The Spirit of Persia

The Spirit of Iran: nomads, Sufis and more…

October 13-28, 2015

organised by Alan Heeks

If I had a bucket list a trip to Iran would be near the top.  So in October 2015 I hope to make a 2-week customised tour of Iran with a congenial group of 10-14 people.  This piece explains why Persia and this trip are so exciting for me.

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Utterly Unique: Persia’s history, culture, and mix of spiritual traditions are truly unique.  Cities like Shiraz, Esfahan and Yazd have no equivalent anywhere in the world.

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Deserts, Mountains, Nomads: the 12 spiritual retreat groups I organised with semi-nomadic Bedouin guides in the Tunisian Sahara remain a huge inspiration to me.  Iran still has 2 million nomads, and on this trip, we will spend a night with them and another night at an ancient caravanserai in the desert.  If you want a role model of wellbeing with little control or resources, the nomads are ideal.

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Friendly: I have several friends who have visited Iran in recent years, and what impressed them most was how friendly and hospitable people are.  With a smallish group and a flexible itinerary, I am hopeful that we will make some warm local connections.

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Sufi Connections: Persia was home to some of the greatest Sufi poets and mystics, such as Hafiz, and one can still connect with them through tombs, gardens, and in tea houses.  I hope that we can enjoy some of the greatest Sufi poetry in its’ homeland.

Train Adventures: I really love long-distance train journeys – an ideal way to enjoy the landscape, and a great way to meet local people.  We will take the train from Tehran to Shiraz, deep in the south of Iran.  And there is an optional add on to the Iran tour: taking the train from Tehran to Ankara.  This journey takes 2 and a half days, and includes a boat crossing of Lake Van. Click here for details of Turkey.

Fantastic Food:  Persian cuisine is hard to find in the UK, but well worth a detour.  I am expecting some amazing meals on our travels during this trip…

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Completing the Set: in my several decades of travelling, I have visited almost every country in the middle east, except for Syria and Iran.  With the new regime in Iran seeking much warmer relations with the West, there is a real window of opportunity currently to visit this amazing country.

It may be worth mentioning that I am working with a leading local tour agency, Pars Travel, who come highly recommended from other visitors: we will have our own guide, travel mostly by minibus, staying in 3-4 star hotels.  And the cost is surprisingly cheap: around £1,600 including all meals, hotels and other local costs…

Click here to see more details including itinerary.

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Please contact me for further information, and to reserve a place!


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