Central Asia High Road (Five Stan Tour)
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Day by day itinerary
Day 01: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide transferred to the hotel. Later visit to the Hissar Fortress and the remains of the palace of the Bukhara Emirate Becks. Its thick walls once guarded a pool, garden, and palace, while the fortress itself opposed a noisy market and Caravanserai. What remains today is a portion of the wall and the gate towers representative of the 18th and 19th century style. The area has been inhabited since antiquity and features an 8th century mosque, but it was the emirs who inhabited the fortress and the Silk Route traders that made Gissar a center of commerce and learning .You will also have an opportunity to visit the Old Medressa (Madrasai Kuhna) (16-17 century) and its Museum, Madrasai Nav (17-18 century) and the Caravan Saray as well. Your city tour includes a visit the Museum of National Antiquities with exhibits primarily from Tajikistan’s pre-Islamic civilizations: the Greek, Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian periods. The most notable piece in the museum is the largest, fifteen-hundred-year-old reclining Buddha statue. Later enjoy strolling around the big Ismoili Somoni Monument – the forefather of Tajik nation, erected in the Main Square and Rudaki Park in the center of city as well. Try the taste of Tajik tea and hot bread in public teahouses – called khona – most of which are decorated in traditional, colourful Tajik style.Overnight at Atlas hotel in Dushanbe. (D)
Day 02: Kalaikum
Today we start our journey toward the Pamir over the mountain passes to Kalaikum which is halfway to Khorog. Overnight at local guest house (BLD)
Day 03: Khorog
Drive to Khorog, the capital of the Gorno- Badakhshan (GBAO) region, along the Panj River which forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Overnight in Serena hotel (BLD)
Day 04: Khorog
In the morning, visit Khorog’s bazaar, museum and botanical gardens. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Serena hotel (BLD)
Day 05: Ishkashim Wakhan Valley
Today we drive to Wakhan valley. En-route we stop at Garm Chashma (Hot spring). Garam Chasma is the Pamirs’ most popular open-air hot spring pool for the locals. We visit the ruins of Kah Kahah fortress dated back from Kushan period 4th Century AD and in the afternoon, drive to Bibi Fotima hot spring for walk around the village. Overnight homestay (BLD)
Day 06: Langar
In the morning we visit a small museum of local astronomer and poet Sufi Muboraki Wakhoni. Afterwards we travel to the village Vrang where on a cliff-side pitted with caves, contains a Buddhist complex dating from 4th-7th centuries, reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. Continue driving to Langer, afternoon walk around the village and a chance to meet the locals, or if you are energetic optional hike up the hill to see the petroglyph site above the village, which involves a fair physical effort to reach. These images carved into the rocks high above the village depict goats, caravans, horses. Overnight in home stay (BLD)
Day 7: Murghab
Today we visit local shrine Mazor-I Shoh Qambar-I Oftob (Master of Sun). Afterward we drive along the Pamir River via the Khargoshi pass (4344m) to Murghab.
Murgab is the highest village in Tajikistan. It is located at an altitude of 3600 meters. The town lies at the junction of the Pamir highway (that connects the region with Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan) and the main road linking Tajikistan with China through the Kulma pass. Overnight in homestay (BLD)
Day 8: Kyzyl Art pass – Sary-Tash (Kyrgyzstan)
We drive along the Pamir Highway to Sary-Tash, en-route we stop at Karakul Lake with beautiful view of the Lake and surrounding mountain peaks. Drive to Kyzyl-Art Pass (4,280 m) border crossing. After border formalities, meet your Kyrgyz guide and descend to Sary-Tash village. Overnight at Mirbek Guest House. (BLD)
Day 9: Sary Tash village – Osh
In the morning we drive to Osh to visit the Suleyman Mountain, Baburs house, History Museum, Rabat Abdullah Khan Mosque and Mausoleum and Osh Bazaar.
Overnight at Silkway hotel (BLD)
Day 10: Osh-Chyckan Gorge
Drive to Chychkan Gorge, stopping along the way at the Uzgen minaret and mausoleum. Our journey takes us through the hydro-power stations, Toktogul water reservoir, Marble Pyramid and the Chychkan Canyon.
