Shiraz to Yazd: A Bike Touring Route

Home for the night?Cycling from Shiraz to Yazd takes you past some of the finest archaeological sites in Iran, if not the entire the Middle East.

There’s also the Abarkuh desert to enjoy before you reach the relaxed city of Yazd with its wonderful budget hotels, Zoroastrian culture and one of Iran’s largest mosques. Yazd is also a great place to buy that Persian silk carpet or kilim you’ve had your eye on…

Iran Route 2Distance: 500km
Duration: 7 days
Terrain: Rolling hills coming out of Shiraz and a climb to 2,500 meters before you descend into the flat Abarkuh desert.
Accommodation:
Hotels in Shiraz as well as at Persepolis, at the junction with the road to Yazd, in Taft and of course in Yazd itself. Chance to stay with an Iranian champion cyclist partway through the route! Wild camping otherwise and there’s plenty of space.
Highlights: The numerous archaeological sites including Persepolis and Pasagarda.
Lowlights: Busy roads, which can be heavy on truck traffic.
Tips: Leave lots of time to explore the many historical sites.

Section 1 – Shiraz to Persepolis (60km)
Andrew admiring PersepolisHead north out of Shiraz on the main highway towards Marvdasht. This stretch is busy but there are few alternatives. You may be tempted by a long loop towards Persepolis via Dariyan but local cyclists warned against this route. Apparently a cycle tourist was robbed of his camera on this road last year. Although it’s busy, the road to Marvdasht has a decent shoulder most of the way and the vehicles tend to give you plenty of space. Take the exit marked for Marvdasht and follow the signs to Persepolis (entry 5,000 Rials), which goes directly through the town centre. As you come up the tree-lined boulevard to Persepolis you’ll pass a “tourist complex” which offers camping and beds for the night but there’s no need to pay for accommodation The security guards at Pardis Garden (directly to the right as you reach the Persepolis entrance) are more than happy to let you camp in the grounds where the Shah used to hold his parties. There’s access to water and toilets at Persepolis. We also had invitations to spend the night with a family living in a nearby village.

Section 2 – Persepolis to Sa’adat Shahr (75km)
Leaving Persepolis, you don’t need to return to the main road. Instead, take the road directly opposite Pardis Garden (to the left if facing Persepolis), cycle through the parking lot and out the far corner. You’re then on a small road which soon rejoins the old road to Esfahan. The traffic here is still steady but less than the main highway and downright quiet in parts. As you join the old road, you’ll notice a gated area and ticket office on your right. This is Naqsh-i-Rajab (entry 2,000 Rials) and features a few rock reliefs. Directly across from this site is the road leading to the much more interesting Naqsh-i-Rustam (entry 3,000 Rials) where the tombs of Darius II, Artaxerxes I and Darius the Great are carved high into the rock face. Retrace your steps to the old Esfahan road and turn left to continue on your way. It’s worth a brief stop 3km on at Istakhr, where there was once a temple to Anahita. The site is largely in ruins now but it’s free to enter and you may find ancient pottery shards under your feet as you explore what’s left of the columns. From here the road gets progressively quieter. You can pick up provisions in Seydan and Sivand. It can be difficult to find a hidden spot to camp in this area as much of the route is flanked by steep mountains on one side and flat farming fields and a river on the other. We were allowed to put our tent up beside the police station in Sa’adat Shahr which was noisy but did come with the benefit of a hot shower in the morning!

