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Iran itinerary (for 2-3 months)

Everyone who has visited Iran has been amazed. It is not the favorite country of so many people by chance. Its beautiful mosques, its long history (Persia is considered the first country in the world), its deserts inhabited by camels and, above all, its people, stand out. Persians, Kurds, Turkish-Azerbaijanis, Turkmens, Baluches... all of them very varied ethnic groups but with one characteristic in common: their generosity and unparalleled hospitality. Getting to know each of these people is more than enough reason to tour the country from end to end, and that is why we made a tremendous zigzag, from the border with Armenia and Turkey, the Azeri and Kurdish lands in the northwest, to the border with Pakistan, Baloch territory.

This itinerary is mainly based on the two-month route in the country on the way to India, although I have also added some places that we would visit a couple of years later on the way back (we stayed for a month), such as Lorestan.

Tabriz y around

Kandovan: the Iranian Cappadocia

Urmia: Urmia Lake & Zagros Mountains)

Exploring Kurdistan Exploring Lorestan

Tehran & the Alborz Mountains

Caspian Sea coast

Badab-e Surt & around

Turkmen lands & Khlaid Nab

Golestan National Park


Dasht-e Kavir & Lut Deserts: trip through the heart of Iran



Shiraz & Persepolis

Hormuz Island

Sea of Oman Route: Hormozgan & Baluchistan

The interior of Baluchistan... towards Pakistan


Blue Mosque, Tabriz

Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan province, is famous for its carpets, its role in the Silk Road and its surrounding mountains. However, since this blog is about traveling feelings, I add another one that is surely the most important: in this northwest corner of the country the majority of inhabitants are “Turks” or Azeris, one of the ethnic groups of Iran that have their own customs, language, gastronomy (and a long etcetera) different from the rest of the country. Coming from Turkey or Armenia it is a mandatory stop.

See and do

Blue Mosque. It is the most famous mosque in Tabriz. Its bluish, white and brown colors impressed me a lot. Maybe also because it was the first Persian mosque I saw. I should write a post about mosques in Iran, one of the country's hallmarks.

Tabriz Bazaar. Lose yourself in these corridors and galleries that house shops selling spices, sweets, clothing, jewelry, crafts… and even an “underground” mosque!

Bazaar of Tabriz

Mountain towns. Tabriz is located at 1500 meters above sea level and the mountains that surround it are gorgeous. We were lucky enough to meet a young man who hosted us in his house in the city and took us to a town called Isparakhun. There, in addition to being received with honors by the mayor (food + tea), we enjoyed a “spa session” in some thermal baths in the middle of nature.




“Esta montaña de roca volcánica y llena de cuevas se cree que empezó a ser habitada hacia el siglo XIII por refugiados de la invasión mongólica. Una huida que les llevó eventualmente a quedarse de forma permanente, construyendo sus asentamientos sobre estas rocas y grutas. En algún momento se marcharían, pero dejarían como legado un mejunje de casas troglodíticas. Hoy viven unas seiscientas personas. Como está volviéndose popular, hay varias tiendas y casas de té”. Fragment of my book "El Pekín Express Canino" (only in Spanish).

Kandovan is a one-of-a-kind destination. Still unknown, it has enormous tourist potential because it is one of those places that all types of travelers like, who will enjoy touring the town, entering the cave houses and taking home some crafts. On the other side of the river there is a shary area where local residents and visitors from neighboring towns gather to carry out their star activity: a good picnic. Some of them even making kebab/chicken skewers on a bonfire on the ground.

Also, if you like trekking I recommend exploring the surroundings. We left the town heading east for a memorable excursion. As you climb, the mountains become more and more inhospitable and beautiful, sharp, always spotted by small groups of woolly sheep. Until you reach a green esplanade with a stream, perfect for an Iranian picnic!

Picnic in Kandovan mountains, Iran

Note. The day of rest in Iran is Friday, so we will call these lovers of group picnics Fridayers :)


There are at least half a dozen hotels in the town. We camped like this :)

Camping in Kandovan


The capital of West Azerbaijan province is not pretty. However, if you come from Tabriz to Kurdistan (or from Turkey), you are going to pass through here and it is worth it for one cultural and two natural reasons. The cultural one is that, like Tabriz, it is inhabited by a large majority of Azeris. As for nature, I describe them briefly below.

Urmia Lake

Urmia Lake

It is one of the largest salt lakes on the planet. A body of water with pink sparkles, surrounded by banks of white salt. Come quickly, because in this region of East and West Azerbaijan many lakes have been drying up in recent decades, mainly due to botched hydraulic engineering.

Zagros Mountains

Zagros Mountains, between Urmia and Oshnavieh

Here begins this mountain range that will cross the entire Kurdish area, hosting some of the highest (and most amazing) peaks in Iranian territory. The main road itself offers incredible views, but if you take secondary roads your mind will blow up.


Kurdish family

“Kurdistán es una de las zonas más mágicas del país. No solo por sus pueblos y su naturaleza, que ofrecen mucho por explorar, sino sobre todo por sus gentes y su cultura. Allí, entre los montes Zagros, uno se encuentra con un pueblo encantado de recibir a alguien extranjero, feliz de mostrarte y, si es posible, contarte sobre sus tradiciones. Pero detrás de ese pueblo que rezuma hospitalidad hay una lucha. Kurdistán es el país no reconocido más grande del mundo, repartido (o separado) entre Irán, Irak, Siria y Turquía. En los medios apenas se hace referencia a ello (y cuando se hace es para mal): nadie habla de su sueño de ser un día un país independiente. Como tampoco nadie habla de la batalla que están llevando a cabo desde hace años contra el grupo terrorista ISIS al norte de Siria... Auyoub y su familia, como la mayoría en esta región montañosa, solo quiere la paz en sus tierras y en las de sus hermanos y hermanas kurdos de otros países”. Fragment from El Pekín Express Canino.

Exploring Kurdistan, Iran

There is much to absorb in this wonderful corner of the world. The towns are all very similar, with its characteristic houses, its fertile lands full of fruit trees and vegetables and its mountains as a backdrop. But the best thing, what we travelers like the most and what fulfills us, is the people who live there. And the Kurdish families, hospitable like no other, will be happy to share with you, hug you and tell you stories. We were in a handful of towns and cities, in all of them welcomed by people we met just by walking on the street. I highlight the following:

Oshnavieh. Arriving from the north, this will be the first town with a Kurdish majority that you come across. Up to three families fought to host us in their houses. The surrounding mountains are amazing. Neighboring Piranshar is also worth a visit.

Around Oshnavieh

Mirabad. Nestled in a beautiful valley through which the Little Zab River runs. If you come in autumn you will be amazed by the yellow and red oak groves and walnut forests.

Marivan. Small town near the border control with Iraq. You can visit Zeribar Lake, a pleasant lake and environment where locals and visitors come for picnics and walks.

Zeribar Lake, Marivan

Uraman. Terraced town on the side of a mountain. It is a tourist place, and perhaps that is why I liked the neighboring Bolbar better, also located on terraces.

Uraman, Kurdistan

Paveh. A city that is also built in the mountains. At night it is amazing to see the lights that come out of the houses on different levels..

Kermanshah. The capital of the state of Kermanshah, stands out for the most modern air of its people and also for a historical site in the same city: Taq Bustan. A relic of Sassanid culture.

Taq Bustan, Kermanshah

Note. Although visas for Iran are usually short (30 days), I recommend spending at least a week in the Kurdish area if possible (the more days the better). Not only because you will want to stay longer than expected in each town, but also because the roads that connect them involve hours of travel. I have no more advice to give here. Well yes, open your senses to absorb the most and your heart to receive Kurdish kindness.


Bisheh Abshar, Lorestan

“Es de noche. Estamos acampando solos ante la inmensidad. Frente a nosotros cae una cortina gigante de agua que es la conocida como Bisheh Abshar o waterfall. El sonido del agua precipitándose y chocando contra el río es tremendo. La quietud que se respira en este entorno es tal que ensordece. Huele a naturaleza salvaje. De vez en cuando Cocaí y Chai ladran porque detectan la presencia de un intruso: los zorros se aproximan a altas horas de la noche en busca de restos de comida que se hayan dejado los bípedos “vierneseros”. Y es que este lugar es popular entre los vecinos de los pueblos aledaños y no tan cercanos… La noche es nuestra y solo nuestra. Pero el día, oh el día. Este paradero tiene dos caras totalmente distintas, exactamente como el sol y la luna”. Fragment from El Pekín Express Canino.

Lorestan is known among Iranians as the province of water. Lakes, rivers, waterfalls... It must have a good handful of amazing natural places. I am going to recommend the three we were in.

