I'm exploring the viability of travelling the following route, mainly by train, in September & October and would appreciate someone casting an experienced eye over it.
I might fly from Dublin to Astana or Dublin to Moscow and catch train to Astana. Unsure about this yet.
1. Astana - Almaty: 5 pd, Direct: 704TJ, 20:50-09:50 (+1), 13hrs, daily, 1250km, 16€ - 25€
2. Almaty 2 - Shymkent (Chimkent): Several daily, Direct: D 49TJ, 23:05-09:05(+1),10hrs, 9€ - 15€, 710km
3. Shymkent (Chimkent) - Tashkent (Pass Zentr): 4 pw, 8 h 40 min, 6€ - 9€ (Train via Sary-Agatsh: 2-3pd), 280km
4. Tashkent (Pass Zentr) to Samarkand: 4pd, 2 h 8 min, 15€ - 16€, 280km
5. Samarkand to Bukhara: 2pd, 1 h 39 min, 14€ - 16€, 250km
6. Bukhara - Urgench:
a. Bukhara to Navoiy, 2 pd, 39m 11€ - 13€, 92 km;
b. Navoiy to Urgentsch, 2 pd, 10h, 22€ -25€, 680 km)
7. Urgench - Khiva - Urgench [Taxi]: 31 min, 33 km, 6€ - 8€, each way
8. Urgench - Nukus: 4 pw, Train 324, 09:34-17:05, 5 h 8 min, 14€ - 15€, 235km[/list][/list]
Nukus onwards depends on Turkmenistan visa. Options without are:
1. Aqtau - Baku (Ferry across Caspian Sea)
2. Atyrau - Astrakhan - Makhachkala - Derbent - Baku (Train via Russia)
Then Caucasus to Iran, Turkey and home
Options with Turkmen visa would change route to Caucasus. I haven't completed this yet.
Although I prefer train for low hassle factor and greater comfort, I'm also willing to travel by Marshrutka.
Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated as would alternative or better routes. My main interest is experiencing different cultures and seeing amazing landscapes. I'm totally open to amending or changing this route
I'm a bit old and creaky now so not up for long or arduous hikes but fine for shortish ones of a few km or so.
Post your itinerary questions and trip reports here
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