Feel the magic atmosphere of Great Silk Road: 21 days, 20 nights, 5 countries, 16 cities of UNESCO Heritage!
We invite you to join to the tour along with the cities of the Great Silk Road, visit Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Merv and Ashgabad, Iskanderkul Lake in Tajikistan, Almaty and Bishkek.
Day 1. Almaty (KAZAKHSTAN)
04:45 arrival, meet and greet service in the airport, transfer to the hotel, check-in. Overnight at the hotel
10:00 tour starts with sightseeing in central part of Almaty. You will know more about history and development of the Southern capital of Kazakhstan and see its major attractions. You will visit a popular
place for town people – the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is the great chance to experience an atmosphere of the real eastern market, its colours, smells and crowds. There you can obtain famous Oriental sweets, but don’t forget to bargain…
Then the tour will continue in one of the oldest Almaty parks – Panfilov Park, where one of the most beautiful wooden building in the world – Zenkov Cathedral is located.
After exploration of sport, cultural and business areas of the city you will get to the Medeo Gorge, well known due to the highest mountain skating rink in the world and the dam, protecting the city from
dangerous mud flow.
Next destination is the Kok-Tobe hill where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will get by the picturesque winding mountain road. The tour ends with the short ride from the top of the hill to the centre of the city by the famous Almaty cable way. 18:00 and dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Almaty – Big Almaty Lake – Almaty
Today we will visit Big Almaty Lake – 30 km from Almaty, and on altitude of 2500 meters above sea level between mountain peaks. The road passes through forests, birch grove, and of course by peaks of the Tien Shan. We will stop for a photo of the mountain panoramas.
Upon arrival to the lake, you will have a walking around the lake and feel the nature around you. After walking you can have picnic lunch (not included, you need prepare your lunch in advance). Transfer to Sunkar Centre for the Eagle Show.
Golden Eagle Show – You will see a bird of prey hunting show. Seven spices of birds of prey take part in show. You will learn more about falcon hunting history, organic traits and the life-style of birds of prey. Arrival Almaty around 19:00. Return to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3. Almaty – Bishkek (KYRGYZSTAN)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Kyrgyz-Kazakh border. Arrival, pass the border. Your guide will pick you up at Kazakh-Kyrgyz border and accompany you to the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, just a 30-minute drive from the border.
This entire day is dedicated to a guided tour of Bishkek. It includes visiting Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Central Ala-Too Square, the History Museum, National Philharmonic, and many other places of interest. But no tour of Bishkek is complete without visiting our Asian Bazaar! We will show it to you today and you will be able to take a lot of dynamic photos of bustling local life. This bazaar is a noisy and colourful tapestry of fabrics, produce, and people selling and buying goods. Overnight at the hotel.
Kyrgyzstan’s landscape of high, forested mountains and lush, grassy steppes attracted Silk Roads travelers by its cool climate, sparkling lakes and green valleys after passing perilous, exhausting and arduous western Chinese deserts.
Day 4. Bishkek – Issyk Kul
Your guide will pick you up at 8 a.m and you will be transferred to Issyk Kul Lake, surrounded by the celestial mountains. It’s the second largest alpine lake in the world (1608 m. above sea level). The lake is called “the pearl of Central Asia”. Due to the salty water, Lake Issyk Kul possesses curative qualities.
On route to the lake you will visit Burana Tower (an 11th century minaret) and an open air museum of Balbans (stone warriors). Lunch in Chinese Muslims family. Then we continue to Cholpon ata city, also we will visit today a place with ancient stone patterns – petrogliphs. You will get to enjoy a traditional lunch and then we’ll make our trip to the lake. Overnight at the hotel.
The central Tien-Shan mountain region around the Issyk-Kul lake is an area one of the last harmonic cultural landscapes in the middle Asia preserving habitats close to nature in combination with traditional culture. The mountain area of the central Tien-Shan region with the Issyl-Kul lake in its center is home to many ecosystems of global importance and has a wide variety of endemic species of wild fauna and flora. The Issyk-Kul Lake with its 180 km length and 60 km width is the second biggest high mountain lake in the world.
Day 5. Issyk Kul – Bishkek
In the morning transfer to Bishkek. Lunch in a local restaurant. Today day we will visit Ala Archa gorge. It is a Natural Park. At the Soviet Time only V.I.P. people had permission to go for a walk here. The Ala Archa gorge is on a spur of the Tien Shan mountain range. It is just 45 km from Bishkek. You can have a short hiking tour to see a panoramic view of the gorge. On the way back we will visit Ata Beyit memorial complex.
It commemorates the victims of the Stalin Repressions of 1937-1940, during which significant figures of the Kyrgyz Soviet Republic such as Yusup Abdrakhmanov, Bayali Isakeev, Kasym Tynystanov and Torokul Aitmatov, the father of the world-famous writer Chingiz Aitmatov, were unjustly convicted and executed. Night is in hotel.
Day 6. Bishkek – Tashkent (UZBEKISTAN)
Today you will visit Alamedin gorge. While hiking in this amazing gorge you can see cattle and even yurts. Yurts are nomadic dwellings and it is possible to live in them all year round. The mountains in this gorge are covered with fir trees and along the entire route is a mountain river which ends with a waterfall that flows from the Rocky Mountains. You will have a picnic near this waterfall. This is a great chance to have a rest far from civilisation and to enjoy the views of Mother Nature. After hiking we will return to Bishkek.
18:40 flight to Tashkent, 19:00 arrival HY780. Transfer to the hotel, free time for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7. Tashkent – Khiva via Urgench
Breakfast at the hotel. 05:30 am transfer to the airport, 07:25 am flight to Urgench, 08:55 am arrival and transfer to Khiva. Hotel accommodation.
City tour in Khiva: Ichan-Kala architectural complex (XII-XIX), the Residence of the last Khiva Khan including Ismail Khodja Mausoleum, Muhammed Amin Khan Madrassah, Kunya-Ark Castle (XVI-XVI), Kalta Minor Tower, Tash-Hovli Palace (XIX), Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum(XIV-XVIII), Juma Mosque (X) and other Khiva tourist sights. Narrow streets, carved “ayvans” veranda and doors, majestic minarets and mausoleums, heritage and arts –all kept with care in this city as a great treasure. Overnight at the hotel.
Khiva city on south-central Uzbekistan. A notorious slave market was centred there from the 17th to the 19th century. The city is also known for the Islamic architecture within its 590-acre (240-hectare) historic centre. According to archaeological evidence, the city existed as early as the 6th century AD, but it was first recorded in the 10th century by two Arabian travellers. In the 16th century, it became the capital of the khanate of Khiva. By the 17th century, the city began to develop as a slave market. During the first half of the 19th century alone, some one million Persians, as well as an unknown number of Russians, were enslaved and transported there before being sold. Many of them were set to work on the construction of buildings in the walled Ichan-Kala (Royal Court), which is the most striking feature of the historic city.
Day 8. Khiva – Turkmen border – Darwaza (350 km) (TURKMENISTAN)
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure for Turkmen border post Shavat, cross the border (formalities) after all formalities drive to Ancient Kynya Urgench (UNESCO) for an excursion. Lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch, drive to Darwaza gas crater in the Karakum desert. Arrival in Darwaza gaz crater before sunset (~1800h). BBQ dinner, discover the burning gas crater by nighttime. Overnight in tents near the crater.
Karakum desert in Turkmenistan has a 230-foot-wide hole in the earth, filled with burning of flames. It’s really an unusual place that was formed during the geological works, and now attracting hundreds of tourists each year, and earning its place on a long list of the earth’s mysterious places.
Day 9. Darwaza – Ashgabat (300 km)
In the morning, after breakfast, depart Darwaza gaz crater and drive to Ashgabat, visit mud and water craters on the way. Transfer to hotel upon arrival. Check in hotel. Lunch in local restaurant. City tour with visits National museum, Neutrality Arch, Independence Park, Earthquake Memorial, Wedding Palace viewpoint. Overnight in the hotel.
Ashgabat or (1919–27) Poltoratsk city and capital of Turkmenistan. It lies in an oasis at the northern foot of the Kopet-Dag (Turkmen: Köpetdag) Range and on the edge of the Karakum (Turkmen: Garagum) Desert, about 19 miles (30 km) from the Iranian frontier. Ashgabat is now an administrative, industrial, transportation, and cultural centre. The city has glassworks, carpet-weaving and cotton mills, and metalworking shops. Its spectacular natural setting also made it a centre for the filmmaking industry.