Section 3 – Sa’adat Shahr to Safa Shahr (90km)
PasagardaUnfortunately the main road rejoins the old road at Sa’adat Shahr so you have a stretch of heavy traffic but the shoulder here is wide and in good condition for riding. About 20km outside Sa’adat Shahr several signs mark the turn-off for Pasagarda (entry 3,000 Rials), one of Iran’s top archaeological sites next to Persepolis. There is a restaurant at the turn-off. Another nice idea is to pick up food from one of the many shops as you approach the site and then picnic under the trees at Pasagarda itself. The site doesn’t have as much to see as Persepolis but it is quite widespread so allow over an hour to wander around. There are clean toilets and drinking water at the entrance. Shortly after returning to the main road and continuing on your way, you come to the turn-off for Qader Abad (spelled Gaderabad on some signs). On our map this turn-off is marked as the main road but in fact it’s the opposite. Both roads involve a fair bit of climbing so you might as well take the right bearing fork into Qader Abad and enjoy some relief from the trucks. After filling your panniers and water bottles in Qader Abad, it’s about 30km before you rejoin the main road. There are no villages or even houses for most of the way. With the desolate landscape it shouldn’t be hard to find a place for your tent but we found a good spot just 2km before you return to the main highway. A dirt road leads off to the right (near where a restaurant stands on the left) and a few hundred meters down the dirt road is an abandoned turreted castle and house, both made of mud and straw. Around the far side of the castle a little track leads back into the fields where a few trees and marsh grasses hide you from view. Birds will sing you to sleep here and there’s a stream as well providing extra water if you need it. Scenic and fun to imagine what the property might have once been used for. The yard of the house is now overgrown with old grape vines. Once back on the main road, it’s a hilly 20km to Safa Shahr with its many shops and services, including internet cafes and bakeries.

Section 4 – Safa Shahr to Surmaq (70km)
Sassan and family Leaving Safa Shahr, there’s the choice of a dirt road leading via Heneshk and towards Abarkuh – shorter but condition unknown – or the busy main road. We took the second option and here a series of ups and downs takes you steadily higher to a peak of 2,500 meters about 30km on from Safa Shahr. A Red Crescent station at the top can refill your water bottles and then it’s a stonking downhill run towards Surmaq, with plenty of ridges and old castles to pull behind for the night if you wish. There are two appealing options if you continue on. The first comes about 2km before Surmaq and the turn-off to Yazd. Look for an extensive farm of grape vines and fruit and nut trees on your right, before the large silo. The main yard of the farm is walled with a blue gate and “welcome” painted on the wall. This is the home of Sassan Izadi, who before you even reach his home may find you and implore you to stop for the night with his family. Sassan was a medal-winning Iranian racing cyclist in his day and now he’s a “tourist hunter” who would love nothing more than for you to spend the evening with him. His impressive guestbook says a lot about the hospitality he’s offered visitors over the past two decades and his father is also a character to remember; a sprightly 82 years old and one of the former Shah’s secret police! Both speak good English. If for some reason you can’t find Sassan, just ask around. He’s well known in the area. The second option (and undoubtedly a quieter one if you don’t fancy socialising) is the Hotel Touristy just past Sassan’s farm but before the turn-off We haven’t been in but it’s apparently new and charges about 100,000 Rials for a room.

Section 5 – Surmaq to Deh Shir (110km)
Rolling road towards Yazd Traffic dies down once you take the turn-off towards Yazd, although the trucks still rumble by reasonably often. After a downhill stretch you reach Abarkuh, the only town of any size for quite some time. It can’t offer accommodation but there are plenty of shops here and some interesting architecture. Look for the beehive structures as you enter the town. Water was let into them at night in the winter to freeze into ice and then be packed away in straw for use in warmer weather. Going straight through Abarkuh, the villages slowly trickle out until you enter the flat and empty road through the desert. Ensure you have lots of water and food as there is nothing for a good 50km and very little shade if you’re cycling in hot weather. Only the odd abandoned castle breaks up the long stony plain. The only way to wild camp discretely here will be to walk so far out on the plain that you disappear into the horizon, unless you manage to stop near one of the rare abandoned buildings. About 15km before Deh Shir there is a police point, a small shop and village. In Deh Shir itself there’s a larger police station (which we camped behind – not beautiful by any means but it served the purpose), a few shops and tea stops mainly used by the truckers.

Section 6 – Deh Shir to Yazd (100km)
Silk Road Hotel reflection The road climbs steadily out of Deh Shir until you reach the peak about 22km later. After that it’s an all downhill ride to Yazd so sit back and enjoy. There’s little to see, although the mountain scenery is nice enough. If you want to spend the night on this stretch, one option is an abandoned castle on your left with a stream running nearby about 5km out of Deh Shir. Otherwise, anywhere in the empty landscape will do once you get a few kilometers into the climb up the mountain. There are plenty of dips to hide behind and even the occasional grove of trees. After Deh Shir there aren’t many shops or places to get water until you reach Taft. A gas station appears around the 45km mark.

