Beijing to Istanbul Overview

Travel to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey. See the Great Wall of China and Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. Travel to Baku and Beijing as you tour Azerbaijan and China.

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Trip Map


Explore Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan 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; 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 Baku 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 quaint Karakol
  • Admire the Buddhist art at the Mogao Caves
  • Climb deserted sections of the Great Wall of China
  • Climb deserted sections of the Great Wall of China
  • Discover the romance of the Silk Road in Samarkand
  • Explore the historic town of Bukhara
  • Explore the temple and pagoda studded Kongtong Mountain
  • Wander through Beijing’s’ Forbidden City

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) (20 nts), Camping (with facilities) (3 nts), Cave house (1 nt), Guesthouse (3 nts), Homestay (6 nts), Hostel (1 nt), Hotel (52 nts), Overnight ferry (1 nt), Yurt (5 nts)
  • Transport:

    Overland vehicle, Overnight ferry
  • Included activities:

    Ashgabat - Sunday Market, Baku - Guided city tour, Beijing - Forbidden City, Bukhara - Guided city tour, Chengde - Bisu Shanzhuang, Chengde - Puning Temple, Datong - Hanging Monastery, Dunhuang - Mogao Caves, Entrance Jiayuguan fort, Geok-Depe - Kow Ata Underground Lake, Goreme - Guided Goreme Valley tour, Gori - Stalin Museum, Jeti-Oghuz - Hiking, Jinshanling - Great Wall, Kashgar - Sunday & Animal Bazaars, Kazbegi - Tsminda Sameba Church, Khiva - Guided city tour, Kochkor - Regional Museum, Kochkor - Women's Felt Co-op, Kokand - Khan's Palace & Mosque, Konye-Urgench - Ancient City ruins, Lijiashan - Black Dragon Temple, Liujiaxia - Bingling Si Caves, Pingliang - Kongtong Mountain, Qobustan - Mud volcanoes, Qobustan - Petroglyphs, Samarkand - Guided city tour, Sheki - Khan's Palace, Sheki - Museum of History, Sumela - Monastery, Telavi - Shuamta Monastery, Turpan - Jiaohe riuns, Wutai Shan - Taihui Temple Cluster, Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors guided tour, Yan'an - Revolution Museum & CCP Headquarters site

  • Carbon emissions offset:

    3936kg pp per trip
  • Notes:

    1. This trip visits multiple countries for which visas can be difficult and time consuming to obtain. Please ensure that you have enough time to apply for all visas you require before booking this trip. 2. Some destinations visited on this trip do not have consulates in Australia and New Zealand. We recommend that travellers from these countries book the WESTBOUND itinerary of this trip where some visas can be obtained en route. 3. 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. 4. Combination trip. Please see Trip Notes (Important Notes) for more details.

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About Azerbaijan , China , Georgia , Kyrgyzstan , Turkey , Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan

Beijing to Istanbul Summary

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Days 50-51 Song Kul Lake

Stay in traditional yurt accommodation and experience nomad life in the lush pastures surrounding the beautiful Song-Kol Lake.

Days 52-54 Kyrgyz Fergana Valley

Spend a leisurely three days journeying through the stunning mountains and lakes of Kyrgyzstan's Fergana Valley.

Day 55 Arslanbob

Make tracks across the Ferghana Valley to Arslanbob.

Day 56 Kokand/Fergana City

Enter Uzbekistan and see the palace of the former Khan of Kokand.

Days 57-58 Tashkent

Arrive in Tashkent, shop for fresh produce at the Chorsu Bazaar and perhaps grab some Soviet paraphernalia from a market.

Days 59-61 Samarkand

Travel to one of Central Asia's most magical cities, Uzbekistan’s Samarkand. Discover the romance of the Silk Road in this perfectly preserved city full of exotic architecture and majestic buildings.

Day 62 Yurt Stay

Spend a night in a yurt camp with the local nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.

Days 63-65 Bukhara

Get to know Central Asia's holiest city, where the combination of buildings spanning a thousand years and a thoroughly lived-in Old Town combine to create an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Days 66-67 Khiva

Gaze up at the ancient walls surrounding Khiva and imagine how they once provided sanctuary for weary Silk Road travellers. Explore the historic and perfectly preserved Old Town, beautifully decorated in classic turquoise tiles.

Day 68 Kunye Urgench

Follow a local trading route through harsh desert sands, and meet the nomadic people who call this inhospitable region home.

