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Cycling in Iran: Tabriz to Zanjan

Listed under Cycling Challenges in Iran.

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Though this route doesn’t offer a lot of tourist attractions, the main draw is getting off the beaten track and interacting with local people, most whom of which have had little interaction with foreigners. This trip will provide an unique Persian experience. Iranians are possibly the friendliest people in the World, which you will soon discover as you cycle through remote villages and towns, where children wave at you and people greet you with smiles, and ‘thank you’s’. Drivers will often pull over on the side of the road to offer you food, drink, money, a place to stay, or just stop for a chat and maybe a photo.

Camp can be made just about anywhere, however you’ll likely be invited into local houses for a meal, shower and to sleep. Camp can also be made outside police stations, mosques and the Red Crescent posts. You should ask permission before setting up camp on anyone’s property. Even at the police stations you’ll likely be given a warm welcome, complete with tea and even melon. During summer city parks allow free camping. Parks start to fill up with families from 8pm. If you choose to camp at a city or town park, you will be the center of attention. Families will likely invite you for tea, sometimes even dinner. Warmshowers.org is also an extremely popular cyclist site used throughout Iran. When cycling this route you are likely to bump into Akbar Naghdi, a warmshowers legend – he will make you feel welcomed and give you plenty of contacts and information about cycling in Iran.

This cycle is for all fitness levels. There are some mountains, but nothing too strenuous. Care should always be taken while cycling on the roads in Iran. The roads are extremely busy and manic, though drivers are friendly.

Read more on Kelly's Blog.

Written by  Kelly Sheldrick.

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