Central Asia: 5 ‘Stans Tour

2024

Tour itinerary can be seen below.

1 06/04/2024

Arrive in Ashgabat

• Arrive at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan's capital, early morning and transfer to the hotel. Day spent at leisure. Overnight in Ashgabat.

Day 0 photo 1

2 07/04/2024

Ashgabat Day Tour

• Visit the square and parks to see the vast, marbled monuments, statues and Ertuğrul Gazi Mosque.

• Explore the Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque and mausoleum.

• In the afternoon, drive to the fiery Darvaza gas crater. En route, we stop for supplies in the desert village of Erbent. Then we go off-road through the desert. Finally arriving at Darvaza early evening while the light is fading. With the setting sun and glow from the crater, you can see for miles in every direction

• Our guide will set up camp in tents safely away from the crater before cooking dinner. Take this time to relax and enjoy the massive campfire-like aura of Darvaza.

Day 1 photo 1

3 08/04/2024

Darvaza - Konye Urgench

• After a bite to eat, we drive north to Konye Urgench—a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the remains of the Achaemenid empire’s capital Khwarazm.

• Drive onwards to Dashoguz, check into our hotel and tour the city in the afternoon.

• Take the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 2 photo 1

4 09/04/2024

Cross to Uzbekistan

• Bid farewell to Turkmenistan and say hello to Uzbekistan. In the morning, we cross the border into this fascinating nation.

• Our Uzbek guide will meet us before we drive to Khiva and check into our hotel.

• After lunch and some free time, we take a walking tour of the city, visiting the legendary Ichan Kala fortress—this ancient site was the last resting place for caravans about to cross the desert to Persia. It contains minarets, a madrassah, mosques and mausoleums.

• After a group dinner, there will be free time to explore more of the city.

Day 3 photo 1

5 10/04/2024

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

• After some morning free time, we depart on a seven-hour drive across the desert to Bukhara. It’s a long ride, but we’ll have a packed lunch for the journey and stop at a Chai Khanah (an Uzbek tea house) early afternoon for tea and kebabs.

• On arrival to Bukhara, we check into our hotel.

• After dinner, enjoy the atmosphere around the Lyab-i Hauz pool.

Day 4 photo 1

6 11/04/2024

Bukhara-Samarkand

• Half-day tour of Bukhara, visiting the Samanids mausoleum, Ark fortress, Polkalon complex, trading domes, the Lyabi Hauz complex and Chor Minor.

• After lunch, we drive to Samarkand, where we’ll check into our hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 5 photo 1

7 12/04/2024

Samarkand

• A whole day in Samarkand—Central Asia's oldest continuously inhabited city. We will visit Registan square, Gur Emir Mausoleum, Slab bazaar, Ulugbek observatory, Afrasiab museum wall paintings and the Meros handicraft centre.

• Dinner in Samarkand before departing on the 22:00 overnight train to Termez.

Day 6 photo 1

8 13/04/2024

Termez

• Arrive in Termez at 9:30, leave our luggage at the hotel, and start a full-day tour of the city. We will visit the archaeological museum, Sultan Saadat complex, Kirk Kiz hanaka and Fayaztepa Buddhist monastery.

• Have a farewell dinner with our Uzbek guide, then spend the evening resting.

Day 7 photo 1

9 14/04/2024

Hisor fortress, Tajikistan

• At 9:00, we depart for the Sariosiyo border crossing, passing into the mountainous country of Tajikistan. We will meet our Tajik guides here.

• En route to Dushanbe, we stop at Hisor to visit the fortress. This ancient stronghold is over 2,500 years old.

• We also visit the nearby 16th Century Kunha Medrassah, the Museum of Tajik Life and the mausoleum of the Sufi Saint, Mahdumi Azam.

• Upon arrival in Dushanbe, we will visit the Museum of National Antiquities before checking into our hotel and spending the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 8 photo 1

10 15/04/2024

Tunnel of Death

• Drive to Khujand in the morning, passing through the 5 km long Anzob Tunnel, a.k.a. The Tunnel of Death—a vital roadway which connects Tajikistan’s two largest cities.

• In Khujand, we visit the Shikh Muslihiddin mosque, the Oriental bazaar (the biggest in Central Asia), the Arbob palace and the Lenin monument.

• Later, we check into our hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant before relaxing for the rest of the evening.

Day 9 photo 1

11 16/04/2024

Tour of Khujand

• More tours of Khujand. The highlight is the ancient city fortress. This castle was a vital stop on the Silk Road for many centuries.

• Have lunch before departing Tajikistan for Kyrgyzstan.

• Cross the border, then head to Osh.

• Arrive in Osh, check into our hotel and spend the evening at leisure.

Day 10 photo 1

12 17/04/2024

Fergana valley and Tien Shan mountain range

• Early start today. Prepare yourself for a twelve-hour journey north up to the capital, Bishkek. Scenic is an understatement; this drive is one of the most beautiful in Central Asia—perhaps the world. We pass huge mountains, canyons and valleys throughout the journey and cross different climatic zones as we go through the Fergana Valley and Tien Shan mountain range.

• Arrive in Bishkek early evening and check into the hotel before going for an optional meal and drinks.

Day 11 photo 1

13 18/04/2024

Rest Day

• A well-earned day of rest. Opportunity to spend the day at leisure around Kyrgyzstan's capital, checking out the Soviet architecture and monuments.

Day 12 photo 1

14 19/04/2024

Ala Archa

• Drive to Ala Archa, a beautiful alpine national park in the Tian Shan mountain range.

• Take the day to hike, explore the wild scenery, or relax and take in the clean air of the mountains.

• Return to Bishkek in the early evening.

Day 13 photo 1

15 20/04/2024

Journey up to Kazakhstan

• Off we go to the final country in the tour, Kazakhstan.

• Drive five hours across the border to the Kazakh city of Almaty.

• Check into our hotel before an afternoon tour of the city.

• Evening at leisure.

Day 14 photo 1

16 21/04/2024

Tour Ends

• After two weeks of travel, our tour sadly ends today.

• You are welcome to add extra nights in Kazakhstan on request.

Details

Includes:
  • - Turkmenistan letter of invitation
  • - Entry pass
  • - Registration
  • - 4 and 3 star hotel accommodation (twin or double room)
  • - Breakfast each day
  • - Air conditioned transport
  • - English speaking guide throughout
  • - Entrance fees at all sites and museums
  • - Dinner at Darvaza
  • - Camping gear on visit to Darvaza (tent, sleeping bag, mat, cooking equipment and eating utensils)
  • - Dinners in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
  • - Airport transfer at the start of the tour
Excludes:
  • - Visa fee
  • - Immigration duty (14 USD p/p)
  • - Flights
  • - Camera fees at sites
  • - Tips
  • - Some lunch and dinner costs
  • - Other personal expenses
  • - Single room supplement (we can allocate someone to share with on a group tour if you prefer to avoid this cost)
  • - Airport transfer at the end of the tour
Prices:
  • Tour Price: £1995
  • Deposit: £500
  • Single Room Supplement: £395
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