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The Legendary Silk Road From Ashgabat

Ashgabat ► Merv ► Bukhara ► Khiva ► Shakhrisabz ► Samarkand ► Tashkent ► Turkistan ► Almaty

13 nights from UK £ 3,030 per person

Price based on 2 people sharing a Habibi Class cabin. These prices are based on 2020 rates. See below for full pricing.
Please note that this is group tour with fixed date departures (see full pricing and dates further down this page). We can also book your international flights if required.

► Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime Central Asian adventure, featuring 7 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
► Relax in the comfort of your own private train, in a region usually limited to long, uncomfortable bus rides.
► Get insights into local way of life: a traditional folk performance, lunch with an Uzbek family.
► Have lunch in the king’s former Summer Palace.
► Discover the winding streets and market life of Khiva and Bukhara.
► Marvel at enchanting backstreets, immense city gates, glittering domes, and ancient city walls.
► Bask in the desert sun in Registan Square, the most beautiful square in Central Asia.

Route Map

tsars legendary silk road map

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Ashgabat

Start Your Trip in the Capital of Turkmenistan

On you first day in Central Asia, you arrive where the mountains meet the desert, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s extraordinary capital city. You take the airport shuttle along newly-built, modern boulevards, past golden domes and marble monoliths to your hotel.

Once you arrive, you make yourself comfortable, getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

Meals Included: Dinner.

Day 2 - Ashgabat

Visit a Central Asian Market & the Ruins of Nisa

Amid the early morning bustle, you dive into the vast, dizzying delights of a typical Central Asian market. Scents mingle: rugs, piled spices, sheepskin, sizzling street food. Soon you leave the day’s deals behind and head to the ruins of the ancient city of Nisa, followed by a visit to the Ashgabat National Museum of History. After lunch, you continue to explore Ashgabat, its new marble buildings a gleaming display of the city’s oil wealth.

In the evening, you board your private train and find your luggage ready and waiting in your personal compartment. You unpack and relax, then head for the dining car.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 3 - Merv

Visit the Ancient Ruins of Merv & a Local Family

At daybreak, your private train draws into the ancient oasis of Merv. In the twelfth century, this was one of the largest cities in the world. Nourished by the Silk Road, its fame crossed continents.

On your city tour, you are surrounded by magnificent ruins that rise up from the desert sand, crumbling arches framing a bright blue sky. You walk among the relics of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which include the gigantic Tomb of Ahmed Sanjar, the Maiden’s Fortress and the so-called ice houses of Merv.

Later, a local family invites you to lunch in the courtyard of their home. Next stop: Bukhara.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4 - Bukhara

The Architectural Treat of Uzbekistan

Beneath the imposing yellow brickwork of the Kalyan minaret, you gaze at the magnificent city gates on either side of the courtyard, each a powerful mix of intricate tile work and grand design.

This is only a first glimpse of the Bukhara Historical Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a city-museum filled with a thousand monuments, each a testament to the glory days of caravan trade. At the Lyab-i Hauz complex, you discover the 500-year-old architectural ingenuity that makes it possible to have a pond in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert.

You learn about the Sufi Nasreddin, watch local dances, and listen to stirring Uzbek music.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 5 - Bukhara

Continue to Explore This Quintessential Silk Road City

Today, you spend another beautiful day exploring the infinitely rich Bukhara. After taking in the sumptuous tile designs of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa, you move on to the gorgeous geometry of the Samanid Mausoleum, one of the most highly regarded buildings in Central Asia.

Later you discover the 1,500-year-old Ark of Bukhara, a fortress built around the fifth century. Standing on its immense rampart, you take a gaze over Bukhara, glistening turquoise and gold in the afternoon light.

Rejoin the train this evening.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 6 - Bukhara to Khiva

Free Time in Bukhara Before Continuing Towards Khiva

Today, you enjoy your final morning exploring the winding, romantic streets of Bukhara. After you say goodbye to this spectacular city, you board your private train for Khiva.

Stunning landscapes pass by your window – wide steppes, blue sky, and distant mountains – the same natural beauty that inspired the ancients who came before you.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 7 - Khiva

Visit This Legendary Desert City

After a delicious breakfast, you set out with your tour guide to explore Khiva, an ancient city filled with historic monuments. Beneath the vivid blue-glazed bands of the Kalta Minor minaret, you stroll through the city’s winding streets on a dreamlike tour of palaces, mosques, mausoleums and madrasas.

Marvel at its mix of ancient and modern sights, vibrant and thriving – a living museum. Later, you have lunch in the king’s former Summer Palace.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 8 - Samarkand

Explore This Crossroad of Culture – a Highlight of Uzbekistan

In Samarkand – one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities – wealth, conquest and religion are intertwined. As you become acquainted with the splendors of this ancient city, you learn that it was considered the most beautiful in the world in the time of Timur.

