World Heritage Tours - World Heritage Tours - Tours in the Middle East, Tours in South America, Tours in Indochina, Tours in Africa,  African Safaris

World Heritage Tours - World Heritage Tours - Tours in the Middle East, Tours in South America, Tours in Indochina, Tours in Africa,  African Safaris



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ROUTE OF THE CARAVANS: THE SILK ROAD
A World Heritage Sites Tour of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan
Central Asia is the “Land of the Caravans”. The Silk Road Caravan routes influenced the local cultures, as the routes of communication and trade opened previously isolated societies. Our Route of the Caravans tour cover the five “-stan”, a Persian suffix meaning "home of", "place of". The region is famous not only famous for its many branches of the Silk Road, but also as the birthplace of great builders of empires, such as Tamerlane of the Timurids and Babur, founder of the Moghul Empire


Tour Summary
Map
Day
Place
01
Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
02 Ashgabat
03
Ashgabat/Mary/Ashgabat
04
Ashgabat/Dashoguz/Kunya Urgench/Nukus (UZBEKISTAN)
05
Nukus/Khiva
06
Khiva
07
Khiva/Bukhara
08
Bukhara
09 Bukhara/Samarkand
10 Samarkand
11 Samarkand/Tashkent
12 Tashkent
13 Tashkent/Khujand (TAJIKISTAN)
14 Khujand/Dushanbe
15 Dushanbe/Almaty (KAZAKHSTAN)
16 Almaty/Bishkek (KYRGYZSTAN)
17 Bishkek/Ala-Archa/Bishkek
18 Bishkek/Depart

 


UNESCO World Heritage Sites Visited
This tour has been tailored to include the following World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites covered on this tour
Historic Centre of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz¸ Uzbekistan
Itchan Kala¸ Uzbekistan
Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenistan
Parthian Fortresses of Nisa, Turkmenistan
Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures, Uzbekistan
State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv”, Turkmenistan
Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
This evening you are scheduled to arrive Ashgabat.  Once clearing through Customs & Immigration, you will be met by our local representative for a transfer to your hotel.
Overnight: Nusay Hotel (3 nights)

Day 02: Ashgabat
Start a city tour of Ashgabat/capital of Turkmenistan, which has experienced boom of “Marble Architecture” for the past 15 years. Explore archeological site of Old Nissa (UNESCO World Heritage) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. Visit the National Museum of History, and continue to Arch of Neutrality. In the afternoon, drive to “Bedev” hippodrome stables to see Akhalteke horses/pride of Turkmen nation. Continue the tour with visits to Presidential Square, Ertogrul Ghazy Mosque, and the newly built Independence Park. (B, D)

Day 03: Ashgabat/Mary/Ashgabat
Take a morning flight to Mary (370 km, 40 min).  Arrive in Mary, drive to National Park “Ancient Merv” (40 km, 30 min). Ancient Merv was a major center of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road. Visit Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortress, and others. Merv blossomed during the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids and later under the Parthian, Sasanian, Arab, and Seljuk Turk rule. Return to Mary for a return flight to Ashgabat (370 km, 40 min). Upon arrival transfer to hotel. (B, D)

Day 04: Ashgabat/Dashoguz/Kunya Urgench/Nukus (UZBEKISTAN)
Transfer to airport for flight to Dashoguz (580 km, 50 min). Drive to Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point Khojeyli. Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your driver and continue to Nukus (20 km, 30 min).
Overnight: Jipek Joli Hotel (1 night) (B, D)

Day 05: Nukus/Khiva
Visit the Savitsky Karakalpakstan Art Museum. The museum hosts the world's second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art and exposition of Karakalpak applied arts items. Have a short drive around center of Nukus: see statue of Karakalpak poet Berdakh, Nukus City Hall, and Drama Theatre.  In the afternoon, depart to Khiva (200 km, 5 hr). On the way visit archaeological monuments of ancient Khorezm: Shylpyk-Kala/a Zoroastrian dakhma, and Toprak-Kala/the capital of Khorezm dating back to the 3rd century A.D.
Overnight: Asia Khiva Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 06: Khiva
Spend a day in UNESCO World Heritage site Ichan-Kala Fortress. Visit Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Toshkhovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islom Khodja. Free time in the afternoon. (B, D)

Day 07: Khiva/Bukhara
In the morning, depart Khiva and drive to Bukhara (480 km, 8 hr). The Great Silk Road once routed through Bukhara and Khiva ran through the Kyzylkum Desert, as the present road does nowadays. Stop en-route to enjoy views of Amudarya River and the desert. Arrive in Bukhara late in the afternoon, check in to hotel. In the evening, enjoy folklore show at Kukaldash madrasa.
Overnight: Devon Begi Hotel (2 nights) (B, BL, D)

Day 08: Bukhara
Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. Visit Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums. (B, D)

