“The Great Silk Road” tour: Wandering along the Central Asia (from Bishkek, Kyrgystan to Nissa, Turkmenistan). Map of the route for Central Asia on “The Great Silk Road” tour… our team will endeavor to pass this historical destinations as it was originally crossed, via Camel Caravans. The journey will begin from Bishkek, Kyrgystan. From Bishkek we will continue on through Fergana, Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Nissa and end our tour at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
“The Great Silk Road” tour is designed for crossing the Central Asia;
On “The Great Silk Road” tour you will feel touring as like as original Caravans;
Day 1: Europe – Istanbul – Bishkek – Tchoktal (Issyk-Kul)
You will be met with your guide at 8 a.m and transferred to Issyk-Kul Lake area, which is surrounded by the celestial mountains. It’s the second largest alpine lake in the world (1608 m. above sea level). The lake is called “The Pearl of Central Asia”. Due to its salinity, Lake Issyk-Kul possesses curative qualities. On our way to the lake we will visit Burana Tower (11th century minaret) and an open air museum of Balbans (stone warriors). You will get to enjoy a traditional lunch and then move towards the lake. Dinner will be arranged in a local restaurant. Night is in the hotel.
Day 2: Tchoktal – Kochkor
In the morning you will be transferred to Kochkor village. On our way, we will make a short break to give you the opportunity to visit ancient stone inscriptions (which dates back to 800 B.C.). In Kochkor village you will spend some time with a family that will show you the way our national felt carpets are made. You even can create your own carpet together with them. You will also get to visit a small handicraft museum there. They have many examples of silver decorations, coats, which are made of wolves, horse saddle decorations, carpets and more. Night will be in a home stay.
Day 3: Kochkor – Song Kul (140 km)
After breakfast we start our drive to the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan – Son Kul Lake. This lake is surrounded by mountains and it is the highest alpine lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3013 meters above the sea level. Lunch in a local restaurant. Kyrgyz nomads started to come to this wonderful area with their families for rest and relaxation. Shepherds of the Naryn region come to the lake to use it as a pastureland. After arrival, you will have free time to explore and enjoy the virgin nature of the lake and its surroundings. Dinner and overnight stay in nomadic ready-made dwellings – yurts. They are made of a wooden skeleton, covered with felt coverings.
Day 4: Son Kul – Bishkek – Osh (350 km)
After breakfast transfer to Kochkor village. The road passes along amazing gorge and we will drive over Kalmak Ashu pass, which is 3 225 meters high above the sea level. In Kochkor village you will spend some time with a family, where you will get acquainted with the method how is national felt carpets are produced. Lunch. Also we will have a chance to visit a small handicraft museum there. Afterwards we will be transferred to the capital of Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek city. Take a flight to Osh. Dinner and night stay in the hotel.
Day 5: Osh – Andijan – Fergana
After breakfast transfer to theKyrgystan-Uzbekistan border. Drive to Andijon. Visit “Bobur” park, which is located at the center of the city. Lunch in a “Chaykhana”, a local tea house. Continue our trip to Margilan and pay a visit to Silk workshop in Margilan, which is a unique silk factory in the country where you can find world’s famous Atlas and Adrass. Drive through Fergana. Check-in the and relax before dinner. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6: Fergana – Rishtan – Kokand – Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast check-out and drive to Kokand through Rishtan. Rishtan (50 km) is a town, which is famous with its brilliant blue glazed pottery and pay a visit to a local workshop. Later we will reach Kokand, which is Uzbekistan’s one of the most ancient towns with records dating back to the 10th century. It was an important trade centre along the Silk Road. Its major monuments date from the 18th century when the town was the centre of the powerful Kokand Khanate. Visit the madrassah of Norbut– Bii, Djuma mosque, Dahmai – Shahon mausoleum and the Palace of Khudayar Khan. Transfer to the railway station at 16:00. Arrive to Tashkent and transfer to hotel. Diner and overnight stay in hotel.
