Central Asia 16 days tour covers 4 central Asian countries along the Great Silk Road. You will discover Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Discover historical sites with beautiful architecture, cultural traditions, and enjoy local food.
The highlights of the tour in Kyrgyzstan it is Issykul, Registan square in Samarkand, Gas Crater in Turkmenistan.
You will be amazed by the hospitality of the local people. Travelling in Central Asia includes vast territory with mountains, deserts and valleys. It is an adventurous like trip so be prepared for an usual customs and border crossings. No specific vaccinations are officially required for travel in Central Asia but check with your doctor before travelling. Bring a proper first-aid kit with basic medication for headaches, diarrhea, stomach bugs and infections. Always be prepared as you might always encounter problems finding a pharmacy on the way.
If you arrive a day early or early in the morning you can book the room in the same hotel for an extra charge. Arrive in Almaty. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov wooden cathedral, St.Nicholas Cathedral, the National Musical Instruments Museum, Almaty’s Green Bazaar, panoramic view at the observatory. Overnight Almaty
After breakfast depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan via a newly-built highway. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour in Bishkek. It’s a gateway to the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountains and Ala Archa National Park, with glaciers and wildlife trails. The city’s arts scene encompasses the monumental State Museum of Fine Arts and the colonnaded Opera and Ballet Theater. The vast, central Ala-Too Square features the Manas monument, honoring the hero of the Kyrgyz Epic of Manas. Overnight Bishkek.
Drive to Lake Issyk Kul (240 kms), one of the world’s largest mountain lakes at 1607 metres. After arrival, drive to Grigorevka gorge full of lush green alpine meadows and fir trees, then do an easy hike in the gorge. Next stop is in Cholpon Ata where you will be able to visit the petroglyphs lying under the open sky. Overnight Cholpon Ata.
Issyk Kul – Bishkek (240 km) – Tashkent flight Return to Bishkek visiting Burana Tower en route. The Burana Tower is a large minaret in the Chuy Valley in northern Kyrgyzstan. It is located about 80 km east of the country’s capital Bishkek, near the town of Tokmok. The tower, along with grave markers, some earthworks and the remnants of a castle and three mausoleums, is all that remains of the ancient city of Balasagun, which was established by the Karakhanids at the end of the 9th century. An external staircase and steep, winding stairway inside the tower enables visitors to climb to the top. Evening flight to Tashkent at 1840-1900, meet and transfer to hotel in Tashkent.
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan. It has a modern city and old town with madrasah and mosques as well as museums and galleries of art. After breakfast in the hotel we proceed for city tour: visit Hasti Imam square, Mui Mubarak library with Osman Koran of 7 c, Barakhan Madrasa, Chorsu bazaar, Applied Arts Museum, Independence square, and Tashkent metro. Overnight.
Early breakfast in the hotel and transfer to railway station for fast Train to Samarkand. Upon arrival start your city tour in Samarkand. Visit Gur Emir mausoleum, Registan square and Siab Bazar, Bibi Hanum mosque. Day 8: Full day city tour of Samarkand. You will visit Shahi Zinda complex, Afrosiab museum with wall painting of 7 C and other ancient artifacts found at the site dating back to 6 century BC up to 20 Century AD. Also visit Ulughbek observatory and your visit to Konigil Silk paper workshop will finish your sightseeing. Enjoy Sound and Light Laser show at Registan after 2100 (if available). Overnight Samarkand.
Today we will show one of the famous Urgut Bazar of Uzbekistan, located 40 km from Samarkand. You will discover the local market with foodstuff, embroidery of Suzane, and other craftworks. After the market, you will return to Samarkand and visit Konigil village where locals revived the production of Samarkand Silk paper made of the Mulberry tree. Afternoon free on your own to explore more. Overnight.
Drive to Bukhara via Shahrisabz, another UNESCO world heritage site. Short city tour of Shahrisabz, visit Ak Saray ruins, Kok Gumbaz mosque, Juma mosque, Jahangir’s mausoleum. Shahrisabz is also famous for its embroidery Suzane which is different than other regions of Uzbekistan and you will be able to purchase local craftworks from local masters on site. After lunch, continue driving to Bukhara and you will arrive in Bukhara later evening and have free time for a little walk and exploration of the city. Your hotel is located in the old town. Overnight Bukhara.
Bukhara is the pearl of Asia and it was the center of Education and Islamic culture in the medieval ages. Still, in the city, there are many mosques, madrasa, and mausoleums. Visit Ismael Samaniy mausoleum, Chashmai Ayub, Bolo Hauz mosque. Ark Fortress, dating back to the 1st century AD and 20 century, it was the royal residence of Bukhara Emir. Kalyan mosque and minaret, Mir Arab Madrasa, Taki Zargaron, Ulughbek, and Abdulazizkhan madrasa, Tim Abdullakhan, Taki Telpakfurushon, Magaki Attari mosque, Nadir Divan Begi Hanaka and Madrasa, and Chor Minor. Overnight Bukhara.
Today in the morning we will leave Uzbekistan and head to the Turkmenistan border. You will be transferred to the border and pass through both customs, visa formalities and meet your Turkmenistan guide and driver at Turkmenistan customs. Between the two countries, there is a neutral zone and you can use a Shuttle bus from one side to the other. Continue driving to Mary, an oasis in the Karakum desert. Overnight Mary.
Today we will visit ancient Merw with its historical sites. It is located 25 km from the new city, Sightseeing in ancient Merv, founded in the 6th century BC and one of the most important cities along the Silk Road. Return to Mary and visit the museum. Catch afternoon flight to Ashgabat.
It’s known for its white marble buildings and grandiose national monuments. To the northwest, the sprawling Ruhy Mosque has a vast gilt dome. The central Artogrul Gazi Mosque is modeled on Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. Examples of traditional weaving are displayed at Turkmen Carpet Museum. The Wedding Palace is a series of star-shaped tiers topped by a giant golden globe. Sightseeing in Ashgabat including the National Museum of History and Ethnography of Turkmenistan, old Nisa, the ancient Parthian settlement, and the Anau ruins. Overnight Ashgabat.
After breakfast drive to Darwaza, gas crater it is also known as Hell’s gate. In the 1970s they discovered a huge reserve of natural gas and the crater is still burning since the 70s. En route, you will stop to see Erbent village to see how local Turkmen people live. Arrive in Darwaza evening, rest, and accommodate in Tents. You will have a picnic dinner with Shishi kebab prepared outside near the crater. Overnight in Tents.
Early morning 50-minute flight to Dashoguz. then drive to Kunya Urgench. Visit Kunya Urgench historical sites: mausoleums of Turebek-Khanum, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra, Sultan Ali. View the Kutlug Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla, Izmukhir. Return drive to Dashoguz. You will cross the border, the procedure is the same as you did when you crossed from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan. At the Uzbekistan side, where your Uzbek driver will meet you and transfer you to Khiva. Evening enjoys local Folk music and dance shows in a local family restaurant or on Rooftop. Overnight
Full day visit of Khiva: Ark Fortress, Ichan Kala, Madrasah Muhammad Aminkhan, Madrasa Muhammad Rahimkhan, Kalta Minor, wood workshop, carpet Workshop, Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Shergazikhan madrasa, Juma mosque and Minaret, Tash Hauli Palace, Caravanserai and bazaar. The evening after 8 PM transfer to the airport of Urgench for your flight to Tashkent. Arrival at 2230. Transfer to the hotel.
End of the tour. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the international airport of Tashkent for your return flight home.