Day 10. Ashgabat – Mary (flight / driving optional)
After breakfast, visit Local Market. After drive to Nissa (UNESCO) and Mosque-Mausoleum Turkmenbashi. Lunch in local restaurant.
Then drive to domestic airport for a flight to Mary (ETD 17:20h ETA18:00h). Transfer to hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11. Mary – Merv – 260 km – BP Farap – Bukhara 100 km (UZBEKISTAN)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the early morning, Visit Russian Orthodox church, Juma Mosque and Central Bazaar. After drive to Turkmenabat via MERV (UNESCO) for an excursion. Upon arrival have a lunch in Turkmenabat. After lunch transfer to BP Farap. Cross Turkmen-Uzbek Border Post.
Transfer to the border post for border crossing. Meeting at the Uzbek side and transfer to Bukhara. Arrival, settlement at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel
Day 12. Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Bukhara: Ismael Samani Mausoleum – the tomb of representatives of Samanids’ jeweler at the end of IX – beginning of X), Chashma Ayub Mausoleum (Spring of Job – XIV), Bolo-Hauz Mosque (beginning of XX), Citadel Ark (IV) – city in a city, Poi Kalon Ensemble (Pedestal of the Great), religious heart of Sacred Bukhara, consists of Minaret Kalon (XII), Kalyan Mosque (XII), Miri Arab Madrassah (XVI), Ulugbek’s Madrassah (1417), Magoki-Attori Mosque (dated XII-XVI centuries), Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble (dated XIV-XVII centuries), Chor-Minor (four minarets).
Free time: we advise you to visit Bukhara Dome Bazaars (dated 15-16 centuries): Toki Saraffon (the Dome of Moneychangers), Toki-Telpak Furushon (the Dome of Cap makers), Toki Zargaron (the Dome of Jewelers) and Tim Abdullakhan (the Center of silk).
You can visit Fashion / Folk Show – program in Nodir Devon Begi Madrassah. Overnight at the hotel.
Bukhara or Buxoro city, south-central Uzbekistan, located about 140 miles (225 km) west of Samarkand. The city lies on the Shakhrud Canal in the delta of the Zeravshan River, at the centre of Bukhara Oasis. Founded not later than the 1st century CE (and possibly as early as the 3rd or 4th century BCE), Bukhara was already a major trade and crafts centre along the famous Silk Road when it was captured by Arab forces in 709. It was the capital of the Samanid dynasty in the 9th and 10th centuries. Later it was seized by the Qarakhanids and Karakitais before falling to Genghis Khan in 1220 and to Timur (Tamerlane) in 1370. In 1506 Bukhara was conquered by the Uzbek Shaybānids, who from the mid-16th century made it the capital of their state, which became known as the khanate of Bukhara.
Day 13. Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. 10:00 tour around Holy places in Bukhara visit to Bahouddin Nakshbandi mausoleum (16-19th c.), to the sepulchers of his mother and his preceptor (14th c.), mausoleum Chor-Bakr (10th c.).
Summer residence of last Emir of Bukhara. Afternoon free time for leisure and own explore Bukhara.
19:00 Dinner in the local guest house with master class of Uzbek Cuisine. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14. Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand (260 km/110 km)
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Shakhrisabz city (motherland of Great Amir Timur).
City tour: Ruins of Ak-Saray Palace (XIV-XV), Dor-ut Saodat Complex: Khazratiy Imam Mosque (XIV), Jahongir Mausoleum (XIV), Dor-ut Tillavat Complex: Gumbazi-Seiidan, Kok Gumbaz Mosque (XV).
Continue to Samarkand. Arrival and Samarkand hotel accommodation. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15. Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel. 09:00 city tour in Samarkand:
Visit Gur Emir Mausoleum – Tamerlane’s Tomb (14-15th c.) – Guri Amir is Persian for “Tomb of the King” Continue to Registan square – Registan square heart of Samarkand. Registan Square is ornate portals, patterned minarets and glistening cupolas. Registan Square consist with three madrasahs: The Ulugh Beg Madrasah (1417–1420), the Tilya-Kori Madrasah (1646–1660) and the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619–1636). All three madrasahs rife with glazed mosaics in liquid shades gold.