Today, it’s impossible to suppress your sense of wonder as you stand among the ornate marble buildings of Registan Square. The exquisite glazed tiles of the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis give you the same feeling.

During a visit to the Afrasiyab excavation site, your tour guide discusses the origins of this astonishing city.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 9 - Samarkand

Visit More of the City’s Historical & Cultural Treats

Today is another day to soak up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Samarkand. You delve into its Islamic past and sift through the riches you find there. You watch in amazement as Uzbek craftsmen skillfully weave silk into carpets and press paper from mulberry bark.

Later, you gaze into the the magnificent past with visits to the Ulugh Beg Observatory, the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, and the impressive Gur-e Amir mausoleum.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 10 - Shakhrisabz

Journey Through the History of Central Asia

Under wide blue skies, you explore Shahrisabz, home to yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Timur – the fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror – filled the city with immense monuments to his success.

Today, his palaces surround you in the bustling market of the city, crumbling reminders of a once great empire. Later, you watch a traditional folk performance and meet some locals in a small village. Before nightfall, your private train departs for Tashkent.

On board, you join your fellow travelers for an Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 11 - Tashkent

Explore the Capital of Uzbekistan

Your private train rolls into Tashkent, a city studded with monuments that hark back to the Silk Road. You experience the lush, green oasis of the steppe and tour its caravanserais, fortresses and madrasah – history in earthen brick and turquoise tile.

As evening arrives, you depart and travel the Silk Road trail to Kazakhstan.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 12 - Turkistan

Train Across the Steppe & Visit Turkistan

As you eat breakfast, the glorious steppe unfolds outside the window to the steady beat of the railroad moving along the tracks.

Soon you arrive in Turkistan, and stand before the magnificent Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, the vast, brightly tiled testament to power and beauty that UNESCO have made a World Heritage site and the Kazakhs revere as their national icon.

It’s your last night on the train and your last dinner in the dining car. You bid a fond farewell to the staff as you roll on towards Almaty.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 13 - Almaty

Explore the City Known as “the Father of the Apple”

Standing beneath the brilliantly colored patterns on the Ascension Cathedral, you gaze up at one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. It’s been a day of discovery, strolling through Kazakhstan’s capital of avenues and cafes, framed by the foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range.

You see the circus, the wedding palace and the central mosque, and, in the evening eat a farewell dinner in a yurt restaurant.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 14 - Depart Almaty

Your Journey With Us Ends or You Can Choose to Add on Trip Extensions With Us

After breakfast free time until a transfer to the airport for your flight out of Kazakstan leaving the wide blue skies, the open steppe, and epic monuments behind you, laden with unparalleled memories of the Silk Road.

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Spring 2020 Dates & Prices

Starts Ashgabat 14th April 2020 and Finishes Almaty 27th April 2020

CATEGORY KALIF

£ 8,570 per person or £ 12,730 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY SULTAN

£ 8,290 per person or £ 12,330 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY ALADDIN

£ 5,070 per person or £ 6,860 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY ALI BABA

£ 4,490 per person or £ 5,930 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY HABIBI

£ 3,030 per person based on 4 people sharing a cabin. If there are 3 people in a 4 berth cabin then the price is £ 3,770 per person. Single supplement for hotels only is £ 400 per person.

Autumn 2020 Dates & Prices

Starts Ashgabat 20th October 2020 and Finishes Almaty 2nd November 2020

CATEGORY KALIF

£ 9,010 per person or £ 13,290 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY SULTAN

£ 8,720 per person or £ 12,880 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY ALADDIN

£ 5,410 per person or £ 7,200 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY ALI BABA

£ 4,820 per person or £ 6,290 for single occupancy of cabin & hotels

CATEGORY HABIBI

£ 3,300 per person based on 4 people sharing a cabin. If there are 3 people in a 4 berth cabin then the price is £ 4,070 per person. Single supplement for hotels only is £ 420 per person.

Inclusions & Exclusions For This Trip

What is included?

7 nights on an your private train

6 nights in first-class hotels

English-speaking guide throughout journey

Doctor on board

All excursions and sights according to itinerary, including entry fees

All transport and bus tours according to itinerary

All meals according to itinerary

Porters and luggage service at all railroad stations

Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected.

Fun and informative talks about local lands, people and culture

A booklet on the region and the train itself for each reserved compartment

What is not included?

International flights – we can book these for you if you wish.

Visas – we provide the paperwork and can recommend visa agents to help with applications.

Travel Insurance (every passenger is obliged to have medical insurance for the whole duration of the Tour) – we recommend ABTASure (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

All beverages in bar car.

Vaccinations: Consult your doctor for specific health advice.

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