Silk Road Journey 4
Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Time of the tour: 20 days
Places to visit: Almaty - Charyn - Issyk - BAO - Bishkek - Issyk Kul northern shore - Karakol - Bishkek - Osh - Khudjand - Iskanderkul Lake - 7 lakes - Penjakent - Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara - Khiva - Darwaza - Ashgabat - Mary - Ashgabat
Day 1: Almaty
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to Almaty for its city tour. During the tour you will be able to learn a lot of history and development of the Southern capital of Kazakhstan. The tour will include the major sights of the city. You will visit the most visited sight even among locals, Green Bazaar. Here you will understand how real bazaar work. Here you will be able to find practically everything but don't forget to haggle. Later on you will explore Panfilov park the oldest park in Almaty where the Zenkov Cathedral is situated. The cathedral is considered to be one of the most amazing wooden buildings. Then is the monument that was made in memory of those who did for freedom and independence are Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. After discover all important areas of the city you will be transferred to Medeo gorge. This gorge is famous due to the natural dam that protects the city from hazardous landslides. Moreover here you will be able to find the highest mountain skating rink in the world. After you will have an opportunity to witness the tallest TV tower in the world that is situated in Kok- Tobe. While being in Kok-Tobe Park you can observe great view and attend national souvenirs' shop. This day's trip ends with a journey 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 your destination is Charyn Canyon. In course of the tour you will get 1,5L of bottled water. Also it is possible to take your own snacks. The road will take about 4 hours. On the road you will go to the local museum of traditional decorative and applied arts and crafts. Upon arrival the canyon will meet you with the incredible panoramic view and then you head to the bottom of the canyon. By walking 2 miles you will enjoy the view of the Castle Valley labyrinth. At the bottom of the canyon you will have an opportunity to enjoy cool breeze of the icy cold Charyn River. Moreover at this place you can visit eco-park with a few yurts are traditional dwellings of nomads and a small open air cafe operating in summer. After rest, we will walk back along the same path to the stairs, and then go by car to one of the viewing grounds for another amazing panoramic view. Night is in the hotel.
Day 3: Almaty - Issyk - Almaty
In course of the tour you will head to Issyk Gorge in Trans-Ili Alatau that locates alongside the Kuldja tract. Here a long time ago trades caravans travelled. On the way to it you will have an opportunity to learn more about nature and history of this area and you will have a chance to see a Sakas mounds as well as the famous "Golden man" was discovered. Later on this sight became the state symbol of the Republic of Kazakhstan. On the way to the gorge you will have a stop to attend the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve "ISSYK". In course of the travel you will have excursion to observe the exhibits made of 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 Sakas burial mound. Then you will be meet by the alpine lake Issyk that located on the altitude of the1756 meters high. The lake was formed due to the huge landslide that happened about 10,000 years. Moreover that landslide made a natural dam. This lake will captivate by its mesmerizing surface that you can find in the Issyk Gorge while learn about the details of the natural disaster of 1963. Overnight is in the hotel.
Day 4: Almaty - BAO - Almaty - Bishkek
Today you will visit the gorge which altitude is 2,510 m above sea. The Big Almaty lake can be found in Trans-Ili Alatau. This lake will bewitch you with its fabulous surface. This lake was formed thanks to the movement of the ancient glacier. The water of alpine lake is cold even in July the water temperature does not exceed 10 degrees. This lake possesses the potable water due to it the government strictly control the access. Later on you will reach the altitude of 3300 meters above sea level where you can explore the scientific facilities for astronomical and space research. On this elevation you will have a chance to witness the great view of mountains and lakes surrounded by mountain peaks and of course the Tien Shan fir trees, aspen and junipers growing there. At 15:00 you will go to Bishkek it will take 4 hours. The night will be in the hotel.
Day 5: Bishkek - Burana - Issyk Kul northern shore
In course of the tour you will explore the major sight of Bishkek city. You will have a chance to explore such great sights as Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Ņentral Ala-Too Square, Old Square, National Philharmonic and many others sights. Later on you will be transferred to Issyk -Kul lake, the elevation of which is 1 608 meters above sea level. This lake is known as the second largest in the world. You will be amazed by the fact that the lake never freezes due to the possession of salt. On the way to this lake you will have a break to explore Burana Tower of 11th century and an open air museum of Balbals or so called stone warriors. Your night is in a hotel.
Day 6: Issyk Kul - Grigorievskoye - Semenovskoye - Karakol
Before reaching Karakol town you will visit Semenovskoye and Grigorievskoye gorges. These gorges are famous due to the picturesque nature as well as having connection in the end. This sight is national park that can be found in mountains covered with snow on the top, slopes where blue and green pine trees grow. At the very bottom of the gorge you can observe lakes there. After it you will be transferred to Karakol where you will be able to enjoy popular sights to visit like Dungan mosque that was built without nails in Chinese style, wooden Orthodox Church. Your night will be spent in a guesthouse.
Day 7: Karakol - Jeti Oguz - Issyk Kul southern shore - Bishkek
Today you will drive back to Bishkek city. But before you will have an opportunity to explore the interesting sight called Jeti Oguz gorge. This place is famous due to the red rock formation. By reaching this sight you can witness the Mountain of Broken Hearts. If you wish it will be possible to hike 20 minutes to reach the top of the mountain to witness breathtaking view. Later on you will have a stop in Bokonvaeva village. Tours to this place is one of the most visited due to the fact that you will be able to meet a local eagle hunter. He uses the nomadic way of hunting with the help of the eagle. The preys of which are hares and foxes with the help of eagles. This way of hunting passes through generations. Continue the drive to Bishkek. Night you will spend in a hotel.
Day 8: Bishkek - Osh - Guliston - Khudjand
Toady you will have a morning flight from Bishkek to Osh city and then transfer to Tajik border. In course of the tour your road will go via high passes to Batken region. Here you will be able to see famous apricot trees and Aigul, the incredible flower. Later on you will reach Khujand city the road to which goes through Anzob pass of 3 372 meters high. During the way you will enjoy the unique and breathtaking views. Upon arrival you will notice Khuldjand city that is located on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley. Moreover this city is known as the second largest city in Tajikistan. This city is capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan (Soghd) with population 149,000. In course of the tour you will attend such great sights as a Cultural Palace of Khujand where the first president of Tajikistan was chosen and Central Mosque that locates in the middle of the city. Night is in a hotel.
Day 9: Khudjand - Iskanderkul Lake
Toady you will travel to the famous place even among worlds the alpine lake called Iskanderkul. This lake can e found on the altitude of 2 255 meters above sea level in Fann Mountains. This area is considered to be one of the most popular for hiking. After you will finish to explore the beach you can hike 40 minutes to see a picturesque 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. Night is in guesthouse.
Day 10: Iskanderkul - 7 lakes - Penjakent
In Fann Mountains you can find a lot of lakes and one of them is very popular. The name of them is Seven Lakes. To reach these beautiful lakes you need to hike through the gorge. It is worthy to note that the lake is located on the different high levels and each of them as well as having various colors. During the tour you will have a chance to meet local people that will tell you more about their lifestyle. Later on you will be transferred to Penjakent that is known as five villages. You can find it in Khujand region of Tajikistan in a splendid Zeravshan river valley. It is believed that the city appeared in 5th - 8th centuries AD. This city was significant city that had most important cultural and crafts centers of Sogd due to which received name "Central Asian Pompeii". During the our you will notice that this city was highly organized with a ruler's palace, two temples, markets, rich residential buildings, decorated with numerous paintings, wooden and clay statues of ancient gods. Due to being found in the previous century now you can enjoy to explore these great remains. Overnight is at a local guesthouse.
Day 11: Penjakent - Jartepo - Samarkand
Today you will cross the border to have further tours in Uzbekistan. The first city to explore will be Samarkand. Upon arrival you will see that this city is located in the valley of the river Zerafshan. Moreover you will be impressed to know that this is the second largest city in Uzbekistan a swell as being contemporary of the cities of Babylon or Rome. On the agenda are such amazing sights as Registan square, Shakhi-Zindeh, Mausoleum Guri Emir and Bibi Khanum Mosque. The first sight to explore is Registan Square that is known to be a complex of three fascinating Madrasahs dating back to 15-17th centuries. Later on is the Shahi Zinde well known due to the huge collection of mausoleums of the 11th-15th centuries as well as being listed to UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bibi Khanum Mosque was built in honor of the beloved wife of Tamerlane after his victorious campaign in India. You will sleep in a hotel.
Day 12: Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara
In the morning you will start your drive to Bukhara. On the way to it you will have a stop to visit the pottery private school. Here you will be able to see the famous 6th generation of Narzullayevs family. This family gave luster to Gijduvan school ceramics all over the world. This school has a deep history as well as possesses the secrets of creating ceramic goods. The skills were passed through generations. This school is noted due to the geometric patterns as well as applying green and blue colors in decoration. 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 to go to Bukhara. Overnight is in the hotel.