Overnight at Oson Motel in Chyckan Gorge. (BLD)
Day 11: Chychkan Gorge – Bishkek
Today we drive the Ala-Bel pass (3200 m above sea level) and through the Suusamyr valley to Bishkek. Upon arrival in Bishkek, enjoy a city tour which includes Central Square Ala-Too, White House, Parliament House, Manas on Horse Statue, in Statue, and Oak Park. Overnight at Discovery hotel in Bishkek. (BLD)
Day 12 Bishkek – Sonkul Lake (370 kms)
Morning scenic drive to Song Kul Lake. Song Kol is a high alpine lake in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan It lies at an altitude of 3016 metre from sea level. It is an important migration point for birds, which flock here for the lake’s rich marshlands. The lake itself is an exquisite gem-colored turquoise blue, reaching a depth of 14 meters. In the summer. Song-Kul Lake is surrounded by lush verdant grass, making it a hotspot for nomadic cattle and horse breeders. Overnight in Yurt. (BLD)
Day 13: Sonkul Lake – Issyk Kul Lake (300 kms)
Morning drive to Issyk-Kul. En route stop in Kochkor village where you will visit the Altyn Kol Women’s Handicraft Co-operative Centre.
Here, you will learn how nomadic Kyrgyz women made Shyrdak, and Ala-Kiyiz – a floor covering made by pressing felt of various naturally dyed colors. You will see the process of felt carpet-making and wool-dying. Kochkor is famous for farming and felt-makers.
Later, we continue driving to Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul. Visit Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs Saimalu-Tash, which covers 42 hectares and contains prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall) and petroglyphs dating from 500 BC up to 600 AD.
Upon arrival enjoy the stunning view of the Lake or take an optional boat ride.
Overnight at Three Crown hotel in Issuk Kul Lake. (BD)
Day 14: Issyk-Kul Lake – Karakol (150 kms)
Drive to Karakol. Half day sightseeing of Karakol visiting the Russian Church (1885), Dungan mosque (1910) and the museum and grave of Prjevalskiy, a great Russian explorer of Central Asia and Mongolia.
After lunch drive to Djety-Oguz valley. Walking around the Canyon later return back to Karakol. Overnight at Amir hotel in Karakol. (BD)
Day 15: Karakol – Charyn Canyons – Almaty (Kazakhstan)
After breakfast depart Karakol and drive to Charyn Canyons via Karkara valley, see the natural landscapes and hike the Charyn canyon which is also known as Valley of Castles for its unusual rock formations. The width of it ranges from 20-80 meters (66 – 262 ft) and the length is 2 km (1.24 mi) long. After picnic lunch continue driving to Almaty. Overnight at Otrar hotel in Almaty. (BLD)
Day 16: Almaty visit
Almaty city tour: visit the Zenkov Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest all wood buildings and the unique national museum of Kazak musical instruments. Drive to Medeo. Take a funicular to lift to Chymbulak Mountain Ski Resort center. On the way back to Almaty take a cable car to climb to Kok-Tobe Green Hill. Enjoy panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill followed by a visit to the Central State Museum. Overnight at Otrar hotel in Almaty (BLD)
Day 17: Almaty flight to Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Depending on the flight schedule, transfer to the airport for flight to Tashkent.
Free afternoon at leisure.Overnight in Uzbekistan hotel Tashkent (BD)
Day 18: Tashkent visit
City tour of Tashkent includes visting Amir Timur Square, with its imposing statue of Uzbekistan’s post-Soviet hero, Tamerlane. Continue past Independence Square, the largest city square of the former Soviet Union. Visit the State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, largely formed from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collectors, nationalized after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today the Museum houses an excellent collection of Uzbek and Russian painting, and also a fine collection of textiles, jewellery, wood carvings and ceramics.
Later visit the Old part of Tashkent. Drive to the restored Barak-Khan Complex, with striking blue tiled domes and decorative Iwans (entrance portals), built during the 16th century when the Shaybanid Dynasty (the Uzbeks) replaced the Timurid Dynasty. Visit the Hast Imam library to see an 8th century manuscript Quran written in the territory of modern Iraq in Kufic script. It is believed by local Uzbek Muslims to have belonged to the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan and is the oldest Quran in the world. Afternoon visiting to the Chorsu Bazaar, centre of daily life in the heart of old town. The Bazaar comprises a unique complex of trade halls crowned with interrelated domes. Everything from exotic dried fruits, fresh herbs, handmade cheese and freshly-killed meat to colourful handicrafts is for sale.Afterwards, explore the impressive Tashkent Metro, which opened in 1977 in honour of 60th anniversary of the USSR. Each station has its own unique architectural features made of semi-precious materials including marble, granite, glass, ceramics and carved alabaster.
