Cycling in Iran and Turkey – Crossing the border from Orumiyeh to Van – Route Information

 Here’s a full route profile of the 293 km journey through spectacular mountain scenery with the slight whiff of danger from drug smugglers, people traffickers and general border dodginess.
There are lots of army checkpoints with occasional tanks rolling along the quiet roads followed by troop carriers or machine guns mounted on jeeps.
People stop you and warn you not to leave the road to the East (near the Iranian border) and you’re never sure if they’re being kind or threatening. Police men offer to escort you to your ‘hotel’ and are amazed when you say you are just camping. Locals mime men carrying knives and guns and ask you to stay with them….

Yet despite all this it’s a beautiful place, the mountains in May and June are stunning, the road's always interesting and despite the warnings it’s relatively easy to find secluded camping places, especially near the mountain passes and you’re more likely to meet a shepherd with his goats than a smuggler.
Here’s a route profile and a full route description. There’s about 3500m of climbing in the three days it should take you, but it is generally well graded and never boring:

1 comment :

  1. hi Simon and Isabelle,

    your trips and photos are amazing. with the detailed trip notes, you are doing a really good job for other cyclists. I am trying to put up a website about Turkey. www.iwasinturkey.com. it is about people's experiences in turkey. would you be interested publishing one of your articles and photos about turkey in my website woth a referral link back to yours.
    let me know what you think. you can reach me via info@iwasinturkey.com
    good luck