Khanizeh Valley (Canyon). The Persian version of the Colorado Canyon. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Khanizeh Valley

Khorramabad. The capital of the province is a city (unfairly) rarely visited. One of the main attractions is its fortress/castle on top of a hill, which also has an interesting museum about the roots, culture and nature of Lorestan. I also recommend climbing the surrounding mountains for a bird's-eye view of the city.


Bisheh Abshar. A splendid waterfall in a fairy-tale setting, especially in autumn! If you travel with a tent, I recommend staying a couple of nights in front of it. A magical experience. There are also rooms in the next village, which has a couple of restaurants and shops.

Note. If you arrive at Bisheh from Dorud, the road is a spectacle, crowning a rugged gorge, following the course of the Sezar River that runs at the bottom of the canyon. Up mountain, down mountain...



I am not the biggest fan of cities and I am not going to be the one to recommend a visit to Tehran. However, without being at all an essential part of Iran, we spent some very pleasant days in the capital (thanks to our friends and hosts). Whether because you like big cities, you arrive by plane and want to stay a few days or you have to make arrangements, here I recommend a few things to do, especially in the beautiful surrounding mountains. You can walk around the center immersed in Persian urban life, people-watching and sitting down to eat at a restaurant. Or climb some cool hill in the middle of the city and delight in the views of Tehran. There is also Chitgar Lake, the largest man-made lake in the entire Middle East. Families and groups of friends come here for walks and picnics. In addition, there is much to do in the surrounding area, in the beautiful Alborz Mountains.

Near Tehran

Vardij. Some geological formations with caves popular among the urbanites of Tehran for their proximity and beauty. It is reached by a small road that enters the Alborz.

Vardij, Tehran

Brghan. After winding through the bare hills north of Tehran, you reach this town in a kind of oasis in the desert, with a forest and a river. Along this stream of water, wooden platforms are arranged for the enjoyment of Fridayers people, all ready to enjoy a good picnic.


Lavasan. A small town a few km from Tehran, at the base of the Alborz Mountains. You can venture out on an excursion, cool off in the river and chat with the shepherds who frequent those slopes with their sheep.


There are all kinds of options, but I don't know any because some friends welcomed us. I don't think you will find many dog-friendly options, so if you have a dog you can try Couchsurfing or, like us, meet someone local on the trip.


Caspian Sea, Iran

“Cocaí se volvió loca corriendo por la arena, chapoteando y esquivando olas y recogiendo con la boca algas y palos enormes que probablemente algún día yacieron en tierras rusas o kazajas. O azerís o turkmenas. Con la friolera de 371.000 km2 de superficie, debido principalmente a los más de cien ríos que lo alimentan, algunos enormes como el Volga, el Ural, el Kura o el Terek, este lago hace frontera con estas cinco naciones… En Irán la zona del Caspio se asocia a lluvias, temperaturas más frescas y bosques. En un país que se caracteriza por las altas temperaturas y la escasez de precipitaciones aquí tenemos la nota discordante. Unas condiciones climatológicas favorables para el asentamiento humano, lo que hace de la costa norte iraní un área de gran densidad de población. Además, en los pueblos y ciudades que bañan el mar Caspio encontramos una cultura más moderna y abierta por lo general”. Fragment from El Pekín Express Canino.

It is the most industrial area of the country, with practically the entire coast dotted with towns. We were in Chalus, Royan, Babol and Sarí, all of them in the province of Mazandarán (to the west is the green province of Gilan). In these cities there is really nothing on a tourist level. The favorite activity (mine at least) is sitting on the sand, people-watching while walking along the beach and trying food at the stalls. I recommend the ash. Despite this, it has pleasant beaches and, above all, beautiful mountains in the rear: the green face of the Alborz.


A place that is very worth visiting is Filband, an hour and a half drive from the city of Amol. This town is at the top of a lush peak where many “Fridayers" people come to have a picnic and enjoy the sea of clouds.


I can't help here either, since we camped on the beach and slept in local people's houses.


Badab-e Surt

“Visitamos Badab-e Surt a primera hora. Dejé la tienda y la mochila en su sitio e iniciamos un paseo de unos cuarenta minutos que nos llevaría a la entrada, totalmente desierta. Me imaginaba algo chulo, pero no tanto. Se trata de unas formaciones sedimentarias milenarias de hierro, azufre y otros minerales que han creado unas estructuras escalonadas doradas con agua cristalina… Una obra de arte de la naturaleza como esta sería Patrimonio de la Humanidad en cualquier país, pero en Irán casi nadie la conoce. Durante las dos horas que estuvimos explorando y sacando fotos no vino nadie”. Fragment from El Pekín Express Canino.

