Cycling in Iran – Questions & Answers
Iran is a perfect and unknown destination for cycling for a variety of reasons. Iran is a vast country, located in a special geographical region between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, with a diverse climate and four seasons of weather which made a special climatic condition in the country. In addition, the two long mountain ranges of Alborz and Zagros with numerous high mountains above 4000 meters have created a specific mountain route for cyclists. Embracing plenty of national parks and protected areas alongside the mountain regions with rich wildlife and flora and fauna has increased the attractions of Iran for nature-loving cyclists. In addition, the deserts of Iran are well known among desert lovers and travelers who are the world’s desert fam. The Dasht-e Kavir and Kavir-e Lut are the two famous Iran vast deserts that are amazing destinations for cycling. Passing through the rural regions, the villages, historical regions, and caravanserais that used to be on the route of the ancient Silk Road make an authentic journey for cycling in Iran. Iran is absolutely one of the most popular destinations for cycling in West Asia and the Middle East. All the mentioned attractions, along with the culture, history, and civilization, with 26 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have made Iran an amazing destination for cycling activities in tourism. Yet, there are common questions about cycling in Iran for most cyclists and travelers who wish to travel to Iran.
There are some important points that all cyclists should know about cycling in Iran. They should know the main Iran attractions, Iran classic Route, the most popular Iran UNESCO sites, the best cycling routes in Iran, the best time of cycling in Iran, the rules and regulations of the country, the dress codes, and what to wear.
Since you may have many questions about Cycling in Iran, here we will answer and explain the most common questions about cycling in Iran.
1. When is the best season to travel to Iran for cycling?
It depends on which area of Iran you would like to visit and which type of activities you would like to do! Mountain biking season and road cycling are totally different and the level of difficulty of your trip can also change your travel time. In general, for cycling on low-altitude roads and classic destinations of Iran, springtime is Iran’s best season which includes March, April, and May and another shoulder season is autumn which involves September, October, and November. For mountain biking, it is complicated to mention the general season. For more information about the best travel time for cycling in Iran, please click here!
2. Can I go with my bicycle to Iran?
Yes. You can take your bicycle on the airplane and bring it to Iran. Many of our clients brought their own bicycles to Iran too. For the E-bike, you should know you are not able to take it on the plane. You have to take the battery off.
3. Are Iran roads safe for cycling?
Iran highways and the main roads between urban areas are not safe for cycling and we do not recommend using these roads for Iran’s cycling cycle touring. There are many backroads between small towns and villages in Iran which are perfect for mountain biking.
4. Can I enter Iran via the land borders?
Yes, many cyclists who come from the west enter Iran from the Bazargan border which is the Iran-Turkey border in the northwest of Iran.
5. Can I rent a bicycle in Iran?
Yes, you can hire your desired mountain bike with all of the necessary spare parts from Adventure Iran. We are based in Lavasan in the Tehran suburbs and our main bike storage is in Lavasan. We own another small storage in Tehran too. All of our full suspension bikes are in Lavasan and if it is not possible to come to our office, you have to inform us in advance to deliver them to you in Tehran. Please check and click here to see our bike types.
6. Can I rent a bicycle in other cities in Iran?
At the time that we are writing these questions about cycling in Iran, there are no bicycle rental shops in other cities and we deliver the bikes for travelers to Iran’s main cities. Please get in touch if we can help you with the hiring of your desired bike.
7. Are there any cycling shops in Iran?
Yes, there are plenty of bicycle shops in Iran. There is a famous street called Ghalamestan street in Tehran full of bicycle shops. It is near the famous Razi square (Gomrok is the old name) located in the south of Tehran. In other main cities of Iran, there are also bicycle shops and they sell trusted brands and spare parts as well.
8. Do Iranians ride bicycles?
Yes, of course! Iranians do cycling as a sport. There are many professional cyclists and mountain bikers in Iran who play these sports as their main activities. The population has been growing up in the last ten years and many children do cycling now as well.
9. Do women also ride bicycles in Iran?
Yes, Iranian ladies do cycling too. Many of them travel on domestic tours and the rest do cycling individually.
10. Is cycling a public activity in Iran?
Cycling is not the main activity of Iranians and you cannot find many cyclists who use a bicycle for their everyday activities in the main cities. But there are numerous cycling clubs in Iran and mountain bikers do mountain biking on the weekends or on Iran’s national holidays.
11. Is it safe to travel alone by bicycle in Iran?
Iran is one of the safest places for cycling in Asia for sure, but unfortunately, the media show something else. Many solo riders traveled to Iran and they crossed Iran for their long trips from west to east. Moreover, many of them even extended their visa after one month and stayed in Iran to cycle for another couple of months. There is also a good deal of valid references for travelers who did solo cycle touring in Iran and you can check them online. Besides, there are a couple of books about European cyclists who traveled from the west all the way to the east and they mentioned their experience in Iran in the books. One Year on a Bike is the story of a Dutch cyclist who spent most of his time in Iran and the Iran pages of his book are not comparable with other countries. Other references would be your travel guide books and you can read about cycling in Iran in most of them.
12. Are women allowed to ride bicycles in Iran?
Yes, they are. There are a lot of local riders who ride on a bicycle in different cities of Iran. In addition, many female cyclists traveled to Iran with our cycling group tours and even they came individually to do cycle touring in Iran. In our cycling and mountain biking photo gallery on the website, you can see many ladies on our trips.
13. Are there any limitations for women cycling in the cities or villages in Iran?
Not at all, there are no limitations for female cyclists in special areas of cities or villages.
14. I am a female cyclist and is it safe for a woman with a bicycle in Iran?
Yes, it is. We saw different solo female cyclists in different regions of Iran. For this case, you have to spend time to know the best possible routes you can cross the country.
15. How are Iran’s main roads?
Iran’s main roads are almost busy all the time and Iranians’ driving does not have a good reputation. The number of car accidents is high. We do not recommend traveling by bicycle through Iran motorways or main roads.
16. How are Iran’s back roads or Iran’s detour roads for cycling?
There are a lot of small roads in remote areas between Iran’s small towns. They are mostly used for local vehicles and they connect main cities as well. The roads in the mountains between villages are perfect for cycling. Please check this link to see the photo gallery of our site about cycling and road types
17. How are the terrains in Iran?
Most roads in Iran are asphalt and there are high-quality tarmac roads even in remote areas or rural districts. If you are a mountain biker, there is also an abundance of dirt roads with scenic sceneries in the mountains and desert regions of Iran, and they are perfect for mountain biking. Depending on your fitness level, there are also many single-track mule roads that are perfect for professional riders who want to go downhill.
18. What should women wear for cycling in Iran?
Women must wear Hijab in Iran. It means they have to cover their hair, arms, and legs according to Islamic rules and regulations. It means that women CAN NOT wear short sleeve shirts in public areas in Iran. Moreover, long sleeve shirts which cover up to the knees are recommended in cities. However, women can wear leggings and mountain biking shirts in nature when they do activities like cycling. In the villages or small towns, they should wear the clothes that they use in the cities. If you check a few cycling tours in the Photo Gallery of the website, you will have a better idea about your dress code in Iran.
19. Should women wear headscarves when cycling in Iran?
There is no necessity of wearing a scarf when they do cycling. They can use Buff to cover their hair under the bicycle helmet. It is recommended to cover all the hair and neck when you do cycling in public places such as in cities, towns, and villages.
20. What is the dress code for guys?
The guys can wear mountain biking shorts in nature when they do cycling and they can also wear short sleeve shirts.
21. What is the social code when I cycle in Iran in remote areas and villages?
In some remote areas of mountains or rural regions, taking pictures of locals, especially women, is not recommended. It is always better to ask before focusing on your camera. Taking pictures of women from men is not common too and you have to be aware of this matter in local areas. People in Iran are so sociable and they like to talk with you and be your host. You can ask them to take a group photo or they may ask you to take a picture of yourself and it is common in Iran.
22. How can I find the spare parts for my bicycle in Iran?
Most bicycle shops sell general spare parts for cycle touring bicycles and mountain bikes. If you look for something special, you have to be sure of being here before your departure.
23. Can I rent an E-Bike in Iran?
Unfortunately, at the time of writing these questions about cycling, there is no place to rent an E-bike in Iran.
24. Is it possible to ride a bicycle in Iranian cities?
Yes, it is, but you should be aware that there is no separate road for cyclists in the streets of main cities and you must be careful about your cycling. The numbers of driving accidents are high in Iran.
25. Is there a special bicycle line for cycling in Iranian cities?
In many cities, there is no special part of the street for a cyclist like in European or other countries. So you have to cycle in the main street alongside other vehicles.
26. Is it safe to do cycling in Iran’s urban areas?
We do not recommend cycling in main cities in Iran as the number of car accidents is too much. In the small cities or towns, we recommend you to cycle on the narrow streets or through the alleys.
27. Can I travel everywhere that I like with my bicycle in Iran?
You can travel in most parts of Iran with your bicycle but there are some restricted areas and you should be aware of that. In some parts of Iran, traveling is prohibited and some parts need permission from different organizations. Moreover, some special environmental areas, National Parks, and Natural Conservation areas such as Kahrtouran, Dena Park, and Lar Park need a permission letter from Iran Environmental Organization.
28. Can I take pictures from everywhere during my cycling trip to Iran?
In most areas, you can take a picture during your trip by bicycle, but some places belong to the military services and you are not allowed to take videos or pictures. In a few places, you can’t see the (No Photo) sign and you should be careful where you are.
29. Is there a cycling map for Iran?
Unfortunately, you cannot find any cycling and mountain biking maps in Iran. There is no topography map of nature for different activities.
30. If you cannot find your questions in the above question list about cycling in Iran, please send your question to us and we will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.
Iran Cycling Notes:
- If you travel to Iran during the high season, you have to be aware of Iran’s national holidays and Nowruz which is the Iranian long Persian New Year holidays, and cycling during the time is a little complicated. The main road would be full of traffics in all directions and the small roads would be dangerous during the Nowrooz holiday.
- If cycling is not the main reason for your travel to Iran but you are interested in cycling for a couple of days during your travel in Iran, you can do cycling depending on the region you are in. Adventure Iran as the main cycling tour operator in Iran provides a wide range of short cycling tours in different regions of the country, especially around Tehran the capital. Please get in touch and we will arrange your cycling excursion according to your travel time.