Explore the rugged and remote beauty of Central Asia on this epic journey across the Stans
Take a journey across the vast expanses of Central Asia on an expedition through the rugged and remote regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. From the glossy modernity of Nur-Sultan with its futuristic cityscapes, to the spellbinding ancient architecture of Samarkand’s mosques and mausoleums: visit unique cities and distant villages as you cross hundreds of kilometres of epic mountain passes and surreal landscapes – incomparable to anywhere else on earth. While political and military forces have battled over these regions for centuries, life in these isolated areas has changed very little – adding to the allure of this expansive cultural landscape. This is a trip designed for the true adventurer, for those craving escapism, outstanding beauty, unrivalled hospitality and the feeling of complete remoteness.
Discover the history and architecture of the Silk Road, visiting ancient mausoleums and mosques on guided tours in the cities of Turkistan, Sayram and Otrar.
Travel alongside locals and admire wild, sweeping vistas on train rides across the Kazakh steppe, then experience the hospitality of Central Asia with five nights spent across Tajikistan's excellent homestay network.
Immerse yourself with the surreal landscapes of the 'wild west' of Kazakhstan in Boszhira Valley, the picturesque alpine Lake Issyk and visit Grand Canyon's 'little brother', Charyn Canyon.
Soaring along the iconic Pamir Highway is an unforgettable experience, especially in fine weather when the mighty peak of Muztag Ata rears its head.
Witness the much-photographed Registan in Samarkand – one of the true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. Be wowed by the grandeur and beauty of the monuments to iconic figures such as Tamerlane
This trip takes you way off the tourist trail to explore just some of the vastness that is Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. If you want to be far, far away from everywhere – and from anything you've experienced before – this trip is for you.
Be prepared to experience the full legacy of the Soviet era – not just in the sights and history, but also in the standards of accommodation and service! In other words, while you’ll be comfortable, don’t expect luxury.
In true adventure style, the trip involves some long travel days by private vehicle and trains. While tiring, this is a great opportunity to sit back, unwind and let the sweeping views roll by.
Temperatures in the desert and out on the steppe are variable. The days can be very hot, while at night, the mercury plummets. Make sure you bring warm, comfortable layers, drink plenty of water and take care to protect yourself from the sun. For women, we recommend bringing a scarf to cover your head and shoulders while on visits to mosques and mausoleums.
This trip visits places as high as 5000 metres above sea level, which can cause altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on travelling at altitude and ensure you are familiar with signs of AMS.
The varied terrain of Tajikistan also makes for extremely varied weather. Temperatures can range from below freezing to over 40ºC so check the weather forecast online before you visit and pack accordingly.
Medical facilities can be as far away as 2-3 days' drive at times, as some locations are very remote. During this journey the group will spend time in remote areas without home comforts or easy access to medical facilities. You will need to have excellent physical health to join this trip and consult with your doctor before travelling if you have any ongoing illnesses or injuries.
In the Pamirs you'll stay in local homestays, with the whole group often sleeping in one large room on mattresses on the floor. Bathroom facilities are outdoors, and it won't be possible to take a shower every night of the trip.
Drives range from 3 to 10 hours in duration. Depending on traveller numbers, the transfer can get compact when the group is full. Though the longer travel days and single night overnight stays can be tiring, you'll be in a private vehicle, and much of the scenery in this part of the world is simply stunning.
1. A single supplement is bookable if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 4 (Yurt), Day 7 (Overnight sleeper train), and Day 15,17,18,19,20,23,24,25(Guesthouses and Homestays) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip is a combination of KFSK and KFST our most popular itineraries. As such the make up of your group and your leader may change on Day 14.
3. This trip visit 4 countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Please refer to Essential Trip Information for details of visa requirements.
4. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight and train tickets booking no later than 45 days prior to departure. Fees may apply for amendments or failure to provide the required details within 45 days of departure
5. Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes a Passenger Self-Assessment Form is required for this trip. Please consult your booking agent about this.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information