Silk Road Tour

34 days / 33 nights

Tour Highlights

  • Experience Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tajik, Turkmen and Russian cultures

  • Reveal the secrets of the Caucasus – a hidden land, from Baku to Tbilisi and Yerevan to dramatic Caucasus Mountains and Silk Road sites frozen in time.

  • Experience the uncommon Caucasian hospitality at its best, visit wineries, sample Armenian cuisine and Georgian polyphonic singing

  • Walk through the Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva

  • Explore Yerevan, the most dynamic capital in the Caucasus.

  • Travel along the famed Georgian Military Highway to the Caucasus Mountains

  • Explore the cave monastery of Vardzia

  • Visit Zoroastrian Fire Temples and 6000-year old Stone and Iron Age Petroglyphs

  • Enjoy one of Asia’s largest bazaars

  • Visit  UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Ride the world’s longest aerial tramway taking to Tatev Monastery

  • Marvel at the beauty of the biblical Mount Ararat, where the Noah’s ark landed after the Great Flood

Rates & Departures

Please contact us to get your quote

Guaranteed Departures

Group #1: Sep 1,2021

Group #2: Sep 1,2022

What's Included

Inlculded

  • Accommodation at 4* hotels in DBL/Twin rooms (33 nights)

  • Transportation with a comfortable cars with AC

  • English speaking tour guides

  • Daily Breakfast at the hotel

  • Entrance fees to all visited places

  • Armenian bread Lavash making in a local house in Garni village

  • Wine tasting in Areni village

  • Full board meal plan (Lunches and dinners during the tours)

  • Airport transfers

  • Internal air flight from Ashgabat to Mary

  • Internal air flight from Osh to Bishkek

  • Railway transfer from Tashkent to Kokand (modern carriages,normal speed, seated places)

  • Visa invitation to Turkmenistan, including Letter of Invitation, State Registration and Travel Pass (obligatory for all foreigners).

  • Local taxes

Not included

  • Flights

  • Meals on the arrival and departure days

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas to Armenia & Georgia (if required)

  • Visa to Azerbaijan

  • Visa invitations to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan – (if necessary);  

  • Visa fees to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan (if necessary)

  • Single room supplement

  • Bank transfer fees

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival in Ashgabat early in the morning. Meet at the airport and further group transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and rest.

After breakfast meet the local guide. Today we make a day trip to Nohur village, located in Kopetdag Mountains – here we visit tribal cemetery and pilgrim site; get acquainted with the local craftsmen, specializing in silk weaving. En route to Nohur village – visit Turkmenbashi mosque-

mausoleum and Kow-Ata underground lake. Return to Ashgabat in the evening.

Overnight in Ashgabat

After breakfast start of the half-day sightseeing tour around the city. Visit National Museum of Turkmenistan, Nissa ancient fortress (UNESCO Heritage site), Independence Park and Neutrality Arch.

After lunch transfer to the most unique site in Central Asia – Darwaza burning gas crater. Arrival in Darwaza before sunset. Enjoy barbeque dinner near the burning gas crater; watch and make photos of the crater during the nighttime. Return to Ashgabat (slow driving after dark). Arrival at the hotel before or just after midnight.

Overnight in Ashgabat

After breakfast meet the guide and further transfer to the airport; flight to Mary.

Upon arrival – transfer to visit the ancient city of Merv, which is also included into the list UNESCO Heritage Sites. Exploring the region.

Further transfer to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities. Meet Uzbek team of guide and driver and further transfer to Bukhara.

Overnight in Bukhara

After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah. After lunch visit Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade.

Overnight in Bukhara

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Samarkand which will take around 5 hours. On arrival – start of the sightseeing tour in Samarkand. Visit the main pride of the city – Registan Square, most famous square in Central Asia (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah); and Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, Tamerlane’s final resting place.

Overnight in Samarkand

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide; continuation of the city tour in Samarkand. Visit Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. After lunch visit Afrosiab museum and settlement, Saint Daniel’s tomb and Silk paper workshop.

Overnight in Samarkand

After early breakfast we take a day trip to Tajikistan – the important part of ancient Sogdiana.

