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The Silk Road - Best Tours & Trips 2019

20 trips to The Silk Road tours from 14 tour companies. 45 reviews. 4.4/5 avg rating.

Few destinations in the world conjure up more dramatic or romantic images than the name “Silk Road.” That 4,000-mile-long network of ancient caravan trails was responsible for more than a flow of goods from China through India, Persia, Arabia, and Greece to the Roman and Byzantine empires and back. It also served as a bridge for an interchange of cultures, religions, and technologies for some 1,600 y ... Read More

All The Silk Road tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 1,126 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

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Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Silk Road Odyssey

Wild Frontiers Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
23 days
$ 224 / day
$ 5,161
From : $ 6,348
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • The Silk Road Caravanserai of Tash Rabat
  • Visiting with the nomads at Son Kul
  • The Kashgar Sunday Market
  • Travelling the Fergana Valley into Tajikistan
  • The stunning sites of Samarkand, Khiva & Bukhara
Visits:
Samarkand, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
View Trip

Ultimate Silk Road: Beijing to Ashgabat

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
41 days
$ 212 / day
$ 8,905
From : $ 11,759
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Follow the route of the ancient Silk Road, travelling in the footsteps of countless generations of nomads and traders
  • Discover the unreal, rainbow-coloured landscape of Zhangye, a UNESCO site that looks like countless pots of bright paint have been spilled across sandstone mountains. You won't be able to put your camera away!
  • Uncover the ‘other terracotta warriors’ in Xi’an’s Hanyangling Mausoleum, an authentic and more personal burial site that’s home to tens of thousands of buried pottery figures
  • Experience the unique atmosphere of Kashgar’s Sunday Market
  • Central Asia is a fascinating and unique mix of ancient Silk Road culture, Soviet influence and striving to redefine nations post independence. Geographically and for a time historically, it is the real centre of Asia.
  • The much-photographed Registan in Samarkand is one of the true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. You'll be wowed by the scale, grandeur and beauty of the monuments to iconic figures such as Tamerlane and the Persian influenced madressas, mosques and mausoleums.
  • Experience for yourself the legend that is Central Asian hospitality - there's really nothing like being welcomed into a local home or yurt for a meal, chatting with stall holders at bazaars or simply marvelling at the sights alongside locals.
  • Kyrgyzstans mountains are its monuments and its majesty. The landscapes here will stay with you long after the journey is over.
  • Marvel at the beautiful Song Kol Lake, where in mid-summer you may see flocks of sheep, goats and herds of horses watched over by nomadic herdsmen and their families.
  • Stay overnight in a yurt lakeside and live like the locals have for centuries in these portable, felt lined traditional tents.
  • Reflect on the important role horses have played in the traditional Kyrgyz nomadic life style while witnessing horseback sports like odarysh (wrestling on horseback), tiyin-enish (where riders try to pick up coins at full gallop) or kok-baru (goat polo).
Visits:
Beijing, Bukhara, Kashgar, Samarkand, Silk Road, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
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The Five Stans of the Silk Road

Exodus Travels
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
23 days
$ 256 / day
$ 5,849
From : $ 7,964
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • ‘Door to Hell’ giant burning gas pit in Turkmenistan
  • Islamic architecture and  ruins along the great Silk Road
  • Villages and lakes of the Fann and Tien Shan Mountains
  • Post Soviet grand monuments
  • History of traders, preachers and invaders
  • 20th July 2019 departure: accompanied by photographer and National Geographic Explorer, George Kourounis
Visits:
Bukhara, Silk Road, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
View Trip

On the Silk Road in Central Asia

Road Scholar
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
20 days
$ 270 / day
$ 5,399
From : $ 7,289
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Share tea with a sixth-generation ceramics master and enjoy a private exploration of his studio
    • At the Bukhara Ark Citadel, a local specialist discusses archaeological excavations throughout the region
    • Enjoy a performance of Kyrgyz Manas folk tradition in Bishkek
    Visits:
    Bukhara, Samarkand, Silk Road
    View Trip