Day 13: Bukhara
Today your whole day will be spent by exploring the great sights of this outstanding city. The tour will start with exploring the Citadel Ark. It is the oldest citadel of Bukhara dated back to 4th century and was used as palace for several dynasties of Bukhara Empire. Later on you will visit the masterwork of the IX-X centuries the famous mausoleum of Samanids. Chashma Ayubor Job's well and Bolo -Hauz Mosque also known as the forty-column mosque which was built in honor of Bukhara governor Abu Fayyud Khan. After it you can explore shopping domes and Nodir Divan Runas well. This is one of the most famous madrasah in the city that it also considered to be a part of the Lyabi House ensemble. The tour will ends with visiting Poi Kalon complex that has three structures built in the 12th-16th centuries: the Kalon minaret, the Kalon mosque and the Mir-Arab madrasah. Night will be in a hotel.
Day 14: Bukhara - Khiva
Toady your destination is Khiva. The Bukhara city is also known as "town museum" of the Middle Ages. Here you will be able to find about 140 architectural monuments. While explore Bukhara you will see that 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 to Khiva will go via Kizilkum desert. During the way you will enjoy the view of Amu Darya River, which is known to be the deepest river in Central Asia. It appeared due to the merging of the Pyanj and Vakhsh rivers in Tajikistan and flows into the Aral Sea. After your arrival in Khiva you will have spare time. Overnight is in the hotel.
Day 15: Khiva
Today you will have an opportunity to visit the oldest city in Uzbekistan. It will be Ichan-Qala or inner city of Khiva that is encircled by strong walls. While being here you can enjoy the very old sound buildings, palaces, mosques, Madrasahs, Mausoleums, Minarets, Caravanserais and Bathhouses that transformed Ichan-Qala into mysterious city-monument. By having tour here you will see over 400 traditional dwelling houses and about 60 architectural monuments. It is worthy to note that in 1969 Ichan-Qala became historical and architectural conservation. Moreover you will be impressed by the view of Kunya-Ark fortress of 17th century, discovered by Muhammad Arang Khan and Kalta Minor minaret, and Tash Khouvli palace, all of them are an incredible 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 you will have a drive to Farap borders. After crossing the border you will be met by the Turkmen guide and transferred to the North of Turkmenistan. Upon arrival you will enjoy to witness Kunya Urgench. This sight before was Capital of Khorezm in X-XII centuries. While being here you will be able to explore the major sights like Mausoleum of Najm al-Din al-Kubra, Tyurabek Khanum, Il-Arslan, Tekesh Ibn Hadzhibey, the highest minaret in Central Asia Kutlyg-Timur. Later on is tour to Darwaza also famous as Gas Crater. Night is in tent.
Day 17: Darwaza - Ashgabat
Today in course of the tour you will be transferred to Ashgabat. Upon arrival you will visit the pride of the Turkmen people the famous Akhal-Teke horses. In this tour you will have a chance to ride it. After it you can enjoy yourself by having the Traditional Tea party, not very long but entertained Akhal-Teke horse show program and see the horse racks. After such astonishing show you will go back to Ashgabat. Night is in the city.
Day 18: Ashgabat - Mary - Ashgabat
Today you will have a tour ancient city Mary that is located 25 km to the east to Bayram-Ali. This city is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site due to being the one of the archaeological places of Central Asia that had a great influence in developing the Great Silk Road for more than 2000 years. The size of this sight will impress you due to being 1200 ha. In course of the travel you will be able to enjoy such prominent sights as Mausoleums of the Sultan, Sanjar and Muhammed Ibn-Zeid (XII c), shows refined Seljuk brickwork and architectural decor. Later on is drive back to Ashgabat. During the trip you will have an opportunity to enjoy the fauna and flora of the Karakum desert. Night is in the hotel.
Day 19: Ashgabat
Toady you will spend time to witness the great sight of the capital city of Turkmenistan. You will explore the famous "Old Nisa" that once was Capital of the Parthian Empire. Nowadays this places one of the greatest sights of UNESCO Heritage. In course of the tour you will be able to visit Monument and Park of Independence, which looks like a white-marble "Eiffel Tower", a fountain-monument initiated to the 10th anniversary of independence it is a sculptural depiction of ten Akhal-Tekke horses placed on the top of a beautiful fountain and of course splendid Ertoghrul Ghazi and Gypjak Mosques. After it you will have an excursion in the National Museum of History and Ethnography. Night is in the hotel.
Day 20: Flight
Drive to Ashgabat International Airport. Fly. End the program.
Transport in KZ:
02 pax - Sedan economy
04 pax - Minivan
06-10 pax - Minibus
Transport in KG:
02 pax - Mitsubishi Delica
04-10 pax - Mercedes Sprinter
Transport in TJ:
02-04 pax - Hyundai Starex
06-08 pax - 2 cars: Hyundai Starex
10 pax - 3 cars: Hyundai Starex
Transport in Uz:
02 pax - Sedan
04-06 pax - Minivan
08-10 pax - Minibus
Transport in Tm:
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.