Silk Road Tour

Do you love to travel and experience the sights and sounds of interesting places and cultures?At Silk Road Travel Tours we have an eclectic collection of tours which are sure to suit almost any intrepid traveller.

Jewels of Persia Tashkent to Tehran

Tour costs and Dates

We guarantee all tour departures for a minimum of 2 passengers. In order to confirm your booking we will need a non-refundable deposit of 400 USD per person. The final invoice will be sent to you 4 weeks before the tour departure, the final cost dependent on the final group size. If the dates or the described itinerary do not meet your travel needs, please write to us, we can arrange a customized tour for you.

Tour cost based on tourist class hotels

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10 Above Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $7660 $6480 $5665 $5125 $1465

Hotels

Places Tourist Class hotels
Tashkent  Uzbekistan Hotel
Samarkand Malika Prime
Bukhara Zargaron hotel or Amelia
Mary Margosh hotel
Ashgabad Grand hotel
Mashhad Tehran hotel
Shiraz Ario Barzan or Park Sa’adi hotel
Yazd Parsian Safaieh
Isfahan mgpharmacie.com Parsian Aliqapu Hotel
Tehran Parsian Enghelab

*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange
alternative hotels of a similar standard.

TOUR COST INCLUDES

All private transfers in air-conditioned cars, van and busses depends on the group size, day trip by 4×4 Darvaza Crater, domestic flights.
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities
Meals half board: Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by our English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters if required

TOUR COST EXCLUDES

Visa Fees.
Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
Optional activities
Meals: Lunches
Personal expanses
Single supplement
Tipping for Guides and drivers
Early check in hotels and late checkout
Camera and Video fees at sites

***If you would like to customize your journey, please ring or write to us. We are more than happy to accommodate your needs. Tours can be taken to individual countries or to a selection of countries. The Five Stans Tour to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan is one of our most popular tours but other tours are regularly organised according to demand. We can take you through any one of these countries, as well as to Armenia, Georgia, China, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Myanmar and others. All you need to do is ask us.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival Tashkent

Upon arrival at Tashkent international airport, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel, free morning later in the afternoon city tour of Tashkent, visiting mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools) housing craft workshops and dating from the 14th century. We visit the Kukeldash Medressa, a grand 16th century academy undergoing restoration and the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Overnight in Hotel (D)

Day 02: Samarkand

In the morning we drive to Samarkand. For most people Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Timbouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous for.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 03: Samarkand Visit

Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane and the Observatory of Ulughbek; the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 04: Bukhara via Shakhrisabz

Travel to Bukhara via Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane. We visit Tamerlane’s palace Ak Sarai, the Kok Gumbaz mosque, Mausoleum of Jehangir (Tamerlane’s grandson) and Tamerlane’s Mausoleum. Bukhara is one of the center of the Russian/British Intelligence Services in the 19th Century.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 05: Bukhara Visit

Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; the resulting restoration of some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, to make them appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago.

We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of an ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 06: Bukhara Free day

Full free day in Bukhara at leisure.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 07: Mary (Turkmenistan)

In the morning, drive to the Uzbek Turkmen border and continue to ancient Merv. Today we visit a historically important site; one of the most significant in Turkmenistan. The site consists of a series of towns each succeeded by another throughout the course of history and contains, amongst other things, the remains of Erk Kala and it’s citadel and the Musoleum of Sultan Sanjar.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 08: Ashgabad Flight

In the morning transfer to the airport for flight to Ashgabad, later half day sightseeing of Ashgabad including visit of Tolkuchka Bazaar. We continue to Old Nisa, an ancient Parthian settlement and the spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 09: Ashgabad – Darwaza Gas Crater

Today we visit the National Museum of History & Ethnography of Turkmenistan.

In the afternoon drive to Darwaza Gas Crater, en-route we visit a Nomad village, Karakum desert and continue driving to Darwaza flaming gas crater or the ‘mouth of hell’. The crater is about 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep. Later return to Ashgabad Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 10: Ashgabad – Mashhad (Iran)

In the morning transfer to Iran Turkmen border at Gaudan, where you will be met by your Iranian guide and transferred to Mashhad. Depending on the schedule, possible half day city tour of Mashhad including the local Bazaar.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 11: Mashhad -Shiraz

Mashhad lies on the site where Emam Reza, a direct descendant of the

Prophet Mohammed and the 8th Shiite Imam, died in 817AD. Heir to the

Abbasid caliphate, Emam Reza was poisoned by the then ruling caliph,

Ma’mun. His shrine survived the onslaughts of Mongols and Uzbeks; it was not until the 16th century, under the rule of the Safavids, that the city became a centre of pilgrimage for the Shia faithful.

We will visit Goharshad mosque and Imam Reza Shrine. Afternoon Domestic flight to Shiraz. Overnight in hotel (BLD)

Day 12: Shiraz

Shiraz, the city of nightingales, poetry and roses;. City tour of Shiraz including a visit to Narenjestan or Orange Garden built in 1879-1886 as a reception hall for visitors and was also used as the governor’s residence during the late Qajar period. Also included is Khan theological school and Bazaar, then enjoy tea and ice cream while listening to recitals in traditional teahouse of the mausoleum of the famous Iranian poet Hafez.

Overnight at hotel (BLD)

Day 13: Day trip to Persepolis – Necropolis

Fars province is greatly indebted to the settlement of the Achaemenid and Sassanian dynasties for its glorious cultural heritage. Scattered all over the territory of Fars are monuments materializing the rapid progress of the province in both pre-Islamic and Islamic era.

Morning excursion to Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid), Necropolis

(Naghsh-e-Rostam) and Naqsh-e Rajab (about 70 km per way).

A visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis is one of the highlights of any trip to Iran. Persepolis is the best preserved of Persia’s ruined cities and the finest legacy of the great Achaemenid Empire which ruled Persia between 559 and 330 BC. The most impressive features of the ruins are the splendid bas-reliefs, which adorn many of the staircases and palaces on the site and provide a rich treasure house of ancient history.

At Necropolis you will find the tomb of the four powerful Achaemenian

Kings carved into huge rocks. Later return to Shiraz. Overnight in Hotel (BLD)

Day 14: Shiraz-Pasargadae-Yazd

Drive to Yazd en-route we will stop at Pasargadae, Pasargadae was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, in the 6th century BC. It’s palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the early royal Achaemenid art and are exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization. Later drive to Yazd

Overnight in hotel (BLD).

Day 15: Yazd

Yazd is still home to Iran’s largest community of Zoroastrians, and the best place to visit an Ateshkadeh (House of Eternal Fire) and the Towers of Silence, the Zoroastrian burial grounds. Although the temple is modern (built in the 1940s), the sacred fire has been burning since 470 AD. Yazd is also an ancient city with its unique desert architecture and its “Badgirs”, the wind towers designed to catch and circulate the merest breath of wind. The mosques of Yazd are like no others and the magnificent Jame Mosque dominates the old city. Its remarkably high, tiled entrance, flanked with two magnificent minarets and adorned with an inscription from the 15th century, is simply superb. This city has always been a great weaving center, known for its silks and other fabrics even before Marco Polo passed through along one of the Silk Routes in the late 13th century. Dolat Abad Garden, Water Museum and a traditional house are among the other visits. The stunning three-storey façade of the Tekiyeh in the Amir Chakhmaq Complex at sunset is one of the most spectacular features of Yazd. Overnight in hotel (BLD)

Day 16: Yazd – Maybod – Na’in – Isfahan

Drive to Isfahan, en-route we will visit the old town of Maybod, established in the Medes Era. Later, drive to Na’in. Na’in is located in the geographic centre of Iran and is a famous carpet making centre. Na’in is also noted for its very old Masjid-e-Jame, which dates from the early Islamic period and contains some features from the 10th century

Overnight in hotel (BLD)

Day 17: Isfahan Visit

Isfahan is Iran’s masterpiece, the jewels of Historical Persia and one of the finest cities in the Islamic world. The exquisite blue mosaic tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings, it’s expansive bazaar and the city’s gorgeous bridges demand as much of your time as you can spare. The history of the city dates back to 2700 years ago. It was the capital of Iran in a number of the post-Islamic periods, but its golden age was during the Safavid dynasty in 17th century.

Full day tour of Isfahan’s magnificent buildings; some of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture including the Royal (Naqsh-e-Jahan) square, the Shah Abbas Jameh and Sheikh Lotfullah mosques, Ali-Qapu Palace plus free time for the Bazaar (spans 5 km). In the evening an optional visit to a Zoorkhaneh (House of Strength) to watch this traditional Iranian sport – a combination of physical and spiritual aerobics, with participants chanting to the powerful drums of their master .

Overnight in hotel (BLD)

Day 18: Isfahan Visit

City tour of Isfahan – A visit to the Armenian quarter to tour the Vank Cathedral, built between 1606 and 1655 and the Zayandehrud River. Chehel Sotun Palace with its beautiful frescos located in a pretty garden is our next stop. Shah Abbas II originally built it as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall. On to Jame Mosque, a veritable museum of Islamic architecture, displaying styles from the 11th to the 18th centuries. Evening tour of Isfahan including Si-o-Se & Khaju bridges Overnight in hotel (BLD)

Day 19: Isfahan – Abyaneh – Kashan – Tehran

Drive to Tehran en-route stop in Abyaneh and Kashan. Abyaneh is a small picturesque reddish village dating back 1600 years.

Later continue driving to Kashan. Kashan is attractive oasis city which was once a favourite of Shah Abbas I. Kashan is also home to some of the best traditional houses including the Brujerdi House (a Samovar merchant), as well as beautiful gardens such as Fin Garden. Later drive to Tehran.

Overnight at hotel (BLD)

Day 20: Tehran Visit

Tehran is the capital city of Iran, Tehran is a diverse and beautiful city combining the ancient civilisation of Iran with modern developments and living. It is positioned at the base of the Alborz mountain range in Northern Iran and is home to the usual tourist attractions such as museums, shopping centres. Tehran with its numerous museums houses the most important collection of recent and remote Persian art and culture.

Full day city tour of Tehran. A visit to the prehistoric National Museum of Iran. This museum houses a marvellous collection including ceramics, potteries, stone figures and carvings dating from around the 7th millennium BC. A visit to Ceramic & Glassware Museum (Abgineh Museum) followed by the Carpet Museum. Here you will have access to many of the masterpieces woven in the important carpet-weaving centres of Iran. The beautiful architecture and façade of the museum resembles a carpet-weaving loom.

***Please note: our schedule to visit museums may vary depending on museum hours/days and when they are open to the public.

Overnight at hotel (BLD)

Day 21: Tehran departure

Depending on International flight schedule; our service will end with airport transfer. (B)

Art, Craft and Culture tour of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Upon arrival at Tashkent International Airport, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.Overnight in hotel (D)

Day 02: Tashkent – Nukus
In the morning we fly to Nukus, the capital of the Autonomous Karakalpak Republic within Uzbekistan, home of a Turkic people more closely related to Kazakhs than to Uzbeks. The city is the gateway to the fast-disappearing Aral Sea; the surrounding cotton fields testify to the monoculture that stole the water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, the rivers that fed the Aral Sea. Nukus is also home to the remarkable Savitsky Art Museum, founded by Igor Savitsky. Thanks to him, many of the early 20th century Russian paintings that were banned by Moscow found protection here. The story of this collection has been told in the award-winning documentary, Desert of Forbidden Art. We will see the collection – the second-largest gathering of Russian avant-garde art after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 03: Nukus – Khiva
Today we drive through a barren desert area littered with the ruins of ancient fortresses and cities long abandoned. En route, we stop at Ayaz Kala, a fortress dating as far back as the 4th century BC. Later, we continue driving to Khiva City before taking an afternoon walking tour of the old city. Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 04: Khiva City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and the pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with the area’s fierce tribesmen. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, we’ll take a tour of this living museum, including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s medressas (Islamic schools), Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa, a woodcarving workshop, a UNESCO workshop, and the applied arts museum. Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 05: Bukhara Drive
Our drive to Bukhara is through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert. Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this unforgiving landscape. With buildings spanning 1,000 years of history and a thoroughly lived-in city centre that hasn’t changed much in two centuries, Bukhara is one of the best places in Central Asia to catch a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. Most of the city centre is an architectural preserve and includes a massive royal fortress, plenty of former Madrassas, a number of ancient public baths and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. There are over 140 protected buildings in the city.
Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 06: Bukhara City Tour
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town centre where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, have been restored and appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zoroastrian times 2,500 years ago. We also visit the massive fortress, The Ark, with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. Our tour of the Uzbek capital includes the Barak Khan Seminary, Kukeldash and Abul Khassim Medressas, and the Uzbek Museum of Applied Arts. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar, with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, the gate of a long-gone madrassa. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Its name comes from Tajik, although the towers you can see are not actually minarets but simply decorative towers.
Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 07: Bukhara
Bukhara is the centre for local artisans, and we will be able to watch many at work on a variety of handicrafts at the Bukhara Artisan Development Centre. We will spend the day visiting some colorful local markets, where the Karavan Saray (trade domes) and former madrassahs offer splendid, colorful handmade `Suzani’ production and gold embroidery, as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, jewellery, carpets and costumes. Suzani means “needlework” in the Tajik language. You will also have some time at leisure to explore the town and its rich, colorful shops on your own. In the evening we’ll have the pleasure of dining in a former caravanserai and be entertained by Bukhara’s local musicians and dancers in local costumes.
Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 08: Bukhara – Gijduvan – Samarkand
We take a morning drive to Samarkand via Gijduvan, where we will visit the most important ceramic center of Bukhara region. If we’re lucky we’ll have the opportunity to see the centuries-old tradition of using a donkey for spinning the millstones during the process of grinding natural dyes. We’ll lunch at the local potter’s home before proceeding to Samarkand; on the way, we’ll visit the remains of old Caravan Sarai Rabbat Malik.
Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 09: Samarkand: City Tour
Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient,’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full-day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Gur-Emir Mausoleum of Tamerlane, and the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym. We’ll stop at the ancient colorful market, “Siab,” where you can purchase the famous Samarkand bread that Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient Afrosiab and finally, the Observatory of Ulughbek, the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of pre-telescope-era astronomy in the 15th century.
Overnight in Samarkand at hotel (BD)

Day 10: Samarkand
Today we will visit the Samarkand-Bukhara Silk Carpet factory, opened to revive the culture of weaving silk carpets with old Central Asian patterns, and we’ll also visit an old silk paper workshop where you will get acquainted with the production of silk paper. In the afternoon, enjoy free time for leisure. Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 11: Samarkand – Tashkent
In the morning we drive along the scenic road as it winds along the eastern spurs of the Pamir Ranges to Tashkent. We continue on a city tour of Tashkent, visiting mosques and madrassas housing craft workshops and dating from the 14th century. We visit the Kukeldash Medressa, a grand 16th-century academy undergoing restoration, as well as the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 12: Tashkent – Kokand – Rishtan – Margilan
We depart in the morning depart by road to Fergana and en route, visit Kokand, capital of the Kokand Khanate in the 18th and 19th centuries. We’ll visit the Khan’s Palace Museum and Rishtan, one of the most important ceramic centers in Central Asia. We’ll also visit a potter’s home: Rustam Usmanov and his family make the traditional Uzbekistan ceramics of the region. At the studio, you’ll watch as skilled craftsmen make and decorate plates, bowls, pitchers.
Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 13: Margilan – Osh (Kyrgyzstan)
After breakfast, we drive to Margilan, visit the silk ikat weaving centre and Margilan craft centre, supported by UNESCO and housed in a historic madrassa. Of special interest here is the velvet ikat weaving workshop of Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov (some years ago Oscar de la Renta made a collection of Rasuljon’s fabrics). Next,we visit the Yodgorlik silk weaving factory in Margilan. This factory produces silk and cotton/silk ikat using traditional hand techniques and processes. We will get to see every aspect of the process, including reeling the silk from the cocoons, winding skeins and warps, natural dyeing, loom preparation and weaving. There is a lovely small shop here where you can purchase many exquisite examples of traditional Central Asian ikat. After the silk factory, transfer to the Dostlik border.
Upon arrival we are met by our Kyrgyz guide for our transfer to Osh town. We’ll enjoy an afternoon city tour of Osh including a visit to Suleyman Mountain, Babur’s house, the history museum, Rabat Abdullah Khan Mosque and Mausoleum, and Osh Bazaar. Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 14: Osh – Chyckan
In the morning drive to Chyckan, stopping along the way at the Ozgen minarets. Our journey takes us through the hydro-power stations, Toktogul Water Reservoir, Marble Pyramid and the Chychkan Canyon.
Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 15: Chyckan – Chong Kemin Valley
In the morning, we drive to Chong Kemin Valley via Ala-Bel Pass, Susamyr Valley and Teo-Ashu.
Chon-Kemin Valley, which lies within the Tian Shan mountain range separating Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan with lush green valleys and snow-capped peaks.
Exploring around the valley, hiking up to the forest to see the panoramic view of Kalmak-Ashuu Valley.
We spend a night in one of the local guesthouses, fully decorated with antique embroidery, handicrafts and felts, with modern facilities.
Overnight at Hotel (BD)

Day 16: Chong Kemin – Kochkor village – Cholpon-Ata Issyk Kul Lake
Today we drive to Kochkor village where you will visit the Altyn Kol Women’s Handicraft Co-operative Centre.
Here, you will learn how nomadic Kyrgyz women made Shyrdak, and Ala-Kiyiz – a floor covering made by pressing felt of various naturally dyed colors. You will see the process of felt carpet-making and wool-dying. Kochkor is famous for farming and felt-makers.
Later, we continue driving to Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul. Visit Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs Saimalu-Tash, which covers 42 hectares and contains prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall) and petroglyphs dating from 500 BC up to 600 AD.
Overnight at Hotel(BD)

Day 17: Karakol
Drive to Karakol, one of the first towns of the Russian Cossak settlements in the late 19th century. En route we visit Przevalski’s Memorial Museum, named for a great Russian explorer from the late 19th century. After lunch, we sightsee in Karakol. We visit the museum, Dungan (a pagoda type of mosque) and an Orthodox wooden whurch. You will enjoy walking along streets with blue-framed windows and gingerbread-style houses. Later, we have dinner at Uighur family house while enjoying an interesting Kyrgyz folk concert.
Overnight at Hotel (BD)

Day 18: Day trip to Altyn Arshan Valley
If today is Sunday, at 7:30 a.m. we will go to the Sunday Animal Market of Karakol. Later, we take a full-day exploration of Altyn-Arashan valley on a Russian 4×4 Truck with bumpy road, where you can have a nice warm bath at one of the hot springs or hike around the area. Later, we return to Karakul.Overnight at Hotel (BD)

Day 19: Karakol – Djety Oguz – Bokonbaeva village
In the morning, we drive to Jety Oguz Canyon, a lush green valley with striking red sandstone rock formations – the ‘Seven Bulls’ from which the valley takes its name. Here you have chance for some short hiking or an optional horseback ride through the beautiful scenery before a picnic lunch. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Bokonbaeva village where you will have chance to watch eagles hunting rabbits. Later, visit the Women’s Craft Centre which makes shyrdaks (felt rugs) and other colored felt products.
Overnight in typical Kyrgz yurt in Bokonbaeva village (BD)

Day 20: Bishkek
In the morning we drive to Kyzyl-Tuu village where a member of a Kyrgyz family will show you how to make traditional yurt tents.
Continue driving to Bishkek en route we will stop in Burana Tower of 11th century.
Upon arrival in Bishkek, a city tour which includes Central Square Alatoo, White House, Parliament House, Manas on Horse Statue, Lenin Statue, and Oak Park.
We will also visit some handicraft studios of Aidai, a leading and well-known young felt-maker and designer based in Kyrgyzstan. She is an owner of Kyal Handicraft and Yurt Maker’s Non-Profitable Organizations.http://www.christensenfund.org/2013/04/26/looking-at-the-world-through-felt-eye-glasses/ Overnight at Hotel in Bishkek (BD)
Day 21: Onward Flight
Trip will end with airport transfer (B)

Pamir & Karakorum Highway Adventure

Itinerary

Day 01: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide transferred to the hotel. Later visit to the Hissar Fortress and the remains of the palace of the Bukhara Emirate Becks. Its thick walls once guarded a pool, garden, and palace, while the fortress itself opposed a lively market and Caravanserai. What remains today is a portion of the wall and the gate towers representative of the 18th and 19th century style. The area has been inhabited since antiquity and features an 8th century mosque, but it was the emirs who inhabited the fortress and the Silk Route traders that made Gissar a center of commerce and learning .You will also have an opportunity to visit the Old Medressa (Madrasai Kuhna) (16-17 century) and its Museum, Madrasai Nav (17-18 century) and the Caravan Saray as well. Your city tour includes a visit the Museum of National Antiquities with exhibits primarily from Tajikistan’s pre-Islamic civilizations: the Greek, Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian periods. The most notable piece in the museum is the largest, fifteen-hundred-year-old reclining Buddha statue. Later enjoy strolling around the big Ismoili Somoni Monument (the forefather of the Tajik nation) erected in the main square and Rudaki Park in the city centre. Try the taste of Tajik tea and hot bread in public teahouses – called Choikhona – most of which are decorated in traditional, colourful Tajik style. Overnight at Atlas hotel in Dushanbe. (D)

Day 02: Kalaikum
Today we start our journey toward the Pamir over the mountain passes to Kalaikum which is halfway to Khorog. Overnight at local guest house (BD)

Day 03: Khorog
Drive to Khorog, the capital of the Gorno- Badakhshan (GBAO) region, along the Panj River which forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Overnight at Grand or Lal hotel in Khorog. (BD)

Day 04: Khorog
In the morning, visit Khorog’s bazaar, museum and botanical gardens. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight at Grand or Lal hotel in Khorog. (BD)

Day 05: Ishkashim Wakhan Valley
Today we drive to Wakhan valley. En-route we stop at Garm Chashma (Hot spring). Garam Chasma is the Pamirs’ most popular open-air hot spring pool for the locals. We visit the ruins of Kah Kahah fortress dated back from Kushan period 4th Century AD and in the afternoon, drive to Bibi Fotima hot spring for walk around the village. Overnight homestay (BD)

Day 06: Langar
In the morning we visit a small museum of local astronomer and poet Sufi Muboraki Wakhoni. Afterwards we travel to the village Vrang where on a cliff-side pitted with caves, contains a Buddhist complex dating from 4th-7th centuries, reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. Continue driving to Langer, afternoon walk around the village and a chance to meet the locals, or if you are energetic optional hike up the hill to see the petroglyph site above the village, which involves a fair physical effort to reach. These images carved into the rocks high above the village depict goats, caravans, horses. Overnight in home stay (BD)

Day 7: Murghab
Today we visit local shrine Mazor-I Shoh Qambar-I Oftob (Master of Sun). Afterward we drive along the Pamir River via the Khargoshi pass (4344m) to Murghab.
Murgab is the highest village in Tajikistan. It is located at an altitude of 3600 meters. The town lies at the junction of the Pamir highway (that connects the region with Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan) and the main road linking Tajikistan with China through the Kulma pass. Overnight in homestay (BD)

Day 8: Kyzyl Art pass – Sary-Tash (Kyrgyzstan)
We drive along the Pamir Highway to Sary-Tash, en-route we stop at Karakul Lake with beautiful view of the Lake and surrounding mountain peaks. Drive to Kyzyl-Art Pass (4,280 m) border crossing. After border formalities, meet your Kyrgyz guide and descend to Sary-Tash village. Overnight at Mirbek Guest House. (BD)

Day 09: Irkeshtam Pass to Kashgar
In the morning transfer to Irkeshtam border crossing into China. Where you will be met by our Chinese guide and transfer to Kashgar, the location of the Great Game, is an ancient and popular trading stop on the Silk Road.
Overnight at Qini Bagh hotel new building (BD)

Day 10: Kashgar Free day
Full free day at leisure after big Pamir Adventures.
Overnight at Qini Bagh hotel new building (B)

Day 11: Kashgar Sunday Market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep and even camels are for sale. A wonderful assortment of people come from all over the region; the population of the town swells by 100,000! This is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia, and a photographer’s paradise. After the market visit Eidgah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb and the old town. Overnight at Qini Bagh hotel new building (BD)

Day 12: Tashkurgan
Today we drive to Karakul Lake along the famous Karakorum highway. The scenery along the way is breathtaking. We will be stopping at the Lake where you can enjoy the view of Muztagh-ata Mountains. Optional camel ride or walk around the Lake. Later we continue to Tashkurgan the last Tajik Chinese town between China and Pakistan. Overnight at Grass Land hotel in Tashkurgan. (BD)

Day 13: Khunjerab pass- Borith Lake (Pakistan)
After border formalities, we drive to the world’s highest paved border crossing, the Khunjerab pass (4750 m height) between Pakistan and China. On the way, you will view the awesome mountain ranges of the Karakorum and Kunlun mountains. Upon arrival at Sost you will be met by our local Hunza guide and transfer to Borith Village. Overnight at Borith Lake Hotel & Resort in Borith. (BD)

Day 14: Borith Lake- Passu Glacier hike – Hussaini Bridge – Passu village
In the morning we hike toward Passu white glacier..
Later in the afternoon drive down to Hussaini village, to attempt to cross the hanging bridge, here you have chance to test our fear of heights and wobbly wooden planks whilst be mesmerized by the fast flowing waters below. We walk through Zarabad summer pasture and back from another bridge to Passu village. Evening local dinner with family. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel & Resort. (BD)

Day 15: Ghulkin glacier – Ghulkin village – Gulmit village
In the morning we hike through Ghulkin glacier to Ghulkin village, after some picnic lunch with local family, we continue our hike via Kamaris village to Gulmit. Gulmit is a peaceful and serene village that formerly served as a summer capital of the Hunza Kingdom. Here one will walk through the village, visit a 400 year-old house, and see local women weaving carpets and making several other traditional handicrafts. Visit local museum. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)

Day 16: Hoper Nagar valley – Karimabad
In the morning we drive to Karimabad, en-route we stop at the recently formed Attabad Lake, a significant addition to the natural beauty of Hunza. Next we will be doing a side trip to Hoper Nagar valley.
NAGARVALLEY – which can be seen from Duiker is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper. After picnic lunch we drive back toward Karimabad our next stop will be Ganish village where we will visit Ali Gohar House, a 400-year-old architectural masterpiece, formerly used by Hunzas envoy to Kashgar, was announced as one of the winners to receive the Award for Distinction in UNESCO Asia Pacific Award 2009. Afternoon walking tour of Karimabad village. Overnight at Hunza Embassy or Hill Top hotel in Karimabad. (BD)

Day 17: Karimabad – Sunrise Duiker village
Early morning wake up and short drive to Duiker village, enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m) and other peaks.
Later drive down to Alitit village, visit 900 years old Altit Fort, later visit Baltit Fort which is 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Mir (King) married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time. The rest of the day is free time at leisure for shopping.
Overnight at Hunza Embassy or Hill Top hotel in Karimabad. (BD)

Day 18: Karimabad – Gilgit
In the morning, we drive along the Karakorum highway to Gilgit; the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan and where the world’s three mightiest mountain ranges, the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and the Himalayas collide. The Gilgit Baltistan region is a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The area has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the region was a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
En-route to Gilgit we stop at Rakaposhi peak (7788 m) view point for photography and Chalt Nagar, the collision point of Indo Pak and Eurasian plate.
After lunch visit the Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD. Overnight in Grand continental or Riveria Hotel in Gilgit (BD)

Day 19: Gilgit – Naran
In the morning we drive along the Karakorum Highway to Naran Kaghan valley.
Our first stop will at the junction point of three great Mountain ranges, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush. After we will drive along a scenic route via Babusar pass to Naran and Kaghan valley.
Overnight at PTDC Motel or Similar. (BD)

Day 20: Taxila – Islamabad
In the morning we drive to Islamabad en-route we will stop at Taxila. Taxila has many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the 6th century B.C until the 5th century A.D.
Continue driving to Islamabad. Overnight at Redison hotel in Islamabad. (BD)

Day 21: Islamabad visit
In the morning we visit the Damn-E-Koh (view point), which gives us a panoramic view of Islamabad, our next stop will be at Folk Heritage Museum and the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque. In afternoon visit the colourful hustling bustling market of Raja Bazar. In the evening farewell dinner at food street in Rawalpindi. Overnight at Redison hotel in Islamabad.