    Silk Road to Samarkand via Kashgar

    World Expeditions
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    27 days
    $ 230 / day
    $ 6,199
    From : $ 8,679
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
    Highlights
    • Marvel at The Great Wall
    • Explore Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Summer Palace in Beijing
    • Visit Xian and the famous Terracotta Warriors
    • Cross the Torugart pass in the Tian Shan mountains on one of the world's most remote high altitude roads
    • Take in the magnificent Labrang Monastery and Jiayuguan frontier fortress
    • Venture to the Mogau Caves & Dunhuang
    • Immerse yourself in the Sunday Markets in Kashgar
    • Drive spectacular mountain scenery & visit the quaint town of Bishkek
    • Journey to the fabled Silk Rd cities of Samarkand, Bukhara & Khiva
    Visits:
    Beijing, Bukhara, Kashgar, Samarkand, Silk Road, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
    View Trip

    Uzbek & Turkmen: Cities Of The Silk Road

    Wild Frontiers Travel
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    14 days
    $ 287 / day
    $ 4,013
    From : $ 5,212
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • See the stunning sights of Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara
    • Enjoy Crossing the Oxus River
    • Visit to archaeological sites of Merv & Gonur Depe
    • Explore the bizarre sights of Ashgabat
    • See the Darvaza gas crater, one of the “100 places to visit before you die”
    Visits:
    Bukhara, Samarkand, Silk Road, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
    View Trip

    Best of the Caucasus

    15 days
    $ 242 / day
    $ 3,635
    From : $ 4,907
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Iconic Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower in Baku
    • 40,000-year-old engravings in Gobustan National Park
    • Venture to Telavi, one of Georgia's most ancient cities
    • Head just south of the Russian border for panoramic views of Mount Kazbek
    • Georgian felt-making workshop
    • Delve deeply into Soviet history at The Stalin Museum
    • 3,000-year-old rock-hewn town of Uplistsikhe
    • Enjoy stunning views from the sacred pilgrimage site of Jvari Monastery
    • Leisurely wander through the picturesque narrow streets of Tblisi’s old town
    • The 'Pink City' of Yerevan
    • Lake Sevan, the largest lake in the Caucasus
    • The ruins of Zvartnotz Temple
    • Pay your respects at the Armenian Genocide Museum
    • Symphony of the Stones' at Garni
    • Yerevan Brandy Factory tour and tasting
    Visits:
    Tbilisi, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
    View Trip

    The Silk Road

    Exodus Travels
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    15 days
    $ 223 / day
    $ 3,349
    From : $ 4,521
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Samarkand and Bukhara : two of the greatest cities on the Silk Road
    • Almaty with its leafy streets and cafe culture
    • Kyrgyzstan’s spectacular mountain scenery
    • Issyk Kul Lake
    Visits:
    Bukhara, Samarkand, Silk Road, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
    View Trip

    Highlights of Georgia & Armenia

    Exodus Travels
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    14 days
    $ 125 / day
    $ 2,749
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Visit UNESCO churches and fortresses in Georgia
    • See Mount Ararat towering over Yerevan
    • Explore spectacular monasteries in Armenia including Khor Virap
    • Walk amongst the pre-Christian cave houses in Uplistsikhe
    • Experience cafe culture in Tbilisi
    • Have the option to add-on an Azerbaijan extension 
    Visits:
    Georgia, Tbilisi, Armenia, Azerbaijan
    View Trip

    China's Silk Road

    Intrepid Travel
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    15 days
    $ 181 / day
    $ 3,130
    From : $ 3,667
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Follow the route of the ancient Silk Road, travelling in the footsteps of countless generations of nomads and traders
    • Discover the unreal, ancient rainbow-coloured landscape of Zhangye, a UNESCO site that looks like countless pots of bright paint have been spilled across sandstone mountains. You won't be able to put your camera away!
    • Learn about the rapid development happening in western China as you travel between ancient regional centres and modern cities.
    • Ride a camel across the sand dunes in Dunhuang in search of Crescent Lake, a desert oasis that has to be seen to be believed.
    • Visit the frontier town of Kashgar and take in the animal market before sipping tea at a 100-year-old tea house.
    • Explore the famous Mogao Caves, which have been called home by Buddhist monks since the fourth century AD.
    Visits:
    Beijing, Kashgar, Silk Road, China
    View Trip

