25 nights from

£9795

Legends and Empires

REGIONAL FLIGHT OPTIONS

Experience a Central Asian odyssey on this epic 26 day journey exploring the ancient lands and medieval cities of the fabled Silk Route 

Explore the Legends and Empires that are the Five ‘Stans’ of Central Asia. The backdrop to our tour is one of incredible diversity, both scenic and cultural, experience incredible history, fabulous local hospitality aswell as the cosmopolitan cities of today.

Tucked between India, Russia and China and comprised of  mountains, steppe grassland and desert, they were once a mix of feudal khanates and nomadic people and later formed republics under Stalin's rule. Amongst this varied landscape are traditional villages and ancient towns reflecting the glories of the passing Greek and Persian armies, the marauding Mongolian hordes, the traders who would sell their wares along the Silk Road, and the philosophers and astronomers that trod these roads in bygone times. Perhaps amongst some of the world’s least visited and least well-known destinations, making this trip a true journey of discovery.

Discover the architectural wonders of Uzbekistan’s Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Travel into the countryside of Kazakhstan where tulips stretch across the steppe and edge clear blue lakes. Explore Kyrgyzstan’s stunning mountains and discover its nomadic horse-riding culture. Step into mountainous Tajikistan filled with wild flowers with its wonderfully simple way of life, and finally Turkmenistan’s breath-taking sights, including Merv, a desert city stacked by Genghis Khan, the sandy Kopet Dag mountains and the famed Akhal-Teke horses.

Overview

  • Flight  - 1 night
  • Almaty  - 1 night
  • Kolsai Lakes  - 1 night
  • Almaty  - 1 night
  • Bishkek  - 1 night
  • Issyk-Kul Lake  - 1 night
  • Karakol  - 2 nights
  • Bishkek  - 1 night
  • Ferghana Valley  - 2 nights
  • Tashkent  - 1 night
  • Khujand  - 1 night
  • Penjikent  - 1 night
  • Samarkand  - 2 nights
  • Bukhara  - 2 nights
  • Mary  - 1 night
  • Ashgabat  - 2 nights
  • Khiva  - 2 nights
  • Nukus  - 1 night
  • Tashkent  - 1 night
  • Return flight  - 1 night
Book Tour

Tour Highlights

  • 7 UNESCO Sites
  • Explore Charyn Canyon
  • Visit the Marguzor Seven Lakes
  • Enjoy Itchan Kala/Khiva walled city
  • Samarkand and Registan Square
  • Merv on the ancient Silk Road

Experience a Central Asian odyssey on this epic 26 day journey exploring the ancient lands and medieval cities of the fabled Silk Route 

Notes:

Hotels in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are simple and unpretentious but well-located with a restaurant, bar and air-conditioned rooms with private facilities and satellite TV. There may be water and electricity shortages and, on occasion, alternative hotels may be used. WiFi (free) is available at all tour hotels although it can be intermittent.

Food is nutritious, based on fresh local produce but can be repetitive and the provision of special dietary requirements may be limited.

Travel between the cities by road, whilst being the classic way to experience the country, involves some long journeys, some on uneven roads with only limited opportunities for comfort breaks.

Porters are unavailable at some hotels and during border crossings.

The order of sightseeing may vary in accordance with local conditions.

Accommodation

Intercontinental Hotel - Almaty

A 5-star hotel located in the centre of Almaty with restaurants, bar, spa, gym, indoor pool, WiFi (free) and 277 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Ritz Carlton - Almaty

A 5-star hotel located in the centre of Almaty with restaurants, bar, spa, gym, indoor pool, WiFi (free) and 145 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Saty Village Guest House - Kolsai Lake

A homestay style local guest house near Kolsai Lakes surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Basic accommodation with private facilities.

Hyatt Regency - Bishkek

A 5-star hotel located in Bishkek’s cultural area with spa, pool, restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 178 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Art Hotel ‘Al-Khayat’ - Kajisay

A 3-star family run hotel located on the southern shore of Issyk Kul Lake with a bar. garden and WiFi (free). Simple guest rooms with private facilities and satellite TV.

