Step off the beaten track and onto the ancient Silk Road on this revelatory tour through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Travel into desert landscapes heavy with romance and mysticism on this adventure through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Walk in the shadows of ancient, blue-tiled buildings in Samarkand, sleep in a yurt under thousands of desert stars and spend an evening at a home stay with a family in the Nuratau Mountains. Watch the sun set over Technicolour minarets in Khiva, learn about life in a desert settlement in Yerbent and revel in the eastern-futurism of Ashgabat. Step off the beaten track and onto the ancient Silk Road in this revelatory tour through ancient lands.
This incredible journey takes you through parts of Central Asia that few people can find on a map, let alone have considered travelling to.
The much-photographed Registan in Samarkand is one of the true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. You'll be wowed by the scale, grandeur and beauty of the monuments to iconic figures such as Tamerlane and the Persia-influenced madressas, mosques and mausoleums.
Spend an evening in the isolated Kyzylkum Desert, warming yourself by the fire and sleeping in a yurt.
Get to really know the stories and people of Uzbekistan while sharing home-cooked meals with local families, including a home stay in the remote Nuratau Mountains.
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.
Steeped in Silk Road history and immortalised in many great tales, the UNESCO-protected town of Khiva is as photogenic as it is legendary.
Explore the sprawling ruins of Mary, Merv and other ancient kingdoms and contemplate the remnants of empires that once ruled these vast lands.
Witness the eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, aka the 'Door to Hell' as you camp nearby – one of the strangest, most mesmerising geological oddities on earth.
Ashgabat rose from the devastation of an earthquake in 1948 and has enjoyed a surreal and futuristic makeover - witness its often bizarre, but certainly memorable architecture on a city tour.
There are few places like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on earth - isolated geographically and long secluded politically. It's probably unlike anywhere you have ever been, so be prepared to be surprised and for things to run a little differently to home. Here's some of what to expect: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-a-trip-to-tu...
Central Asia is a remote destination, perfect for intrepid travellers in the true sense of the word! 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 in homestays, guesthouses and yurt stay. 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.
As this trip does has only limited time and no included activities in Tashkent, we highly recommend staying a few extra days before or after your tour to enjoy all this great city has to offer.
Most sights in Uzbekistan require a separate ticket to take photos. This is usually just a few dollars at each site, but be prepared with plenty of change in local currency and ensure you budget for this in your sightseeing.
Tourism is strictly controlled in Turkmenistan, with Letters of Invitation needed in advance in order to apply for your visa (which you can then get on arrival) and guides tending to be protective of what tourists see and fiercely proud of their nation and its leaders. Those used to more freedom of exploration and tour guides with a more global perspective may find their experience here different from in other destinations.
As there are a number of long travel days, plenty of time spent on your feet and days can be hot and dusty you'll need excellent general health and fitness to get the most out if this trip.
There is one night of basic camping included on this trip in the Karakum Desert. Sleeping bags, mattresses and tents are all provided, but there are no bathing or permanent toilet facilities at the campsite.
1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip, excluding nights in yurts, homestays and camping.
2. As this is a multi-country trip and a combination of two of our most popular Central Asian trips, your group composition may change in Tashkent and your leader will change at the border.
3. Please provide your name and passport number exactly as per your passport to your booking agent no later than 45 days before departure so that we can book the domestic flight. Extra charge may apply if wrong information is provided.
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