Central Asia at a Glance
- Accommodation in mentioned hotel on twin sharing basis
- Meals: breakfast at the hotels
- A/C comfortable transport with professional driver per itinerary
- Private English-speaking guide in Uzbekistan (separate in each city)
- Private English-speaking driver-guide for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
- Private English-speaking guide in Turkmenistan
- Welcome gifts and personal Certificate of Great Silk Road Explorer
Price does not include Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan parts:
- Visa costs and processing: Tajikistan visa is 80$, Uzbekistan visa 2 entry online visa, Turkmenistan visa is 85$
- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan visa free for US
- Photo and video charges
- Uzbekistan Entrance fees
- Air ticket Tashkent – Urgench (Y class)
Air ticket Ashgabat – Mary
Air ticket Bishkek – Tashkent
- International air tickets
- Lunches + dinners per program
- Portages at airports and hotels
- Tips and gratuities
- Any personal expenses / Any services not included in the above itinerary
- Important – early arrival is included (by program).
- Additional supplements could be offered depending to the international flight tourist used.
Day 0: Istanbul – Almaty KAZAKHSTAN
21:45 departure to Almaty by TK350.
Day 1: Almaty
06:10 arrival. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel.
10:00 the tour starts with sightseeing in central part of Almaty. You will visit the Green Bazaar, the oldest Almaty park - Panfilov Park, where one of the most beautiful wooden building in the world - Zenkov Cathedral is located. You will also visit the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, dedicated to the memory of the fighters who died for freedom and independence of the country.
After exploration of sport, cultural and business areas of the city you will get to the Medeo Gorge, well known due to the highest mountain skating rink in the world and the dam, protecting the city from dangerous mudflow.
Next destination is the Kok-Tobe hill where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will get by the picturesque winding mountain road. In Kok-Tobe Park you can stroll along the winding paths of the park, admire the magnificent panorama of the city from the special observation deck and visit the shop of national souvenirs.
The tour ends with the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway. 18:00 and dinner in a local restaurant. Night in hotel.
Day 2: Almaty – Almaty Big Lake – Almaty
Breakfast at the hotel.
11:00 Sightseeing tour.
Go to Alma - Arasan, recreation area, have a lunch at ancient Kazakh home “yurta”, feel real Kazakh atmosphere, culture and traditions, taste Kazakh national food, drink Kumis and Shubat (horse and camel milk), dance traditional Kazakh dance.
The tour continues with driving to the Big Almaty gorge, where at an altitude of 2,510 m above sea level located the Big Almaty lake - one of the most picturesque lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau.
The tour route lies higher the Big Almaty Lake to the altitude of 3300 meters above sea level, where scientific premises for astronomical and space researches have settled down. Here, at the basis of the Big Almaty peak, you can enjoy a fascinating panorama of mountains and the Big Almaty Lake, surrounded by the picturesque mountain peaks covered with Tian-Shan fir-tree, aspen and juniper.
On the way back to the town you will visit the Falcon Farm, where you will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks - hunting with them is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh way of life.
18:00 Dinner in one of the following cafes in the city: Vizir, Kishlak, Rumi. 20:00 return to the hotel and overnight.
Day 3: Almaty – Bishkek KYRGYZSTAN
Transfer to Bishkek. Border formalities. This entire day is dedicated to a guided tour of Bishkek. It includes visiting Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Central Ala-Too Square, the History Museum, National Philharmonic, and many others places of interest. But no tour of Bishkek is complete without visiting our Asian Bazaar! We will show it to you today and you will be able to take a lot of dynamic photos of bustling local life. This bazaar is a noisy and colorful tapestry of fabrics, produce, and people selling and buying goods. Traditional dinner will be served at 7 p.m. You will spend the night in a hotel.
Day 4: Bishkek – Kochkor – Son Kul
In the morning we start our drive to the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan – Son Kul. This lake is surrounded by mountains and it is the highest alpine lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3013 meters above sea level. Since ancient times Kyrgyz nomads have come to this wonderful area with their families for rest and relaxation. On route you will visit Burana Tower (an 11th century minaret) and an open air museum of Balbans (stone warriors). We will have a break in Kochkor village, where a local family will show you how our national felt carpets are made. You will have dinner and spend the night in nomadic felt dwellings, yurts, near the lake.
