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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.
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Early morning arrival in Almaty. Transfer to the Rahat Palace Hotel (or similar) for 1 night with immediate check in. Afternoon at leisure. (N)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Morning at leisure. At midday, the train departs for Khiva. Overnight on board. (B, L, D)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
1 Apr – 15 Apr 7 Oct – 21 Oct
*13 Apr – 27 Apr *19 Oct – 2 Nov
Departures are available in reverse from Ashgabat to Almaty. These depart on 13 April and 19 October 2020.
This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.
Available on request.
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.
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
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
KUT2020: 12 Nights
Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...
Samarkand is one of the world's oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan...