As of January 24


There are large shopping malls with every kind of food imaginable. However, on the street the vegetables and fruits are much fresher and better. Of course, there are almost no Western brands, but the Iranians have simply developed the most important brands themselves and have very similar designs. The butcher shops are sometimes very difficult to find, but when we find them, the meat is highly recommended.


We were rarely able to find water at a gas station. However, there are water connections at the frequent picnic areas or at mosques. Once we were able to get water from a water purifier for a fee. The water we filled up with was always of very good quality.


Diesel is a problem in Iran. However, the price is a dream, we paid an average of CHF 0.06 per liter. However, obtaining diesel is not easy. Basically, in Iran you can only get diesel with a diesel card. However, a diesel card is not issued to tourists. Local truck drivers receive a diesel card that allows them to fill up with between 100 and 300 liters of diesel per day, depending on their work. Foreign, e.g. Turkish truck drivers receive a diesel card with 200 liters per day. Some gas station attendants also have a diesel card so that they can sell so-called free diesel. The price of free diesel is a matter of negotiation. Officially the diesel costs 300 IRR. Officially, tourists receive 100 liters of diesel per day from the gas station attendants with an appropriate quota for 600 IRR per liter. The free diesel can be up to 20 times the official price depending on the friendliness of the seller, truck driver or gas station attendant. The system was installed because Iran sells diesel so cheaply and the surrounding countries charge much more for a liter, which creates a great risk of diesel smuggling. This should be prevented by the small amount released at a time. Of course, the system also means that all truck drivers have to refuel every day and there are corresponding queues at the gas stations. Especially at the borders with Pakistan, the gas stations were often completely out of diesel.


The currency, the Iranian Rial (IRR), is not freely convertible and is worthless abroad. Since the Americans have banned Iranians from international payments, foreign credit cards cannot be used in Iran. However, Iranians themselves pay almost exclusively with their credit cards. As a tourist you have to exchange USD or EUR in an exchange office or at a jeweler in the bazaar. The amount of currency is complicated. Around 500,000 IRR corresponds to 1 CHF, so we always operate with large numbers. The second problem is that Iranians never actually speak of the rial, but of the toman. Toman is the old currency and is equivalent to ten times the rial. Since the numbers are still very large, the goods are offered for, for example, 10 Toman, but what is meant is 10,000 Toman. After almost two months we had it somewhat under control!

Overnight places

We didn’t see any official campsites in Iran. But what you find a lot are picnic areas near cities. We were camping mostly wild. This is easily possible, but it is recommended that you are not visible from the street, otherwise the police will come by and carry out an hour-long inspection.


With Irancell we used around 175GB in almost two months. The internet reception is exemplary except in the desert, we had good reception everywhere. Since Iran does not want to allow American sites, social media can only be accessed via a VPN. We used a Swiss VPN, but local VPNs are also available from relevant cell phone shops. All Iranians use a VPN.


The road network is very good, we would definitely have preferred more dirt roads. The streets are obviously mostly from the times before the Islamic Revolution, and as a result are in a desolate condition even though road construction projects have started everywhere!

Regulations for heavy motor vehicles

We have not found any different regulations to Europe. Often you are not allowed to drive a truck into cities, but that is entirely understandable.

Customs formalities


We entered Serov from Turkey. When we were finally able to drive through the first gate in the crowd, the process was very well organized. Like so often every officer tried to look into our vehicle under some pretext, which we at the end refused to do.

Handling time: 2 hours

Visa fees per person CHF 230.00, insurance CHF 100.00


We left for Iraq near Shalamcheh. First, we were able to have our carnet stamped by a competent female official and then it was our turn to leave the country in person. We were at the border in the early morning. During the night at around 2 a.m. the computer system collapsed. A rumor spread that Israelis had hacked the system. At 2 p.m. the pressure from those waiting, several hundred people, was so great that the officials opened the gates without a computer and simply stamped all the papers that were presented to them, including our passports. We probably haven’t left yet in the Iranian computer system.

Handling time: 6 hours

Personal observations

The extreme hospitality of the Iranians is proverbial. As an overlander, it is difficult to refuse the frequent invitations because they are always serious and very kind. When we meet the Iranians, they always try to give us some food. There are many rules and restrictions in Iran, but the population always finds a way to still make life comfortable.

Our personal highlights

1 Grand Canyon of Iran, canyon, N32° 29.793′ E48° 42.282′
2 Kashan, historical town, N33° 59.172′ E51° 26.609′
3 Pass bei Do Ab, mountain pass, N32° 08.570′ E50° 08.710′
4 Kalouts, Rock formations, N30° 49.694′ E57° 47.891′
5 Strasse Bashi nach Arabi, sceenic route, N28° 42.187′ E51° 12.491′
6 Esfahan, historical town, N32° 40.236′ E51° 39.957′
7 Shahyun Road , hill country, N32° 28.712′ E48° 30.945′
8 zwischen Syrch und Golbaf, sceenic route, N30° 03.959′ E57° 39.114′
9 Persepolis, historical site, N29° 56.120′ E52° 53.376′
10 Strasse 65, sceenic route, N28° 06.134′ E52° 19.339′

Our statistics

Average daily expenses for 2 people in CHF:

Food                                          6.82
Alcohol                                     0.00
HH non-food                             0.01
Clothes                                      0.00
Excursions                                1.42
Restaurant                                 0.68
Accommodation, campsite       0.00
Transport, road customs           1.93
Internet/phone                           1.85
Fees                                           0.06
Personal care                             0.00
1 liter diesel                              0.06

The price of diesel is a dream.