Day 5: Son Kul Lake
Today we will walk and meet real nomads. It is a great chance to get acquainted with nomadic traditions and culture. All nomads are very hospitable. They will always invite you inside their yurts to drink tea with them. They are not used to seeing many tourists and are always happy to speak with you. Hospitality is one of the main laws among nomads. The used to say: “Guest is sent by God”. So, they cannot just let you pass without having a rest with them. A traditional dinner will be served in original nomadic houses - yurts. You will get to spend the night in yurts as nomads do.
Day 6: Son Kul – Suusamir – Bishkek 350km – Tashkent flight UZBEKISTAN
After meeting with locals, we will drive to the capital of Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek city. The road to the city goes through the southern part of Kyrgyzstan. During your transfer be prepared for amazing views of impressive mountains and gorges. Today you will see panoramic views of Tue Ashuu pass which is more than 3000 meters high! This road is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Kyrgyzstan. You will have many photo stops so that you will remember this day. Fantastic roads, amazing views, nomads, high mountains; ensure your memories of Kyrgyzstan will last a lifetime.
19:30 flight to Tashkent, 19:50 arrival. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Tashkent – Khiva via Urgench
Breakfast at the hotel.
05:15 am transfer to the airport, 07:25 am flight to Urgench, 08:55 am arrival and transfer to Khiva. Hotel accommodation.
City tour in Khiva:
Ichan-Kala architectural complex (XII-XIX), the Residence of the last Khiva Khan including Ismail Khodja Mausoleum, Muhammed Amin Khan Madrassah, Kunya-Ark Castle (XVI-XVI), Kalta Minor Tower, Tash-Hovli Palace (XIX), Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum (XIV-XVIII), Juma Mosque (X) and other Khiva tourist sights. Narrow streets, carved “ayvans” veranda and doors, majestic minarets and mausoleums, heritage and arts –all kept with care in this city as great treasure. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Khiva – Dashoguz – Darwaza TURKMENISTAN
Arrival at border post Shavat, drive to Ancient Kynya Urgench (UNESCO) for an excursion. Lunch in local restaurant.
After lunch, drive to Darwaza gas crater in the Karakum desert. Arrival in Darwaza gas crater before sunset (~1800h). BBQ dinner, discover the burning gas crater by day and nighttime. Overnight in the yurt camp near gas crater.
Day 9:Darwaza – Ashgabat
Breakfast in camp. Departure to Ashgabat, with visits to mud and water craters on the way. Transfer to hotel upon arrival and short rest. City tour with visits to National Museum, Neutrality Arch, Independence Park, Earthquake Memorial, Wedding Palace viewpoint. Dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 10: Ashgabat – Mary flight
After breakfast, visit to Sunday Market (aka Tolkuchka bazaar, open on Thu, Sat-Sun). Transfer to Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum in Kipchak and Nissa (UNESCO).
Early evening transfer to the airport for a flight to Mary. Transfer to hotel. Dinner in local restaurant. Opportunity to walk around the city center and visit to Central Bazaar of Mary. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11: Mary – Bukhara UZBEKISTAN
In the early morning, after breakfast, drive to Turkmenabat and visit to Ancient Merw (UNESCO) on the way. Visit to Erk Kala, Gyaur Kala, Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Kyz Kala complex, Muhammed ibn Zaid Mausoleum Upon arrival in Turkmenabat transfer to Farap border post. Cross Turkmen-Uzbek border in the afternoon.
Meeting with driver and continue to Bukhara. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel.
City tour in Bukhara: Ismael Samani Mausoleum - the tomb of representatives of Samanids’ jeweler at the end of IX – beginning of X), Chashma Ayub Mausoleum (Spring of Job – XIV), Bolo-Hauz Mosque (beginning of XX), Citadel Ark (IV) – city in a city, Poi Kalon Ensemble (Pedestal of the Great), religious heart of Sacred Bukhara, consists of Minaret Kalon (XII), Kalyan Mosque (XII), Miri Arab Madrassah (XVI), Ulugbek’s Madrassah (1417), Magoki-Attori Mosque (dated XII-XVI centuries), Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble (dated XIV-XVII centuries), Chor-Minor (four minarets).
