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Best of Central Asia: Tashkent to Almaty

Duration
16 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 7,477

Discover the best of Central Asia on this 16-day long tour of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Starting in Tashkent and ending in Almaty, you’ll travel by plane, train, and automobile to explore ancient sites, modern capitals, and nomadic cultural traditions along the Silk Road.


This 16-day Central Asian vacation takes you along the Silk Road through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. It features moderate and first-class accommodations, including an evening in a yurt, active and private tours, and is great for adventurous travellers wanting to explore a new region of the world.

Your journey begins in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, which blends modern, Soviet, and rural cultural influences while shepherding travellers to the various corners of Central Asia. A tour will showcase its blend of styles, from the old town where you’ll find mosques and mud-caked walls to the elegant Fine Arts Museum. In the evening, fly to Urgench and drive onward to Khiva, which once used to be an infamous stop along the Silk Road and now is a preserved treasure all on its own. Tour the walled city and see its collection of monuments before boarding the train and riding through the Kyzylkum Desert on route to Kagan.

In Kagan, you’ll have just enough time to learn about its historical railway station before transferring to Bukhara, one of the oldest and holiest cities in Central Asia. An afternoon walking tour will introduce some of the city’s most beautiful spots before you visit a local puppet master to learn about this traditional art form. You’ll have another day to explore more of Bukhara, from well-preserved mosques and fortresses to artist workshops and the city bazaar. Then connect to Samarkand, the jewel of the Silk Road and an almost-mythical city of Silk Road treasures. A full day tour will showcase the historical masterpieces, from Shakh i-Zinda Mausoleum to the treasures of Registan Square to Bibi-Khanum Mosque and the Silk Road Bazaar. While based on Samarkand, head on a full day excursion to nearby villages and shrines, including Langar Ota Village and Shakhrisabz, a UNESCO-listed Historic City. From Samarkand, drive back to Tashkent and board your flight to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

Bishkek is the Kyrgyz capital and often thought of as no more than a hub for the nation, but a tour will showcase its particular charms and historical treasures. Drive past the Presidential Palace and see the Changing of the Guard before heading to nearby Tokmok to explore remnants of the Silk Road and Shardyk, where you’ll visit a traditional felt-making workshop. From Bishkek, enjoy a scenic drive to Songkul Lake, located 3,106m above sea level, where you’ll bond with local Kyrgyz and spend the night in a yurt. The next day, depart from Karakol, skirting the southern beach of Issykul Lake along the way. From Karakol, you’ll explore nearby villages and meet nomads before touring the religious monuments in the city.

Descend into the Karakol Valley and pass through the Tien Shan Mountain Range before crossing the Kazakh Border and reaching Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan. Take a day to tour some of its many landmarks, including the Ascension Cathedral, the Kazakh Museum of Folk Musical Instruments, and the Almaty Central Mosque. Then ride the gondola in nearby Kok Tyube to enjoy panoramic views from the mountainside. It’s a perfect way to cap off your journey through Central Asia.

The next day, connect to the airport and head back home.


 

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Duration
16 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 7,477

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Tashkent

Welcome to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. Tashkent is one of the largest cities in Central Asia. Meet on arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace

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    Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace



    Built in 1958 and designated as a Uzbekistan cultural heritage, Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace is a charming hotel. The hotel is located in the center of Uzbekistan, a 10-minute drive from the airport, and next to major buildings such as the Alisher Navoy Opera ...

    Built in 1958 and designated as a Uzbekistan cultural heritage, Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace is a charming hotel. The hotel is located in the center of Uzbekistan, a 10-minute drive from the airport, and next to major buildings such as the Alisher Navoy Opera Ballet Theatre, Trade Center and the Central Bank. Currently, Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace has been completely renovated in October 2013, combining classic exterior with refined interior. Among them, the beautiful courtyard and outdoor swimming pool will allow you to relax and enjoy your private service. The 6-floor outdoor restaurant on the top floor accommodates up to 300 guests, making Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace even more special.

