The Istanbul-Tehran train is in three parts – Turkish train, boat across Lake Van, Iranian train – and takes almost three days. It costs about €40 one-way, which includes a bed.
Unfortunately, modernisation of the Turkish rail network got in the way! They have introduced a high-speed rail connection between Istanbul and Ankara, so the overnight train option is no longer available for that section. This kind of spoiled the whole idea of the epic three-day journey, so we revised our plan. The new idea is:
- fly from Paris to Tehran (via Baku);
- travel by train within Iran (Alborz Mountains, Alamut Valley, Esfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis);
- take the train from Tabriz to Van in Turkey;
- visit eastern Anatolia (Göbekli Tepe, Cappadocia) by car/bus;
- fly to Istanbul.
View Iran-Turkey 2014 in a larger map