In the morning – transfer to the land border with Tajikistan. Border formalities. Meet Tajik guide and driver and drive to the region of Seven Lakes. The Seven Lakes are located in the west of Fann mountains; each of them has its own color. At the last of Seven Lakes – Khozorchashma Lake we enjoy a picnic. After lunch drive to Penjikent. Sightseeing in Penjikent includes visiting of the following sites: Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Further visit ancient Penjikent which was a major Sogdian city and was destroyed by Arab conqueror.

By the evening – return to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Samarkand

Breakfast at the hotel. Road transfer to Tashkent. On arrival – start exploring the capital city of Uzbekistan. Visit Minor white Mosque, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and Tashkent metro. Accommodation at the hotel in the evening.

Overnight in Tashkent

After early breakfast transfer to the railway station for further transfer to Kokand by train (modern carriages, normal speed, seated places).

On arrival in Kokand – one of the ancient cities of Fergana valley, start the city tour. Visit Palace of Khudayar Khan, Mausoleum of Modari Khan, Juma Mosque.  After lunch transfer to the land border with Kyrgyzstan. Border formalities. Meet Kyrgyz team of guide and driver and further transfer to Osh.

Overnight in Osh.

After breakfast meet the guide and start the city tour in Osh. Visit Suleiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. On the mount visit to a historical museum, located in the main cave. After that walk up the hill and watch a little mosque of Babur, The Great Mogols Dynasty founder, and take a bird eye’s view of the city.

After lunch transfer to the airport and flight to Bishkek. On arrival – short sightseeing tour and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel in Bishkek.

After breakfast meet the guide and start the city tour in Osh. Visit Suleiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. On the mount visit to a historical museum, located in the main cave. After that walk up the hill and watch a little mosque of Babur, The Great Mogols Dynasty founder, and take a bird eye’s view of the city.

After lunch transfer to the airport and flight to Bishkek. On arrival – short sightseeing tour and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel in Bishkek.

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide and driver and drive to the second largest alpine lake in the world – Issyk-Kul Lake. On the way visit the ruins of the ancient city Balasagyn and Burana tower. Upon arrival accommodation at the hotel and rest.

Overnight in Issyk-Kul 

Breakfast at the hotel. Start driving to Karakol. On the route visit the museum of Petroglyph’s in Cholpon-Ata and museum of the famous Russian explorer of Central Asia N.M. Prjevalsky. Upon arrival city tour in Karakol. Visit a Dungan mosque(19century), a unique construction built in Chinese style with no nails used. Also, see the wooden Russian Orthodox Cathedral of The Holy Trinity built at the end of the 19th century.  Walk around the central bazaar to feel the real life of the city.

Overnight in Karakol

Early breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Karakol at 08:00. Transfer to the land border with Kazakhstan. Border formalities. Further transfer to Almaty. En route visit spectacular Charyn Canyon. The Charyn Canyon is located in the Charyn National Park about 215 km east of Almaty and approximately a 3 hour drive via the A 351 and A 352.  The Canyon has been described as the Grand Canyon’s little brother. The Canyon itself is approximately 150 km long, and, in places up to 300 meters deep. One area of particular interest is an area of 2 km called the Valley of Castles, due to the pillars and rock formations forming imposing, almost man-made structures.

Arrival in Almaty by the evening.

Overnight Almaty

In the morning, start of the sightseeing tour about Almaty (10 hours). Visit the following places: the Green Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. Next visit of the Kok-Tobe hill with the tallest TV tower in the world. Short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway.

After lunch transfer to the most beautiful lakes, located in the surroundings of Almaty – Big Almaty Lake. Arrival to the Lake and slight hiking in the surroundings. En route visit to “Sunkar” Falcons’ Farm to watch the show with hunting birds.

Overnight in Almaty

Transfer to the International airport of Almaty. Departure from Kazakhstan to Baku. Upon arrival in Baku you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Free day to explore the city on your. 

Overnight in Baku

After breakfast we explore the oldest district of the city – “Old Baku” or “Icheri Shey-Har” (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with small mosques nestled between terraced cafes and grand turn-of-the-century architecture. Dozens of historical-architectural monuments are found here such as the Palace Shirvan Shahs, the Maiden Tower which is the symbol of Baku city, the Caravanserai – the merchants’ rest-stop. Old Baku is inhabited by 1300 families. It’s an ancient city inside the modern city of Baku. 

Overnight in Baku

Drive to the Absheron Peninsula which was the site of some of the world’s first petroleum production in the 19th century and shows the ravages of its oil-rich history. We will visit Gobustan (UNESCO), a culturally significant landscape of myriad rock carvings with over 6,000 Stone and Iron Age petroglyphs which depict people, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars, on the average dating back to 5,000-20,000 years.