Coming into Yazd, follow the well marked signs to the city centre. When you pass the bazaar in the old city, take a left on the corner where a large Melli Bank stands and go down the small street towards the imposing Jameh Mosque. Near the end of the street, near the mosque, you’ll see signs painted on the wall for the Silk Road Hotel, the most popular hotel for foreign travellers in Yazd, although the Kohan Hotel is also popular and is said by some to have better dorms.

Comments

  1. Tarik Faraz
    4th May 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I am interested to arrange a cycle tour from Pakistan to London

  2. Heather
    27th May 2012 at 5:01 am #

    Looks magic but what if you are female?!

  3. Laureene
    3rd October 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Hi guys
    I love your blog, its my inspiration to swap hitch hiking for a bike, getting from IRAN to the emirates….
    Thanks for sharing your journey

  4. Huetzin Deraet
    15th December 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Love your blog. The given information has always been of great help. Some updates for the ticket prices (as of december 2014):

    Persepolis: 150 000 rial (+- 3.75 euro)
    Naqsh-e Rostamd 100 000 rial (+- 2.5 euro)

    The price of foreigners is always 5 to 7 times higher than for nationals

    Keep up the good work

  5. lebron james shoes
    21st February 2022 at 3:09 pm #

    I wish to get across my respect for your generosity supporting folks who really need assistance with this important area of interest. Your special commitment to passing the message up and down turned out to be amazingly important and has always allowed people just like me to reach their objectives. Your own useful recommendations entails a great deal a person like me and especially to my office colleagues. Regards; from everyone of us.

  6. golden goose sneakers
    1st March 2022 at 12:21 pm #

    I have to point out my admiration for your generosity supporting men who really want help on in this matter. Your real commitment to passing the solution across ended up being definitely productive and has regularly encouraged those just like me to realize their objectives. This insightful guidelines means this much to me and far more to my office workers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  7. yeezy shoes
    5th March 2022 at 2:41 pm #

    I in addition to my pals were going through the excellent guidelines from the blog then unexpectedly I got an awful feeling I never thanked you for them. All the women appeared to be totally thrilled to see all of them and have in effect absolutely been making the most of these things. Appreciate your genuinely considerably kind and also for finding certain remarkable themes most people are really eager to learn about. My sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  8. kd 12
    5th March 2022 at 2:42 pm #

    I precisely needed to thank you very much all over again. I’m not certain what I might have implemented in the absence of the actual thoughts documented by you concerning that theme. It became the intimidating concern in my position, nevertheless being able to view the very well-written strategy you treated that forced me to cry over delight. Extremely happier for your work and thus trust you recognize what a powerful job that you’re getting into teaching many others using your websites. I am sure you haven’t met all of us.

  9. kobe sneakers
    22nd June 2022 at 9:55 am #

    I precisely wanted to thank you so much once again. I am not sure the things that I would’ve worked on without those suggestions contributed by you over such a industry. This has been a very frightful crisis for me, nevertheless taking note of a new professional manner you handled the issue forced me to leap for delight. I’m happy for your support and expect you find out what an amazing job that you are carrying out teaching people today through the use of your webpage. I am sure you have never got to know any of us.

  10. yeezy 700
    4th July 2022 at 10:16 am #

    I am only commenting to make you understand of the remarkable experience my daughter obtained checking the blog. She picked up some issues, which include what it’s like to have an amazing teaching nature to let most people smoothly comprehend certain specialized issues. You actually exceeded our expectations. Thanks for churning out these effective, trusted, educational as well as cool guidance on your topic to Julie.

  11. kyrie 7 shoes
    4th July 2022 at 10:17 am #

    I actually wanted to post a simple message to be able to say thanks to you for these magnificent ways you are giving at this site. My long internet investigation has at the end been paid with good quality facts to go over with my pals. I ‘d assume that most of us readers actually are quite fortunate to be in a very good network with so many lovely professionals with great hints. I feel very much privileged to have come across your entire web pages and look forward to plenty of more amazing moments reading here. Thanks again for all the details.

