Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Historic seeing of Tashkent-Uzbekistan-2413252-P

Along Central Asia’s Silk Road

Odysseys Unlimited
5.0 . Excellent
100%
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
17 days
From: $ 5,794 $ 341 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • White marble city of Ashgabat
  • UNESCO archaeological sites of Nisa and Kunya Urgench
  • Historic walled city of Khiva
  • Visits with local artisans
  • Extensive Bukhara touring
  • Petroglyphs at Sarmishsay Gorge
  • Home-hosted lunch in Bukhara
  • Desert excursion and yurt camp overnight
  • Legendary Samarkand
  • Central Asian bazaars in six cities
  • Private visit to Gur Emir Mausoleum
  • Tashkent touring, including world’s oldest Quran
  • Russian-accented Almaty

Short Description

Traveling the ancient Silk Road connecting East and West, we encounter a mélange of culture and religion, art and architecture that conjures tales of trade and treasure, intrigue and empire. On this exciting small group journey, we relish the exotic and embrace the humanity we share with the welcoming people of Central Asia.

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.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City Ashgabat
End City Almaty

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 15 nights’ accommodations: 14 nights in Superior First Class and First Class hotels; 1 night in yurt camp
  • 36 Meals: 15 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of local Odysseys Unlimited Tour Directors
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

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Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Day 2: Arrive Ashgabat

Upon arrival in the Turkmen capital late tonight, we transfer directly to our hotel.

Day 3: Ashgabat

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

After time to rest this morning, we have lunch on our own, then meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome briefing. We begin our journey along the Silk Road with a panoramic tour of this showpiece city known for its 543 white marble buildings and monuments to the glories of the Turkmen. We tour the well-regarded National Museum of History then enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant

Day 4: Ashgabat/Nisa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we visit the UNESCO archaeological site of Nisa, ancient capital of the Parthian Empire dating to the 3rd century BCE. After exploring here, we travel on to an Akhal-Teke horse stud farm, where we witness the beauty and grace of these animals, a national symbol of Turkmenistan. We enjoy lunch here, then visit the Golden Mosque, a massive mausoleum built by (and for) President Saparmurat Niyazov. At our last stop, we learn about carpet weaving, a key aspect of Turkmen culture, with a visit to the Turkmen Carpet Museum

Day 5: Ashgabat/Khiva, Uzbekistan

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We fly this morning to Dashoguz, Turkmenistan, where we visit the Yzmikshir Fortress, which dates back to the Parthian Empire and contains remnants of a unique 80-foot-high double wall. We continue to the Uzbek border crossing then travel on to Khiva. Tonight, we travel to a lakeside yurt camp, where we enjoy sunset cocktails followed by dinner and a local folklore performance

Day 6: Khiva

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

We get a taste of Khiva’s storied past as a major Silk Road trading post on a morning tour of the Itchan Kala, the “inner city” whose entirety is a UNESCO site. Here we see the turquoise-tiled Kalta Minor minaret – enormous, stout, and unfinished; Kunya Ark citadel; the immense Madrassah of Muhammad Rahim Khan, with its tiled façade; the double-domed Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum; and the Hunarmand artisans workshop. This afternoon: Islam Khoja minaret, Khiva’s tallest; Juma Mosque, with its 200 wooden pillars; and 163-room Tash Hauli Palace

Day 7: Khiva/Bukhara

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we board a high-speed train for the journey through the Kyzylkum Desert to Bukhara (approx. 4 ½ hours), with lunch on board. Upon arrival in this ancient city of Silk Road commerce and religious piety, we visit the Chor Minor madrassah, with its four minarets. This evening we dine at Akbar House, the preserved home of a 19th-century Jewish merchant

Day 8: Bukhara

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today begins with a walking tour of the 16th-century Lyab-i Hauz religious complex. We continue to the domed Taki-Telpak Furushon bazaar known for its headgear: embroidered skull caps, turbans, and heavy fur hats; then on to a bazaar where we watch silk weavers at work. Next, we return to the Old Jewish Quarter to visit the home of a Sufi miniaturist, where we learn about his craft and enjoy a traditional lunch of plov – lamb and rice – the Uzbek national dish. Touring continues this afternoon at the Poi Kalyan religious center; the massive earthen Ark of Bukhara Fortress, which served as an active fort from its 5th century-origins until 1920; and the Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum, whose spring water is believed to have healing powers\

Day 9: Bukhara/Sarmishsay/Aydar Lake

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinnner

We set out today on a thrilling overnight excursion, boarding 4×4 vehicles through the Kyzylkum Desert bound for Aydar Lake. We stop first in Gijduvan to visit a renowned ceramicist, then see some of the 4,000-plus Bronze Age petroglyphs at Sarmishay Gorge. We continue on to Nurata, where we enjoy a home-hosted lunch with a local family, then pass through the Nurata Mountains to Aydar Lake and our yurt camp, an eco-resort set within the endless steppe. After settling in, we explore our surroundings from atop the two-humped Bactrian camels of Central Asia

