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Best of the Stans and Silk Road adventures

Uncover Central Asia's past and present

Since the collapse of the USSR, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are emerging one by one as promising destinations for off-the-beaten track adventures, and World Expeditions offers more Central Asia and Silk Road tours than ever before. These five former Soviet republics of Central Asia, collectively known as the ‘Five Stans’, are one of the most diverse parts of the world, entwined with history and legacies that forged their civilisation as we know it today.

Central Asia consists of a spectacular sweep of mountains, deserts, valleys and steppe; from ancient towns to oases of modern cities. The entanglement of ancient trade routes, popularly known as the Silk Road, were corridors for cultural, economic, intellectual and religious exchange that became the rich tapestry which connected the Orient to the Mediterranean, and the past to the present.

Weave your way through these historic trails on the Silk Road – including Tashkent's famous museums of Tashkent, the fabled city of Samarkand, Merv's sprawling archaeological site, the magnificent Summer Palace of Bukhara and Kashgar's colourful markets. Or, trek or bike deep in the mysterious lands of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, complete with high mountain sceneries and alpine meadows, few have traversed.

Silk Road Journeys

Follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great as he swept across Central Asia. Visit the Silk Road oases of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara and marvel at Registan Square, the ‘jewel in Central Asia’s crown’. Discover the five former Soviet republics of Central Asia and witness of some of the oldest towns in the world with ancient mosques and citadels, colourful bazaars and highly-adorned mausoleums.

Ornate interior at Bukhara's Bolo Hauz Mosque |  <i>Peter Walton</i>

Trekking in Central Asia

This is a part of the world undeservedly forgotten and rarely visited by outsiders. Trek in the spectacular Pamir Mountains, often referred to as the ‘Roof of the World’; cross lakes, pass villages that are dotted around these remote parts and stop by the Garm Chashma hot springs.

If you have a month to spare and are up for a challenge, venture on an exploratory trek through the mountain fortresses of Gissar, Fann and Pamir.

Trekking amongst the high peaks of the Pamirs Fann Mountains |  <i>Chris Buykx</i>

Cycling in central Asia

Are you looking for an exhilarating mountain biking adventure with a twist? 

Pedal off the beaten trail in this extremely remote area of the world. Cycling is one of the finest ways to explore a country and to appreciate the contrasting desert and mountain landscapes that characterise this fascinating region.

Riding past the impressive Ortacheku Rocks

Mountaineering in Central Asia

With towering peaks, breathtaking landscapes, and a rich cultural history, this region offers some of the most exciting mountaineering opportunities in the world. Whether you're a seasoned climber or a beginner looking to test your skills, there's a trip for you. With expert guides, state-of-the-art equipment, and a commitment to safety, you'll be able to explore some of the most challenging and rewarding terrain on the planet. 

Summit success on Peak Lenin |  <i>Soren Kruse Ledet</i>

Popular Silk Road Countries

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