Landmarks & Architecture
Breakfast 20, Lunch 19, Dinner 20
1/5 Difficulty, Safari
20 Nights 3-4* Star Accommodation
Transfers & Flights Included
The jewel at the heart of Central Asia, this beautiful, rugged land is dominated by vast deserts and dramatic mountain landscapes.
Carve your way through one of the most culturally pertinent and storied trade routes in the world, the iconic 'Silk Road'. Welcome to Central Asia's sprawling bazaars, ornate mosaic laden Islamic architecture, marvellous mountain ranges, undulating valleys, anthropological findings and ancient traditions preserved through the binding of it's age-old communities. We've cherry picked the ultimate sites and settlements from across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to provide an intensely vibrant adventure, built of equal parts culture, nature and history. Our 22 Night Samarkand & The Silk Road tour is the quintessential Silk Road experience.
Fly to Kyrgyzstan's cultural melting pot of Bishkek. We'll endulge in a welcome lunch before setting off to discover the city with a tour that includes the iconic Ala-Too Square, Oak Park and the White House.
Today we'll head to the bucolic grounds of Ala Archa National Park and stroll through the scenic peaks and gorgeous gorges to enjoy a slice of Central Asian nature.
We'll first dip our toes in the historical excursion that sees us visit the Buruna Tower, crafted in the 12th century. We'll then head to the pristine waters of Lake Issyk Kul, and browse a collection of 8th century petrogylphs carved into the glacial stones nearby. Finally we'll have the pleasure of taking a peaceful cruise to unwind and soak in the mountainous backdrops.
Heading onwards to Karakol, we'll have a short stop at Semenov Gorge for a casual hike. We'll also sprinkle in a visit to Kyrchyn Jailoo and ethnic village that is found dotted along the route Karakol. As evening comes we can engage in trips to the Przhevalsky Museum and visit the Holy Trinity Church and Chinese Mosque, giving us a smattering of the different influences that has been fused into the culture along the silk road.
Todays activities will start bright and early within the human buzzing along Karakol's animal market. The afternoon will include a trip to Jeti-Oguz Gorge and amble through the red sandstone canyon. During the evening we'll be able to literally taste the roots of the culture with a home-cooked meal courtesy of a local Dungan family.
Leave Karakol early and voyage to 'Fairy Tale Canyon' to witness it's unique colours and contours. Head onwards to Bokonbaevo for one of the most rare and spectacular traditions of Central Asia, the Kyrgyz tradition of hunting with the aid of Golden Eagles, a synergy of man and beast that still lives strong in the culture.
Carve through the drastic rural landscapes en-route to Tash Rabat. A peaceful stretch of land blessed with undulating mountains and acute valleys, this stretch of the Silk Road is famous for being one of the most peaceful and zen filled regions to wind down in.
Today we head to the heart of Kyrgyzstan's handicraft culture with a visit to a traditional 'Shyrdak' or 'wool carpet' workshop. This visit helps to provide means for the community to maintain it's culture and keep the traditions of the region alive and well.
Head to Chong Kemin valley littered with quaint villages bordered by soaring mountains. Amble through the foothills and then head to Bishkek airport to fly to Tashkent.
Today will be full of incredible sights, Barak Khana Seminary, Tila Shaikh Mosque and Kukeldash Madrassahs. We'll also get to peruse the trinkets and treasures of Chorsu bazaar.
Depart the capital of Tashkent and fly to the legendary golden city of Samarkand, one of the most landmark laden pillars of Central Asia. We'll visit the sights with local tour guides who hold intimate knowledge of the region and browse sites such as Registan Square, the Ulugbek and Tillya-Kori madrasah. The evening we'll provide some free time to explore on your own.
Survey Gur Emir, the mausoleum of Tamerlane. We'll also visit the famous Friday Mosque "Bibi-Khanum" and the sprawling mosaic of Siab Bazaar. The evening we'll head to the Mausoleum of the Prophet Daniel.
We head off the beaten path to visit the Ulugbek observatory, an ornate drop of architecture that dates back almost 600 years. We'll also get to see the ancient settlement of Afrosiab and interact with the locals during a papermaking workshop in Konigil.
We'll travel to Shakhrisabz to lay eyes on the ruins of the Ak-Sarai Paace, Kok-Gumbas Mosque and Dorus Tilavat cemetery.
Our 3 days in Bukhara will cover all of the mystical sites it's rightfully known for. One our first day we'll get to see the intriguing method of making the ceramics that are integral to the culture of Gijduvan. Our second day will see us tour numerous monuments and significant landmarks such as Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, Chor Bakr necropolis and the mausoleum of Ismail Samanid.
Our final full day in Bukhara will begin with a visit to Sitora-i Mohi Khosa, a modern masterpiece. Quickly followed by a trip to Bahauddin Naqshbandi Mausolem. We'll allow for some free time in the evening to unwind and reflect on our journey thus far, or go and discover the backstreets on your own accord.
This morning we'll set out to the ancient city of Khiva, thought to have been established some 1,500 years ago. Before we arrive we'll have the pleasure to stop at the Amudarya River for a refreshing break.
One our penultimate day we explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Itchan Kala, a walled city housing the mammoth Kunya Ark, a teal mosaic of architectural significance. Browse the captivating Madrassah Rakhimkhon, one of the most important religious symbols in the region. We'll also get to take a visit to the Tash Hauli Palace, another Silk Road gem coated in azure tiles.
On our last full day we will transfer to Tashkent via flight. On arrival we'll head straight to the Museum of Applied Arts to absorb some of the abstract musings of Uzbekistans past. We'll also have one last string of photo opportunities of Mustakilik Square and the unmistakable Tashkent Metro. It's not often a public transport system is worthwhile site, but it's detailed marble and granite décor make it synonymous with an underground palace aesthetic more so than a generic railway system.
Today according to your flight times, transfer to Tashkent Airport for your onward journey back to the UK.
Want to customise your Silk Road experience to make the most of it? We understand! If you're dreaming of an adventure but have some specific details in mind, perhaps a private group booking an additional set of activities to keep you entertained, let our travel experts curate a custom package for you and your party.Create My Own Package
There will be a reasonable amount of time spent on our feet exploring, but nothing strenuous as this tour is about discovering the culture, lost history and architecture of Central Asia and the Silk Road.
Your flights to and from Uzbekistan, transfers from city to city and food are all taken care of. You only need to bring yourself, a keen sense of discovery and a camera ready to capture magical moments.
This is an intimate, small group experience; Max 18, avg 12.
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This trip along the silk road is a culture vultures dream and an experience you'll never forget, but we've got even more in store for you. Check out some of our other fantastic adventures for those who like a challenge and to get stuck in!