Follow the central Silk Road through Turkmenistan’s harshly beautiful deserts, Uzbekistan’s soaring minarets and Kyrgyzstan’s sublime lakes. Travel to a land once home to brutal, yet sophisticated, khans and sultans, as well as the furthest reaches of the USSR. Offering the bold traveller a startling vision of Central Asian culture - from the relaxed charm of Bishkek to the futuristic Ashgabat - your central Silk Road journey is an enlightening experience full of memories to last a lifetime.

Start
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Finish
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Countries
Kyrgyzstan,
Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan
Themes
Overland
Code
KDOIC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 21
Carbon offset
1 271kg pp per trip

Travel the central Silk Road from Kyrgyzstan to Turkmenistan


Highlights

  • Eat mutton dressed up as itself in a Bishkek restaurant
  • Visit the wilds of Chong Kemin National Park
  • Practice your echoes in the canyons of Jeti-Oghuz
  • Watch local shepherds playing goat polo
  • Experience the romance of the central Silk Road in Samarkand
  • Uncover Soviet memorabilia in Chorsu Bazaar
  • Be amazed by the ferocity of the Darvaza Gas Crater
  • Walk the lively streets of Ashgabat

Itinerary

Wander through the wide streets of Kyrgyzstan's charming capital. Admire marble-faced aesthetics and see the rugged Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range loom in the distance.
Camp out in Ala Archa National Park. Hike through lush wilderness or maybe try your hand at whitewater rafting in the Chong Kemin Valley.
Journey out along the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul to the picturesque town of Karakol. Stop along the way to see ancient petroglyphs near Cholpon-Ata.
Continue into the alpine trekking region of Jeti-Oghuz. Be entranced by the landscape as you hike along sandstone cliffs and through dramatic canyons.
Learn all about the production of traditional felt carpets at a women’s co-op in the small village of Kochkor. In the evening, enjoy friendly Kyrgyz hospitality at a local homestay.
Travel on to beautiful Song-Kol Lake. Head out for a hike or explore the area from the back of a horse – and don’t miss the chance to see a game of goat polo!
Be mesmerised by spectacular vistas and dazzling landscapes as we journey through the magnificent Fergana Valley. Stare up in awe at snow-capped mountains and chill out on the shores of tranquil lakes.
Continue through the Fergana Valley to Arslanbob. Those feeling energetic will have ample opportunity to don hiking boots and go explore.
Cross the border into Uzbekistan and spend the afternoon exploring the sites and sounds of Fergana City. A visit to the former Khan of Kokand's Palace is a real highlight.
Travel to Uzbekistan's lively capital. Maybe pick up some fresh produce at the Chorsu Bazaar or visit one of the city’s many museums.
Discover the majestic architecture, buildings, monuments and bazaars of Samarkand, one of Central Asia’s most magical cities.
Head out to the enchanting Kyzylkhum Desert and eat lunch among the dunes. Maybe take a dip in Lake Ajdar Kul or explore the surreal landscape from the back of a camel. Tonight, sleep in a traditional yurt camp.
Soak up the ambiance of Central Asia’s holiest city. Step back in time visiting the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the impressive Ark Fortress.
Explore the perfectly preserved Old Town of Khiva, beautifully decorated in classic turquoise tiles. Gaze in wonder at the city’s ancient walls and imagine how they once provided sanctuary for weary Silk Road travellers.
Meet nomadic locals as you follow a traditional trading route through harsh desert sands. Spend the afternoon exploring the remarkable Kunye Urgench ruins before camping out under the stars.
See the desert stretch out in all directions on the drive to Darvaza. If time permits, visit the glowing Darvaza Gas Crater and discover why it's called the 'Door to Hell’.
Admire the world’s largest hand-woven rug, trawl through history at the Earthquake Museum and explore the city streets of Turkmenistan’s capital before this Central Asia adventure comes to an end.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (9 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (15 nights), Yurt (3 nights)

Dates

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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.

Important notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trips notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes