Journey through the heart of Central Asia crossing starkly beautiful deserts and magnificent mountain landscapes. Discover ancient cities full of intricate Islamic architecture, thriving bazaars and a mystical old-world atmosphere, all inextricably linked with the legends of the Silk Road
Lake Issyk Kul
Cruise on beautiful Lake Issyk Kul
Discover the ancient and pre-Soviet styles of this intriguing city
Be mesmerised by this UNESCO city
Explore the ancient city of Khiva
22 Day Road to Samarkand Tour Tour Itinerary
DAYS 1-2: FLY TO BISHKEK
Fly overnight to the city of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. You have some time at leisure before a 3pm meal and welcome meeting at a local restaurant. Afterwards, enjoy a city tour of Bishkek.
DAY 3: BISHKEK
Journey to Ala Archa National Park, where you will stop at the park's basecamp. Embark on a 1-hour hike through the wildreness with stunning scenery all around.
Return to Bishkek where you will have a free afternoon.
DAY 4: CHOLPON-ATA / LAKE ISSYK KUL
This morning, visit the 12th Century Burana Tower for spectacular views before continuing to Cholpon-Ata, located at the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul. Explore ther collection of petroglyphs of ibex, wolves and deer etched into glacial stone that date back to the 8th century.
Afterwards, cruise on Lake Issyk Kul and view the stunning, alpine scenery. It can get cold on the 1-hour cruise, so we recommend you bring a warm jacket.
DAYS 5-6: CHOLPON-ATA / LAKE ISSYK KUL / KARAKOL
You will continue your journey this morning as you make your way to Karakol for a 2 night stay. Along the way though, you will enjoy a gentle hike at the picturesque Semenov Gorge and a trip to Kyrchyn Jailoo ethnic village. The day after you arrive in Karakol, you will visit the atmospheric Karakol Animal Market in the early morning, as well as hiking through the magnificent red sandstone canyon of Jety-Oguz, not to mention rich cultural experiences such as sipping on the Kyrgyz national beverage and visiting a traditional yurt.
DAY 7: BOKONBAYEVO VILLAGE
Leaving early, visit Kyzyl-Suu village to see the yurt installation. Travel to Barskoon Gorge to see the waterfall named ‘Tears of the Leopard’. Next, visit Skazka Canyon, also known as Fairy Tale Canyon.
Continue around 2 hours to Bokonbaevo Village and watch a demonstration of Eagle Hunting.
DAY 8: TASH RABAT CARAVANSERAI
In the morning, enjoy free time wandering through the picturesque village of Bokonbaevo and relax on Lake Issyk Kul. Board the bus in the late morning to continue your journey, enjoying the breath-taking views along the road as you continue 3 hours to Naryn. Whilst crossing the Dolon Pass the altitude will reach 3,030m.Keep an eye out for the dramatic valleys and high mountain passes as you ascend in altitude. Arrive at the Tash Rabat's historic caravanserai set in a peaceful valley setting where the only habitation is a series of seasonal yurt-camps. Here you will spend the night.
DAY 9: KOCHKOR
Enjoy a walk around the mountains surrounding Tash Rabat before transferring to Kochkor, the centre of Kyrgyz national felt handicrafts. This morning, visit a local workshop in Kochkor and see the manufacturing of the traditional Kyrgyz wool carpets, called ‘shyrdak’. Explore a small local market in the centre of the village and visit a local co-op that provides training for local women in traditional handicrafts.
DAY 10: CHONG KEMIN NATIONAL PART
Spend the morning exploring Kochkor at your own pace before hopping in your transport for the stunning drive to Chong Kemin National Park. This is a quiet valley with small villages surrounded by magnificent mountains and a fir forest. Take in the daily life in Ashu Village and witness horseback games (your National Escort will brief you on this), a nomadic tradition and custom of the Kyrgyz people.
DAY 11: TASHKENT
This morning you will transfer 2 hours to Bishkek airport for your flight to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. On arrival, transfer to your hotel, check in and enjoy dinner.
DAY 12: FERGANA
In the morning, journey back in time exploring Tashkent’s old town’s sights; Barak Khan Madrassah, Kukeldash Madrassah and Tila Shaikh mosque and their archives – known for rare copies of the Koran. Stop at Chorsu Bazaar – the oldest market in Tashkent. See Independence Square and Amir Timur Maydoni. Your last stop will be to the Tashkent Metro, with its opulently decorated marble, granite and chandeliers. In the afternoon, transfer 5 hours to the Uzbek city of Fergana.
