Our 2 day tour takes place in several oldest historical cities – Otrar, Turkestan and Shymkent. You will learn everything about the Silk Road heritage of South Kazakhstan. The highlight of the trip is an ancient-fortress city of Sauran peacefully standing in the middle of the steppe. Once completely ruined, it is now seeing a rebirth thanks to serious excavation works that are taking place there.
We can include Taraz and make it a 3-day itinerary: Taraz-Shymkent-Turkestan-
Day 1. Shymkent – Otrar – Turkestan
Arrival in Shymkent by plane or train in the morning.
Meeting with the guide and transfer to Shymkent city tour.
The third largest city in Kazakhstan in terms of number of inhabitants Shymkent is one of the most ancient cities in Kazakhstan – founded in XII century at the intersection of the trade ways to European Russia, Central Asia, West Siberia and China. City sightseeing starting from Historical museum – one of the best in Central Asia, which tells the ancient and cultural history of South Kazakhstan.
During the city tour, we visit the biggest mosque in Southern Kazakhstan with its unusual architectural style and one of the most beautiful buildings of the city of Shymkent. Shymkent is also well-known for its booming Southern market where you can find various local goods and feel the vibe of Eastern bazaar.
In the afternoon, departure to archeological site of ancient commercial oasis Otrar also known as Farab (1BC-15AD)
Otrar was an important trading center of the Great Silk Road and the capital of the Great Tamerlan in 15th century AD;
It was a very advanced city with its own irrigation and waterpipe system. Otrar was famous all over Central Asia for its pottery workshops and glass vases. In 2001 during the excavation works new sorts of silver coins were found. They thought to be originated from Bukhara, China and other Silk Road destinations.
In 2001-2004 UNESCO, Kazakhstan and Japan conducted a joint project on conservation and preservation of the ancient city of Otrar: its mosque, bathes, pottery workshops. Right now Otrar is known as a city-museum included in the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage.
During the excursion at Otrar tourists will find excavations on the site of an ancient city that helped researchers to learn a lot about the infrastructure of the city. Tourists will be able to see that Otrar had a clear layout of the streets, quarters, which could be accessed through three fortress gates, equipped with throw-over bridges across the moat.
Excursion at Shaulder museum where gathered most of Otrar’s excavational findings; on the way to museum visit Arystan Bab mausoleum.
Departure to Turkestan city (95 km). Check-in, overnight.
Day 2. Turkestan – Sauran – Shymkent
Meeting with the guide and start of our Turkestan city excursion.
Turkestan visit starts with the main sightseeing of the city, the most well-known in Kazakhstan UNESCO world heritage – The complex of Hodja Ahmed Yassawi (14th century). This complex includes mausoleum, citadel, the ancient bath complex, the fortress wall, Juma mosque. The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui is an unsurpassed masterpiece of medieval architecture. This is an amazing complex of palaces and temples from 30 different rooms and halls.
In the afternoon, we transfer to ancient city-fortress Sauran.
Sauran (12-18.cc) used to be a strategic and trading city and from 12th c.c to 16th c.c. capital of Kazakh-mongol khanate – Ak Horde. In 14th c.c Sauran became a military fortress, its location on the Silk way promoted prosperity; The most interesting part of Sauran – iunderground channels of water.
Interesting fact is that Sauran in arab language means “Which is big”. Indeed it lies on a territory of 33 hectares!
Transfer back to Shymkent city.
Transport: There are five times per week late evening flight from Shymkent to Almaty. There is also an option to take evening fast train from Shymkent with an early arrival to Almaty.
Late evening flights from Shymkent to Astana are 3 times per week & daytime flights 5 times per week.
Price per person:
- 1 pax: 330$/pp
- 2 pax: 210$/pp
- 3 pax: 159$/pp
- 4 pax: 185$/pp (transport – minivan)
- 5 pax: 155$/pp
- Shuttle service (from and to hotel)
- Transfer service for 2 day tour route Shymkent-Otrar-Turkestan-Sauran-Shymkent (4×4 jeep & minivan)
- English speaking guide service during the tour
- Entrance fees during the tour
- Drinking water 1L per person per day
- Domestic flight or train tickets
- Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required
- All personal and other expenses
Note: The accommodation and meal can be offered upon the guest’s preference for additional charge.
If you have any questions, please contact us via booking form. Thank you!