A shorter itinerary doesn’t mean that this tour isn’t full of the most interesting and important sights of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in Central Asia; Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia in South Caucasus. In just 26 days, you’ll go from medieval metropolises to vast desert, rich flavors to richer decorations. Uzbekistan is all about the great cities of the Silk Road: Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The grandest monuments of these cities have been preserved, allowing you to walk through the same streets that traders and caravans would have crossed thousands of years ago. Turkmenistan is a land of desert, with oasis cities that flourished as refuges from the intense heat and helped those on long journeys. Kunya-Urgench and Mary, once powerful cities, have long since become ruins, while Ashgabat has risen to become the grand capital of Turkmenistan. Head to Baku next, to immerse yourself in the charm and character of the Caucasus. Enjoy the prehistoric petroglyphs and royal palaces of Azerbaijan, and the mountain churches and warm flavors of Georgia. Both countries are full of multicultural traditions and stunning landscapes, sure to leave you with vivid memories. The Essentials of the Silk Road Tour does more than just take you to these places - you’ll get to taste regional dishes, meet with locals, and share your experiences with like-minded travelers from around the world in your group.
Participants need to be in good health, be able to walk on average 4-6 hours every day at moderate speed, climb stairs and low hills, and be able to carry their own luggage for 600 meters across borders.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Note: At Darvaza camp you will be provided with sleeping bags, pillows, and 1- or 2-person tents. There is also an option to share a yurt with 3-5 other group members. In both cases, toilets and basic washing facilities are outside.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 10-11 hours
Driving distance: 150 km
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Driving distance: 50 km
By 17:30-18:30, we will arrive at our overnight point the charming Wine Resort. This Resort is surrounded by beautiful vineyards and offers stunning views of the Caucasus Mountains – the perfect place to take a break before continuing our journey in Georgia. We will stay here for two nights.
Having enjoyed the hospitality of our hosts, we will drive to the royal town of Sighnaghi, which is surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers and was an important point on the Great Silk Road. We will also visit the Bodbe Convent – according to legend, this is the burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. We will arrive in the capital of Georgia at about 18:30–19:30. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 160 km
Advantour offers an optional culinary masterclass on traditional Georgian food. The masterclass includes 3-4 dishes and snacks and takes 4-5 hours. It should be booked in advance. The price is 60 USD per person.
We suggest the following activities and places to visit in Tbilisi:
- Georgian National Museum on Rustaveli Avenue – to visit the “Archaeological Treasury” exhibition;
- National Gallery on Rustaveli Avenue – to see the works of the famous Georgian artists Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, and Lado Gudiashvili;
- Tbilisi flea market at Dry Bridge – where you can find antiquities (many of which are from the Soviet era), paintings by local artists, and handmade Georgian souvenirs;
- David Agmashenebeli Avenue – a recently-renovated pedestrian street full of historical buildings that have beautiful facades in the art nouveau, pseudo gothic, and classicist styles with a mix of typical Georgian ornamentation and balconies. All along the street there are plenty of cozy art cafés, galleries, shops, and wine bars;
- Dezertirebi Bazaar – which sells local, natural products including Georgian sweets (such as churchkhela); various types of dried fruits, nuts, and spices; and Georgian cheeses;
- Funicular railway to Mtatsminda Mountain – which offers a beautiful view of Tbilisi;
- Wander in Sololaki – a neighborhood full of art nouveau houses;
- For nature lovers, we offer a day hike to Birtvisi Canyon and Fortress. Contact us to find out more.
For those who are interested in culture, we suggest visiting the State Opera House of Georgia to enjoy a ballet or opera performance (opera.ge). You can find out what other cultural events are on in Tbilisi, and book tickets, at tkt.ge.
You will have a free afternoon to explore more of Yerevan. Here are our suggestions:
- Ararat Brandy Factory
- Matenadaran Manuscripts Museum
- History Museum
- Souvenirs market “Vernisage”
- All transfers;
- Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
- Sightseeing tour program with English speaking local guides in each country;
- In addition to local tour guides, service of a tour leader to accompany groups of 6 and more travelers in Central Asia and group of 8 and more travelers in Caucasus;
- Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
- Economy class tickets for flights: Mary-Ashgabat, Urgench-Tashkent, Tashkent-Baku;
- 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 letter for Uzbekistan triple entry visa;
- Visa support for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
- E-visas to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan;
- National folklore show in Bukhara on Day 6;
- Meals: lunch and dinner on Seven lakes on Day 3, lunch in Penjikent on Day 4, lunch in Mary on Day 7, camp style dinner at Darvaza on Day 8, dinner in Khiva on Day 10, dinner in Baku on Day 12, lunch in a local family on Day 17, dinner in Tbilisi on Day 18, farewell dinner in Yerevan on Day 25;
- Three wine tastings in Georgia and in Armenia.
- Surcharge for staying in a single room;
- Full board (lunches and dinners not specified above);
- Hotel charges for additional services;
- A tax of 2 USD per night in Turkmenistan, paid to the hotel upon check out;
- Personal travel insurance;
- 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 (if necessary);
- E-visas to Georgia and Armenia (if necessary);
- Outbound and inbound flight tickets.
Dates & Prices
100% guaranteed departures – even if there is only 1 traveler.
Group size: 1-16 persons
Please note that itinerary and prices are subject to change due to airline and train schedule changes, currency fluctuations and other unforeseeable events.
We strongly recommend NOT to purchase airline tickets for 2024 tours without discussing it with your travel consultant.
Essentials of the Silk Road Reviews
Once we transferred to the Caucauses we were met by Yuriy from Tbilisi Advantour Office who also was very professional and helpful. Our Tour Leader was Anna Uturgauri. Again Anna excelled at her role - knowledge of the countries of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia and ensured that all passengers were comfortable, well fed and aware of each days proceedings.
The tour itself was fast paced as there is so much to see in all of these countries but we did not feel that we were rushed or it was merely a job for the guides. They genuinely immersed themselves in the history telling and ensured that we sampled the local culture and food.
Overall an excellent experience and would recommend.