The Silk Road - Beijing to Moscow

Trip Map

Trip Validity

  • 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31

Uncover the legends and great cities of the Silk Road on this incredible tour

Travel along the Silk Road through the rarely visited heart of central Asia. Visit the desert oasis of Turpan, the frontier town of Kashgar, the legendary city of Samarkand and the lively town of Bukhara – just as the Silk Road merchants did long ago. From Xi’an, cross the vast steppe of western China, the unforgiving desert landscapes of Turkistan, the breathtaking mountains and emerald panoramas of Kyrgyzstan and the exotic lands of Uzbekistan before arriving in iconic Moscow. Once the hub of the trading world, this ancient route that connected Asia with Europe, the East with the West, will fill your imagination with colourful tales and legends.

  • Admire the minarets and medressas of Bukhara
  • Be lured by the colour and history of Samarkand
  • Cool off amid lush orchards and vineyards in the desert oasis of Turpan
  • Discover an ecological paradise in Chong Kemin National Park
  • Play cards with Uyghurs on the Silk Road Railway
  • Revel in the pristine wilds of Ugam Chatkal National Park
  • Snaffle a bargain in Kashgar’s famous Sunday Bazaar
  • Watch nomads graze their herds on the alpine pastures of stunning Song Kol Lake

The Silk Road - Beijing to Moscow Summary

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Days 1-3 Beijing

Beijing has a long and colourful history and this rapidly modernising city is an amazing whirl of ancient sites, modern buildings, bicycles, people, shops and eateries.

Days 4-5 Xi'an

As the start of the ancient trading route the Silk Road and an imperial centre for 2,000 years, Xi'an has a fascinating history and rich cultural sites to discover.

Day 6 Silk Road Railway

Connecting eastern, southern and western Asia with Europe and parts of Africa since around 200BC, the Silk Road is a series of trade routes that literally transformed the world.

Days 7-8 Turpan

Once an important staging post on the Silk Road, Turpan is an attractive town famous for its vineyards, stone fruits, melons and the nearby Flaming Mountains.

Days 9-10 Kashgar

Traditionally an important trading city along the Silk Road, Kashgar is still at the crossroads of trade due to its location in the heart of Central Asia.

Day 11 Tash Rabat

Built in the 15th century, Tash Rabat was an important caravanserai (roadside inn) for Silk Road travellers and there are still impressive ruins to explore.

Day 12 Song-Kol Lake

Picturesque Song-Kol Lake is surrounded by lush pastures favoured by local nomadic herders, who come here in the summer to graze their animals.

Day 13 Bishkek

With roads lined with trees, wide boulevards and a relaxed atmosphere, Bishkek is a former Silk Road rest stop that was ruled by Russia until independence in 1991.

Days 14-15 Chong Kemin National Park

Chong Kemin lies within the Tian Shan mountain range separating Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. This spectacular valley is famed for it's natural beauty, abundant wildlife and rich, varied flora.

Day 16 Cholpan Ata

Cholpon Ata is a small town on the banks of Lake Issyk-Kul with relaxing beaches and some excellent rock inscriptions dating back to 500BC.

Day 17 Tamga

Famous for its military sanatorium for returned Soviet astronauts, Tamga has a beachfront on the lake and lovely views of the mountains.

Days 18-19 Tashkent

One of the largest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent is a mix of Russian and Uzbek styles, where extravagant mosques sit alongside modern highways and Soviet monuments.

Days 20-21 Samarkand

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Samarkand is perhaps the most evocative of the Silk Road cities with its decorative domes and many beautiful buildings.

Day 22 Shakhrisabz

Founded over 2,700 years ago, Shakhrisabz is an ancient city rich in impressive architectural sites and colourful people.

Days 23-24 Bukhara

Bukhara, a beautifully preserved Central Asian city, is a joy to get lost within and provides a glimpse into life before Soviet domination.

Days 25-26 Tashkent

Tashkent is an interesting contrast to many other places along the Silk Road with its clean, modern feel and unusual contemporary architecture.

Days 27-28 Ugam Chatkal National Park

Pleasant alpine meadows and beautiful wild flowers await in Ugam Chatkal National Park - a popular holiday spot for locals and visitors in the Western Tian Shan Mountains.

Days 29-30 Aralsk

A major fishing port on the Aral Sea before it was drained by Soviet irrigation projects, Aralsk has limited infrastructure but friendly locals ready to share their homes and stories.

Days 31-33 Samara

In Soviet times Samara was a closed city due mainly to its role as a backup capital, today it's a big city with pleasant historical centre by the Volga River.

Days 34-36 Moscow

Whether it's awe-inspiring history, iconic architecture, edgy creative centres or stylish bars and cafes, Moscow delivers on so many levels with a surprise around every corner.