Silk Road Epic Journeys – Kashgar & Central Asia Tour

Duration

25 Nights 26 Days

Meals

25 Breakfasts
25 Dinners

Activities

Culture, History, Art and Craft
Beautiful Landscape, Markets, Food

Accommodation

Hotels, Traditional Yurts, Camp

Trip Grade

Moderate

Tour Start

Kashgar (China)

Tour End

Ashgabad (Turkmenistan)

Group Size

Min 2- Max 15

Guides

English speaking local Guides

Tour Cost From

5500

Difficulty

Moderate

Destination

China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

Transport

Private transfers, train, domestic flight

Min Age

18+

Tour Operates

May - October

Travel Style

Small group and Private Tour

Departure

2 Pax Every Saturday

Route

Kashgar-Karakul Lake-Torugart pass-Naryn-Kochkor – Issyk-Kul Lake -Karakol-Bokonbaeva village - Bishkek-Almaty-Dushanbe- Iskandar Kul Lake-Penjiken -Fann Mountains-Istaravshan-Khujand-Tashkent Samarkand-Bukhara-Mary-Darvaza-Ashgbad.

 

Day by day itinerary
Day 01: Kashgar Arrival (Saturday)
Upon arrival at Kashgar airport you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Kashgar. (D)
Day 02: Kashgar Sunday Market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep and even camels are for sale. The population of the town swells by 100,000 and is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia; and a photographer’s paradise! After the market, we visit the Eidgah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb and the old town.
Overnight at hotel in Kashgar. (BD)
Day 03: Kashgar Karakul Lake
Day trip to Karakul Lake along the famous Karakorum Highway. The scenery along the way is magnificent. We will be stopping at the Lake where you can enjoy the breath taking views of the Muztagh-ata Mountain. After lunch, free time to enjoy the area. Later return to Kashgar for Overnight at hotel in Kashgar. (BD)
Day 4: Kashgar Tash Rabat – Naryn (Kyrgyzstan)
In the morning transfer to the border crossing of Torugart pass. After border formalities you will be met by our Kyrgyz team member.  We visit the Caravan Sarai dated from 11th century which served as a fortress for travellers along the Great Silk Road and continue driving to Naryn. Overnight in Local Guest house (BLD)
Day 5:Naryn – Kochkor – Issyk-Kul Lake  
After breakfast, en route to Issyk-Kul Lake, we visit the local handcraft center which is run by local communities in Kochkor village.
Here, you will learn how nomadic Kyrgyz women made Shyrdak, and Ala-Kiyiz – a floor covering made by pressing naturally dyed felt of various colors. You will see the process of felt carpet-making and wool-dying. Kochkor is famous for farming and felt-makers.
Our destination, the Issyk-Kul Lake, is the second-largest alpine lake after Lake Titicaca in South America. A combination of depth, thermal activity and mild salinity stops the lake from freezing and thus its name `Issyk-Kul’ meaning`warm lake’. Archaeological discoveries from the lake’s include ancient relics and graves dating back to the first millennium BC. An ancient trade center from the second century BC is thought to have been destroyed by the rise and fall of the lake’s level.
Before checking in at our hotel we will visit Cholpon-Ata, known for petroglyphs which are thought to have been created by the tribes of the Neolithic period. The images are mainly primitive long-horned ibex, horses, camels and snow leopards. Overnight at hotel in Issyk Kul Lake. (BLD).
Day 6: Issyk-Kul Lake – Karakol
Drive to Karakol, one of the first towns of the Russian Cossak settlements from late 19th century. En-route we visit Przevalski Memorial Museum (Przevalski was a Great Russian explorer from the late 19th century). In Karakol, we visiting the museum, Dungan Pagoda type of mosque and the Orthodox wooden Church.
Dinner at one of ethnic minorities Uighur’s or Dungan’s family house accompanied with a traditional Kyrgyz local folk music. Overnight in hotel in Karakol. (BLD)
Day 7: Karakol – Bokonbaeva village
After breakfast drive to Bokonbaeva village. En-route we stop at Jety Oguz Canyon for a hike or optional horse ride. Next we visit the Skazka Fairy Tale canyon and enjoy the eagle hunting performance.
Dinner and overnight in CBT Homestay at Bokonbaeva village or in a Yurt Camp Beltam. (BLD)
Day 8: Bokonbaeva village – Bishkek
In the morning drive to Bishkek. We stop in Kyzyl-Tuu village where a Kyrgyz family will show you how to make traditional yurt tents. Our next stop will be in Burana tower, the remains of the ancient city of Balasaguni formed by the Karakhanid dynasty in the 10th century. We also make a short stop at Burana village where you’ll watch the famous horse game show, Buzkashi. Arrival in Bishkek. Walking city tour of Bishkek, which includes Central Square Alatoo, White House, Parliament House, Manas on Horse Statue, Lenin Statue, and Oak Park. Overnight at hotel in Bishkek. (BLD)
Day 9: Bishkek – Almaty (Kazakhstan)
In the morning drive to Almaty via Korday border crossing.
Afternoon sightseeing of Almaty city, including the Zenkov Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest wood buildings and the Central State Museum. After lunch, ascend the Kok-Tube Mountain by cable car. Return to Almaty and visit the unique National Museum of Kazak Musical Instruments. Overnight at hotel in Almaty. (BLD).
Day 10: Almaty
After breakfast, we drive to Medeo;a picturesque valley located 15 km above Almaty. Besides the beautiful natural setting, Medea houses the world’s largest speed skating rink and dyke. The dyke is a fine piece of engineering created to protect the city from mud floods and its reservoir has an impressive capacity of 6,000,000 m of water. Our last stop is at the end of the gorge where there is a ski resort Chimbulak, situated at an altitude of 2.200 m above sea level. It is one of Central Asia’s top skiing spots. The ski season lasts from November to April. Later return to your hotel for Overnight (BD)
Day 11: Almaty-Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
In the morning transfer to the airport for Air Astana flight KC 131 EDT 12:00 PM.
Upon arrival you will be met by our guide and transfer to your hotels, later in the afternoon visit the main avenues; Rudaki Street Somoni Street, Central Park & Victory Park – the main relaxation and leisure areas in the city, we also visit the Tajikistan National Museum of Antiquities where the famous statue of Buddha in Nirvana is preserved. Overnight at hotel in Dushanbe. (BD)
Day 12: Dushanbe
