Central Asia is a vast area of desert, steppe, and rugged mountain ranges like the Glacial Pamirs and the Alpine Fann Mountains. At its core are the five former Soviet republics and Western China. Until recently the region was seemingly inaccessible and unfamiliar to the rest of the world. For thousands of years nomads, conquerors, cultures, and civilizations have swept through the area leaving their own distinct influence. For more than 2000 years Central Asia has been the location of the ancient East-West trade routes which we know as the Silk Road. Adjustment to post Soviet tight control has taken its toll in the form of poverty, unemployment, bad government, and in the case of Tajikistan, a civil war. Nevertheless, these peoples strive to modernize and better their world and warmly embrace visitors to their lands. We hope you can join us on a visit to Central Asia.
2017 Land Cost Per Person (double occupancy)
Available Anytime – $5050
Single Supplement – $900
Tour guaranteed to depart with a minimun of 4 persons. Maximum tour size is 10.
- Accommodations throughout (tourist class and better hotels)
- Meals as indicated
- Transportation throughout the journey
- All flights listed in the program
- English speaking professional guide
- Entrance fees for mentioned monuments
- Visa support throughout
- Arrival and departure transfers
Price Does Not Include:
- Visa consular fees and processing
- Photo and video charges
- Departure and customs fees
- International Air Tickets
- Extra Beverages
- Tips and gratuities
- Any personal expenses
- Any services not included in the above itinerary
- Travel insurance (highly recommended for coverage against all unforeseen circumstances)
Day 1 – Wednesday: Ashgabat – Turkmenistan
Arrival at Ashgabat Airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Ashgabat prospered on the trade routes with Silk Road merchants traveling over the mountains into Persia, eventhough it never achieved the status of Khiva or Bukhara. In 1948 it was leveled by a huge earthquake so that the Ashgabat of today is a completely modern creation. Our sightseeing tour of Ashgabat includes visits to the National Museum of History and Ethnography of Turkmenistan and Old Nisa (UNESCO), and more. Overnight at the hotel. (BLD)
Day 2 – Thursday: Ashgabat – Mary & Merv – Ashgabat (Flight Included)
Early morning flight to Mary for sightseeing in the ancient fertile oasis city of Merv (UNESCO). Merv dates back over 4000 years as a location of succeeding civilizations and became an important way station on the Great Silk Road between the 2nd and 13th centuries when it was sacked by the Mongols. The site is vast, holding the archeological remains of five cities. Explore the area and receive lunch and dinner at a local restaurant. In the evening, return to Ashgabat. Overnight at the hotel. (BLD)
Day 3 – Friday: Ashgabat – Almaty
Fly from Ashgabat Airport to Almaty. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Arrival in Almaty, the former capital city of Kazakhstan, which is located in the heart of Eurasia. Almaty is situated on the site of an ancient Silk Road oasis, and today is the major commercial center of Kazakhstan. You will have a 3-hour city tour in the afternoon to take you to the major attractions including Central Mosque and more. After exploring the sport, cultural and business areas of the city return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel. (BD)
Day 4 – Saturday: Almaty – Charyn Canyon – Almaty
In the morning, start your 3 hour drive to Charyn Canyon. En route, your guide will be speaking about the history and nature of the region, Kazah people and their traditions. Charyn canyon, at 12 million years old, is one of the unique natural monuments of Kazakhstan. Return to Almaty and spend overnight at the hotel. (BLD)
Day 5 – Sunday: Almaty – Issyk Lake – Almaty
After breakfast depart for Issyk Kul Lake driving through scenic landscapes and the high mountains of the Tian Shan Range of Northern Kyrgyzstan. After having completed the border crossing formalities we will enter into Kyrgyzstan to reach Issyk Kul Lake, an ancient stop on the Silk Road. It is the second largest alpine lake in the world (1608 m. above sea level). The lake is called “the pearl of Central Asia” due to the curative qualities of salty water. After enjoying a traditional lunch we will make our trip to the lake. On the lake you will enjoy the majestic beauty of its turquoise water and the Issyk gorge. Here you will learn about the details of the natural disaster in 1963. Return to Almaty and overnight at the hotel. (BLD)
