Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2019-2020

Central Asia on Silk Road Tour18 Days | Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan

The Silk Road was a huge part of the development of Central Asia, and this tour is a great way to relive this period in history. Architecture, culture, traditions and cuisine take the forefront in this tour as you travel through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Head out on the best tour for exploring Central Asia and the Silk Road, and discover this corner of the world.
Start with Almaty, the cosmopolitan southern capital of Kazakhstan, before heading to Kyrgyzstan to explore the country’s rich nature and history. Uzbekistan is rightfully known for its monumental cities, with Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Turkmenistan is a mix of ancient and modern, from the wide streets of Ashgabat to the deserted ruins of Merv. Take a dip into Tajikistan’s past with a trip to Penjikent, which has a lot of historical and cultural significance.
All in all, Central Asia on the Silk Road is the best tour for exploring the history and culture of this region, with excursions to all of the major sites and some of the lesser-known gems of Central Asia.

Tour map

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Almaty – Arrival
 
Arrive in Almaty. You will be met and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Almaty
 
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby to start the sightseeing tour in Almaty: visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Central State Museum (closed on Tuesdays) and Republic Square. In the afternoon 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. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 3: Almaty – Bishkek
 
After breakfast depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek via a newly built highway, enjoy nature landscapes on the way (250 km, 4 h). Cross Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border. Arrive in Bishkek, check in to the hotel.
In the afternoon start sightseeing tour: Oak Park, Ala-Too Square, Statue of Manas; National Museum of Fine Arts (closed on Mondays), Philharmonic Hall and Victory Monument – bright examples of Soviet architecture. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 4: Bishkek – Grigorevka Gorge – Cholpon Ata – Issyk-Kul
 
In the morning drive from Bishkek to Issyk-Kul Lake (250 km, 4 h). Arrive at Grigorevka gorge (60 km, 2 h) full of lush green Alpine meadows and fir trees. Take an easy hike in the gorge. Continue to Cholpon-Ata where you will see petroglyphs – the rock carvings made by prehistoric people lying under the open sky and visit Ethnographical Museum. Transfer to the hotel or guest house on the Northern shore of the lake. Overnight at the hotel or a guest house.
Day 5: Issyk-Kul – Bishkek
 
After breakfast transfer to Bishkek (280 km, 4 h). Stop on the way to see Burana Tower, the remnants of the ancient city of Balasagun (11-13th centuries). Arrive in Bishkek, free time. Overnight at the hotel or in the guest house.
Day 6: Bishkek – Osh – Fergana
 
Breakfast. Transfer to the Airport for flight to Osh. Upon arrival you will have a short city tour in Osh founded by King Solomon 3000 years ago, as legends say. Visit Suleiman-Too (Solomon’s Mountain), National Museum of History and Archaeology, and Osh bazaar that hasn't changed location from the times when Osh was an important trading destination on the Great Silk Road. Transfer to Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan border point Dostuk. Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. In Uzbekistan meet your driver and continue to Fergana (110 km, 1,5-2 h). Check into the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2 hours
Day 7: Fergana – Margilan – Ristan – Kokand – Tashkent
 
Breakfast. Drive to Margilan and visit Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah. Today, madrasah is a home to a number of craftsmen producing handmade carpets and silk. Have a walk on traditional market and continue to Yodgorlik Silk factory to see the production process of silk with traditional Ikat patterns. Continue to Rishtan to the house of a well-known ceramic master Rustam Usmanov. At pottery master’s you will visit the workshop, see the process of pottery creation and see collection of local ceramics. Transfer to Kokand (80 km) where you will visit the Khudoyar-Khan Palace. Transfer to the railway station to get the train departing to Tashkent at 17:38. Arrival in Tashkent at 21:38. Transfer to the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 8: Tashkent
 
Sightseeing in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia with a guide. Visit Old City part of Tashkent with Khast-Imam Complex where the world famous Quran of Caliph Uthman has been preserved. Explore Choru Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to city center to walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and Applied Arts Museum. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 9: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
 
Early morning transfer to the local airport for flight to Urgench (1093 km, 1 h 40 min). Arrival in Urgench, transfer to the hotel in Khiva (30 km, 35 min). Later, a guided walking sightseeing tour. Spend a day in Itchan-Kala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Mukhammad Aminkhan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta-Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Tash-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islam-Khoja. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5 hours
Day 10: Khiva – Kunya-Urgench – Dashoguz – Ashgabat
 
