From Almaty to Tehran via Central Asia Aboard the Golden Eagle

“NewThis remarkable rail journey by private train follows the trail of caravan merchants and explorers through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, as well as dazzling Iran. Admire the breathtaking Uzbek oases of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, and visit Turkmenistan’s burning Darvaza Gas Crater, called locally the “Door to Hell.” Enter Iran and discover the luxuriant gardens of Shiraz, the gracious architecture of Isfahan, and the fascinating ruins of Persepolis, experiencing nine UNESCO sites before the journey ends in Iran’s exciting capital, Tehran.

16 Day Trip

See
Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Why end mights on this Tour
  • Explore the majestic Registan in UNESCO-listed Samarkand
    Applaud the unsurpassed majesty of the Registan and learn about the architectural wonders of fabled Samarkand....
    Read More
  • Get a glimpse of the burning Darvaza Gas Crater
    Take a peek at the glowing rim of the eerie Darvaza Gas Crater, locally known as the “Door to Hell”...
    Read More
  • Survey the complex Persian architecture of beautiful Isfahan
    Survey the complex Persian architecture of Isfahan’s gracefully proportioned UNESCO-listed Imam Square, decorated with cobalt, turquoise and lapis lazuli mosaic tiles....
    Read More
  • Explore Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings
    Awaken to ancient history as you stand in the shadow of the colossal marble pillars of Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid kings and a celebrated...
    Read More
Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 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
Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Almaty, Tashkent

In Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business center, admire Zenkov Cathedral and Panfilov Park. In Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, view one of the oldest Korans in the world.

Highlights

  • Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital and largest city
  • Lofty Tien Shan Mountain Range
Read More

Days 4-6: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva

Visit the three UNESCO-listed Uzbek oasis cities. In Samarkand, admire gracious Registan Square and Ulug Bek Observatory. Explore Bukhara’s 2,000-year-old Ark Citadel and the emir’s Palace of the Moon and Stars. Wander Khiva’s atmospheric Old Town.

Highlights

  • Samarkand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site called “Crossroads of Cultures”
  • Registan Square, Samarkand’s most famous landmark
Read More

Days 7-8: Darvaza, Ashgabat, Sarakhs, Mashad

Leave the train in the early hours to see the burning Darvaza Gas Crater, aka the “Door to Hell.” Spend an afternoon in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, admiring its marble and gold monuments. Explore the ruins of ancient Sarakhs, as well as the holy city of Mashad, renowned for its Imam Reza Shrine.

Highlights

  • Flaming gas crater of Darvaza
  • Capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, with marble and gold monuments
Read More

Days 9-10: Yazd, Rayen, Mahan, Kerman

In UNESCO-listed Yazd, visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple and its eternal flame. Pause at the ancient fortress of Arg-e Rayen, at least a thousand years old, and continue by coach to Mahan to enjoy the UNESCO-listed Shahzadeh Persian garden. In Kerman, browse the Grand Bazaar.

Highlights

  • 5th century Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd
  • Arg-e Rayen, thousand-year-old ancient citadel
Read More

Days 11-12: Shahdad, Isfahan

From Shahdad, drive into the Dasht-e Lut salt desert to see the kalouts, fantastical sand formations recently added to the World Heritage List. In Isfahan, take in graceful UNESCO-listed Imam Square, and shop the fascinating Qeisarieh Bazaar.

Highlights

  • Fantastic sand formations called kalouts in the UNESCO-listed Dasht-e Lut Desert outside Shahdad
  • Vank Cathedral, the heart of the Armenian-Iranian community
Read More

Days 13-16: Persepolis, Shiraz, Tehran

Discover the ruins of Persepolis, an important capital of the ancient world. In beautiful Shiraz, visit the Tomb of Hafez, one of Iran’s favorite poets. And in Iran’s capital, Tehran, admire Golestan Palace, glittering with mirrors.

Highlights

  • UNESCO-listed Persepolis, one of the most important sites of the ancient world
  • “City of Roses and Nightingales,” Shiraz
Read More

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

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 16 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person

  • Silver Class, twin share
    $20,395
  • Silver Class, single
    $30,795
  • Gold Class, twin share
    $24,395
  • Gold Class, single
    $36,395
  • Imperial Suite Class, twin share
    $11,895
  • Imperial Suite Class, single
    $81,795

2019 Dates

  • October 2-17
  • FROM
  • $20,395
What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Accommodation aboard the Golden Eagle private train.
  • Per the itinerary, 4 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…

Consider an extended program in Iran, or explore the other Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. 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: An Enigmatic Exploration

    Ancient Persia, Modern Iran: An Enigmatic Exploration

    Follow along with MIR Corporation Tour Specialist Meaghan Samuels as she explores beautiful and enigmatic Iran on MIR's Ancient Persia, Modern Iran small group tour.... Read More

See All Journals
MIR in the News
See All Remember & children
From the Blog
See All Blog Posts

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

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)

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • 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.

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • 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) – 11 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)

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Accommodations

    The first and last nights of most tours are spent in well-appointed 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.

    Additional Information

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • 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

    (click on photo to see larger version)


  • Off-Train Tours

    Off-Train Tours

    Rail journeys feature an extensive line-up of educational city tours at the various stops on the 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).