Day 6 – Monday: Almaty (MEDEU) -Dushanbe
Depart for the Medeu Gorge located in the mountains of Transili Alatau, the largest high mountain skating rink in the world. The Medeu Rink is made for speed skating and many champion Soviet skaters trained here. Continue to Shymbulak Ski Resort, popular for its mild climate and remarkably scenic views. Your mountain adventure continues at the top of Kok-Tobe Hill, which offers an unforgettable panorama of Almaty. In late afternoon, transfer to airport for your flight to Dushanbe. Check-in and spend overnight at hotel. (BD)
Day 7 – Tuesday: Dushanbe
In the morning, half day tour to Hissar – a fortress dating back to the 18th century. This fortress used to be the residence of the delegate of the Emir of Bukhara. After coming back to Dushanbe, lunch will be provided. In the afternoon, visit the Botanical Garden and Victory Park. Overnight is at hotel. (BLD)
Day 8 – Wednesday: Dushanbe – Bishkek
In the morning, we will transfer to the airport to fly to the city of Bishkek. Bishkek is the capital city of Kyrgyzstan and one of the largest cities in Central Asia. Its multinational population of more than 800,000 people consists of at least 80 different nationalities. Bishkek is situated at an altitude of 700-900 meters above sea level. Sightseeing tour of the city includes the Central Museum, bazaar and many other sights. Overnight at the hotel. (BD)
Day 9 – Thursday: Bishkek – Issyk Kul Lake
In the morning we will visit Asian Bazaar – a noisy and colorful market filled with fabrics, produce, and people selling and buying goods. After lunch you will be transferred to Issyk Kul Lake. On route we will visit the Burana Tower (an 11th Century Minaret) and an open air museum of Balbans (stone warriors). Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (BLD)
Day 10 – Friday: Issyk Kul Lake – Karakol
Today starts with breakfast at 8 o’clock. After, you will start your trip to Karakol City. On the way, we will take a short break to give you the opportunity to visit ancient stone inscriptions (dating back to 800 B.C.). These petroglyphs were made more than 2,000 years ago by shamans. Then we continue our way along the northern shore of the lake to the town of Karakol visiting the Dungan Mosque. This mosque was built in a Chinese style without using a single metal nail. The mosque will be followed by a visit to an old wooden Orthodox Church. Overnight at a guesthouse. (BLD)
Day 11 – Saturday: Karakol – Bishkek
Today we will drive to Jeti Oguz Gorge famous for its red rock formations. It is optional to take a 20 minute climb to the top of the mountain to see a panoramic view of the gorge. Continue to Bokonbaeva Village where we will meet a local eagle-hunter who practices a hunting technique passed down from generation to generation. After this we will continue our way to Bishkek. Overnight at hotel. (BLD)
Day 12 – Sunday: Bishkek – Ala Archa – Tashkent
Today we will visit Ala Archa Gorge, a natural park on a spur of the Tien Shan Mountain range that is just 45 km from Bishkek. In this very grand, rugged but accessible gorge south of Bishkek, you can sit by a waterfall all day, hike to a glacier or trek into the region’s highest peaks.
Transfer to the airport to fly to Tashkent. Tashkent lost much of its architectural history in a huge earthquake in 1966. It has the fourth biggest Russian population after St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kiev. Today the city has a decidedly Russian feel with many wide tree-lined boulevards and oversized twentieth century Soviet-style buildings. Spend overnight at the hotel. (BLD)
Day 13 – Monday: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
Transfer from Tashkent to airport for domestic flight to Urgench. Upon arrival transfer to Khiva. Legend has it that Khiva dates back to the time of Noah, but throughout history it has been associated with Silk Road slave caravans, barbaric cruelty, and terrible, dangerous journeys across deserts and steppes. The inner city ancient complex of Ichan-Kala is surrounded by walls with eleven gates built in the 10th century and later restored by the Russians who have had a role in Khiva’s history from the 1800’s. The architectural complex from the 12-19th centuries is the home of at least fifty historic monuments. Ichan-Kala was residence of the last Khan and includes Khodja Mausoleum, Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah, Kunya-Ark Castle, Kalta Minor Tower, Tash-Hovli Palace, and Juma Mosque. Transfer to hotel and spend overnight.