Day 09: Bukhara/Samarkand
Morning drive out of the city to Sitorai-Mokhikhosa/summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir. Head to Mausoleum of Bakhoutdin Naqshbandi and Chor Bakr Necropolis. In the afternoon, depart to Samarkand (280 km, 4 hr). Stop on the way at Caravanserai Rabat Malik dating back to 11th century. Arrive in Samarkand late in the afternoon.
Overnight: Grand Samarkand (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Samarkand
Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur Emir Mausoleum/authentic shrine of Tamerlane. (B, D)

Day 11: Samarkand/Tashkent
Continue sightseeing: visit Afrosiyob Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Koni Ghil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry.   At 1600 hrs, transfer to railway station. Take the fast-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent at 1700 hrs (300 km). Scheduled arrival time is 1910 hrs. Pick-up and transfer to hotel.
Overnight: Ramada Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 12: Tashkent
Meet your guide to start sightseeing of the capital, the largest city in Central Asia. Visit Old City part of Tashkent with Khast-Imom Complex where the world famous Quran of Caliph Uthman/Ottoman has been preserved. In Khast-Imom visit Madrasah of Barak-Khan, Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Mausoleum of the Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari. Explore Chor-Su Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to city center with Amir Temur Square, Independence Square and Applied Arts Museum. (B, D)

Day 13: Tashkent/Khujand (TAJIKISTAN)
In the morning, transfer to Uzbekistan-Tajikistan border point Oybek (100 km, 2 hr). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Meet Tajikistan driver and drive to Khujand to visit Republican Historical-Ethnographic Museum, Timur Malik Fortress, Archeological Museum, Mosque and Madrasah of Sheikh Muslehiddin, Panjshanbe Bazaar.
Overnight: Khujand Hotel (1 night) (B, D)

Day 14: Khujand/Dushanbe
In the morning, drive to Dushanbe (270 km, 5 hr). The mountain road goes via picturesque Anzob pass (3300 m above sea level). In Dushanbe, start a city tour with visit to the National Museum of Tajikistan, Gurminj Musical Instruments Museum, Statue of Ismail Samani and Rudaki Park.
Overnight: Serena Hotel (1 night (B, D)

Day 15: Dushanbe/Almaty (KAZAKHSTAN)
At 0930 hr, transfer to the airport for flight with estimate noon arrival time to Almaty noon (flight time 1:45 hr).  Arrival in Almaty, transfer to hotel.
Overnight: Otrar Hotel (1 night) (B, D)

Day 16: Almaty/Bishkek (KYRGYZSTAN)
Morning sightseeing tour in Almaty. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, St.Nicholas Cathedral, and Green Bazaar. Enjoy panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill, visit Medeo Gorge. In the afternoon, depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek via a newly built highway, enjoy nature landscapes on the way (250 km, 4 hr). Cross Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border. Arrive in Bishkek, check in to hotel.
Overnight: Ak-Keme Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 17: Bishkek/Ala-Archa/Bishkek
After breakfast transfer to the Ala-Archa National Park (40 km, 1 hr) which attracts visitors with its beautiful mountain scenery and hiking trails. Fast flowing Ala-Archa River runs through the alpine gorge surrounded by snowy peaks with steep forested slopes. Enjoy free time or a hike in the park.  In the afternoon, return to Bishkek for city tour. Visit Oak Park, Ala-Too Square, Statue of Manas. See Philharmonic Hall and Victory Monument/bright examples of Soviet architecture. (B, D)

Day 18: Bishkek/Depart
Check-out by 1100 hrs. Transfer to the International Airport for your flight out. (B)

B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

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Departure Dates

2017
Apr 05, May 10*, July 05, Sep 06 & Oct 04*
*On selected dates 20% off for the 2nd person when booked together


Prices
Departures Tour Price US$ Single Sup US$
2017 5680 1080
Tour Price Includes Tour Price Does Not Include:
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 33 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transportation
  • Services of local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary


Any airfares (within tour itinerary Ashgabat/Mary/Ashgabat/Dashoguz-Urgench/Bukhara-Tashkent/Almaty approx US$ 625)
Insurance/visas
• Tips/gratuities to drivers & guides

Domestic / Regional Airfare NOT INCLUDED in Tour Price
Ashgabat / Tashauz and Tashkent / Bishkek.

Estimated International Airfare (not included in tour price)
East Coast US $ 2000
West Coast US $ 2400
Please note: This tour operates with a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 12 participants.

Other Dates / Customized Itinerary / Languages
In addition to our set programs we are also pleased to offer customized tours.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Customized tours can be conducted in English, French, German, Spanish or Italian. Each departure is conducted in the designated language only.

Contact Information
Bestway Tours & Safaris
Fax: +1-604-264-7774
206–8678 Greenall Ave Phone: +1-604-264-7378
Burnaby B.C., Canada Toll Free (US & Canada): 1-800-663-0844
V5J 3M6 Email: bestway@bestway.com
33 years in small group journeys

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photographs © Peter Langer
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