Great Adventures in Five Stans

Great Adventures in Five Stans, Silk Road Tours.

Name of tour: Great Adventures in Five Stans 

Length: 20 days and 19 nights 

Overnight stays: Almaty, Bishkek, Issyk Kul, Karakol, Khujand, Iskanderkul, Penjakent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Darwaza, Ashgabat

Day 1: Almaty
Today you will meet the driver at the airport and then you will be transferred to a city tour of Almaty. You can enjoy the cultural heritage of the southern capital of Kazakhstan and see not only ancient monuments, but also ancient sights. Today you will also explore the colorful site of Almaty the popular Green Bazaar. You will see how to work in the most bustling area of the country, find out what products are sold here and can buy national gifts and Souvenirs for the family and bargain with local merchants. You can buy fresh fruits and take photos. Then you will reach the old park of Almaty Panfilov park where you will explore the enchanting views of the wooden temple Zenkov Cathedral. You can also see a place dedicated as a tribute to the memory of the fallen soldiers who gave their lives for the Motherland - Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. After exploration of the city life, see the cultural heritage and explore the most noisy corners of the city, you can visit such a sports place as Medeu, where you will see the largest high-altitude ice rink and a dam protecting the city from dangerous landslides. Various events are held at the high-altitude skating rink, where athletes have never held games and set world records. Further you will drive by mountain road and enjoy the fabulous Kok- Tobe hill where you will observe the tallest TV tower. You will have a chance to walk along the park and be inspired by the picturesque views of the city. Don’t miss chance to visit the souvenir shops and enjoy the fresh air. Today you will end the tour with riding from the top of the hill to the city center along the popular Almaty cableway. You will spend the night in the hotel.

Day 2: Almaty – Charyn – Almaty
This day you will have a wonderful trip to fascinating Charyn Canyon. You will drive by the comfortable car or minivan. This day you will be supplied by 1,5L of bottled water. For the tour you can also take snack, tea or coffee in a container with a lid on it. It will take about 4 hour to drive there. During the tour you will have a chance to explore the local museum of traditional decorative and applied arts and crafts. During the tour, you will be able to enjoy the views of beautiful nature and learn that the Charyn canyon was formed 12 million years ago with the help of mother nature, who tried to create a miracle with the help of the sun, wind and rain. You will enjoy a charming canyon and see steep cliffs that reach a height of 150-300 meters. You can also walk through the valley of castles, which attracts with its views, enjoy charming views of fabulous towers and castles, and make photos. Along the Charyn river you will see yurts of local nomads and eco cafes.

Day 3: Almaty – Issyk – Almaty
Today you will go on an interesting tour along colorful roads and fabulous gorges of Trans-Ili Alatau - Issyk Gorge that locates alongside the Kuldja tract. In that place many years ago caravans kept the way. In this place passed ancient caravans that traveled with their loaded caravans. During the tour you will have a chance to explore the ancient history and discover cultural heritage, observing a Sakas mounds. This is the place where was found the “Golden man” and it important to note that it become state symbol of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  Along the way you will break at the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “ISSYK” where you will have a chance to experience Sakas period’s history and culture, duplicate of Golden Man and golden items, ancient ceramics, weapon, elements of horse equipment, and of course the sample of Saka burial mound. The tour continues with going to the height of the1756 meters. This day you will explore the fascinating lake that formed about 10,000 years ago due to the mudslide that resulted in the formation of a natural dam (300m.). You will explore the lake Issyk located on the name valley Issyk. Along the way you will be inspired by the water surface of Issyk Lake and observe the fabulous views. Today you will also get the information about the details of the natural disaster of 1963. Don’t miss chance to have a picnic near the lake and have free time, exploring the pristine nature. You will spend the night in the hotel.

Day 4: Almaty – BAO – Almaty – Bishkek
Thi day driver will take you to the stunning Big Almaty gorge where on altitude 2,510 m above sea the Big Almaty lake locate, the most magnificent lake in Trans-Ili Alatau. The lake is located in the mountains of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level and was formed during the activity of an ancient glacier. The lake is charming due to its natural views and beautiful scenery of the water surface and surrounded by mountains and blue sky. The local name of the lake is Zhasylkol, which translates as Blue Lake. It is small in size-about 500m by 1000m, depending on the season and water level. Big Almaty Lake is surrounded on all sides by mountain peaks and glaciers. This is a fairly popular place for citizens to relax. The water temperature of the lake in July is around 10 degrees. Swimming in the lake is prohibited because the water is used as drinking water for residents of Almaty. Today you will be able to see panoramic views of the lake, take photos and climb to the height to see the slopes of the mountains on which the juniper is spread, and the peaks covered with a snow cap. You are going to start driving to Bishkek at 15:00. And it will take 4 hours. The overnight is in the hotel.