Day 22: Depart Islamabad
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)
** If you would like to extend your trip to Lahore we can customize it according to your request.**

Treasures of Uzbekistan

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Tashkent
Upon arrival at Tashkent international airport, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel, the rest of the day is free at Leisure. Overnight in Tashkent Hotel (D)

Day 02: Tashkent-Urgench Khiva
Morning flight to Urgench and transfer to Khiva, Depending on the flight schedule, possibly half day sightseeing of Khiva city Overnight in Khiva hotel (BD)

Day 03: Khiva City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Overnight in Khiva at hotel (BD)

Day 04: Khiva – Bukhara
Our drive to Bukhara is through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert. Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this unforgiving landscape. With buildings spanning 1,000 years of history and a thoroughly lived-in city centre that hasn’t changed much in two centuries, Bukhara is one of the best places in Central Asia to catch a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. Most of the city centre is an architectural preserve and includes a massive royal fortress, plenty of former Madrassas, a number of ancient public baths and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. There are over 140 protected buildings in the city. Overnight in Bukhara at hotel (BD)

Day 05: Bukhara City Tour
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; the resulting restoration of some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, to make them appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago. We also visit the massive fortress, The Ark, with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of a ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Its name comes from Tajik although the towers you can see are not actually minarets but simply decorative towers. Overnight in Bukhara at hotel (BD)
Day 06: Bukhara Free day
Full free day at leisure or optional activities.
Overnight at hotel in Bukhara (BD)

Day 07: Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand
We depart early for Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane, where we tour Ak-Saray Palace, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque, House of Meditation and the Crypt of Timur, a man who changed the course of history and made a signfigant difference to Central Asia. There’s little left of Timur’s Ak-Saray Palace except bits of the gigantic, 40 m (98 foot) high entrance covered with gorgeous filigree like blue, white and gold mosaics, but it’s staggering to try and imagine what the rest of this glorious summer palace must have looked like. We continue later to Samarkand. For most people, Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Tombouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous. Overnight in Samarkand at hotel (BD)

Day 08: Samarkand City Tour
Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane, Observatory of Ulughbek, the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient Afrosiab and the Historical Museum of Uzbek Culture and Art, with the wooden coffin of Tamerlane and a large copy of the Koran. Overnight in Samarkand at hotel (BD)

Day 09: Samarkand-Tashkent
In the morning transfer to the train station for express train journey to Tashkent.
Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Later we continue on a city tour of Tashkent visiting mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools) housing craft workshops and dating from the 14th century. We visit the Kukeldash Medressa, a grand 16th century academy undergoing restoration and the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the Museum of Fine Arts. Later visit Tashkent Metro stations. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent (BD)

Day 10: Depart Tashkent
Trip will end with airport transfer (B)

The Grand Silk Road Tours – Delhi to Tashkent

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival, meet your guide at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
The rest of the day is free at leisure
Overnight in Piccadilly Hotel (D)

Day 02: City tour of Delhi
Enjoy sightseeing tour of Delhi visiting Jama masjid, drive past Red fort, Rickshaw ride in the old Delhi, Rajghat- the cremation ground of Mahatma Gandhi, Humayun’s tomb, India gate and Qutub Minar.
Delhi – the capital city of India has two distinct personalities: Old Delhi, with its chaotic, winding alleys, crammed with cycle rickshaws, and noisy street traders, and New Delhi, built by the Britishers. Old Delhi is home to the India’s largest 17th-century Masjid Mosque, bustling shopping lane of Chandni Chowk, Red Fort (Lal Qila) and Rajghat. In New Delhi, you will see the magnificent Parliament Building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President of India in the 330 acres of land and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens), once the awe-inspiring residence of the British Viceroys and now the Presidential Palace, India Gate (a majestic 42-mts high arch, built as a memorial to the Indian Soldiers killed in World War I), Qutab Minar (the 72.5 mts high tower dating back to 13th century and one of the greatest bequests of Islamic Culture), Humayun’s Tomb (built in the 16th century and architecturally the fore runner of the Taj Mahal, has Mughal Architecture at its graceful best).
Overnight in Piccadilly Hotel (BD)

Day 03: Delhi to Agra
After breakfast drive to Agra. Enjoy the sightseeing tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
Taj Mahal truly is one of the wonders of the world. It is a monument of love built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains in 1630. For twenty-two years 20,000 men worked day and night to build this masterpiece.
Agra Fort as world Heritage site was built as military establishments by Akbar in 1565. This powerful fortress encompasses the imperial city of the Mughal rulers within its 2.5-kilometre-long enclosure walls.
The Agra fort built with red sandstone was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time. Overnight Radisson /Hilton / Marriot (BD)

Day 04: Agra – Jaipur
Agra – Jaipur. En route to Jaipur, we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned due to lack of water.
Fatehpur Sikri was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570. It was built in honour of Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chisti, who foretold the birth of his son. It was the first planned city of the Mughals and also the first one designed in Mughal architecture, an amalgamation of Indian architecture, Persian and Islamic architecture. It served as the Mughal Empire’s capital from 1571 until 1585. Though the court took 15 years to build, it was abandoned after only 14 years because the water supply was unable to sustain the growing population.
Overnight in Shahpura House (BD)

Day 05: Sightseeing tour of Jaipur
Enjoy full day sightseeing tour of Jaipur. Start with Amber fort ascended on an elephant back followed by visit to city palace, Jantar mantar (observatory) and Hawa mahal (palace of winds)
Jaipur also popularly known as the Pink City, is one of the few planned cities in India and the capital city of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai SinghII.
Amber Fort was built by Man Singh, embodies the Rajput belief that the fort symbolizes the strength of the King. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style, blending both Hindu and Mughal elements. It has four level (each with a courtyard) layout plan consisting of the Diwan-e-Aam or the “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas or the “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over the water cascade within the palace. The Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors), its walls covered with tiny mirrors, becomes a dazzling fantasy with the light of a single match
City palace: At the heart is the City Palace that is both a museum and home to the Royal family. You can see the textile and costume museum, arms and armour museum, art gallery and hall of public and private audience.
Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) which remains only a façade today in Jaipur was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh . Hawa Mahal has small windows called jharokhas that are decorated with intricate latticework The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. Overnight in Shahpura House (BD)

Day 06: Jaipur – Mandawa
Today after breakfast drive to Mandawa in Shekhawati region. The city of Mandawa was founded in the mid-18th century; it has interesting murals in the large rugged fort – now a hotel boast ing of excellent views. The Castle Mandawa is located just out side the walled city of Mandawa. The hotel therefore allows the guests to take walking tours into the colourful city or just relax in the peaceful atmosphere. Mandawa boasts of the finest painted havelis in the region and is a perfect place for wandere ing at random. The Goenka Havelis in the city are well worth the visit -Ladhuram Tarkesvar, Dedraj Turmal & the Ladia havelis (of which there are a number). The Shiva temple here has a rock crys tal lingam. The Harlalkabaoli (a working step well) should be visited early in the morning to watch the oxen at work on the ramp to raise water. Another well located nearby is the Majisa ka Kuan
Overnight in Vivaana (BD)

Day 07: Mandawa – Delhi
Today late in the morning drive back to Delhi and transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Piccadilly Hotel (BD)

Day 08: Delhi – Amritsar
Today you will be transferred to New Delhi railway station to catch train to Amritsar.
The Shatabdi Express departs at 0720 hrs and arrives Amritsar at 1300 hrs.
Air conditioned seater class will be booked the on train.
On Arrival in Amritsar you will be met and transferred to hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Amritsar city. Amritsar; is on of the main cities in Punjab and home to the seat of Sikh religion called Golden temple, which is holiest shrine of Sikh religion. Maharaja Ranjit singh gave this distinctive look to the temple in 1803 and covered it with gold. The Golden temple is overlaid with pure gold leaf, walls are inlaid with semi-precious stones, frescoes and glass work. This complex also has the worlds largest free eatery (Langar) or community kitchen. Free food is served to everyone without any consideration for their background.
You will also visit Jallian wala bagh which is a public garden in Amritsar , and houses a memorial of national importance, to commemorate the sacrifice of people in India’s freedom struggle the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13, 1919
In the evening you will visit Golden temple again to see the Holy book procession ceremony.
Amritsar is also famous for its handicrafts and handlooms.
Overnight in Ramada Hotel (BD)

Day 09: Amritsar-Wagah border-Lahore (Pakistan)
Today in the morning you will be taken to Wagah border (India-Pakistan border). Wagah border is the only border crossing between the two countries.
You will be met by your Pakistani guide at Wagah border and transferred to Lahore city.
Lahore has been the capital of Punjab for nearly 1,000 years. Besides being the Mughal show-window, Lahore is the cultural, academic and intellectual centre of Pakistan. For 200 years, beginning from about 1525 AD, Lahore remained a thriving cultural centre of the great Mughal Empire, when the city was beautified with palaces, gardens, monuments and mosques. During the British regime, many monuments sprang up in Lahore which blended beautifully with the Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles of architecture. Overnight in Chancery Guest House (BD)

Day 10: Lahore City Tour
Full day city tour of Lahore includes
Today we will visit the different sites of Lahore which include the Badshahi Mosque which was built by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1674, represents the very best of Mughal architecture. The Lahore Fort is next to the mosque which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1560. It is a rectangular in shape which is 380 by 330 meters filled with buildings from a variety of periods which include Maktab Khana, Dican E Khas and Diwan Am, the Palace of Mirrors (Shish Mahal) Red Tower. Lahore Museum is especially famous for the stone caved fasting Buddha apart from other artefacts. Shalimar Garden was built by Shah Jahan in 1642. As a pleasure garden for the royal household, it follows the Mughal concept of the perfect walled garden with three terraces of straight, shaded walks, geometrically arranged ponds fountains and marble pavilions, surrounded by flowers and fruit trees.
Later we visit Wazir Khan Mosque, famous for its extensive tile work and frescos. It was built in seven years starting around 1634–1635 AD during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan.
Overnight in Chancery Guest House (BD)

Day 11: Drive to Islamabad
In the morning drive by Daewoo express bus to Islamabad the capital city of Pakistan, Afternoon visit is followed by the Damn-E-Koh (view point), which gives us a panoramic view of Islamabad before driving past various modern streets and buildings graceful with a touch of Islamic Architecture & Folk Heritage Museum. Our tour culminates at one of the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque.
Overnight in Ambassador Hotel (BD)

Day 12: Islamabad-Taxila-Naran
In the morning we drive to Naran en-route we will stop at Taxila, Taxila has a well-planned museum and many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the Sixth Century B.C until the Fifth Century A.D.
Later drive to Naran.Overnight in PTDC Motel (BD)

Day 13: Naran-babusar pass-Gilgit
Today we drive over Babusar pass to Chilas, where we join the Karakorum highway later continue driving to Gilgit.
Gilgit the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan and, perhaps, the most spectacular region of Pakistan in terms of its geography and scenic beauty. Here world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas – meet. The whole of Gilgit Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the area have remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
Overnight in PTDC or Riveria Hotel (BLD)

Day 14: Gilgit-Karimabad-Duiker
In the morning visit the Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD.
Later continue along the Karakorum highway toward Hunza, en-route we will stop at Raka Poshi Peak (7788m) view point, with stunning view of the Mountain while enjoying your lunch.
Later proceed to Duiker village which is just above Karimabad village with stunning view over Karimabad and surrounding peaks
Overnight in Eagles Nest hotel (BD)

Day 15: Duiker-Karimabad
In the morning and enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m).. Later in the afternoon drive down to Karimabad en-route visit Altit village.
Later visit Baltit Fort which is 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Mir (King) married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time.
The rest of the day is free time at leisure for shopping.
Overnight in Hill Top or Hunza Embassy Hotel (BD)

Day 16: Karimabad-Gulmit Gojal
In the morning we drive to Gulmit, en-route we do a site trip to Hoper Nagar valley, which can be seen from Duiker is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper.
Later drive to Atta Abad Lake where we board on local boats to Gulmit.
In the afternoon visit around the village meet the locals and learn about their cultures.
Overnight in Marco Polo Inn (BD)

Day 17: Gulmit-Borith Lake
In the morning visit Gulmit old house where you visit to see the local women’s handicraft centre, drive to Ghulkin village where you will visit some local houses, have some light snack, those who are energetic optional hike via Ghulkin glacier to borith Lake, those who do not wish to hike they can drive to the Lake.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery. After lunch for those of you who are energetic we will hike to the Passu glacier., in the even you will be invited to local family for dinner.
Overnight in Borith Lake Hotel (BD)

Day 18: Sost-Khunjerab pass-Tashkurgan (China)
Today drive to Sost, After border formalities, we will drive by private transport to Tashkurgan where you will meet our Chinese guide and transferred to you hotel
Overnight in Kay2 Hotel (BD)

Day 19: Kashgar
In the morning, we visit Tashkurgan Fort, dating back from the 14th century. You can enjoy an impressive view of the surrounding fields, mountains, and military complexes from the old walls. Afterwards we continue driving to Kashgar. The scenery along the way is breathtaking. We will be stopping at the Karakul Lake where you can enjoy the view of Muztagh-ata Mountains. Optional camel ride or walk around the Lake. Later continue to Kashgar.
Overnight in Qingi Bagh Hotel New Building (BD)

Day 20: Kashgar Sunday Market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep’s and even camels are for sale! Wonderful assortments of people come from all over the region, and the population of the town swells by 100,000! This is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia, and a photographer’s paradise!
Overnight in Qingi Bagh Hotel, New Building (BD)

Day 21: Kashgar Tash Rabat – Narayn (Kyrgyzstan)
In the morning transfer to the border crossing of Torugart pass, after border formalities you will be met by our Kyrgyz team, later visit the Caravan Sarai dated from 11th century which served as a fortress for travellers along the Great Silk Road. Continue driving to Naryn.
Overnight in Khan-Tengri Guest house (BLD)

Day 22: Issyk Kul Lake
Today our destination is Lake Issyk-Kul, which is the second-largest alpine lake after Lake Titicaca in South America. A combination of depth, thermal activity and mild salinity means the lake never freezes, thus its name `Issyk-Kul’ means `warm lake’. Archaeological discoveries from the lake’s bottom include ancient relics and graves dating back to the first millennium BC. An ancient trade center from the second century BC is thought to have been destroyed by the rise and fall of the lake’s level. Before checking in at our hotel we will visit Cholpan-Ata, known for petroglyphs which are thought to have been created by the tribes of the Neolithic period. The images are mainly primitive long-horned ibex, horses, camels and snow leopards. Overnight in Karven Issykul Hotel. (BLD).

Day 23: Bishkek
In the morning drive to Bishkek. En-route we stop at Jety Oguz canyon, where you have chance to do some short hikes or optional horse riding, later visit Burana tower which was built in the 11centuries. Overnight in Holiday hotel Bishkek (BLD)

Day 24: Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
In the morning visit Ala-Archa National Park with picnic lunch later city tour of Bishkek, late in the the afternoon transfer to the airport for Uzbekistan airways flight HY 780 EDT 06:40 PM ETA to Tashkent at 7:00 PM, On arrival at Tashkent airport you will be met by our Uzbek guide and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Lotte City Tashkent Palace hotel (BLD)

Day 25: Tashkent-Urgench Khiva
Morning flight to Urgench and transfer to Khiva, Depending on the flight schedule, possibly half day sightseeing of Khiva city Overnight in Asia Khiva (BLD)

Day 26: Khiva City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Overnight in Asia Khiva (BLD)

Day 27: Khiva-Bukhara
City tour of Khiva. Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the Emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Later drive to Bukhara through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert. Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this unforgiving landscape. With buildings spanning 1,000 years of history and a thoroughly lived-in city centre that hasn’t changed much in two centuries, Bukhara is one of the best places in Central Asia to catch a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. Most of the city centre is an architectural preserve and includes a massive royal fortress, plenty of former Madrassas, a number of ancient public baths and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. There are over 140 protected buildings in the city.
Overnight in Divong Begi or Bi Bi Khanum Hotel (BD)

Day 28: Bukhara: City Tour
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes”, active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours whilst drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; resulting in the complete restoration of some of the 11th to 15th century mosques. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago. We also visit the massive fortress The Ark, with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of a ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Its name comes from Tajik although the towers you can see are not actually minarets but simply decorative towers.
Overnight in Divong Begi or Bi Bi Khanum Hotel (BD)

Day 29: Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand
We depart early for Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane, where we tour Ak-Saray Palace, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque, House of Meditation and the Crypt of Timur, a man who changed the course of Central Asian history. There’s little left of Timur’s Ak-Saray Palace except bits of the gigantic, 40 m (98 foot) high entrance covered with gorgeous filigree like blue, white and gold mosaics, but it’s staggering to try and imagine what the rest of this glorious summer palace must have looked like. We continue later to Samarkand. For most people, Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Tombouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous.
Overnight in Malika Prime Hotel (BD)

Day 30: Samarkand: City Tour
Samarkand, sometimes called the “Rome of the Orient” was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane, Observatory of Ulughbek, the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient.
Overnight in Malika Prime Hotel (BD)

