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 Samarkand

Samarkand is one of Central Asia's oldest and most attractive cities.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 4 Shakhrisabz

Feast on Uzbek cuisine at a homestay in leafy Shakhrisabz.
ACCOM: Homestay - 1

Days 5-7 Bukhara

Travel to the gorgeous city of Bukhara, with its shady mulberry trees, fascinating sandstone architecture and myriad artisan shops. Go on a guided city tour and get to know the ins and out of this beguiling city.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 8-9 Aksu-Zhabagly National Park

Today we head into Kazakhstan to the gorgeous Aksu-Dzhabagly Nature Reserve, the oldest national park in Central Asia. Enjoy short hikes through this unspolit area and stay with a local family in the Zhabagly Village.
ACCOM: Homestay - 2

Day 10 Turkistan

Stop at the ruins of Otrar on the way to Turkistan, a captivating city with a wealth of history and culture.
ACCOM: Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 11-12 Aralsk

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: Homestay - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 13-15 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 16-18 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 adventure comes to an end.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2