five-stans-central-asia
Image supplied by DMC

Satisfy your wanderlust as you spend 15 magical days explore five different countries across Central Asia.  See stunning lakes, and gorgeous gorges as well as mosques, monuments and museums as you travel through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan – and Turkmenistan.  Enjoy the hustle and bustle of modern cities but also the tranquility of remote village life. You will have an English speaking guide so you can truly immerse yourself with the local way of life and fascinating cultures.  The trip includes accommodation, breakfast, domestic flights, sightseeing tours, and transfers.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Accommodation
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Entrance fees at museums and historical parks mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tickets for high-speed premium service train Afrosiab from Tashkent to Samarkand (economy class)
  • Transportation services in comfortable air-conditioned vehicles

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Almaty
Your adventure will start when you arrive in Almaty and are taken to your hotel for an early morning check-in. After you have freshened up, you will start your sightseeing tour around Almaty with a trip to the Green Bazaar. This will be followed by a trip to Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. Then, you will be transferred to the Medeo Gorge which the highest mountain skating rink in the world. It is famous locally as the dam protected the city from dangerous mudflow. Next you will explore the Kok-Tobe hill with the tallest TV tower in the world. Then, you will enjoy a short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway. Finally head back to your hotel for a well earned rest.

Day 2 –  Almaty and  Issyk Lake
Start the day with a delicious breakfast before travelling to Issyk Lake. The tour route to one of the most beautiful gorges of Trans-Ili Alatau – Issyk Gorge, lies along the Kuldja tract, which is where trade caravans travelled hundreds of years ago.  On the way, you will visit the State Historical and Cultural Museum Reserve in Issyk, before enjoying the beautiful mountains along Lake Issyk. You will be wowed by the stunning beauty that surrounds you. Finally return to Almaty for a good night’s sleep.

Day 3 – Almaty and Bishkek
Today you will travel from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan. After border control and customs, you will be transferred  to  your hotel in Bishkek. You will have a chance to freshen up before enjoying  a city tour of Bishkek. Today you will visit Pobeda Square , Duboviy Park, Central Ala-Too Square, the National Arts Museum, National Philharmonic, and the Asian Bazaar. After this jam-packed day, head back to your hotel and unwind.

Day 4 – Bishkek  and Ala-Archa Gorge
This morning you will be wowed as you visit the Ala-Archa Gorge which is nestled inside  a Natural Park and is on a spur of the Tien Shan mountain range. Here, you will go on a short hiking tour to see a panoramic view of the gorge. There will be a possibility of hiking to a small scenic waterfall. Relish in the stunning surrounding before you return to Bishkek and rest at your hotel.

Day 5 –  Bishkek and Dushanbe
Today you will have the morning free to spend as you wish, before a flight from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan. Once your land in Dushanbe, you will enjoy a  half day city tour with visits to  the Museum of National Antiquities with reclining Buddha in Nirvana, Botanical Garden, Somoni Monument, Building of a National Spirit, as well as  Stroll Rudaki Prospect.  In the evening you can relax at the hotel or explore the local nightlife independently.

Day 6 – Dushanbe
Today you will continue to explore Dushanbe which is backed by a hazy phalanx of mountains. Your day will start with an excursion to Hissor town to see the ancient fortress of Hissor. Make sure your camera is ready to snap stunning landmarks, because you will also explore Madrassah Kuhna and Museum of Tajik Way Of Life, a nearby  Madrassah and  the Mausoleum of Sufi Saint Mahdumi Azam.

Day 7 – Dushanbe and Khujand
Today you will enjoy a morning drive to Khujand, via Istiklol tunnel. Once in Khujand, you will visit many fascinating landmarks – starting at the Museum of Archeology and Fortification, which will be followed by a trip to the Payshanba Bazaar. After lunch, you will be transferred to the border point “Oybek”. After border formalities, you will change cars and guide for a transfer to Tashkent. Along the way, you are bound to be impressed by the landscape of this country.  Finally check into your hotel and unwind.