    Facilities

    • Airport Shuttle Service
    • Bar
    • Family Room
    • Fitness Centre
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 2

Tashkent to Khiva

Full day tour of Tashkent visiting the old town area, which was once a walled city. Visit the Hast Imama Complex housing Kafelsashi shrine, Barak Khana seminary, Tilla Shaikh mosque archives which houses the oldest copy of the Quran, Kukeldasj madrassah, Akbar's pottery house and the Fine Arts museum. In the evening, transfer to the airport for your flight to Urgench, the capital of the Khorezum region (90 mins). Meet, greet on arrival and drive to your hotel in Khiva (approx. 45 mins).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Asia Khiva

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    Hotel Asia Khiva



    Hotel Asia Khiva is one of the largest in Khiva and one of the hotels of Asia Hotels chain. Design and structure of the Hotel as well as its interior meet the up-to-date standards of the international hotel industry. You and your guests are offered ...

    Hotel Asia Khiva is one of the largest in Khiva and one of the hotels of Asia Hotels chain. Design and structure of the Hotel as well as its interior meet the up-to-date standards of the international hotel industry. You and your guests are offered high-quality European services with underlying Oriental hospitality.

    Today Khiva attracts not only tourists, businessmen has commercial interests here. Perhaps, the best choice for business meetings is the Hotel Khiva.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Free WiFi
    • Restaurant
    • Sauna
    • Seminar Room
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 3

Khiva

Khiva is a walled city with a varied history of powerful leaders including the khans, Silk Road traders and the Soviet Union. Take a full day walking tour to see some of the main buildings and monuments including Kalta minaret, Kunya Arg to climb to an upper storey for a viewpoint of the walled city, Rakhimkhon madrassah, Islam Kdodja minaret, the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud and Tashauli palace. In addition, you can choose to visit some of the handicraft workshops.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Khiva to Bukhara

Transfer to the train station in the morning to take the train to Kagan (approx. 6.5 hours). Enjoy the scenic train journey through the Kyzylkum desert. Arrive in Kagan in the afternoon and learn about the history of the Railway Station before transferring to your hotel in nearby Bukhara, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Later in the afternoon, take a walking tour of Bukhara. Walk through the historical city to see Lyabi-khauz plaza, the Jewish quarter and madrassah Nadirkhon. Also visit a Bukharan puppet master to learn about the puppet making tradition.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Asia Hotel Bukhara

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    Asia Hotel Bukhara



    Exquisite Asia Bukhara is the eastern exotica with the European quality of service. The convenient location, comfortable rooms, good service will enjoy a stay in the ancient city. The hotel is located near the legendary landmarks of the city, as well as the airport and ...

    Exquisite Asia Bukhara is the eastern exotica with the European quality of service. The convenient location, comfortable rooms, good service will enjoy a stay in the ancient city. The hotel is located near the legendary landmarks of the city, as well as the airport and the railway station.

    The hotel has 24-hour room service. In our lobby bar you can find excellent beverages and cold drinks, hot coffee with snacks. This is a quiet and cozy place where you can enjoy a quiet rest, as well as free wireless internet available. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, where you can swim at the hot summer day. There is also a summer bar "Under the moon", which is located on the roof of the hotel. In the evening, the panorama of the night city is perfectly observable there, and the sunset is clearly visible.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Free WiFi
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 5

Bukhara

Continue to explore Bukhara today to see many more historical sites including Mogaki Attari mosque, Arg Fortress, the Balakhauz mosque, Ismail Samanid mausoleum, the madrassahs of Aziz Khan and Ulugbek, and the grand minaret of Poi Kalon. You will also learn about Bukhara's art traditions with a visit to the workshop and gallery of miniaturist painter Davlat, well known for this classic style of painting. You will also have time to visit the bazaar where you can see and shop for Uzbek caps and other handicraft items.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6

