The Great Silk Road, 21 days

                                                                      The Great Silk Road
       More than 2,000 years ago, the great trade routes that linked Europe and China opened Central Asia to foreign cultures, customs and religions. Join a modern-day caravan on an epic journey to five of these exotic countries – Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

 

Highlights of the trip:

∣         Ashgabat – city of love

∣         Merv – the oldest and best-preserved of the oasis cities along the Silk Route in Central Asia

∣         Holy Bukhara – city of minarets, mosques and madrassas

∣         Samarkand – pearl of the East

∣         Tashkent – the largest city in Central Asia

∣         Khujand – homeland of famous astronomers, mathematicians, doctors, historians, poets and musicians

∣         Osh – the largest city in the Ferghana Valley

∣         Burana – monument of the reign of the Karakhanids

∣         Issyk Kol – «hot lake» that never freezes

∣         Son Kol – lake in the heart of the Inner Tien Shan

∣         Three nights in traditional yurts under the stars

∣         Kok Tobe hill – the highest point in Almaty

Charyn - American Grand Canyon of Central Asia

 

Route of program day by day:

 

Day 1. Airport – Ashgabat

Arrival to Ashgabat airport where our team will pick up you and drive you to hotel situated in the capital.

After rest and breakfast at the hotel the day is dedicated to visit the capital Ashgabat (city of love), founded in 1818. After the earthquake of October 6, 1948 the city has been completely rebuilt. We visit of the Independence Park, the Arc of Neutrality, the National Museum of History which presents a beautiful collection of objects.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we continue to visit the Nisa site at 18 km from Ashgabat in a village Bagir and visit the Mausoleum - Turkmenbashi Mosque (1st president of the country) in Kipchak.

Overnight in the hotel.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Ak Altyn or similar)

 

Day 2. Ashgabat – Mary  

Early morning airport transfer to Mary at 09:35 - 10:15.

Arrival at Mary and transfer to the east of Mary 32 km to visit Merv (UNESCO), you will learn the history and cultures of several cities. The oasis was part of the empire of Alexander the Great. Erk Kala and Gyaur Kala, which was occupied for 1,500 years during the entire Parthian and Sassanid periods and at the beginning of the Islamic period. Sultan Kala, Kyz Kala, the Mausoleums of Sultan Sanjar and Muhammad Ibn Zeyd are preserved monuments that directly reflect the life of all the East at various stages of its existence. In 1999, the National Historic and Cultural Park "The Old Merv " was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

Back to Mary. Visit of the History Museum and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Overnight in the hotel.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Mary or similar)

 

Day 3. Mary – Farap – Bukhara

Departure in the morning at 07:00, direct route to Farap border post (ca. 4 h).

Upon arrival and border formalities, you will be met by the driver and guide and transferred to the city of Bukhara (ca. 1,5-2 h).

On arrival you will have a short sightseeing tour. The city tour begins with a visit to the mausoleum of Ismail Samani, the founder of the Samanid dynasty in the 9th century. Next mausoleum Chashma Ayub is visited with "holy water" next to the oriental bazaar. The next attraction is the Mosque of Bolo Hauz or the mosque "with 40 columns" from the 18th century.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Amulet or similar)

 

Day 4. Bukhara – Samarkand

After breakfast we visit former palace of the former emirs of Bukhara.

We continue our visit to the Poi Kalon Complex with the Karakhanid Minaret Kalon, Kalon Mosque and Miri Arab Medrese, which has been in operation since the 16th century. The Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan Medresses let you get even more impressions with their beauty.

On the road, we will see the old trading vaults and hammam as well. Then we will come to the Labi Hauz complex with three buildings. This is the most popular place not only by tourists, but also by locals. Old Jewish synagogue and doll's workshop are recommended for viewing.

In the afternoon you will be taken to the train station, where you will take a train to Samarkand.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Zilol Baxt or similar)

 

Day 5. Samarkand

After breakfast, we start sightseeing tour from the mausoleum of Amir Timur or Tamerlane, where he and his family are buried. Then we go to the famous Registan Square with three madrasses from the 15th and 17th century. This is a landmark of Samarkand. Registan was and is the main town of Samarkand today.

We continue our visits to the Bibi Khanum Mosque from Timur's reign with the bazaar and the necropolis of Shachi Zinda, where the mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abbas from the 10th century is located, as well as the mausoleums from Timur's and Ulugbek's reign.

Then we drive to the Ulugbek Observatory, where he built the first observatory in the Orient.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Zilol Baxt or similar)

 

Day 6. Samarkand – Tashkent

In the early morning you will be taken to the train station, where you will have a train to Tashkent.

Upon arrival, we begin the sightseeing tour. The first attraction will be Hazrati Imam religious complex, where you will visit the 16th century Mausoleum of Kaffal Ash Shashi, Barakchan Medresse, which is now an art workshop center, Tilla Sheikh Mosque. The main point will be Medrese Muyi Muborak, where you will see the genuine 7th-century Holy Quran book by Chalif Osman and many other Koran books in other languages. The visit to the complex ends with a visit to the mosque Hazrati Imam.

