Highlights
  • Pick up souvenirs in the bazaars of Tashkent
  • Experience the romance of the Silk Road in Samarkand
  • Spend a memorable night sleeping in a yurt
  • Walk through Bukhara's historic Old Town
  • Gaze up at the ancient walls surrounding Khiva
  • Discover the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat
  • Learn about Tamerlane’s dynasty

Strategically positioned along the Silk Route, the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva were famed trading centres for the caravans that passed this way in ancient times. On this Overland trip we follow in their footsteps, discovering magnificent architecture and bustling bazaars that have changed little since the rule of Tamerlane. We'll stay with nomads in the Turkmenistan’s desert, explore the imposing Oxus Valley, tour the wonders of Samarkand and head into the markets of Ashgabat to practice our bargaining skills.

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3,121
Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 2,324 Great 623 Average 99 Disappointing 34 Terrible 36
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7
Tashkent to Ashgabat

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Intrepid Travel.

R

Recommends

Happy with the Kyrgyzstan guide January 2017

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The trip was predominantly long days of driving without actually experiencing the countries we visited. For example Issy-Kul lake was merely a sliver of blue on the horizon, we didn't make a short stop or even get a close enough look. Or another day we drove for the entire day only to arrive in time for dinner and bed before leaving again in the morning without spending anytime exploring this area. These disappointments may have been avoided by leaving much earlier in the morning. I think most people on this trip would not have minded leaving significantly earlier if it meant we actually had time to visit the sites detailed in the trip notes

Also whilst I was aware that I was visiting cultures which had meat heavy diets and that vegetarian meals would be difficult to come by, the guide in Kyrgyzstan went out of her way to try and find myself and the other 2 vegetarians foods, often taking at length with the restaurant to organise a meal. However it felt like our guide in Uzbekistan just took us to restaurants he always took his groups without researching whether there were other options within the location we had stopped at. It felt like a great deal of the trip he was on autopilot, just running the trip as he had done in the past, no real tailoring it to his tour group.
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Operator Intrepid Travel

r

Recommends

The trip was predominantly long days of September 2015

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The trip was predominantly long days of driving without actually experiencing the countries we visited. For example Issy-Kul lake was merely a sliver of blue on the horizon, we didn't make a short stop or even get a close enough look. Or another day we drove for the entire day only to arrive in time for dinner and bed before leaving again in the morning without spending anytime exploring this area. These disappointments may have been avoided by leaving much earlier in the morning. I think most people on this trip would not have minded leaving significantly earlier if it meant we actually had time to visit the sites detailed in the trip notes_x000D_
_x000D_
Also whilst I was aware that I was visiting cultures which had meat heavy diets and that vegetarian meals would be difficult to come by, the guide in Kyrgyzstan went out of her way to try and find myself and the other 2 vegetarians foods, often taking at length with the restaurant to organise a meal. However it felt like our guide in Uzbekistan just took us to restaurants he always took his groups without researching whether there were other options within the location we had stopped at. It felt like a great deal of the trip he was on autopilot, just running the trip as he had done in the past, no real tailoring it to his tour group.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

ATFT

Recommends

Intrepid did an incredible job December 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.
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Operator Intrepid Travel

k

Recommends

great tour October 2017

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy

Operator Intrepid Travel

GA

Recommends

Classic Vietnam with Intrepid January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My husband and I traveled along the coast of Vietnam with Intrepid. This trip is one of the highlights of my life - we were able to authentically experience the different cities and towns, the food, the culture, and the beauty of Vietnam. Through Intrepid, we were able to get access to off-the-beaten path places, such as taking a 3 hr moped tour through the Vietnamese countryside not accessible by car or bus. Lodging was basic and clean, a great value for travelers on a budget, however if you are looking to be pampered, this is not the tour package for you. The highlight of this trip was our tour guide, Sonny. He was so knowledgeable and passionate about showing us his home land. We got along so well with the other travelers on our trip from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - five years later, we are still in touch!
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Operator Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1 Tashkent

Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting. We will then have a free afternoon to explore the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent. In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. *Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*  Hotel for the night: Grand Orzu Hotel Grand Orzu Hotel 27 Makhmud Tarobi Street Tashkent Uzbekistan Tel - +998 71 120 88 77  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Visit the delightful traditional farmer's market at the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent's Old Town : Free See the grand 16th-century Kukeldash Madrassa and the city's principal Juma Mosque in the Old Town : Free Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran : USD 5  About Tashkent: Whilst the historic cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva still retain much of the atmosphere of the ancient Khanates, Tashkent is very definitely a Soviet city, because old Tashkent was largely destroyed by a series of earthquakes and Soviet planners. Having said that, it is still a great place to visit - the city has a clean, modern feel and there is some unusal contemporary architecture here, which makes it an interesting contrast to many other places along the Silk Road.

