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Xi'an to Istanbul Overview
Take a Silk Road adventure from Xi’an to Istanbul
Get ready for a massive Overland adventure from the metropolitan core of Xi'an, China, to the bustling streets of Istanbul city. Travel through some of the planet's most remote, wild and uniquely beautiful wildernesses along the legendary Silk Road. See the flaming mountains of the oasis town of Turpan, pitch a tent beneath the stars in the Karakum Desert, step back in time sleeping in an ancient caravanserai and tour Iran’s dramatic mountain-scapes. This adventure will take you through the pages of time and introduce you to the friendly and hospitable locals who call these rugged lands home. If you're longing for an epic Overland odyssey, away from the tourist crowds and through some of the world's last wild terrains, then this epic journey is just for you.
What's included in this trip
Xi'an to Istanbul SummaryAdd to Shortlist
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.
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.
Follow a local trading route through harsh desert sands, and meet the nomadic people who call this inhospitable region home.
Drive across the Karakum Desert. If time allows, see the amazing Darvaza Gas Crater.
Wander among 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.
Make tracks towards the Iranian border today and explore Shirvan, nestled on the banks of Atrak River.
Take a walk around the ancient city of Damghan, perhaps stopping to visit one of the oldest mosques in the world - Jamrh.
Travel into the heart of the central Iranian desert and enjoy a homestay in the small village of Garmeh.
Wind through the old city of Yazd - reputedly one of the oldest towns in the world. Sign up for a scrub in a local hamam or sample some tasty Iranian cuisine.
Keep quiet at the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence before heading to the historical Zein-o-din Caravanserai.
Explore the magnificent ruins of Persepolis en route to Shiraz. Spend free time in town visiting magnificent mosques and mausoleums or shopping in the fabulous Vakil Bazaar.
With stately bridges, blue-tiled Islamic buildings and a gargantuan city square, Esfahan provides welcome splashes of lush colour after a few days in the dry countryside. Take in the splendour of this city by visiting ornate mosques and historic palaces.
Discover the capital of Iran, Tehran, a sprawling, fascinating and intoxicating place. Visit the impressive Golestan Palace or get lost in one of the Tehran's museums.
Camp in the wilds of this beautiful, mountainous region. Discover the unique rock formations in the enchanting Kandovan region.
Nestled at the foot of Turkey's highest peak, Dogubayazit has a romantic palace-fortress that is fascinating to explore.
Travel overland into Eastern Turkey via ancient trade routes. Explore the Enchanted Valley where cones of soft volcanic rock have been carved to create mystical churches and mysterious dwellings.
Discover Cappadocia's Goreme Valley and underground troglodyte cities, fairy chimneys and caves. Perhaps also enjoy a traditional Turkish bath or sip tea with locals in the quaint cafes of this fascinating area of Turkey.
Farewell the fairy chimneys of Goreme and travel to the beautiful salt lake, Tuz Golu.
Visit Istanbul's Grand Bazaar to hunt for a bargain, admire the Blue Mosque or the imposing Aya Sofya. On the cobblestone streets of this fascinating city is where the Turkic and Persian Splendours adventure comes to an end.
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