A photo is enough to convince anyone to visit this unknown gem. Also, if you like trekking and adventure, I recommend taking a 15 km route through the mountains to the town of Badlh Kwh. From there there is no transportation and you will have to hitchhike to the main road. The landscape is a marvel, with colorful mountains dotted with flocks of sheep and shepherds.

Mountains near Badab-e Surt


I think there are no hotels or rooms in the only town close to this geological paradise: Orost. If you don't have a tent, ask at a mosque or business. You can camp near the entrance.


Khalid Nabi

“Khalid Nabi es otro de esos sitios escondidos que las almas aventureras querrán conocer. Se trata de un lugar sagrado en medio de un escenario tan vasto como bello en donde descansa el cuerpo del susodicho Khalid Nabi, quien fuera un profeta pre islámico… … el contacto con la cultura turkmena, las vistas de ese paisaje marciano alucinante y el hallazgo del cementerio más surrealista del planeta, donde descansan los cuerpos de los seguidores de Khalid Nabi bajo enormes penes de piedra. Cocaí y yo, ambos, nos quedamos embobados nada más aterrizar: la visión de las infinitas montañas onduladas que poblaban cada centímetro a nuestro alrededor eran hipnotizantes. Era como contemplar un mar de montañas. El mar del desierto turkmeno”. Pekín Express Canino.

There is a very special place in Iran: the Turkmen lands north of Gonbad-e Kabus, capital of the province of Golestan. Bordering their country of origin, Turkmenistan, these people came here in search of a freer world. The landscape is arid and bordering on inhospitable, but the inhabitants of the towns and villages in those mountains do not seem to care. What's more, they continue with their customs and their life based on herding.

Turkmen people in the north of Iran are semi nomadic

Just for the cultural shock and the “discovery” of this very different ethnic group is it worth the visit. With a little luck you even attend a ceremony, as happened to us with the birth of a child in the community. But there is also a hidden gem there: Khalid Nabi. It is worth the trip from Gonbad e Kavus. I think there are no buses and you will have to hitchhike or take a taxi if you don't have your own vehicle.

Khalid Nabi cemetery


The Turkmen area as such hardly has any tourist infrastructure and I don't know if there are any hotels. We stayed at the home of a local family (the trucker who took us hitchhiking) in the village of Oghchi. With a camper or tent you can camp wherever you want. In Gonbad e Kabus there should be some hotels.


Golestan National Park

Here is the largest forest in Iran. Although not all of the Park is forest, it also has mountain areas. Golestan National Park is known for the amount of wildlife it houses, and more specifically leopards, which are in their element with two ecosystems that they love very much. Unfortunately, it has almost no trails or at least there is hardly any information for trekking routes. Most Iranians come here simply to have their own picnics and then leave. In one of these picnic areas there is a beautiful waterfall just a few minutes walk away and a path also starts from there that takes you deeper into the forest, following the river.


There is no tourist infrastructure (that I know of). If you want to spend the night you will have to come with a tent. It's the only place I was scared while camping in Iran, because Cocaí started barking like crazy at dawn... Who knows what was outside.


Holy Shrine, Mashhad

“Todo el mundo viene a la segunda ciudad más grande de Irán por una razón: la Imam Reza Holy Shrine, el espectacular complejo sagrado de mezquitas varias, salas de oración, seminarios y bibliotecas… y por supuesto el mausoleo en que descansa el octavo imán de los chiíes. Se ha convertido en símbolo y destino de peregrinaje masivo de esta rama del islam, la otra (suníes) e incluso de otras religiones y amantes de la arquitectura y la historia, que acuden para contemplar esta obra maestra. Yo pocas veces he flipado más. Es imposible describir de manera fidedigna lo que vi en este santuario. Las caras de felicidad, los llantos, familias rezando juntas… por no hablar de la arquitectura. Cada mezquita, cada edificio, diseñado con un modelo de azulejos único, pero combinando a la vez los mismos colores y estilo. Por supuesto vimos también la tumba del imán. Un montón de fieles se arremolinaba alrededor luchando por tocarla”. El Pekín Express Canino.

The capital of Razavi Khorasan is one of the most iconic cities in Iran. Especially from a religious point of view: it protects the body of Imam Reza. Only Mashhad and Qom have the divine character of “holy cities” in Iran. Not many travelers come to this part of the country, since it is far from the most visited points. However, for this reason alone Mashhad is a must.

