Silk Road wonder tour: Tour 4
Destination: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Duration: 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
We are glad to welcome you in the fascinating tour to explore the breathtaking sights. Upon arrival you will meet driver that pick you up and transfer to Almaty. In course of the tour you will see the most outstanding sights. The first sight to visit will be the popular place among locals, the Green Bazaar. Here you will see a lot of interesting goods as well as show your bargain skills. Then is Panfilov park that is considered to be the oldest park in Almaty where the Zenkov Cathedral can be found. This cathedral is known for being one of the most attractive wooden building in the world. Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame was erected for those who died for freedom and independence. After it you will be transferred to Medeo gorge to see a dam that protects the city from hazardous landslides. During the tour you will learn that here also the highest mountain skating rink in the world. After it you will visit the Then you will visit the place that has the tallest TV tower and stroll along the winding mountain road in Kok- Tobe hill. Don’t miss the chance to see the beautiful panorama of the city as well as to visit souvenirs’ shop. Then you will travel to the center of the city on the famous Almaty cableway. Night is in a hotel.
Day 2: Almaty – Charyn – Almaty
The day of the tour is dedicated to explore the famous Charyn Canyon on a comfortable car or minivan. You will be equipped by 1,5L of bottled water. On this wonderful you can also take some snacks. The route of the tour will take about 4 hours. On the way to it you will visit local museum of traditional decorative and applied arts and crafts. Upon arrival you will be met by the breathtaking view of the panoramic and then you will go to the bottom of the canyon. Then walk about 2 miles through the Castle Valley labyrinth with its walls of fancy forms hanging over you. At the bottom you will enjoy the view of icy cold Charyn River. This place also can show you an eco-park with a few yurts are traditional dwellings of nomads and a small open air cafe that work only in summer. After it we will walk back to enjoy another amazing panoramic view.
Day 3: Almaty – Issyk – Almaty
Today you will be transferred to Issyk Gorge of Trans-Ili Alatau that can be find on the Kuldja tract. This area was a place where trading caravans passed. During the way you will learn a lot about nature and history of this area and you will have a chance to see a Sakas mounds as well as the place where the “Golden man” was discovered. This significant sight became state symbol of the Republic of Kazakhstan. During the tour you will have excursion in the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “ISSYK” that is possesses a lot of exhibits of the history and culture of the Saka period, such as a copy of Golden Man and golden items, ancient ceramics, weapon, elements of horse equipment, as well as the model of Saka burial mound. Then you will continue your drive to the altitude of 1756 meters high where the alpine lake Issyk is located. The Lake appeared about 10,000 years ago due to the mudslide that resulted in the formation of a natural dam. The surface of the lake as well as its area will fascinate you. Moreover you will also learn the details of the disaster of 1963. After resting you will drive back to the Southern capital of Kazakhstan. Also on the lake you will have a picnic and free time for outdoor leisure. Night in the hotel.
Day 4: Almaty – BAO – Almaty – Bishkek
Today you will see another wonder of Kazakhstan that is known the Big Almaty lake (2,510 m above sea). This site can be found in Big Almaty gorge on Trans-Ili Alatau. You will be mesmerized by the surface of the water that reflects the beauty of the sky and the surrounding mountains. This incredible lake was formed due to the movement of the ancient glacier. Since the lake is located high in the mountains, the water in the lake is always cold, in July the water temperature does not exceed 10 degrees. Due to being the source of drinking water for residents of Almaty it is strictly confined to enter here. After it you will reach the altitude of 3300 meters above sea level to see scientific facilities for astronomical and space research. Furthermore during the travel you will enjoy the breathtaking panorama view of mountains and lakes surrounded by mountain peaks and of course the Tien Shan fir trees, aspen and junipers growing there. After it you will head on to the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Night at the hotel.
Day 5: Bishkek – Burana – Issyk Kul northern shore
The day will start with exploring the main sights of the tour such as Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Сentral Ala-Too Square, Old Square, National Philharmonic and many others sights. After it you will drive to the famous Issyk –Kul. Dueing the tour you will learn that this the second largest mountainous lake it is located on the altitude 1608 meters above sea level. In course of the travel you will be amazed to know that the lake never freezes due to the salty water. More to it possesses medical qualities. On thee ay you will attend Burana Tower of the 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
In course of the travel you will explore the breathtaking sights - Semenovskoye and Grigorievskoye. You will be impressed by these prominent gorges that connected at the end. This land is part of national park and here you can see mighty mountains covered with snow on the top, slopes where blue and green pine trees grow. At the bottom you will be mesmerized by lakes. After it you will transferred to Karakol where you will see Dungan mosque that was built without single metal tack in Chinese style and wooden Orthodox Church. Your night will be spent in a guesthouse.
