Alpine Garden Society

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A Tour for the AGS run by Greentours
Dionysia enthusiasts will already know that so many of this choice genus originate in Iran and in particular the great arc of the Zagros Mountains that stretch from the Turkish border almost to the Persian Gulf. They provide splashes of intense colour that illuminate a mountainous landscape of astonishingly varied topography. In the far south and east of these great mountains are isolated many little known and beautiful species.

Pink mounds of Dionysia curvifolia adorn the slopes of Yazd’s impressive Schir Kuh range whilst nearby mountains hold the fantastic Dionysia janthina whose silvery mounds are covered in tight masses of pink often yellow-eyed blooms. Back near Shiraz we’ll find a third pink species, lovely bryoides flowering above slopes dotted with tulips, both red Tulipa systola and the rare yellow form of the same plant. Here are Gentiana olivieri, all manner of Astragalus, and fine pink Fritillaria gibbosa. The wilds of Dasht-e Arjan to the west of Shiraz hold plentiful wild Crown Imperials as well as Muscaris and Orchids. There are orange and yellow Dionysias too, rare Dionysia sarvestanica, bushy Dionysia revoluta and amid the Zagrosian oak forest colonies of tight flowered Dionysia zagrica. Herds of impressive Larestan Red Sheep wander the wilds of Bamu where we’ll see Goitred Gazelle, Golden Jackal and hopefully Striped Hyenas as well as delicate striped Campanula persepolitana, stands of orange and pink Ebenus stellata and magnificent Glaucium elegans. Maharlu’s waters host myriad wildfowl as well as thousands of Red-necked Phalaropes and around Tashk Lake are flocks of Pelicans and Common Cranes. Small pink Gladiolus persicus colour pistachio-amygdalus forests where we’ll encounter little-known Bellevalias such as cyanopoda, heweri and decolorans. Iran's fabulous historical and architectural heritage cannot be ignored and by a happy co-incidence we are able to start the tour in the ancient majesty of Persepolis. Nearby the cliffs of Naghsh-e Rostam hold patches of clear yellow Dionysia diapensifolia overlooking the magnificent tombs of Darius and Xerxes.



12 Days

25th March - 5th April 2012

Cost = £2995

Ground Only Price Shiraz – Shiraz = £2395

Deposit = £300

Single Supplement = £245*

* does not apply if you are willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged



UK return flights are from London Heathrow to Shiraz via Istanbul. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available.

*These routes may incur a supplement.


Dionysia bryoides  


Day 1To Shiraz

Day 2 Dionysia michauxii

Day 3 Kherameh-Sarvestan Pass

Day 4 Persepolis, Naghsht-e-Rostam & Bamu National Park

Day 5 Sipadan

Day 6 Across the desert to Yazd

Days 7 & 8 Shir Kuh

Days 9 & 10 Kerman & the Southern route to Shiraz

Day 11 Dasht-e-Arjan & Kazerun

Day 12 Depart Shiraz/Arrive UK



Leaders Ian Green and Mehran Etimadi

Walking Usually up to three or four miles in a day, optionally more. Though Dionysias grow mainly on cliffs the majority of species are readily accessible though some require an uphill walk, occasionally steep. One or two species might require negotiating some scree. The rest of the plantlife is easy to get to!

Included in the Price All flights. All transport, meals, accommodation and tips in Iran. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, Iranian Visas (Greentours will provide all the necessary assistance in procuring these), and items of a personal nature including insurance, are not included.

Group Size The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15.

Accommodation The first five nights of this tour, and the last three nights, will be at the excellent four star Parseh Hotel in Shiraz. This modern hotel is handily placed for some of the city’s best shopping in the marvellous Vakil Bazaar. In the middle are three nights at the lovely old Dad Hotel in Yazd. Here the comfortable rooms look out onto a quiet central courtyard. The building is topped by a traditional wind tower. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.

Climate Usually warm and often clear and sunny in the day and cool, or even cold at night. The may be some rainfall and it can be cold enough to snow in places at higher altitudes.


For further information, or to book a place on this tour, please contact Greentours

Tel 01298 83563


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