Our next destination will be Bazar Chorsu - the biggest bazar in Tashkent, where you will enjoy oriental atmosphere with smell of spices and fresh fruits. Not far from the bazar we will visit the Medresse Kukeldash, one of the functioning madrasas in Tashkent.

In the Museum of Applied Arts you can get acquainted with Uzbek art, customs and traditions.

Then we visit Independence Square and Amir Timur Square.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Shodlik or similar)

 

Day 7. Tashkent – Oybek – Khujand

In the morning after breakfast we drive to the Uzbek-Tajik border Oybek (ca. 2 h).

Upon arrival and border formalities, you will be met by the driver and guide and transferred to the city of Khujand (ca. 2,5-3 h), the second largest city in Tajikistan.

Khujand is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Its population is approximately 170 thousand people. The city stands on the deep Syr Darya river, surrounded by mountains and greenery, in clean air.

After arrival in Khujand is a short city tour. We can visit Khujand fortress and Syr Darya river and mosque.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Firuz or similar)

 

Day 8. Khujand – Guliston – Osh

Early breakfast and at 08:00 we drive to Kyrgyzstan. In 2-2,5 hours arrival to Guliston border.

Then we drive towards Osh (ca. 4-5 h), it is one of the largest cities in the Ferghana Valley, the second largest city and the universally recognized second (southern) capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Arrival in Osh in the evening, transfer to hotel.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Silk Way or similar)

 

Day 9. Osh – Bishkek

Breakfast at the hotel. Then we start our city tour in Osh.

We visit Sulaiman-Too. Mount Sulaiman Too is one of the main attractions of Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. In 2009 the mountain became the first historical and architectural object of Kyrgyzstan, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The h of the sacred mountain is 150 meters, the length more than 1 km and the width 560 meters.

We can also visit the local bazaar.

In the afternoon transfer to airport (between 15:00 and 18:00) for taking flight to Bishkek.

Arrival in Bishkek, transfer to hotel.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (My Hotel or similar)

 

Day 10. Bishkek – Burana – Chon Kemin

After breakfast, the city tour in Bishkek is planned. We will visit sights such as the central square Ala Too with its monuments and the Oak park.

Then we drive towards Burana Tower. The Burana Tower is an ancient minaret in the Chuy Valley in the north part of Kyrgyzstan. The tower with funerary monuments, earthworks, remains of the castle and three mausoleums – that’s all what last out of the ancient Balasagyn town that was founded by Karakhanids at the end of the ninth century.

Lunch on the road in the café or in the guest house.

After we keep our way towards Chon Kemin gorge. It is unique place thanks to its unbelievable beauty and its rich diversity of fauna and flora. You will have the opportunity to hike in the gorge and enjoy the beautiful alpine views.

Dinner and overnight in the guesthouse.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Guesthouse (Kemin or similar)

 

Day 11. Chon Kemin – Semenovskoe gorge – Karakol

After breakfast we visit the Semenovskoe gorge. This place is considered as one of the most famous attractions of the Issyk Kul region.  You can go for a walk, enjoy the wild nature around you and spend a nice time in this beautiful place.

Picnic or lunch in the café on the road.

After arrival in Karakol, we visit its famous sights such as the Orthodox Church and the Dungan Mosque.

You have dinner in the local restaurant and you have a rest in the hotel.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Nomad or similar)

 

Day 12. Karakol – Jety Oguz – Barskoon – Tamga

After breakfast, we go Jety Oguz valley. Its name means “Seven bulls”. The name is symbolic, because there are huge red-brown rocks resembling ranked furious bulls standing together.

Especially romantic look has the rock "Broken Heart" located at the entrance to the gorge.

After we visit the Barskoon Gorge with impressive nature. At the foot of the mountain, you can also enjoy the beautiful Barskoon River. During the summertime, people build yurts here, so you can try the Kyrgyz traditional drink Kymys and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

In the evening, you will try a real Russian sauna in Tamga.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Guesthouse (U Pavla or similar)

 

Day 13. Tamga – Skazka – Bokonbaevo – Kochkor

In the morning, we go towards Kochkor town by the south shore of the lake; we visit the Skazka canyons, which signify Fairytale. Here you can find objects of surprising shapes and sizes. A real skyscraper or an animal may appear in front of you.

In Bokonbaevo you will meet the eagle hunter with his bird of prey (option).

In Kochkor, the Kyrgyz women show you the process of producing traditional objects made of felt (option).

We will listen to the national music and folk instruments (option).

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Guesthouse (Mira or similar)

Option: Eagle hunting (77 $), felt show (40 $), folk show (55 $)

 

Day 14. Kochkor – Tash Rabat

The goal of the day is to reach the caravanserai Tash Rabat.