Day 8 – Tashkent
Peel back the layers of sprawling Tashkent which is Central Asia’s hub and the place where everything in Uzbekistan happens. Tashkent is a fascinating jumble of contradictions that’s well worth exploring. Today you will enjoy a guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent, where you will visit  Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, and Kukeldash Madrasah. Next you will enjoy a delicious lunch before visiting Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, and Amir Timur Square. Finally you will head to your hotel and unwind.

Day 9 – Tashkent and Samarkand (morning railway transfer).
Today you will drive to the railway station for transfer to Samarkand by a high-speed Afrosiab train. Once you arrive, you will go on a guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand, which is a modern, well-groomed city, which has smartened itself up enormously in the past decade. While this ‘disneyfication’ of this once chaotic place is undeniable, it’s also true to say that Samarkand remains a breathtaking place to visit. Today, you will enjoy a busy sightseeing tour around Samarkand which is famous for its stunning architecture. Your adventure will start with a visit to Registan Square, before moving onto  Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilya-kori Madrasah, and Gur-e Amir Mausoleum. Here, 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 explore  the Rukhabad Mausoleum before feasting 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”. Finally head back to your hotel and relax.

Day 10 – Samarkand and  Bukhara
Today you will enjoy an out-of-town guided sightseeing tour to Bukhara. It will start at  Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Be wowed as you enter the main building which is guarded by two marble sculptures of lions made by Nurata craftsmen. See if you can spot the marble heads of dragons which decorate the spillway of the pool. Next you will move to the memorial complex of the Islamic saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, before travelling to your hotel.

Day 11 –  Bukhara
See the fascinating sights of Bukhara  as you enjoy a guided tour today. Your adventure will start at Ismail Samani Mausoleum – which is one of Bukhara’s oldest monuments. Learn how 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. After a jam-packed morning you will slow down and enjoy lunch. After your feast you will head to 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.  Finally head back to your hotel and unwind.

Day 12 – Bukhara & Mary
Feast on a delicious breakfast before a busy day of travel. Today, you will be transferred to Uzbek-Turkmen border Farab. Next, you will be ttransferred to Mary through Turkmenabat. Once you arrive in Mary, you will check into your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 13 – Mary, Merv and Ashgabat
After breakfast at your hotel, you will travel to the ancient city of Merv for an excursion program. Next you will return to Mary for a sightseeing tour to explore Russian Orthodox Church, the main bazaar of the city, Central Mosque, and the City Museum. Finally you will be transferred to the airport for an evening flight to Ashgabat. Once you land you will be taken to your hotel for check-in.

Day 14 – Ashgabat
Prepare to be amazed at the wonderful sights and sounds of Ashgabat when you enjoy a city tour which starts at Independence Park. You will then move onto  Arch of Neutrality, Museum of History and Ethnography, and the sacred Mosque of Turkmenbashi. Inside the mosque there is a huge praying hall with white columns and richly painted celestial blue dome. The heated floor is covered with a huge hand-made Turkmen carpet. The mosque can accommodate about 10,000 people, but visitors are usually few there.

Day 15 – Departure
Take time to enjoy the final breakfast of your holiday. Later you will 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:

Kazjol (Kazzhol) Hotel 4* in Almaty – This modern hotel is a 25-minute drive from Almaty International Airport. It offers free wi-fi, which is a must for anyone who loves to post holiday selfies online. It also has an indoor swimming pool, spa and traditional Kazakhstani cuisine – making it the perfect place to unwind.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Restaurant
  • Breakfast in the room
  • Bar
  • Wi-Fi is available in all areas and is free of charge
  • Free private parking is possible on site (reservation is not needed)
  • Concierge service
  • ATM/cash machine on site
  • Luggage storage
  • Tour desk
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Shoeshine
  • Ironing service
  • Dry cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Business centre
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • Airport shuttle (surcharge)
  • Shuttle service (surcharge)
  • Designated smoking area
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Gift shop
  • Safety deposit box
  • Lift
  • Bridal suite
  • Family rooms
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Room service