  12. yeezy
    7th July 2022 at 4:47 am #

    I would like to convey my passion for your kindness giving support to visitors who actually need help with in this niche. Your personal commitment to passing the solution around became astonishingly advantageous and has frequently encouraged people much like me to achieve their desired goals. Your personal warm and friendly help and advice denotes much a person like me and even further to my mates. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  13. cheap giannis shoes
    12th July 2022 at 1:30 pm #

    I wanted to post you a bit of note to be able to say thanks a lot over again for these marvelous suggestions you’ve shared at this time. It was quite pretty generous with you to make without restraint exactly what many people could have offered for sale as an e book to make some dough for themselves, and in particular seeing that you could have tried it if you wanted. The thoughts also worked as the good way to recognize that some people have a similar fervor much like mine to see great deal more regarding this problem. I know there are some more enjoyable sessions ahead for individuals that browse through your site.

  14. supreme hoodie
    12th July 2022 at 1:30 pm #

    Thanks a lot for giving everyone such a nice opportunity to read from here. It’s always so enjoyable and jam-packed with a great time for me and my office fellow workers to search your blog not less than three times in a week to see the latest issues you will have. And lastly, I am usually fulfilled with the stunning tips and hints you serve. Some 4 areas in this post are particularly the simplest we have all had.

  15. Thor Love and Thunder movie
    14th July 2022 at 12:31 pm #

    Comfortable-atmosphere registers could also have filters placed on them.This helps always keep debris from obstructing heating ductwork.

  16. off white x nike
    26th July 2022 at 8:30 am #

    I am glad for commenting to make you understand what a incredible experience my cousin’s daughter experienced studying your site. She realized lots of things, most notably how it is like to have an ideal helping character to make most people with no trouble know specified hard to do things. You really surpassed people’s desires. Thanks for presenting such insightful, healthy, educational and easy tips about this topic to Kate.

  17. 国产线播放免费人成视频播放
    29th July 2022 at 1:04 pm #

    Geleneksel Türk motiflerine bağlı kalınarak üretilen saf yün cami halısını çok farklı ve özel bir kalite ile üretmektedir. Yün cami halısı, doğal bir ham madde olan yünden üretildiğinden insan sağlığına ve çevreye hiçbir zararı yoktur. Yün cami halı desenleri, kışın sıcak tutar ve yazın terletmez. Havadaki nem kuruyunca üzerindeki nemi geri verir. Böylece serili bulunduğu ortamda doğal nem ayarı yapar. Yün cami halısı desenlerinde kullanılan yün, aşınmaya karşı dayanıklı olduğu için uzun yıllar boyunca verimli ve sağlıklı bir şekilde kullanılabilir. Yün cami halıları ayak ve diz kısımlarının uyguladığı baskılara dayanıklıdır. Herhangi bir görüntü bozukluğu yaşanmaz. Yün Cami Halı desenleri tarihi camilerin dokusu ve motiflerine uygun olarak özel olarak tasarlanıp. 0 Yerli Üretimdir.

  18. curry shoes
    30th July 2022 at 12:49 pm #

    I have to show my respect for your generosity giving support to persons who really need assistance with the topic. Your special commitment to passing the message all over was certainly valuable and have in most cases empowered ladies just like me to attain their ambitions. Your own informative guide means a lot to me and even further to my colleagues. Best wishes; from everyone of us.

  19. cheap kobe basketball shoes
    30th July 2022 at 12:49 pm #

    Needed to post you this little word in order to thank you yet again with the striking techniques you have featured on this page. It has been simply strangely open-handed of people like you to present publicly all a few individuals would have sold as an electronic book to generate some bucks for themselves, most notably given that you could possibly have done it in the event you considered necessary. The concepts also worked like a easy way to understand that most people have the same desire just like mine to know the truth whole lot more with reference to this matter. I’m sure there are lots of more enjoyable periods ahead for individuals who browse through your site.

  20. bape hoodie
    31st July 2022 at 9:36 pm #

    I am only writing to make you understand what a brilliant discovery my girl developed checking the blog. She even learned too many issues, not to mention what it is like to have a very effective helping style to make many people quite simply know just exactly specific advanced subject areas. You actually surpassed people’s expectations. I appreciate you for rendering such warm and helpful, dependable, educational and also cool tips about your topic to Lizeth.

