Travel to Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan? These are off-the-beaten-path places and lesser visited nations. Every nation in Central Asia has a good deal to see and do, along the course of the Silk Road explore lovely architecture of cities and the unforgettable beauty of nature. From the expansive roads of occupied urban areas to the quiet tranquility of regular sights, Central Asia's best visits flaunt the assorted variety and magnificence of these countries. Book your Central Asia tour package today.
Arrival in Azerbaijan. Upon arrival at Baku airport, meet your local representative and privately transfer to your hotel where you will be assisted with check-in. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant.
Tour of Baku and visit to Apsheron Peninsula. In the morning begin your walking tour of Baku and explore the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with its narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and Palace of Shirvan Shahs. Visit the 12th century Maiden’s Tower, the imposing mansions of the oil barons built in the oil boom of 1870-1914, and Martyr’s Alley with its superb views over the Bay of Baku. Continue to the History Museum before completing your day with a half hour trip on the public boat in Baku Bay. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to the Absheron Peninsula where you will have the opportunity to see the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yanardagh (Burning Mountain). Return back to hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast depart to Gobustan Stones and Gobustan Museum. Gobustan (the territory of Gobu) is famous for its archeological monuments. Travel 30 miles southwest of Baku along the Caspian shore to the volcanic desert where there are more than 4,000 rock drawings left by artists of the Neolithic period. The drawings depict the customs of ancient tribes; hunting scenes and dances and their everyday life. In addition to the famous petroglyphs, Gobustan also has some amazing landscapes, one unique area in particular is filled with mud volcanoes providing an almost lunar horizon. The most spectacular mud volcanoes can be found about 7km south of Gobustan near the road to Alat.After lunch at a restaurant on the coast of Caspian Sea, return back to Baku and enjoy a 30 min public boat trip on the Caspian Sea followed by an afternoon shopping tour in Nizami Ganjavi Street and a tea table on Baku Sea Boulevard.In the evening have dinner in a caravanserai restaurant including a folklore show.
In the morning visit the Carpet museum and Museum of Arts. After lunch at a city restaurant, enjoy some time at leisure in the afternoon.In the evening you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Ashgabat. Upon arrival at Ashgabat airport, privately transfer to your hotel where you will be assisted with check-in.
This morning visit the fortress of Old Nisa (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the earliest of the Parthian Empire capitals. Return to Ashgabat, and visit Kipchak village to see a complex of the biggest mosque in Turkmenistan and the family mausoleum of the first President.In Ashgabat, visit independence-period parks and monuments, and the National Museum of History and Ethnography, whose halls arededicated to various themes and historical periods. Demonstrating a rich collection of artifacts from all over Turkmenistan, including ivory rhytons from Old Nisa, the museum will also offer you reconstruction models of the sites that you are going to visit.
Early in the morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Dashoguz.Upon arrival at Dashoguz airport, drive to Kunya-Urgench (Old Urgench) to see the former capital of the Khorezmshah Empire. Another World Heritage Site, Kunya-Urgench welcomes visitors with the mausoleum of Turabeg Khanum, one of the best architectural examples of its time, the minaret of Kutlug Temur, the highest medieval minaret in Central Asia and the mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh with a turquoise cone of a dome.Sightseeing complete, drive back to Dashoguz to cross the border to Uzbekistan near Shavat (120 km). After the border crossing, meet your local escort guide in Uzbekistan and transfer to Khiva (40 km) in time for a well-earned rest and dinner at the hotel.
Khiva – a museum in the open – is the only city in all of Central Asia that has survived in its entirety from the old times. Various historic epochs have left their traces in Khiva, built over many centuries in the ancient cultural oasis of Khorasmia. Old Khiva is an entire city, constructed within magnificent fortification walls with entrance gates. Its unique architectural complexes that include palaces, houses, public buildings andmausolea, interspersed with original architecture such as the minarets of Islam-Khodja, Kalta-Minar and Tura-Murad-Tura, are a bright illustration of the Muslim tradition, according to which buildings raised at different times constitute an ensemble. A number of Madrassahs from the 18th and 19th centuries reflect not only the skills of architects and builders but also the fact that Khiva was an important educational center. Visit the National House of Zaynab’s Family for a traditional tea ceremony.Lunch and dinner today will be at local restaurants.