You will also have a chance to visit to the Museum of Applied Arts, with its vast collection of Uzbek traditional crafts. The museum is housed in the former residence of Russian diplomat A. A. Polovtsev, which was built at the end of 19th century in the Uzbek national style. Overnight at Uzbekistan hotel in Tashkent. (BD)
Day 19: Samarkand
Morning transfer to the train station for express train to Samarkand. Afternoon half day city tour of Samarkand city. For most people Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Timbouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous for.
Overnight in Malika prime hotel (BD)
Day 20: Samarkand sightseeing
Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane and the Observatory of Ulughbek; the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient. Overnight in Malika Prime hotel (BD)
Day 21: Bukhara via Shakhrisabz
Travel to Bukhara via Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane. We visit Tamerlane’s palace Ak Sarai, the Kok Gumbaz mosque, Mausoleum of Jehangir (Tamerlane’s grandson) and Tamerlane’s Mausoleum. Bukhara is one of the centere of the Russian/British Intelligence Services in the 19th Century.
Overnight at Sasha & Son’s or Zargaron hotel (BD)
Day 22: Bukhara
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; the resulting restoration of some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, to make them appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago.
We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of an ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Overnight at Sasha & Son’s or Zargaron hotel (BD)
Day 23: Bukhara Free day
Full free day at leisure. Overnight at Sasha & Son’s or Zargaron hotel (BD)
Day 24: Bukhara-Urgench Khiva
In the morning drive to Khiva, later half day city tour of Khiva
Overnight at Malika hotel in Khiva. (BD)
Day 25: Khiva: City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Dinner will be served at Toza Bogh Palace (Summer residence of Muhammad Khan II). Overnight at Malika hotel in Khiva. (BD)
Day 26: Dashoguz- Kunya Urgench – Gas Crater (Turkmenistan)
Today we drive to Kunya Urgench through the Kara Kum Desert to the ruins of ancient capital. We cross the border at Dashoguz and continue driving to Kunya Urgench. We visit the Kunya Urgench historical site, where the mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra and Sultan Ali are located. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret & Kyrk Molla. Later in the afternoon we drive to Darvaza flaming Gas Crater or the ‘mouth of hell’.En-route we visit a Nomad village located in the Karakum desert. Enjoy the amazing views with picnic dinner. Overnight in a basic camp near the Darvaza crater. We will be providing sleeping bags and mattresses. (BLD)
Day 27: Darvaza Flaming Crater-Ashgabad
In the morning, drive to Ashgabad and visit the Nissa fortress -the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nissa was a royal residence or a mausoleum. The ruins of ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village.
Overnight at Grand hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)
Day 28: Ashgabad Sightseeing
Morning visit to the Tolkuchka Bazaar and Spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi. Later we drive to Gokdepe fortress and horse farm. Gokdepe fortress that was attacked in December 1880 by 6,000 Russians under General Mikhail Skobelev against 25,000 defenders. Gokdepe Mosque was built to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure.
At the horse farm you can see proud of Turkmen national Akhalteke horses. Over the 30 beautiful horses, you can see at the horse farm. 5000 years ago, Turkmens begin breed Akhalteke horses. Unique breed on the world, which not mixed with other breeds. Different rulers as Alexander Great, Darius I wants to own this horses. Overnight at Grand hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)
Day 29: Ashgabad onward flight
Our service will end with airport transfer (B)
*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange alternative hotels of a similar standard.
** Optional extension to Mary can be arrange on request at extra cost**
Tour cost per person in USD
2 Pax $7100 USD
3-5 pax $6000 USD
6-9 pax $5050 USD
Single supplement $620 USD
TOUR COST INCLUDES
All private transfers in air-conditioned cars, bus in cities depend on the group size, 4 wheel drive for Pamir Highway and domestic flights.
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities Home stays, Guest houses and Yurt with basic sharing facilities
Meals half board: Breakfast and Dinner. Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by an experienced local English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters for Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
TOUR COST EXCLUDES
Visa Fees and GBAO permit
Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
Tips for Guides and drivers
Early check in hotels and late checkout
*** Please also note that Single Supplement is only available while staying in hotels only not in Guest houses and home stays***
***If you would like to customize your trip please write to us we are more than happy to arrange your trip according to your request