From Tashkent to Tehran Aboard the Golden Eagle

This unusual rail journey by private train stretches from Uzbekistan, through Turkmenistan, and finally into Iran. Begin in Uzbekistan’s modern capital, Tashkent, and continue into the heart of the Silk Road, the rich UNESCO-listed oasis cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. In Turkmenistan, discover ancient Merv, the marble monuments of the capital, and the astonishing burning Darvaza gas crater.

Enter mysterious Iran, discovering the ancient citadel of Rayen, the luxurious Shazadeh Garden in Mahan, the Fire Temple of Yazd, graceful Isfahan, the ruins of Persepolis, beautiful Shiraz, and at last, the vibrant capital, Tehran. Encounter eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way.

An eastbound departure from Tehran to Tashkent is also available as well as a longer version of this route between Moscow and Tehran (eastbound / westbound).

15 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Admire UNESCO-listed Gulestan Palace in Iran’s capital, Tehran
    Gulestan Palace is the oldest of Tehran’s historic monuments, begun in the 16th century as a fortress by the Safavid dynasty, and encompassing several palatial buildings around a cool green garden....
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  • Take a guided tour of the extensive ruins of UNESCO-listed Merv
    Take a guided tour of the extensive ruins of UNESCO-listed Merv; the earliest of its five ancient cities is attributed to Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC....
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  • Explore the majestic Registan in UNESCO-listed Samarkand
    Applaud the unsurpassed majesty of the Registan and learn about the architectural wonders of fabled Samarkand....
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  • Discover the mixed heritage of Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan
    Discover the heritage of Tashkent, an old Silk Route city that is a jumble of wide tree-lined boulevards, oversized 20th century Soviet buildings and reconstructed...
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Tashkent

Arriving in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, view the Uthman Koran, said to be the oldest in the world, before boarding the Golden Eagle private train.

Highlights

  • Uzbekistan’s capital and largest city, Tashkent
  • The Square of Independence, tracing Tashkent’s history
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Days 3-5: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva

In Samarkand, Tamerlane’s beautiful capital, admire the Ulug Bek Observatory, Shah-i-Zinda, and the majestic Registan. In Bukhara, highlights include the mud-brick Ark Citadel, and the Lyabi-Hauz Plaza. Investigate Khiva, among the most important oases on the Silk Road.

Highlights

  • Samarkand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site called “Crossroads of Cultures”
  • Registan Square, Samarkand’s most famous landmark
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Days 6-7: Ashgabat, Merv

Arriving in Turkmenistan, discover the flamboyant architecture of the modern capital, Ashgabat, and visit the ancient ruins of Merv, capital of the Seljuk Turks.

Highlights

  • Capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, with marble and gold monuments
  • Ruins of Marghiana and Archaeological Museum in UNESCO-listed ancient Merv

Days 8-10: Mashad, Mahan, Rayen, Yazd

In Mashad, admire the shrine of Imam Reza. Visit Mahan, famed for its luxurious UNESCO-listed Prince Garden, and discover the thousand-year-old mud-brick citadel of Rayen. Visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd to see its eternal flame, burning since 470 AD.

Highlights

  • Tomb of Persian poet Ferdowsi, set in a lovely garden with a large pool surrounded by trees and flowers
  • Outer courts and museum of Imam Reza’s shrine, the places permitted to non-Muslims
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Days 11-12: Isfahan, Persepolis, Shiraz

In beautiful Isfahan, wander graceful Imam Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s great treasures. Explore the magnificent archaeological site of Persepolis, and then visit the tomb of Iran’s favorite poet, Hafez, in fabled Shiraz.

Highlights

  • Isfahan’s Maiden-e Naghsh-e Jahan or Imam Square, among the world’s most beautiful squares, and a UNESCO Site
  • Ali-Qapu Palace, gateway to the other royal palaces
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Days 13-15: Tehran

Arriving in Iran’s capital, tour UNESCO-listed Golestan Palace and the glittering State Jewels Museum.

Highlights

  • Golestan Palace, with the Marble Throne, created from 65 pieces of yellow Yazd marble
  • Crown Jewels at the Central Bank

See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 15 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person

  • Silver Class, twin share
    $17,495
  • Silver Class, single
    $26,595
  • Gold Class, twin share
    $20,995
  • Gold Class, single
    $31,995
  • Imperial Suite Class, twin share
    $34,995
  • Imperial Suite Class, single
    $67,995

2018 Dates

  • March 28-April 11
  • FROM
  • $17,495
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Special Offer Savings!

  • Book Now and Save $100Book any 2018 rail journey by private train before December 31, 2017 and save $100 (more info).
  • More Special OffersSee all of MIR’s current special offers (more info).