  21. supreme hoodie
    8th August 2022 at 12:56 am #

    I have to voice my admiration for your kind-heartedness in support of persons that must have assistance with this subject. Your very own dedication to getting the message all-around has been pretty practical and has consistently helped women just like me to attain their objectives. Your valuable information means a great deal a person like me and substantially more to my fellow workers. Best wishes; from everyone of us.

  22. WdxcGaini
    23rd August 2022 at 12:59 am #

    thesis format sample thesis statement compare and contrast definition of a thesis statement

  23. JvbyOrbisdimi
    23rd August 2022 at 4:14 pm #

    essay headings essay conclusion template informative essay examples

  24. EybwxerelT
    23rd August 2022 at 8:12 pm #

    cover letter writing services custom writing company help writing a thesis

  25. AtvbCoasp
    27th August 2022 at 12:01 am #

    help in assignment writing pay for writing an essay get help writing professional business plan

  26. NbfyDiatS
    27th August 2022 at 7:48 am #

    three prong thesis skin thesis cause and effect essay thesis

  27. JxecDiatS
    29th August 2022 at 3:14 pm #

    how long is a 2000 word essay technology essay diversity essay

  28. NxerDiatS
    31st August 2022 at 3:05 pm #

    how to write a good essay for college change words in essay college admission essay examples

  29. WmfsGaini
    1st September 2022 at 10:44 pm #

    expository essay outline 1500 word essay what is a cover page for an essay

  30. medunitsa.ru
    18th September 2022 at 8:44 am #

    medunitsa.ru Medunitsa.ru

  31. kremlin-team.ru
    20th September 2022 at 9:25 am #

    kremlin-team.ru Kremlin-team.ru

  32. graliontorile
    22nd September 2022 at 12:07 pm #

    Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  33. เสื้อในเด็ก
    24th September 2022 at 10:55 pm #

    Some genuinely wonderful information, Gladiolus I detected this.

  34. slot hoki terpercaya
    27th September 2022 at 9:46 am #

    I wish to convey my affection for your kindness in support of men and women who should have help with that subject matter. Your special dedication to passing the message throughout became surprisingly useful and have constantly permitted folks just like me to arrive at their targets. Your amazing helpful report denotes much a person like me and extremely more to my mates. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  35. Printing London
    28th September 2022 at 12:00 pm #

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your site.Keep the information coming. I liked it!

  36. JynmnOrbisdimi
    1st October 2022 at 2:22 am #

    benefit of metformin metformin and nexium metformin dosierung abnehmen

  37. strongu u6
    2nd October 2022 at 2:04 am #

    With every little thing that appears to be developing within this subject matter, a significant percentage of viewpoints are actually somewhat stimulating. Even so, I am sorry, but I do not subscribe to your entire idea, all be it refreshing none the less. It would seem to everyone that your opinions are actually not entirely rationalized and in fact you are your self not totally convinced of your argument. In any case I did appreciate looking at it.

  38. AzwCoasp
    11th October 2022 at 1:02 pm #

    metformin in kidney metformin salg metformin and biotin

  39. JikkDiatS
    11th October 2022 at 7:03 pm #

    lyrica 300 mg price lyrica okano sexy is lyrica an opioid

  40. JnrcOrbisdimi
    15th October 2022 at 3:51 pm #

    puedo tomar alcohol si estoy tomando bactrim bactrim dose will bactrim treat a urinary tract infection

  41. JebvDiatS
    17th October 2022 at 2:17 pm #

    weaning off lyrica lyrica pill how long for lyrica to work

  42. watch Devotion online
    2nd November 2022 at 8:19 am #

    In 1944, a 20-minute brief entitled Three Sisters of the Moors was released prior to Jane
    Eyre as a means of promoting that function.

  43. watch Babylon online
    15th November 2022 at 8:02 am #

    Any person planning to change Babylon into a money making business needs to discover a fantastic
    title. No matter what brand you select on would be the start of your own brand.
    It should be need to, special and unique connect to your business and whichever merchandise you plan to promote.

  44. 強姦色情片
    20th November 2022 at 10:09 am #

    Good content DAMAR

  45. 買藥
    29th November 2022 at 2:32 am #

    Good webpage admin DAMAR

  46. 強姦色情片
    29th November 2022 at 11:00 pm #

    Excellent work DAMAR

Leave a comment