Day 7: Tashkent – Samarkand
After breakfast we are invited to make our first city tour of Tashkent. We start sightseeing tour by visiting from the Independent Square and Amir Temur Square, which are located in new city. We continue city tour by visiting the old part of city through Kukeldash madrassah and “Chorsu” bazaar. Before the lunch check-out at the hotel. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we continue our trip by visiting the following touristic attractions: Khast-Imam Complex, the madrasah of Barak-Khan, where the Uthman Qur’an (VII) is kept, the mosque Tilla-Shaiyh and mausoleum of Kaffel-Shashi as well. Transfer to railway station at 19:50 pm. Departure to Samarkand and arrive to Samarkand at 21:00. Transfer to hotel and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 8: Samarkand
After breakfast start city tour of Samarkand by paying a visit to the old part of the city: Registan, the impressive Bibi-Khanume mosque, which was rebuilt after the Russian’s conquest in 1870. We also visit Shakhi-Zinda Necropolises, which is probably one of the most significant religious complexes in Samarkand and monument of unique architecture in whole Central Asia. We will have a chance to visit the local Siyab Bazaar with its amazing colorful oriental shops and markets. The late afternoon and evening are left free for private exploration.(Optional activity: visit the Registan light show). Dinner is served at a local restaurant. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 9: Get a taste of Uzbek life (Samarkand )
After breakfast we take a 10 minute ride above the Afrasiyab remains and archaeological expedition and also visit “Afrasiyab” museum and observatory “Ulugbek”. After lunch we will have time to explore the Samarkand’s silk paper workshop “Meros” and wine factory “Xovrenko”, where you can get a taste of Samarkand wine. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 10: Ring of Uzbekistan (Samarkand – Bukhara)
After breakfast transfer to the railway station and depart to Bukhara. Arrival to Bukhara. We start city tour by travelling on a private bus from the hotel across Bukhara. We travel on the main park of the city and get acquainted with the history of Ismail Samanid mausoleum, Chasma- Ayub mausoleum, Bukhara local bazaar, Ark Fortress, which served as a citadel and Bolo-Khauz mosque. Lunch is served at a local restaurant. After lunch we continue our city tour by visiting still active Miri-Arab madrasah, Poi-Kalon Ensemble, which includes the minaret Kalyan together with Kalyan mosque. Then we will have a chance to visit trading domes like: Toqi Zargaron (Trading dome of the jewelers), Toqi Telpak Fouruoshon (trading dome of the of the headgear), Toqi Sarrafon (Trading dome of the money exchange) and Ulug-Bek madrasah, Abdulaziz-khan madrasah, Magoki Attori mosque and end with Labi Khaouz complex. Dinner is served at local restaurant, where you will enjoy Uzbek cuisine. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 11: Bukhara – the most interesting area of Silk Road tour
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we will drive by bus to discover the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, Ensemble of Bakha-ad-Din Nakshband and Chor minor. Lunch is served at a local restaurant and transfer to your beautiful hotel. Dinner is served at a local restaurant. The evening is left free to explore the cities lively nightlife and excellent panorama. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 12: The Kyzylkum desert stretches to the horizon (Bukhara – Khiva)
Today we will drive to Khorezm oasis, which is 500 km across Kyzyl–Kum desert. It is Uzbekistan’s most popular scenic drive, our trip to Khiva through the breathtaking Kyzyl–Kum desert will take approximately 6 hours. As you travel along, there will be plenty of stops for photos at the best vantage points. We will have lunch at the “Chayxana”, a Tea house. Arrival to Khiva and check-in to the hotel and have a welcome drink. In the evening head to a restaurant for a memorable experience in a wonderful setting with good food and entertainment. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 13: Khiva
Visit Kunya-Ark Fortress (Castle Khana), Ichan Kala, Tower Kalta Minor, Madrassah of Muhammad Amin Khan, Juma Mosque with 212 wooden supports, Minaret, Tash Khauli, the Mosque Ark, the Minaret of Islam Khodja, the Minaret of the main Vizir and Caravan saray of Allakhuli-Khan, the Memorial of Pakhlavan Makhmud, Khiva Bazaar and the craft centers of Khiva. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 14: Khiva – Dashoguz – Kunya Urgench – Derveze
After breakfast check-out and transfer to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border. Proceed to customs and passport control on both sides. After crossing the border your tour guide will meet you. Then drive to Kunya Urgench (the distance is 110 km). Kunya Urgench was (UNESKO 2005) an ancient capital of Khorezm. Visit mausoleums of Il Arslan and SoltanTekesh, Nejmeddin Kubra, Soltan Ali,Turabek-Khanum (12th c), minaret of KutlugTimur, Mamun II. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, drive to Gas Crater (268km), which is dubbed by locals as “The Door to Hell”. The Derweze area is rich in natural gas. En-route we cross Karakum desert. We will make a stop at a small nomad village and in the evening have a look the spectacular and fascinating view of the gas crater. Dinner is aranged at Gas Crater area. Overnight stay in tent camp.
Day 15: Derweze – Ashgabat 270 km
Breakfast as Picnic style. After breakfast drive to Ashgabat. On our way to Ashgabat we will visit the village Erbent. Then we will continue our trip to Ashgabat city. After arrival we will visit the following touristic destinations: Ruhyyet Palace, Wedding Palace, modern Yildyz Hotel, Ferries Wheel, Constitution Monument, Arch of Neutrality, Monument and the park of Independence, Artogrul Gazy Mosque. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we will pay a visit to Nissa fortress, which was a Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Traditional restaurant dinner. This night wil be the last night on the Great Silk Road tour.
Day 16: Ashgabat – International airport – Istanbul
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast check-out and transfer to the Ashgabat International airport and take a flight home.
End of the Silk Road tour
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