trip
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2
Adventure touring
Activities
  • 17 days adventure touring
Accommodation
  • 11 nights hotel
  • 5 nights basic guesthouse
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 16 Breakfasts

17 Days$3390USD

 
 
Trip Code: FS3

Silk Road Three Stans Trip highlights


  • Discover three former Soviet Republics of Central Asia
  • Spring & Autumn departures provide optimal comfort & experience
  • Uncover the history and culture of the fabled Silk Road cities, Samarkand and Bukhara
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of the Seven Lakes in the Fann Mountains
  • Journey through the central Tian Shan Mountains to the Chychkan Gorge

Explore the lands that attracted Alexander the Great, boasting truly astonishing cultural, architectural and natural heritage. Surrounded by mystical deserts and towering mountains, discover three former Soviet republics of Central Asia, the Three Stans. Uncover the fascinating medieval city of Bukhara Uzbekistan, and marvel at the ornate mosques and mausoleums of world famous Samarkand, and tour the capital of Tashkent. In Tajikistan visit the capital Dushanbe, then retreat up into the cool of the Fann Mountains to explore the sparkling waters of the Seven Lakes. Explore the rich and fertile Fergana Valley and gaze upon crystal clear alpine lakes in Kyrgyzstan, before ending in the capital of Bishkek. Throughout the trip you’ll have the opportunity to spend time with the local people, learning about their history, age old traditions and ways of life. From the Silk Road cities to the towering mountain ranges and fertile valleys, this is a wonderful journey for the ages. Our spring and autumn departures are set to provide the most comfortable travel experience, missing the intense summer heat.


Welcome to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan - a delightful city built around parks, lakes and fountains. Dushanbe's origins stretch back some 3,000 years though the city grew under Soviet rule as the capital for the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, a part of the Uzbek USSR. Today we will spend the day in the Tajik capital and enjoy a city tour taking in the Independence Square, the Samany Monument (to the founder of the Tajik Government), Rudaki Avenue, a historical museum, the Botanical Gardens, the Bazaar, and the nearby 18th century Hissar Fortress and medieval madrassah. Note: Hotel check-in time is usually 14:00. Should your flight arrive in the very early morning, please discuss arrangements for either earlier room access or an additional room night with your World Expeditions Adventure Travel Consultant. Overnight: Hotel Atlas or similar

Meals:  Nil

Today we drive to the rural city of Penjikent. Located in the Zerafshan Valley, Penjikent is located on a piece of prime flat ground, a scarce commodity in the middle of high mountains. With a history extending back to the times of the ancient Silk Road, and celebrated for its ties with treasured poet Rudaki, the city boasts an archaeological site, an intriguing regional museum and a colourful, energetic bazaar. The nearby border was long closed and so this region has seen very few visitors for many years. You will be sure to be warmly welcomed. Driving: 260km; 5-6hrs. Overnight: Sughd Hotel or Umariyon Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B,D

The Fann Mountains are one of two of Tajikistan's great ranges (the other being the Pamirs) and have peaks towering up to 5489m. We drive up to explore the sparkling waters and beautiful mountain scenery of the Seven Lakes of Tajikistan - Mijgon lake (1640m), Soya lake (1701m), Hushyor lake (1771m), Nophin lake (1820m), Khurdak lake (1870m), Marguzor lake (2140m), Hazorchashma lake (2400m). Afterwards to return to Penjikent for hotel and overnight. Driving: 140km; 5-6hrs. Overnight: Sughd Hotel or Umariyon Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, we transfer to the Tajik - Uzbek border where we bid farewell to our Tajik crew and cross the border to meet up with our Uzbek crew. We transfer on to Samarkand, Uzbekistan. We won’t be able to check in to our rooms until 14:00 but we will leave our main luggage at the hotel. The rest of the day is dedicated to sightseeing of Samarkand’s major attractions. Possibly the most famous of the Silk Road cities, Samarkand’s majestic blue tiled buildings dazzle in the bright desert sun. The city boasts one of the world’s grandest squares, Registan Square, surrounded on three sides by the madrassahs of Ulugh Beg, Sher-Dor and Tilya-Kori. It is said that the square and its madrassahs influenced other sites from the great square in Isfahan to the Taj Mahal in Agra. These colossal monuments with domes and minarets covered in a mosaic of azure tiles were built from the 1400s onward. The city was the capital of the great Timurid dynasty and we visit a number of Timurid dynasty era sites including the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, Ulugh Beg’s observatory, the gigantic cathedral mosque Bibi Khanum as well as the impressive Necropolis. Tamerlane made Samarkand his capital, setting about making it the richest city on earth by pillaging and destroying other cities and removing their wealth and skilled traders to Samarkand. Driving: To border 20km, 30mins/ to Samarkand 40km, 1hr Overnight: Hotel Dilshoda or similar.