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Gorge Trek

    Exodus Travels
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    16 days
    $ 272 / day
    $ 4,349
    From : $ 5,871
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Views of Lake Issyk-Kul and Aka-Kul
    • Hike through 6 different gorges, including the famously beautiful Jety-Oguz Canyon
    • Chance to bathe in Altyn Arashan hot springs
    • Discover Bishkek, Burana Tower and the Cholpon-Ata Petroglyphs
    • Panoramic views from Telety Pass (3,800m) 
    • Learn how to make traditional 'lagman' noodles in a family home in Karakol
    • Daywalk to the foot of Karakol Peak, the highest in the Terskey Ala-Too Range
    Visits:
    Kyrgyzstan
    View Trip

    Along the Great Silk Road: The 5 Stans

    Evaneos
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    26 days
    $ 245 / day
    $ 5,195
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Visits:
    Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
    View Trip

    Classic Tour - Discovering the Brillance of the S ...

    Evaneos
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    11 days
    $ 125 / day
    $ 1,126
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Visits:
    Uzbekistan
    View Trip

    Silk Road Adventure in Xinjiang Province

    Evaneos
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    9 days
    $ 284 / day
    $ 2,006
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Visits:
    China
    View Trip

    The Silk Road Aboard the Golden Eagle & Shang ...

    GeoEx
    By GeoEx
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    21 days
    $ 1,189 / day
    $ 24,959
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
    Highlights
    • 4,000 miles along the Silk Road between Moscow and Beijing, with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
    • Ride camels in the Gobi Desert, marvel at the Terracotta Warriors, and soak up Islamic architecture in Khiva
    • Opt for an abridged 13-day trip aboard the Golden Eagle from Moscow to Almaty (or reverse)
    Visits:
    Beijing, Bukhara, Moscow, Samarkand, Silk Road, Terra Cotta Warriors, Xian, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
    View Trip
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    Top The Silk Road Experiences and Attractions

    Top The Silk Road Experiences

    • Hanging out in Xi’an with the vast terra cotta army, one of the most remarkable and memorable sights in the world.
    • Meeting and mingling with people in remote western China who look and dress differently than the great majority of their fellow countrymen.
    • Experiencing highlights of far-flung cities and towns along the route, many of which once served as caravan stops.   
    • Venturing beyond China to legendary Silk Road cities such as Tashkent , Samarkand and Bukhara and central Asian countries such as Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
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    The Silk Road Trip Reviews

    45 The Silk Road Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend

    4.4 out of 5
    Excellent 22
    Great 19
    Average 3
    Disappointing 1
    Terrible 0
    Value
    4.4
    Guide
    4.4
    Activities
    4.4
    Lodging
    4.4
    Transportation
    4.4
    Meals
    4.4

    Tour Reviews Write a Review

    Amazing trip!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    We managed to see the most important attractions of Georgia and Armenia.
    Finding some historical monuments which passed through milleniums

    Very Broadminded and communicative person.

    After we stayed 3 days more, rented a vehicle from Naniko rent a car http://naniko.am/ and visited to Nagorno Karabakh. Which We will recommend. Armenia and Georgia is a perfect combination.

    Read more
    Operator Exodus Travels

    ***** I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on! Absolutely wonderful, a once in a life time experience and all the guides were extremely knowledgable, funny and helpful

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    The sights and experience was truly magnificent, hard to pinpoint as there were so many.