Day 31: Samarkand-Tashkent
In the morning we drive along the scenic road as it winds along the eastern spurs of the Pamir Ranges to Tashkent. We continue on a city tour of Tashkent visiting mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools) housing craft workshops and dating from the 14th century. We visit the Kukeldash Medressa, a grand 16th century academy undergoing restoration and the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Overnight in La-Grand plaza or Uzbekistan hotel (BD)

Day 32: Onward flight
Trip will end with airport transfer (B)

Central Asia High Road – Five Stan Tours

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Upon arrival at Tashkent international airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel, the rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight at Uzbekistan hotel or Orient inn in Tashkent. (D)

Day 02: Tashkent City Tour
City tour of Tashkent includes visiting Amir Timur Square, with its imposing statue of Uzbekistan’s post-Soviet hero, Tamerlane. Continue past Independence Square, the largest city square of the former Soviet Union. Visit the State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, largely formed from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collectors, which was nationalized after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today the Museum houses an excellent collection of Uzbek and Russian paintings, and also a fine collection of textiles, jewellery, wood carvings and ceramics.
Later visit the old section of Tashkent. Drive to the restored Barak-Khan Complex, with striking blue-tiled domes and decorative Iwans (entrance portals), built during the 16th century when the Shaybanid Dynasty (the Uzbeks) replaced the Timurid Dynasty. Visit the Hast Imam library to see an 8th century manuscript Quran written in the territory of modern Iraq in Kufic script. The Quran is believed by local Uzbek Muslims to have belonged to the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, and is the oldest Quran in the world. Afternoon visiting to the Chorsu Bazaar, centre of daily life in the heart of old town. The Bazaar comprises a unique complex of trade halls crowned with interrelated domes. Everything from exotic dried fruits, fresh herbs and handmade cheese to colourful handicrafts is for sale.
Afterwards, explore the impressive Tashkent Metro, which opened in 1977 in honour of 60th anniversary of the USSR. Each station has its own unique architectural features made of semi-precious materials including marble, granite, glass, ceramics and carved alabaster.
You will also have a chance to visit to the Museum of Applied Arts, with its vast collection of Uzbek traditional crafts. The museum is housed in the former residence of Russian diplomat A. A. Polovtsev, which was built at the end of 19th century in the Uzbek national style. Overnight at Uzbekistan hotel or Orient inn in Tashkent. (D)

Day 03: Tashkent – Urgench Khiva
Morning flight to Urgench and transfer to Khiva, Depending on the flight schedule, possibly half day sightseeing of Khiva city. Overnight at Malika hotel in Khiva. (BD)

Day 04: Khiva City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century. Khiva is an ancient walled city preserved to look as it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Overnight at Malika hotel in Khiva. (BD)

Day 05: Dashoguz- Kunya Urgench – Gas Crater (Turkmenistan)
In the morning drive to Kunya Urgench through the Kara Kum Desert to the ruins of the ancient capital. We cross the border at Dashoguz and continue driving to Kunya Urgench. We visit the Kunya Urgench historical site, where the mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra and Sultan Ali are located. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret & Kyrk Molla. Later in the afternoon we drive to Darvaza flaming Gas Crater or the ‘mouth of hell’. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the as is still burning today. En-route we visit a Nomad village located in the Karakum desert. Enjoy the amazing views with picnic dinner. Overnight in a basic camp near the Darvaza crater. Sleeping bags and mattresses are provided. (BLD)

Day 06: Darvaza Flaming Crater-Ashgabad
In the morning drive to Ashgabad, check in to your hotel, later drive to visit Nissa fortress -the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared Nissa fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC). It is reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings although it has not been established that it was a royal residence nor a mausoleum. The ruins of ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village. Overnight at Grand hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)

Day 07: Ashgabad Sightseeing
In the morning visit Tolkuchka Bazaar visit the Spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi. Later drive to Gokdepe fortress and horse farm. Gokdepe fortress was attacked in December 1880 by 6,000 Russians under General Mikhail Skobelev against 25,000 defenders. Gokdepe Mosque was built to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue coloured roof and white marble structure.
Later drive to visit a horse farm to see the national pride of the Turkmen people – Akhal-Teke horses, the most purebred and oldest in the world. 5000 years ago, Turkmens began breeding Akhal-Teke horses. Such illustrious Emperors like Alexander the Great, Darius I desired to own Ahal-Teke horses. There are over 35 beautiful horses on the farm. Per superstition, every sick person who touches an Ahal-Teke horse will get well soon. Overnight at Grand hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)

Day 08: Mary
Morning flight to Mary. Sightseeing of Mary and the ancient ruins of Merv which came under Persian, Greek, Sassanian and Muslim rule. From the 11th century Merv was the capital of the Seljuk Turks, who controlled an empire stretching from Afghanistan to Egypt. In the 13th century Merv was destroyed by the Mongols leaving only the ruins of these numerous civilizations. Later visit the History Museum, Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum and Kys Kala. Overnight at Mary hotel in Mary. (BD)

Day 09: Bukhara (Uzbekistan)
In the morning, drive to the Turkmen Uzbek border. After border formalities you will be met by our Uzbek guide and drive to Bukhara. Afternoon walking tour of Bukhara. Bukhara is one of the best places in Central Asia to catch a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. Most of the city centre is an architectural preserve and includes a massive royal fortress, plenty of former Madrassas, a number of ancient public baths and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. There are over 140 protected buildings in the city. Overnight at Sasha & Son’s or Malika hotel in Bukhara. (BD)

Day 10: Bukhara
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site resulting in the restoration of some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, to their former glory. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago.
We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last Emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of an ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Overnight at Sasha & Son’s or Malika hotel in Bukhara. (BD)

Day 11: Bukhara free day
Full free day at leisure in Bukhara.
Overnight at Sasha & Son’s or Malika hotel in Bukhara. (BD)

Day 12: Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand
We depart early for Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane, where we tour Ak-Saray Palace, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque, House of Meditation and the Crypt of Timur, a man who changed the course of history and made a significant difference to Central Asia. There’s little left of Timur’s Ak-Saray Palace except bits of the gigantic, 40 m (98 foot) high entrance covered with gorgeous filigree like blue, white and gold mosaics, but it’s staggering to try and imagine what the rest of this glorious summer palace must have looked like. We continue later to Samarkand. For most people, Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Tombouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous.
Overnight at Malika Prime hotel in Samarkand. (BD)

Day 13: Samarkand City Tour
Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane, Observatory of Ulughbek, the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicate back in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum.
Overnight at Malika Prime hotel in Samarkand. (BD)

Day 14: Samarkand- Penjikent Fann Mountain (Tajikistan)
In the morning we drive to Uzbek Tajik border crossing at Penjikent, after border formalities meet your Tajik guide and drive to visit the Seven Lakes (80 km) through the settlement of Sarazm the UNESCO World Heritage site. Seven lakes of Marguzor is located in the west of Fan Mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple. Today you will have a chance to hike around the mountain. After picnic lunch return to Penjikent. Afternoon visit the Penjikent museum and local market. Overnight at Sugd hotel in Penjikent. (BD)

Day 15: Penjikent – Iskandar Kul Lake – Dushanbe
In the morning drive to Dushanbe, en-route we stop at Iskandar Kul Lake, explore around the Lake after lunch continue driving to Dushanbe. Overnight at Serena hotel in Dushanbe. (BLD)

Day 16: Dushanbe visit
In the morning we visit Hissar Fortress, houses which remains of the palace of the Bukhara Emirate Becks. Its thick walls once guarded a pool, garden, and palace, while the fortress itself opposed a noisy market and caravanserai. What remains today is a portion of the wall and the gate towers, representative of the 18th and 19th century style. The area has been inhabited since antiquity and features an 8th century mosque, but it was the emirs who inhabited the fortress and the Silk Route traders that made Gissar a center of commerce and learning .You will also have an opportunity today to visit Old Medressa (Madrasai Kuhna, 16th – 17th century) and its museum and Madrasai Nav (17th -18thcentury) and the Caravan Saray. Later city tour includes visit the Museum of National Antiquities with exhibits primarily from Tajikistan’s pre-Islamic civilizations: the Greek, Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian periods. The most notable piece in the museum is the largest, fifteen-hundred-year-old reclining Buddha statue. Later enjoy strolling around the big Ismoili Somoni Monument – the forefather of Tajik nation, erected in the Main Square and Rudaki Park in the center of city as well. Try the taste of Tajik tea and hot bread in public teahouses – called Choikhona – most of which are decorated in traditional, colourful Tajik style. Overnight at Serena hotel in Dushanbe. (BLD)

Day 17: Kalaikum
Today we start our journey toward the Pamir over the mountain passes to Kalaikum which is halfway to Khorog. Overnight at home-stays in Kalaikum. (BLD)

Day 18: Khorog
Drive to Khorog, the capital of the Gorno- Badakhshan (GBAO) region, along the Panj River which forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Overnight at Lal inn hotel in Khorog (BLD)

Day 19: Khorog
In the morning, visit Khorog’s bazaar, museum and botanical gardens. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight at Lal inn hotel in Khorog (BLD)

Day 20: Ishkashim Wakhan Valley
Today we drive to Wakhan valley. En-route we stop at Garm Chashma (Hot spring). Garam Chasma is the Pamirs’ most popular open-air hot spring pool for the locals. We visit the ruins of Kah Kahah fortress dated back from Kushan period 4th Century AD and in the afternoon, drive to Bibi Fotima hot spring for a walk around the village. Overnight at home-stays in Ishkashim. (BLD)

Day 21: Langar
In the morning we visit a small museum of local astronomer and poet Sufi Muboraki Wakhoni. Afterwards, we travel to the village Vrang where a Buddhist complex dating from 4th-7 centuries is pitted on in a cliff-face. This complex is the reminder of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. Continue driving to Langer, afternoon walk around the village and a chance to meet the locals, or if you are energetic, optional hike up the hill to see the petroglyph site above the village, which involves a fair physical effort to reach. These images carved into the rocks high above the village depict goats, caravans, horses. Overnight at home-stays in Langar. (BLD)

Day 22: Murghab
Today we visit local shrine Mazor-I Shoh Qambar-I Oftob (Master of Sun). Afterward we drive along the Pamir River via the Khargoshi pass (4344m) to Murghab.
Murgab is the highest village in Tajikistan, located at an altitude of 3600m. The town lies at the junction of the Pamir highway (that connects the region with Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan) and the main road linking Tajikistan with China through the Kulma pass. Overnight at Guest house in Murghab. (BLD)

Day 23: Kyzyl Art pass – Sary-Tash (Kyrgyzstan)
We drive along the Pamir Highway to Sary-Tash, en-route we stop at Karakul Lake with beautiful view of the lake and surrounding mountain peaks. Drive to Kyzyl-Art Pass (4,280 m) border crossing. After border formalities, meet your Kyrgyz guide and descend to Sary-Tash village.Overnight at Mirbek Guest House. (BLD)

Day 24: Sary Tash village – Osh
In the morning we drive to Osh to visit the Suleyman Mountain, Baburs house, History Museum, Rabat Abdullah Khan Mosque and Mausoleum and Osh Bazaar. Overnight at Silkway hotel (BLD)

Day 25: Osh-Chyckan Gorge
Drive to Chychkan Gorge, stopping along the way at the Uzgen minaret and mausoleum. Our journey takes us through the hydro-power stations, Toktogul water reservoir, Marble Pyramid and the Chychkan Canyon. Overnight at Oson Motel in Chyckan Gorge. (BLD)

Day 26: Chychkan Gorge – Bishkek
Today we drive the Ala-Bel pass (3200 m above sea level) and through the Suusamyr valley to Bishkek. Upon arrival in Bishkek, enjoy a city tour which includes Central Square Ala-Too, White House, Parliament House, Manas on Horse Statue, Lenin Statue, and Oak Park.
Overnight at Madison Ave hotel in Bishkek. (BLD)

Day 27: Bishkek – Sonkul Lake (370 kms)
Morning scenic drive to Song Kul Lake. En route you will visit the Burana Tower. The tower, along with grave markers, some earthworks and the remnants of a castle and three mausoleums, is all that remains of the ancient city of Balasagun which was established by the Karakhanids at the end of the 9th century.The next stop is in nearby Don-Aryk village where you will witness the famous horseback game called Buzkashi.
Later continue driving to Song Kol is a high alpine lake in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan It lies at an altitude of 3016 metre from sea level. It is an important migration point for birds, which flock here for the lake’s rich marshlands. The lake itself is an exquisite gem-coloured turquoise blue, reaching a depth of 14 meters. In the summer. Song-Kul Lake is surrounded by lush verdant grass, making it a hotspot for nomadic cattle and horse breeders. Overnight in Yurt. (BLD)

Day 28: Sonkul Lake – Issyk Kul Lake (300 kms)
Morning drive to Issyk-Kul. En route stop in Kochkor village where you will visit the Altyn Kol Women’s Handicraft Co-operative Centre.
Here, you will learn how nomadic Kyrgyz women made Shyrdak, and Ala-Kiyiz – a floor covering made by pressing felt of various naturally dyed colours. You will see the process of felt carpet-making and wool-dying. Kochkor is famous for farming and felt-makers.
Later, we continue driving to Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul. Visit Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs Saimalu-Tash, which covers 42 hectares and contains prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall) and petroglyphs dating from 500 BC up to 600 AD.
Upon arrival enjoy the stunning view of the Lake or take an optional boat ride. Overnight at Three Crown hotel in Issuk Kul Lake. (BD)

Day 29: Issyk-Kul Lake – Karakol – Djety Oguz Gorge (150 kms)
Drive to Karakol. Half day sightseeing of Karakol visiting the Russian Church (1885), Dungan mosque (1910) and the museum and grave of Prjevalskiy, a great Russian explorer of Central Asia and Mongolia.
After lunch drive to Djety-Oguz Gorge, a lush valley with striking red sandstone rock formations – the ‘Seven Bulls’ from which the valley takes its name. Here you will watch an Eagle Hunting show. Walking around the Canyon later return back to Karakol. Overnight at Amir or Green Yard hotel in Karakol. (BD)

Day 30: Karakol – Charyn Canyons – Almaty (Kazakhstan)
After breakfast depart Karakol and drive to Charyn Canyons via Karkara valley, see the natural landscapes and hike the Charyn canyon which is also known as Valley of Castles for its unusual rock formations. The width of it ranges from 20-80 meters (66 – 262 ft) and the length is 2 km (1.24 mi) long. After picnic lunch continue driving to Almaty.
Overnight at Voyage hotel in Almaty. (BLD)

Day 31: Almaty visit
Almaty city tour: visit the Zenkov Cathedral, one of the worlds tallest all wood buildings and the unique national museum of Kazak musical instruments. Drive to Medeo. Take a funicular to lift to Chymbulak Mountain Ski Resort center. On the way back to Almaty take a cable car to climb to Kok-Tobe Green Hill. Enjoy panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill followed by a visit to the Central State Museum. Overnight at Voyage hotel in Almaty (BLD)

Day 32: Depart Almaty
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)
*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange alternative hotels of a similar standard.

