great-silk-road-tours-14days
Image supplied by DMC

Explore one the branches of the Great Silk Road  as you travel across two Central Asian countries –  Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Your 14-day holiday will take you along a route travelled in ancient times by numerous caravans – across the Tien Shan Mountains, past the cities of the fertile Fergana Valley, and through Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. You will travel further to Khorezm, and to the fabulous medieval Khiva. On your way you will admire picturesque and unexpectedly contrasting landscapes in the cool mountains and hot desert, look into the crystal clear water of Lake Issyk Kul, ride on camels in the Kyzylkum desert and contemplate the masterpieces of ancient cities that once sprang up along the Great Silk Road. That is not all – you will also enjoy the incredibly wonderful cuisine that has taken in the best local cooking traditions. The tour includes accommodation, transfers, meals as stated and sightseeing tours.

Holiday highlights:
Hotel accommodation
Yurt camp accommodation
Guided sightseeing tours
Sites entrance fees
English-speaking guides
Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation
Transfers
Dinner in hotel on day 3 and 9
Bishkek – Osh domestic flight airfare
Afrosiab premium service high-speed train from Tashkent – Samarkand
Bottle of mineral water each day
Visit Bishkek,Issyk-Kul Lake, Karakol,  Bishkek , Osh,  Fergana,  Margilan,  Rishtan,  Kokand, Tashkent, Samarkand,  Nurata,  Aydar Yurt Camp , Sarmish Gorge,  Bukhara,  Khiva,  Urgench and Tashkent.

Itinerary:

Day 1  – Arrival in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Prepare for an amazing experience from the moment you arrive at Manas airport. From here you will be transfer to Bishkek to check-in at your hotel. You will have time to relax and freshen up before your tour starts. Your sightseeing adventure will begin at the central Ala-Too Square, before moving onto Historical Museum, flagstaff and changing of the guard, Statue of Lenin and Freedom Monument, Philharmonic Society, and Monument to Manas. The final stop of the day will be a shopping trip to Osh Bazaar where you can browse the stalls and pick up a holiday souvenir.

Day 2  – Bishkek & Issyk-Kul Lake
Start the day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel before yo  are transfer to Lake Issyk Kul. You will be awe-inspired by this second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. If you can tear your eyes away from the beauty that surrounds you then be sure to take a holiday selfie – one you will treasure for years to come. Next you will explore the Burana Tower and then the Museum of Rock Paintings in the open air in Cholpon-Ata. Finally head to your hotel on the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul, where you will also enjoy dinner.

Day 3 – Issyk-Kul Lake & Karakol.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the city of Karakol, which sits on the eastern shore of Lake Issyk Kul. Here you will enjoy a guided sightseeing tour around Karakol which will start that the Przhevalski Museum, before going onto a stunning  a wooden Orthodox Russian Church and impressive wooden Dungan Mosque. Be wowed as you learn how this was built without metal nails by the Dungan people. Finally, check-into your hotel and unwind.

Day 4 Karakol, Bishkek & flight to Osh
This morning you will be transferred to the Jety-Oguz Gorge with the famous red rocks, The Broken Heart and The Seven Bulls. After that you will drive back to Bishkek along the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul. You will then be taken  to airport for your flight to Osh. Once you land, you will be driven to your hotel to check-in and relax.

Day 5 – Osh & Fergana
Today you will enjoy a guided sightseeing tour around Osh. Your adventure will start at the Holy Mountain Suleyman which has been a sacred place for Muslims, and also attracts a lot of pilgrims. At the site, you can visit the seven sacred caves and see many ancient petroglyphs. At the museum, also located on the mountain, there are more than 33,000 exhibits. They include archaeological and ethnographic monuments, works of art, paintings, sculptures and graphics. Next you will visit Babur’s house, a local museum and a bazaar. After that you will be driven to the  Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. After passing through checkpoint, you will be taken to your hotel in Fergana to relax and unwind.

Day 6 – Fergana,  Margilan, Rishtan, Kokand & Tashkent
Start the day with a scrumptious breakfast before exploring Margilan, where you will visit the “Yodgorlik” silk factory that is famous for handmade khan-atlas. Next you will be driven to Rishtan, to learn more about hand-made ceramics. Next you will be transferred to Kokand to explore the Palace of Khudayar Khan, Mausoleum of Modari Khan, and Juma Mosque. Finally you will be transfer to Tashkent via Kamchik Pass, before you check-into  your hotel.