Later we visit the temple of fire worshippers called “Ateshgah”. Thousands of years ago the ancient supporters of Zoroaster religion worshipped the fire here. We continue to “The Burning Mountain” called Yanar Dag. Here you can witness an amazing natural phenomenon – the incessant natural gas burning process. Back to Baku.

Overnight in Baku

Today we head northwest along one of the most scenic routes in Azerbaijan. We will pass through stark, arid landscapes dotted with mud volcanoes, before arriving in Maraza where just off the main road lies Pir Diri Baba Mausoleum built precariously into the side of a cliff. Stop in Shemakha, once the capital of the Shirvan Empire. We visit the Grand Mosque, built on the foundations of the first mosque built in the Caucasus in the 10th century. Afterwards we drive up into the mountains to explore the town of coppersmiths – Lahij, whose small population still speak their own language.
Overnight in Sheki, a lovely town which used to be on the Great Silk Road

Early in the morning we visit Kish Church, a beautiful early medieval Caucasian Albanian church, located just outside of Sheki. Return to Sheki and check out a workshop where “shebeke” stained glass windows made with no glue or nails – are produced by masters.

The main attraction of this charming town is the exquisite Khan’s Palace, inside the fortress walls and adorned with detailed mosaics and “shebeke” windows.

Overnight Sheki

This morning we depart for Georgia traveling along the foothills of the Greater

Caucasus range to reach Kakheti, a famous ancient wine making area. Georgia is considered one of the ancient winemaking centers. Lunch at a local winery in the Kakheti region. Continue to Gremi and its impressive citadel complex consisting of a 16th century domed church, tower and king’s chamber. We will also visit Alaverdi Cathedral. Built in the 11th century it is the 2nd tallest religious building in Georgia (155 ft or 55 m). We also visit the largest center of education in medieval Georgia – Ikalto Academy, beautifully located in a grove of cypress trees

Overnight in Telavi

Today we will visit the fortified town of Sighnaghi, which is famous for its wine and carpet making culture. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Kizikhi area and the unique charm of Sighnaghi Royal Town. Have a walk in the narrow streets of the town shadowed by the wooden balconies, which are richly decorated with the lace of carved ornaments.
Overnight in Tbilisi

A day dedicated to the exploration of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Tbilisi today is one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the Caucasus. It was founded in the 6th century. Since that time the city has been destroyed and rebuilt on nearly 30 different occasions following a long history of fighting off Persian, Arab, Turkmen, Mongol, Turk and, finally, Russian invaders. We begin our tour with a visit to Old Tbilisi town with its “Sulfur Baths” district, Georgian Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches, and a Jewish synagogue and a Turkish mosque side by side, reflecting Tbilisi’s acceptance and tolerance of different religions. We can also see a recent monument – Sameba Cathedral, the largest Christian Orthodox cathedral in the Caucasus. Besides we’ll visit other sites such as Metekhi Church erected on a huge cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. Visit the State Museum of Georgia. 

Overnight in Tbilisi

Today we will drive north along the Georgian Military Highway, linking Georgia with Russia into the mountainous provinces of the Greater Caucasus. The first stop of our tour will be in sacred Mtskheta (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the ancient capital of eastern Georgia. Georgia conversion to Christianity took place in Mtskheta in 337 AD. We will visit Church of Jvari perched on a cliff overlooking the city, the Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, the first Christian church to be built in Georgia. Continuing our journey into the mountains, we will stop in Ananuri to see the incredible 16th century fortress complex built by the warring dukes of Aragvi in an attempt to control the main road. This evening overnight in Gudauri, a popular winter mountain resort-town.

Overnight in Gudauri

Continuing our journey up and north through alpine meadows and mountain passes littered with medieval watchtowers, we will reach Dariali Gorge, a 9 mile (14 km) gash in the Earth. We will marvel at the snow-capped Mount Kazbek (the highest mountain in Georgia), an extinct volcano that surrounds us and reaches to just over 16,500 feet (5047m). We drive to the base of the hill and then walk across the meadow leading to the Tsminda Sameba Monastery – a 14th century church built on a mountain peak at 7,200 feet (2200m). After Tbilisi, it is the most popular sight in Georgia.