    Read more
    Operator World Expeditions

    Highlights of Armenia and Georgia

    4.0
    • Value 4.0
    • Guide 4.0
    • Activities 4.0
    • Lodging 4.0
    • Transportation 4.0
    • Meals 4.0

    This is a comprehensive tour through theses ex-Soviet states visiting many Churches but also enjoying fine scenery and interesting towns.
    To see the renaissance of religion in these two ex-Communist stares and to observe the devotion of the local communities

    We had three Leaders, one Raffiq in Armenia and Anna and Salome in Georgia.
    Raffiq has a brilliant mind having just attained his PHD at 25 and starting University at 15. He must be watched as a possible Armenian future leader. His knowledge of the Sites we visited was excellent and he gave us comprehensive tours without notes. A remarkable tour leader in many respects but he did lack some organisational skills.
    Anna met us at the Georgian border and proved to be a friendly competent leader who gave us an excellent tour of Tbilisi and into the Mountains but had to return home for family reasons. She did not have the same degree of site knowledge that Raffiq had but her knowledge was satisfactory and she had good organisational skills.
    Salome took her place and it was difficult for her to fit into an already developed group but after some hesitancy, she developed into another excellent leader and she became a well liked and appreciated leader.

    This is a cultural tour rather than an adventure tour and as such is different to many tours run by Exodus and on our tour the average age was higher than I have seen on any of the previous twenty-one tours that I have undertaken with Exodus. I am aged seventy-one and in Albania I was the oldest, I would suggest that I was average aged for this Tour.
    I would recommend any younger clients to consider this when booking.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:-
    I took sterling to change into local currencies and this was fine in Armenia but Sterling CANNOT be exchanged in Georgia. I used both US dollars and Euros

    Read more
    Operator Exodus Travels

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA

    3.0
    • Value 3.0
    • Guide 3.0
    • Activities 3.0
    • Lodging 3.0
    • Transportation 3.0
    • Meals 3.0

    For both countries we had superb guides, wonderful scenery, great church locations and full bellies (the included food is tasty and in abundence even for veggies). The hotels were also all of a good standard and often better than expected. We did find ourselves a bit churched out though and some of the drives didn't warrant the reward.
    Our particular highlights of the trip were;
    Armenia
    Stunning scenery and church locations
    Geghard Monastery and its Armenian rock sculptures inside 
    Sanahin with its monastery and the museum of the Mikoyan brothers
    Georgia
    Gori's Stalin museum
    Uplistsikhes enormous cave city
    Alpine regions and Mount Kazbek scenery

    Both Mere (Armenia) and Elisa (Georgia) were superb ambassadors for their countries. Different styles but both equally knowledgable and looked after us well.

    Go knowing that you will visit easily 20 plus churches on this trip. It did drain us toward the end.
    Instead of the synagogue in Yerevan, visit the Museum of Sergio Parajanov, a film maker and artist born in Georgia and living his last years in Armenia. Its full of his art and collages and gives a different insight into the two countries.
    We travelled in June 2012 and Georgia is under a lot of construction and renovation. Hopefully this will be more complete come 2013. It didn't adversely affect our trip, but you should know.
    Most of the time you arrive at your destination around midday and it can get hot. This is particularly relevant to the walk to Gergeti Holy Trinity church. I would recommend that the group take the jeeps up and down. Then ask if you can do the 4km (return) walk to a waterfall. Do not go to the Russian border it is a waste of time, there is nothing to see.

    Read more
    Operator Exodus Travels

    Caucasian Colloquy

    2.0
    • Value 2.0
    • Guide 2.0
    • Activities 2.0
    • Lodging 2.0
    • Transportation 2.0
    • Meals 2.0

    The Lady at the office when my trip was booked said that she doubted whether this was a trip that would suit me. She was right. This was a lot less active than I prefer, designed for relatively immobile people. This was combined with a distinctly Nanny like attitude of both guides. I left the trip three days early because of this. I stayed in the country a few days afterwards and much preferred travelling round by marshrutka than the very leisurely pace of the trip. Spending about four houirs a day on meals for example seemed a waste of time.
    Walking in the Caucasus though I would have preferred to walk up to the church rather than being unable to see much from a bumpy car. Walking down was treat. The Cascade in Yerevan was a real treat.