Visit Bibi-Khanum Mosque and Siyab Bazaar– The Bibi Khanym complex in Samarkand was built in 1399–1405 with the spoils of Timur’s (Tamerlane’s) campaign in India. Bibi Khanym was named in homage to Timur’s senior wife, Sarai Mulk Khanym.
Visit Islam Karimov memorial complex and continue to Architectural complex Shakhi-Zindeh (11-15th c.) – The necropolis of Shah-I Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammad.
Overnight at the hotel.
Samarkand city in east-central Uzbekistan that is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia. Known as Maracanda in the 4th century BCE, it was the capital of Sogdiana and was captured by Alexander the Great in 329 BCE. The city was later ruled by Central Asian Turks (6th century CE), the Arabs (8th century), the Samanids of Iran (9th–10th century), and various Turkic peoples (11th–13th century) before it was annexed by the Khwarezm-Shah dynasty (early 13th century) and destroyed by the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan (1220). After it revolted against its Mongol rulers (1365), Samarkand became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane), who made the city the most important economic and cultural centre in Central Asia.
Day 16. Samarkand – 7 Lakes – Panjakent (80 km) (TAJIKISTAN)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the Tajikistan border, formalities and cross the border to Tajikistan.
Meeting with guide at Jarteppa border and drive to Seven Lakes (80 km, 1.5-2h.). Seven Lakes are located in the west of Fann mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerising purple. Afternoon drive to Panjakent.
Sightseeing in Panjakent: Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Visit ancient Panjakent located within 5 minutes’ drive from modern Panjakent. Panjakent was a major Sogdian city dating back to the 5th century and was destroyed by Arab conquerors in the 8th century.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel Sugd 3* or Umariyon 3*.
Tajikistan, country lying in the heart of Central Asia. It is bordered by Kyrgyzstan on the north, China on the east, Afghanistan on the south, and Uzbekistan on the west and northwest. Tajikistan includes the Gorno-Badakhshan (“Mountain Badakhshan”) autonomous region, with its capital at Khorugh (Khorog). Tajikistan encompasses the smallest amount of land among the five Central Asian states, but in terms of elevation, it surpasses them all, enclosing more and higher mountains than any other country in the region.
Day 17. Panjakent – Iskanderkul Lake– Dushanbe (300 km)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Dushanbe via Iskanderkul Lake, known as a lake of Alexander the Great which was established in 1969. The area of the lake is 30000 ha. According to the legend, the Iskanderkul Lake was named after Alexander the Great, known as Iskander in the East. People say that Alexander the Great’s path to Central Asia from India laid through this lake. Lunch at traditional home stay “Dilovar”. Exploration the surroundings of the lake: five springs, Zmeinoe lake (Snake lake), walking to 38m high waterfall which is called “Fan Niagara”. Return to Dushanbe in the afternoon. Accommodation in the hotel.
Iskanderkul is a mountain lake of glacial origin in Tajikistan’s Sughd Province. It lies at an altitude of 2,195 metres (7,201 ft) on the northern slopes of the Gissar Range in the Fann Mountains. Triangular in shape, it has a surface area of 3.4 square kilometres (1.3 sq mi) and is up to 72 metres (236 ft) deep. Claimed to be one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the former Soviet Union, it is a popular tourist destination.
Day 18. Dushanbe – Khujand
Breakfast at the hotel.
Tajikistan United Museum includes the exhibits on history, natural history and art, Buddha in Nirvana is one of the valuable exhibits of museum. (closed on Mondays).
After lunch transfer to Khujand (300 km).
Arrival to Khujand. Settlement at the hotel and free time for dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Hissar fortress the remains of an 18th-century fortress occupied until 1924 is located in 30 km west of Dushanbe. Beside the fortress are two plain Madrassah, one dating from the 18th century and the other 19th, and beyond them is the mausoleum of the 16th century.
Day 19. Khujand – Oybek BP – Tashkent (UZBEKISTAN)
In the morning sightseeing Khujand. Visit the Museum of Archaeology and Fortification. After lunch transfer to Oybek cross border point (70 km, 1 h). As you cross the border, our driver will meet you on meet on Uzbekistan side. Transfer to the hotel in Tashkent (100 km, 1 h 30min). Arrival to the hotel. Free time for dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 20. Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel.
