Overview

Almaty - 1 night
Train - 4 nights
Samarkand- 2 nights
Train - 2 nights
Bukhara - 1 night
Train - 1 night
Ashgabat - 2 nights

SILK ROAD EXPRESS

Retrace the remarkable trading routes of ancient civilisations along the legendary Silk Road by private train

Following in the footsteps of explorers, traders and tyrants, from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. No other road or trail in history stirs the imagination as much, with its evocative mystery, as the legendary Silk Road. The most important ancient network of trading routes between China and Europe connected continents, peoples and their cultures. Proving relatively inaccessible to the modern visitor until fairly recently, this rail journey provides the opportunity to focus on this historic and bustling route that has so much to interest and entice the intrepid traveller.
Journey through the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, from Samarkand to ancient Merv and the legendary high passes of the Tian Shan Mountains. This rail journey is a true voyage of discovery, encountering the manifold cultures along the legendary Silk Road. Traverse stunning desert and mountain scenery and discover incredible architecture, with no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites en-route. Combining hotel stays with train nights, travel in comfort and discover the hidden treasures of Central Asia

Key Features

Cultural Tour
Rail Journey by Private Train
7 UNESCO Heritage Sites
All Meals Included
UK Tour Manager
Group Size: 15 – 25

 

Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow via Frankfurt to Almaty, ‘city of apple trees’ situated at the foot of the mighty Tian Shan Mountains. Transfer to the 4-star Rahat Palace Hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 2 Explore Almaty, visit the imposing Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Wedding Palace, the Almaty Circus and Central Mosque. Enjoy lunch in a traditional Kazakh yurt. Depart aboard your private train to Turkestan. Overnight on board. (B, L, D).

Day 3  Arrive in Turkestan, centre of nomad pilgrimage. Visit the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, a most significant example of Timurid architecture. Continue towards the Kazakh-Uzbek border and Tashkent. (B, L, D)

Day 4  In Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, explore Madrasa Kukeldash, Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments and typical Kazakh mud brick houses. Experience the lush green oasis of the steppe. Attend a local concert before departing on the Silk Road trail. (B, L, D).

Day 5 Travel through mountainous territory where Greek heritage and the cultural influences of Bactrians and Kushan Empires remain, where fire worship and shamanism are still practiced. Trade caravans once travelled these narrow mountain gorges, the armies of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Timur also passed by. A traditional ceremony offers you insight into the region’s unique folklore. Continue to the green city of Shakhrisabz, birth place of Timur. Visit the monumental architecture of the Mongol palace. In the evening depart for Samarkand and sample local Uzbek wines. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Arrive in the city of Samarkand, considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious city under Timur. Visit Registan, the medieval central square, among Central Asia’s most notable architectural ensembles, and the excavation sites at Afrasiyab. Stay of 2 nights at the 4-star Registan Plaza. (B, L, D) 

Day 7 At this cultural crossroads visit Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of Bibi Khanum Mosque. View the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum and a silk carpet factory. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Morning at leisure until we depart by train for the oasis town of Khiva. (B, L, D)

Day 9  Explore the city of Khiva on foot, founded some 2,500 years ago, it is a true living museum, experience the atmosphere of this beautifully preserved city with lunch in a former emir’s Summer Palace. (B, L, D)

Day 10 In the Kyzylkum Desert, Bukhara has over a thousand architectural monuments from the golden age of the Silk Route. Visit the Old Town, see Kalyan Minaret and LyabiKhauz Square. Later, enjoy a performance of local dances. Transfer to the 4-star Hotel Asia Bukhara for an overnight stay. (B, L, D) 

Day 11 Visit Mir-e-Arab Madrasa and the Samanid Mausoleum. Explore the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city, formerly the seat of government for Bukhara. (B, L, D) 

Day 12 Arrive at the site of Mary (Merv), ‘Ancient Pearl of the East,’ once a magnificent city. Gigantic walls and ramparts stand in the desert with ancient ruins and tombs. Lunch with a local family. Overnight at the 4-star Grand Turkmen Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Visit the site of the ancient Parthian, city of Nisa, the city museum and market, explore the modern capital of Turkmenistan. Hotel rooms held until departure. (B, L, D)

Day 14  Early departure for the return flight, via Frankfurt, to London

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner
 

Notes

Whilst the train carries more, the group size specified refers to transfers and excursion arrangements for the Jules Verne group. Excursions are on foot and may be over uneven ground and inclines. Hotels indicated may on occasion be changed to one of a similar standard.

2019

Thursdays
per person in a twin room/Ali Baba Compartment
Lufthansa from Heathrow

Date Price
March 28 £5295
October 3 £5495

2020

Thursdays
per person in a twin room/Ali Baba Compartment
Lufthansa from Heathrow

Date Price
April 2 £5395
October 8 £5695

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £1295

Train Upgrades

Aladdin Compartment £595
Double for Sole Use £2190 
Sultan Compartment £3695
Double for Sole Use £7385
Kalif Compartment £3995
Double for Sole Use £7785

Flight Options

Lufthansa Business Class from £1375

Independent Arrival

Save £500
Arrival transfer add £30
Departure transfer add £30

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 13 nights’ hotel and train accommodation, breakfast daily, 12 lunches and 12 dinners, itinerary as described, UK Tour Manager, services of guides and local 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, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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Silk Road Express

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