Day 7: Karakol – Jeti Oguz – Issyk Kul southern shore – Bishkek
On your way to Bishkek you will visit Jeti Oguz gorge. This prominent sight will amaze you by its red rock entity. Here you will also have a chance to see Mountain of Broken Hearts. To reach the top of the mountain will take 20 minutes to hike. You will be mesmerized by the striking panorama view of the gorge. After it you will have a break at Bokonbaeva village tours to which are very popular. Here you can meet eagle hunter that will show you one of the ancient ways of hunting of nomad people. He hunts are hares and foxes with the help of eagles. The skills of such hunting passed through generations. Then continue he drive to Bishkek. Night you will spend in a hotel.
Day 8: Bishkek – Osh – Guliston – Khudjand
Flight from Bishkek to Osh city and then to Tajik border. The road will go Batken region. Here you will witness apricot trees and magnificent flower called Aigul. After crossing the border you will be met and transferred to Khujand city of Tajikistan. Your route will go via the Anzob pass the altitude of which is 3 372 meters high. Here you will see the stunning panoramic view. In course of the tour you will learn that Khuldjand is the city that locates on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley. Furthermore it is the second largest city in Tajikistan. This city is capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan (Soghd) with population 149,000. You will explore such prominent sights like Cultural Palace of Khujant where the first president of Tajikistan was chosen and the Central Mosque that locates in the middle of the city. Night is in a hotel.
Day 9: Khudjand – Iskanderkul Lake
Iskanderkul is you’re your destination for today. You will find this picturesque sight on the altitude of 2 255 meters above sea level. This lake can be found on the famous Fann mountains which is known as one of the best hiking places in Central Asia. After exploring this beautiful scenery you will hike to observe the waterfall (40 minutes). Tajikistan is famous for its water resources due to which has the highest indicators on water resources in Central Asia. Here you will be able to see more than 1 000 rivers, 2 000 lakes and 8000 glaciers. Overnight is in guesthouse.
Day 10: Iskanderkul – 7 lakes – Penjakent
Today you will visit Seven Lakes. In course of the tour you will have time for short hiking to see the beauty of this area. You will learn that the famous lakes are located on the different high levels and each of them have various colors. Do not miss the chance to learn more about Tajik people and their lifestyle. After hiking your next destination is Penjakent. The city of Penjakent is also known as the "five villages" that you will find in Khujand area of Tajikistan where the Zeravshan river valley is situated. This city is considered to be built in the 5th-8th centuries AD. It is worthy to note that at that time this prominent city was one of the most prosperous cultural and crafts centers of Sogd. You will be impressed to know that the city possesses another name “Central Asian Pompeii”. Here you will be able to investigate the ruins of two temples, markets, rich dwelling houses decorated with numerous paintings, wooden and clay statues of ancient gods. Even through this site was fond in last century now you can enjoy exploring it. Overnight at a local guesthouse.
Day 11: Penjakent – Jartepo – Samarkand
Today your destination is Samarkand. The day is dedicated for the city tour where you will explore the most outstanding sights. At first you will know that the city located in the valley of the river Zerafshan. Furthermore it is known as the second largest city of Uzbekistan with the age similar to Babylon or Rome. The tour will show you such prominent attractions like Registan square, Shakhi-Zindeh, Mausoleum Guri Emir and Bibi Khanum Mosque. Registan Square is a place here you will see three enthralling Madrasahs of 15th -17th centuries. Architectural complex of Shakhi-Zindeh will impresses you by its collection of mausoleums that dates to 11th - 15th centuries and listed to UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bibi Khanum Mosque was erected for the most loved wife of Tamerlane, when he came back from India. Night is in the hotel.