Contact our dedicated travel specialists for more details on any tour you’re interested in.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Accommodation aboard the Golden Eagle private train.
  • Per the itinerary, 3 nights of shared accommodation in well-located hotels.
  • All meals starting with dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on final tour day, including a generous, though not unlimited, allowance of wine or local beer (except in Iran), soft drinks and water with all lunches and dinners.
  • Arrival/departure transfers, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates and in the tour start/end cities.
  • All guided off-train tours per itinerary.
  • The services of an experienced Train Tour Manager, with local guides for scheduled off-train touring.
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water round the clock from your car attendant while on board the train.
  • All gratuities.
  • Baggage handling.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info

Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in the Caucasus, Iran or Central Asia before or after your tour. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

This trip is moderately active, and rated moderate to rigorous touring due to the daily walk- ing involved and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers. Flexibility, a sense of humor and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

  • Jewels of Persia: Iran by Private Train

    Jewels of Persia: Iran by Private Train

    Douglas Grimes and Annie Lucas, MIR's President and Vice President, had the privilege of being aboard the inaugural journey of the first western private train allowed into Iran. A round trip journey from Budapest to Tehran and back aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express private train, this was a first-of-its-kind itinerary and an historic undertaking.... Read More

  • Ancient Persia, Modern Iran: A Tour Leader’s Blog

    Ancient Persia, Modern Iran: A Tour Leader’s Blog

    Follow along with seasoned MIR Tour Manager, Michel Behar, as he blogs his way through MIR's Ancient Persia - Modern Iran small group tour. Spend each day with him as he recounts his favorite traditional Persian foods, his discoveries at the outdoor markets, and his impressions of the gardens, art and architecture of Iran.... Read More

See All Journals
MIR in the News
See All Press & Awards
From the Blog
See All Blog Posts

Golden Eagle

The perfect combination of remote destinations and comfortable accommodations, rail journeys by private train open a world of discovery to travelers who enjoy comfort and leisure time as well as exciting new vistas.

The exclusive Golden Eagle private train furnishes the dream of Old World rail travel with modern comforts and amenities that make the journey as pleasant as the destination. The luxurious Golden Eagle is a fully en suite train and a restful and satisfying way to experience legendary rail routes.

Train & Hotel Accommodations

Relax and enjoy the panorama rolling past your private window and disembark for guided off-train touring in fascinating towns and cities along the way.

Each sleeping carriage on the Golden Eagle has its own attendants who provide bed turndown service, plus tea, coffee and mineral water 24 hours a day. Attendants keep an eye on everything while guests are away from the train. L’Occitane body products, as well as premium bathrobes, slippers and a hairdryer, are provided in all cabin categories.

  • Imperial Suite

    Imperial Suite

    Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.

    Additional Information

    Imperial Suite dimensions – 2 suites per departure / 1 suite per carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 120 sq ft (11.1 sq m)
    Cabin length – 17′ 4″ (5.3 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Bed length – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Bed width – 5′ (1.5 m)


  • Gold Class

    Gold Class

    Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.

    Additional Information

    Gold Class cabin dimensions – 5 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 77 sq ft (7 sq m)
    Cabin length – 11′ 8″ (3.6 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Size of bathroom – 6′ 6″ x 4′  (2.4 sq m)
    Bed length – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Lower bed width – 4′ 5″ (1.35 m)
    Upper bed width – 2′ 9″ (85 cm)

    Lower bed converts to a sofa for daytime use.

    Note: The 5th compartment is of a slightly different layout (68 sq ft), and will normally be allocated to single guests.


  • Silver Class

    Silver Class

    Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space and with a smaller, wet-room-style shower area.

    Additional Information

    Silver Class cabin dimensions – 6 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin area (total, including bathroom) – 60 sq ft (5.5 sq m)
    Cabin length – 8′ 8″ (2.6 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 7″ (2 m)
    Size of bathroom – 4′ 6″ x 3′ (1.25 sq m)
    Bed length (upper & lower) – 6′ 2″ (190 cm)
    Lower bed width – 3′ 6″ (1.1 m)
    Upper bed width – 2′ 9″ (85 cm)


  • Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Accommodations

    The first and last nights of most tours are spent in well-appointed four and five star hotels. Some tours feature additional hotel nights. Please review the detailed itinerary for specifics pertaining to each tour and departure. Additional nights before and after any tour can be arranged on request.

Life Aboard the Train
Dining Car of the Golden Eagle,/i> luxury private train Photo credit: Golden Eagle Luxury Private Train

The Golden Eagle private train provides everything you need for a pleasurable journey. Join travelers from around the world to enjoy the relaxed and casual environment onboard, with no need to wear formal attire on excursions or while dining. Bear in mind that no alcohol will be served onboard while traveling through Iran.

Train formations are not fixed, as the composition varies to suit the number of passengers on a given departure. Iran departures will generally range 35-65 passengers.  The exact configuration of the train on any particular journey may not be determined until close to departure. 

Please note that a variety of cabins styles are in use aboard the train. Decor, layout, type and number of dining, bar and sleeping cars on your journey may differ from the sample images depicted in our brochures/websites.

  • Bar/Lounge Car

    Bar/Lounge Car

    A Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers.

  • Dining Cars

    Dining Cars

    Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines (except on trips in Iran). Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers.

    Additional Information

  • Off-Train Tours

    Off-Train Tours

    Rail journeys feature an extensive selection of educational city tours in the various stops on our routes. Private coaches and local guides whisk you away from your private train for fascinating half- or full-day forays into the principal towns and cities, sometimes including an in-city dining opportunity. Read through this tour’s itinerary for more information (found on the Itinerary & Map tab of this page).