Discover Silk Road: Tour 4
Destination: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Duration: 20 days
Places to visit: Almaty - Charyn - Issyk - BAO - Bishkek - Burana - Issyk Kul northern shore - Grigorievskoye - Semenovskoye - Karakol - Jeti Oguz - Issyk Kul southern shore - Osh - Guliston - Khudjand - Iskanderkul - 7 lakes - Penjakent - Jartepo - Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara - Khiva - Farap - Kunya Urgench - Darwaza - Ashgabat - Mary - Ashgabat
Day 1: Almaty
The driver will pick you up and transfer to Almaty. Today you will have a city tour and get new information about history and development of the Southern capital of Kazakhstan and see its main sights and highlights. See the popular place of the locals the famous Green Bazaar and get inspiration of oriental goods. The next destination is to see Panfilov park as well as the oldest park in Almaty where the Zenkov Cathedral is situated. Then you will see a place which is dedicated to people who died for freedom and independence as Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. In the afternoon we will travel to Medeo gorge and see the highest mountain skating rink in the world. We will visit the place that has the tallest TV tower as Kok Tobe hill and where you can see grand winding mountain road. In Kok Tobe you can walk along the winding paths of the park, admire the beautiful panorama of the city from a special observation deck and visit national souvenir shop. You will end a tour from the top of the hill to the city center along the famous Almaty cableway. Night is in a hotel.
Day 2: Almaty - Charyn - Almaty
Today we will travel to Charyn Canyon on a comfortable car or minivan. You will be given 1,5L of bottled water. You can also bring your snack, tea or coffee in a container with a lid on it. We will drive for about 4 hours. On the way we will visit the local museum of traditional decorative and applied arts and crafts. On arrival to Charyn Canyon you will be able to fully appreciate the panoramic view and go to the bottom of the canyon. Then walk about 2 miles via the Castle Valley tangle with its walls of fancy forms hanging over you. The bottom of the Canyon has a small way down to the end of the walk, where you'll get into a reservation on the bank of the icy cold Charyn River, which is also home to an eco-park with a few yurts are traditional dwellings of nomads and a small open air cafe operating in summer. On the way you will enjoy panorama view and take vibrant photos.
Day 3: Almaty - Issyk - Almaty
Today we will have a tour of traveling to the fanciest gorges of Trans Ili Alatau as Issyk Gorge that is situated alongside the Kuldja tract. You will have a chance to see a Sakas mounds and the place where the "Golden man" was open. Today it is a state symbol of Kazakhstan. Then you will visit the State Historical and Cultural Museum Reserve "ISSYK" and find interesting fact about Sakas period's history and culture, duplicate of Golden Man and golden items, ancient ceramics, weapon, elements of horse equipment, and of course the sample of Saka burial mound. We will go on the 1756 meters high and see the alpine lake Issyk that located in the Issyk Valley. The Lake appeared about 10,000 years ago due to the avalanche that resulted in the formation of a natural dam. Night is in a hotel.
Day 4: Almaty - BAO - Almaty - Bishkek
The next destination of our tour is driving to the Big Almaty gorge where on altitude 2,510 m above sea the Big Almaty lake located the most glorious lake in Trans Ili Alatau. The lake is very pleasing. This lake appeared because of movement of the ancient glacier. The water of the lake is always cold and in July the water temperature does not exceed 10 degrees. Access to the lake is restricted because it is a source of drinking water for Almaty. You will pass above this lake at an altitude of 3300 meters above sea level and see an incredible panorama of mountains and lakes enclosed by mountain peaks and of course the Tien Shan fir trees, aspen and junipers growing there. On arrival to Bishkek, night is in a hotel.
Day 5: Bishkek - Burana - Issyk Kul northern shore
Today you will have a city tour. You will visit Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Central Ala Too Square, Old Square, National Philharmonic and so on. Then we will drive to Issyk Kul lake. It is the largest mountainous lake with altitude 1608 meters above sea level that fenced by highly mountains. This lake is never freezes and has medical properties. You will pass over Burana Tower found in the 11th century and an open air museum of Balbals or so called stone warriors. Rest is in a hotel.
Day 6: Issyk Kul - Grigorievskoye - Semenovskoye - Karakol
Today we will visit one of the most unique and amazing gorges as Semenovskoye and Grigorievskoye which are connected at the end. You will see huge mountains covered with snow on the top, slopes where blue and green pine trees grow. In the very bottom there are breathtaking lakes which will not leave you indifferent on a tour. We will continue your tour to Karakol where you can see sights as the Dungan mosque built without single metals in Chinese style as well as a wooden Orthodox Church. Transfer to a guesthouse.
Day 7: Karakol - Jeti Oguz - Issyk Kul southern shore - Bishkek
You will visit Jeti Oguz gorge and see Mountain of Broken Hearts. If you want to see a panoramic view of the gorge you need to hike 20 minutes to a mountain's top. Then we will travel to Bokonvaeva village and meet a local eagle hunter. On arrival to Bishkek, night is in a hotel.