Day 12: Samarkand – Gijduvan – Bukhara
You will drive to Bukhara on the way to which you will have a stop to attend the pottery private school. Nowadays it is the home of the 6th generation of Narzullayevs family which is returned the fame of Gijduvan school ceramics all over the world. The school has deep roots that’s why it knowledge and mastership passes through generations. As private pottery school they have their own style that possesses peculiarities such as green and blue colors and geometric patterns. After it you will head on to the Al Bukhary memorial complex which was Islamic School where were 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
The day is dedicated to the guided tour in Bukhara city. The first sight for visiting is the most ancient citadel in Bukhara of the 4th century named Citadel Ark. This prominent sight used to be a palace for Bukhara Empire. Next sight of the tour is the Samanids mausoleum that is considered to be a masterpiece of 9th -10th century. The next destinations of the tour are Chashma Ayub, meaning Job's well and Bolo-Hauz mosque which is also known due to the forty columns built in honor of Bukhara governor Abu-Fayud Khan. You will have some free time to explore shops and then visit Nodir Divan Begi. This madrasah is the part of the Lyabi House Ensemble, famous central sightseeing of Bukhara tours to which are very popular. At the end you will enjoy the breathtaking view of the Poi Kalon complex that is made of three structures in the 12th - 16th centuries: Kalon minaret, Kalon mosque and Mir Arab Madrasah. Night is in a hotel.
Day 14: Bukhara – Khiva
In course of the tour you will drive to Khiva. During the tour you will learn that it has another name, the "town museum". This name appeared due to the 140 architectural monuments of the Middle Ages located here. This city will mesmerize you by its narrow streets, green parks and gardens, historical and architectural monuments belong to different epochs with close locations. The route will go via the Kizilkum desert where you can witness the Amu Darya river. This river is known as the deepest river in Central Asia which appeared due to the merge of Panj and Vakhsh rivers in Tajikistan and flowing into Aral See. Upon arrival in Khiva you will have free time. Night is in a hotel.
Day 15: Khiva
You will enjoy the tour to see the oldest city of Uzbekistan. You will visit the famous inner city- Ichan-Qala. You will be impressed to see the site that is encircled by strong walls. Here you will see the centuries old sound buildings, palaces, mosques, Madrasahs, Mausoleums, Minarets, Caravan-Sarais and Bathhouses. All these wonderful sights made Ichan-Qala into unique city-monument. Here you will be able to see at least 400 traditional houses and about 60 architectural monuments. In 1969 Ichan-Qala was announced as the historical and architectural conservation area. Then is Kunya-Ark fortress of the 17th century which was found by Muhammad Arang Khan, Kalta Minor minaret and Tash Khouvli palace, an incredible sample of Khorezm architectural mastership of 1830s. Night is in a hotel.
Day 16: Khiva – Farap – Kunya Urgench – Darwaza
Today you will cross the Farap border of Turkmenistan. Upon arrival you will meet your driver that will take you to the North of Turkmenistan. Here you will see the architectural monuments of Konya Urgench that used to be the capital of Khorezm in X-XII centuries. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of sights such as Mausoleum of Najm al-Din al-Kubra, Tyurabek Khanum, Il-Arslan, Tekesh Ibn Hadzhibey, the highest minaret in Central Asia Kutlyg-Timur. Next is Darwaza also famous as Gas Crater.
Day 17: Darwaza – Ashgabat
The day will start with morning drive to the capital of Turkmenistan. After it you will head on to the horse to see the famous Akhal-Teke horses. During the tour you will have traditional tea party, Akhal-Teke horse show program and see the horse racks. After enjoying it you will be transferred to Ashgabat.
Day 18: Ashgabat – Mary – Ashgabat
Mary city is your destination for today. During the tour the guide will tell you that this outstanding sight is listed to UNESCO World Heritage Site. This site is known as the one of the main archaeological places of Central Asia that had a great influence for developing the Silk Road for more than 2000 years. The size of this place is 1200 ha. You will enjoy the beauty of the "wandering city" with its magnificent Mausoleums of the Sultan, Sanjar and Muhammed Ibn-Zeid (XII c), that is famous for refined Seljuk brickwork and architectural decor. Then youwill drive back to the capital of Turkmenistan. On the way, you will see the fauna and flora of the Karakum desert.
Day 19: Ashgabat
Today the tour is dedicated for city tour. You will explore the main sights of the city like “Niva” that was Capital of the Parthian Empire and now it is added to the UNESCO Heritage. Then is the Monument and Park of Independence that is looks like a “Eiffel Tower” made of white-marble. Then is fountain-monument that was erected to the 10th anniversary of Independence that is depicts ten Akhal-Tekke horses placed on the top of a 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. Overnight is in the hotel.
Day 20: Flight
Drive to Ashgabat International Airport. Fly. End the program.
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.
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Phone (00 996 312) 875463
Mobile (00 996 555) 543535