Travel from Bishkek to Ashgabat on this 28 day 'Five Stan' cultural experience. This in depth tour will see you visiting the Silk Road gems of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, the quirky Turkmenistan, colourful markets, fascinating villages and Swiss Alps type scenery. Retrace the footsteps of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great on this unforgettable Central Asian journey.
Our Journey through Central Asia tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
See the fiery glow from the stunning Darvaza Gas Crater
Discover the ancient and pre-Soviet styles of this intriguing city
Witness the fabulous architecture here on one of the most illustrious cities on the Silk Road
Explore the ancient city of Khiva
Our Journey Through Central Asia Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
Stroll through Bukhara's Lyab-i Hauz district at twilight, admiring the spectacular architecture that surrounds one of the city's last remaining ponds (hauz), before sitting down to a delicious local dinner.
Visit a stud farm to learn about the famous Akhal Tekes. A native horse breed with a distinctive metallic sheen. These majestic animals have played an essential role in Turkmenistan's history and are the emblem of the country.
Get a true taste of the life of the Kyrgyz nomads at a shepherd's camp, where you’ll spend the night sleeping in a traditional yurt.
Fly overnight to the city of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. The rest of the morning is free to relax before a visit to the Manas Monument, Ala Too Square, before finishing at the Old Square and Parliament house.
Drive to Ala Archa National Park for a leisurely hike through the picturesque scenery before returning to Bishkek for an afternoon at leisure.
Travel to Chong Kemin National Park, where you will have the chance to walk through the foothills as well as experience local village life.
Journey to Kochkor, a local centre of felt handicrafts, before stopping at the village of Bokonbayevo to watch an eagle hunting demonstration, a millennia-old Kyrgyz tradition. Spend the night with local shepherds in their camp, sleeping in a traditional yurt, for a true taste of the life of the Kyrgyz nomads.
Today travel to Karakol, on the way stopping at Barskoon Gorge to see the 'Tears of the Leopard' waterfall. Stop at Skazka Canyon, also known as Fairy Tale Canyon before continuing on to Karakol.
Visit the Przhevalsky Museum and see the striking Holy Trinity Orthodox Church. In the afternoon, travel to the Valley of the Flowers and Jety-Orguz where you can enjoy a light hike through the magnificent canyon of red sandstone.
Rise early for the bustling Karakol Sunday Animal Market. In the afternoon, drive through breathtaking scenery to visit magnificent Charyn Canyon and its Valley of the Castles, before crossing the border into Kazahkstan, finishing the day in the countries largest city of Almaty.
Enjoy an orientation walk visiting Republic Square, Abai Opera Theatre, the Central Mosque, the Green Market and Zenkov Cathedral. Spend the afternoon exploring the panoramas of Big Almaty Lake.
You have the day at leisure before flying late this afternoon to Dushanbe, Tajikistan's capital.
Take a full day tour of the capital, walking through the botanical gardens, the Ismoili Somoni monument and Kohi Navruz, a cultural palace and showcase of traditional Tajik architecture. After lunch visit the historical Fortress of Hissor.
Today you will travel to mountain lake of Iskanderkul, before continuing on to Khujand.
Stroll through the vibrant Panchshanbe Bazaar, admire the 10th century citadel and relax at Pushkin Square. Cross the border into Uzbekistan, arriving in the city of Tashkent.
Take a step back in time in the old town and explore the Tila Shaikh mosque, home to rare copies of the Koran. Stop at Chorsu Bazaar and admire the opulently decorated Tashkent Metro. Visit the ceramic workshop of Akbar and Alisher Rakhimov, and explore the history of ceramics.
Arrive in legendary Samarkand. Wander into the heart of the city for a first glimpse at some of the city's most significant sights in the spectacular Registan Square.
This morning, see Gur-e-Amir, the mausoleum of conqueror Tamerlane. Later, wander through a local market, visit Shah-I-Zinda and Bibi-Khanum Friday Mosque. visit the Ulugh Beg Observatory, founded in the 15th century and considered one of the finest observatories in the Islamic world.
Visit Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane, and visit the Ak-Sarai Palace, the Dorus Tilayat Cemetery and Kok-Gumbas Mosque. Journey on to Bukhara.
Explore one of the most famous spots on the Silk Road. Visit sites including Madrassah Nadirkhon Devanbegi, Poi Kalon Minaret and Mosque and the Ark of Bukhara.
Head out of Bukhara to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer residence of the former Emir of Bukhara. Visit Bahauddin Naqshband Mausoleum, a famous Sufi spiritual leader of this region in the 14th century. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Journey across the Kyzyl Kum Desert, to the fabulous Silk Road city of Khiva, unrivalled by its 10th century city walls. You will stop at Amudarya river bank before continuing to Khiva.
Explore ancient Khiva, discovering the sights of the UNESCO World Heritage inner-walled city of Itchan Kala including the mighty Kuhna Ark and the turquoise-tiled Islom-Khodja.
Cross into Turkmenistan and drive to Konye-Urgench, capital of the Khorezm Empire in the 12th - 13th centuries. Explore its magnificent mausoleums, the Kutlug Timur minaret and the fabled Mamun's Academy of Sciences. Fly to Ashgabat this evening, the nation's capital.
This morning is free to relax before a visit to a local stud farm to learn about beautiful Akhal Tekes horses. Visit the Kipchak complex, the largest mosque in Turkmenistan then learn about the country's unique history at the National Museum of History and Ethnography.
Rise early and fly to the city of Mary to tour the UNESCO-listed oasis-city of Merv, a major archaeological site of Central Asia.
Fly back to Ashgabat to explore both ancient and modern sides of the city visiting Independence Square and the Turkmenistan Independence Monument to see the Ertoghrul Ghazi mosque. Drive to the Darvaza Gas Crater to walk around the crater as dusk approaches. Enjoy a nomad-inspired dinner under the stars, with a spectacular view of the crater and its glowing flames. Return to Ashgabat.
Learn about the Turkmenistan's important cotton and gas industries before a visit to the Old Nisa Fortress, the former residence of the Parthian Empire. After lunch continue to the colourful Russian Bazaar and the National Carpet Museum.
Fly to Australia, arriving home the following day.
Places Visited: Bishkek (2N) - Chon-Kemin (1N) - Bokonbayevo (1N) - Karakol (2N) - Almaty (2N) - Dushanbe (2N) - Khujand (1N) - Tashkent (2N) - Samarkand (2N) - Bukhara (3N) - Khiva (2N) - Ashgabat (2N+2N) - Mary (1N)
All of our tour departures (Excluding Antarctica and Australia tours) include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.