Day 10: Aydar Lake/Samarkand

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we visit the remote mountain village of Sentyab, where we meet with a local family in their home. Then we travel on to Samarkand, legendary stop on the Silk Road. This afternoon we take an orientation tour of one of Central Asia’s oldest continuously inhabited cities – some 2,500 years. As the sun begins to set, we stop at vast Registan, the mosaic-tiled public square flanked by three ornate madrassahs that have stood here for centuries

Day 11: Samarkand

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan left their marks on Samarkand, as did Tamerlane (Timur), who made it capital of his Islamic empire in the 14th century; he or his descendants built many of the historic buildings and monuments we see here today. Our touring begins at Registan Square, once and current heart of the city. Our visit here includes a demonstration by a master Arabic calligrapher and an opportunity to practice this ancient art. We continue to 15th-century Bibi-Khanym mosque, and Siyob Bazaar, the city’s largest market. This afternoon is free to explore as we wish

Day 12: Samarkand

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Our discovery of this crossroads of culture continues today at the Shakhi Zinda necropolis and temple complex, whose 20-plus buildings date from the 11th to 19th centuries; the Afrasiyab Museum, a huge archaeological site and museum of the city’s history; and 15th-century Ulugh Beg Observatory. This evening we pay a private visit to the Gur Emir Mausoleum, Tamerlane’s resting place. We dine together at a local restaurant then make a last stop to see Registan lit up for the evening

Day 13: Samarkand/Jizzakh/Tashkent

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

En route by motorcoach today to the Uzbek capital, we stop at Jizzakh to seeJilanuti Pass, the “Gates of Tamerlane” passage between the Nuratin and Turkestan hills. We continue on to Tashkent, arriving early this afternoon. We have the afternoon free before taking in a performance (either ballet, opera, or classical music) at Navoi Theatre, the national opera house, then have dinner at a local restaurant

Day 14: Tashkent

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

A morning tour of Uzbekistan’s capital begins in the Old City at the Khazrati Imam Complex of mosques and madrassahs. Here we see the world’s oldest surviving Islamic holy book, the 8th-century Uthman Quran, brought to Tashkent by Tamerlane. Next: Chorsu Bazaar, under whose massive green dome locals purchases everything from produce to clothing. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit a winery in the nearby town of Yangiyul, where we have the opportunity to try the wine and cognac produced here

Day 15: Tashkent/Almaty, Kazakhstan

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

At the Museum of Applied Arts this morning, we see fine examples of Uzbek crafts, including embroidery, jewelry, ceramics, and carpets. Afterwards, we call on the studio of renowned ceramicist Akbar Rakhimov. Then we transfer to the airport for our flight to Almaty

Day 16: Almaty

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Kazakhstan’s largest city and cultural and commercial center, Almaty has a decided Russian flavor, as we see on this morning’s tour. Highlights: Panfilov Park, Holy Ascension Cathedral, and the Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments. Then we have free time for lunch and to explore Zeelyoni Bazaar, Almaty’s central market. Early this evening, we head outside the city to ascend Kok Tobe mountain for panoramic views and a farewell dinner at a mountaintop restaurant.

Day 17: Depart for U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Very early this morning we depart for the airport for our connecting flight to the U.S.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,794
Price Per Day: $ 341 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardSingle StandardAvailability  
Sep-09-2019Sep-25-2019$ 5,994$ 7,189Limited Reserve
Sep-16-2019Oct-02-2019$ 5,994$ 7,189Limited Reserve
Sep-23-2019Oct-09-2019$ 5,994$ 7,189Limited Reserve
Sep-26-2019Oct-12-2019$ 5,994$ 7,189Limited Reserve
Sep-30-2019Oct-16-2019$ 5,994$ 7,189Limited Reserve
Oct-03-2019Oct-19-2019$ 5,894$ 7,089Limited Reserve
Oct-07-2019Oct-23-2019$ 5,894$ 7,089Limited Reserve
Oct-10-2019Oct-26-2019$ 5,894$ 7,089Limited Reserve
Oct-14-2019Oct-31-2019$ 5,894$ 7,089Limited Reserve
Oct-17-2019Nov-02-2019$ 5,894$ 7,089Limited Reserve
Oct-21-2019Nov-06-2019$ 5,794$ 6,989Limited Reserve
See more
  • Deposit Price: $ 375
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,195

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Odysseys Unlimited.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Details

Flights & Transport

Airfare included

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 20

Accomodations

  • Nusay Hotel
  • Hotel Asia Khiva
  • Hotel Zargaron Plaza
  • Oxus Resort Yurt Camp
  • Hotel Grand Samarkand Superior
  • Hyatt Regency Tashkent
  • InterContinental Almaty

Trip ID#:

AloCenOdy

Meals Included:

15 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches and 11 Dinners

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