Silk Road: The Five 'Stans of Central Asia

Overview:

The five ‘stans of Central Asia - Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan – must rank amongst some of the world’s least visited and least well-known destinations, making this trip a true journey of discovery.

Offering an incredible diversity of both scenery and culture - from the architectural wonders of Uzbekistan’s Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva to the epic scenery of the Tien Shan ‘Mountains of Heaven’ - we’ll cross vast deserts and mighty rivers and experience local hospitality in homestays in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. For much of the time we’ll be following ancient trade routes and discovering the remains of a bygone age but we will also experience the Central Asia of today from the bizarre white-marble city of Ashgabat to the cosmopolitan cities of Tashkent and Almaty.

This is the perfect trip for anyone who has ever looked at a map and wondered exactly what the area described by Colin Thubron as being The Lost Heart Of Asia was really like. Come and discover it for yourself.

Highlights:

  • Discover the contrasts between five fascinating Central Asian countries
  • Learn about the process of silk-weaving and other Silk Road trades
  • Enjoy local hospitality at homestays in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
  • Marvel at atmospheric Silk Road cities and UNESCO sites in Uzbekistan
  • Discover the ancient sites of Gonur Depe and Merv, hidden in the Turkmen desert
  • Walk amongst beautiful lakes, mountains, rivers and forests in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

Tour Includes:

  • Full services of a Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • 28 breakfasts, 27 lunches, 24 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
  • All transport (minibuses, domestic fights and trains)
  • 28 nights' accommodation (14 in hotels, 6 in guesthouses, 8 in homestays)
  • All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
  • A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through our office)

ALL OUR SMALL GROUP TOURS HAVE NO LOCAL PAYMENTS, HIDDEN EXTRAS OR COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME DEPARTURES WILL OPERATE IN REVERSE SO PLEASE CHECK INDIVIDUAL TRIP DOSSIERS FOR DETAILS

Trip rating:

Adventure Rating
Adventure Rating - 8

Tours that fall into this category will often involve remote, unpredictable and long journeys in emerging destinations. They can be incredibly rewarding but are definitely best suited to experienced travellers.

Comfort Rating
Comfort Rating - 4

You can typically expect a mixture of accommodation with some nights being spent in comfortable and characterful places, and some in more basic places, homestays or camping, especially where choices are limited.

Fitness Rating
Fitness Rating - 5

These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section

Culture Rating
Culture Rating - 8

With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a strong focus on culture. Depending on the trip this could involve exploring ancient sites, medieval architecture, ethnographic museums and/or having tribal encounters.

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