Things to see in Mashhad

Holy Shrine. Two words define it: GREATNESS and DEVOTION. The Holy Shrine will leave you speechless. You cannot enter with a camera and you have to leave it in a locker.

Ferdowsi Tomb. In the nearby city of Tus is the beautiful mausoleum of this 10th century poet, considered one of the most important in Persian history. On this excursion you can take the opportunity to visit the historic Haruniyeh monastery, also in Tus.

Ferdowsi Tomb

Hills and viewpoints outside the city. If you have a car (or make a local friend, like us), a very good plan is to go out to the outskirts of the city to get views from the top of one of the hills that surround it. In addition, on the outskirts there are also some restaurants in nature worth visiting.


I have no references (hosted by a young local), but there must be options for all budgets in different areas of the city.

Note. Another even less frequented city is Bojnurd. The capital of North Khorasan is a city of modern and open people, with parks, mosques and some very cool mountains around. If you have time it is worth a visit.


Dasht-e Kavir Desert

“Cocaí y yo nos disponíamos a atravesar Irán desde esa esquina noreste hasta el mismo corazón, a la histórica Yazd. 900 km de puro desierto. El mismo en el que se ha registrado la temperatura más alta jamás habida sobre la superficie terrestre…”. El Pekín Express Canino.

On this journey between Mashhad and Yazd, covered entirely by the Iranian desert, we really enjoyed the landscape and lived great adventures. Without a doubt, one of the most special and remembered roads. Solitary mosques in the middle of the road so drivers can stop to pray, camels, oases, stretches of dunes and more mountainous areas... and even the occasional caravanserai. That is, the ancient settlements at various points along the Silk Road between equidistant towns and oases, for traders, travelers and soldiers who made long trips with their animals or caravans and required rest and/or food. In other words, the precursors of roadside hotels. In addition to being key in trade routes, they had to be a mixture of cultures, learning and fun like few others. Get ready for 900 km through this huge and inhospitable desert.


The desert is a good place to camp, but be aware of the consequences: you could get caught in a sand storm! We experienced one, but luckily we were in a car. On this route you pass through towns, the largest of which is Ferdows (about 30,000 inhabitants). There are some hotels there.



Yazd is one of the top destinations that every visitor should include in their Iran itinerary. In fact it is, forming that “golden triangle” with Isfahan and Shiraz (described below). Its historic center is of astonishing beauty, with its adobe streets, its passageways, its buildings, shops and mosques in earthy and bluish tones. The best activity you can do is walk around and delight in the unique architecture, observe the crafts in the shops and, of course, go up to a rooftop to get a stunning panoramic view.


But there is another compelling reason: its history linked to Zoroastrianism... The province of Yazd is home to the largest community of Zoroastrians in the country. The “believers” of the old religion of the Persian people that was later practically annihilated with the Arab invasion. In the same city is The Temple of Fire, the equivalent of the religious temples of other faiths. Residents say the fire there has been burning alive for more than 1,500 years. On the outskirts of the city are the Towers of Silence of Yazd, another symbol and footprint of Zoroastrianism. In ancient times they were Zoroastrian cemeteries, where the dead were taken to worship them. The practice of saying goodbye to the deceased consisted of transporting them to these places and letting nature do the rest. According to Zoroastrian beliefs, the decomposition of corpses by birds and other animals was necessary to free the soul from the body. These are two structures on adjacent hills with a circular pit inside. Although today they are no longer used for these purposes, they are open as a cultural space.

Towers of Silence, Yazd

Another recommended excursion is the neighboring town of Taft. This town stands out for its sandy streets flanked by adobe walls and pomegranate gardens. If you come around September-October you will see its branches full of pomegranates. As always, the best thing is to meet people, chat and have tea in good company.

Yazd and Taft


There are a variety of hotels and hostels in the center of Yazd. I can't tell you any that accept dogs, since we slept in a veterinarian.

Note. On the way from Yazd to Isfahan (another 300 km of desert) several caravanserais are also left along the way. Highly recommended the one in the beautiful town of Aqda.


Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan

“Y entonces llegamos a la plaza. La Plaza, quiero decir. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, también conocida como Plaza Real y Plaza del Imam Jomeini, es el centro mismo de Isfahan. Aparte de ostentar el récord de ser una de las plazas más grandes del mundo, destaca por su belleza y grandiosidad: sus inmaculados jardines y estanque central acompañan a los numerosos monumentos históricos de principios del siglo XVII que la componen. Ni más ni menos que un palacio, varias mezquitas impresionantes y la puerta de entrada al Gran Bazar, uno de los mercados más grandes y antiguos en el Medio Oriente. Todos estos edificios pertenecen a la Golden Age de la ciudad, traída por el Imperio safávida en ese siglo y que movió la capital de Persia de vuelta a Isfahan”. El Pekín Express Canino.

