Istanbul to Tashkent Overview

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Visit Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan travelling from Istanbul to Tashkent.

Embark on the trip of a lifetime through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on a tour from Istanbul to Tashkent. Beginning in the atmospheric city of Istanbul, travel overland through Turkey’s vast interior, exploring the mysterious landscape of Cappadocia before heading into the interior of Iran. One of the greatest cultural locations on Earth, Iran's amazing history vies with its hospitality for visitors' attention. It's a really friendly country with some of the world's most stunning Islamic architecture and relics of antiquity. Exploring Esfahan and the ancient capital Persepolis gives you a brief glimpse of its cultural wealth. North of Iran, we head back to the Turkic world and enter Turkmenistan, traversing the Karakum Desert bound for the legendary cities of the Silk Route – Bukhara and Samarkand - a fitting end to this magnificent journey from Istanbul to Tashkent.

  • Delve into the sprawl of Tehran
  • Discover the romance of the Silk Road in Samarkand
  • Experience the beauty of Esfahan
  • Gaze up at the ancient walls surrounding Khiva
  • Make camp in the wilds of Iran
  • Munch on a kebab in Yazd
  • Walk through Bukhara's historic Old Town
  • Wonder at Ashgabat´s futuristic architecture

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Finish:

    Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Group size:

    Min 4 , Max 21
  • Ages:

    Min 18
  • Meals:

    No meals included
  • Accommodation:

    Bush camp (no facilities) (7 nts), Camping (with facilities) (2 nts), Guesthouse (1 nt), Hostel (2 nts), Hotel (25 nts), Yurt (1 nt)
  • Transport:

    Overland vehicle
  • Included activities:

    Ali Qapu Palace, Ashgabat - Sunday Market, Bukhara - Guided walking tour, Esfahan walking tour, Goreme - Guided Goreme Valley tour, Guided tour of ancient ruins of Persepolis, Guided walking tour, Iman Mosque entrance and guided tour, Ishak Pasha Palace, Jameh Mosque, Konye-Urgench - Ancient City ruins, Samarkand - Guided city tour, Tehran walking tour, Visit to Lake Tuz

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About Turkey , Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan , Iran

Istanbul to Tashkent Summary

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Days 1-2 Istanbul

Welcome to incredible Istanbul! Have your fortune told in the Taksim, bargain up a storm in the Grand Bazaar or admire the imposing Blue Mosque in this fascinating city.

Day 3 Tuz Golu/Bush Camp

Visit Turkey's salt lake, Tuz Golo, which provides 63% of Turkey's salt. Bush camp in the evening.

Days 4-5 Goreme

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.

Days 6-7 Bush Camp

Travel overland into Eastern Turkey via ancient trade routes. Camp under skies that have been gazed at for centuries by fellow travellers.

Day 8 Dogubeyazit

Visit Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border. The town of Dogubayazit is at the foot of Mount Ararat, reportedly where Noah's Ark came to rest after The Flood.

Day 9 Kandovan

Enjoy the first night in Iran at Kandovan, an ancient village of caves built into the volcanic rock - and where locals still live.

Day 10 Zanjan

Explore Zanjan's delightful bazaar and check out the beautiful handicrafts on sale here - perhaps answer the question: does a handcrafted rug fit in a backpack?

Days 11-12 Tehran

Travel to Tehran and be awed by this vibrant city where ancient meets modern. There is plenty of time here to explore the incredible Golestan Palace, the city's many fascinating museums and galleries, and to relax and chat with locals while watching this interesting part of the world go by.

Days 13-15 Esfahan

Spend three days in this breathtaking city and take time trawling the souqs, bazaars, beautiful squares and blue tiled Mosques of Esfahan.

Days 16-17 Shiraz

Visit the stunning Islamic Shiraz - discovering its impressive citadel and mosques.

Day 18 Persepolis/Zein-o-din Caravanserai

Explore the ancient ruins of Persepolis, Persia, then feel transported back in time while staying in a traditional caravanserai in the Dasht-e Lut desert.

Days 19-20 Yazd

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.

Day 21 Dasht-e Kavir Desert/Khoor

Travel through the Dasht-e Kavir Desert, which lies in the middle of the Iranian plateau, to the tranquil oasis of Khoor.

Day 22 Damghan

Explore Iran's oldest surviving mosque - dating back to the 1st century - in Damghan.

Day 23 Shirvan

Relax by Shirvan's Atrak River, which gives this small town a lush and peaceful feel.

Days 24-25 Ashgabat

Say goodbye to Iran and travel into Turkmenistan. Continue the adventure among the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat.

Day 26 Darwasa

Sleep under the stars in the Karakum Desert. See the spectacular fires of the Darvaza Gas Crater.

Days 28-29 Khiva

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.

Days 30-32 Bukhara

Get to know Central Asia's holiest city, where the combination of buildings spanning a thousand years and a thoroughly lived-in Old Town help create the awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Day 33 Nurata

Spend a night in a yurt camp with the local nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.

Days 34-36 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.

Days 37-39 Tashkent

End your Samarkand and Tamerlane’s Testament adventure in the most modern of Uzbekistan’s cities. Visit Tashkent’s thriving Chorsu Bazaar to pick up Soviet-style souvenirs and admire the ornately decorated Kukeldash Medressa.
    • 39
    • EDOYC
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      USD $1,200
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