DAY 13: FERGANA (SUNDAY MARKET)
Rise early and travel to the magnificent Kumpeta Bazaar in the town of Margilon. Later, visit the dazzling Yodgorlik Silk Factory, possibly the finest on the old Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul. Later, enjoy a guided tour of Kokand. Drive to a small village to the house of a local craftsman, where traditional woollen carpets are manufactured. Your final stop is at Rishton Ceramics Museum, where you will learn about the poetry industry and arrive in Fergana where you will visit Akhmad Al-Fergani Park and the town centre.
DAY 14: TASHKENT
You have free time in the morning to relax. In the late morning, transfer via private vehicle to Tashkent. On arrival in the late afternoon, transfer to your hotel and check in. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax in your hotel.
DAY 15: SAMARKAND
Transfer to Tashkent train station for an early morning train to Samarkand. Arrive and check into your hotel. Today, explore some of the most significant sites in Samarkand and its city centre involving approximately 6 hours of leisurely walking. In the morning, visit Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum and Registan Square, which was for many centuries the heart of Samarkand. Wander through a local market and visit the Shah-I-Zinda mausoleum.
DAY 16: SAMARKAND
This morning, you have free time to relax or explore more of central Samarkand. You can relax in your hotel or spend some more time soaking up the atmosphere of the Registan. In the afternoon, spend 3 hours of leisurely walking, visiting the Ulugh Beg Observatory to see the 'stars above Samarkand', a papermaking workshop and the Bibi-Khanum Friday Mosque.
DAY 17: BUKHARA
Today you will journey to Bukhara where you will check into your hotel. Explore many interesting sites in Bukhara,including the unique and legend-filled Kalon Minaret, the Ark of Bukhara and the Bolo Hauz Mosque. Continue onto the ladies’ market and through the beautiful Bukhara oasis to the peaceful 16th century Chor Minor and Chor Bakr necropolis. Later this afternoon, visit the mausoleum of Ismail Samanid and the ornate Aziz Khan and Ulugbek Madrasah. Have dinner in the scenic Lyabi-Haus area close to the old Jewish quarter. After dinner wander through the markets and shop for decorative clothing and traditional Uzbek crafts.
DAY 18: BUKHARA
This morning visit the summer residence of the last Emir at Sitora-i Mohi Khosa and drive to the pottery town of Gijduvan, located approximately 60km from Bukhara. Explore the city for one and a half hours and visit a ceramic centre. Return to Bukhara in the mid-afternoon when the rest of the day is free.
DAY 19: KHIVA
Check out of the hotel this morning, before transferring to Khiva later. Travelling the 480 kms through the desert, view the changing scenery from saksaul trees to the Amudarya riverbank as you go. Upon arrival check into your hotel for a two-night stay.
DAY 20: KHIVA
Explore the ancient city of Khiva today, stopping at Kukhna Ark Fortress, the turquoise-tiled Islom-Khodja and the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud. These are all located within the walled inner town called the Itchan Kala, which was the first site in Uzbekistan to achieve recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage listed site in 1990. Later, visit Madrassah Rakhimkhon where studies in religion, astronomy, geography and mathematics took place. Also stop at the Kalta Minor Minaret and the 19th century Tash Hauli Palace, which are decorated in fine china blue tile work. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner.
DAY 21: KHIVA / FLIGHT TO TASHKENT
Today you will have free time to wander through Khiva’s old town before transferring 1 hour, to Urgench airport. Board the 6pm flight from Urgench to Tashkent, arriving at Tashkent airport at 7.30pm. Transfer to your hotel where you will overnight.
DAY 22: TASHKENT TO UK
Today according to your flight times, transfer to Tashkent Airport for your onward journey back to the UK.
Any customer looking to travel between September - December 2019 should refer to the 2019 Tour Dossier
Tour Dates & Prices
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
Sample Tour Hotels
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
Guest House "Khan-Tengri"
Guest House "Khan-Tengri" is considered to be one of the best guest houses in Naryn. It’s located in a quiet district of Naryn where you can feel the warm atmosphere of Kyrgyz hospitality. The guest house has 25 en-suite comfortable rooms, all featuring cable TV and furniture. The internet and bar are other facilities provided.
2 Guest Houses
Guest House “Green Yard”
Green Yard Hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Karakol, a short distance from the famous Issyk-Kul Lake and ski-resort. The hotel features spacious en-suite rooms, fitted with modern amenities including a flat-screen TV, wardrobe and desk. Free toiletries and a hairdryer are also available in a bathroom. Guests can also relax in the sauna and massage parlour....Read more