Isfahan is my favorite city in Iran. For its history (it was the capital of Persia at the time), for its mix of modern and traditional people, for its supreme beauty. One could stay for days in Naqsh-e Jahan Square, contemplating the imposing mosques and most glorious buildings of Isfahan's golden age that surround it and talking to people passing by. I recommend enjoying it calmly.

See and do in Isfahan

To make it easier I am going to divide the areas of interest into five: the Royal Square, the Bazaar, the Jameh Mosque, the riverside and the Armenian Neighborhood (New Julfa). The first is already described, in the heart of the city. The bazaar is a very long vaulted corridor full of shops and restaurants. Connects the new city with the old. Or what is the same, the Royal Square with the Friday Mosque or Jameh Mosque, which dates back to the year 771 and is one of the oldest mosques in Iran. And probably the most spectacular. Actually there are four mosques together enclosing a central patio. Each one with its different designs, each one more captivating.

Jameh Mosque, Isfahan

As for the riverside promenade, it is a beautiful green retreat where urbanites go to have picnics, smoke shisha and relax. It is also crossed by several bridges that ooze history.

The historic bridges of Isfahan

Finally, the Armenian neighborhood, New Julfa, is one of the few places in Iran where you can see churches and cathedrals, the most notable being the Vank Cathedral. The existence of this neighborhood dates back to the 17th century, when more than 150,000 Armenians moved to Isfahan. It is not clear if it was aid from Iran to the asylum they were asking for due to Ottoman persecution or because the then king of Iran, aware of the knowledge and skills of the Armenians regarding the Silk Road, brought them for his own benefit due to the importance that Isfahan played.

Vank Cathedral, New Julfa

There are many other places to visit, but you better go and discover them for yourself ;)


Isfahan is one of the most touristic places in the country, and therefore the hotel offering is abundant. If you can, choose one with a roof terrace, to enjoy the views of the buildings and mosques of the city. I stayed at Annie Hostel, a dog-friendly and chill space that unfortunately had to close due to the pandemic. It may reopen, so check it out before you go to Isfahan: ANNIE HOSTEL (Isfahan, Iran): reviews, price comparison (


Pink Mosque ceiling, Shiraz

“Los iranís pueden quejarse todo lo que quieran del país en el que viven por su situación política y económica, pero no pueden ocultar el orgullo por sus orígenes y sus tierras, que antaño fueron parte del más próspero Imperio y escenario de batallas épicas. Persia comenzó su aventura hacia el siglo VI a. C. con Ciro el Grande, el probablemente rey más querido y recordado: fundó el Imperio en medio del desierto, valiéndose de una ingeniería ingeniosa para sacar agua del subsuelo desde montañas a cientos de kilómetros, y lo extendió hacia todos lados, incluyendo la anexión de Babilonia y Lidia. El Imperio persa siguió haciéndose con más y más territorios con los reyes sucesores: Cambises, Darius, Jerjes, Artajerjes… Pero iban a cometer un grave error: meterse con Grecia. Y así comenzaron las “apasionantes” Guerras Médicas. Hasta que un tal Alejandro Magno, cansado y enfurecido de varios ataques, vino a desmontar el chiringuito persa. Nada más y nada menos que prendiendo fuego a la capital del enemigo: Persepolis”. El Pekín Express Canino.

Persepolis. Today it is a spectacular archaeological site and museum. Prepare to walk among ancient buildings and columns in ruins, some standing, others demolished. Shiraz is the best base to visit, as it is only 60 km away.


Shiraz. For many visitors and Iranians the greatest jewel of the country. Because of its 2,500 years of age and historical importance... and because it is one of the most elegant and stately cities in Iran.

See and do in Shiraz (appart from visiting Persepolis)

Stroll through downtown. Enjoy a leisurely walk through its avenues and alleys, observing the businesses, tea houses, people and, of course, its most precious buildings and mosques. The most striking is the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, better known as the Pink Mosque. The light that illuminates the windows and stained glass windows creates that colorful effect inside the mosque for which it earned its name. Tip: It is better to visit in the morning because more light enters.

Pink Mosque

Hafez Tomb. The mausoleum of one of the most beloved Persian poets. It is located a few km from the center.

