Beijing to Istanbul

    • 96
    • KDOYC
    • Kitty tool tip
      USD $2,890
    • Contact us Discontinued trips tool tip
    •  
       
       
       
       
    •  
       
       
       
       
    • Overland
    • Basix
Contact us
‡ As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only - please click here to view the kitty amount for your departure date.

Explore Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan as you travel from Beijing to Istanbul.

Get ready for a massive Overland adventure from the metropolitan mammoth of Beijing to Istanbul’s bustling bazaars. Travel through some of Asia’s most remote, wild and unique wildernesses along the legendary Silk Road from China. See Istanbul’s famous blue mosque; cross Iran’s’ remote desert landscapes as you travel to Tehran; pass through Uzbekistan’s soaring mountain vistas; tour Xi’an’s famous Terracotta Warriors; and discover secluded sections of the snaking Great Wall of China. From Beijing to Tehran and beyond, this adventure encompasses the very best of Central Asia and the Middle East. If you're longing for an epic overland odyssey, away from the tourist crowds, Beijing to Istanbul is just for you.

  • Admire the Buddhist art at the Mogao Caves
  • Be mystified by the ancient Persian relics of Persepolis
  • Cross the infamous Torugart Pass from Kyrgyzstan to China
  • Discover the secrets of the Enchanted Valley
  • Explore the hub of East and West in Istanbul
  • Search out delicate silks in Yazd
  • See the dramatic glaciers adorning the Ala Archa Canyon
  • Uncover hidden delights in Iran's capital, Tehran

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    Beijing, China
  • Finish:

    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Group size:

    Min 4 , Max 21
  • Ages:

    Min 18
  • Meals:

    All meals when camping
  • Accommodation:

    Bush camp (no facilities) (18 nts), Camping (with facilities) (3 nts), Cave house (1 nt), Guesthouse (4 nts), Homestay (2 nts), Hotel (60 nts), Yurt (5 nts)
  • Transport:

    Overland vehicle
  • Included activities:

    Aksu-Zhabagly National Park, Ashgabat - Sunday Market, Beijing - Forbidden City, Bukhara - Guided city tour, Chengde - Bisu Shanzhuang, Chengde - Puning Temple, Datong - Hanging Monastery, Dunhuang - Mogao Caves, Entrance Jiayuguan fort, Esfahan walking tour, Goreme - Guided Goreme Valley tour, Guided tour of ancient ruins of Persepolis, Jeti-Oghuz - Hiking, Jinshanling - Great Wall, Kashgar - Sunday & Animal Bazaars, Khiva - Guided city tour, Kochkor - Regional Museum, Kochkor - Women's Felt Co-op, Konye-Urgench - Ancient City ruins, Lijiashan - Black Dragon Temple, Liujiaxia - Bingling Si Caves, Pingliang - Kongtong Mountain, Samarkand - Guided city tour, Tehran walking tour, Turpan - Jiaohe riuns, Visit to Lake Tuz, Wutai Shan - Taihui Temple Cluster, Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors guided tour, Yan'an - Revolution Museum & CCP Headquarters site

  • Notes:

    1. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights. 2. Due to a British government travel warning, from September 2012 this itinerary will no longer be able to visit Iran. It will instead travel from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and then through Georgia to Turkey. Passengers already booked to travel in 2012 have been notified. The new itinerary for 2013 will be published by November.

Contact us

About China , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Turkey , Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan , Iran

Beijing to Istanbul Summary

Add to Shortlist

Days 1-2 Beijing

Ni hao and welcome to China where a grand adventure awaits! Begin by joining the buzzing hive that is Beijing - a place where discovery and intrigue lie around every corner. Visit the Forbidden City to admire imperial architecture or the sprawling Summer Palace on the banks of Kunming Lake.

Days 3-4 Chengde

Stroll through the lush Shanzhuang gardens in the footsteps of past Emperors who holidayed here. Take in the rich heritage of Chengde by bicycle or admire the Mongolian and Tibetan influences in local temples and monasteries.

Day 5 Jinshanling

Take a walk along the monumental Great Wall as it snakes its way through rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Imagine the exhaustive effort of farmers and labourers who toiled for many generations to construct the Wall.

Days 6-7 Datong

Marvel at the Hanging Monastery, delicately perched on a steep cliff face in Golden Dragon Gorge, and explore the World Heritage listed Yungang Grottoes, home to a staggering collection of over 50,000 statues and fascinating ancient rock art.

