Sabalan and the jewels of Azerbaijan province
My parents are from Tabriz and I learnt Azeri along with Farsi as my first language. The sound of Taar by a stream and the voice of the 'Ashiq' is probably the most nostalgic experience for me ever! I am so excited to share this trip with you and cannot wait for it to happen! The 10 day itinerary begins with arrivals in Tabriz, from where we will head towards Meshkin Shahr. There we will start acclimatizing while spending time with Shahsavan nomads, in preparation for climbing Sabalan. At 4800m Sabalan is Iran's 3rd highest peak. A silent volcano, it makes for a beautiful trek. From there we will head to Kaleibar, enjoying the hot water springs on our way. We visit the mystical and beautiful Babak Fort. We then drive through Tabriz on our way to Kandovan. One of the only two cave dwellings in the world, famous for its incredible spring water and cave dwellings. We spend a night in the atmospheric Laleh hotel in Kandovan and finally head back to Tabriz to enjoy this historic city with its old bazaars and mosques. We will be writing a piece for the Mountain Pro magazine on this trip so come along and join us to be part of something truly exciting and soul stirring!
Dates: 9th to 18th July 2017
Booking closes by end of April
Group of four sharing twin accommodation
Day 1 (Saturday 9th July): Arrivals in Tabriz. Transfer to Meshkin and mountain huts at 2800m
Day 2 (Sunday 10th) After a breakfast of local cream, honey and herbal tea , the team will hike up to Ayghar Peak at 3850m (7 hrs) On the way back, we will stop at Gheinarche Hot Springs. We will then enjoy traditional Ashiq music and dinner at the campsite.
Day 3 (Monday 11th) Transfer to Gharagol lake by landrovers visiting the Shahsavan nomads on the way. Overnight at Gharagol nomad huts at 3000m.
Day 4 (Tuesday 12th) Climb Sabalan 4800m via the Western flank, stopping at the Stone Eagle shelter on the way back for lunch and continue down to Gharagol camp (8 hours total)
Day 5 (Wednesday 13th) Transfer to Shabil village and hot springs. Descent into Shirvan-dareh Canyon. Chilling out in the area and enjoying freshly caught trouts (from At-Goli lake). Drive back to Meshkin.
Day 6 (Thursday 14th) Transfer to Kaleibar village. Climbing up to Babak Fort. Return to Eynaloo forest camp for lunch, Resting and enjoying fire and barbecue at the camp.
Day 7 (Friday 15th): We drive to Tabriz where we will stop for lunch. From there we continue onto Kandovan village, the well known cliff dwellings. Overnight at hotel
Day 8 (Saturday 16th) Exploring the Kandovan cliff dwellings. Return to Tabriz. Visiting the Il-Goli Park in Tabriz. Overnight at hotel
Day 9 (Sunday 17th) Sightseeing in Tabriz - visiting the grand bazaar, and other world famous sites.
Day 10 (Monday 18th) Transfer to the airport and departures