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The Legendary Silk Route by Rail – Almaty to Ashgabat

Private Travel | Rail journeys 15 Days & 12 Nights Lead-in price: £5475

This rail journey traverses Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, travelling from the Caspian Sea to the Tien Shan mountains along the route of the ancient Silk Road. Cross windswept deserts, pass towering mountains and marvel at Central Asia’s ancient monuments.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Experience three contrasting countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Kazakhstan
  • Music concert in Tashkent (schedule permitting)
  • Meals with a difference including lunch in Kazakh yurts & lunch with a local Turkmen family
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Standard Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Almaty, Kazakhstan


Day 2: Almaty

Early morning arrival in Almaty. Transfer to the Rahat Palace Hotel (or similar) for 1 night with immediate check in. Afternoon at leisure. (N)

Day 3: Almaty

Morning city tour including Zenkov Russian cathedral, one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings. Lunch in Kazakh yurts before transferring to the Orient Silk Road Express train. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Turkestan

After breakfast, arrive in Turkestan. Visit the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, famed for its dome hall and monumental mosque. Later the train continues its journey, crossing the Kazakh-Uzbek border towards Tashkent. Border formalities are completed in the comfort of your compartment. Overnight on the train. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Early morning arrival into Tashkent, followed by a sightseeing tour, including the Kukeldash madrasa, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments and the typical Kazakh mud brick houses. In the evening, schedules permitting, attend a concert in a music hall. The train leaves in the evening for Shakhrisabz. Overnight on the train. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Shahrisabz

Today includes a regional folklore performance and a visit to the site of Tamerlane’s large summer palace, as well as the monumental memorials to the Mongol prince. In the evening, the train departs for Samarkand and you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines. Overnight on the train. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Samarkand

Full-day tour of Samarkand, with visits to Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, the imposing madrasas on Registan Square and the excavation sites of Afrosiyob, the oldest part and ruined site of the ancient and medieval city. Stay at the Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Samarkand

Another day to explore Samarkand, with a chance to see the Bibi Khanum mosque, the Ulugbek observatory and the Gur Emir mausoleum, as well as visiting a carpet factory and local craftsman’s family. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Samarkand

Morning at leisure. At midday, the train departs for Khiva. Overnight on board. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Khiva

On arrival in Khiva, enter the imposing old city and, after visiting palaces, mosques, minarets and mausoleums, enjoy lunch at the former emir’s summer palace. Evening departure to Bukhara. Overnight on the train. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Bukhara

On arrival in Bukhara, visit the great Kalyan minaret, the Labi-Hauz architectural ensemble and the ‘Nasreddin on a Donkey’ monument. Dinner is served at a local restaurant followed by local music and dancing in a madrasa’s courtyard. Overnight at the Asia Bukhara Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 12: Bukhara

Full-day city tour, with visits including the beautiful Mir-e-Arab madrasa, the Ark (fortress), the Samanid mausoleum and the last emir’s summer residence. Board the train for an evening departure. Overnight on the train. (B, L, D)

Day 13: Merv, Turkmenistan

Morning arrival in Merv for a chance to see the gigantic walls, ramparts and ruins of this Unesco world heritage site. Enjoy lunch with a local family in their home’s picturesque courtyard. Stay overnight at the Grand Turkmen Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 14: Nisa • Ashgabat

In the morning, drive to the nearby Unesco listed ruins of the ancient city of Nisa. After lunch, take a guided tour of the modern-day capital followed by a guided tour of the National Museum in Ashgabat, where you will view artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa. Evening transfer to Ashgabat airport. (B, L, D)

Day 15: Fly home


Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Depature dates

31 Mar – 14 Apr 6 Oct – 20 Oct *12 Apr – 26 Apr *18 Oct – 31 Oct

*Reverse departures:

Departures are available in reverse from Ashgabat to Almaty. These depart on 12 April and 18 October 2021.

Standard tour

This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.

Single supplement

Available on request.

Non-exclusive activities:

Your arrival and departure transfers may be shared with other parties and, when on board, all transfers and excursions are operated as a group with other passengers who may not be Cox & Kings clients.

Tailor-made travel:

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Standard private tour accommodation

  • Nusay Hotel
    Nusay Hotel

    From its imposing colonnaded front through to its lavish gold-and-white interiors, Nusay Hotel is in keeping with Ashgabat's reputation for grandeur. This luxurious property is situated in the heart of the 'White-Marble City', adjacent to the iconic Monument of Independence. Inside, spaces are generous and modern, and a complete suite of facilities ensures guests are well catered for. Features: Restaurant, bar, café, outdoor swimming pool, gym, sauna, tennis court, gift shop, wi-fi throughout. Room amenities: Satellite TV, air-conditioning, tea & coffee-making facilities, minibar, hairdryer, telephone, safe.

  • Orient Silk Road Express Train
    Orient Silk Road Express Train

    Travel in comfort aboard the Orient Silk Road Express train, which offers Ali Baba, Aladdin and Kalif class cabins. An Ali Baba compartment provides sleeping space for two guests in two lower berths and combined washing and toilet facilities are located at both ends of each car. The Aladdin class cabins are the same size as Ali Baba cabins but feature air conditioning (during travel). The Kalif class are larger in size and include en suite bathroom facilities including a washing basin, lavatory and shower, and are also attended by a special travel guide. The restaurant cars seat all passengers in one sitting, serving excellent international and local cuisine. After dinner, these cars offer a bar service for you to enjoy an after-dinner drink.

Standard private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £5475 per person

High season from £5895 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in a private chauffeur-driven vehicle
    • The support (if required) of an English speaking local representative
    • Local guides and entrance fees where applicable

Destinations on this tour

  • Bukhara

    Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...

    Read more >
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand is one of the world's oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan...

    Read more >
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