Day 14 – Tuesday: Khiva – Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Bukhara during which you will cross the Qizilkum Dessert. The group will take a short stop to take pictures then resume drive to Bukhara. Upon arrival check into and spend overnight at the hotel. (B)
Day 15 – Wednesday: Bukhara
After breakfast, you will be taken on a city tour of Bukhara. Bukhara (UNESCO site), located on the Silk Road, has been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion for over 5000 years. On this tour you will be shown the following…
Citadel Ark (4th C. BC): Ark Citadel was erected on the Registan Square and is the symbol of haughtiness, power and greatness. Ark served as a palace of several dynasties in the Bukhara Empire.
Samanides Mausoleum (9-10th C.): This masterpiece was built in 9th-10th Century as the resting place of Ismail Samani, a powerful and influenctial ruler of the Samanid Dynasty.
Chashma Ayu (14th C): According to a legend, Ayub, a prophet, tapped his stick on the land and opened a well of cold water for the local people who were exhausted from the dry climate. It is said that the water from this well is still pure and healing.
Bolo-hauz Mosque (beginning of the 20th C): Known also as, the mosque of forty columns, was built in honor of the Bukhara governor.
Madrasah Nodir-Divan-Beghi: This is one of the most popular Madrasah in Bukhara and part of Lyabi House Ensemble. Today Madrasah is the place of folklore performances and oriental art exhibition.
Overnight at hotel. (B)
Day 16 – Thursday: Bukhara – Shahrisabs – Samarkand
After breakfast, drive to Samarkand. In route to the city visit famous destinations including Ak Saray Palace, Kuk Gumbaz, Gumbazi Saidon, Khazrati Imam Mosque, and Mausoleum of Jakhangir (Timurlan’s Son). Continue the drive to Samarkand. Spend overnight at the hotel. (B)
Day 17 – Friday: Samarkand
Today is dedicated to tour the city of Samarkand (UNESCO), the 2nd largest city in Uzbekistan. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West. Visit destinations including…
Registan Square: This heart of the ancient city, Samarkand, is a huge square in the old town center where three medieval universities stand. The Registan Square is a unique example of urban art and a remarkable example of architectural design.
Shakhi-Zindeh (“The Living King”): Legend has it that Kusam Ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad, was buried here. He supposedly came to Samarkand with the Arab invasion in the 7th century to preach Islam and was beheaded for his faith. He took his head, however, and went into the deep well (Garden of Paradise), where he is still living. (B)
Day 18 – Saturday: Samarkand – Tashkent
Today will be dedicated to exploring the city of Samarkand (UNESCO), the second largest city in Uzbekistan. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West. Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, prospering from its location on the trade routes. During your free time visit some must-see sights including National Bazaar Siab, Walking Street, and Carpet Factory. In late afternoon, after your self-guided tour, drive to Tashkent. Upon arrival check in and spend overnight at hotel. (B)
Day 19 – Sunday: Tashkent
Spend the day with a guide touring the city of Tashkent. Tashkent lost much of its architectural history in a huge earthquake in 1966. It has the fourth biggest Russian population after St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kiev. Today the city has a decidedly Russian feel with many wide tree-lined boulevards and oversized twentieth century Soviet-style buildings. Sightseeing includes Independence Square, Navoi Theater, Barak-Khan Madrasah, the Kaffal-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah, and Chorsu Bazaar. Return to hotel to spend overnight. (BLD)
Day 20 – Monday: Tashkent – Istanbul
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Tashkent Airport and board flight home. (B)
If you have any questions or you’d like to book this trip, please contact us.
Custom itineraries available to this or any of the destinations we travel to.
Kutrubes Travel has SPECIAL AIRFARES – Contact us for details.
Kutrubes Travel also offers a variety of other tours throughout this region. Contact us for detailed itineraries and descriptions.