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Silk Road and Beyond Itinerary
Day 1 Tashkent
Arrive in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, and peek beneath its paradoxical exterior to find a cosmopolitan city with Muslim and Russian inhabitants, great nightlife, expanses of greenery and a smattering of interesting restaurants. Perhaps arrive early to visit the petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata - these prehistoric rock carvings depict scenes from daily life thousands of years ago.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1
Days 2-3 Ugam Chatkal National Park
Visit Ugam Chatkal National Park, home to more than 280 species of fauna and 2,200 species of plants. Admire spectacular scenery – peppered with the bluest-of-blue lakes, snow-covered mountains, verdant valleys and fields of wildflowers – while hiking to the base of Big Chimgan peak.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 4-5 Aralsk
Travel to Kazakhstan and journey across the former bed of the Aral Sea, once one of the largest lakes in the world. On a 4x4 tour, find out how human folly caused this body of water to shrink to one-tenth of its original size. Visit Aralsk and Tastubek – booming fishing villages in the 80s that are now mostly deserted – and a ship cemetery, before boarding an evening train to Russia.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 6-8 Samara
Descend beneath the buildings of Samara to enter Stalin’s unused bunker and learn why the city was chosen as Russia’s ‘reserve’ capital. Spend an afternoon cruising down the picturesque Volga River. During free time, relax by the waterfront, sample the local beer at the Zhigulevsky Brewery or catch a performance at the Samara Drama Theatre.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 9-11 Moscow
Pull into Russia’s intriguing capital, Moscow. Get an up-close perspective on the city’s famous historical sites, including Red Square, the Kremlin, the Armoury and Lenin’s Mausoleum on a fascinating tour. Perhaps check out a cutting-edge art gallery, an upmarket wine bar or a bohemian art-cafe before this Silk Road and Beyond adventure comes to an end.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2