Central Asia Discovery- Five Stan Tours

Itinerary

Day 1: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Upon arrival at Bishkek airport you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel.
City tour of Bishkek, including Victory square, Russian Orthodox Church, Osh market, Ala-Too Square and the History Museum. Overnight at hotel in Bishkek (D)
Day 2: Issyk-Kul lake Cholpon-Ata
In the morning drive to Issyk Kul Lake via Burana Tower (built in the10th century) in ancient Balasagun City. Visit Burana tower of Kharakhanids along with castles and mausoleums. Enjoy lunch while watching the Buzkashi (Horse game). Later continue driving to Cholpon-Ata. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Lake and mountains at the background. Overnight at hotel in Cholpon-Ata (BLD)
Day 3: Cholpon-Ata- Chon Aksuu-Karakol
In the morning drive to Karakol, en-route we visit Chon Aksuu (Grigoryevka) gorge for an opportunity for a short hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Later return to Karakul.
Overnight at hotel in Karakol (BLD)
Day 4: Karakol – Djety Oguz
Half day sightseeing of Karakul; visiting the Russian Church (1885), Dungan mosque (1910) and the Museum and grave of Prjevalskiy, the Great Russian explorer of Asia. After lunch, we drive to theimpressive Djeti Oguz gorge, the Gorge of 7 Red Rocks and the the most beautiful gorge in Kyrgyzstan. Here there is the opportunity to to hike around the canyon or take an optional horse ride.
Overnight in Typical Kyrgyz Yurt (BLD)
Day 5: Djety Oguz- Chon-Kemin valley
In the morning we drive to Chon-Kemin valley. Our first stop will be in Kyzyl-Tuu village where a member of a Kyrgyz family will show us how to make traditional yurt tents. Lunch at Yurt master’s family house. En-route, we stop for an Eagle Hunting Show and continue onto Chon-Kemin. Upon arrival we explore the village. In the evening, experience true Kyrgyz hospitality with a traditional Vodka party dinner.
Overnight at Ashu Guest house (BLD)
Day 6: Chong Kemin (Kyrgyzstan) – Almaty (Kazakhstan)
After breakfast drive to Almaty via Karasu (Black River) border point. Upon arrival check in hotel. Overnight at hotel in Almaty (BLD)
Day 7: Almaty
Today a city tour of Almaty visiting the Zenkov Cathedral (one of the world’s tallest all wood buildings) and the Central State Museum. Ascend the Kok-Tube Mountain. Return to Almaty to visit the unique National Museum of Kazak Musical Instruments.
Overnight at hotel in Almaty (BLD)
Day 08: Almaty flight to Tashkent
Depending on the flight schedule, transfer to the airport for flight to Tashkent. Upon arrival at Tashkent you will be met by our local tour leader and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Tashkent (BD)
Day 09: Tashkent City Tour
City tour of Tashkent includes visting Amir Timur Square, with its imposing statue of Uzbekistan’s post-Soviet hero, Tamerlane. Continue past Independence Square, the largest city square of the former Soviet Union. Visit the State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, largely formed from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collectors, nationalized after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today the Museum houses an excellent collection of Uzbek and Russian painting, and also a fine collection of textiles, jewellery, wood carvings and ceramics.
Later visit the Old part of Tashkent. Drive to the restored Barak-Khan Complex, with striking blue tiled domes and decorative Iwans (entrance portals), built during the 16th century when the Shaybanid Dynasty (the Uzbeks) replaced the Timurid Dynasty. Visit the Hast Imam library to see an 8th century manuscript Quran written in the territory of modern Iraq in Kufic script. It is believed by local Uzbek Muslims to have belonged to the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan and is the oldest Quran in the world. Afternoon visiting to the Chorsu Bazaar, centre of daily life in the heart of old town. The Bazaar comprises a unique complex of trade halls crowned with interrelated domes. Everything from exotic dried fruits, fresh herbs, handmade cheese and freshly-killed meat to colourful handicrafts is for sale.Afterwards, explore the impressive Tashkent Metro, which opened in 1977 in honour of 60th anniversary of the USSR. Each station has its own unique architectural features made of semi-precious materials including marble, granite, glass, ceramics and carved alabaster.
You will also have a chance to visit to the Museum of Applied Arts, with its vast collection of Uzbek traditional crafts. The museum is housed in the former residence of Russian diplomat A. A. Polovtsev, which was built at the end of 19th century in the Uzbek national style. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent. (BD)
Day 10: Khujand-Istrafshan – Penjikent (Tajikistan)
In the morning transfer to the Uzbek Tajik border at Oybek to Khujand. You will be met by our Tajikistan guide and drive to Khujand city, City tour of Khujand includes a visit to the ancient part of Timurmalik fortress, museum and Panjshanbe market, after lunch drive to Istrafshan and visit the well preserved old town of Istarafshan, a maze of small alleys that wind through neighborhoods of shady, mud walled Central Asian homesteads. Sights include the fifteenth century Kuk Gumbaz Mosque, the Hafz-i-Sangin Mosque and the eighteenth century Hazrat-i-Shah Mosque and mausoleum complex. Continue driving to Penjikent. Overnight at hotel in Penjikent. (BD)
Day 11: Penjikent – Fann Mountain
In the morning we drive to visit the Seven Lakes (80 km) through the settlement of Sarazm the UNESCO World Heritage site. Seven lakes of Marguzor is located in the west of Fan Mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple. Today you will have a chance to hike around the Mountain, after picnic lunch return to Penjikent. Afternoon visit Penjikent museum, local market. Overnight at hotel in Penjikent. (BD)
Day 12: Samarkand (Uzbekistan 2nd arrival)
In the morning transfer to Penjikent border crossing, after border formalities meet your Uzbekistan guide and drive to Samarkand for a half day city tour. For most people Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Timbouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous for. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand. (BD)
Day 13: Samarkand sightseeing
Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Mausoleum of Tamerlane and the Observatory of Ulughbek; the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient.
Overnight at hotel in Samarkand. (BD)
Day 14: Bukhara via Shakhrisabz
Travel to Bukhara via Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane. We visit Tamerlane’s palace Ak Sarai, the Kok Gumbaz mosque, Mausoleum of Jehangir (Tamerlane’s grandson) and Tamerlane’s Mausoleum. Bukhara is one of the centere of the Russian/British Intelligence Services in the 19th Century.
Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)
Day 15: Bukhara
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; the resulting restoration of some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, to make them appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago.
We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of an ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local.
Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)
Day 16: Bukhara-Urgench Khiva
In the morning drive to Khiva, later half day city tour of Khiva
Overnight at hotel in Khiva. (BD)
Day 17: Khiva: City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Dinner will be served at Toza Bogh Palace (Summer residence of Muhammad Rahim Khan II).
Overnight at hotel in Khiva. (BD)
Day 18: Dashoguz- Kunya Urgench – Gas Crater (Turkmenistan)
In the morning drive to Kunya Urgench through the Kara Kum Desert to the ruins of ancient capital. We cross the border at Dashoguz and continue driving to Kunya Urgench. We visit the Kunya Urgench historical site, where the mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra and Sultan Ali are located. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret & Kyrk Molla. Later in the afternoon we drive to Darvaza flaming Gas Crater or the ‘mouth of hell’.En-route we visit a Nomad village located in the Karakum desert. Enjoy the amazing views with picnic dinner. Overnight in a basic camp near the Darvaza crater. We will be providing sleeping bags and mattresses. (BLD)
Day 19: Darvaza Flaming Crater-Ashgabad
In the morning drive to Ashgabad, check in to your hotel, later drive to visit Nissa fortress -the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nissa was a royal residence or a mausoleum. The ruins of ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village
Overnight at hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)
Day 20: Ashgabad Sightseeing
In the morning visit Tolkuchka Bazaar visit the Spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi, later drive to Gokdepe fortress and horse farm. Gokdepe fortress that was attacked in December 1880 by 6,000 Russians under General Mikhail Skobelev against 25,000 defenders. Gokdepe Mosque was built to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure.
At the horse farm you can see proud of Turkmen national Akhalteke horses. Over the 30 beautiful horses, you can see at the horse farm. 5000 years ago, Turkmens begin breed Akhalteke horses. Unique breed on the world, which not mixed with other breeds. Different rulers as Alexander Great, Darius I wants to own this horses.
Overnight at hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)
Day 21: Ashgabad onward flight
Depending on your flight schedule transfer to the airport for onward flight (B)
** Optional trip to Mary can be arrange on request at extra cost**

Heart of Central Asia Five Stan’s Tours

Itinerary
Day 1: Almaty Arrival (Kazakhstan)
On Arrival at Almaty airport you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Later city tour of Almaty, including the Zenkov Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest wood buildings and the Central State Museum. After lunch, ascend the Kok-Tube Mountain by railway. Return to Almaty to visit the unique National Museum of Kazak Musical Instruments. Overnight at hotel in Almaty. (LD).

Day 2: Almaty
After breakfast, we drive to Medeo. Medeo is a picturesque valley located 15 km above Almaty. Besides beautiful nature there are some other attractions to see, one of which is the world’s largest speed skating rink know as Medea. The other one is a dike; a fine piece of engineering created to protect the city from mud floods with an impressive capacity to hold of 6.000.000 m of water. Our last stop is the ski resort of Chimbulak at the end of the gorge, situated at an altitude of 2.200 m above sea level. It is one of Central Asia’s top skiing spots. The ski season lasts from November to April. Later return to your hotel for Overnight (BLD)

Day 3: Almaty-Charyn Canyon Karakul (Kyrgyzstan)
Drive to Karakul. En-route we visit Charyn canyon where you will have chance to explore the area after a picnic lunch. We cross the border to Karakul. Overnight at hotel in Karakul. (BLD)

Day 4: Karakol visit – Djety Oguz
Half day sightseeing of Karakul; visiting the Russian Church (1885), Dungan mosque (1910) and the Museum and grave of Prjevalskiy, the Great Russian explorer of Asia. After lunch, we drive to the impressive Djeti Oguz Gorge (the Gorge of 7 Red Rocks ), the most beautiful gorge in Kyrgyzstan. Here there is the opportunity to to hike around the canyon or take an optional horse ride. Overnight in Typical Kyrgyz Yurt (BLD)

Day 5: Djety Oguz –Cholpon-ata Issyk-Kul
In the morning, drive to Aksuu (Grigoryevka) Canyon for a hike around the canyon. Later, visit some rock petroglyphs dated to 3rd century AD to 14th century AD. Visit Cholpon-Ata in the afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Issyk Kul Lake. (BLD)

Day 6: Issyk Kul – Bishkek
In the morning drive to Bishkek. En-route we stop at the 11th century Burana Tower. During lunch, we watch the famous Buzkashi game. Continue driving to Bishkek. Afternoon city tour of Bishkek, including Victory square, Russian Orthodox Church, Osh market, Ala-Too Square and the History Museum. Overnight at hotel in Bishkek (BLD)

Day 07: Bishkek-Chychkan Gorge
Today we drive through Suusamyr valley over Ala-Bel pass (3200 m above sea level) to Chykan Gorge. Overnight at hotel in Chychkan Gorge. (BLD)

Day 8: Chychkan Gorge – Osh
In the morning, we leave Chychkan Natural Reserve for Osh. En-route we stop at Toktogul reservoirs, Uzgen tower and mausoleums from the Karakhanids’ period, and visit the Uzgen’s market. Continue driving to Osh. Later city tour in Osh including visiting the Suleiman Mountain – UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Little Mecca), Suleiman Too sacred mountain is a major place of Muslim and pre-Muslim pilgrimage. On top of the mountain is a stone shelter known as Babur’s House, named after the 15-16th-century Muslim leader who founded the Mughal Dynasty in India.
Overnight at hotel in Osh. (BLD)

Day 9: Osh-Ferghana valley (Uzbekistan)
Breakfast at hotel, later transfer to the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border Dostuck. After border formalities meet your Uzbek guide and driver and start the Uzbekistan tour in the Fergana valley. Surrounded by the Tien Shan mountain range and watered by tributaries of the Syr Darya River, this is the most fertile part of Central Asia. Since the time of Alexander the Great and throughout the time of the Great Silk Road it was a rich oasis. Our first stop is Andijan, the birthplace of Babur, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we drive further to the town of Fergana, a relatively young settlement, established as a Russian garrison town at the end of the 19th century. We have a short city tour, including a stroll in al Fergani Park. Overnight at hotel in Fergana. (BLD)

Day 10: Ferghana Valley-Tashkent
In the morning, explore the Ferghana valley and visit Rishtan, the town is famous for its ceramics. It is no coincidence that pottery became so prominent exactly at this place because the red clay and pigments available here are of excellent quality. We have the chance to visit the studio of a pottery master and learn more about his job and passion that has been passed down from generation to generation. Later drive to Tashkent via Kokand, visit includes; Museum in the Fort of the Last Ruler – Khudayor Khan and see a collection of exhibits related to the times of the Khan’s rule. Museum Norbuta – Bia madrassa and Modarikhon mausoleum. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent. (BD))

Day 11: Tashkent City Tour
City tour of Tashkent includes visting Amir Timur Square, with its imposing statue of Uzbekistan’s post-Soviet hero, Tamerlane. Continue past Independence Square, the largest city square of the former Soviet Union. Visit the State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, largely formed from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collectors, nationalized after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today the Museum houses an excellent collection of Uzbek and Russian painting, and also a fine collection of textiles, jewellery, wood carvings and ceramics.
Later visit the Old part of Tashkent. Drive to the restored Barak-Khan Complex, with striking blue tiled domes and decorative Iwans (entrance portals), built during the 16th century when the Shaybanid Dynasty (the Uzbeks) replaced the Timurid Dynasty. Visit the Hast Imam library to see an 8th century manuscript Quran written in the territory of modern Iraq in Kufic script. It is believed by local Uzbek Muslims to have belonged to the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan and is the oldest Quran in the world. Afternoon visiting to the Chorsu Bazaar, centre of daily life in the heart of old town. The Bazaar comprises a unique complex of trade halls crowned with interrelated domes. Everything from exotic dried fruits, fresh herbs, handmade cheese and freshly-killed meat to colourful handicrafts is for sale. Afterwards, explore the impressive Tashkent Metro, which opened in 1977 in honour of 60th anniversary of the USSR. Each station has its own unique architectural features made of semi-precious materials including marble, granite, glass, ceramics and carved alabaster.
You will also have a chance to visit to the Museum of Applied Arts, with its vast collection of Uzbek traditional crafts. The museum is housed in the former residence of Russian diplomat A. A. Polovtsev, which was built at the end of 19th century in the Uzbek national style.
Overnight at hotel in Tashkent. (BD)

Day 12: Khujand-Istrafshan – Penjikent (Tajikistan)
In the morning transfer to the Uzbek Tajik border at Oybek to Khujand. You will be met by our Tajikistan guide and drive to Khujand city, City tour of Khujand includes a visit to the ancient part of Timurmalik fortress, museum and Panjshanbe market, after lunch drive to Istrafshan and visit the well preserved old town of Istarafshan, a maze of small alleys that wind through neighborhoods of shady, mud walled Central Asian homesteads. Sights include the fifteenth century Kuk Gumbaz Mosque, the Hafz-i-Sangin Mosque and the eighteenth century Hazrat-i-Shah Mosque and mausoleum complex. Continue driving to Penjikent. Overnight at hotel in Penjikent. (BD)

Day 13:Penjikent – Fann Mountain
In the morning we drive to visit the Seven Lakes (80 km) through the settlement of Sarazm, the UNESCO World Heritage site. Seven lakes of Marguzor is located in the west of Fan Mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple. Today you will have a chance to hike around the Mountain, after picnic lunch return to Penjikent. Afternoon visit Penjikent museum, local market. Overnight at hotel in Penjikent. (BD)

