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Discover the rich history of the Silk Road and the dramatic scenery of Central Asia on this 22-day journey through Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Explore ancient cities, visit important Silk Road trading points, wander through expansive green valleys and see stunning Islamic architecture. Along the way, learn about the different cultures within this fascinating region.
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Fly overnight to Bishkek via Istanbul. (N)
Arrive and transfer to the Plaza Hotel for 2 nights (including immediate occupancy). Afternoon city tour including visits to the Open-Air Sculpture Museum, Victory Park, Ala-Too Square and the Kyrgyz State Philharmonic Hall. (N)
Drive to Ala Archa National Park, a picturesque area of wooded valleys, rivers, glaciers and waterfalls. View the magnificent peaks of the Kyrgyz Alatau Ridge (Tien Shan mountains), with a range of walking options available. A packed lunch is included. Return to Bishkek, with a guide at your disposal in the city. (B, L)
Drive to Bokonbaevo village on the shores of Issyk-Kul lake and watch the villagers make felt carpets and other handicrafts. Continue to Karakol, stopping en route at Fairy Tale canyon for a short walk to see the striking rock formations. Stay 2 nights at Green Yard Hotel. (B, L)
Drive to Djety-Oguz gorge for a walk among its impressive red rock formations and spruce forests. Join an optional golden eagle hunting show, to witness this ancient tradition. This evening, return to Karakol and join a Uighur family for a cooking demonstration of lagman (Kyrgyz noodle dish). (B)
Tour of Karakol including Dungan Mosque, built for a community of Chinese Muslims who arrived in the late 19th century. Continue to the Bronze Age petroglyphs found at CholponAta on the northern shores of Issyk-Kul lake. Optional 1-hour boat cruise on the lake. Stay overnight at Karven Issyk-Kul Hotel. (B)
Drive to Burana Tower and explore the ruins of this important Silk Road trading point. The 25-metre-high minaret is the last remnant of a mosque found in the medieval city of Balasagun that was established in the ninth century. Continue to Bishkek and stay overnight at the Plaza Hotel. (B, L)
Fly to Almaty and take a guided tour of the city. Visit Panfilov Park, a local baazar, a chocolate factory and Zenkov Cathedral, one of the world’s highest wooden buildings. Stay 3 nights at the Kazzhol. (B)
Take another city tour including Republic Square and the Central State Museum, which showcases the country’s history from Bronze Age burials and nomadic culture to modern times. Drive to the picturesque valley of Medeo Gorge and take a cable car to an altitude of 2,230 metres above sea level for views of the surrounding mountains and to see one of the world’s most famous ice rinks. Visit Sunkar falcon farm and Kok Tobe hill with its 37-metrehigh TV tower, offering sweeping views of the city from its viewing deck. (B)
Travel to the spectacular Charyn canyon for a gentle hike amid spectacular scenery. The red sandstone canyon is approximately 90km long and features some stunning rock formations. Return to Almaty, a journey of approximately 4 hours. (B)
Fly to Tashkent and transfer to the Miran International Hotel for 1 night. (B)
Morning tour of Tashkent’s old city, visiting Amir Timur Square, Kukeldash mosque and madrasa, and some of the unique metro stations. This evening, take a 1-hour flight to Urgench then drive to Khiva. Stay 3 nights at the Malika Kheivak Hotel (or similar). (B, D)
Morning visit to the ancient fortresses of Toprak Kala and Ayaz Kala, situated on a hill overlooking the Kyzylkum desert. Take lunch in a yurt then continue to Goybu village to visit Ulli Khovli, an ancient Khorezmian local house. Take a tour through the village to see the traditional lifestyle of the Khorezmians. (B, L, D)
Full-day tour of Khiva including Kunya Ark, Islam Khoja minaret, a local bakery and Tash Havli Palace. (B, D)
Full-day drive to Bukhara (7-8 hours) through the Kyzylkum desert, with a photo stop en route at Amudaryo river. Stay at the Omar Khayyam Hotel for 3 nights. (B, L, D)
City tour of Bukhara including visits to the PoiKaylan complex, the surviving trade domes, Lyab-i-Hauz complex, ancient Silk Market and the historic Chor Minor mosque. This evening, enjoy dinner at a family home with a cooking demonstration of plov (Uzbek rice dish). (B, D)
Continue exploring Bukhara including visits to the Summer Palace, the imposing fortress known as The Ark, located on the site of a 2,000-year-old fortress; and the Samanid mausoleum, believed to be the oldest Islamic architectural monument in Central Asia, with its design derived from Zoroastrian burial structures and fire temples. (B)
Drive to Shahrisabz, birthplace of Tamerlane, and visit the mosques, mausoleums and summer palace. Continue to Samarkand and stay at the Emirkhan Hotel for 3 nights. (B, L, D)
Full-day tour of Samarkand, including visits to the Ulugbek observatory, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Afrosiab Museum, the Bibi Khanum mosque and Registan Square. (B)
Continue your tour of Samarkand, visiting Gur Emir mausoleum, the final resting place of several members of the Timurid dynasty including Timur himself. Other highlights include Hazrat Khizr mosque, Nodir Divan Begi madrasa and the Khodja Doniyor mausoleum. This afternoon, stop at a silk carpet factory and silk paper workshop before returning to your hotel. Dine at a local restaurant this evening. (B, D)
Morning at leisure in Samarkand. Late afternoon Afrosiyob Express train to Tashkent. On arrival, transfer to a local restaurant for dinner and then stay 1 night at the Miran International Hotel. (B, D)
Morning at leisure. Afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Accommodation in Uzbekistan
and Kyrgyzstan should be considered basic
and simple outside of Bishkek and Tashkent.
A reasonable level of fitness is required for this
tour, due to several gentle hikes and walking
over rough terrain. This tour is therefore best
suited to the hardier traveller.
Available on request.
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.
SIK2020: 20 Nights
Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...
The ancient city of Khiva lies around 450km north-west of Bukhara, and only around 40k...
Samarkand is one of the world's oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan...
Although little remains of Tashkent’s history, there has been a settlement on this site,...