Silk Road Central Asia Tour Throughout Five Stans

Silk Road Central Asia Tour Throughout Five Stans

Central Asia is so jam-packed with historical and natural sights that it would literally take years to explore the area. The 14-day trip across five countries allows to see the most interesting places picked in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Guaranteed departure dates 2020:

16 Mar
6 Apr
20 Apr
4 May
18 May
1 Jun
27 Jul
24 Aug
7 Sep
21 Sep
5 Oct
19 Oct

Inclusions:
  • All transfers: 3-7 pax on minivan/van, 8-16 pax by 20 seat bus;
  • Accommodation in 4-star and 3-star hotels, based on double/twin room sharing, in camping and homestay;
  • Sightseeing tour program with English speaking guides in each country;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights and trains;
  • Visa support;
  • Meals: breakfasts daily,  5 lunches, 4 dinners;
  • Tour leaders to accompany the group (for 6 or more travellers only);
  • Tips to local drivers and guides.
Highlights:

Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, Samarkand, Seven Lakes, Penjikent, Bukhara, Mary (Merv), Ashgabat, Darvaza Gas Crater, Karakum Desert, Khiva, Urgench

Day 1: Arrival to Almaty (KAZ)

  • ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT
  • TRANSFER FROM THE AIRPORT
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN ALMATY

Day 2: Almaty (KAZ)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • MEETING WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
ALMATY CITY TOUR
Almaty at night

Start the sightseeing tour in Almaty by visit Panfilov Park, a distinctive architectural building of  Zenkov Cathedral, Republic Square, and the Central State Kazakhstan Museum to follow a reflection of the centuries-long history of Kazakhstan in tangible assets.

  • LUNCH AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT

After a welcome lunch, a short drive (25 km) will take you to Chimbulak. Here, visit the ski resort and ride the cable car to enjoy the amazing views of the snowy peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains. Our last stop of the day will be the Sunkar Falcon Farm, where you’ll enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks – hunting with these magnificent birds is a distinguishing feature of the Kazakh way of life.

Return to the hotel by 18:00.

  • FREE TIME
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN ALMATY

Day 3: Almaty – Bishkek (KAZ/ KYR)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • TRANSFER TO ALMATY AIRPORT
  • FLIGHT TO BISHKEK (DEPARTURE AT 10:30 AM)
  • ARRIVAL TO BISHKEK (11:25 AM)
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
BISHKEK CITY TOUR
Bishkek Ala Too Square

A 3-4 hour afternoon sightseeing tour will follow, featuring Oak Park, Ala Too Square, the Statue of Manas, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Philharmonic Hall, and the Victory Monument – all impressive examples of Soviet urban design and architecture.

  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL

Day 4: Bishkek – Burana – Don Aryk – Bishkek – Tashkent (KYR/ UZB)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • MEETING WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
Burana Tower

The first stop en-route is the Burana Tower, a part of an ancient city of Balasagun dated to the 11th – 13th centuries, and now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next on the agenda will be an exciting Kyrgyz national horse game called “Ulak Tartysh” (goat pulling). Ulak Tartysh, also known as Kok Boru, is a fight between two teams of horse riders for a goat carcass. Transfer to Don Aryk village.

  • LUNCH AT LOCAL KYRGYZ FAMILY

After lunch, watch a demonstration of yurt construction and even take part if you wish. Local Kyrgyz women will explain the meaning and use of each part of the yurt.

  • TRANSFER TO BISHKEK AIRPORT
  • FLIGHT TO TASHKENT (DEPARTURE AT 6:10 PM)
  • ARRIVAL TO TASHKENT (6:30 PM)
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN TASHKENT

Day 5: Tashkent – Samarkand (UZB) 

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • MEETING WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
TASHKENT CITY TOUR
Dzhuma Mosque in Tashkent

Tashkent city tour starts at 10:00 by visiting the Old City of Tashkent. This area encompasses the Khast-Imam Complex famous for displaying one of the earliest copies of the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam, followed by Chorsu Bazaar, where you can haggle for spices, dried fruit, and nuts. The tour will continue to the city center to see Amir Timur Square and Independence Square and to explore the Museum of Applied Art.