Day 7 –  Tashkent & Samarkand
Feast on a delicious breakfast for a busy day sightseeing before  you’re transferred to a railway station for a journey to Samarkand by the high-speed train Afrosiab. Your sightseeing tour around Samarkand will start at Samarkand Paper Mill, where you can see its famous Samarkand paper being made by hand on ancient technologies. Next you will explore the Samarkand carpet factory “Hudzhum”. Finally you will enjoy a bit of  leisure time where you can explore as you wish. We recommend that you visit the Siab Bazaar where you can pick up a holiday souvenir. You will have the option to go on other excursions including wine testing in old winery named after Hovrenko and visiting the theatre of historical costume El Merosi. These are not included in the current price and will incur an additional surcharge.

Day 8 – Samarkand
Today you will explore Samarkand which boasts stunning architecture. Your guided sightseeing tour will start at Gur-e Amir Mausoleum which is the tomb of Tamerlane. You will be wowed by the exterior decoration of the walls which boasts geometric blue and white tiles that stand out next to the building’s terracotta bricks. Next you will visit Registan Square, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah, and the Rukhabad Mausoleum. You are bound to have worked up an appetite after this sightseeing, and then will feast on a delicious lunch. After you have refuelled your energy, you will go onto explore  Bibi-Khanym Mosque, which  is one of the most important monuments of Samarkand. In the 15th century it was one of the largest and most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world. By the mid-20th century only a grandiose ruin of it still survived, but now major parts of the mosque have been restored. Make sure you have your camera ready to snap it’s stunning design. Next you will explore Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, before your final stop at Ulugbek Observatory which is the largest observatory in Central Asia. It is decorated with beautiful engravings from a 17th century Dutch artist, with the inscription over the image of Ulugbek “I have presented my case seriously”.

Day 9 – Samarkand, Nurata & Aydar Yurt Camp
This morning you will travel to Nurata  for a guided sightseeing tour around Nur Alexander the Great’s fortress before exploring the Chashma Complex  which includes the Juma Mosque, Nur-ata cemetery, spring and well. Local people believe that the Nurata spring heals all diseases and even mental ailments. This is not surprising, because the chemical structure of water contains 15 elements of the periodic table and the temperature of the spring water is always 19 C. Finally you will travel to Aydar Yurt Camp and feast on a delicious dinner before bed.

Day 10 – Aydar Yurt Camp , Aydarkul Lake, Sarmish Gorge & Bukhara.
Relish in the beauty of mother nature as you enjoy breakfast in the  Aydar Yurt Camp. Today you will go on a camel riding excursion to Aydarkul Lake. You will also ride to Sarmish Gorge with petroglyphs rock engravings. This unique experience will no doubt be etched in your mind forever. Finally you will be transferred to Bukhara. After checking into your hotel you will be free to do as you wish. Strolls around night Bukhara are recommended by locals and tourists. You will have the option of going on an additional excursion to see a  folklore show in Nadir Divan-Begi Madrassah, and visit the “Silk Road Spices” tea house and test teas prepared from herbs and spices. Or perhaps you wish to explore famous medieval Hammam bathhouse. All these options will cost extra, but our travel specialists will be happy to assist you and make the relevant arrangements.

Day 11 – Bukhara.
Today you will peel back the stunning layers of Bukhara as you start you guided sightseeing tour at Ismail Samani Mausoleum which is one of Bukhara’s oldest monuments. It was built for the founder of the Samanid dynasty, and its delicate terracotta brickwork disguises 2m-thick walls that have never needed repair. Next you will move onto Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex, and  Ulugbek Madrasah, before stopping for lunch. After a quick pitstop you will move onto  Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, which is the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara. Next you will explore Kukeldash Madrasah, and Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, before splashing some cash at a domed shopping arcade.

Day 12 – Bukhara & Khiva
After breakfast you will be transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Khiva. You will enjoy lunch en route before arriving in Khiva where you will have some leisure time to rest and relax. Later you will visit traditional workshops and souvenir shops before heading back to the hotel for a well earned rest. Today you will have the option of paying for additional trips to see a folklore show in Madrasah Alakuli-Khan and a national show of rope-dancers in Madrasah Rahim-Khan. This will incur a surcharge, but our travel specialist are happy to make all the relevant bookings.

Day 13  – Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent
Feast on a hearty breakfast this morning for a busy day sightseeing around Khiva. Your adventure will start at Ichan Kala which is the historical inner city, before moving onto the  Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex which is a mausoleum and mosque.  You will also explore Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah  and  Minaret before you stop for  lunch. Next you will move onto  Tash Khauli Palace. Pull out your camera to snap the fascinating landmark – which features a labyrinths of corridors that join the yards and buildings. After that you will explore Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret and Madrasah, as well as the Avesta Museum. After this you will be transferred to Urgench for an evening flight to Tashkent. Once you land you will be taken to your hotel to rest.