Bukhara to Samarkand

In the morning, depart for Samarkand (approx. 4 hr drive). En-route visit the shrine of Bakhauddin Nakshbandi, the summer palace of the last emir of Bukhara - Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, a rural village and Gijduvan. At the village learn about Uzbekistan agriculture and visit a farmer's house. Also, learn about Uzbek cuisine and have the opportunity to partake in making samsa buns. Continue to Gijduvan to visit the ceramic center, a family run shop where you will see the whole pottery making process. Then continue to your hotel in Samarkand.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Alexander Hotel

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    Alexander Hotel



    Hotel "ALEXANDER" is an absolutely unique project, with its own history, but in a new solution by modern designers, decorators and the best European architects specializing in the restoration and reproduction of architectural monuments and objects representing the historical and cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. We ...

    Hotel "ALEXANDER" is an absolutely unique project, with its own history, but in a new solution by modern designers, decorators and the best European architects specializing in the restoration and reproduction of architectural monuments and objects representing the historical and cultural heritage of Uzbekistan.

    We pay special attention to the safety of our guests, which is provided around the clock by our own hotel security service. All guest rooms are equipped with electronic locks and a fire system, and the hall and corridors of the hotel are equipped with a modern video surveillance system.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Fitness Centre
    • Free WiFi
    • Lounge Bar
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Sauna

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Day 7

Samarkand

Take a full day city tour of Samarkand, the jewel of the Silk Road cities. Samarkand was greatly admired for its gardens and vegetation and was a flourishing city during the Silk Road period. The city has a very interesting history having been invaded by Macedonians under Alexander the Great and by the Mongols and was also visited by Marco Polo. Visit the Shakh-i-Zinda mausoleum including monuments from the 14th and 15th centuries and architecture from the Timurid dynasty. Also visit Registan Square, the great central square of Samarkand, the enormous Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Afrosiab Museum, Ulugbek's Observatory and the Silk Road bazaar. Drive to Gur Emir, the mausoleum of Tamerlane. Later in the day visit Samarkand Winery for a wine tasting. Learn about Samarkand's wine making traditions, which date back to Sogdian times. In the evening, attend the El Mirosi show, a performance depicting cultural dances, dress and Uzbek heritage.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Samarkand

Today take a full day excursion to Langar Ota village and Shakhrisabz, a UNESCO designated historic city. At the village visit Shaikh Muhammad Sadiq shrine and take a walk uphill to visit a 16th century mosque that has remained in good original condition. In Shakhrisabz visit the remains of Ak-Saray Palace, Kok Gumbaz mosque and other archaeological sites.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Samarkand to Bishkek

Depart for Tashkent in the morning (approx. 5 hr drive). Arrive in Tashkent and visit the grand market - the Chorus Bazaar for your last bit of Uzbek shopping. In the late afternoon transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Meet, greet on arrival in Bishkek and then transfer to your hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

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    The Plaza Hotel Bishkek



    Plaza Hotel is the embodiment of aristocratic sophistication and modern multifunctionality. Nine floors of luxury and impeccable style will make you feel like part of a secular society. On the territory of the hotel for guests to relax, there is a magnificent SPA zone, which ...

    Plaza Hotel is the embodiment of aristocratic sophistication and modern multifunctionality. Nine floors of luxury and impeccable style will make you feel like part of a secular society.

    On the territory of the hotel for guests to relax, there is a magnificent SPA zone, which includes an indoor pool of 60 square meters, a relaxation area where relaxing music sounds, for lovers of outdoor activities our hotel can offer a well-equipped gym and a Finnish sauna.

    The comfort of the rooms will make you relax after a long business day and set you up for a wonderful mood, the view from the panoramic windows will make you feel all the conservatism and beauty of Bishkek.