Day 14: Samarkand (Uzbekistan 2nd arrival)
In the morning transfer to Penjikent border crossing, after border formalities meet your Uzbekistan guide and drive to Samarkand for a half day city tour. For most people Samarkand is as mythical as Atlantis or as remote and legendary as Timbouctou. The sublime larger-than-life monuments of Timur, the technicolour bazaar and the city’s long, rich history work a special kind of magic. On arrival we’ll visit the old bazaars for which this exotic city is famous for. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand. (BD)

Day 15: Samarkand sightseeing
Samarkand, sometimes called the Rome of the Orient’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque,Mausoleum of Tamerlane and the Observatory of Ulughbek; the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of the pre-telescope era of astronomy in the 15th century. We also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym, and the adjacent colourful market. You can purchase Samarkand’s famous bread which Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand. (BD)

Day 16: Bukhara via Shakhrisabz
Travel to Bukhara via Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane.We visit Tamerlane’s palace Ak Sarai,the Kok Gumbaz mosque, Mausoleum of Jehangir (Tamerlane’s grandson) and Tamerlane’s Mausoleum. Bukhara is one of the centere of the Russian/British Intelligence Services in the 19th Century. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)

Day 17: Bukhara
Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town center where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; resulting in the restoration of some of mosques constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries to their former glory. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zorastrian times 2,500 years ago.
We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, a gate of an ancient madrassa long time gone. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local, later visit Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa. In the evening enjoy a Folklore show at Nodir Devon Begi Madrasasi. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BLD)

Day 18: Bukhara free day
Full free day at leisure in Bukhara or optional actities can be arranged on request.Overnight at hotel in Bukhara. (BD)
Day 19: Bukhara -Khiva
Transfer to the train station for train trip to Khiva. Depending on the train schedule probably half day city tour of Khiva. Overnight at hotel in Khiva. (BD)

Day 20: Khiva: City Tour
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, when he discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th Century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, a tour of this living museum including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s Medressas, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa and Minaret. Dinner will be served at Toza Bogh Palace (Summer residence of Muhammad Rahim Khan II). Overnight at hotel in Khiva. (BD)
Day 21: Dashoguz- Kunya Urgench (Turkmenistan)

Drive to Kunya Urgench through the Karakum Desert to the ruins of ancient capital. We cross the border at Dashoguz and continue driving to Kunya Urgench. Visit Portal of Caravansaray, Mamun Minaret, II Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret, Turabek Hanum Mausoleum. After lunch continue driving to Darwaza burning Gas Crater (268km) dubbed by locals as “The door to Hell”. The Darwaza area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided the best solution was to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the as is still burning today. In the evening, watch the spectacular and fascinating view of the gas crater. BBQ dinner & overnight at Gas Crater in Camp. (BLD) We will be providing sleeping bags and mattresses.

Day 22: Gas Crater-Ashgabad
Picnic style breakfast in the camp. Morning drive to Ashgabat. En-route we cross Karakum desert, will make a stop in the small desert village of Erbent. Arrival in Ashgabat and drive to visit Nissa fortress -the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared Nissa fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC). It is reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has not been established as a royal residence nor a mausoleum. The ruins of ancient settlement Nissa are located 18 km from Ashgabat at Bagyr village. Later in the afternoon drive to visit Gokdepe fortress that was attacked in December 1880 by Russian Empire army. The siege of Gokdepe lasted 23 days, after which the city was taken by storm. Visit Geokdepe Mosque (Saparmyrat Hajy) that was built in 1995 to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure. Also visit Gokdepe Historical Museum to learn the history of Gokdepe, understand the reason of Russian attacks, see the drawings of Russian-Turkmen battle, and see socio-historical development of Turkmen people. Overnight at hotel in Ashgabad. (BLD)

Day 23: Ashgabad Sightseeing
Breakfast at hotel. Morning drive to visit “Altyn Asyr” Oriental Bazar– Jygyldyk located in 20km to the north of Ashgabat. It is one of the largest open bazaars in the world filled with colorful rugs, jewelry, carpets, silk and national Turkmen costumes and animals in other parts.
Later drive to visit a horse farm to see the national pride of the Turkmen people – Akhal-Teke horses, the most purebred and oldest in the world. 5000 years ago, Turkmens began breeding Akhal-Teke horses. Such illustrious Emperors like Alexander the Great, Darius I desired to own Ahal-Teke horses. There are over 35 beautiful horses on the farm. Per superstition, every sick person who touches an Ahal-Teke horse will get well soon. Drive to visit Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque in Kipchak (the largest mosque in Central Asia). Overnight at hotel in Ashgabad (BLD)

Day 24: Onward flight
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)

Persian & Caucasus Explorers

Itinerary

Day 1:Shiraz
On arrival at Shiraz airport you will be greeted by our local guide and transferred to your hotel. Later, we take a city tour of Shiraz, the city of nightingales, poetry and roses. We visit Narenjestan Garden built in 1879-1886 as a reception hall for visitors and which was also used as the governor’s residence during the late Qajar period. Also included is Khan theological school and Bazaar, then enjoy tea and ice cream while listening to recitals in traditional teahouse of the mausoleum of the famous Iranian poet Hafez. Overnight at hotel in Shiraz. (D)

Day 2:Day trip to Persepolis – Necropolis
Fars province is greatly indebted to the settlement of the Achaemenid and Sassanian dynasties for its glorious cultural heritage. Scattered all over the territory of Fars are monuments representing its rapid progress in both pre-Islamic and Islamic era.
Morning excursion to Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid), Necropolis. A visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis is one of the highlights of any trip to Iran. Persepolis is the best preserved of Persia’s ruined cities and the finest legacy of the great Achaemenid Empire which ruled Persia between 559 and 330 BC. The most impressive features of the ruins are the splendid bas-reliefs, which adorn many of the staircases and palaces on the site and provide a rich treasure house of ancient history.At Necropolis you will find the tomb of the four powerful Achaemenian kings carved into huge rocks. Later return to Shiraz. Overnight at hotel in Shiraz. (BLD)

Day 03: Pasargadae – Yazd
On the way to Yazd we visit Pasargadae, the site of the tomb and remains of palaces of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire, all located in the magnificent Dasht-e-Morghab. Driving through the typical desert town of Abarkuh we stop and and have tea under the shade of a 4,000-year old Cypress tree before arriving into Yazd and checking into our hotel. Overnight at hotel in Yazd. (BLD)

Day 4:Yazd
Yazd is still home to Iran’s largest community of Zoroastrians, and the best place to visit an Ateshkadeh (House of Eternal Fire) and the Towers of Silence, the Zoroastrian burial grounds. Although the temple is modern (built in the 1940s), the sacred fire has been burning since 470 AD. Yazd is also an ancient city with its unique desert architecture and its “Badgirs”, the wind towers designed to catch and circulate the merest breath of wind. The mosques of Yazd are like no others and the magnificent Jame Mosque dominates the old city. Its remarkably high, tiled entrance, flanked with two magnificent minarets and adorned with an inscription from the 15th century, is simply superb. This city has always been a great weaving center, known for its silks and other fabrics even before Marco Polo passed through along one of the Silk Routes in the late 13th century. Dolat Abad Garden, Water Museum and a traditional house are among the other visits. The stunning three-storey façade of the Tekiyeh in the Amir Chakhmaq Complex at sunset is one of the most spectacular features of Yazd. Overnight at hotel in Yazd. (BLD).

Day 5:Yazd – Maybod – Na’in – Isfahan
Drive to Isfahan, en-route we will visit the old town of Maybod, established in the Medes Era. Later, drive to Na’in. Na’in is located in the geographic centre of Iran and is a famous carpet making centre. Na’in is also noted for its very old Masjid-e-Jame, which dates from the early Islamic period and contains some features from the 10th century. Overnight at hotel in Isfahan. (BLD)

Day 6: Isfahan Visit
Isfahan is Iran’s masterpiece, the jewels of Historical Persia and one of the finest cities in the Islamic world. The exquisite blue mosaic tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings, it’s expansive bazaar and gorgeous bridges demand as much of your time as you can spare. The history of the city dates back to 2700 years ago. It was the capital of Iran in a number of the post-Islamic periods, but its golden age was during the Safavid dynasty in 17th century.
Full day tour of Isfahan’s magnificent buildings; some of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture including the Royal (Naqsh-e-Jahan) square, the Shah Abbas Jameh and Sheikh Lotfullah mosques, Ali-Qapu Palace plus free time for the Bazaar (spans 5 km). In the evening an optional visit to a Zoorkhaneh (House of Strength) to watch this traditional Iranian sport – a combination of physical and spiritual aerobics, with participants chanting to the powerful drums of their master .
Overnight at hotel in Isfahan. (BLD)

Day 7:Isfahan Visit
City tour of Isfahan – A visit to the Armenian quarter to tour the Vank Cathedral, built between 1606 and 1655 and the Zayandehrud River. Chehel Sotun Palace with its beautiful frescos located in a pretty garden is our next stop. Shah Abbas II originally built it as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall. On to Jame Mosque, a veritable museum of Islamic architecture, displaying styles from the 11th to the 18th centuries. Evening tour of Isfahan including Si-o-Se & Khaju bridges. Overnight at hotel in Isfahan hotel (BLD)

Day 8:Isfahan – Abyaneh – Kashan
Drive to Tehran en-route stop in Abyaneh and Kashan. Abyaneh is a small picturesque village dating back 1600 years.
Later continue driving to Kashan. Kashan is attractive oasis city which was once a favorite of Shah Abbas I. Kashan is also home to some of the best traditional houses including the Brujerdi House (a Samovar merchant), as well as beautiful gardens such as Fin Garden. Overnight at hotel in Kashan. (BLD)

Day 9: Tehran
Free morning, afternoon drive to Tehran.
Tehran is a diverse and beautiful city combining the ancient civilization of Iran with modern developments and living. It is positioned at the base of the Alborz mountain range in Northern Iran. Tehran with its numerous museums houses the most important collection of recent and remote Persian art and culture. Overnight at hotel in Tehran. (BLD)

Day 10: Tehran Visit
Full day city tour of Tehran. A visit to the prehistoric National Museum of Iran. This museum houses a marvelous collection including ceramics, potteries, stone figures, and carvings dating from around the 7th millennium BC. A visit to Ceramic Glassware Museum (Abgineh Museum) followed by the Carpet Museum. Here you will have access to many of the masterpieces woven in the important carpet-weaving centers of Iran. The beautiful architecture and façade of the museum resembles a carpet-weaving loom.
***Please note: our schedule to visit museums may vary depending on museum hours/days and when they are open to the public.
Overnight at hotel in Tehran. (BLD)

Day 11: Tehran flight to Tabriz
Depending on flight schedule transfer to the airport for flight to Tabriz.
City tour of Tabriz includes a visit to the city’s Historic Bazaar Complex (WHS), which consists of a series of interconnected, covered, brick structures, buildings, and enclosed spaces for different functions. Tabriz and its bazaars were already prosperous and famous in the 13th century, when the town, in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan, became the capital city of the Safavid kingdom. The city lost its status as capital in the 16th century but remained important as a commercial hub until the end of the 18th century, with the expansion of Ottoman power. It is one of the most complete examples of the traditional commercial and cultural system of Iran. The rest of the day is to visit other sites in the city like St. Mary Church, Qajar Museum etc. Evening is free before we are treated with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Tabriz. (BD)

Day 12: Iran-Armenia border-Meghri-Goris (Armenia)
Meeting at the Iran – Armenia border. Visa formalities, change in guide and transportation. Start exploring the Armenia from the South. Then Continue to the town of Goris which is one of the main cities of Syunik region. Nestled in a bowl of green hills and mountains, with interesting formations and many previously inhabited caves, Goris has some of the best architecture in Armenia. This park-city, despite the natural cuts, has a well-organized ground plan. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Goris. (B/-/D)

Day 13: Goris-Tatev-Noravanq-Khor Virap-Yerevan
After breakfast start the tour to the monastic complex of Tatev (Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO) which is an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century and is often called a monastery built on the edge of nothing. Continue tour to Noravank monastery – a great religious and cultural centre of the 12th century. On the way visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Noravank (“New Monastery”) is 122 km away from Yerevan and is located in a stunning location. Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery 4- 17th cc. 45 km. from Yerevan the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history, both religious and secular. Khor Virap was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids dynasty. At that time, it was used as a pit dungeon for convicts. In the 60s of the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah`s arch cast anchor. The importance of it is connected with Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia and is considered to be the first Armenian catholicos.
Drive to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan. Welcome dinner in a traditional Armenian restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Yerevan. (B/-/D)

Day 14: Yerevan-History Museum-Etchmiatsin-Zvartnots-Yerevan
After breakfast start city tour around Yerevan. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC. A little part of the capital city`s 3,000-year history has survived: Central Yerevan was once dominated by huge Soviet-style buildings, but now, due to the nowadays active constructions, many modern-style buildings are starting to appear. On tour, you will see the Republic Square which is designed in the traditional Armenian architectural style and includes the Government House Republic square, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Post Office, and the National Art Gallery. You will also see the Opera house, Victory Park with Mother Armenia statue. We visit the Armenian History Museum, housing an important archaeological collection from Stone Age through Medieval periods is dark and almost unlabeled, but should not be missed (Closed on Monday).
Proceed to Echmiadzin which is mere 20 km from Yerevan. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is known as the center of the Armenian Church and appears to be one of the world`s first Christian State churches. Legend has it that it was here that Jesus Christ descended from heaven to show where he wanted a church built. So Echmiadzin means “The only-begotten descended”. The Church was built between the years 301 – 303 AD under the Armenian king Tiridates III and the first Armenian Catholic, St. Gregory the Illuminator. Return to Yerevan with stop at the ruins of Zvartnots temple – the pearl of the 7th c. architecture which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Yerevan. (B/-/D)

Day 15: Yerevan-Matenadaran-Garni-Gueghard-Yerevan
Visit to the depositary of ancient manuscripts the Matenadaran which contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia for many centuries. There is also the first copy of the Bible in Armenian and the Gospels that fascinate with their beautiful miniatures. Departure to Garni Temple. The pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. It was built in the first century A.D. by the Armenian King Tiridates and it is dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mithra, the god of the sun whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary. After proclaiming Christianity as a state religion in Armenia in 301, the temple was probably used as a summer residence of the kings. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat river, there is a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. Geghard is another incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. The meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus during his crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics. Though the monastery of Geghard was around before the 4th century, the main cathedral was built in 1215. The entrance of the compound is surrounded by high walls on three sides and mountain on the other. Outside the monastery complex there are caves which lead into interesting little ‘cave rooms’.
Farewell dinner and overnight at hotel in Yerevan. (B/-/D)

Day 16: Yerevan-Lake Sevan-Haghpat-Sanahin-Sadakhlon (border)-Tbilisi (Georgia)
After breakfast early departure to Lake Sevan. About 70 miles north of Yerevan sits lake Sevan. This huge mountain lake which takes up to 5% of Armenia`s surface area and is about 2,000 meters above sea level is one of the highest among the freshwater lakes in the world. Sightseeing on the peninsula visiting the monasteries. Continue tour and visit to the monastic complexes of Haghpat (976 AD) and Sanahin (966 AD), listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. The architectural complexes are among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture. Drive to Sadakhlo border. Meeting at the border between 15:30-16:00. Border formalities. Change the transportation and guide. Transfer to Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Tbilisi. (B/-/D)

Day 17: Tbilisi visit
Today you`ll have Tbilisi sightseeing tour. During the tour we take you to the places that will show you old city. All the places of interest in the Old Town are very close to each other, within a few minutes` walk. We start our visit to Old Tbilisi from Metekhi Church (13th century), and then walk to the Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral (6th-7th centuries) and Anchiskhati Church (6th century). Then we drive up to Mother Georgia statue and walk down to Narikala Fortress (4th century) and Sulphur Baths, en route enjoying views of the Old Town. Afterwards we visit the stunning treasury of the Georgian National Museum of History (if not Monday), before taking a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Tbilisi. (B/-/D)

Day 18: Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Stepantsminda
In the morning we drive to visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta (3000 years old) and see its historical places: Jvari church (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Return to Tbilisi. Afterwards we drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway (leading to the Georgian-Russian border). On the way visit Ananuri architectural complex (17th century), the two churches and the fortress overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. The carvings on the churches are one of the best samples of the Georgian art. The drive is very scenic through high Caucasus Mountains. Arrive in Kazbegi – the main town in the region. From Kazbegi a leisurely 2 hours walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland leads us to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). Dinner and overnight at guesthouse in Kazbegi with private facilities. (B/-/D) *NOTE: If you prefer not to walk up to Gergeti church, you can hire local 4X4 and pay on spot.