Ghalat. A hippie town  at the gates of a forest famous for growing marijuana. A kind of oasis in those arid latitudes. We ate in a restaurant surrounded by nature, contemplated the flora and fauna of the forest (insects, birds and wild dogs) and followed the course until we came across a small waterfall.


Great hotel offer in the center, with a variety of prices. I can't recommend any in particular because we stayed with some local friends.

Note. The province of Fars, whose capital is Shiraz, has beautiful natural places. We went through quickly (I didn't have many days on my visa), but if you have time it's surely worth exploring it a little ;)


Geology of Hormuz Island

“Ese trozo de tierra que cada vez se había ido haciendo más y más grande desde el barco. Pisábamos esa isla mágica para no salir del cuento durante cuatro largos (y a la vez cortos) días. Nuestro rincón paradisiaco con una geología y vida únicas. Las rocas extraterrestres de sal, las playas de arenas de diferentes colores, los acantilados rebosantes de vida marina, sus cuevas misteriosas. Los pocos árboles que la habitan, adaptados a unas condiciones de sal y calor no aptas para corazones norteños. El plancton en el mar brillando por la noche. Los hippies dándote la bienvenida en cada cala. La luna anunciando la templada noche, el comienzo de una bonita –y para muchos psicodélica– velada”. El Pekín Express Canino.

It is actually reached by boat, more specifically from the port of Bandar Abbas (also an interesting city, especially on a cultural level). This island in the Persian Gulf is truly amazing. Not only because of its geology and beaches (including one with red sand!) and that hippie-underground atmosphere in Iran, but also on a cultural level. The most traditional women cover their faces with characteristic masks (as majestic as they are bizarre). The roots of these outfits go back centuries, but are unclear. They could have emerged as a defense mechanism against invaders, either to intimidate them into believing they were warriors, or to protect themselves against kidnappings. The island has a long history of transit, being a stop on trade routes since time immemorial, including the Spice Route.

Traditional masks and clothes for women in Hormuz

There is a single circular road, which can be traveled by hitchhiking or in a tuk-tuk to support the local economy. Some recommended spots: Silence Beach, Rainbow Valley, Mofanegh Beach, Red Beach, Rainbow Cave, Chandrakht Beach.

Red Beach, Hormuz Island


There are a handful of accommodations in the port town, the only settlement on the island, and you can camp freely on any beach. On the other hand, there are only food stores in the town, so if your idea is to live like Robinson Crusoe on any beach for a few days, I advise you to stock up on supplies when you arrive. And very important: WATER. There are no natural springs on the entire island.

Rainbow Valley, Hormuz Island

Note. Another island in the Persian Gulf that you can visit from Bandar Abbas is Qeshm.


Martian Mountains

“… el mar a un lado, el desierto y las Martian Mountains al otro. Salvaje, sin apenas poblaciones de por medio. La única vida que se palpa es la de los camellos que merodean las arenas candentes… Estas montañas de sal blancas rompen el paisaje con sus impresionantes pliegues y picos escarpados. En un momento dado solo veíamos blanco a la izquierda y azul a la derecha según avanzábamos por el asfalto”. El Pekín Express Canino.

Without a doubt, one of my favorite routes in Iran. Once you have passed the Persian Gulf, you reach the Sea of Oman. The coast of the provinces of Hormozgan, first, and Balochistan, later, presents the traveler with landscapes that combine sea, desert... and mountains. To this we must add the most important thing for many travelers: the local people. Since Bandar Abbas the change of people is very plausible. The Baloch are darker and more traditional, proudly wearing their typical clothes.

Live music, Chabahar

They are also one of the most hospitable peoples I have ever met. If you travel by hitchhiking, they willprobably take you to beaches and places in the area that only locals know, as happened to us with two fishermen. Not to mention that there is a good chance that they will offer you to stay in their houses (it happened to us too).

What to see along this route

Darak. An oasis of dunes that come to die in the sea. It's a real beauty. You can camp either under the roof of a kind of palapa that is right when you get to the beach... or under a palm tree! Things to do: run through the dunes like crazy (obviously), chat with the neighbors who will come to see you (obviously), swim in the sea, visit the nearby “Bird Island”.


Chabahar. Most of the cities and towns on this route are not pretty, but as I have already said, it is worth it just for the warmth and generosity of its people. Chabahar is surely the most interesting town in Balochistan for tourists. It is also very lively at night with tea houses and shishas with live music. There are hotels, but I can't recommend them because we didn't go to any.