Free time: we advise you to visit Bukhara Dome Bazaars (dated 15-16 centuries): Toki Saraffon (the Dome of Moneychangers), Toki-Telpak Furushon (the Dome of Cap makers), Toki Zargaron (the Dome of Jewelers) and Tim Abdullakhan (the Center of silk).
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Bukhara – Shakhrisabz - Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure to Shakhrisabz city (motherland of Great Amir Timur).
City tour: Ruins of Ak-Saray Palace (XIV-XV), Dor-ut Saodat Complex: Khazratiy Imam Mosque (XIV), Jahongir Mausoleum (XIV), Dor-ut Tillavat Complex: Gumbazi-Seiidan, Kok Gumbaz Mosque (XV).
Continue to Samarkand. Arrival and Samarkand hotel accommodation.
Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14: Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel.
09:00 city tour in Samarkand:
Visit Gur Emir Mausoleum - Tamerlane’s Tomb (14-15th c.) – Guri Amir is Persian for “Tomb of the King” Continue to Registan square - Registan square heart of Samarkand. Registan Square is ornate portals, patterned minarets and glistening cupolas. Registan Square consist with three madrasahs: The Ulugh Beg Madrasah (1417–1420), the Tilya-Kori Madrasah (1646–1660) and the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619–1636). All three madrasahs rife with glazed mosaics in liquid shades gold.
Visit Bibi-Khanum Mosque and Siyab Bazaar– The Bibi Khanym complex in Samarkand was built in 1399–1405 with the spoils of Timur’s (Tamerlane’s) campaign in India. Bibi Khanym was named in homage to Timur’s senior wife, Sarai Mulk Khanym.
Visit Islam Karimov memorial complex and continue to Architectural complex Shakhi-Zindeh (11-15th c.) – The necropolis of Shah-I Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammad.
19:00 dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15: Samarkand – Penjikent – 7 lakes TAJIKISTAN
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 Seven Lakes (80 km, 1.5-2h.). The Seven Lakes are located in the west of Fann mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple. At the last lake of Khoazorchashma you will enjoy a picnic. After lunch drive to Penjikent. Sightseeing in Penjikent: Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Visit ancient Penjikent located within 5 minutes’ drive from modern Penjikent. Penjikent was a major Sogdian city dating back to the 5th century and was destroyed by Arab conquerors in the 8th century. Dinner o/n a t Hotel Sugd 3* or Umariyon 3*. Meal: LD.
Day 16: Penjikent - Iskandarkul - Dushanbe
Drive to Dushanbe via Iskanderkul Lake, known as a lake of Alexander the Great which was established in 1969. The area of the lake is 30000 ha. According to the legend, the Iskanderkul Lake was named after Alexander the Great, known as Iskander in the East. People say that Alexander the Great’s path to Central Asia from India laid through this lake. Lunch at traditional homestay "Dilovar". Exploration the surroundings of the lake: five springs, Zmeinoe lake (Snake lake), walking to 38m high waterfall which is called “Fan Niagara “. Return to Dushanbe in the afternoon. Drive to Dushanbe, accommodation to the Hotel. Meal: BLD.
Day 17: Dushanbe
Breakfast. Full day SS of:
Tajikistan United Museum includes the exhibits on history, natural history and art, Buddha in Nirvana is one of the valuable exhibits of museum. (Closed on Mondays).
Botanical garden-very beautiful garden with many old trees is the favorite place of Tajiks.
Bazaar- an oriental market is the most crowded place in the city
Hissar fortress the remains of an 18th century fortress, occupied until 1924 is located in 30 km west of Dushanbe. Beside the fortress are two plain Madrassah, one dating from the 18th century and the other 19th, and beyond them is the mausoleum of 16th century. O/n at hotel. Meal: BLD.
Day 18: Dushanbe. Departure
Transfer to the airport. Departure.