Travel from Bishkek to Ashgabat on this 27 day 'Five Stan' cultural experience. This in depth tour will see you visiting the Silk Road gems of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, the quirky Turkmenistan, colourful markets, fascinating villages and Swiss Alps type scenery. Retrace the footsteps of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great on this unforgettable Central Asian journey.
Our Journey through Central Asia tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
See the fiery glow from the stunning Darvaza Gas Crater
Discover the ancient and pre-Soviet styles of this intriguing city
Witness the fabulous architecture here on one of the most illustrious cities on the Silk Road
Explore the ancient city of Khiva
Fly overnight to the city of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. The rest of the morning is yours to relax. Later enjoy a welcome lunch before embarking on a city tour.
Drive south to Ala Archa National Park where you will embark on a leisurely hike, enjoying the picturesque scenery of snow-capped mountains and freshwater rivers. Return to Bishkek for an afternoon at leisure.
This morning, depart for the peaceful village of Chon-Kemin, enjoying breathtaking views along the way. Upon arrival you can take in the daily life in Ashu Village, take a leisurely walk in the foothills of the surrounding by magnificent mountains and fir tree forests, interact with some of the locals or take a participate in an optional horse-riding experience (paid locally).
Today we drive to Kochkor village , the centre of Kyrgyz national felt handicrafts. Here you will be able to see how the traditional Kygyz wool carpets, called ‘shyrdak’, are made. Continue driving to Bokonbayevo village and watch a demonstration of Eagle Hunting.
Visit Skazka Canyon followed by and Barskoon Gorge to take a light hike to a waterfall named ‘Tears of Leopard’. Arrive in Karakol late this afternoon.
Visit the striking Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, which was completed in 1895 and tour a Chinese mosque. In the afternoon, travel to the Valley of the Flowers and Jety-Orguz where you can enjoy a light hike through the magnificent canyon of red sandstone.
Rise early and travel to the outskirts of town for the unforgettable Karakol Sunday Animal Market. Drive through breath-taking scenery to, visit magnificent Charyn Canyon and its Valley of the Castles, named due to the pillars and rock formations forming imposing structures. Travel on to Almaty where you will overnight.
Today you will visit Republic Square, Abai Opera Theatre and Green Market, before spending the afternoon at the turquoise Big Almaty Lake nestled in the Tian Shan mountains. Return to Almaty in the late afternoon.
This morning in Almaty is yours to enjoy at your leisure. This afternoon we will transfer to the airport for an evening flight to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan arriving in the early afternoon
Embark on a tour of Dushanbe followed by a visit to the Fortress of Hissor, the Medrassah Kuhna and the Museum of Tajik Way of life.
Visit the breathtaking Lake Iskander Kul on the way to Khujand.
Enjoy a tour of Khujand, visiting Pushkin Square, Timur Malik's Fortress and the atmospheric Panjshanbe Bazaar. Travel to Tashkent this afternoon.
See the highlights of Tashkent today, including Barak Khan and Kukeidash Madrassahs, Chorsu Bazaar and the opulently-decorated stations of Tashkent's metro system.
Drive to Samarkand, where after checking into your hotel you will visit the iconic Registan Square, the heartbeat of Samarkand Admire the three beautiful madrassahs on the square's perimeter.
Enjoy a full day's tour of Samarkand, starting with Gur Emir, the mausoleum to Tamerlane. Next, continue to Bibi Khanum Mosque before visiting Ulugbek's observatory and the ancient settlement of Afrosiab.
Head out of Samarkand to the town of Shakhrisabz where you will explore the remains of Ak-Sarai Palace, Dorus Tilavat Cemetery and KokGumbas Mosque. Continue your journey this afternoon as you make your way to Bukhara.
You have a city tour of one of the most famous spots on the Silk Road. Visit sites including Madrassah Nadirkhon Devanbegi, Poi Kalon Minaret and Mosque and the Ark of Bukhara.
Head out of Bukhara to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer residence of the former Emir of Bukhara. Bahauddin Naqshbandi Mausoleum, a famous Sufi spiritual leader of this region in the 14th century. Enjoy some downtime this afternoon.
Travel across the famous Kyzyl Kum Desert today. Watch in awe as the scenery changes from saksaul trees to the Amudarya riverbank.
Enjoy a leisurely walking tour of Khiva's most famous sights, finishing at the Friday Mosque and the 19th century Tash Hauli Palace.
Transfer overland to Kunya-Urgench, the once-glorious capital of the Khorezmshah Empire and a now KUNESCO World Heritage Site. After, transfer to Dashoguz for your evening flight to Tashkent, Turkmenistan.
Enjoy a morning at leisure to explore Ashgabat in your own time. Afterwards, head to Arkadash stud farm and learn about the “winged” Akhal Tekkes horses. En route back to Ashgabat stop at the Kipchak Complex where the largest mosque in Turkmenistan and the family mausoleum of the country’s first president is located.
Rise early for your flight to Mary. From the airport you will transfer overland to the ancient city of Merv; a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous archaeological sites in Central Asia. Return to Mary affter to visit the local History Museum.
Fly back to Ashgabat and enjoy a morning tour of the city. In the afternoon you will head to Darvaza to witness its famous Flaming Crater. Enjoy a walk around the perimeter and tuck into a delicious nomadic-style camp-side dinner under the starts. Following dinner, you will return to Ashgabat.
Visit the Old Nisa Fortress; the former residence of the Parthian Empire. After lunch you will continue the fun at the colourful Russian Bazaar. Later, continue to the National Carpet Museum that exhibits an interesting collection of hand-made Turkmen carpets and various carpet objects.
Fly to the UK, arriving home later the same day.
Places Visited: Bishkek – Chon Kemin – Bokonbayevo – Karakol – Almaty – Dushanbe – Khujand – Tashkent – Samarkand – Bukhara – Khiva – Mary - Ashgabat
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