Day 5: Bishkek – Burana – Issyk Kul northern shore
Today you will have a highlight tour in the capital of Kyrgyzstan. You will see the most interesting sites of the city such as: Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), –°entral Ala-Too Square, Old Square, National Philharmonic and many others sights. Then you will travel to amazing lake of Kyrgyzstan Issyk Kul, which is the largest lake in the world, and which fascinates travelers with its majestic views. The lake is located at an altitude of 1608 meters and is proudly called the "Pearl of Central Asia". The lake is always beautiful in winter and summer. The lake never freezes and has healing qualities. During the tour you will observe the ancient site Burana tower that was built in 11th century by powerful Karakhanids. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit open air museum of Balbals (stone warriors). You will rest the night in the hotel. 

Day 6: Issyk Kul – Grigorievskoye – Semenovskoye – Karakol
Today you will direct to amazing administrative center of Issyk Kul, Karakol. You will drive through the fascinating gorges called Semenovskoye and Grigorievskoye. They attract travelers due to fabulous views and you will have a chance to capture it! These gorges are connected to each other, you will start the tour in one gorge and continue in another gorge. It is a land of beautiful mountains covered with snow, juniper forests and charming landscapes. You can also see small lakes in this gorge. Enjoy the fresh air and land of the high mountains! The tour route will take you to Karakol.  After arrival to Karakol you will explore the magnificent sites as the Dungan mosque that was erected without sing any nail and in unique Chinese style. Then you will experience wooden Orthodox Church. The overnight is in the guesthouse. 

Day 7: Karakol – Jeti Oguz – Issyk Kul southern shore – Bishkek
After breakfast you will transfer from Karakol to Jeti Oguz. This spectacular gorge is fascinating due to its red rocks standing in one row. Don’t miss chance to see the fabulous Mountain of Broken Hearts. You can climb to the top of the mountains and enjoy the panorama of the gorge. On the tour you will also learn interesting legends related to the gorge. The gorge is translated from Kyrgyz as "Seven Bulls". After exploration the gorge you will be transferred to Bokonbaevo village along the spectacular southern shore. You will meet today the local eagle-hunter. You are going to see the ancient show of eagle hunting and get the information that he hunts to hares and foxes with the help of eagles. This method of hunting is passed down from generation to generation from father to son. After you will be transferred to capital Bishkek. The  night will be in the hotel. 

Day 8: Bishkek – Osh – Guliston – Khudjand
Today you will have a flight from Bishkek to Osh city and transfer to Tajik border. During the tour you will transfer via the picturesque passes and through Batken region. This region is famous due to its apricot trees and amazingly beautiful flower- Aigul. You will continue the tour with driving to Tajik border where you will be met by Tajik driver to Khujand city. You are going to travel via the fabulous Anzob pass that is 3 372 meters high. You are going to explore today the stunning panoramic views. From that pass open a breathtaking panoramic view. Khujand is the second largest city in Tajikistan with a population of 149,000. City that located on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley. Khujand is the capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan (Soghd). During the tour you will have a chance to observe the important sites as Cultural Palace of Khujand where was elected the first president of the country. Today you will also explore the interesting attraction Central Mosque. This site is located in the center the city. You will spend the night in the hotel. 

Day 9: Khudjand – Iskanderkul Lake
This day you will travel to the next site called Iskanderkul lake. This picturesque lake is located at an altitude of 2255 meters above sea level. The lake is located right in the heart of the Fan mountains and is one of the best places to travel. The famous lake is named after the commander Alexander the Great. After arriving at the emerald lake, you will enjoy a walk through beach. You will also explore the amazing waterfall that will take about 40 minutes. Tajikistan is not only beautiful mountains, but also charming lakes and rivers. The country has a large water potential and is in the second place among the CIS countries. This country has more than 1 000 rivers, 2 000 lakes and 8000 glaciers. You will spend the night in guesthouse.

Day 10: Iskanderkul – 7 lakes – Penjakent
After breakfast you will travel to one of the most popular place of Tajikistan. There are located the fabulous lakes Seven Lakes. During the tour you will have a time to hike and explore the territory. The lakes are notable for being located at different heights and have different sizes and names. During the tour you will also meet the local residents and explore their lifestyle. It is very interesting to find out how people live and what they do.  Then you will transfer to the next spot Penjakent. Penjakent translated as five villages that were formed in the 5th-8th centuries. The first mention of Panjakent is 5500 years ago. In ancient times, the city played an important role and bore names from cultural and historical sites as "Central Asian Pompeii". Panjakent is located in the Khujand district and is located on the beautiful valley of the Zeravshan river. There are ware located ruler’s palace, two temples, markets, rich residential buildings, decorated with numerous paintings, wooden and clay statues of ancient gods. It is important to note that the ruins of this ancient city were explored in the last century. Tourists can also see the remains of residential buildings and office buildings, a citadel with a palace, a house of craftsmen and a church of fire worshipers. Night will be in the local guesthouse.

