3 independent reviews for Women only tours to Iran

Reviews for Women only tours to Iran

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review 25 Apr 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Pretty well all of it! Visiting bazaars, cafes and restaurants, historical sites and museums, mosques, and ancient cities. Also the cookery classes, village home stay, overnight sleeper train - and perhaps most of all - experiencing the warmth and friendliness of the Iranian people. The countryside is beautiful - deserts, snow capped mountains, river valleys, orchards and rice paddies. Altogether a great experience, and culturally rich. Our guide, Sahar Makaremy, couldn't have been more helpful and enthusiastic, and she did her best to make the visit a memorable one. She was also a great shopper!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't be put off by the difficulty of getting a visa. Take US dollars or euros, since this is what everyone in Iran wants. Travel light - you can pick up appropriate clothing very cheaply when you're there.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so, especially the home stay, and the local cooking classes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent

review 4 May 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Sitting among hundreds of geladas in the Simien Mountains. Walking in those lovely mountains was also great. The castles of Gondar were gorgeous. Well- designed itinerary but be prepared for a few long days of travel.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bring close-toed sandals. Walking boots for the hikes. Walking sticks for the longer hikes. I didn't take malaria pills and did not see mosquitos because we were at altitude. But others WERE bit by mosquitos so precautions should be taken. Don't change a lot of money at first. Meals can be very inexpensive, especially if you don't drink alcohol.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We didn't encounter many locals except at the hotels. An option of a cooking class would have been appreciated.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Our guide was excellent and professional, albeit a little jaded. He wanted our group to eat together at least one meal a day, but not everyone was inclined to cooperate. The bus was spacious and comfortable, but the operator should provide at least a bottle of water for each person each day and a refrigerator in the bus. I have never been on a vacation like this where the TO neglected to provide a minimum of water. Also, the operator brought us to two locations, Gondar and Aksum where NO tours were included. But in effect we all wound up paying extra for the tours offered as an "option". That is a cheap nickel-and-diming exercise; these two basic tours should be included, and if you want to raise your base price accordingly, you should do so.

review 2 Nov 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Being forbidden to use the Tehran metro without warning despite the fact that traveling in the women's section of this metro was on the itinerary. Unforgetable! Probably breach of contract too.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you are a UK, US or Canadian passport holder now is not the time to visit Iran. Not being allowed to go anywhere without a local guide was awful. Until Iranian law is changed go somewhere else.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not particularly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A huge disappointment. This vacation was missold. We didn't "enjoy a picnic in one of Iranís increasingly prevalent womenís-only parks" we didn't visit any women's parks, we didn't go to "a popular gym to join a yoga class with local women" (according to our local guide no tour group has ever done so and yet this is still specified in the itinerary), we didn't "experience rural nomadic life with Qashqai people" (we stayed overnight in a village house with a young woman from Shiraz who is a professional tour guide and her brother), we didn't "shop for fresh seasonal produce and fragrant spices" to use in the cooking class in Tehran, also in Tehran we didn't "experience the local metro, sitting in the women's only section", we didn't take an overnight train or travel in the women-only compartment of a train or travel by train, the beauty salon in Shiraz had no other customers so the promised lively conversation didn't happen, again we didn't shop for ingredients before the last meal in Shiraz (or cook), our hostess was in the business of hosting tourists for dinners 5 nights a week. This tour was not the promised opportunity to "experience [Iran's] culture from the female perspective" since I was never able to spend significant time with women outside the tourist industry.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Maureen, We write with reference to your recent correspondence to us regarding your travels on our Iran Women's Adventure. I can see you have already been in touch with our Customer Relations team who are looking into your concerns. Your comments are incredibly valuable to us and we will be taking some time in order to look into the matters raised as we also appreciate that it is important to you that we understand your experience. Your further correspondence has been passed onto our Customer Relations team who will liaise with all appropriate personnel. Please allow us up to 28 business days to reply however we do endeavour to respond to you sooner. In the meantime, should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. If you prefer to discuss your comments and concerns over the phone, please provide us with your best contact number so we can arrange a call during business hours.

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