After breakfast, transfer to Bukhara via Kyzil-Kum (450 km, 7-8 hours). Snack boxes will be provided. Upon arrival in Bukhara and check-in at your hotel, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before seeing the holy city of Bukhara, where images of empires past are embodied in brilliant architectural masterpieces. First marvel at the imposing Kaylan Minaret, also known as the Tower of Death, which is complemented by the Kaylan Mosque and the Mir-i-Arab Madrasa, Trade Domes. Finally, explore the old city, where you will find caravanserai, public baths, and the workshops of local artisans. Enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Today spend a full day in Bukhara to experience its very special atmosphere.The massive walls of the Ark Fortress dominate the old town area. Behind them are the elegant eiwans of the mosques and divans. There is also the dark pit of Zindan, the prison, where two British officers were kept before being executed in the main square in June 1842. Opposite the Ark is the elegant and fragile looking Bolo-Khauz Mosque, beautifully reflected in the pool in front of it.Continue your exploration of the area and drive to the eastern suburbs of Bukhara to visit the Sitora-i-Mokhi-Khosa, the Summer Palace of the last Emir, built in an intriguingly eclectic style, combining European and local elements. Its breathtaking Reception Hall decorated in carved stucco and mirrors has become a model for the modern craftsmen of Uzbekistan.Also visit the Boghoudin Nakshbandi Complex before proceeding to the Silk Road Tea house.
After breakfast drive to Samarkand (280 km, 4 hours). Arrive in time to check-in at your hotel and enjoy lunch at a city restaurant. In the afternoon, follow your guide on an orientation tour of Samarkand – one of the world’s oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan in the valley of the Zeravshan River. It has seen periods of power and decline throughout its 2750-year history. The city was destroyed by Alexander the Great, the Arabs, Genghis Khan and many other conquerors, but rose each time from the ashes like a Phoenix.Shah-i-Zinda, a big medieval burial complex (the 10th – to 20th centuries), often referred to as “the Street of the Dead”, gives a good idea of Tamerlane’s intention to turn Samarkand into a collection of the world’s architectural styles.
Today continue to explore Samarkand. The The Gur-Emir Mausoleum (the 15th century), where Tamerlane is buried along with several sons and grandsons, is the most brilliant example of medieval Central Asian architecture. It is reminiscent of the famous mosques of Cordova and Granada and was an inspiration for the Great Moguls’ Taj Mahal in Agra.Samarkand was also an important scientific centre, with scholars who influenced scientific work in other countries. Among them was Ulugbek, Tamerlane’s grandson, the ruler of Samarkand. His observatory, built in 1429 – 30 in the northern suburbs of Samarkand, was a model for the two famous Indian observatories of the 18th century in Jaipur and Delhi. The observatory has not survived, but an underground portion of its enormous sextant still attracts the eye.Finish your day with a visit to the “Khudjum” silk carpet factory.
After breakfast drive to Tashkent (295 km, 4 hours) and check-in upon arrival. After lunch in a local restaurant, explore Tashkent, the modern capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The city’s history spans over 2 millennia, although few monuments from ancient times have survived here. Wars and natural calamities have swept most of the old buildings from the face of the ancient city. Among the survivors are: the Kukeldash Madrassah (the 16th century), the Yunus Khan Mausoleum (the 15th century), the Sheikhantaur Ensemble (the 15th century).This afternoon you will also have the chance to experience a calligraphy master class.
Fly to Namangan this morning and transfer to Fergana via Margilan (110 km, 1,5 hour).After check-in at your hotel, follow your guide on a sightseeing tour including General Skobolev’s House, the Russian Army Assembly Hall, the Park and the History Museum.Lunch and dinner will be in a city restaurant or your hotel in Fergana.
After breakfast in the hotel, travel to Rishtan for a city tour with a visit to the Rishtan ceramics centre. Afterwards drive to Kokand – an ancient city of the Silk Way, where you may see the Madrassah of Norbut – Bii (the 18th cent.), the Djuma Mosque (19th cent), the Dahmai – Sharon Mausoleum (14 – 15th cent.) and the Hudoyar Jhan Palace (17 – 19th cent.). Return to Fergana for dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast drive to Tashkent (350 km, 5 hours). Upon arrival in Tashkent, have a lunch at a local restaurant and continue to Tashkent airport for your flight to Almaty. Upon arrival at Almaty airport you’ll be transferred to your hotel for check-in. Dinner will be at the “Kok-Tobe” restaurant.
After breakfast enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Almaty including a visit to Panfilovtzev Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Museum of Musical Instruments, Republic Square and monument of Independence and the Central Mosque. In the afternoon continue your Almaty city tour and visit the Medeo Gorge.
Today, drive to Big Almaty Lake, located in Alma-Arasan Gorge – one of the most picturesque places in the neighbourhood of Almaty. On the way back, visit the falcon farm, home to such birds as hawks, eagles and owls. During your visit you may witness a falcon show.
Today you will be privately transferred to the airport for you home-bound flight.