Dinner and overnight in Gudauri

We journey down from the mountains stopping in Gori, founded by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, David the Builder in the 12th century.  Visit the house museum of Joseph Stalin in Gori as this town is his birthplace. Continue our trip through the Borjomi Gorge and make a stop in the Borjomi Forest for our walk to the Chitakhevi St. George (Green) Monastery, built between the 9th and 10th centuries.

Overnight in Akhaltshikhe

Today venture further into the southwestern region of Samtshke-Javakheti, named after two of the original Georgian tribes, the Meskh and Javakhs and often seen as the cradle of Georgian culture. The road to Vardzia leads past arid and stone-terraced landscapes including the famed 10th century Khertvisi Castle, one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia. Vardzia history is inextricably linked to Queen Tamar, Georgia’s most famous and loved royal who reigned during the 12th century. It became the most important monastery and primary center of culture in Georgia.

Overnight in Akhaltshikhe

Today we return to Tbilisi, stopping en route to visit the Phoka St. Nino Nunnery. Established on July 23, 1992 by the Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, Ilia II, the convent is situated in an Alpine zone 6,890 feet (2,100m) above the sea. As the legend goes, this very place was Saint Nino’s entrance point to Georgia and she then followed the river Paravani to the city of Mtskheta. A beautiful basilica dedicated to St. Nino was built here in the 10th century and was later restored by the monastery in 2005.

Overnight in Tbilisi

Drive to Armenia, our first stop is Haghpat monastery (UNESCO) dating back to the 10th century. It’s a perfect example of medieval Armenian architecture. Continue to Dilijan, known as “Armenia’s Little Switzerland”. Visit Haghartsin, a fairy-tale medieval monastery nestled in the middle of the forest. 

Overnight in Sevan

Visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery on the peninsula hill located at Lake Sevan. It is one of the world’s largest highest freshwater lakes at 6233 ft. Driving through Vardenyats Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains we reach the Orbelian Caravanserai along the Great Silk Road. Riding the world’s longest aerial tramway (3.5 mi) you’ll reach the miraculous Tatev Monastery, the most formidable monastic complex in Armenia founded in the 9th century.

Overnight in Goris

Our first stop is Karahunj known as the “Armenian Stonehenge”, the oldest observatory in the world which is 7500 years old, truly an enigmatic site. Our next stop is Noravank Monastery, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. Later we’ll drive to Areni village, the cradle of viticulture. This is where the world’s oldest winery (6100 years old) has been found in Areni-1 Cave Complex. Winery tour and wine tasting. Drive to the 4th century iconic Khor Virap Monastery at the closest point to biblical Mount Ararat (5165m or about 17,000 ft).

Overnight in Yerevan

Today we explore Yerevan, the “pink pearl” of Armenia and the most dynamic capital in the Caucasus. It’s a beautiful European city built of purple and pink tufa stone. Yerevan is one of the the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world has a history that dates back to 782 BC. (more than 2800 years old)We’ll have a panoramic tour of the city starting with the “Victory” Park offering a bird’s eye view of the  city. We also visit the Cascade which is a colossal white stairwell built on a Yerevan hillside in the 1970’s, with water fountains running down the sides, all reminiscent of a natural river or stream cascading. Get acquainted with the rich spiritual and cultural life of ancient Armenia at Matenadaran, a unique Research Institute and museum of ancient and medieval illustrated manuscripts. Marvel at the illuminated pages of some of those manuscripts within their glass cases. We also visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum 

Overnight in Yerevan

Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican City of Armenia, the spiritual center of Armenia and the seat of the Armenian Patriarch. Explore the UNESCO heritage sites; the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin (303 AD), the oldest official church in the world; the 7th c. Church of St. Hripsime and Zvartnots ruins. Lunch with a cooking class with our charming host in a small village.

Overnight in Yerevan

We drive to Garni Fortress, the royal summer residence of the Armenian Kings and visit Garni Temple of the Sun, the only standing Hellenistic temple in the Caucasus and the former USSR. We continue to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO), the most beautiful rock-cut medieval monastery in the world with its fascinating natural setting and decorative art carved inside the solid rock. Traditional Armenian bread “lavash” making near the monastery and lunch in a local house. Tour the Garni Gorge to see the most surreal site in Armenia – “Symphony of Stones”.

Overnight in Yerevan

Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport. Departure from Yerevan (Armenia).