Day 69 Darwasa

Drive across the Karakum Desert. If time allows, see the amazing Darvaza Gas Crater.

Days 70-72 Ashgabat

Marvel at the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat's skyline. Spy the world's largest hand-woven rug or learn about the city's traumatic history at the Earthquake Museum.

Day 73 Geok Tepe

Travel to the spectacular Kow Ata underground lake. Take a walk around - and perhaps dip a foot into - the incongruously warm waters before continuing on and making camp for the night.

Day 74 Turkmenbashi

Head to the shores of the Caspian sea and relax and unwind In Turkmenbashi while waiting for the ferry to arrive.

Day 75 Overnight Ferry

Continue the adventure by boarding an overnight freight ferry and travelling across the Caspian sea toward Azerbaijan. Rusty, rugged but full of memorable moments, this intrepid experience is grassroots adventuring at it's finest

Days 76-78 Baku

Explore Azerbaijan's rapidly evolving capital. Stroll the Old Town for a hint of the regions medieval past, check out the cosmopolitan cafe culture and be romanced by the leafy parks on the seaside promenade.

Day 79 Gobustan

Drop by the geologically themed town of Gobustan, known for it's rock art and mud volcanoes.

Day 80 Sheki

Continue to the cobblestone streets and forested hills of Sheki. Explore the exquisite Khan's Palace and the Museum of History for a solid dose of Silk Rd heritage.

Day 81 Bush Camp

Cross the border into Georgia and get acquainted by the lush surrounds of the Alazani valley.

Days 82-83 Telavi

Enter into Georgia's famed wine country and spend two days exploring the vineyard clad town of Talavi. Sample unique local drops, and keep an eye out for local traditions such as grape harvests and the keipi (banquet). Then, work off all that wine-tasting by taking a walk to the sixth century Shaumta Monastery, which is beautifully located on an isolated forest hilltop.

Days 84-85 Tbilisi

Tbilisi is one of Europe's most regal, yet largely under appreciated cities. Spend free time perusing the fine architecture, and perhaps climb to the top of Narikala Fortress for a view over the surrounding hills.

Day 86 Kazbegi

Marvel at a mixture of Soviet kitsch and jaw-dropping views over Mt Kazbek in the small town of Kazbegi. Take a stroll to the top of Tsminda Sameba Church and be blown away by the stunning scenery of rural Georgia.

Day 87 Gori

Another day, another glorious set of hillside scenery.With a name meaning 'hill', Gori was the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. History buffs will revel in a chance to visit to the Stalin museum, which houses artefacts that provide an insight into his early life.

Day 88 Kutaisi

Get a dose of Georgian history in Kutasi - one of the oldest cities in the world. Enjoy a guided walk around the ruins of Bragrati Cathedral before getting an unique insight into Georgian life by spending the night at the home of a local family.

Day 89 Batumi

Swap the hills for the Black Sea coast and explore the picturesque port town of Batumi. Perhaps settle in at a riverside cafe and sip a Turkish Coffee while watching the ships go by.

Day 90 Sumela

Cross the border to Turkey and climb into the incredible Sumela Monastry. Nestled high in the cliffs above the evergreen forests and rushing streams of Altindere National Park, this peaceful sanctuary is the perfect place to take some time out and breathe the fresh air of the Turkish countryside.

Day 91 Bush Camp

Continue to Zara and watch the changing landscapes of rural Turkey pass by.

Days 92-93 Goreme

Admire the otherworldly cone formations of Goreme, a truly unique location in the heart of Cappadocia. Perhaps enjoy a guided tour of the network of honeycombed caves that have formed an underground city, complete with churches and dwellings, or take to the skies on a hot air balloon to see this dramatic landscape from above.

Day 94 Bush Camp

Head west toward Istanbul, stopping to make camp for the night in the Turkish countryside.

Days 95-96 Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul, a city that has for centuries been the crossroads of the East and West. Take in the aromatic smells of the thousands of bazaars that line the streets, browse stunning islamic architecture and see why Istanbul is one of the world's most exotic, invigorating cities.
    • 96
    • KDOYC
    • Trip Price tool tip
    • Kitty tool tip
      USD $3,160
    • Total price tool tip
      *
    •  
       
       
       
       
    •  
       
       
       
       
    • Overland
    • Basix
Book
‡ As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only - please click here to view the kitty amount for your departure date.