Day 19: Stepantsminda-Gori-Uplistsikhe-Kutaisi
In the morning we will visit the town of Gori and its historical places: Uplistsikhe Cave Town (1st millennium BC) and Stalin’s museum. Uplistsikhe is the place where the Great Silk Road used to pass. This is an old and interesting complex with dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even an antic theatre. Afterwards drive to West Georgia. Arrive in Kutaisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Kutaisi. (B/-/D)

Day 20: Kutaisi-Gelati-Chiatura-Sachkhere-Tbilisi
In the morning we will visit local farmers` market and historical places of the city: Gelati Cathedral (12th century) – one of the earliest academies in Europe, UNESCO site and the splendid Bagrati Cathedral (11th century). Afterwards drive to Tbilisi. On the way to Tbilisi we will visit Chiatura and Sachkhere, small town from Soviet Union where we will see the west Georgian wine-cellar and taste West Georgian wine. Different from east Georgia. Dinner at a local restaurant with folk show. Overnight at hotel in Tbilisi. (B/-/D)

Day 21: Tbilisi- Sighnakhi – Lagodekhi – Sheki (Georgia and Azerbaijan border)
Today we travel in Kakheti region famous for being wine making area, as well as associated with welcoming hospitality. Here we can see both snowy Caucasus Mountains and fertile valleys. Firstly we visit 18th century beautiful, small town of Sighnaghi which will impress us with its old fence and small houses with tile roofs and decorated balconies. From here we can see the picturesque views of Alazani valley and Great Caucasus Mountains. Afterwards drive to Georgian-Azerbaijan border lagodekhi change transport and guide. Drive to Ilisu village which is a municipality in the Qakh district of Azerbaijan and has a wonderful panoramic view. It has a population of 1,370. The village was settled in XIII century. A distance of 3 km for the first Ilisu village existed in the past has been people living in the area now known as Kendtala. The area of the ancient tombs on examples of epigraphic written in Kufic line proves it once again. Then continue to Sheki. Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheatre surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. There is an assumption that the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Saks, who reached the territory of Azerbaijan in the 7th century BC. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan’s summer palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. Sheki History museum is famous with artifacts from several periods. Overnight at hotel in Sheki (BD)

Day 22: Sheki – Kish – Lahij – Baku
After breakfast visit the Albanian church located in Kish village. Legend says that the church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later. Then drive to famous Lahij village in Ismayilly district. Many of the 2,000 people living in Lahij are involved in ancient crafts such as engraved copper work and carpet weaving. In the mid-19th century, there were more than 200 workshops in Lahij. Traders discovered Lahij crafts many centuries ago, and sold them for high prices at bazaars in Baghdad [now Iraq], Shiraz [now Iran] and other Middle Eastern cities. Stop by a copper workshop for a impromptu lesson in ancient craftsmanship you’ll get to see coppersmiths use small mallets to decorate plates, trays, jugs, goblets and pitchers, just as their ancestors have done for centuries. Drive to Baku. Overnight at hotel in Baku.(BD)

Day 23: Baku city tour
Start exploring Baku. The city is shaped like an amphitheatre, descending down to the Caspian Sea. Tour covers the central part of the city showing the most interesting historical and architectural sites. Visiting of “Old Town” or “Inner City”. The territory of”Inner City” – 22 hectares, which represents a small fraction of the total area of Baku (44,000 hectares). However, the concentration of architectural and historical monuments, dictates the need for this excursion into a separate and make this part of Baku, perhaps the most interesting to explore. Maiden Tower (XII century), Palace of Shirvanshahs (XV century), Castle Synyk Gala, Caravan Saray, Juma Mosque – this is not a complete list of attractions of the old Baku. Overnight at hotel in Baku.(BD)

Day 24: Baku Absheron Peninsula tour
Excursion to art- historical reserve Gobustan, where the petroglyphic drawings, barrows and housing objects are dated from X – VIII centuries B.C. The certificates of the Stone Age citizens and other periods, petroglyphic drawings, the human parking and the gravestone monuments are concentrated in Gobustan. Not far from there is *gavan chalan dash* is original tambourine-stone, like a huge flat wise plate. Rhythmical accurate motives could be taken from it by the percussion. It is considered that ritual dancing’s and ceremonies were accompanied by these sounds. The visiting of Gobustan will transfer you to another world, the world of the past mankind and will let you to feel the atmosphere of the thousand-year history of this place. Visiting the temple of the fire worshippers Atasgah and burning mountain *Yanar dag*. Atashgah means the House of Fire, place of fire. The territory of this temple is known for unique nature phenomenon as the burning exits of the natural gas. The temple of fire is of the main places where the ancient supporters of Zoroaster religion worshipped there to the fire. In The museum complex Atashgah you will be told about the life way Zaraustra worshippers and also about the traditions and the customs which they adhered. Excursion to Yanar Dag. You can see here nature phenomenon, incessant burning nature gas on the rock which named to the Yanar Dag reserve the burning rock. As the historians say, maybe this place gave the name *the fire country* to Azerbaijan. Overnight at hotel in Baku (BD)

Day 25: Onward flight
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)

Iran Discovery Tour

Itinerary

Day 1: Shiraz
On arrival at Shiraz airport you will be greeted by our local guide and transferred to your hotel.
Later, city tour of Shiraz; the city of nightingales, poetry and roses. We visit Narenjestan Garden built-in 1879-1886 as a reception hall for visitors and was also used as the governor’s residence during the late Qajar period. Also included is Khan theological school and Bazaar, then enjoy tea and ice cream while listening to recitals in traditional teahouse of the mausoleum of the famous Iranian poet Hafez. Overnight in Shiraz at hotel (D)

Day 2: Day trip to Persepolis – Necropolis
Fars province is greatly indebted to the settlement of the Achaemenid and Sassanian dynasties for its glorious cultural heritage. Scattered all over the territory of Fars are monuments representing its rapid progress in both pre-Islamic and Islamic era.
Morning excursion to Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid), Necropolis.
A visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis is one of the highlights of any trip to Iran. Persepolis is the best preserved of Persia’s ruined cities and the finest legacy of the great Achaemenid Empire which ruled Persia between 559 and 330 BC. The most impressive features of the ruins are the splendid bas-reliefs, which adorn many of the staircases and palaces on the site and provide a rich treasure house of ancient history.
At Necropolis you will find the tomb of the four powerful Achaemenian kings carved into huge rocks.
Later return to Shiraz. Overnight in Shiraz at hotel (BLD)

Day 03: Pasargadae – Yazd
On the way to Yazd we visit Pasargadae, the site of the tomb and remains of palaces of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire, all located in the magnificent Dasht-e-Morghab. Driving through the typical desert town of Abarkuh we stop and and have tea under the shade of a 4,000-year old Cypress tree before arriving into Yazd and checking into our hotel. Overnight in Yazd at hotel. (BLD)

Day 4: Yazd
Yazd is still home to Iran’s largest community of Zoroastrians, and the best place to visit an Ateshkadeh (House of Eternal Fire) and the Towers of Silence, the Zoroastrian burial grounds. Although the temple is modern (built in the 1940s), the sacred fire has been burning since 470 AD. Yazd is also an ancient city with its unique desert architecture and its “Badgirs”, the wind towers designed to catch and circulate the merest breath of wind. The mosques of Yazd are like no others and the magnificent Jame Mosque dominates the old city. Its remarkably high, tiled entrance, flanked with two magnificent minarets and adorned with an inscription from the 15th century, is simply superb. This city has always been a great weaving center, known for its silks and other fabrics even before Marco Polo passed through along one of the Silk Routes in the late 13th century. Dolat Abad Garden, Water Museum and a traditional house are among the other visits. The stunning three-storey façade of the Tekiyeh in the Amir Chakhmaq Complex at sunset is one of the most spectacular features of Yazd. Overnight in Yazd at hotel (BLD).

Day 5: Yazd – Maybod – Na’in – Isfahan
Drive to Isfahan, en-route we will visit the old town of Maybod, established in the Medes Era. Later, drive to Na’in. Na’in is located in the geographic centre of Iran and is a famous carpet making centre. Na’in is also noted for its very old Masjid-e-Jame, which dates from the early Islamic period and contains some features from the 10th century. Overnight in Isfahan at hotel (BLD)

Day 6: Isfahan Visit
Isfahan is Iran’s masterpiece, the jewels of Historical Persia and one of the finest cities in the Islamic world. The exquisite blue mosaic tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings, it’s expansive bazaar and the city’s gorgeous bridges demand as much of your time as you can spare. The history of the city dates back to 2700 years ago. It was the capital of Iran in a number of the post-Islamic periods, but its golden age was during the Safavid dynasty in 17th century.
Full day tour of Isfahan’s magnificent buildings; some of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture including the Royal (Naqsh-e-Jahan) square, the Shah Abbas Jameh and Sheikh Lotfullah mosques, Ali-Qapu Palace plus free time for the Bazaar (spans 5 km). In the evening an optional visit to a Zoorkhaneh (House of Strength) to watch this traditional Iranian sport – a combination of physical and spiritual aerobics, with participants chanting to the powerful drums of their master. Overnight in Isfahan at hotel (BLD)

Day 7: Isfahan Visit
City tour of Isfahan – A visit to the Armenian quarter to tour the Vank Cathedral, built between 1606 and 1655 and the Zayandehrud River. Chehel Sotun Palace with its beautiful frescos located in a pretty garden is our next stop. Shah Abbas II originally built it as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall. On to Jame Mosque, a veritable museum of Islamic architecture, displaying styles from the 11th to the 18th centuries. Evening tour of Isfahan including Si-o-Se & Khaju bridges. Overnight in Isfahan at hotel (BLD)

Day 8: Isfahan – Abyaneh – Kashan
Drive to Tehran en-route stop in Abyaneh and Kashan. Abyaneh is a small picturesque reddish village dating back 1600 years.
Later continue driving to Kashan. Kashan is attractive oasis city which was once a favourite of Shah Abbas I. Kashan is also home to some of the best traditional houses including the Brujerdi House (a Samovar merchant), as well as beautiful gardens such as Fin Garden. Overnight in Kashan at hotel (BLD)

Day 9: Tehran
Easy morning later in the afternoon drive to Tehran.
Tehran is a diverse and beautiful city combining the ancient civilisation of Iran with modern developments and living. It is positioned at the base of the Alborz mountain range in Northern Iran. Tehran with its numerous museums houses the most important collection of recent and remote Persian art and culture. Overnight in Tehran at hotel (BLD)

Day 10: Tehran Visit
Full day city tour of Tehran. A visit to the prehistoric National Museum of Iran. This museum houses a marvellous collection including ceramics, potteries, stone figures and carvings dating from around the 7th millennium BC. A visit to Ceramic & Glassware Museum (Abgineh Museum) followed by the Carpet Museum. Here you will have access to many of the masterpieces woven in the important carpet-weaving centres of Iran. The beautiful architecture and façade of the museum resemble a carpet-weaving loom.
***Please note: our schedule to visit museums may vary depending on museum hours/days and when they are open to the public.
Overnight in Tehran at hotel (BLD)

Day 11:Tehran departure
Our service will end with airport transfer.(B)

Classic Karakorum & Hunza Valley Tour

Day by day itinerary
Day 1: Arrival Islamabad
On arrival at Islamabad International airport, you will be greeted by our guide later transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon city tour of Islamabad followed by the Damn-E-Koh (viewpoint), which gives us a panoramic view of Islamabad before driving past various modern streets and buildings graceful with a touch of Islamic Architecture & Folk Heritage Museum. Our tour culminates at one of the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque. Overnight in Islamabad at Ambassador Hotel (BD)

Day 2: Islamabad-Taxila- Besham
In the morning we drive to Naran en-route we will stop at Taxila, Taxila has a well-planned museum and many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the Sixth Century B.C until the Fifth Century A.D. Later continue driving to Besham.
Overnight in Besham at PTDC Motel (BD)

** During the summer month this trip can be done via Naran Kaghan valley.
Day 3: Besham-Gilgit
Drive along the Karakorum highway to Gilgit, En-route we will have few stops, our first stop will be at Chilas, rock carving which is dated back between 5000 and 1000 BC, showing single animals, triangular men and hunting scenes in which the animals sometimes are larger than the hunters. These carvings were packed into the rocks with stone tools and are covered with a thick patina that proves their age. Our next stop is the The Junction Point of 3 Greatest Mountain Ranges of the World, Pakistan.
This place of interest is the unique venue where three great mountain ranges of world make a knot. Himalayas, Karakoram and HinduKush, with their famous highest peaks [in Pakistan, and top 2, 3, & 4th in the entire world], Nanga Parbat, K-2 and Tirich Mir, meet here and at almost on same place River Indus, flowing down from lofty mountains of Skardu, joins with river Gilgit, one its main tributaries.
Continue driving to capital city of Gilgit Baltistan.
Gilgit the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan and, perhaps, the most spectacular region of Pakistan in terms of its geography and scenic beauty. Here world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas – meet. The whole of Gilgit Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the area have remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
Overnight in Gilgit at PTDC or Riveria Hotel (BLD)

Day 4: Gilgit-Karimabad-Duiker
In the morning visit the Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD.Later continue along the Karakorum highway toward Hunza, en-route we will stop at Raka Poshi Peak (7788m) view point, with stunning view of the Mountain while enjoying your lunch.
Later proceed to Duiker village which is just above Karimabad village with stunning view over Karimabad and surrounding peaks
Overnight in Duiker at Hard Rock or Eagles Nest hotel (BD)

Day 5: Duiker-Karimabad
In the morning and enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m).. Later in the afternoon drive down to Karimabad en-route visit Altit village.
Later visit Baltit Fort which is 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Mir (King) married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time.
The rest of the day is free time at leisure for shopping.
Overnight in Karimabad at Hill Top or Hunza Embassy Hotel (BD)

Day 6: Karimabad – Gojal – Borith Lake
In the morning we drive to upper Hunza Gojal, en-route we do a side trip to Hoper Nagar valley, which can be seen from Duiker is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper. Our next stop will be Atta-Abad Lake after photography continue driving to Borith Lake. Afternoon walk toward passu glacier view point. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)

Day 7: Ghulkin village – Borith Lake – Passu and Ghulkin glacier
In the morning visit Gulmit old house where you visit to see the local women’s handicraft centre, drive to Ghulkin village where you will visit some local houses, have some light snack, those who are energetic optional hike via Ghulkin glacier to borith Lake, those who do not wish to hike they can drive to the Lake. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)

Day 8: Day trip to Pak China border Khunjerab (4700 m)
Today you will be driving to the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway Khunjerab pass (4750 M). Along the way you will be able to see some wildlife at Khunjerab national park. Return back to Passu village, walk around the village, later visit Hussaini village, where we try to cross the hanging bridge, here you have chance to test our fear of heights and wobbly wooden plank walks while be mesmerized by the fast flowing waters below. Overnight Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)
Day 9: Borith Lake – Naran
In the morning we drive along the Karakorum highway toward Chilas, from here we take a scenic route via Babu Sar pass to Naran Kaghan valley.
Overnight at Fire Crest hotel in Naran. (BD)

Day 10: Naran – Islamabad
Drive to Islamabad. Afternoon city tour of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Farewell dinner at one of the local restaurant.
Overnight at Redison hotel in Islamabad. (BD)

Day 11: Onward flight
Our service will end with the airport transfer.