    Facilities

    • Airport Shuttle Service
    • Bar
    • Fitness Centre
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool
    • Wellness Center

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Day 10

Bishkek

In the morning, take a tour of Bishkek. Start with a drive past the Presidential Palace and see the changing of the guards at the national monument. Proceed to Frunze's museum, Oak park to see the young painters at work and the monument of Manas – the Kyrgyz epic Hero. In the afternoon, drive out of the city to visit the town of Tokmok, once a bustling Silk Road town. See the remains of a Kara Khanid minaret and Turkic tombstones. Also, visit a Shardyk, a traditional felt making workshop to learn about the felt making process.

Day 11

Bishkek to Songkul

In the morning take a scenic drive to Songkul Lake, situated at 3016 meters above sea level (approx. 3 hr drive) where you will have a unique yurt camp experience. Arrive and take a short walk to visit a Kyrgyz family. Learn about their nomadic lifestyles and traditions.

Overnight in your authentic yurt camp.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 12

Songkul to Karakol

Take a morning walk near the lake before departing for Karakol city (approx. 4 hr drive). Drive along the southern beach of Issykul Lake, stopping at different viewpoints along the way to take photos. Transfer to your hotel in Karakol on arrival. Later in the afternoon, take a short tour of Karakol.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Green Yard

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    Green Yard



    Welcome to Green Yard Hotel! Whether you come with business purpose or you want an activity holiday with a relaxing getaway with a bit of walking and some great food we look forward to welcoming you and making it a memorable stay. So, be our ...

    Welcome to Green Yard Hotel! Whether you come with business purpose or you want an activity holiday with a relaxing getaway with a bit of walking and some great food we look forward to welcoming you and making it a memorable stay.

    So, be our guest. Be our story. We'll be honoured to take care of you.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Family Room
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Pets Allowed
    • Skiing

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Day 13

Karakol

Full day excursion to Djeti Oghuz village, set amid beautiful hills and alpine forests. Visit an animal market where cows, sheep, horses and sometimes camel are sold. Then continue to the village, which is home to Kyrgyz nomads. Return to Karakol later in the day and visit Dungan mosque and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 14

Karakol to Almaty

Drive through the Karakol valley and Tien Shan mountain range to the Kazakh border. After border formalities, proceed to the Kegen Pass and Charyn Canyon, where you will see some stunning canyon views of the red rock formations. Stop along the way at different viewpoints. Arrive in Almaty and transfer to your hotel (approx. 6 hr drive).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Novotel Almaty City Center

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    Hotel Novotel Almaty City Center



    Novotel Almaty City Center is ideal for business and leisure. This 190 rooms hotel is situated in the downtown of Almaty on Dostyk and Abai main avenues cross, which are famous for their business centers, offices, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Kok-Tobe Cable Road, The ...

    Novotel Almaty City Center is ideal for business and leisure. This 190 rooms hotel is situated in the downtown of Almaty on Dostyk and Abai main avenues cross, which are famous for their business centers, offices, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Kok-Tobe Cable Road, The Palace of Republic, Arman Cinema are next to the hotel. Guests have access to WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, a fitness center with pool, restaurant with terrace, bar, children corner and 7 meeting rooms.

    Facilities

    • Airport Shuttle Service
    • Bar
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Indoor Pool
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool
    • Wellness Center

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Day 15

Almaty

Enjoy a full day tour of Almaty, a city with some interesting Russian architectural buildings surrounded by the Tienshan Mountains. Visit Panfilov Park, Zhenkov's Holy Ascension Cathedral, the Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments, the State Museum of Kazakhstan, the Central Mosque of Almaty and either Zeelyoni Bazaar or the Green Bazaar. Also, drive to Kok Tyube to take a gondola ride to a panoramic viewpoint of the city.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 16

Almaty Departure

Day at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2020: Daily Jun 1- Sep 30

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 14 nights hotel and 1 night yurt accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Transportation by private vehicle for land transfers and sightseeing
  • English speaking local guides for sightseeing mentioned on the itinerary
  • Train ticket from Khiva to Kagan (business class)
  • Regional economy class airfare from Tashkent to Urgench and Tashkent to Bishkek
  • Bottled water provided daily

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB SITARAITAS20SG: BCA 2
9 Sep 2020
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