Days 8-9 Wutai Shan

A famous pilgrimage site, Wutai Shan is believed to be the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri. Visit sacred temples, go hiking or simply soak up the serene atmosphere in a local cafe.

Days 10-11 Pingyao

Stroll the ancient, and well preserved streets on Pingyao. This Han Chinese walled city is designed in the traditional bagua (octagonal) layout with architecture dating back centuries.

Day 12 Lijiashan

Visit the incredible cave houses of Lijiashan - built over 500 years ago - and spend the night in a cave room.

Days 13-14 Yan'an

Get an insight into China's communist beginnings with a visit to Yan'an, once the Chinese Communist Party's headquarters during the 1930s and 40s

Days 15-18 Xi'an

Admire the 2,000-year-old army of Terracotta Warriors and explore significant cultural sites and museums both in and around Xi'an. Enjoy a plate of hand-pulled noodles as you watch the locals dance, eat and practice martial arts in South Park.

Day 19 Pingliang/Mount Kongtong

Overland through the province of Gansu to Pingliang, which sits at the edge of the beautiful Kongtong Mountain. Peruse the wonderful shops or climb the mountain for rewarding views.

Day 20 Gansu Corridor, Lanzhou

Travel down the fertile Gansu Corridor, a rugged stretch of the famed Silk Route.

Days 21-22 Xiahe

Travel to the Tibetan monastery town of Xiahe, often described as one of the most enchanting places to visit in China.

Day 23 Liujiaxia

At the crossroads of Qinghai and Gangsu, arrive at Liujiaxia. Visit the Bingling Si Buddhist Grottoes to see intricate cliff-side carvings.

Day 24 Bingling Si/Zhangye Bush Camp

Continue the journey west towards Jiayuguan, where we set up camp en route.

Day 25 Jiayuguan/Great Wall

Arrive in Jiayuguan after a full day of driving, and discover deserted sections of the Great Wall.

Days 26-27 Dunhuang

Arrive in Dunhuang and relax in this Gansu oasis trading town. Visit the nearby Mogao Caves and discover their breathtaking Buddhist art.

Day 28 Bush Camp

Continue the overland adventure towards the ancient oasis town of Turpan. Spend the night wild camping beneath the desert stars.

Days 29-30 Turpan

Escape the desert sands in the laidback town of Turpan.

Days 31-32 Urumqi & The Heavenly Lake

Travel towards the Tian Shan mountain range, and arrive at the pristine Heavenly Lake. Located at the top of a mountain and in the middle of a desert, this is a remote spot, perfect for relaxation.

Days 33-34 Bush Camp

Head to the outskirts of the enormous Taklamakan Desert. Travel into seemingly unchartered terrain and begin two days on an overland adventure.

Days 35-37 Kashgar

Arrive in Kashgar, an exotic fusion of Chinese, Uzbek and Kyrgyz cultures. Wander the streets that weave through the old town and discover the markets and bazaars of this diverse city before saying goodbye to this incredible part of the world.

Day 38 Karakol

Set off early to get to stunning Lake Karakol. Spend the day wallowing in the surrounds of this magnificent setting.

Day 39 Kashgar

Hike the lakeside mountains or ride the perimeter of the lake on horseback to wear yourself out before the drive back to Kashgar. Take time out in comfort this evening to relax and recuperate.

Day 40 Bush Camp

Take a good book as today's lengthy border crossing meanders through the Torugart pass and into Kyrgyzstan.

Day 41 Kochkor

Spend some time getting to know the locals of Kochkor with a traditional Kyrgyz homestay and experience a glimpse of daily life.

Days 42-43 Bishkek

Driving into the capital city, explore the crowded bazaars and vast bustling squares of this modern city.

Days 44-45 Chong Kemin Valley

Set off on a leisurely hike along Chong Kemin River. Or if feeling adventurous, perhaps tackle one of the tough 4000 m passes.

Day 46 Cholpon Ata/Issyk-kul Lake

Farewell the Kyrgyzstan mountains and head to Cholpon Ata, nestled on the shores of the vast and beautiful Issyk-Kul Lake.

Day 47 Karakol

Enjoy the remote, picturesque town of Kara-kol, complete with quaint tree-lined streets and colonial houses.

Days 48-49 Djety Oguz Valley

Hike through dramatic canyons and sandstone cliffs in Djety Oguz Valley.
    • 96
    • KDOYC
    • Kitty tool tip
      USD $2,890
    • Contact us Discontinued trips tool tip
    •  
       
       
       
       
    •  
       
       
       
       
    • Overland
    • Basix
Contact us
‡ As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only - please click here to view the kitty amount for your departure date.