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Satellite TV
  • Mini bar
  • Safe
  • Balcony
  • Views of the city
  • Bathrobes
  • Room service is also available

Plaza Hotel 4* in  Bishkek This hotel boasts a great location as it is  within a 5-minute walk of the Bishkek White House and half a mile from Ala-Too Square. It features a spa and wellness centre, indoor pool, sauna and gym. Free wi-fi and free parking are also available on site.
Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Restaurant serving national and European cuisine
  • Bar in the hotel
  • Room service
  • Breakfasts
  • Spa
  • Wellness centre
  • Indoor pool
  • Sauna
  • Gym
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free parking

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Air conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Electric kettle
  • Flat-screen TV with satellite channels
  • Bathrooms provide a hairdryer and bathrobes

Lotus Dushanbe Hotel 4*  – This hotel offers all you need for a stylish and comfortable stay. It is the perfect place to relax thanks to its indoor pool and a restaurant. The free wi-fi is great if you want to stay connected to the outside world while enjoying your holiday.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Pets are allowed on request. No extra charges.
  • Special diet menus (on request)
  • Restaurant
  • Breakfast in the room
  • Wi-Fi is available in all areas and is free of charge
  • Free private parking is possible on site (reservation is not needed)
  • Lockers
  • Private check-in/check-out
  • Concierge service
  • Luggage storage
  • Ticket service
  • Tour desk
  • Currency exchange
  • Express check-in/check-out
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Daily maid service
  • Trouser press
  • Shoeshine
  • Ironing service
  • Dry cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Business centre
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • Grocery deliveries
  • Mini-market on site
  • Shared lounge/TV area
  • Airport shuttle (surcharge)
  • Shuttle service (surcharge)
  • Designated smoking area
  • Air conditioning
  • Shops (on site)
  • Heating
  • Car hire
  • Packed lunches
  • Soundproof rooms
  • Gift shop
  • Safety deposit box
  • Lift
  • Bridal suite
  • VIP room facilities
  • Barber/beauty shop

Room facilities & amenities:

  • TV
  • Seating area
  • Wardrobe
  • Ensuite
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Newspapers
  • Room service

Ramada Hotel 4* in Tashkent: Be in the heart of everything when you stay at this luxury hotel. Located in the city centre of Tashkent, it is a 15-minute walk to Independence Square. The Ramada Tashkent features an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a spa centre, a fitness centre, and an on-site restaurant and bar – making it the ideal place to unwind.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Special diet menus (on request)
  • Snack bar
  • Breakfast in the room
  • Bar
  • Free wi-fi
  • Free private parking is possible on site (reservation is needed).
  • Concierge service
  • ATM/cash machine on site
  • Luggage storage
  • Ticket service
  • Tour desk
  • Currency exchange
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Daily maid service
  • Shoeshine
  • Ironing service
  • Laundry
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Business centre
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • Shared lounge/TV area
  • Airport shuttle (surcharge)
  • Shuttle service (surcharge)
  • Designated smoking area
  • Air conditioning
  • Shops (on site)
  • Heating
  • Car hire
  • Packed lunches
  • Soundproof rooms
  • Safety deposit box
  • Lift
  • Bridal suite
  • VIP room facilities
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Newspapers
  • Room service

Room facilities & amenities:

  • TV with satellite channels
  • Minibar
  • Electric kettle
  • Seating area
  • Safety deposit box
  • Air conditioning
  • Private bathroom

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

Asia Bukhara Hotel 4* – Asia Bukhara Hotel provides a comfortable setting while in Bukhara. It is ideally close to Bukhara International Airport, which is a 10-minute drive away.  The hotel has 95 rooms, all of which are filled with a variety of facilities to ensure an enjoyable stay.  Those staying at Asia Bukhara Hotel can enjoy a wonderful dining experience at the in-house restaurant. The hotel also provides breakfast each day.