Day 2 Samarkand

Today our journey begins with a drive to the fascinating ancient city of Samarkand, where we will stay for the next 3 nights. In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). About Samarkand: A city brimming with history, Samarkand became famous in the 14th Century CE as the birthplace of the warlord Timur and the capital of his Sultanate. Thanks to its cemtral location along the Silk Road, the town originally grew propserous as a crossroads between East and West, creating a melting pot of different cultures and traditions whose influences are still very much apparent today. Samarkand is perhaps the most romantic and evocative of the Silk Road cities, and is crowned by the decorative domes and minarets of the many beautiful buildings here. The must-sees include the iconic Registan Square (the central focus of the city and home to a group of impressively decorated madrassas), Guri Amir and the Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum. 

Day 3-4 Samarkand

" Day 3 to 4" Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, BibiKhanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda. On our second day, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Explore the stunning green city of Shahrisabz, the centre of folk art in Uzbekistan and the birthplace of the medieval warlord Timur : USD 20  Wander through the markets and carpet vendors of Samarkand, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the local carpet weavers : Free  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory, once the finest observatory in the Islamic world : Included in Kitty Visit the Guri-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur : Included in Kitty Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan, a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia : Included in Kitty Discover the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the world and the jewel in Timur's empire : Included in Kitty See the beautiful and moving ancient mausoleum of Shah-I-Zinda : Included in Kitty

Day 5 Nurata

Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a swim in Lake Ajdar Kul and head out on an optional camel ride into the desert! In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Spend the night in nomadic yurts out in the the Kyzylkum Desert : Included in Kitty OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Take a short camel ride around the sand dunes of the Kyzylkhum Desert : UZS 5000 

Day 6 Bukhara

Today we will drive to the beautiful city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. Our drive will take us via the desert town of Nurata, which we will have a brief stop. In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours. About Bukhara: Bukhara is an atmospheric city with an incredible history and a wonderful heritage - exploring the streets, you really get the feeling that this is how Central Asia was before Soviet domination. Bukhara was once a very powerful Khanate, controlling most of Turkmenistan and the surrounding area. Many of the buildings here are spectacular and very well-preserved, particularly the Ark Fortress, Ismail Samanid Mausoleum and the famous Kalyan Minaret (also known as the Death Tower). The government has invested a considerable amount of money into the city in order to preserve the architecture here. 

Day 7-8 Bukhara

" Day 7 to 8 " Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress.  On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Explore the city's oldest Islamic monument, the 10th-century mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, the founder of the Samanid Dynasty : Included in Kitty Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark : Included in Kitty Explore the colossal Kalon Mosque and Minaret, which has survived without restoration for 850 years and impressed Genghis Khan so much that he ordered the building to be spared : Included in Kitty Visit the magnificent 16th-century architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city's principal source of water : Included in Kitty OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  See the Indian-style Char Minar Minarets, four towers nestled in a maze of alleyways in downtown Bukhara : Free Visit the gruesome museum at the old prison of Zindon : UZS 4500  Watch an entertaining evening puppet show, featuring many local Uzbek and Tajik poems and songs : USD 5 

Day 9-10 Khiva

" Day 9 to 10 " Today we have a full day drive to the incredible historic town of Khiva. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours. On the next day, we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town. In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  See the beautiful turquoise Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva : Included in Kitty Visit the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassa, a museum dedicated to the Khan that surrendered to the Russians in 1873 : Included in Kitty  Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva : Included in Kitty Learn all about the Khoezm culture and handicrafts at the Islam Hodja Madrassa, Khiva's newest monument : Included in Kitty Explore the incredible Juma Mosque and the 12th century fortress of the Kukhna Ark : Included in Kitty Visit the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mohammed, the legendary 14th-century poet, philosopher, wrestler, and patron saint of Khiva : Included in Kitty About Khiva: The small historic town of Khiva in Uzbekistan was once the capital of the Khwarezmid Empire, one of Central Asia's most powerful states in the 12th Century CE until they were invaded by Genghis Khan in 1220 CE. Khiva once again rose to prominence as the centre of the Khanate of Khia between 1500 CE and 1924, when the area was fully incorporated into the Soviet Union. The city's long history is fascinating, and fortunately much of the magnificent architecture has been incredibly well preserved. The ancient walls that used to provide sanctuary for the travellers on the Silk Road are intact, as is the old town that the walls were built to protect. Many of the buildings are beautifully decorated in classic turquoise tiles. As well as exploring the streets of the old city, you should make sure you visit the Kukhna Ark and Juma Mosque, Pakhlovan Mahmus Mausoleum and Islam Hodja Madrassa. 