Day 8: Bishkek - Osh - Guliston - Khudjand
Today is flight from Bishkek to Osh city and then to Tajik border. On the road you will drive along with high passes and via Batken region, where you can see apricot trees and splendid flower as Aigul. Your tour will be continued with Tajik driver to Khujand city. The driver will take you over the Anzob pass which 3 372 meters high. On the way you will see breathtaking panoramic view. Khuldjand is the city that is located on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley and as the second largest city in Tajikistan. This city is capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan (Soghd) with population 149,000. Travelers will visit such sites as a Cultural Palace of Khujant where the first president of Tajikistan was chosen. See Central Mosque that locates in the middle of the city. Night is in a hotel.
Day 9: Khudjand - Iskanderkul Lake
Next site of our tour is Iskanderkul alpine lake with altitude 2 255 meters above sea level. It is one of the best places in Central Asia. You will have an opportunity to hike for about 40 minutes to see waterfall. Tajikistan is famous for its water resources and has the highest indicators on water resources in Central Asia. This country has more than 1 000 rivers, 2 000 lakes and 8000 glaciers. Rest is in a guesthouse.
Day 10: Iskanderkul - 7 lakes - Penjakent
In the Fann mountains you will admire lakes with outstanding views. Here you will have a short hiking. You will see lakes located on the different high levels and each of them have numerous colors. In addition, you will meet locals and find more about their lifestyle. The next destination is Penjakent located in Khujand region of Tajikistan in a superb Zeravshan river valley. It is high possibility the five villages began its history of this amazing city that was in 5th - 8th centuries AD. This city was noteworthy city that had most important social and crafts centers of Sogd. It is also called "Central Asian Pompeii" with a ruler's palace, two temples, markets, rich residential buildings, decorated with abundant paintings, wooden and clay statues of ancient gods. The ruins of this ancient city were exposed in the preceding century. You will be able to see the fragments of residential buildings and office buildings, a citadel with a palace, a house of craftsmen and a church of fire worshipers. Overnight is in a local guesthouse.
Day 11: Penjakent - Jartepo - Samarkand
Today you will travel to the border and then Samarkand. This city is located in the valley of the river Zerafshan. Samarkand is the second largest city of Uzbekistan with the same age as Babylon or Rome. Today you will have a city tour and visit Registan square, Shakhi Zindeh, Mausoleum Guri Emir and Bibi Khanum Mosque. Registan Square is famous for three interesting Madrasahs of the 15-17th centuries. Shakhi Zindeh has a big collection of mausoleums of the 11th-15th centuries (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Bibi Khanum Mosque was built is dedicated to the beloved wife of Tamerlane after his campaign in India. Night is in a hotel.
Day 12: Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara
Today we will travel to Bukhara. We will visit a pottery private school. The 6th generation is live there from Narzullayevs family blessed Gijduvan school ceramics all over the world. The school has deep roots and mastership passes via generations. It has green and blue colors prevail in decoration of products by geometric patterns. Then you will go to memorial complex of Al Bukhary Islamic School who created a collection of hadiths known as Sahih Al Bukhari, which Sunni Muslims consider one of the most authentic collections of hadiths. Then we continue drive to Bukhara. Overnight is in a hotel.
Day 13: Bukhara
Today we will have a city tour. We will visit Citadel Ark is an ancient citadel in Bukhara of 4th century and was used as palace for several dynasties of Bukhara Empire. We will drive to see the mausoleum of Samanids, a sincere masterwork of architecture of the IX-X centuries. The tour then continues to Chashma Ayub, which means the Job's well and Bolo Hauz Mosque, also known as the forty-column mosque, built in honor of Bukhara governor Abu Fayyud Khan. We will see the famous madrassas as Nodir Divan Run. It is also part of the Lyabi House ensemble, and well-known Bukhara's central attraction. Your city tour ends with a visit to the Poi Kalon complex, an inimitable example of the architectural art of Bukhara. It has three structures built in the 12th-16th centuries: The Kalon minaret, the Kalon mosque and the Mir Arab madrasah. Night is in a hotel.
Day 14: Bukhara - Khiva
Khiva a very grand city for our next destination of a tour. Bukhara is a "town museum" belonging to the Middle Ages that has more than 140 architectural monuments. This city is made of narrow but beautiful streets, green parks and gardens full of flowers and green, historical and architectural monuments belong to different epochs that stand near to each other. The road from Khiva to Bukhara lays via the famous Kizilkum desert. On the way. We will see a beautiful picture of the Amu Darya River, which is the deepest river in Central Asia, and was formed of the merging of the Pyanj and Vakhsh rivers in Tajikistan and flows into the Aral Sea. After your arrival in Khiva you will have free time. Overnight is in a hotel.