  • FREE TIME
  • TRANSFER TO THE RAILWAY STATION (6:00 PM)
  • HIGH SPEED TRAIN AFROSYOB TO SAMARKAND (DEPARTURE AT 6:50 PM)
  • ARRIVAL TO SAMARKAND (9:00 PM)
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN SAMARKAND

Day 6: Samarkand – Seven Lakes (UZB/TAJ)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • TRANSFER TO THE UZBEKISTAN-TAJIKISTAN BORDER
  • CUSTOMS AND PASSPORT CONTROL
  • MEETING WITH TAJIK ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
SEVEN LAKES
Scenery view on Alaudin lake at Fann Mountains

Go through customs and passport control on both sides, and meet your local Tajik guide and driver to drive to the Seven Lakes (80 km, ~2 h). These lakes are located in the western part of the Fann Mountains. Each lake has its own color, varying from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple.

  • LUNCH AT THE GUEST HOUSE
  • DINNER AT THE GUEST HOUSE
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE GUEST HOUSE

Day 7: Seven Lakes – Penjikent – Samarkand (TAJ/UZB)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • TRANSFER TO PENJIKENT

PENJIKENT SIGHTSEEING TOUR

Penjikent Ancient Settlement Tajikistan

Ancient Penjikent (80 km of driving, ~1 h 30 min) still keeps the ruins of a town founded by the Sogdians in the 5th century and abandoned by Arabs in the 8th century. The foundations of houses, a citadel with a couple of Zoroastrian fire temples, and the remains of the city bazaar are visible in the excavated ruins. In the newer part of Penjikent, visit a local bazaar, a mosque, and the Rudaki Museum as Penjikent is the birthplace of Abu Abdallah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian poetry.

  • TRANSFER TO THE TAJIKISTAN-UZBEKISTAN BORDER
  • CUSTOMS AND PASSPORT CONTROL
  • MEETING WITH UZBEK DRIVER
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN SAMARKAND

Day 8: Samarkand – Bukhara (UZB)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • MEETING WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
SAMARKAND CITY TOUR
Shah-i-Zinda necropolis in Samarkand

A city tour will begin with a visit to the spectacular Registan Square, followed by the Gur Emir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turco-Mongol emperor, Timur. Explore the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque and Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, and then take a short drive to Konigil village to find out about the traditional techniques used to make the famous Samarkand paper from mulberry bark.

  • FREE TIME
  • TRANSFER TO THE RAILWAY STATION (8:00 PM)
  • HIGH SPEED TRAIN AFROSYOB TO BUKHARA (DEPARTURE AT 9:00 PM)
  • ARRIVAL TO BUKHARA (10:35 PM)
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN BUKHARA

Day 9: Bukhara (UZB)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • MEETING WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
BUKHARA CITY TOUR
Kalyan Mosque in Bukhara

Start your city tour by exploring the Old City of Bukhara. Highlights of the walking tour will include: the Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasa, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque, Miri-Arab Madrasa, Ulugbek and Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub Mausoleums, and various trading domes.

  • FREE TIME
  • NATIONAL SHOW AT NADIR DIVAN-BEGI MADRASA (AT 6:00 PM)
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN BUKHARA

Day 10: Bukhara – Mary – Ashgabat (UZB/TKM)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • TRANSFER TO THE UZBEKISTAN-TURKMENISTAN BORDER (AT 6:30 AM)
  • CUSTOMS AND PASSPORT CONTROL

After completing the border formalities at both checkpoints, cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available) to meet your Turkmen guide.

  • MEETING WITH TURKMEN ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
  • TRANSFER TO MARY

Continue to Mary, formerly named Merv (300 km, 5 h 30 min), an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts on the Silk Road. Mary is also home to a historical park worth to discover, with sights including: the Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Major and Minor Kyz-Kala, Erk-Kala, Gyaur-Kala, Keshk Fortress, and others.

  • LUNCH AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT
  • TRANSFER TO MARY AIRPORT
  • FLIGHT TO ASHGABAT (DEPARTURE AT 6:10 PM)
  • ARRIVAL TO ASHGABAT (6:50 PM)
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN ASHGABAT

Day 11: Ashgabat – Darvaza Gas Crater (TKM)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • MEETING WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
ASHGABAT CITY TOUR
Ashgabat

Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, has recently been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble buildings than any other city in the world. During the city tour, explore the archaeological site of Old Nissa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia.

