Travel from Istanbul to Tashkent on this Silk Road adventure.

Watch the vibrant cultures of Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey unfurl on this astonishing adventure along the Silk Road and through Turkey and Central Asia. Travel to Asia’s rugged landscapes that were once claimed by Commagene kings, Kurdish chieftains, Islamic sultans and more recently, Soviet Russia - leaving behind a wealth of cityscapes and remote fortresses. Meet desert nomads in Turkmenistan, mountain villagers in Uzbekistan and experience a traditional way of life that has remained largely unchanged over centuries. Also visit Turkey’s bustling Istanbul and experience the Soviet stylings of Tashkent - there's no doubt about it, this overland Middle East trip will exhilarate and inspire.

Start
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Countries
Turkey,
Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan,
Iran
Themes
Overland
Code
KDONC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 21
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Visit Istanbul’s famous Blue Mosque
  • Explore the enormous markets of Esfahan
  • Delve into Persian history in Persepolis
  • Shop for silk in Yazd
  • Discover hidden delights in Iran's capital
  • Walk in the footsteps of Khans in Bukhara
  • Experience nomad hospitality on a desert yurt stay
  • Marvel at the Silk Road’s intricate fortresses
  • Discover the beautiful monuments of Samarkand
  • Stroll the streets of the modern city of Ashgabat
  • Experience a real oasis in the Great Salt Desert

Itinerary

Start the journey in the most modern of Uzbekistan’s cities, Tashkent. Visit the Chorsu Bazaar to pick up Soviet-style souvenirs and admire the ornately decorated Kukeldash Medressa.
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.
Spend a night in a yurt camp with the local nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.
Get to know Central Asia's holiest city, where the combination of buildings spanning a thousand years and a thoroughly lived-in Old Town combine to create an awe-inspiring atmosphere.
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.
Follow a local trading route through harsh desert sands, and meet the nomadic people who call this inhospitable region home.
Drive across the Karakum Desert. If time allows, see the amazing Darvaza Gas Crater.
Wander among the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat's skyline. Spy the world's largest hand-woven rug or learn about the city's traumatic history at the Earthquake Museum.
Make tracks towards the Iranian border today and explore Shirvan, nestled on the banks of Atrak River.
Take a walk around the ancient city of Damghan, perhaps stopping to visit one of the oldest mosques in the world - Jamrh.
Travel into the heart of the central Iranian desert and enjoy a homestay in the small village of Garmeh.
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.
Keep quiet at the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence before heading to the historical Zein-o-din Caravanserai.
Explore the magnificent ruins of Persepolis en route to Shiraz. Spend free time in town visiting magnificent mosques and mausoleums or shopping in the fabulous Vakil Bazaar.
With stately bridges, blue-tiled Islamic buildings and a gargantuan city square, Esfahan provides welcome splashes of lush colour after a few days in the dry countryside. Take in the splendour of this city by visiting ornate mosques and historic palaces.
Discover the capital of Iran, Tehran, a sprawling, fascinating and intoxicating place. Visit the impressive Golestan Palace or get lost in one of the Tehran's museums.
Camp in the wilds of this beautiful, mountainous region. Discover the unique rock formations in the enchanting Kandovan region.
Nestled at the foot of Turkey's highest peak, Dogubayazit has a romantic palace-fortress that is fascinating to explore.
Travel overland into Eastern Turkey via ancient trade routes. Explore the Enchanted Valley where cones of soft volcanic rock have been carved to create mystical churches and mysterious dwellings.
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.
Farewell the fairy chimneys of Goreme and travel to the beautiful salt lake, Tuz Golu.
Visit Istanbul's Grand Bazaar to hunt for a bargain, admire the Blue Mosque or the imposing Aya Sofya. On the cobblestone streets of this fascinating city is where the adventure comes to an end.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (7 nights), Camping (with facilities) (2 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (27 nights), Yurt (1 night)
Included activities
  • Ashgabat - Sunday Market
  • Bukhara - Guided city tour
  • Esfahan walking tour
  • Goreme - Guided Goreme Valley tour
  • Guided tour of ancient ruins of Persepolis
  • Khiva - Guided city tour
  • Konye-Urgench - Ancient City ruins
  • Samarkand - Guided city tour
  • Tehran walking tour
  • Visit to Lake Tuz

Dates

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Important 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.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip 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