    Both Marina and Anna were well informed. Perhaps it was me but I did not get an answer from either of them when I tried to ask questions, so I gave up asking.

    The trip should really not be labelled moderately strenuous (I am 76!)

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    Operator Exodus Travels

    The Silk Road Tours and Travel Guide

    The Silk Road Attractions & Landmarks Guide

    The Silk Road in China

    The three main fabled Silk Road routes first gained importance during the early Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), as traders began the westward journey from the ancient Chinese capital of  Chang'an (present day Xi'an).  

    The Silk Road then lasted as a major trading thoroughfare for some 1,600 years, until the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty that had been established by Kublai Khan in the 14th century.

    While the name was derived from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk which was highly prized by people in the west, many other goods flowed in both directions.  From China came tea, porcelain, lacquer ware, jade, bronze objects and iron.  The camel caravans returning from the West carried fruit and seeds, glass bottles, gold, ivory, and carpets and other woven items.

    Culturally, the Silk Road spread Buddhism to western China and centuries later helped spread Islam throughout central Asia.

    Today’s Travelers

    Travelers who follow the legendary route through China today are introduced to parts of the country that are far different from the attractions of major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and from people who for the most part share the same ethnic background.   

    While about 93 percent of Chinese belong to the Han ethnic group, most of the rest are members of 56 separate minorities. The western region of China through which the Silk Road passes (Xinjiang Province) is home to 13 of them, and introductions to their lifestyles can be a high point of a visit there.

    The path of the Silk Road leads to and through small oasis towns and villages and crosses rolling grasslands and sparsely inhabited sun-baked deserts punctuated by high mountains.  Today’s travelers find themselves in a world of onion-domed mosques, bazaars, embroidered caps and languages far different from Mandarin or Cantonese.

    The Uyghur (pronounced wee-grr) minority group is the largest in western China.  It consists of mostly Sunni Muslim Turkic-speaking people.

    Xi’an

    Xi’an (formerly Chang’an) was the capital of China for nearly 1,200 years, and is the burial place of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259-210 BC).  His mausoleum, which took 38 years to complete, is home to a virtual army of more than 7,000 terra cotta warriors, along with horses, chariots and weapons, which were buried to accompany the emperor and guard him in the next life.

    Arranged in battle formations much as the imperial guard would be during the ruler's lifetime, this vast underground army represents one of the most significant archeological finds of modern times.

    In 2014, the Chang’an-Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road was designated as a World Heritage Site.

    Other Attractions in Xi’an

    The collections at the Provincial History Museum are as beautiful as they are intriguing.  Fragments of silk from the Han Dynasty serve as reminders of how the trade route got its name.  Gold, silver and bronze artifacts represent items that were carried back to China from the west.

    Of special interest are black-faced figures that demonstrate early contact with the African continent.

    More Sights along China’s Silk Road

    The Mogao Caves near Dunhuang, which were dug into limestone cliffs over a period of 1,000 years beginning in 366 AD, contain one of the most outstanding collections of Buddhist art in the world.  

    Despite its location in a stretch of barren terrain, Turpan (also known as Turfan) is known for an underground irrigation system built 20 centuries ago that provided water for growing grain, cotton, grapes and Hami melons, which still are prized for their fragrance and flavor.

    In Kashgar, tucked into the extreme western end of China, colorful bazaars serve as reminders of its past as a transportation and trading center.  As they have for many centuries, weekly markets still teem with people selling and buying everything from sheep and donkeys to barbequed meat and steamed dumplings.

    Beyond China

    The Silk Road actually developed into many routes, including northern routes that passed through several of the “Stans” – most notably Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan -- and some southern routes that passed through Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, the Caucuses, and Arabia.

    The major northern route includes the legendary Uzbek cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent. Deserts, caves replete with Buddhist art, ancient villages and streets, mosques and madrasahs mark the route.

    Adventurous travelers may continue through Iran into Turkey, which leads to Europe and the western end of the route.   

    Top The Silk Road Travel Companies

    All The Silk Road tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.4 for all The Silk Road trips.

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