Martian Mountains Viewpoints. A few kilometers east of Chabahar there are several viewpoints where these mountains are especially spectacular.

Beris. This fishing village is situated in a scenic bay guarded by the Martian Mountains and is popular for the movie-like sunsets offered by a large seaside cliff.


Gowatr Mangrove (Pasabandar). At the end of the road, right on the border with Pakistan, is this natural wonder. There the Bahu Kalat River flows into the Sea of Oman, and it is home to many species of typical mangrove birds… and also dozens of camels! You can walk among them on the beach and also venture with a fisherman into this ecosystem and the sea (there are dolphins).

Camels in Gowatr


In Chabahar and Darak there is accommodation infrastructure, but we camped and stayed at local houses along the entire route. I can't recommend any in particular.


Sistan Baluchistan

Pasabandar borders Pakistani lands, but there is no border for tourists (only smuggling). You have to go up a few hundred kilometers on the map, more specifically to Zahedan, the capital of the Sistan-Baluchistan province. The road offers very interesting traditional towns and cities along the way. Zahedan is a large city without any tourist attractions (at least apparently), but you have to pass through here before heading to the Taftan Border checkpoint.


We slept one night at the Hanol Hostel, where they accepted Cocaí sleeping in the tent in the garden. You can also spend the night on the border itself, which is kind of a party. It only opens until lunchtime, so if you arrive in the afternoon (as happened to us, because I had no idea) you will have to sleep there with all the Pakistanis and Iranians who are going to cross to the other side. There is a mosque where you can sleep and public bathrooms-latrines... A terrible experience :)



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El Pekín Express CaninoEn marzo de 2019 mi perra Cocaí y yo salimos de Madrid con una mochila, una tienda de campaña y una misión entre ceja y ceja: llegar a China a dedo. Cuando andábamos en India hizo entrada en escena un "pequeño invitado" que puso el mundo patas arriba, incluido nuestro viaje. Tres años después volvimos a casa con un camino plagado de aprendizajes, aventuras, seres maravillosos... y una perra nueva: Chai :-) Más info sobre este libro, en realidad trilogía, aquí.

La Reina Leona. Un cuento ilustrado basado en una historia real de una perra que conocí durante la pandemia en India y con quien formé un vínculo muy especial. Puedes conseguirlo aquí.

Diarios de viajes por Sudamérica y Norteamérica. Estos dos libros cuentan, a modo de diarios, mis primeros años como mochilero, incluyendo el encuentro con Cocaí en Bolivia y todas las aventuras vividas con ella. Hago especial énfasis en la conexión con la naturaleza y las personas que nos brindó el camino. Leer más aquí.

Únete a nuestra iniciativa y recibe novedades sobre viajes, perros y viajar con perro 😉

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Somos Rober, Cocaí y Chai, tres amigos de tres naciones distintas que recorren el mundo en autostop. Desde el año 2013 hemos hecho tres grandes viajes: Sudamérica, Norteamérica y Asia. Nuestra próxima aventura es África. El objetivo principal de este blog es animar a otras personas (¡y perros!) a lanzarse también a conocer los bellos rincones y culturas que nuestro planeta atesora

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La trilogía más esperada desde el Señor de los Anillos


El Pekín Express Canino, portada
La Reina Leona, portada
Queen Leona, cover book
Diario de Viajes por Sudamérica, portada
Diario de Viajes por Norteamérica, portada

El Pekín Express Canino

En marzo de 2019 mi perra Cocaí y yo salimos de Madrid con una mochila, una tienda de campaña y una misión entre ceja y ceja: llegar a China a dedo. Cuando andábamos en India hizo entrada en escena un "pequeño invitado" que puso el mundo patas arriba, incluido nuestro viaje. Tres años después volvimos a casa con un camino plagado de aprendizajes, aventuras, seres maravillosos... y una perra nueva: Chai :-) Más info sobre este libro, en realidad trilogía, abajo.

La Reina Leona

Un cuento ilustrado basado en una historia real de una perra que conocí durante la pandemia en India y con quien formé un vínculo muy especial. 

¡Disponible también en inglés!

Diarios de Viajes por Sudamérica y Norteamérica

Estos dos libros cuentan, a modo de diarios, mis primeros años como mochilero, incluyendo el encuentro con Cocaí en Bolivia y todas las aventuras vividas con ella. Hago especial énfasis en la conexión con la naturaleza y las personas que nos brindó el camino. 

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