Day 11: Penjakent – Jartepo – Samarkand
Today you will travel through the border and get to Samarkand. You are going to have an entertaining city tour where you will observe the amazing sights of the city. Samarkand is located in the picturesque valley of the Zeravshan River and is the second largest city in Uzbekistan. Samarkand is a very ancient city that has a history of 2500 years. Samarkand is the same age as Rome and Babylon. During the tour you will explore such wonderful sites as Registan square, Shakhi-Zindeh, Mausoleum Guri Emir and Bibi Khanum Mosque. Registan Square has 3 beautiful madrasas on its territory that date back to the 15th and 17th centuries and will amaze you with their magnificent views.  The architectural complex of Shakhi- Zindeh is a charming type of mausoleums that attract with their views and charm that belong to the 11-15 centuries and belong to the UNESCO heritage. Bibi Khanum Mosque was the majestic mosque of Samarkand that is ready to impress you with its views and which was built in honor of Tamerlane's loving wife. The overnight is in the hotel.

Day 12: Samarkand – Gijduvan – Bukhara
In the morning you will start the tour to Bukhara. Along the way you will stop over at Gijduvan village. You will have a chance to visit pottery private school. This is the 6th generation of the Narzullaev family, whose school of ceramics is famous all over the world. The history of the craft of making ceramic products dates back to ancient origins and has deep roots. Ceramics famous all over the world are passed down from generation to generation.  The works use geometric patterns and most often the color scheme is blue and green. After that you will explore the memorial complex of Al Bukhary- Islamic scholar who made a collection of hadiths known as Sahih Al-Bukhari, which Sunni Muslims consider one of the most authentic collections of hadiths. After you will continue driving to Bukhara. Night will be in the hotel. 

Day 13: Bukhara
This day is dedicated to exploring the fascinating city tour. You are going to explore the outstanding sights of Bukhara such as Citadel Ark. This site dates back to the 4th century and this is the most ancient sight of Bukhara Empire. After that you will explore the mausoleum of Samanids that is the real masterpiece of architecture of the IX-X centuries. The tour route will take you today to Chashma Ayub (the Job's well). Then you will explore Bolo -Hauz Mosque, this grandiose mosque is famous for its 40 columns and was erected in honor of Bukhara governor Abu Fayyud Khan. After that you will have a chance to explore the shopping domes and discover the views of popular madrassas- Nodir Divan Begi. This mosque is the part of the Lyabi House ensemble. You will complete the tour with exploring the fascinating site Poi Kalon complex. This attraction represents an extraordinary sample of architectural art of Bukhara. There you will have a chance to three structures built in the 12th-16th centuries: the Kalon minaret, the Kalon mosque and the Mir-Arab madrasah. This night will be in the hotel. 

Day 14: Bukhara – Khiva
The next destination of the tour will be the vivid city to Uzbekistan called Khiva. It important to note that Bukhara is enchanting city that consists of more than 140 architectural monuments. There are located beautiful streets, green parks and gardens full of flowers and green, historical and architectural monuments that were built in different times but stands close to each other.  Khiva is ancient city that played the important role in the Great Silk Road. This is one of the most ancient cities in Central Asia with many attractions. Caravans passed through the open gates of Khiva, which were open from dawn to sunset.  Today you will pass from Bukhara to Khiva ia the picturesque Kizilkum desert. During the tour you will have a chance to observe the amazing views of Amu Darya Rive. This river is the largest river in Central Asia. Upon arrival to Khiva you will have free time. Night will be in the hotel. 

Day 15: Khiva
Today you will have amazing city tour in Khiva exploring the ancient monuments of the city. You will explore Ichan-Qala or inner city of Khiva that surrounded by the magnificent walls. During the tour you will have a chance to enjoy the views of old sound buildings, palaces, mosques, Madrasahs, Mausoleums, Minarets, Caravan-Sarais and Bathhouses. All these unique structures made the city into unique city-monument. In Ichan-Qala thare are over 400 traditional dwelling houses and about 60 architectural monuments. It is important to note that in 1969 area of Ichan Qala became historical and architectural conservation. Here you will have a chance to find such wonderful attractions as Kunya-Ark fortress of 17th century, explored by Muhammad Arang Khan and Kalta Minor minaret, and Tash Khouvli palace. All these attractions are the great sample of incredible masterpiece of Khorezm architecture from 200 years ago. You will spend the night in the hotel.