Day 11 Konye-Urgench

Border Information: Exit Uzbekistan at Nijazov, enter Turkmenistan at Shovot. This morning we will drive across the border into Turkmenistan, visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, and explore the Kunye Urgench ruins to wards the end of the day. We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Explore the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench, once one of the most splendid cities in Central Asia until it was ransacked by Timur and abandoned : Included in Kitty About Kunye Urgench: Kunye Urgench is one of Turkmenistan's most important historic sites, and was once a major city along the Silk Road. Situated on the shores of the Amu Daria River, the area has been settled since the 5th-Century BCE and came to prominence under the rule of the Persian Khwarezem Empire in the 11th Century CE. The city managed to flourish even after Genghis Khan's invasion of 1221, only being finally destroyed and abandoned after an attack by the warlord Timur in 1373. Timur did a very thorough job in demolishing the city, there are still plenty of old ruined buildings from the 11th-14th centuries dotted around, including a mosque, mausoleum and the towering 60-metre-high Kutlug-Timur minaret, the highest in Central Asia.  

Day 12 Darvaza

Today we continue south through the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!). We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours. INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvasa, popularly known as the 'Door to Hell' : Included in Kitty  About Darvaza: Darvaza is a tiny settlement in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, which is the location of one of the world's more unusual highlights - the flaming Darvasa Gas Crater, sometimes dramatically called 'The Door to Hell'. The crater formed as a result of an industrial accident - Soviet oil prospectors started drilling in 1971 expecting to find oil, and when only gas was found underneath the ground collapsed to form the crater. Worried about the gas released into the air, they deliberately set the crater on fire to burn off the excess, expecting this to only last a few weeks - however the natural gas supply turned out to be much more plentiful, and it's been burning away ever since! The crater is truly a breathtaking sight, especially at night - it's about the size of a football pitch and ablaze with fire, truly looking like the entrance to the underworld! 

Day 13 Ashgabat

Today we will complete our drive to the interesting capital of Ashgabat, usually arriving mid-afternoon. In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours About Ashgabat: Ashgabat is a unique modern city that has been extensively rebuilt since the country gained independence in 1991. Little is left of the original Russian Imperial city as most of it was destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1948, and today the city centre is a bizarre mix of futuristic and outrageous public buildings that are an extraordinary sight - these include many ornate marble buildings and extravagant golden statues of the president. Ashgabat's Sunday Market is famous along the whole Silk Road - this wonderful market stretches for hundreds of acres into the desert. Carpets, camels, clothes, pigs, jewellery, goats, cars, chickens, hats and ex-Soviet military paraphernalia are readily available. 

Day 14 Ashgabat

Today we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. In the afternoon we have the option of visiting the famous Ashgabat Sunday Market.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Learn about the history and culture of Turkmenistan at the huge National Museum in Ashgabat : USD 10 INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Explore, shop, and haggle at the vast Altyn Asyr Sunday Bazaar : Included in Kitty Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city : Included in Kitty

Day 15 Ashgabat

Border Information: if finishing in Ashgabat, you Will most likely exit Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ashgabat. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 2,260

Price Per Day:

$ 151 per day
 
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Mar-23-2019Mar-29-2019$ 2,260Yes1 spots left Reserve
Mar-30-2019Apr-05-2019$ 2,260Yes5 spots left Reserve
Apr-06-2019Apr-12-2019$ 2,260Yes5 spots left Reserve
Apr-13-2019Apr-19-2019$ 2,350Yes7 spots left Reserve
Apr-20-2019Apr-26-2019$ 2,465Yes2 spots left Reserve
May-04-2019May-10-2019$ 2,435Yes7 spots left Reserve
May-11-2019May-17-2019$ 2,435Yes8 spots left Reserve
May-18-2019May-24-2019$ 2,435Yes6 spots left Reserve
May-25-2019May-31-2019$ 2,435Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-08-2019Jun-14-2019$ 2,435Yes7 spots left Reserve
Jun-15-2019Jun-21-2019$ 2,435Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-22-2019Jun-28-2019$ 2,350Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-29-2019Jul-05-2019$ 2,350Yes7 spots left Reserve
Jul-13-2019Jul-19-2019$ 2,350Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jul-20-2019Jul-26-2019$ 2,325Yes4 spots left Reserve
Jul-27-2019Aug-02-2019$ 2,260Yes7 spots left Reserve
Aug-03-2019Aug-09-2019$ 2,260Yes6 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 22
Accomodations
Hotels,Wild Camps,Yurts
Start City
Tashkent
End City
Ashgabat
Guides OUR DRAGOMAN CREW & GUIDES Our crew are passionate about travel and are always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all the overland companies, spending 8 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK, and then up to 6 months on the road as a trainee. Our crew are trained to manage and operate the trip safely and efficiently and their duties include: planning the trip according to the itinerary, driving and maintaining the truck, securing services of local guides, general logistics, health and safety, liaising with bureaucracy, dealing with issues where needed and offering advice and support to our customers. In addition they have a basic knowledge of the places visited and will be able to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of experienced crew, however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your tour leader is new to a particular region or training other crew, new to the area. On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi in East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days). On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people. Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Ak Altyn Hotel
  • Magtymguly şayoli 141/1
  • Ashgabat
  • TURKMENISTAN
  • Phone: +993 12363700

Trip ID#: intrepid-KDOO

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