Day 14 – Departure
Take time to relish in the final breakfast of your holiday. You will have some leisure time to enjoy walking in the city centre, visit the Tashkent Metro or the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”. You will later be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the UK. If you would like to extend your stay or travel in a premium cabin then please speak with our travel specialists who will be happy to assist you.



Accommodation:

Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* – Set in the heart of Samarkand, this hotels offers Uzbek and European cuisine, a garden and free Wi-Fi in public areas. It is great in terms of location as the Old Town district and Registan Square are within a 10-minute drive. The classic-style, air-conditioned rooms come with a flat- screen TV, a refrigerator and a private bathroom.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • 30 guestrooms
  • 2 restaurants
  • 24-hour business centre
  • Airport shuttle
  • Terrace
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Air conditioning
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Garden
  • Laundry service
  • Meeting room
  • Luggage storage

Room facilities & amenities:

  • In-room climate control (air conditioning)
  • Air conditioning
  • Slippers
  • Iron/ironing board (on request)
  • Private bathroom
  • Shower/tub combination
  • Free toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Phone
  • Refrigerator
  • Daily housekeeping
  • In-room safe

Raduga Resort 4*  – This resort is located on the northern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. It offers 29  cottages of international level and rooms in two buildings of European standard. All rooms are equipped with  satellite  TV,  telephone,  and adjustable  heating.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Restaurant
  • Café
  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Fitness equipment
  • Swimming pools
  • Saunas

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Bed
  • Wardrobe
  • Dresser with mirror
  • Coffee table
  • Chairs
  • WC in a room
  • Terrace with cane furniture
  • Satellite TV
  • Telephone
  • Refrigerator
  • Adjustable heating
  • Dishware set for tea and coffee
  • Tea-pot
  • Hairdryer
  • Beach couches
  • Beach towels
Price per person:
Group 2 pax 3 pax 4 pax 5 pax 6 pax 7 pax SGL supplement
Hotels 3* £1,238.00 £1,073.00 £1,010.00 £1,003.00 £994.00 £986.00 £200.00
Hotels 4* £1,380.00 £1,213.00 £1,151.00 £1,144.00 £1,135.00 £1,127.00 £200.00

 Cost includes:

  • Hotel accommodation in twins / double rooms, with breakfast;
  • Yurt camp accommodation in yurts, with breakfast;
  • Guided sightseeing tours;
  • Sites entrance fees;
  • Escort guide in Kyrgyzstan;
  • Local English-speaking guides during excursions in Uzbekistan;
  • Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation throughout tour, including airport – hotel – airport transfers;
  • Dinner in hotel on day 3 and 9;
  • Bishkek – Osh domestic flight airfare;
  • Afrosiab premium service high-speed train Tashkent – Samarkand (economy class);
  • Urgench – Tashkent domestic flight airfare;
  • Bottle of mineral water per day/per pax.

Cost does not include:

  • International airfares;
  • Travel health insurance;
  • Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan visa support;
  • Photo and video shooting charges at museums and monuments.

Additional Services:
Meal Plan supplement:

  • Half board (evening meals) – £120.00 per pax;
  • Full board – £190.00 per pax.

Additional information:

Hotels
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at. The list of the hotels we offer is below. However, due to seasonal conditions and group size this list is subject to change.
Hotels 3* – inexpensive yet cozy private hotels, with traditional national interiors in many of them, providing all the necessary facilities for comfortable stays; notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere;
Hotels 4* – very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.

The tour comes with the following accommodation:

Itinerary Point Hotels 2-3* Hotels 3-4*
Bishkek Asia Mountains Hotel 3* or similar Ak-Keme Hotel 4* or similar
Issyk-Kul Lake Tri Korony Hotel 3* or similar Raduga Resort 4* or similar
Karakol Green Yard Hotel 2*    or similar Amir Hotel 3* or similar
Osh Sun Rise Hotel 3* or similar Sun Rise Hotel 3* or similar
Fergana Ziyorat 3* or similar Ziyorat 3* or similar
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3*+  or similar Park Turon Hotel 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3or similar Asia Bukhara Hotel 3*+ or similar
Khiva Orient Star Khiva Hotel 3* or similar Asia Khiva Hotel 3*+ or similar


Transportation:

The means of transportation used during the tour are the following:
Car /minivan /van /minibus /bus – used for all the road transportation depending on the group size
Train – 1 train ride: – Premium service high-speed train Afrosiab (Tashkent – Samarkand).