Meals:  B

This morning we continue exploring Samarkand including Ulugh Beg’s observatory, as well as the impressive Necropolis. Afterwards, we'll depart from Samarkand and drive for around 4hrs (300kms) to reach another famous Silk Road city, Bukhara. Enroute, we will visit the small town of Gijduvan, which is famous for its pottery. Over the centuries this road has been travelled by major historical figures such as Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan and Tamerlane on their incredible journeys. Driving: 300km; 4hrs. Overnight: Kavsar Boutique Hotel or similar

Meals:  B

The region around Bukhara has been continually inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for approximately half that time.The UNESCO listed old city centre evokes the many centuries of traders and travellers who’ve passed through on their way between the Mediterranean and China. This richly historic city was a major centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion, succumbed to Ghengis Khan and Tamerlane the Turco-Mongol conqueror, was the last capital of the Emirate of Bukhara before being besieged by the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. We spend the day exploring this fascinating Silk Road city, including at its heart the historic Lyabi Khauz architectural complex with the oldest reflection pool in Central Asia, surrounded by medieval buildings including the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah and Khanaka with its facade of intrinsic mosaics. We also visit the Poi Kalyan Complex which includes the 48m tall Kalyan Minaret which has come to symbolise the city, and the Kalyan Mosque with 288 domes covering intricate galleries. We also explore the Samanid’s Mausoleum, the Ark Citadel, and Chor-Minor - the original building of four minarets and oldest residence of the Emirs. Overnight: Kavsar Boutique Hotel or similar

Meals:  B

This morning we uncover more of Bukhara’s fascinating history and culture as we explore the Sitorai-Mohl-Hosa Palace - Bukhara’s Emirs’ summer palace. In the afternoon, we will board the late afternoon train to the capital of Tashkent (approx. 4hrs). You will be met at the train station and transferred to the hotel for overnight. Overnight: Gabrielle International Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B

Tashkent is a modern city of three million people and is the arts centre of the region. Museums and the opera house are perhaps its best known attractions. It has a relaxed pace and charming street side cafes. Trams amble beside green parks and the wide tree-lined roads give a sense of space. Today we will undertake a sightseeing tour of Tashkent's highlights, including visits to the Old Town, Opera and Ballet House, madrassahs, museums, parks and squares. Overnight: Gabrielle International Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B

Today we travel to the Fergana Valley, but we will make a number of stops along the way. The first of these is at Kokand which was the capital of the 19th century Kokand Khanate. We visit the Khudoyar-Khan Palace (1871) which houses a local museum, the Norbuta-Biy Madrassah and the Modarikhon Mausoleum. From here we move on to the small village of Rishtan which is famous for potters’ dynasties and ceramics masters. We visit a local ceramics studio and watch a demonstration of the craft. This is a great place to purchase some of this iconic earthenware direct from the source. Our final stop is at Marghilan where we visit a local silk factory and learn about the material which has given its name to the greatest trade route in history. Eventually we arrive in Fergana town where we spend the night. Driving: 300km 5-6hrs Overnight: Hotel Club 777 or similar

Meals:  B

Today we head to the third Stan, Kyrgyzstan. In the morning we transfer to the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border and meet up with our Kyrgyz crew. We then transfer from the outpost at Dustlik to the city of Osh. Upon arrival into Osh, we'll check in before heading out to see the sites of this ancient band bustling city. The city's origins are estimated to stretch back over 3000 years, having long been the central city of the fertile Fergana Valley. Some suggest the city was founded by Solomon, and others Alexander the Great. Despite this uncertainty, the city has been an important place for merchants and traders for millennia. The first place to visit is Osh Bazaar, the largest market in Central Asia. We will walk along the colorful rows of the Golden market, watch black smiths working and smell the rich aromas of spices, fruits and other fresh local produce. We'll finish up our immersion into this exotic hub of daily life life by visiting the rows of handicraft makers, creating all manner of wares. After lunch we visit Suleiman Mountain, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. At the mountain we will visit the historical museum, located within the main cave, before following the way of all pilgrims up to the top of the mountain. At the top sits the small mosque of Babur, The Great Mogul dynasty founder. If time permits we can also visit the central square and go for a short walk in the city park. Driving: 150km; 3hrs Overnight: Sun Rise Hotel or similar

Meals:  B

In the morning following breakfast we will drive to the town of Jalal Abad. En route we'll stop for an excursion to see the ancient minaret and mausoleums in Uzgen town (60km from Osh), after which we'll continue on to Arslanbob valley. Arslanbob, situated at an elevation of 1,600m has a cooler, more temperate climate. The fertile region is home to fruit orchards and its main treasures are the southern walnut forests. Upon arrival we'll have some time to relax and refresh before heading out for a light walk to a nearby waterfall. For the next two nights we will be hosted by a local family who will prepare our evening meals. Facilities will be basic but this is a great opportunity to connect with the local people who are incredibly hospitable. Driving: 190km; 4-5hrs Overnight: Local guesthouse