Day 16: Khiva – Farap – Kunya Urgench – Darwaza
In the morning you will explore the fascinating attractions, travelling along Farap borders. During the tour you will meet your driver and drive to the North of Turkmenistan where you will get to the outstanding architectural monuments of Kone Urgench that was Capital of Khorezm previously (X-XII centuries). In course of the tour you will experience such monuments as Mausoleum of Najm al-Din al-Kubra, Tyurabek Khanum, Il-Arslan, Tekesh Ibn Hadzhibey, the highest minaret in Central Asia Kutlyg-Timur.  The next destination of the tour will be the fantastic natural site Darwaza also famous as Gas Crater. 

Day 17: Darwaza – Ashgabat
Darwaza is the mysterious natural site also called as “The Gate to the Hell”. This day you will transfer from Darwaza to Ashgabat capital of Turkmenistan. You will reach the hotel. In the second part of the day you will have a chance to explore the fabulous attractions, discover the gorgeous horse the pride of Turkmen people Akhal-Teke horses. You will know that the horses are very beautiful and beautiful in their views, they are amazing in their views and were born more than 5000 years ago. These horses are very hardy and are one of the most beautiful horses on earth.  You will enjoy traditional Tea party, Akhal-Teke horse short show program and observe the horse races. After the breathtaking views of the show you will return to Ashgabat.

Day 18: Ashgabat – Mary – Ashgabat
This day you will transfer to ancient city Mary. Mery city is the outstanding cultural Heritage that included into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site and locates2 5 km to the east of Mary, to Bayram-Ali. Mary is the Fourth largest city in Turkmenistan, located in the South of the country in a large oasis of the Murghab river, located in the heart of the Kara-Kum desert. Merv was a huge city, even by today's standards. The data obtained from archaeologists suggest that the city together with the works (commercial suburbs) contained at least 1 million inhabitants.  You will have a chance to have the city tour and explore magnificent Mausoleums of the Sultan, Sanjar and Muhammed Ibn-Zeid (XII c), where you will observe refined Seljuk brickwork and architectural decor. Then you will return to Ashgabat. During the tour you will be impressed by the amazing views of the fauna and flora of the Karakum desert.

Day 19: Ashgabat
Today you will have a city tour in the wonderful city Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. This day you will have a chance to fascinate the stunning “Nisa” that was Capital of the Parthian Empire. This place was included in the protection of UNESCO Heritage in 2007. The tour will show you the amazing Monument and Park of Independence, that similar white-marble “Eiffel Tower”, a fountain-monument initiated to the 10th anniversary of independence it is a sculptural depiction of ten Akhal-Tekke horses placed on the top of a beautiful fountain and of course splendid Ertoghrul Ghazi and Gypjak Mosques. In the second part of the tour you will explore the highlight National Museum of History and Ethnography.

Day 20: Flight
Drive to Ashgabat International Airport. Fly. End the program.


Price per person:
02 pax – 3 000 $
04 pax – 2 220 $
06 pax – 1 965 $
08 pax – 1 795 $
10 pax – 1 770 $
Single – 335 $

Early check-in – 30 $
Single early check-in – 45 $ 

Half board – 280 $*
Full board – 495 $*

Entrance fees in UZ* (with escort guide only) – 50 $ per person


English speaking guides:
KG – 435 $ per group
UZ – local 120 $ per group or escort 395 $ per group
TJ – 445 $ per group
KZ – 420 $ per group
TM – included by law

Service includes:
- Transport
- Accommodation:
      Almaty – “Kazakhstan” Hotel 3*
      Issyk Kul – “Karven” Resort
      Karakol – “Karagat” Hotel 4* or “Green Yard” Guesthouse
      Bishkek – “Discovery” 3* or “Garden” 4*
      Khujand – “Firuz” Hotel 4*
      Iskandarkul – “Dilovar” Gueshouse
      Penjakent – “Umariyon” Hotel 3*
      Samarkand – “Ideal” Hotel 3*
      Bukhara – “Old City” Hotel 3*
      Khiva – “Porso” Hotel 3*
      Darwaza – Tents with dinner
      Ashgabat – “Menzil” Hotel 3*
- Visa support to Tm
- Museum admissions
- Mineral water supply
- English speaking guide in Tm
- Flight tickets Bishkek – Osh (15 kg limit, extra 2 $ per kg)

Service does not include:
- Visa
- Full board
- Travel insurance
- English speaking guides
- Entrances to all museums in Uz
- Migration tax (12 $) + bank fee (4 $) 

Note: Each Traveler should have 2 photos (5x6) to be presented at the points of entry.

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