Unspool history on the Silk Road, from mountain yurts to minarets
Be entranced by the beauty of Kyrgyzstan and historical wonders of Uzbekistan on this 17-day tour. Traverse landscapes of alpine lakes and mountains interrupted only by dots of yurts, feel the divine artistic power of the detailed mosaics and towering minarets of ancient cities, and be welcomed into homes and family-run businesses by locals. A mix of ancient nomadic cultures, various iterations of both conservative and progressive Islam, Soviet influence and post-independence nationalism mean Central Asia is home to unique traditions. Travels here will leave you raving about the region for years to come and planning your next trip back as soon as you get home.
Get to know the locals as you meet a local eagle trainer (or Berkutchi), learn how to build a yurt in a local workshop, test your taste buds with a dinner of home-cooked plov (Uzbekistan's signature dish) and rub shoulders with the locals in the bustling bazaars
Travel along the Chychkan River beneath the towering peaks of Kyrgyzstan’s Tien Shan range, mountains even more spectacular for emptiness of the valleys below them.
Enjoy authentic experiences like sleeping in traditional yurts on the banks of Lake Issykul, staying in local villages and making yourself at home in a boutique hotel that used to be an old Jewish house in Bukhara
Wander through the grand square Registan in Samarkand, admiring the imposing architecture from afar and the detailed craftmanship on the tiling up close.
Spend time in World Heritage-listed Bukhara, a 6th-century-BC city that's drenched in history and home to the formidable Ark of Bukhara.
Central Asia is a remote destination, perfect for Intrepid travellers! You will venture well away from cities, right off the beaten track and be able to immerse yourself in local food, life and culture. Accommodation may on occasion be more basic than what you are used to, especially in local homes, guesthouses and at the yurt. Shower and toilet facilities will be limited in some places and non-existent in others. While the comfort level won't always be high, the rewards of living in true local style in this far-out part of the world are immeasurable.
This is an overland journey, so there will be some very long days of travelling and driving, often over rough terrain. This can be tiring and require patience. The vehicle we use is small enough to access places where the general road condition doesn't allow for buses, but this means it can be a cosy journey when the group is almost full. We find this is a great way for the group to bond and share an amazing journey together and there will be stops along the way to take photos and stretch your legs.
What Kyrgyzstan lacks in historical sights (compared to the Silk Road monuments and Old Towns of Uzbekistan) it makes up for in incredible natural landscapes and plenty of opportunities for interaction with local families in small villages.
This trip spends 1 night at high altitude at Song-kol Lake (over 3000 meters) and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. We recommend not partaking in any strenuous activity until you have time to gauge your reaction to the high altitude. See the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Central Asia Explorer trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 3 to Day 7 where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. We'll need your passport details no later than 45 days before departure in order to purchase train tickets on this trip. Delay in providing these details or providing incorrect details may result in extra fee in change or being unable to secure services.
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