at 09:00 via Paris with Air France where we change planes for just over two hours. We then continue onto Yerevan and land at approximately 20:30. There will be a late dinner on arrival for those who want it. The return journey is with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul with a short stop before continuing onto London Heathrow, arriving at approximately 20:45.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Passport Information for Armenia and Iran

Armenia

British passport holders do not require a visa to visit Armenia. The entrance stamp you receive on arrival is valid for a period of 90 days only. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Armenia.

Iran

As of 17 May 2019 - FCO advises British-Iranian dual nationals against all travel to Iran. Due to this, we are unable to accept bookings from clients who meet these criteria. 

An Iran visa is required by all nationalities and must be arranged prior to travel. It is important that you consult with your nearest Iran Consulate for the most up to date information regarding the visa process, costs and any relevant supporting documentation.

Depending on your nationality, part of the Iran Visa process is to obtain an authorisation code/invitational letter from the local Iranian authorities. Ramblers Walking Holidays will request this on your behalf at the earliest 3 months prior to departure; Iran authorities will not process any requests sent through earlier than 2 months prior to arrival. It has been known to take a minimum of 25 working days to process so please be aware. Please note: the invitation letter is on a group basis, this means you can apply for an individual visa, but it does not permit further independent travel before or after your tour.

In order for Ramblers Walking Holidays to obtain the necessary authorisation code/invitation letter on your behalf, we require a clear colour copy of your passport photo page and all pages with visas and/or country stamps to reach us 12 weeks (3 months) before you travel. In addition, you also need to supply us with further personal information including a head and shoulders digital photograph of the applicant in front of a white area, your job profession and a C.V./resume (max. 2 pages), username information for your social media websites (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.), and email and telephone contact details (this is the same information you will provide on your visa application form). Ramblers will be in contact with you regarding this information no later than 12 weeks before you travel. Please note the authorisation code is only valid for 30 days from issuance. We realise this may be frustrating, but it means you are less likely to have your visa refused.

You can submit your application for your visa, once Ramblers has obtained your authorisation code/invitational letter and sent it through to you. Please note, if you intend using the London or Dublin Consulate, we strongly recommend contacting them first to confirm that they have your authorisation code/invitational letter or alternatively to wait a minimum of 3 working days after you have received your authorisation code before attending the Consulate. Please do this before you attend the consulate, as they will not accept your application if they have not received your authorisation code/invitation letter from the local Iranian authorities.

For non-UK residents, please contact your nearest consulate for the most up to date information on visa costs and required documentation as this can vary depending on your nationality and country of residence. Most Consulates provide a 5-7 working day visa processing service.

For UK residents, applications are only accepted in person at the London or Dublin Consulate. Please note that you'll need to submit 2 passport photos (women need to wear a headscarf for these photos), along with your passport and visa application form to The Iranian Consulate in London or Dublin. Currently, the London Consulate is charging approximately £170.00 per person for the visa. Please note, any women attending the London or Dublin Consulate in person will need to wear a headscarf.

Please ensure that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of return to your home country. Please note that any passport that contains an endorsement or a visa for Israel or stamps from other countries' border crossing points with Israel, regardless of whether it has expired, will not be accepted.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa, then you may consider applying through the visa agency Travcour. See www.travcour.com

Meals

This tour operates on a half board basis. Breakfasts will be taken in hotels and dinner in a combination of hotels and local restaurants to bring out the local flavours of each country. 14 lunches are also included and typically served in local restaurants although some boxed unches may be provided on travel days.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

The walks are not particularly difficult underfoot, but the terrain is more suited to wearing hiking boots. As the coaches are with us every day, it is possible to leave boots on the coach and change when necessary. If you like to use walking poles, please bring them. 

Whilst in Iran, we enjoy mainly city tours so you may wish to walk in comfortable shoes or lightweight trainers.

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Holiday Specific Kit

In Armenia when visiting churches or monasteries, the dress code is quite simple; hats off for men, a head scarf for women; no shorts for men (consider zip-offs if you like to hike in shorts) and for women, a skirt is the accepted norm. If wearing shorts or even long trousers, women are expected to have a sarong or large scarf to wrap around the waist to give the impression of wearing a skirt.  In many cases wraps and/or head scarves are provided at the door of the church, but it is probably sensible to bring something lightweight with you, in your day pack. These rules are not always enforced however, it is good to be prepared.

In Iran, conservative dress should always be worn outside of your hotel room (this is covered under the cultural awareness section within this holiday information sheet. The 'chador' - 'coverall' - is only worn at holy shrines and can be borrowed locally.

Conservative Dress in Iran

Women must always wear a headscarf, preferably tied under the chin. Some hair can be shown (remember to pack a headscarf in your hand luggage for arrival). Arms must be covered by long sleeves and you can wear any comfortable footwear you like. Legs must be covered by trousers or a long skirt below the manteaux. In cold weather it is useful to have a cardigan which you can wear over your ‘manteau’ (long coat or shirt) and easily remove. The idea behind the manteau is to hide the shape of the body, it should ideally be mid-thigh to knee length. You can purchase one in Iran.

Men must wear long trousers. Short sleeved shirts are acceptable but most Iranian men wear full length sleeves. You may find when you arrive in Iran that some local Iranians do not dress as traditionally or strictly as we have suggested above. Ramblers feel that it is socially correct for our travellers to be responsible in the way they travel and respect all country traditions. We advise you to stick as closely to this advice as possible.

Whilst it is fine to drink alcohol in Armenia, alcohol in Iran is strictly prohibited and should not be brought into the country. You may also not purchase alcohol whilst in Iran. Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are banned substances in Iran.  If you are travelling to Iran with prescription drugs, you should carry a copy of the prescription. 

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for Armenia and Iran

No compulsory immunisations are required for visitors to Armenia and Iran.

You should, however, be up to date with the usual immunisations that are recommended in the UK.  Most Travellers are vaccinated against Typhoid and Hepatitis, you may also wish to vaccinate against Hepatitis B, Rabies, Polio and Cholera.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

Wi-Fi

You may find Wi-Fi available in hotels in Iran, however, should you wish to use certain websites including social media, you will need to download a VPN prior to arrival.

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Useful Information

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Armenia

  • Capital

    Yerevan

  • Currency

    Dram

  • Language

    Armenian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +04:00

  • Flight duration

    5.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    -6°C

    Avg. Rain: 22mm

  • February

    -5°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • March

    0°C

    Avg. Rain: 37mm

  • April

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • May

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 71mm

  • June

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • July

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 33mm

  • August

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • September

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 24mm

  • October

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 40mm

  • November

    2°C

    Avg. Rain: 31mm

  • December

    -3°C

    Avg. Rain: 22mm

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