Hotel facilities & amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Pool
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Fitness Centre with Gym
  • Workout Room
  • Suites
  • Family Rooms
  • Free parking
  • Free breakfast

Room facilities & amenities

  • Air Conditioning
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Mini-bar
  • Free Internet
  • Room service

Mary Hotel 4* – This hotel is located in the city center and is the largest hotel in Mary city. It was built in 2015 and has 177 rooms in a classic style and has everything necessary for a pleasant stay. Moreover, the hotel offers 2 rooms for people with limited mobility.

Hotel facilities & amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Lobby
  • Internet
  • Traditional décor
  • Two conference halls
  • Gym
  • Swimming pool
  • Sauna
  • Tennis courts

Room facilities & amenities

  • Large and comfortable room
  • Bathroom
  • Toiletries you can want.
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Internet

Grand Turkmen Hotel 4* – The luxury hotel in Ashgabat has 38 rooms – each offering all the necessities to ensure a comfortable stay.  Ashgabat Airport is less than a 15-minute drive from hotel – making it an easy-to-reach and comfortable place to stay.

 Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Lounge
  • Pool
  • Fitness centre
  • Suites
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Free wi-fi
  • Meeting rooms
  • Room service
  • Free parking
  • Dry cleaning
  • Business centre

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Comfortable beds
  • Ensuite
  • Tea making facilities
  • Lamps
  • Traditional decor
 Price per person
Group 2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10-15 Supplement for single accommodation
Hotels 2-3* £ 2118.00 £ 1820.00 £ 1476.00 £ 1314.00 £ 1240.00 £ 270.00
Hotels 3-4* £ 2305.00 £ 2015.00 £ 1680.00 £ 1525.00 £ 1447.00 £ 420.00

Cost includes:

  • International flights
  • Accommodation at the hotels of 2-3* or 3-4* (mentioned below) in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check-in at the hotel in Almaty on day 1. Check-in/out of other hotels is at 12:00
  • Services of English-speaking local guides (separate in each country);
  • Entrance fees at museums and historical parks mentioned in the program;
  • Train tickets for high-speed premium service train «Afrosiab» from Tashkent to Samarkand (economy class);
  • Transportation services on comfortable air-conditioned vehicles (sedan cars or minibuses – depending on the number of tourists in a group);
  • Mineral water for each day of the tour;
  • Visa invitation to Turkmenistan, including Letter of Invitation, State Registration and Travel Pass (obligatory for all foreigners);
  • Visa invitation letter to Tajikistan.

Cost does not include:

  • Domestic air flight from Bishkek to Dushanbe – cost of this flight is changeable and depends on the dates of the tour (please, require our operators to get more information on the cost of this flight).

*The flight is available only on Wednesdays;

  • Domestic air flight from Mary to Ashgabat65 USD;
  • Visa to Turkmenistan and Tajikistan;
  • Visa and visa invitation  (if necessary) to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (please, require our operators to get more information on the cost of the visa invitations);
  • Meals (except breakfasts at the hotels).

Additional costs (not obligatory):

  • Supplement for meals on half board basis – £ 160.00 per person for the whole tour (optional)
  • Supplement for meals on full board basis –  £ 310.00 per person for the whole tour (optional)

Important note for all travelers:

  • Please bring only cash USD for your local expenses in Central Asia, no EURO and no credit cards are accepted in these countries (only in Almaty and Bishkek it is possible to cash money via cash machine)

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 2-3* – 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 3-4* – 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 4*
Almaty Kazakhstan Hotel 3*
or similar
Kazjol Hotel 4*
or similar
Bishkek Green City Hotel 3*
or similar
Plaza Hotel 4*
or similar
Dushanbe Poytaht Hotel 2*
or similar
Lotus Dushanbe Hotel 4*
or similar
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3*+
or similar
Ramada Hotel 4*
or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3*
or similar
Grand Samarkand Hotel 4*
or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3*     
or similar
Asia Bukhara Hotel 4*
or similar
Mary Margush Hotel 3*
or similar
Mary Hotel 4*
or similar
Ashgabat Ak-Altyn Hotel 3*
or similar
Grand Turkmen Hotel 4*
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 (Samarkand – Tashkent).