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26 DAYS ●
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Go Beyond Tour
Retrace the footsteps of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great on this unforgettable Central Asian journey through the ‘five stans’ visiting the Silk Road gems of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, charming villages and remote landscapes while soaking up the mystical old-world atmosphere.
Cruise along Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan
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 Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan. The rest of the morning is yours to relax. Later enjoy a welcome lunch before, visiting a local stud farm to learn about “winged” Akhal Tekkes horses.
Today explore both ancient and modern Ashgabat. Visit the Turkmen National Carpet Museum, Independence Square and the Monument Arch of Neutrality. Stop at the Turkmenistan Independence Monument to admire the gardens, foundations, statues and see the famous Rukhnama book. Later, have lunch in the Russian Gulistan Bazaar, visit Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and learn about Ashgabat’s unique history with time spent at the National Museum of History and Ethnography.
Today journey to the city of Mary to tour the ancient city of Merv. En route, learn about the Turkmenistan cotton and gas industry before stopping off at ancient Abiverd. Have lunch , then explore the ancient city of Merv, a major centre of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Drive through the Karakum desert before arriving at the Darvaza Crater. Enjoy a walk around this crater, measuring 69 metres wide and 30 metres deep as dusk approaches, before a nomadic inspired dinner under the stars, with a spectacular view of the crater and its glowing flames.
Drive to Konye-Urgench, the former capital of the Khorezm Empire in the 12th - 13th centuries. Enjoy exploring the mausoleums of Turabek Khanum, II-Arslan, and Sultan Tekesh, the Kutlug Timur minaret and the fabled al Mamun’s Academy of Sciences. Later, cross the border into Uzbekistan.
Explore the ancient city of Khiva today. Visit Kukhna Ark Fortress, the turquoise-tiled Islom-Khodja, and the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud. These are all located within the walled inner town called the Itchan Kala, which was the first site in Uzbekistan to achieve recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Journey through the desert, viewing the changing scenery from saksaul trees to the Amudarya riverbank as you travel. This evening take a walking tour through the markets and shop for decorative clothing and traditional Uzbek crafts.
After exploring the Ark of Bukhara, visit the Bolo Hauz Mosque. Continue onto the ladies market and through the beautiful Bukhara oasis to the peaceful 16th century Chor Minor and Chor Bakr necropolis where you will tour the colourful Khonako-Medrassah-Mosque complex. Later this afternoon, visit the mausoleum of Ismail Samanid and the ornate Aziz Khan and Ulugbek Madrassahs.
Today journey to the legendary city of Samarkand, visiting a pottery centre en route. Upon arrival, explore some of the most significant sites in Samarkand and its city centre - Timur’s Guri Amir Mausoleum and Registan Square, the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia and heart of the city.
Today, continue to explore Samarkand. In the morning, visit Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum and Registan Square, which was for many centuries the heart of the city. In the afternoon, wander through a local market, visit Shah-I-Zinda and Bibi-Khanum Friday Mosque.
Visit Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of the Great Amir Timur, located approximately 80km south of Samarkand. Explore sites such as the remnants of Ak-Sarai Palace, Dorus Tilavat cemetery and Kok-Gumbas Mosque. On your return, visit the Ulugh Beg Observatory to see the mesmerising 'stars above Samarkand'.
Visit a papermaking workshop in Konigil village before taking the train to Tashkent. Journey back in time exploring the old town’s sights; Barak Khan Madrassah and Kukeldash Madrassah and Tila Shaikh mosque and their archives – known for rare copies of the Koran. Stop at Chorsu Bazaar – the oldest market in Tashkent, see Independence Square and Amir Timur Maydoni before finally stopping at the opulently decorated Tashkent Metro.
Journey through the scenic mountain range along the Uzbek/Kyrgyz border to the pleasant city of Fergana. On the way, enjoy a guided tour of the town of Kokand seeing the impressive Khan’s Palace and Jami Mosque Museum, before travelling on to Ok Yer village and the house of a local craftsman, Bakhrom-aka. Here visit a local Kyrgyz family who manufacture traditional woollen carpets. Finally, stop off at the Rishton Ceramics Museum to learn about the pottery industry and arrive in Fergana.
Rise early and travel to the magnificent Kumpeta Sunday Bazaar in the town of Margilon. Immerse yourself in the colours, sounds and smells of Central Asia’s best market. Continue onto the nearby town of Andijon and tour the silk stalls at Jahon Sunday Bazaar, the biggest bazaar on the Uzbek side of the Fergana Valley. Later, visit the dazzling Yodgorlik Silk Factory, possibly the finest on the old Silk Road.
Cross the border inot Tajikistan at Zarhok. Arrive in the city of Khujand in the early afternoon. On arrival stroll through the vibrant Panchshanbe Bazaar, visit the city’s top sight, the 10th century citadel, see Lenin’s Statue and the Statue of Komil Khojandi and relax on Pushkin Square.
This morning travel to Istaravshan, located in the northern foothills of the Tajik mountain range. Continue on and stop at the breath-taking Lake Iskander Kul, surrounded by mountains and spend time here taking in the memorable views. Arrive in Dushanbe, the capital of Taijikistan in the late afternoon.
A full day tour of the capital will include walking through the city’s Botanical gardens, Rudaki Park and stopping at the Ismoili Somoni monument. Continue to Kohi Navruz a cultural palace, which demonstrates traditional Tajik architecture. After lunch visit the Fortress of Hissor, which will include stops at the Medrassah Kuhna and the Museum of Tajik Way of life.
Fly to Almaty this morning, the capital of Kazakhstan. Transfer to the city and take part in an orientation walk visiting Republic Square, Abai Opera Theatre, the Central Mosque, the Green Market and Zenkov Cathedral.
This morning visit the turquoise Big Almaty Lake nestled in the Tian Shan mountains and see the Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory. Relax in the scenic surroundings then return to Almaty where the rest of your day is free.
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.
Continue to the border and cross from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan before travelling to Karakol.
Rise early and travel to the outskirts of town for the unforgettable Karakol Sunday Animal Market.
Return to the city and 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.
Visit Skazka Canyon followed by and Barskoon Gorge to take a light hike to a waterfall named ‘Tears of Leopard’. Continue to Bokonbayevo Village and watch a demonstration of eagle hunting. Transfer to Kochkor afterwards, where you eill visit a local workshop and see the manufacturing of the traditional Kyrgyz wool carpets, called ‘shyrdak’. Stay overnight in a Yurt Camp and try your hand at baking flatbread in a traditional oven.
Enjoy the views as you continue another 2 hours to Ashu Village. Witness the horseback games here, and learn about the history behind this favoured Kyrgyz pasttime from your National Escort. Next, arrive at the Chong Kemin National Park prior to lunch. Stop in this quiet valley before continuing to the capital city of Bishkek. En route, visit the 12th Century Burana Tower.
This morning take a city tour and visit Ala Too Square, Oak Park and the newly restored Museum of History.
Later, drive south to Ala Archa National Park where you will take a leisurely hike whilst you take in the picturesque scenery of snow-capped mountains and freshwater rivers. Return to Bishkek for a farewell dinner.
Fly to the UK, arriving home later the same day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience the world. That's why we are touring experts - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing top sights magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you soon!
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