In the morning drive to Turkmenistan border point Shavat-Dashoguz (60 km, 1 h). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your Turkmenistan guide and drive to Kunya-Urgench (100 km, 1 h 30 min). Visit mausoleums of Turabek Khanum, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmuddin-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug-Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla hill. In the afternoon drive to Dashoguz airport (120 km, 1 h 30 min), take an evening flight to Ashgabat (580 km, 50 min). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2 hours
Day 11: Ashgabat
 
Sightseeing tour in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan that has recently been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble buildings than any other city in the world. During the city tour you will explore an archaeological site of Old Nisa (included in UNESCO World Heritage list) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. You will visit the National Museum of History, the Monument of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and newly built Independence Park. Intense and interesting excursion also includes a stopover at the Akhalteke horse stables and Lenin Monument.  Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6 hours
Day 12: Ashgabat – Mary – Merv – Bukhara
 
Take a morning flight to Mary (370 km, 40 min). Upon arrival drive to Merv (40 km, 30 min), an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road. Discover historical park with Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortress, and others. In the afternoon depart to Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point (45 km, 1 h). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your driver and continue to Bukhara (100 km, 1 h 30 min). Arrival in Bukhara, check in to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 13: Bukhara
 
Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. Visit Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 14: Bukhara – Samarkand
 
Continue sightseeing tour with a guide. Drive out of the city to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa – the summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir. Head to the Mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi. In the afternoon depart to Samarkand (280 km, 4 h). Stop on the way at Caravanserai Rabat-i-Malik dating back to the 11th century. Arrive in Samarkand late in the afternoon, check in and overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2-3 hours
Day 15: Samarkand – Penjikent – Samarkand
 
Early morning transfer to Uzbekistan-Tajikistan border Jartepa (50 km, 1 h). Customs and passport control on both sides, cross the border, meet Tajik local guide and driver and drive to Penjikent, a major Sogdian city in the 5th century destroyed by Arab conquerors in the 8th century. Sightseeing in Penjikent: Rudaki Museum and local bazaar. Visit ancient Penjikent located a 5-minute drive away from modern Penjikent. Late in the afternoon return to the Jartepa border crossing, customs and passport control. On Uzbekistan side meet your driver and transfer to your hotel in Samarkand.
Day 16: Samarkand
 
Meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby to start city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur-Emir Mausoleum – the mausoleum of Amir Timur. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 17: Samarkand – Tashkent
 
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Continue sightseeing: visit Afrosiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Konigil village to learn how Samarkand paper from mulberry is made in a traditional way. Enjoy free time with the car and driver at your disposal. Late in the afternoon transfer to railway station to take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent (journey time 2 h 10 min). Pick-up and transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 18: Tashkent – Departure
 
Check-out from the hotel at noon. Free time until transfer to Tashkent International Airport. End of the tour.
  • All transfers: 1-2 pax on sedan type car, 3-8 pax on minivan/van;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each country with local guides (in Uzbekistan, different guides in each city);
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights Bishkek-Osh, Tashkent-Urgench, Dashoguz-Ashgabat, Ashgabat-Mary;
  • Business/Economy-class tickets for trains Kokand-Tashkent and Samarkand-Tashkent as per option (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace this with the most-comfortable class of regular train);
  • Visa support letter for Turkmenistan visa;
  • Dinner on day 4.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • A tax of 2 US$ per night in Turkmenistan, paid to the hotel upon check out and migration tax (14 US$);
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • All costs associated with visas;
  • Personal travel insurance.

 

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Almaty - 2 nights
KazzholRixos Almaty
Bishkek - 2 nights
Plaza, Park Hotel, Ambassador or similarOrion
Issyk-Kul - 1 night
Raduga, The Try Korony or similarRaduga, The Try Korony or similar
Fergana - 1 night
Asia FerganaAsia Fergana
Tashkent - 3 nights
Grand Mir, Sharq, Grand Capital, Bek, NavruzMiran, Wyndham Tashkent, Grand Mir, City Palace
Khiva - 1 night
Malika Kheivak, Orient Star, Malika Khiva, Qosha Darvoza, Old KhivaAsia Khiva, Bek Khiva
Ashgabat - 2 nights
Ak-Altyn, Grand TurkmenNusay, Oguzkent
Bukhara - 2 nights
Amulet, Minzifa, As-Salom, K.Komil, Fatima, Bibikhanum, Basilic, KavsarOmar Khayam, Devon-Begi, Zargaron Plaza, Asia Bukhara, Minorai-Kalon
Samarkand - 3 nights
Platan, Meros, Orient, Malika Prime, Rabat, City, Billuri Sitora, Arba, Jahongir, Caravan SerailSultan, Grand Samarkand Superior, Grand Samarkand, Platan, Malika Prime, Asia Samarkand

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