Meals:  B,D

Having covered many miles over the past two weeks, today we'll spend the entire day in and around the the slow paced rural village. The inhabitants are some of the most friendly people you'll meet and the village is a peaceful place to sit and relax with a pot of tea and enjoy the local produce. For those feeling more adventurous there are numerous options for fantastic hikes in the surrounding picturesque forests and valleys. Overnight: Local guesthouse

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast we begin our drive towards Sary Chelek alpine lake. The lake is located in its namesake National Park. The park comprises river valleys which flow along winding courses through almost the entire territory of the reserve, in places between steep banks, strewn with boulders forming rapid cascades and waterfalls up to three meters high. Glaciers, permanent ice fields and high mountain lakes lie on the north facing slopes. Sary-Chelek Lake rests at the foot of the Chatkal mountain range. The natural beauty of this alpine lake is truly mesmerising; its waters often appear a turquoise shade of blue and make for stunning photographs. Remote villages are scattered throughout the park. We will spend the following two nights with a host family in one of these small, rural villages and they will prepare traditional evening meals for us. Driving: 200km; 4-5hrs Overnight: Local guesthouse

Meals:  B,D

In the morning after breakfast we meet up with our local guide and drive for around an hour up to the lake. Upon arrival to the spectacular location, we will enjoy a 3 hour hike around the lake and the guide knows the very best trails and scenic spots. Later we meet back up with our driver and return to the village and our host family who will have dinner ready. Overnight: Local guesthouse

Meals:  B,D

In the morning we bid farewell to our hosts and transfer from the lake area to Chychkan Gorge, a drive of around 260km/ 4-5hrs. The stunningly picturesque gorge boasts a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Animals commonly seen in the gorge include the ibex (mountain goat), roe deer, argali (mountain sheep), wild boar and eagles with wingspans up to 2.5m. A variety of of juniper, spruce, and wild berries grow in abundance on the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Chychkan River flows through the gorge before it empties into the Toktogul reservoir. There are two alpine lakes located at over 3000m and a stunning 60m high waterfall. We'll have ample time to explore the natural beauty of this gorge today. Driving: 260km; 4-5hrs. Overnight: Oson Motel or similar

Meals:  B

In the morning we transfer from the beautiful Chychkan Gorge to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is situated at an elevation of around 2,600 ft in the foothills of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range, part of the Tian Shan range. These mountains soar up to 15,928ft, providing a dramatic backdrop to the city. Extending from the city’s north is a verdant steppe grassland which reaches into neighboring Kazakhstan. Bishkek is a city of open boulevards and grand marble-lined public buildings combined with towering Soviet-era apartments overlooking central courtyards. The carefully planned, grid patterned streets are mostly flanked on both sides by canals which serve to irrigate the endless rows of trees which provide welcome shade to residents and travellers from the summer sun. In the afternoon we will venture out for a sightseeing tour of the city. Time permitting; we will visit the Manas Monument, the State History Museum, Ala Too Square to witness the changing of the Guard, the Independence Monument, the Old Square with Parliament House and the Victory Square. Driving: 250km; 4-5hrs Overnight: Asia Mountains Hotel or similar

Meals:  B

Following breakfast at the hotel, the trip concludes. Private airport transfers provided today.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 16 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • Well located hotels on a twinshare basis
  • Simple local guesthouses on a multi-share basis
  • Local sightseeing and entrance fees as listed in itinerary
  • Private air conditioned vehicle
  • Arrival & departure airport transfers
  • Expert bilingual guide (different in each country)
  • Emergency medical kit

  • Meals not indicated in the program
  • Any optional tours, and entrance fees and permits during free time (ie. photo & video shooting fees in museums)
  • Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs and laundry
  • Visas
  • Tips and gratuities
  • International airfares and taxes
  • Personal travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Excess luggage charges

About Your Leader

On this trip you will have national English-speaking escort guides (different in each country).


Accommodation


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Notes

1
Coincides with Ramadan Festival 24th April - 23rd May 2020. Itinerary operates completely unaffected
2
This departure will run in reverse, starting in Almaty and ending in Ashgabat due to the highland region's cooler climate during August. Please contact us for further details.

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Total Priceper person from

$3390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$280
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed The Three Stans trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Silk Road Three Stans Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Silk Road Three Stans Videos

Joanna Lumley's Silk Road Adventure | The Afrasiab Museum of Samarkand | ITV

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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