Karakorum Explorers Islamabad to Kashgar

Day by day itinerary
Day 01: Arrival Islamabad
On arrival at Islamabad International airport, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, city tour of Islamabad followed by the Damn-E-Koh (view point), which gives us a panoramic view of Islamabad before driving past various modern streets and buildings graceful with a touch of Islamic Architecture & Folk Heritage Museum. Our tour culminates at one of the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque. Overnight in Green Oak Guest House. (BD)

Day 02: Islamabad-Taxila-Naran
In the morning we drive to Naran and stop at Taxila en-route. Taxila has a well-planned museum and many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the Sixth Century B.C until the Fifth Century A.D. Later drive to Naran.
Overnight in PTDC Motel (BD)

Day 03: Naran-Fairy Meadow
Today we drive through the scenic route over Babusar pass to Chilas joining the Karakorum highway. We continue driving to Raikot bridge where we change into 4×4 wheel drives to Tato. From Tato we will start a short trek to the lush green area of Fairy Meadows. Overnight in Huts at Fairy Meadow (BD)

Day 04: Fairy Meadow
Today we have an opportunity to hike through the pine forest toward Bayal base camp or you can just relax at Fair Meadow and enjoy the beautiful view of Nanga Parbat mountain range. Overnight in Huts at Fairy Meadow (BD)

Day 05: Gilgit- Karimabad Hunza
In the morning, trek down to Tato where for our jeeps to Gilgit City.
Gilgit the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan. Here world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas meet. The whole of Gilgit Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the area have remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
After lunch visit the Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD.
Later continue along the Karakorum highway toward Hunza, en-route we will stop at Raka Poshi Peak (7788m) view point, with stunning view of the Mountain while enjoying your tea stop. Overnight at Hunza Embassy or Hilltop hotel. (BD)

Day 06: Karimabad visit
In the morning, visit Altit village and Altilt fort. Afterwards we visit Baltit Fort which is approximately 700 years. In the 16th century the Mir (King) married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time. The rest of the day is free time at leisure for shopping.
Overnight in Hill Top Hotel or Hunza Embassy (BD)

Day 07: Karimabad (Duiker)
Early morning wake up and drive to Duiker village, above Karimabad village. Enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m) and other peaks. Afternoon free at leisure or if you are energetic hike up toward Ular glacier. Overnight in Hill Top Hotel or Hunza Embassy (BD)

Day 08: Karimabad – Ghulkin – Upper Hunza Gojal
In the morning we drive to Gulmit, en-route we visit Hoper Nagar valley, which can be seen from Duiker is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper. Later drive to upper Hunza Gojal Gulmit, we will stop by Atta Abad Lake for photography, next stop will be Gulmit village. Visit Gulmit old house to the local women’s handicraft centre, drive to Ghulkin village where you will spend the night with local family home. (BD)

Day 09: Ghulkin village Borith Lake
In the morning we cross the Ghulkin glacier to Borith Lake, after lunch we walk toward the Passu glacier view point. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel & Resort. (BD)

Day 10: Passu village – Hussaini hanging bridge
In the morning we drive down to Hussaini village, to attempt to cross the hanging bridge, here you have chance to test our fear of heights and wobbly wooden planks whilst be mesmerized by the fast flowing waters below. We walk through Zarabad summer pasture and back from another bridge to Passu village, after lunch drive back to Borith Lake.
Overnight in Borith Lake hotel & Resort. (BD)

Day 11: Sost-Khunjerab pass-Tashkurgan (China)
In the morning drive to Sost, after border formalities, we will drive by private transport to Tashkurgan via Khunjerab border (4750 m) crossing which is to the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. Along the way you will be able to see some wildlife at Khunjerab NationalPark where you will meet our Chinese guide and transferred to you hotel. Overnight in Crown hotel. (BD)

Day 12: Kashgar
In the morning, we visit Tashkurgan Fort, dating back from the 14th century. You can enjoy an impressive view of the surrounding fields, mountains, and military complexes from the old walls. Afterwards we continue driving to Kashgar. The scenery along the way is breathtaking. We will be stopping at the Karakul Lake where you can enjoy the view of Muztagh-ata Mountains. Optional camel ride or walk around the Lake. Later continue to Kashgar. Overnight Qinibagh Hotel (New Building) (BD)

Day 13: Kashgar Sunday Market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep’s and even camels are for sale! Wonderful assortments of people come from all over the region, and the population of the town swells by 100,000! This is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia, and a photographer’s paradise! After the market visit Eidgah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb and the old town.
Overnight Qinibagh Hotel (New Building) (BD)

Day 14: Onward Flight
Our service will end with the airport transfer.

Bam-i-Jahan (Roof of the World) Pamir & Karakorum Highway Adventure

Itinerary

Day 01: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide transferred to the hotel. Later visit to the Hissar Fortress and the remains of the palace of the Bukhara Emirate Becks. Its thick walls once guarded a pool, garden, and palace, while the fortress itself opposed a lively market and Caravanserai. What remains today is a portion of the wall and the gate towers representative of the 18th and 19th century style. The area has been inhabited since antiquity and features an 8th century mosque, but it was the emirs who inhabited the fortress and the Silk Route traders that made Gissar a center of commerce and learning .You will also have an opportunity to visit the Old Medressa (Madrasai Kuhna) (16-17 century) and its Museum, Madrasai Nav (17-18 century) and the Caravan Saray as well. Your city tour includes a visit the Museum of National Antiquities with exhibits primarily from Tajikistan’s pre-Islamic civilizations: the Greek, Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian periods. The most notable piece in the museum is the largest, fifteen-hundred-year-old reclining Buddha statue. Later enjoy strolling around the big Ismoili Somoni Monument (the forefather of the Tajik nation) erected in the main square and Rudaki Park in the city centre. Try the taste of Tajik tea and hot bread in public teahouses – called Choikhona – most of which are decorated in traditional, colourful Tajik style. Overnight at Atlas hotel in Dushanbe. (D)

Day 02: Kalaikum
Today we start our journey toward the Pamir over the mountain passes to Kalaikum which is halfway to Khorog. Overnight at local guest house (BD)

Day 03: Khorog
Drive to Khorog, the capital of the Gorno- Badakhshan (GBAO) region, along the Panj River which forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Overnight at Grand or Lal hotel in Khorog. (BD)

Day 04: Khorog
In the morning, visit Khorog’s bazaar, museum and botanical gardens. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight at Grand or Lal hotel in Khorog. (BD)

Day 05: Ishkashim Wakhan Valley
Today we drive to Wakhan valley. En-route we stop at Garm Chashma (Hot spring). Garam Chasma is the Pamirs’ most popular open-air hot spring pool for the locals. We visit the ruins of Kah Kahah fortress dated back from Kushan period 4th Century AD and in the afternoon, drive to Bibi Fotima hot spring for walk around the village. Overnight homestay (BD)

Day 06: Langar
In the morning we visit a small museum of local astronomer and poet Sufi Muboraki Wakhoni. Afterwards we travel to the village Vrang where on a cliff-side pitted with caves, contains a Buddhist complex dating from 4th-7th centuries, reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. Continue driving to Langer, afternoon walk around the village and a chance to meet the locals, or if you are energetic optional hike up the hill to see the petroglyph site above the village, which involves a fair physical effort to reach. These images carved into the rocks high above the village depict goats, caravans, horses. Overnight in home stay (BD)

Day 7: Murghab
Today we visit local shrine Mazor-I Shoh Qambar-I Oftob (Master of Sun). Afterward we drive along the Pamir River via the Khargoshi pass (4344m) to Murghab.
Murgab is the highest village in Tajikistan. It is located at an altitude of 3600 meters. The town lies at the junction of the Pamir highway (that connects the region with Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan) and the main road linking Tajikistan with China through the Kulma pass. Overnight in homestay (BD)

Day 8: Kyzyl Art pass – Sary-Tash (Kyrgyzstan)
We drive along the Pamir Highway to Sary-Tash, en-route we stop at Karakul Lake with beautiful view of the Lake and surrounding mountain peaks. Drive to Kyzyl-Art Pass (4,280 m) border crossing. After border formalities, meet your Kyrgyz guide and descend to Sary-Tash village. Overnight at Mirbek Guest House. (BD)

Day 09: Irkeshtam Pass to Kashgar
In the morning transfer to Irkeshtam border crossing into China. Where you will be met by our Chinese guide and transfer to Kashgar, the location of the Great Game, is an ancient and popular trading stop on the Silk Road.
Overnight at Qini Bagh hotel new building (BD)

Day 10: Kashgar Free day
Full free day at leisure after big Pamir Adventures.
Overnight at Qini Bagh hotel new building (B)

Day 11: Kashgar Sunday Market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep and even camels are for sale. A wonderful assortment of people come from all over the region; the population of the town swells by 100,000! This is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia, and a photographer’s paradise. After the market visit Eidgah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb and the old town. Overnight at Qini Bagh hotel new building (BD)

Day 12: Tashkurgan
Today we drive to Karakul Lake along the famous Karakorum highway. The scenery along the way is breathtaking. We will be stopping at the Lake where you can enjoy the view of Muztagh-ata Mountains. Optional camel ride or walk around the Lake. Later we continue to Tashkurgan the last Tajik Chinese town between China and Pakistan. Overnight at Grass Land hotel in Tashkurgan. (BD)

Day 13: Khunjerab pass- Borith Lake (Pakistan)
After border formalities, we drive to the world’s highest paved border crossing, the Khunjerab pass (4750 m height) between Pakistan and China. On the way, you will view the awesome mountain ranges of the Karakorum and Kunlun mountains. Upon arrival at Sost you will be met by our local Hunza guide and transfer to Borith Village. Overnight at Borith Lake Hotel & Resort in Borith. (BD)

Day 14: Borith Lake- Passu Glacier hike – Hussaini Bridge – Passu village
In the morning we hike toward Passu white glacier..
Later in the afternoon drive down to Hussaini village, to attempt to cross the hanging bridge, here you have chance to test our fear of heights and wobbly wooden planks whilst be mesmerized by the fast flowing waters below. We walk through Zarabad summer pasture and back from another bridge to Passu village. Evening local dinner with family. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel & Resort. (BD)

Day 15: Ghulkin glacier – Ghulkin village – Gulmit village
In the morning we hike through Ghulkin glacier to Ghulkin village, after some picnic lunch with local family, we continue our hike via Kamaris village to Gulmit. Gulmit is a peaceful and serene village that formerly served as a summer capital of the Hunza Kingdom. Here one will walk through the village, visit a 400 year-old house, and see local women weaving carpets and making several other traditional handicrafts. Visit local museum. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)

Day 16: Hoper Nagar valley – Karimabad
In the morning we drive to Karimabad, en-route we stop at the recently formed Attabad Lake, a significant addition to the natural beauty of Hunza. Next we will be doing a side trip to Hoper Nagar valley.
NAGARVALLEY – which can be seen from Duiker is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper. After picnic lunch we drive back toward Karimabad our next stop will be Ganish village where we will visit Ali Gohar House, a 400-year-old architectural masterpiece, formerly used by Hunzas envoy to Kashgar, was announced as one of the winners to receive the Award for Distinction in UNESCO Asia Pacific Award 2009. Afternoon walking tour of Karimabad village. Overnight at Hunza Embassy or Hill Top hotel in Karimabad. (BD)

Day 17: Karimabad – Sunrise Duiker village
Early morning wake up and short drive to Duiker village, enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m) and other peaks.
Later drive down to Alitit village, visit 900 years old Altit Fort, later visit Baltit Fort which is 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Mir (King) married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time. The rest of the day is free time at leisure for shopping.
Overnight at Hunza Embassy or Hill Top hotel in Karimabad. (BD)

Day 18: Karimabad – Gilgit
In the morning, we drive along the Karakorum highway to Gilgit; the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan and where the world’s three mightiest mountain ranges, the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and the Himalayas collide. The Gilgit Baltistan region is a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The area has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the region was a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
En-route to Gilgit we stop at Rakaposhi peak (7788 m) view point for photography and Chalt Nagar, the collision point of Indo Pak and Eurasian plate.
After lunch visit the Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD. Overnight in Grand continental or Riveria Hotel in Gilgit (BD)

Day 19: Gilgit – Naran
In the morning we drive along the Karakorum Highway to Naran Kaghan valley.
Our first stop will at the junction point of three great Mountain ranges, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush. After we will drive along a scenic route via Babusar pass to Naran and Kaghan valley.
Overnight at PTDC Motel or Similar. (BD)

Day 20: Taxila – Islamabad
In the morning we drive to Islamabad en-route we will stop at Taxila. Taxila has many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the 6th century B.C until the 5th century A.D.
Continue driving to Islamabad. Overnight at Redison hotel in Islamabad. (BD)

Day 21: Islamabad visit
In the morning we visit the Damn-E-Koh (view point), which gives us a panoramic view of Islamabad, our next stop will be at Folk Heritage Museum and the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque. In afternoon visit the colourful hustling bustling market of Raja Bazar. In the evening farewell dinner at food street in Rawalpindi. Overnight at Redison hotel in Islamabad.

Day 22: Depart Islamabad
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)
** If you would like to extend your trip to Lahore we can customize it according to your request.**

SILK ROAD TOUR

Join us on a Silk Road experience, through India, Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.

Don’t miss the wonders of Samarkand,
Bukhara and Isfahan and the magnificence of
the Himalayas and the Karakorum highway.
Fully inclusive 6o day road trip, with car,
driver and guide.

For more information please download the detailed guides below :

 Grand-Silk-Road-Delhi-to-Ashgabad   
 Iran Journey brochure-2019

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