Imam Khomeini International airport is the new airport, situated 35 km south of Tehran. I was flying to Baku from there and had planed to take a very early bus from Qazvin to Tehran and then a taxi from the bus station to the airport, but when I heard the guide/driver I had to Alamut Castle wanted to have IR 150 000 to take me from the hotel in Qazvin to the airport I thought it was a good deal and more comfortable, and I could sleep longer in the morning.
I would not have saved much money going on my own; taxi in Qazvin to the bus station, bus ticket and taxi from the bus station in Tehran to the airport (I had talked to someone who paid 12 dollars from the airport to Tehran).
The drive only took two hours from door to door, and the driver did not even go too fast, as many other cars did along the road.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Coming to Qazvin I wanted to find out how to get to the Castles of Assassins, Gazor Khan (Alamut Castle) and Lamisar. At Iran Hotel they said it was IR 264 000 (almost 30 dollars) only to go to Gazor Khan and that was a full daytrip. I wanted to see both ruins and went to the Tourist Office to ask. A woman I spoke with on the phone told me to go to a place very early in the morning and from there take a taxi. She thought it would cost not much less than what they had said at Iran Hotel. I decided to go for the more convenient option, to be picked up from the hotel. The evening before going I paid for the tour at the hotel.
At the first sight of the car I got doubts about the tour, but it turned out to be very good. The driver/guide was very knowledgeable and stopped at many places along the road where he knew the scenery was great, we stopped for tea and arriving at Alamut we ate a lot of cherries by a house, just pass the bridge. From there we walked up to the castle (a longer road than the most easy one), a road I would not have taken coming with a taxi. And I also got a lot of information about Gazor Khan (Alamut Castle) and things along the way, which I would not have got from a taxi driver. On the way back from Alamut we also went to Lake Ovan.
The tour took more than eight hours, almost nine hours, and I realised seeing Lamisar (not in the same direction) would have made an absolutely too long day. I was very satisfied with the day even if I only saw Gazor Khan.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
I took a morning bus from Zanjan to Qazvin. Buses are waiting at Ferdosi St and Beheshti (Khayyam) St. I was there at 9:15am but had to wait all passengers to fill the bus beforw it could start off at 10:10am.
The bus was to Tehren and it cost IR20,000 (May 08). It took 2 hours to get to Qazvin. The worse part was that the bus dropped me off not in town of Qazvin, but the highway exit to Qazvin. I was so worried but fortunately, it was a short walk to the local road and from there I caught a shared taxi IR4,000 (May 08) to Darvazeh Rasht roundabout. From there, a shared taxi IR1,000 (May 08) to Hotel Iran.
Please don't take bus from Zanjan to Qazvin, but the train. Train station is less then 2 KM to bazzar / Hotel Iran.
I took a morning train at 9am from Qazvin to Tehreh. The trip was 2 hours, whilst bus may take up to 3 hours. It was 2nd class and costs IR6,000 (May 08). The train is double deck and it is like the communter trains in other countires. It is comfortable with air-con.
Taxi from Iran Hotel to train station was IR10,000 (May 2008), although it could be cheaper.
The car+driver was arranged by Hotel Iran in Qazvin. For 1 person 1 castle Gazor Khan (Alamut Castle) US$50 and 2 castles - both Gazor Khan (Alamut Castle) and Lamiasar US$65. Later in the night the hotel managed to arrange 3 more Swiss travellers to go together. At end, the car charges for 2 castles was US$90 for 4 people.
When we negotiated, the hotel and driver said we could visit the Lake Oven on the way, without saying there would be an extra charge. When we were there, we said we wanted to go, the driver didn't say anything. However, when we returned back to the hotel, the driver then started saying that because we went to the Lake Oven, we had to pay extra. The hotel manager said we should pay IR20,000 for each person. We were so unhappy and reasoned that the driver kept quiet all the way untill we returned back to the hotel. In fact the additional distance for reaching Lake Oven required 8km x 2 ways, so it does not worth IR80,000 for 16 km. At end we decided to pay only IR10,000.
So be careful with the hotel and the drvier. Agreed exactly where you want to go before the engine starts., despite this hotel Iran is highly recommended in LP guide book and the owner even named by the guide book. $$ is $$.