In the morning we drive for 30 KM to see the remains of Hissar Fortress, built in the 18th century. Our visit also includes 2 local madrasas. Later return to Dushanbe.
Overnight at hotel in Dusanbe. (BLD)
Day 13: Dushanbe – Iskandar Kul Lake – Penjikent
In the morning we drive to Iskandar Kul (Alexander Lake). After exploration around Iskandar Kul Lake. Hike up toward the water fall, later continue driving to Penjikent. Penjikent translates as “the city of five villages” and is located on the verdant Zeravshan river valley. Dating from the 5th century, Penjikent was a thriving regional hub on the Great Silk Road.
Overnight at hotel in Penjikent. (BLD)
Day 14: Penjikent – Fann Mountains – Seven Lake
In the morning we drive to visit the Seven Lakes (80 km) through the settlement of Sarazm the UNESCO World Heritage site. Seven lakes of Marguzor is located in the west of Fan Mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple. Today you will have a chance to hike around the Mountain, after picnic lunch return to Penjikent. Afternoon visit Penjikent museum, local market.  Overnight at hotel in Penjikent. (BLD)
Day 15: Penjikent – Istaravshan – Khujand
In the morning drive to Khujand, en-route stopping at Istrafshan to visit the fifteenth century Kuk Gumbaz Mosque, the Hafz-i-Sangin Mosque and the eighteenth century Hazrat-i-Shah Mosque and mausoleum complex. Later continue driving to Khujand. Overnight at hotel in Khujand. (BLD)
Day 16: Khujand-Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Morning city tour of Khujand including a visit to the ancient part of Timurmalik fortress, museum and Panjshanbe market. In the afternoon transfer to Oybek border to Tashkent. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent. (BD)
Day 17: Tashkent City Tour
City tour of Tashkent includes visting Amir Timur Square, with its imposing statue of Uzbekistan’s post-Soviet hero, Tamerlane. Continue past Independence Square, the largest city square of the former Soviet Union. Visit the State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, largely formed from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collectors, nationalized after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today the Museum houses an excellent collection of Uzbek and Russian painting, and also a fine collection of textiles, jewellery, wood carvings and ceramics.
Later visit the Old part of Tashkent. Drive to the restored Barak-Khan Complex, with striking blue tiled domes and decorative Iwans (entrance portals), built during the 16th century when the Shaybanid Dynasty (the Uzbeks) replaced the Timurid Dynasty. Visit the Hast Imam library to see an 8th century manuscript Quran written in the territory of modern Iraq in Kufic script. It is believed by local Uzbek Muslims to have belonged to the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan and is the oldest Quran in the world. Afternoon visiting to the Chorsu Bazaar, centre of daily life in the heart of old town. The Bazaar comprises a unique complex of trade halls crowned with interrelated domes. Everything from exotic dried fruits, fresh herbs, handmade cheese and freshly-killed meat to colourful handicrafts is for sale.Afterwards, explore the impressive Tashkent Metro, which opened in 1977 in honour of 60th anniversary of the USSR. Each station has its own unique architectural features made of semi-precious materials including marble, granite, glass, ceramics and carved alabaster. You will also have a chance to visit to the Museum of Applied Arts, with its vast collection of Uzbek traditional crafts. The museum is housed in the former residence of Russian diplomat A. A. Polovtsev, which was built at the end of 19th century in the Uzbek national style. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent. (BD)
Day 18: Samarkand
In the morning transfer to the train station for express train journey to Samarkand. Afternoon city tour of Samarkand. For most people Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Timbouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous for. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand. (BD)
Day 19: Samarkand sightseeing
Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane and the Observatory of Ulughbek; the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand. (BD)
Day 20: Bukhara via Shakhrisabz
Travel to Bukhara via Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane. We visit Tamerlane’s palace Ak Sarai, the Kok Gumbaz mosque, Mausoleum of Jehangir (Tamerlane’s grandson) and Tamerlane’s Mausoleum. Bukhara is one of the centere of the Russian/British Intelligence Services in the 19th Century. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)
Day 21: Bukhara
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; the resulting restoration of some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, to make them appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago. We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of an ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)
Day 22: Bukhara Free day
Full free day at leisure in Bukhara.
Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)
Day 23: Bukhra – Mary (Turkmenistan)
In the morning, drive to the Uzbek Turkmen border and continue to ancient Merv. Today we visit a historically important site; one of the most significant in Turkmenistan. The site consists of a series of towns each succeeded by another throughout the course of history and contains, amongst other things, the remains of Erk Kala and it’s citadel and the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar.
Overnight at hotel in Mary. (BD)
Day 24: Ashgabad Flight
In the morning transfer to the airport for flight to Ashgabad, later half day sightseeing of Ashgabad including visit of Tolkuchka Bazaar. We continue to Old Nisa, an ancient Parthian settlement and the spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi.
Overnight at hotel in Ashgabad. (BD)
Day 25: Ashgabad – Darwaza Gas Crater
Today we visit the National Museum of History & Ethnography of Turkmenistan.
In the afternoon drive to Darwaza Gas Crater, en-route we visit a Nomad village, Karakum desert and continue driving to Darwaza flaming gas crater or the ‘mouth of hell’. The crater is about 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep. Later return to Ashgabad. Overnight at hotel in Ashgabad. (BD)
Day 26: Depart Ashgabad
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)