  • LUNCH AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT
Darvaza Gas Crater

The sightseeing tour continues to the National Museum of History, the Monument of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and the recently-built Independence Park. The sightseeing tour will take about 6 hours and the afternoon will feature a drive through the Karakum Desert to the famous Darvaza Gas Crater (280 km, 4 h). After arriving at the crater, camp will be set up and you’ll enjoy a delicious, fire-cooked dinner near the “Gates of Hell”.

  • FIRE-COOKED DINNER
  • OVERNIGHT IN TENTS

Day 12: Darvaza Gas Crater – Khiva (TKM/UZB)

  • CAMP-STYLE BREAKFAST
  • TRANSFER TO THE TURKMENISTAN-UZBEKISTAN BORDER (AT 6:30 AM)
  • CUSTOMS AND PASSPORT CONTROL

Drive back through the Karakum Desert to the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point, Dashoguz-Shavat (270 km, 4 h). Following border formalities at both checkpoints and crossing the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available), your Uzbek driver will meet you to begin the trip to Khiva (60 km, 1 h).

  • MEETING WITH UZBEK DRIVER
  • TRANSFER TO KHIVA
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • FREE TIME
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN KHIVA

Day 13: Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent (UZB)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
Ichan-Kala Fortress

After breakfast and hotel checking out (the hotel will store your luggage safely for the day) spend the morning at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ichan-Kala Fortress. Highlights of the morning walking tour include the Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasa, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasa, Kalta Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Tash-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, and Minaret of Islom Khodja.

  • MASTERCLASS ON COOKING NATIONAL FOOD TUKHUMBARAK
  • FARFEWELL DINNER
  • TRANSFER TO URGENCH AIRPORT
  • FLIGHT TO TASHKENT (DEPARTURE AT 6:10 PM)
  • ARRIVAL TO TASHKENT (AT 11:25 PM)
  • TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-IN AT THE HOTEL
  • OVERNIGHT AT THE HOTEL IN TASHKENT

Day 14: Tashkent – departure (UZB)

  • BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL
  • CHECK-OUT FROM THE HOTEL
  • TRANSFER TO THE TASHKENT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Land Package Price

$5,328 US per person in a room sharing

Included:
  • All transfers: 3-7 pax on minivan/van, 8-16 pax by 20 seat bus;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program with English speaking guides in each country;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Almaty-Bishkek-Tashkent, Mary-Ashgabat, Urgench-Tashkent;
  • Economy-class tickets for trains: Tashkent-Samarkand-Bukhara (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace this with the most-comfortable class of regular train);
  • Visa support for Uzbekistan triple entry visa;
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
  • Tajikistan e-visa and Uzbekistan e-visa;
  • National folklore show in Bukhara on Day 9;
  • Meals: welcome lunch in Almaty on Day 2, lunch at home of a local family in Don-Aryk on Day 4, lunch and dinner at Seven Lakes on Day 7, lunch in Mary on Day 10, lunch in Ashgabat on Day11, camp style dinner at Darvaza on Day 11, dinner in Khiva on Day 13;
  • Tour leader(s) to accompany the group for the whole tour – only for groups of 6 or more travellers (please note: usually one tour leader will cover Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and another will cover Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan);
  • Tips to local drivers and guides.
Not included:  
  • Tour leader to accompany the group of 1-5 travelers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • A tax of 2 USD per night in Turkmenistan, paid to the hotel upon check out;
  • Consular fees for Turkmenistan tourist visas (80 USD) and migration tax (14 USD);
  • Consular fees for Uzbekistan tourist visa at Tashkent International Airport (60-80 USD);
  • Visa support for Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan tourist visas (50 USD);
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips to the Tour Leader;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour.
Accommodation:

Almaty 2 nights:             4-star Kazzhol or similar
Bishkek 1 night:             4-star Plaza, Park, Ambassador or similar
Tashkent 2 nights:         4-star Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace or similar
Samarkand 2 nights:    3-star Sultan, Platan or similar
Seven Lakes 1 night:    Homestay
Bukhara 2 nights:          3-star As-Salom, K.Komil, Volida or similar
Ashgabat 1 night:          4-star Archabil
Darvaza 1 night:            Camping
Khiva 1 night:                 3-star Malika Kheivak, Orient Star or similar

 

Silk Road Central Asia Tour Throughout Five Stans