Day 15: Khiva
In Khiva you will have a city tour and enjoy beautiful sightseening in the oldest city in Uzbekistan. Ichan Qala or inner city of Khiva that has sturdy walls around it. Here you can find very old sound buildings, palaces, mosques, Madrasahs, Mausoleums, Minarets, Caravan Sarais and Bathhouses that made Ichan Qala into wonderful city-monument. In Ichan Qala you can find over 400 traditional dwelling houses and about 60 architectural monuments. At 1969 this area became historical and architectural conservation. The greatest places here are Kunya Ark fortress of 17th century, exposed by Muhammad Arang Khan and Kalta Minor minaret, and Tash Khouvli palace, all of them are ideal example of incredible craftsmanship of Khorezm architecture from 200 years ago. Night is in a hotel.
Day 16: Khiva - Farap - Kunya Urgench - Darwaza
In the morning we will drive to Farap border. The driver will take to the North of Turkmenistan to its famous the architectural monuments of Kone Urgench that was Capital of Khorezm before (X-XII centuries). You will visit a lot of sights such as Mausoleum of Najm al Din al Kubra, Tyurabek Khanum, Il Arslan, Tekesh Ibn Hadzhibey, the uppermost minaret in Central Asia Kutlyg Timur. Then we will drive to Darwaza which is famous as Gas Crater. Rest is in a tent.
Day 17: Darwaza - Ashgabat
From Darwaza we will travel to Ashgabat city. In the second part of the day you will ride a horse to see the pride of Turkmen people as Akhal Teke horses. There you will be able to enjoy the Traditional Tea party and see Akhal Teke horse show program and see the horse racks. After such amazing show you will go back to Ashgabat. Transfer to a hotel for sleep.
Day 18: Ashgabat - Mary - Ashgabat
Today we will drive to the city of Mary. This city is under protection of UNESCO World Heritage Site and located in 2.5 km to the east of Mary, to Bayram Ali. It signifies one of the main archaeological places of Central Asia that played important role of Silk Road developments for more than 2000 years. The size of this place is 1200 ha. The superb Mausoleums of the Sultan, Sanjar and Muhammed Ibn Zeid (XII century), shows sophisticated Seljuk brickwork and architectural decor. Afterwards we will drive back to Ashgabat. Overnight is in a hotel.
Day 19: Ashgabat
On this tour you will see the whole capital city of Turkmenistan. We will visit one of the highlighted part of the tour "Niva" that was Capital of the Parthian Empire and now this place is under protection of UNESCO Heritage. You will see Monument and Park of Independence, which looks like a white-marble "Eiffel Tower", a fountain-monument started to the 10th anniversary of independence it is a sculptural representation of Akhal Tekke horses. Travelers will admire the beauty of splendid Ertoghrul Ghazi and Gypjak Mosques. In the second of the day you will visit the National Museum of History and Ethnography. We are sure you will love it! Transfer to a hotel for rest.
Day 20: Flight
Drive to Ashgabat International Airport.
Transport in Kazakhstan:
02 pax - Sedan economy
04 pax - Minivan
06-10 pax - Minibus
Transport in Kyrgyzstan:
02 pax - Mitsubishi Delica
04-10 pax - Mercedes Sprinter
Transport in Tajikistan:
02-04 pax - Hyundai Starex
06-08 pax - 2 cars: Hyundai Starex
10 pax - 3 cars: Hyundai Starex
Transport in Uzbekistan:
02 pax - Sedan
04-06 pax - Minivan
08-10 pax - Minibus
Transport in Turkmenistan:
02 pax - Sedan
04-08 pax - Minibus
10 pax - Bus
Price per person:
02 pax - 3 000 $
04 pax - 2 220 $
06 pax - 1 965 $
08 pax - 1 795 $
10 pax - 1 770 $
Single - 335 $
Early check-in - 30 $
Single early check-in - 45 $
Half board - 280 $*
Full board - 495 $*
Entrance fees in UZ* (with escort guide only) - 50 $ per person
English speaking guides:
KG - 435 $ per group
UZ - local 120 $ per group or escort 395 $ per group
TJ - 445 $ per group
KZ - 420 $ per group
TM - included by law
Almaty - "Kazakhstan" Hotel 3*
Issyk Kul - "Karven" Resort
Karakol - "Karagat" Hotel 4* or "Green Yard" Guesthouse
Bishkek - "Discovery" 3* or "Garden" 4*
Khujand - "Firuz" Hotel 4*
Iskandarkul - "Dilovar" Gueshouse
Penjakent - "Umariyon" Hotel 3*
Samarkand - "Ideal" Hotel 3*
Bukhara - "Old City" Hotel 3*
Khiva - "Porso" Hotel 3*
Darwaza - Tents with dinner
Ashgabat - "Menzil" Hotel 3*
- Visa support to Tm
- Museum admissions
- Mineral water supply
- English speaking guide in Tm
- Flight tickets Bishkek - Osh (15 kg limit, extra 2 $ per kg)
Service does not include:
- Full board
- Travel insurance
- English speaking guides
- Entrances to all museums in Uz
- Migration tax (12 $) + bank fee (4 $)
Note: Each Traveler should have 2 photos (5x6) to be presented at the points of entry.