Tour Costs And Dates

We guarantee all tour departures for a minimum of 2 passengers. In order to confirm your booking we will need a non-refundable deposit of 400 USD per person. The final invoice will be sent to you 4 weeks before the tour departure, the final cost dependent on the final group size. If the following dates or the described itinerary does not meet your travel needs, please write to us, we can arrange a customized tour for you.

Tour Cost Comfort Class Accommodation
No of Pax.
2
3-5
6-9
10-14
Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar
per person
$8800
$7870
$7000
$6300
$1200
Tour Cost Tourists Class Accommodation
No of Pax.
2
3-5
6-9
10-14
Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar
per person
$7500
$6630
$5900
$5500
$750
Places
Comfort Class Hotels
Tourist Class Hotels
Kashgar
Radisson Blu
Qini Bagh New wing
Naryn
Khan Tengri hotel
Khan Tengri
Issyk Kul Lake
Karven hotel
Three Crown
Karakol
Green Yard
Green Yard
Bokonbaeva village
Yurt Camp Beltam
Yurt Camp Beltam
Bishkek
Soluxe hotel
Orion Bishkek
Almaty
Rixos Almaty
Voyage hotel
Dushanbe
Serena hotel
Shumon or Atlas hotel
Penjikent
Umarion hotel
Sugd hotel
Khujand
Parliment Palace hotel
Sugd or Deluxe hotel
Tashkent
Lotte City Tashkent Palace
Leader, Gloria, Bek
Samarkand
Hilton Garden Inn, Continental, Gur Emir Palace
Registan Saroy, Malika Prime
Bukhara
Mercure Accor, Paradise Plaza , Labi Rud Premium
Lyabi House, K Komil, Rizo Boutique
Mary
Mary hotel
Mary hotel
Ashgabad
Nusay, Yildyz or Oguzkent hotel
Grand hotel
*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange alternative hotels of a similar standard.

Departure Date 2024 – 2025

Includes

All private transfers in air-conditioned cars, van and busses depends on the group size, domestic flights.
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities, 3 nights at Yurt camps, Guest houses with sharing facilities
Meals half board: For included meals please see Key (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by our experienced local English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters if required

Excludes

Visa Fees.
Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
Optional activities Meals, Lunches Personal expanses
Single supplements
Tips for Guides and drivers
Early check in hotels and late checkout

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