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The Legendary Silk Road by Private Train

Tuesday 11 April 2017

14-day tour from Ashgabat to Almaty covering Ashgabat, Merv, Bukhara, Khiva, Samarqand, Shakhrisabz, Tashkent, Turkestan, Almaty.

This journey makes you familiar with the manifold cultures along the legendary Silk Road and numerous localities that made history, among them no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Tien Shan Mountains, the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are richly endowed with history and culture, a flavour of which you will sample on this exciting journey by Private Train.


Itinerary

  • Day 01
    11 April 2017
  • Day 02
    12 April 2017
  • Day 03
    13 April 2017
  • Day 04
    14 April 2017
  • Day 05
    15 April 2017
  • Day 06
    16 April 2017
  • Day 07
    17 April 2017
  • Day 08
    18 April 2017
  • Day 09
    19 April 2017
  • Day 10
    20 April 2017
  • Day 11
    21 April 2017
  • Day 12
    22 April 2017
  • Day 13
    23 April 2017
  • Day 14
    24 April 2017
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Day 01

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Arrival in Turkmenistan
You arrive in Ashgabat and are transferred to a centrally located hotel.

Overnight: Hotel Ashgabat (or similar)

Day 02

Wednesday 12 April 2017

The Capital City Ashgabat and the Former Imperial City of Nisa
In the morning, you visit the bustling Tokuchka Bazaar, a typical oriental market and one of Central Asia’s largest. You then travel to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa. In the afternoon you go on a guided tour of the NationalMuseum in Ashgabat where artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa are on exhibit. After lunch you undertake a brief tour of Ashgabat, whose distinctive appearance is characteristic of Turkmenbashi, the self-proclaimed “great leader of all Turkmen”. Hollywood-style settings throughout this city flush with new-found oil wealth can be impressive, but sometimes also cause a chuckle. You dine aboard your train, which departs later in the evening.
Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D).

 

Day 03

Thursday 13 April 2017

Merv, the Pearl of the East
Your private train arrives early in the morning at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Merv, the remnants of what was once one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cities. The initial impression is of disbelief: gigantic walls and ramparts simply standing in the middle of the desert next to the imposing ruins of ancient buildings, such as the Tomb of the Sultan Sanjar, the Maidens’ Castle (Kyz Kala), the historical ice-houses, and other tombs. Lunch is eaten with a local family in the picturesque courtyard of their home.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 04

Friday 14 April 2017

The City with a Desert Lighthouse
The city of Bukhara, located in the middle of the KyzylkumDesert, has some one thousand architectural monuments recalling the golden age of the Great Silk Route. Exotic spices, furs, and especially silk were stored and traded in the city’s caravanserais. In Bukhara’s OldTown (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage), you see the almost fifty-metre tall Kalyan Minaret and the Lyab-I Hauz Ensemble by the pond, among other sights. In a madrassa courtyard you watch a performance of local dances, and a presentation of colourful national costumes with musical accompaniment.
Overnight: Hotel Asia Bukhara (or similar). (BLD)

Day 05

Saturday 15 April 2017

Bukhara, the Noble One
Bukhara, which also bears the by-name Sherif (the noble one), has preserved its ancient oriental countenance in its extensive, unparalleled collection of authentic architecture. During the morning, we drive you to the splendid Mir-e-Arab Madrassa and the Samanid Mausoleum, one of Central Asia’s most beautiful structures. Afterwards you tour the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city that was once the seat of government of Bukhara’s former rulers. There you view the Throne Room, after which you go to the last emir’s Summer Residence. Your stay is completed with a visit to the world’s only women’s mosque, at a Sufi complex and pilgrimage centre about fifteen kilometres outside of the city.
Overnight: Hotel Asia Bukhara (or similar). (BLD)

Day 06

Sunday 16 April 2017

Bukhara
The morning is yours to spend as you please. Your train leaves for Khiva, Uzbekistan around noon.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 07

Monday 17 April 2017

Khiva, a Tale from 1001 Nights in Stone
After breakfast, your train will have arrived at the southern extent of the 
Zhetysu (seven rivers) landscape, at the oasis of Khiva. Standing at the mighty town wall with its gates and bastions of mud brick, you feel transported into another world. Life still pulses around the base of the Kalta Minor Minaret, just as it did in former times. Your tour allows you to take in the atmosphere and sights of the oasis. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums, and madrassas (Muslim religious schools) represent some of the best-preserved examples of oriental town architecture from medieval times. You enjoy lunch in the former emir’s Summer Palace. Your private train leaves for Samarqand in the evening.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 08

