Silk Road Stans Rail Tour- SRR
Number of Days: 14
This 14 day tour is a small group rail tour which commences Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - and concludes in Almaty, Kazakhstan.Highlights include: UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tien Shan Mountains, Bukhara and more.
Day 1: Ashgabat.
Arrive and transfer to your hotel in Ashgabat for an overnight stay.
Day 2: Nisa and Ashgabat.
This morning we drive to the old Parthian city of Nisa which has a striking geographical location on top of a small hill with splendid views south towards the Kopet Dag Mountains. Old Nisa was either a Parthian royal residence or temple complex and was abandoned at the end of the Parthian period. The main town of New Nisa was revived in the 5th century, and grew to-become an important Medieval Silk Road centre. After lunch visit the National Museum containing over 500,000 exhibits, particularly archaeological and ethnographical finds. We spend time at the Russian Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest in the Turkmenistan. This evening we board our train and enjoy an included Welcome Dinner on board.B,L,D
Day 3: Merv.
Early morning sees us arrive in Mary, where we transfer to the ancient and mainly unrestored city of Merv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its gigantic walls and ramparts in the desert and the impressive ruins of old buildings such as the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the Virgin Fortress (Kis Kale), the cold room and other mausoleums. Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world during the 12th century. 1794 saw the demise of Merv, after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam which the population depended on for its water. We enjoy lunch in the picturesque courtyard of a family before we re-board our private train and head for Bukhara.B,L,D
Day 4:Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
Bukhara is simply outstanding. Situated in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert, Bukhara features about 1,000 monuments, which recall the halcyon days of the Great Silk Road. Foreign spices, furs and especially silk fabrics were stored and handled in the caravansaries. In the old city we will see the Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble and in front of the Nasreddin-on-the-donkey monument we will learn of some anecdotes about him. This evening we visit the courtyard of a Madrasah with musical accompaniment, local dances and a presentation of colourful national costumes. Transfer to central Bukhara for 2 nights. B,L,D
Day 5: Bukhara.
Today we will enjoy a day tour of the city, including lunch. Bukhara is a large, unique and authentic art museum that maintains its old oriental face. In the morning, visit the magnificent Mire-e-Arab Madrasah and the most beautiful and precious building in Central Asia, the Samanid Mausoleum. Then we will take a tour through the fortress Ark where we will see there the coronation hall and visit the summer residence of the last Emir. At the end of our stay we will see the only women’s mosque in the world.B,L,D
Day 6: Bukhara to Khiva.
This morning we explore Bukhara independently before rejoining our train and continuing in the direction of Khiva.B,L,D
Day 7: Khiva.
After breakfast we travel to the southern border of the seven river lands, in the ancient city of Khiva, founded 2500 years ago. As one of the Silk Road’s most important trading posts and now a World Heritage Site, it lies at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia. A truly magnificent sight to behold, it rises out of the desert to reveal a wealth of impressive architecture. When you stand before the mighty city wall of Khiva with its gates and bastions of clay you are transported to another world. Around the Kalta Minor Minaret, life still pulses today as it did in old times, and on our tour we will see palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and Koranic schools which convey what Medieval oriental urban development must have been like. Enjoy lunch in the atmosphere of the former Summer Palace of the Emir and in the evening we depart for Samarkand.B,L,D
Day 8: Samarkand.
Today we will experience the historical prominence of Samarkand, the most beautiful city in Tamerlane’s time: the grave city Shah-e-zende (“the living Shah”), the excavation sites of Afrosiab and the Registan Square present an impressive collection of Central Asian architecture. Enjoy a two night stay in a Samarkand hotel.B,L,D
Day 9: Samarkand.
Today we visit a silk carpet factory and an Uzbek craftsman’s family, see paper manufactured from mulberry bark, the observatory of Ulug Beg, the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque and the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum.B,L,D
Day 10: Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz.
Enjoy an excursion into the surrounding mountain region where elsewhere forgotten ceremonies of the Shaman cult still are held today. You will experience a folklore performance in the unique tradition of this region and get to know the inhabitants in their authentic everyday life. We follow the Great Silk Road and arrive in the green city, the birthplace of Tamerlane. At the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shakhrisabz we visit the monumental memorials of the barbaric Mongol Prince and have the opportunity to watch the bustle of this lively town. This evening we depart for Tashkent and enjoy Uzbek wine tasting onboard. B,L,D
This morning we arrive in Tashkent at the foot of the Tien Shan Mountains. Enjoy a sight-seeing tour and experience the green oasis of the Steppe: the Madrasah Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments and opera. This evening we attend a musical performance (depending on schedules).B,L,D
Day 12: Turkestan, Kazakhstan.
After breakfast and lunch onboard we arrive at the city of Turkestan in Kazakhstan (border formalities occur comfortably in your train cabin). You will see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi with its dome hall, monumental mosque and well house. We will travel on to Almaty and enjoy our farewell dinner onboard.B,L,D
Day 13: Almaty.
We arrive in Almaty after lunch. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city which is situated at the foothills of the northern Tien Shan Mountains where there are attractive tree-lined avenues, many parks and street cafes. Visit the Zenkov Russian Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest all wood buildings. This evening we will enjoy a special Farewell Dinner in country-specific yurts and overnight in Almaty.B,L,D
Transfer to the airport for your onward flights.B
Meals: B=Continental breakfast, T = Wine tasting, D= Welcome and others as per final itinerary.
Hotel accommodation. Hotel service charges and taxes, other than city bed taxes, gratuities or charges for individual services.
Twin share rail cabin rail transportation as per itinerary including tolls, permits, etc.
Transfers during tour as per itinerary.
Places and activities listed in the itinerary as included, unless specified as optional.
EXCLUDES: Visas – Allow minimum of 8 weeks for these. Meals and beverages other than where specified in the final itinerary, city or bed tax, items of a personal nature, telephone calls, travel insurance, bar and minibar use, laundry, gratuities, optional and discretionary activities.
THIS ITINERARY IS THE PROPERTY OF CLASSICTOURS AND THE TRAVEL WAREHOUSE AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE SHOULD CIRCUMSTANCES DICTATE.
- $10,595 per person twin share. Single supplement add + $2,995.