Central Asia: 5 ‘Stans Tour

Tour itinerary can be seen below.

1 Arrive in Ashgabat

Arrive at Ashgabat airport early morning and transfer to the city centre to begin our tour. Visit the square and parks to see the huge monuments and statues of the leaders as well as Ertogrul Ghazi mosque.

We will then drive on to visit the Turkmenbashy mosque and mausoleum.

In the afternoon we will drive to the incredible Darvaza Gas crater. En route we stop off for supplies in the desert village of Erbent. We then turn off road and drive across desert dunes.

Arrive at Darvaza early evening when the light is fading and all you can see for miles around is the glow of the crater.

Our guide will set up camp in tents at a safe distance from the crater before cooking dinner while you relax and stare in awe at the Gas crater.

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2 Darvaza - Konye Urgench

After breakfast we leave Darvaza and drive north to Konye Urgench historical site. It is a UNESCO heritage site and contains the remains of the capital of Khwarezm, part of the Achaemenid empire.

In the afternoon we will drive onwards to the city of Dashoguz where we will check into our hotel and then take a tour of the city in the afternoon. The rest of the evening is spent at leisure.

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3 Cross to Uzbekistan

After breakfast we drive onto the border crossing and pass through into Uzbekistan. Our Uzbek guide will meet us here and drive to Khiva where we will check into our hotel. After lunch and some free time we will take a walking tour of the city visiting the Ichan Kala fortress with its minarets, madrassah, mosque and mausoleums. After a group dinner there will be free time in the city.

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4 Bukhara, Uzbekistan

After a bit of free time for any last minute sightseeing we will depart on the 7 hour drive to Bukhara across the desert. We will have a packed lunch during the journey and also make a stop at a Chai Khanah (Tea house) in the early afternoon for tea and kebabs. On arrival to Bukhara we will check into our hotel and after dinner have free time to enjoy the atmosphere around the Lyabi Hauz pool.

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5 Bukhara-Samarkand

In the morning we will take a half day tour of Bukhara, visiting Samanids mausoleum, Ark fortress, Polkalon complex, trading domes, the Lyabi Hauz complex and Chor Minor. After lunch we will drive onward to Samarkand where we will check into our hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

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6 Samarkand

Today we tour the historical city of Samarkand, taking in Registan square, Gur Emir Mausoleum, Slab bazaar, Ulugbek observatory, Afrasiab museum wall paintings and the Meros handicraft centre. We have dinner in Samarkand before departing on the 22:00 overnight train to Termez.

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7 Termez

Arrive into Termez at 9:30 and drop our luggage off at our hotel before starting a full day tour. We will visit the archaeological museum, Sultan Saadat complex, Kirk Kiz hanaka and Fayaztepa Buddhist monastery. After a farewell dinner with our Uzbek guide, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

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8 Hisor fortress, Tajikistan

At 9:00 we depart for the Sariosiyo border crossing. Pass the border and meet our Tajik guides. En route to Dushanbe we will visit Hisor town to visit the Hisor fortress, one of the most important historical sites in Tajikistan. We will also visit the nearby 16th Century Kunha Medrassah, Museum of Tajik Life and the mausoleum of the Sufi Saint, Mahdumi Azam. On arrival into Dushanbe we will visit the Museum of National Antiquities before checking into our hotel and spending the rest of the evening at leisure.

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9 Tunnel of Death

After breakfast we drive to Khujand, passing through the 5km Anzob 'tunnel of death' en route. On arrival to Khujand we will visit the Shikh Muslihiddin mosque, Oriental bazaar (the biggest in Central Asia), the Arbob palace and the Lenin monument. Check into our hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant before spending the rest of the evening at leisure.

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10 Tour of Khujand

After breakfast we take a further tour of Khujand visiting the ancient city fortress. We'll have lunch afterwards before driving to the border and then onward to the Kyrgyz city of Osh. Arrive in Osh and check into our hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

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11 Fergana valley and Tien Shan mountain range

We have an early start today as we begin the longest drive of the journey, a 12 hour journey north up to the capital of Bishkek. This road rivals the Pamir Highway for the most beautiful and scenic journey in Central Asia. We pass huge mountains, canyons and valleys throughout the whole journey as well as crossing a host of different climatic zones and vegetation levels as we pass the natural and cultural divide of the country through the Fergana Valley and Tien Shan mountain range. After arriving in Bishkek early evening, we will check into our hotel before going out for optional meal and beers.

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12 Rest Day

We have a well earned day of rest today with the chance to spend your day at leisure around the capital, checking out the great Soviet architecture and monuments.

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13 Ala Archa

In the morning we will drive out to visit Ala Archa; a beautiful alpine National Park situated in the Tian Shan mountain range. The day is free to spend hiking or relaxing around the region before returning to Bishkek in the early evening.

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14 Journey up to Kazakhstan

Today we will take a 5 hour journey up across the border and into the Kazakh city of Almaty. We will check into our hotel before taking an afternoon tour of the city. Evening at leisure.

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15 Tour Ends

Today the tour ends but you are welcome to add extra nights on request.

Please note:

*Airport transfers are only included if you arrive in the morning on the first day of the tour. Anyone arriving earlier will need to pay for a transfer. Transfers are not included at the end of the tour.

Details

Includes:
  • - Turkmenistan letter of invitation
  • - Entry pass
  • - Registration
  • - 4 and 3 star hotel accommodation (twin or double room)
  • - Breakfast each day
  • - Air conditioned transport
  • - English speaking guide throughout
  • - Entrance fees at all sites and museums
  • - Dinner at Darvaza
  • - Camping gear on visit to Darvaza (tent, sleeping bag, mat, cooking equipment and eating utensils)
  • - Lunches and Dinners in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Excludes:
  • - Visa fee
  • - Immigration duty (14 USD p/p)
  • - Flights
  • - Camera fees at sites
  • - Tips
  • - Some lunch and dinner costs
  • - Other personal expenses
  • - Single room supplement (we can allocate someone to share with on a group tour if you prefer to avoid this cost)
  • - Airport transfer*
Prices:
  • Tour Price: £1789
  • Deposit: £50
  • Single Room Supplement: £355
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