Classic Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

Example Itinerary

Overview

Steeped in the legacy of Tamerlane, the Parthians and the Seljuks, the great cities of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are home to some of the Silk Road’s most evocative legacies. These are lands that still retain the fabled glory of the great civilisations of Samarkand, Ashgabat, Merv and Bukhara - cities that once lay at the heart of the ancient trading ...

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Meet the Expert

Speak to Natalie to start planning your trip to Turkmenistan

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

How Tailor-Made Works

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Discuss your initial ideas with one of our experts, the types of things you want to see and do.

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Your expert will start designing your perfect trip. Within a day or two we'll send a suggested itinerary.

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At this stage you can still tweak anything from accommodation to experiences and dates, using our expert advice.

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Time to prepare for your trip, safe in the knowledge you'll be in the expert hands of local guides and drivers throughout.

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Relax and enjoy...through our partners you'll have support on the ground as well as 24-hour emergency assistance in the UK.

Example Itinerary

This is an example itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes and budget, or build a trip from scratch.

Day 1 Arrive Tashkent (Uzbekistan): Capital’s Highlights

Arriving in Tashkent in the early hours of the morning, you’ll be transferred straight to your hotel where early check in has been arranged. After a chance to rest and freshen up, later this afternoon you can head out on a guided city tour of Tashkent, perhaps taking in the old city with its mosques and madrassahs dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, before browsing the stalls at the bustling Chorsuu Bazaar and the collections at the Museum of Applied Arts.

Milan Hotel Breakfast

Day 2 Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva: Wander Medieval Streets

An early morning flight to Urgench followed by a short drive brings you to the UNESCO city of Khiva. Dropping your bags off at your boutique hotel, located within the fortified walls of the ‘Ichan Qala’, you’ll immediately head out on foot to explore the historic madrassahs, mausoleums and palaces enveloping you. A huge part of Khiva’s allure is how the unique, walled oasis town has been preserved in its entirety since medieval times. Individual sites of note within it include the ‘Kunya Ark’, which was the Emir's residence comprising a magnificent summer palace and harem, and Juma Mosque, with its 200 individually carved wooden pillars. Enjoy an evening at leisure in this truly magical setting.

Muso To'ra Hotel Breakfast

Day 3 Khiva - Konye Urgench (Turkmenistan) - Ashgabat

Leaving Uzbekistan, your detour into neighbouring Turkmenistan begins with a short drive to the border where you’ll need to complete the stringent immigration formalities to enter the guarded country. After meeting your Turkmen guide, the first stop will be city of Konye Urgench where you’ll tour the various ruins spread out over a small area. Features include Turangeb Khanum Mausoleum, Kala Caravanserai, the Ak Kala Fortress and Kutlug Emir Minaret – the tallest in Central Asia. Later, board a short evening flight to the capital, Ashgabat.

Divan Hotel Breakfast

Day 4 Ashgabat: Modern & Ancient Capitals

Today, you and your guide will have the entire morning to explore this wonderfully weird capital of fountains and lavish, white-marble buildings with its many monuments to post-independence presidents. Sure to be visited are the National Museum, Independence Park, Arch of Neutrality, the statue of Lenin and the beautiful Ottoman-style mosque of Ertoghrul Gazie. The glitz and glamour of this modern capital will be contrasted with a visit to the ancient city of Old Nisa, the 3rd-century B.C. capital of the Parthians and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many of the fine Hellenistic objects in the National Museum originate from this site.

Divan Hotel Breakfast

Day 5 Ashgabat - Anau – Mary: Across the Karkum Desert

Starting the overland journey back towards the Uzbek border, you’ll drive across the Karakum Desert this morning stopping to spend a couple of days in Mary, the nearest town to the immensely important historical site of Merv. Shortly after leaving the capital there will also be a stop to visit the archaeological excavations at Anau, a Bronze Age settlement which includes the remnants of the city wall and a ditch where the ancient remains of children’s skeletons, camels and painted ceramics were once found. The drive through the large oasis basin of the Karakum passes through the remote villages of southeast Turkmenistan.

Mary Hotel Breakfast

Day 6 Mary: Gonur Depe Excursion

After breakfast, travel three hours north of Mary for a full day's excursion to the impressive Bronze Age complex of Gonur Depe. As well as its age, the site’s location is wonderous, built atop a large natural plateau. Here, you and your guide can spend time exploring the remains of the mud brick walls of the fortress, palace, administrative buildings and temples - Gonur appears to have served as an administrative and religious centre for the region, and as a hub for long distance trade – before travelling back to Mary for the evening.