Tash Rabat is a historical monument founded by monks in the 10th century. During the Silk Road history, Tash Rabat has lost its religious significance and the main function of the monastery was providing a stay for caravans and travelers.

Note: yurt capacity 6 people. But during the low season you can be accommodated 2 pax per yurt according to the availability.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Yurt camp

 

Day 15. Tash Rabat – Son Kol

The goal of the day is to reach Son Kol lake, located at an altitude of 3 000 m.

When we arrive in the yurts camp, you get to know the hospitality of the nomads, their lifestyle and their customs.

Note: yurt capacity 6 people. But during the low season you can be accommodated 2 pax per yurt according to the availability.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Yurt camp

 

Day 16. Son Kol

Breakfast in the yurt camp.

Today you can freely design in this natural paradise according to your wishes.

Get in contact with the locals and learn what life as a nomad means. You can find out, how the people of ancient times still preserve their traditions, customs and culture. Here you meet the modern nomads who have not changed their lifestyle for centuries.

On request you can rent a horse and ride (bookable on site).

Note: yurt capacity 6 people. But during the low season you can be accommodated 2 pax per yurt according to the availability.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Option: National horse games demonstration (210 $), horse riding (9 $ per person/1 hour)

 

Day 17. Son Kol – Bishkek

We return to the capital after breakfast in the yurt.

We will return to the civilization passing again by the Boom gorge.

Lunch in the café on the road.

As we get Bishkek we will have time to visit the local market to buy some presents.

In the evening, we will have dinner at traditional Kyrgyz restaurant.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (My Hotel or similar)

 

Day 18. Bishkek – Almaty

After breakfast at the hotel, we keep our road towards Korday, the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.

We cross the border and go to Almaty (ca. 4 h).

Lunch on the road.

The tour in Almaty starts by visit of the highest wooden building in the world, Zenkov Cathedral.

Then we will take you to Medeo Gorge, where the largest high mountain skating rink in the world is located surrounding by wonderful mountains.

After Medeo, we go to Kok-Tobe hill where the TV tower is located.

Dinner at restaurant.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Renion or similar)

 

Day 19. Almaty – Altyn Emel

After breakfast we go towards Altyn Emel national park, located in the valley of the Ili River in the territory of Almaty region. The park was founded on April 10, 1996 in order to preserve the unique natural complex, archaeological and historical-cultural monuments, rare and endangered species of plants and animals.

Picnic in nature.

We visit the Singing dune, located in one of the corners of the Altyn Emel National Park, between the mountains of Big and Small Kalkan. This sandy hill consists of very fine pure sand, which starts to "sing" in windy weather and its sound reminds the organ music.

Overnight in the guesthouse.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Guesthouse (Altyn Emel or similar)

 

Day 20. Altyn Emel – Charyn – Almaty

After breakfast, we are on our way to Charyn canyons that is often called "Valley of Castles". The length of the valley is more than 2 km, width is 20-80 meters. It looks like the Grand Canyon of Colorado River in North America.

Here you will have time for walking among columns and towers made by nature.

In the evening we return to Almaty.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel 3* (Renion or similar)

 

Day 21. Almaty – Airport – Departure

Transfer to airport. Departure.

 

Price per person:

2pax - 4785 USD 
4pax - 3355 USD 
6pax - 2840 USD 
8pax - 2560 USD 
10pax - 2420 USD 

 

Include:

  • All transfers in comfortable and air conditioned vehicle
  • Professional driver
  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation described in the program in twin/double room/yurt
  • Breakfast
  • Visits described in the program
  • Mineral water 1L\person\day
  • *Domestic flight Ashgabat – Mary (day 2)
  • *Train Bukhara - Samarkand, Samarkand – Tashkent (day 4 & 6)
  • *Domestic flight Osh – Bishkek (day 9)

 Exclude:

International flights

Personal expenses

**Single room supplement – 550 USD

Insurance

Visa for Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan & Tajikistan

Migration tax of Turkmenistan (payable at the border)

Photo and video fees in historic parks and museums

Tips for guide, driver etc.

Early check in

Lunches & Dinners –  495 USD per person

Alcohol

Optional activities

Other items not mentioned as included

 

 

 

 

Number of days: 21
Covered regions:
Bishkek City
Batken
Chuy
Jalal-Abad
Naryn
Osh
Talas
Issyk-kul
Osh City
Included services:
Guide
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Accommodation (Hotel/Guesthouse)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Entrance tickets (e.g. museums, parks etc.)
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/Train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
Not included: • International flights • Personal expenses
What to bring: Warm shoes, warm clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses
Transport: SUV 4x4
Tour season:
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Tour categories:
Private tours
Cultural tours
Adventure tours
Offroad tours
Sightseeing tours
Winter tours
Special Event tours
Wildlife tours
Highlight tours
Photo tours
Hiking tours
Horseback riding tours
Circle tours
Short tours
Budget tours
Languages:
English
German
French
Spanish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Russian
Other
Payment Method

For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.