The best thing about the Mongol Rally as travelling the world by road is seeing how the landscape, climate and culture are changing. We are used to travelling by plane and finding ourselves in another world suddenly as if we were teleporting. However, when travelling by car, you realize that everyone is connected.
Now that you selected Iran to be in your Mongol Rally route, let us tell you more about all you need to know. For years we have been trusted by the Mongol Rally Convoys and helped numerous teams to cross Iran hassle-free while visiting as much as possible. Our professional team consists of helpful tour guides who advise you on finding the refuelling stations and mechanics as well as showing you the best of each city on the way. Our team at any of Iran borders will assist you with all the documentation to help you and your car allowed enter Iran. Our team at the office who advise you about the itinerary, apply for your Iran visas and permissions as well as doing the reservations. Don’t hesitate to ask our office team any question and you will get the answer in a timely manner.
In this article we will answer all these questions:
- Is Iran worth to be included in Mongol Rally Route?
- What are the requirements to include Iran in the Mongol Rally route?
- What is the process of getting Iran visa for Mongol Rally participants?
- What is the process of getting Iran visa for US, UK and CA Mongol rally convoys?
- How to get the “Carnet de passage” at Iran border?
- What can a travel route through Iran look like for the Mongol Rally convoys?
- How safe is Iran for Mongol rally?
- How are the roads in Iran?
- The best border to enter Iran?
- Fuel in Iran
- Spare Parts & Repair shops
- How much does it cost to do the rally Iran?
- What to pack for Mongol Rally?
Is Iran worth to be included in Mongol Rally Route?
“Iran is short summarized fantastic.” That is not what we say but it is mentioned by the visitors. Iran can be the highlight on the list of the countries you are going to pass through on your Mongol Rally route.
If you are sceptical to pass through a country which is often in the media, let me tell you, Iran from the inside is totally different. Friendly people, old history and delightful cuisine are some big-pluses to mention. The truth is that many good things happen every day and you see incredible places. Do not lose any detail about it.
The first point that you should list Iran in the countries you will cross is that Iranians are friendly and hospitable, doing their best to please all visitors to show the best sides of the country and culture. As soon as you ask to find an address in cities, people may lead you to show the way. When you reach the location safely, they simply smile and wave you goodbye.
Iran is a diverse country with an exciting history that is one of the oldest in the world, so this country has an unbelievably diverse touristic resource that you can visit while crossing the cities. Iran gave mankind its first monotheistic religion (Zoroastrianism). It has successfully preserved its language and culture, despite Muslim conquest. Its scientists have brought decisive technical advances to the world that have contributed to the development of all mankind.
You can delight your days with tasting Persian cuisine on your way. Don’t forget that any part of Iran has its own special cuisine, so try all.
What are the requirements to include Iran in the Mongol Rally route?
The important document you need to have to be allowed to drive a car in Iran are as below:
- Iran visa
- Carnet de passage en douane
- Turkmenistan visa
- Drivers license and car documents
- Spare parts
What is the process of getting Iran visa for Mongol Rally participants?
As travelling overland, you need to cross the border. Therefore, the first and most important rule of Iran visa is that all the nationalities (except the few visa-free ones) need to apply for their visas beforehand and collect it from an embassy before arriving at the border.
The visa process for almost all the nationalities is really nothing to it. You only need to:
- Send us your visa form, passport scan, your photo (email@example.com)
- Get the visa code in 2 working days
- Refer to an Iranian embassy to collect the visa in a working day
Iran process for the US, UK and CA nationalities is more time consuming following different process at our side.
What is the process of getting Iran visa for US, UK and CA Mongol rally convoys?
First off, let us assure you don’t need to worry about the result, all Iran visa requests we applied for the US, UK and CA nationalities were approved by 100% until now. So, don’t hesitate to get yourself a chance.
You’d better know that the process needs about 30-40 working-day time. The step by step Iran visa process is followed:
1. Send us your visa form, passport scan, your photo + working CV (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Get the visa code in 30-40 working days
3. Refer to an Iranian embassy to collect the visa on a working day
How to get the “Carnet de passage” at Iran border?
The next document you need to enter Iran is the carnet de passage, that is, the visa for the car. Now I explain the two options that exist. Processing it with one of the Carnet providing companies that are both expensive and requires paper-works. The other option is to contact us to provide the carnet for you at Iran border at lower rates. Once you are at the border, we will take care of the entire process including signing the documents, register car details, etc. Keep in mind that with this temporary permit, you only have 7-10 days to be in Iran.
What can a travel route through Iran look like for the Mongol Rally convoys?
There is so much to discover in Iran. Here, I give you a guide so that you can decide about various options that can be your best route for crossing Iran along the Mongol Rally.
The route begins in the northwest, with an entry from Turkey or Armenia and ends up to Turkmenistan in the northwest.
The prototypical itinerary requests in Iran had been conservative, mostly about 5-7 days from west to the east visiting mainly the cities of Tabriz and Tehran as well as some other smaller cities of Qazvin and Zanjan en route.
The next option suitable for the ones who are in hurry is through the road along the Caspian Sea in 4-5 days.