10:00 City tour in Tashkent: Old part of the city: the religious complex Khasti Imam: consisting of Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum (XV centure), Barak Khan Madrassah (XVI centure), Muy-Mubarak Mosque – storehouse of the well-known Koran of Khalif Osman and gold hair of prophet Muhammad; Dzhuma-mosque of Khodja Akhrar Vali, Kukeldash Madrassah (XVI), Abdulkasim Madrassah (XIX).
After lunch visiting modern part of Tashkent: The State Museum of Applied Arts of Uzbekistan, visiting Independence Square, after continue to Navoi Theater square and Amir Timur Square.
Overnight at the hotel.
Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan and the largest city in Central Asia. The city probably dates from the 2nd or the 1st century BC and was variously known as Dzhadzh, Chachkent, Shashkent, and Binkent; the name Tashkent, which means “Stone Village” in Uzbek, was first mentioned in the 11th century. An important centre of trade and handicrafts on the caravan routes to Europe and East Asia, the city was conquered by the Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century and later became part of the possessions of various Muslim ruling lines before falling to the Mongols in the early 13th century.
Day 21. Friday, Tashkent – Istanbul (flight)
06:30 transfer to the airport for flight to your next destination. For instance to Istanbul at 08:35 by TK369, arrival to IST at 11:55
Price per person:
- 2 ppl – 3177$
- 3 ppl – 2763$
- 4 ppl – 2457$
- single supplement – 500$
- Air ticket Tashkent – Urgench – 75$
- Air ticket Bishkek – Tashkent – 150$
Included in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan parts:
- Accommodation in boutique hotels on TWIN / DBL sharing basis
- Meals: breakfast at the hotels
- Mineral water 1L per person per day
- A/C comfortable transport with professional driver per itinerary
- Sedan up to 4 seats – 2-3 persons
- Minivan up to 13 seats – 4-9 persons
- Entrance fees for all mentioned monuments
- Local professional English speaking guides in each city Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
- English speaking driver-guide for Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan parts
- Welcome gifts and personal Certificate of Great Silk Road Explorer
Important – early arrival is included (by program).
Additional supplements could be offered depending to the international flight tourist used.
Not included in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan parts:
- Visa costs and processing
- Photo and video charges
- Entrance fees for all mentioned monuments (in Uzbekistan only)
- Air ticket Tashkent – Urgench (Y class)
- Air ticket Bishkek – Tashkent (Y class)
- International air tickets
- Lunches + dinners per program
- Portages at airports and hotels
- Tips and gratuities
- Any personal expenses / Any services not included in the above itinerary
Included in Turkmenistan part:
- Visa support (Letter of Invitation, State Registration, Travel Pass)
- Road transport as per program per AC regular road vehicle(s) or 4WD vehicles, as terrain requires
- Accommodation based on shared double/twin hotel room, including breakfast
- Accommodation based on shared trekking tent (incl. sleeping mat, sleeping bag and pillow), including breakfast and BBQ dinner
- Local guide-interpreter services
- Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the program
- Bottled drinking water en route (long transfers) 1,5l pp / pd
- Porter services en route
To be paid additionally in Turkmenistan:
- Domestic airline ticket (Ashgabat-Mary) 70 USD per person (subject to change)
- Fixed menu 3-course dinner in local cafes/restaurants (excluding soft/alcoholic drinks)
- 15 USD (for 2D – 30 USD) per dinner per person (optional)
- Fixed menu 3-course lunch in local cafes/restaurants (excluding soft/alcoholic drinks)
- 13 USD (for 4L – 52 USD) per lunch per person (optional)
Price excludes in Turkmenistan:
- Turkmenistan tourist visa from 55+4 USD per person, when obtained at land border post (subject to change; nationality dependent)
- Turkmenistan migration tax 10+4 USD per person, to be paid at land border post (subject to change)
- Tourist fee per night, charged in the hotels at departure 2 USD per person per night (obligatory)
- Photo/video fees at historical parks and in museums
- Tips for local guide and driver
- Souvenirs and other personal items
- All other charges and services not mentioned under “Price includes”