Karagat - Karakol

A 4-star hotel, just a short walk to the city centre with bar, restaurant and WiFi (free). 49 rooms with private facilities, tea/coffee making facilities and TV.

Terra Nova Hotel - Ferghana

A 3-star hotel about 5 minutes’ walk to the centre of Ferghana. Restaurant and WiFi (free). 34 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, tea/coffee-making facilities, mini-fridge and TV.

Hyatt Regency - Biskek

A 5-star hotel located in Bishkek’s cultural area with spa, pool, restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 178 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Khujand Deluxe - Khujand

A 4-star hotel located in a quiet area of Khujand with restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 26 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, fridge and TV.

Panjakent Plaza Hotel - Penjikent

A 3-star hotel at the edge of Penjikent city with restaurant, bar and garden. 35 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe and TV.

Zarafshon Parkside - Samarkand

A 4-star hotel, in the heart of Samarkand close to the old town with restaurant, pool (seasonal), gym and WiFi (free). 55 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, fridge, kettle, safe and satellite TV.

Zargaron Plaza - Bukhara

A 4-star hotel a few minutes drive from the historical centre of Bukhara and close to historic Lyab-i Khauz Square with bar, restaurant, gym and WiFi (free). 66 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Mary Hotel - Mary

A comfortable 3-star hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the city of Mary with bar, restaurant, gym, pool (seasonal) and WiFi (free). 175 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Oguzkent Hotel - Ashgabat

A 5-star hotel in close proximity to Ertugrul Gazi Mosque one of Ashgabat’s most popular landmarks with restaurants, bars, pool (seasonal), gym and WiFi (free). 299 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.

Asia Hotel - Khiva

A quiet 3-star hotel well-located in the old town just outside the city walls. Restaurant, bar, pool (seasonal) and WiFi (free). 129 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.

Jipek Joli - Nukus

A small 3-star hotel in Nukus with restaurant, and WiFi (free). 18 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer and satellite TV.

Extension Options

Istanbul Extension

Explore the Christian and Ottoman heritage of Istanbul. Enjoy a Bosphorus cruise and visits to palaces, mosques, churches and bazaars. Byzantine walls and magnificent mosaics contrast with Ottoman inspiration which has enriched our culture in many ways from coffee, croissants, and carpets to tents harems and the language of flowers.

Hotel Crowne Plaza Old City (formerly Wyndham) - Istanbul

This 5-star hotel in a historic building is close to Grand Bazaar. Restaurant, bar, café, shops, indoor pool, Turkish bath and WiFi (free). 265 rooms with tea/coffee making facilities.

Optional Excursions

Shakhrisabz Optional Excursion

Take a morning drive across the Aman-Kutan mountains to the fabled city Shakhrisabz, hometown of Tamerlane and located behind the Zaravanshan mountain range. Visit the remains of the Ak-Saray Palace (the White Palace) and mausoleums devoted to the medieval feudals & Sufi leader in the Timurids epoch, returning to Samarkand in the late afternoon.

Departures & Prices

per person in a twin room
Turkish Airlines from Heathrow

September
September 7 (Saturday)
Price Includes:

Air travel and taxes, transfers, 24 nights' accommodation, breakfast daily, 22 lunches and 24 dinners, itinerary as described, services of a UK Tour Manager and expert local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included:

Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

Supplements per person

Single Supplement
  • 2024: Sep 07
  • £1945
  • 2025: May 03
  • £1975
  • 2025: Sep 06
  • £1845
Flight Options
  • Turkish Airlines Business class
  • On request, please call
  • Regional UK airports available
  • On request, please call
Optional Excursions
  • Shakhrisabz Optional Excursion (2024, 2025)
  • £65
Tour Only
  • Save
  • £1050
Extension Options
  • Istanbul Extension (3 nights)
  • £850
  • Single Supplement
  • £350

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