The challenge to improvise the route in past led some teams to detour through the centre and south Iran covering more cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan and Yazd. We notify that crossing Iran deserts during summer can be a challenge with the Mongol rally cars, however, we have done it successfully several times with more than 30 convoys.
After all, do not spend too much time planning your route or reviewing maps and guides, trust the itinerary and advice what we suggest you. Let us know what you like to visit, to offer you the best itinerary.
How safe is Iran for Mongol rally?
Every year since 2004, the British company, the Adventurist, brings together more than 300 vehicles ready to cover more than 10,000 kilometres between Europe and Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Many of those cross Iran, leaving with great memories.
Iran is safe to travel and the Iranians are the kindest and most hospitable people in the world. Violence against foreigners, racism and bad behaviour are rarely seen in Iran.
All said, that doesn’t mean you should forget the precautions. One of the main ones for you as a driver is to be very attentive to traffic. In the main cities, traffic can be chaotic.
Iran drives on the right and officially the speed limits are 120kmh on highways, 80-100km on rural roads and 60kmh in urban areas.
If you’re in an accident, call the emergency number 110 for police, 115 for the ambulance. You should never move the vehicle from the road until the police have come to make their report.
Take comfort, however, as the history shows most foreign drivers (on Mongol Rally or not) make it across Iran without too much trouble.
Read more about the safety in Iran: Is it safe to travel to Iran? An Ultimate Guide
How are the roads in Iran?
Iran has expanded a massive road network (around 180,000km) of its domestic roads that connect major cities and also for linking up to neighbouring countries to facilitate trade. So, you can easily reach every corner of the country by following the correct road.
On the major routes expect no problems as road surfaces are generally excellent in Iran. The traffic signs in major cities and on intercity roads are mostly in English and Farsi.
Driving at night is more dangerous because of occasional unmarked holes and the risk of running into tractors, unmarked speed bumps and other vehicles crawling along the road with no lights.
The best border to enter Iran?
Iran is a vast country with extensive land borders and numerous entry points for vehicles in all directions. The most important borders for the Mongol Rally participants are the below ones:
- Iran – Turkey border crossings
The main road across the Turkish border is between Gürbulak (Turkey) and Bazargan. There are hotels, currency exchange offices and regular transport services on each side.
Another passage available is between Esendere (Turkey) and Sero, near Ormia. However, there is no accommodation and transportation is less frequent.
- Iran – Armenia border crossings
In the 35 km border between Armenia and Iran, there is a single crossing located in Norduz. This border is the best for getting the carnet de passage.
- Iran – Azerbaijan border crossings
The border can be crossed at three different points but the one to get the carnet de passage is between the Azerbaijani and Iranian Astara.
- Iran – Turkmenistan border crossings
Best border for the rally convoys is Bajgiran / Incheh Borun that connects Iran to Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital. All the paperwork required to travel around Turkmenistan is a hassle, so take care to apply for your Turkman visa in a timely manner to have it before entering Iran.
Check Iran Borders To know more about all Iran borders.
Iran is one of the world top 4 oil producers and because of that gas, petrol and diesel (gasoline) are plentiful and rather cheap in the country. In the past, you had to organize a fuel card but that is no longer necessary. Each gas station attendant has his own fuel card.
The gas station network is almost dense everywhere in Iran. However, it’s really important to know what type of fuel the refuelling stations have to offer. All the cars run on petrol or gas, only the trucks run on diesel. So, you can expect to find petrol and gas everywhere. If you use diesel, you need to carry enough fuel with you or use the opportunities at the stations because there is not diesel at every station.
The continuous IRR devaluated makes travel to Iran by car one the most cost-effective. While the Iranian drivers fill up for 30,000 Rials per litre, you may be asked to pay 60,000 Rials per litre. It is always suggested to clarify the price beforehand.
Spare Parts & Repair shops
Iranians are professional in repairing cars and you can easily find a mechanic even in the remote areas so you can finally find a solution to get your car repaired. The price for repair work is open to negotiation but you won’t have much choice when it comes to spare parts.
Having some knowledge of mechanics always helps, although it is not essential to continue thanks to the expertise and knowledge of its members.
When it comes to the spare parts, travelling on the Mongol Rally cars may cause a challenge. Some car model spare parts may not be easily found in the country. If your needed spare part can not be found in Iran, you may ask anyone abroad to send it to you by postal service. Or the final option is that we will tow your car to the entrance border for free.
How much does it cost to do the rally Iran?
Depending on the number of participants, the price may differ but it is always really reasonable for satisfying services. There are several packages ready so depending on your places of interest you can select one. The routes are previously tested by other rally teams during the past years, means that we know how to do it hassle-free. Get in touch to offer you a quoted package.
What to pack for Mongol Rally?
When you finish packing, check it once more and remove half of the things that you may not need. Pack some warm clothes for Mongolia and long trousers or scarf for Iran. Read more about the dress code in Iran.
Sometimes finding food may be a little difficult, so don’t forget to have some canned food and dehydrated food with you. Pasta and a small stove will save your life on unpredicted occasions. For Iran, you will find good restaurants and delicious food everywhere. Don’t forget to try the local food in each region.