Mary Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 Mary - Merv - Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Your final day in Turkmenistan, and perhaps the best saved for last, as today sees you reach the splendid archaeological site of Merv which covers an area of 125 square kilometres and contains the ruins of five ancient cities. Uncover the main sights with your guide this morning including Sultan Sanjar's Mausoleum and Kys Kala, an unusual windowless castle nicknamed "The House of Maidens Tears”. In the afternoon you’ll begin travelling back across the deserts to Uzbekistan, arriving to the Silk Road city of Bukhara this evening after a long day’s journey.

Shahriston Hotel Breakfast

Day 8 Bukhara: History Tour & Homecooked Plov

The walking tour begins this morning by navigating the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter around your hotel, stopping at one of the country’s oldest synagogues and the old house of a wealthy 19th-century merchant. Moving on to the Islamic heart of the city is the central Lyabi Hauz, a serene complex of madrassahs built around a 17th-century pool. Within walking distance are also the massive Ark Citadel and Zindan Prison and the Kalon minaret and ensemble. After a break at a typical tea house, you’ll then continue on to the historic trading domes for a lesson in Silk Road trade, and perhaps the chance for some shopping at one of the stalls. Enjoy some downtime at the hotel before heading to a local Bukharan’s home this evening for a cooking demonstration and a homecooked plate of the national dish, plov.

Shahriston Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 Bukhara – Samarkand: Award-winning Pottery & High-Speed Train

Head out of the city along the Golden Road to meet the potters of Gijduvan, stopping to admire the grand minaret of Vabkent along the way. During your visit of this celebrated local pottery workshop, the family’s 5th generation of potters will talk you through their refined craft and why the earth in Gijduvan is renowned across the country. After lunch you’ll catch Uzbekistan’s high-speed rail to the legendary Silk Road city of Samarkand.

Malika Prime Hotel Breakfast

Day 10 Samarkand: Grand Islamic Architecture & Silk Carpets

With a history dating back 2,700 years, Samarkand became famous as the capital of the vast state created by Tamerlane and later ruled by his grandson Ulugbek in the 14th-15th centuries. After breakfast, you’ll be whisked around the fabled city’s star attractions including the iconic Registan Square, surrounded on three sides by glittering blue tiled madrassahs, and the captivating Shah-i-Zinda necropolis. During the course of the day, you’ll also pay a visit to a silk carpet factory run by an Afghan family to learn about the infamous commodity that made the city famous the world over. From its humble beginnings, this factory has grown over just two generations to win awards for the quality of their carpets as well as the training and employment opportunities they have provided to surrounding villages.

Malika Prime Hotel Breakfast

Day 11 Samarkand – Tashkent: Time at Leisure

Enjoy a morning and an afternoon free in the captivating Silk Road city, perhaps making use of its teahouses, dining options and shopping opportunities - it's a great place to pick up some precious silk souvenirs with many establishments offering international shipping options. For those that prefer to keep busy, your personal guide will still be on hand to advise on other sites to be explored before you take the swish, high-speed train back to the capital later in the day.

Smart Hotel Breakfast

Day 12 Depart Tashkent

Check out after breakfast for a private transfer back to the airport in time for your flight, where your trip back in time through the Silk Road concludes.

Breakfast

EXAMPLE ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

12 days from £4,145

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 6518 Wild Miles

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Wild Miles Club

When you book a trip with Wild Frontiers you are awarded points, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Points are awarded for all our holidays, including both our escorted group tours and tailor-made trips. When you accrue points, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue More than 10,000 points 2.5% discount
Bronze More than 30,000 points 5% discount
Silver More than 45,000 points 7.5% discount
Gold More than 60,000 points 10% discount

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Natalie

Natalie is our Central Asia expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Natalie by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Wild camping under the stars and alongside the spectacular Darvaza Gas Crater, aka the ‘Gate to Hell’, is a truly surreal but must do experience when visiting Turkmenistan.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN TURKMENISTAN

Check out our group tours in Turkmenistan

As well as private tailor-made trips, we also offer small group tours (max size 12) to Turkmenistan. Led by an experienced tour leader, travel with a group of like-minded people on one of our award-winning group tours.

View Group Tours in Turkmenistan