Tuesday 18 April 2017

 Samarqand, Crossroad of Cultures
Today is spent visiting the sights of this famous historic city, which during the rule of Timur was considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious city. The Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde (the living Shah), the excavation sites at Afrosiab (with a museum tour), and Registan Square are certainly among the most notable architectural ensembles in Central Asia. It is also historically important as the site where many Uzbek women burned their veils (paranjas) in 1917, to mark their arrival in a new era.
Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar). (BLD)

Day 09

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Samarqand, the Magnificent
Your day in this fascinating city includes a tour of a silk carpet manufactory, a visit to an Uzbek craftsman’s family to see paper being made from mulberry bark, stops at the Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque, and viewing the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum.
Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar). (BLD)

Day 10

Thursday 20 April 2017

On the Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz and the Nearby Mountains
Today you enjoy an excursion to the surrounding mountain region, where fire worship and shamanism are still practiced in the form of rituals and myths seldom found elsewhere. A traditional ceremony offers you firsthand insight into the region’s unique folklore and you have the chance to experience the daily life of the local residents. Aboard your train, you then continue along the Great Silk Road to Timur’s birthplace, the green city of Shakhrisabz (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site). Here you will see monumental architecture of the Mongol ruler’s GreatPalace from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the evening you depart to Tashkent on your private train. On board you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 11

Friday 21 April 2017

Tashkent, the Green Oasis
In the morning your private train arrives in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Your sightseeing tour of the city offers a closer glimpse of this green oasis in the steppe. You see the Madrassa Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments, and the typical Kazakh mud brick houses. In the evening you attend Tashkent’s famous Navoi Opera or a concert in the Tashkent Philharmonic Hall (programme permitting). Afterwards your train departs for Kazakhstan.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 12

Saturday 22 April 2017

Turkestan, Centre of Nomad Pilgrimage
Border formalities at the Kazakhstan border are completed in the comfort of your compartment and you arrive before noon in the city of Turkestan. You visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the most significant examples Timurid architecture. Afterwards you continue on towards Almaty aboard your private train.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

 

Day 13

Sunday 23 April 2017

Almaty, Father of the Apple
Your train arrives in Almaty after lunch. A sightseeing tour of the city offers you an impression of this green metropolitan city at the foot of the mighty Ile AlatauMountains. You see the imposing Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral built entirely of wood, the WeddingPalace, the Almaty Circus, and the Central Mosque. That evening you are served a tasty dinner in a traditional Kazakh yurt.

Overnight/day room (depending on time of departure flight): Rahat Palace (or similar). (BLD)

Day 14

Monday 24 April 2017

Return Home
Today you will fly home, at the end of a very special journey.

Train Journey Highlights

  • Comfortable private train
  • Visit 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites ( Nisa, Merv, Itchan Kala Khiva, Bukhara, Samarqand, Shakhisabz, Turkestan)
  • UlugBek observatory
  • Karakum and Kysilkum deserts
  • Excavations of ancient Afrosiyob town
  • The making of traditional art objects: silk and carpets
  • Lunch in a typical Uzbek house

 

Hotels planned: 

  • Ashgabat: 1 night – Hotel Ashgabat
  • Buchara: 2 nights – Asia Bukhara
  • Samarqand: 2 nights – Registan Plaza
  • Almaty: 1 night – Rahat Palace

 

Tour prices include:

  • 7 overnights on the Private Train according to the booked category
  • 6 overnights in hotels
  • All meals according to program (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • Sightseeing program including all entrance fees according program
  • Guided transfers to and from all airports and train stations according to program
  • Multi-lingual tour guide
  • Experienced local guides for a maximum of 26 guests per group
  • Doctor on board
  • Traditional welcome in the train stations of Bukhara, and Samarqand
  • Lunch/dinner with an Uzbek and a Turkmen family as well as in a Madrasah with folklore
  • Wine and Vodka tasting
  • Log book with information about the Silk Road

 

Travel documents and vaccinations

  • Passport and visas required
  • No vaccinations are prescribed

 

Not included:

  • Visa fees
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses

 

We regret that due to the intricate logistics of this tour, itinerary changes are sometimes unavoidable. Minimum tour participants: 60

Interested in the tour?

Send us an enquiry and we will be happy to help you with details of this tour!

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