Xi'an to Istanbul Overview

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‡ As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only - please click here to view the kitty amount for your departure date.

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.

  • Be mesmerised by Istanbul’s Blue Mosque
  • Hike through the incredible canyons of the Djety Oguz Valley
  • Hike through the incredible canyons of the Djety Oguz Valley
  • Marvel at the evocative architecture of Samarkand
  • Purchase Soviet paraphernalia in Bishkek
  • Relax by the deep blue waters of Heavenly Lake
  • See Xi’an’s impressive Terracotta Warriors
  • Wander the streets of enchanting Xiahe

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    Xi'an, 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), Guesthouse (4 nts), Homestay (2 nts), Hotel (44 nts), Yurt (5 nts)
  • Transport:

    Overland vehicle
  • Included activities:

    Aksu-Zhabagly National Park, Ashgabat - Sunday Market, Bukhara - Guided city tour, Dunhuang - Mogao Caves, Entrance Jiayuguan fort, Esfahan walking tour, Goreme - Guided Goreme Valley tour, Guided tour of ancient ruins of Persepolis, Jeti-Oghuz - Hiking, Kashgar - Sunday & Animal Bazaars, Khiva - Guided city tour, Kochkor - Regional Museum, Kochkor - Women's Felt Co-op, Konye-Urgench - Ancient City ruins, Liujiaxia - Bingling Si Caves, Pingliang - Kongtong Mountain, Samarkand - Guided city tour, Tehran walking tour, Turpan - Jiaohe riuns, Visit to Lake Tuz, Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors guided tour

  • 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.

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

Xi'an to Istanbul Summary

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Days 1-2 Xi'an

Begin this journey from Xi'an to Kashgar by visiting a 2,000-year-old army of Terracotta Warriors, built to protect an emperor.

Day 3 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 4 Gansu Corridor, Lanzhou

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

Days 5-6 Xiahe

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

Day 7 Liujiaxia

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

Day 8 Bingling Si/Zhangye Bush Camp

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

Day 9 Jiayuguan/Great Wall

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

Days 10-11 Dunhuang

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

Day 12 Bush Camp

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

Days 13-14 Turpan

Escape the desert sands in the laidback town of Turpan.

Days 15-16 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 17-18 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 19-21 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.

Day 22 Karakol

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

Day 23 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 24 Bush Camp

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

Day 25 Kochkor

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

Days 26-27 Bishkek

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

Days 28-29 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 30 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 31 Karakol

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

Days 32-33 Djety Oguz Valley

Hike through dramatic canyons and sandstone cliffs in Djety Oguz Valley.

Day 34 Kochkor

Enjoy more traditional Kyrgyz hospitality on a homestay in Kochkor village.

Days 35-36 Song Kul Lake

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

Day 37 Bush Camp

Hit the road back to Bishkek, stopping to camp in the wilderness overnight.

Day 38 Bishkek

Back in Bishkek, why not stretch the legs with a walk through Oak Park? Or perhaps just kick back in one of the park's open air cafes.

Days 39-40 Zhabagly-Aksu National Park

Make tracks into Kazakhstan and enjoy a night with a local family in Zhabagly, before exploring the grasslands of Asku National Park.

Days 41-42 Tashkent

Arrive in Tashkent, the final stop on this tour. Shop for fresh produce at the Chorsu Bazaar and perhaps grab some Soviet paraphernalia from a market.

Days 43-45 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 46 Yurt Stay

Spend a night in a yurt camp with the local nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.
    • 80
    • KDOBC
    • Kitty tool tip
      USD $2,050
    • 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.