From October 2017 I will travel from Lisbon to Tehran, only by land. I will visit and photograph the following 21 countries on this journey;
- Portugal – Lisbon and Porto
- Spain – A Coruña, Santander, Bilbao
- France – Toulouse, Montpellier, Marseille, Nice
- Monaco – Monte Carlo
- Italy – Milan, Genoa, Pisa, Bologna, Florence, Venice
- San Marino – San Marino
- Slovenia – Ljubljana
- Croatia – Zagreb, Dubrovnik
- Serbia – Novi Sad, Belgrade
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sarajevo
- Montenegro – Podgorica
- Kosovo – Prishtina
- Macedonia – Skopje
- Albania – Tirana
- Greece – Athens
- Bulgaria – Sofia
- Turkey – Istanbul, Ankara, Sivas, Erzurum
- Georgia – Tbilisi
- Azerbaijan – Ganja
- Armenia – Yerevan
- Iran – Tehran, Shiraz
I will travel through all these countries, only by land. There could be some difficulty on obtaining my Iranian visa, for this reason I will apply and hopefully receive the visa in London before leaving to Lisbon. The Iranian visa will be valid for 3 months so this will put a time limit on my journey, I’ll have to travel from Lisbon to Tehran in less than than 3 months.
The reason I chose Lisbon for the starting point to my journey is because just west of Lisbon is the most western point of continental Europe, Cabo da Roca. Being the most western point of Europe and the fact that I am traveling east makes Cabo da Roca / Lisbon the perfect starting point for my overland journey.
I have visited Santander before and I’ll visit again after traveling north from Lisbon through Porto and A Coruña. I’ll then head onto Bilbao before traveling through Southern France and stopping off in the cities of Toulouse, Montpellier, Marseille and Nice. After Nice I’ll pass through Monte Carlo in Monaco.
On my journey east through Europe to the Middle East I will travel only by land. I will travel mainly by bus as I prefer this to train travel.
After France I will travel through Northern Italy and San Marino. I have had the cities of Florence and Venice on my bucket list for a long time as well as seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa. San Marino is a country I’ve never visited so will stay overnight and add it to my list of countries visited.
After Italy I will visit the former Yugoslav states of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia before entering Greece. I must confess I know very little about the former Yugolsav states but I do know there are quite a few UNESCO sites throughout them.
In Greece there are 2 things on my bucket list, Acropolis and Santorini. I will definitely visit Athens and the Acropolis, I am hoping there is a winter ferry service between Athens and the Island of Santorini so I can visit and photograph the Instagammable Island.
From Athens, Greece I will take a bus to Sofia, Bulgaria. Ever since visiting the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Estonia (above), I have wanted to visit the cathedral of the same name in Sofia. From Sofia I will take the night train to Istanbul, Turkey. There are 2 places on my bucket list in Turkey, Istanbul and Cappadocia, anything else I see in Turkey will be a bonus.
From Turkey I will visit the countries of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia before passing through to my final destination, Tehran, Iran. Hopefully I will have reached the Iranian border before my visa expires. In Iran the place I really want to visit, my bucket list item, is the Pink Mosque in Shiraz.
As this is a plan, I can still change it. Have I missed any important cities / sites in any country? Am I passing through your country? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for this trip? Please share them in the comments below.