With its recent relaxation in visa policy Iran has seen an increase in adventure travelers entering the country. And for a reason as the country is home to some of the world’s most ancient culture and spectacular landscapes with 5000+ meter high mountains, never-ending deserts and a massive long river named the Karun Iran his longest. It is this latter body of water that a bunch of adventurers went to tackle in 2014 resulting in an epic adventure film.

Following the Karun Iran ’s longest river

In the spring of 2014, adventure filmmakers Tom Allen (of Janapar, love on a bicycle fame)and Leon McCarron (of Into the Empty Quarter fame) set out to explore a broad slice of culture and geography of Iran by following the country’s longest river, the Karun, from source to sea. Their aim was to go beyond the politics and explore the culture and geography of this most misunderstood of nations – and have a great adventure doing so. And they succeeded big time.

River travel and exploration

What they found – like many a traveler to Iran can acknowledge – was a country markedly different to the one so often portrayed in Western media. Being culturally inclined travelers both Tom and Leon were driven to try and fight the growing amount of bigotry and hatred towards the cultures of this part of the world. That’s what had drawn them to the country in the first place. And what better way to do this then travel the length of the nation with the Karun river as the symbolic geographic feature! They went on foot, by bicycle and canoe slowly making their way downstream, exploring the entire 1000km length of Iran’s only navigable river the Karun.

Karun Iran Hiking biking paddling Iran’s longest river source to sea

Exploration was done in very similar fashion to how the great Martin Strell – aka Big River Man – used river exploration’s (by swimming the entire length of those rivers) of the Amazon, Yangtze, Danube and Mississippi to raise awareness to local pollution and cultural issues.   

Challenges while traveling in Iran

Yet they also discovered that filming and travelling in Iran presented its own challenges, causing them to question many of the freedoms they took for granted in their own existence. This, together with the amazing undiscovered adventure travel possibilities, represented the biggest lesson of the journey, and one of the central themes of the story they found in this stunning, misunderstood nation.

Have a look below at their kickass adventure travel film exploring the full-length of the Karun river.

Find the full movie here: http://karunfilm.com/