Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan: Discover The 5 Stans of Central Asia on this 21 day itinerary, departing from JFK Airport.
Day 1 & 2: Departure from JFK to Almaty
Overnight flight to Almaty, Kazakhstan via Istanbul.
Day 3: Arrive Almaty (Kazakhstan)
Welcome to Central Asia! Upon arrival to Almaty Airport, we will meet you and transfer to hotel for rest after flight. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at our hotel in Almaty.
Day 4: Almaty (Kazakhstan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Full day sightseeing in Almaty: visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov (wooden constructed) Cathedral, St. Nicholas Cathedral, National Musical Instruments Museum, Central State Museum, Almaty’s Green Bazaar, Panoramic view from Kok Tobe. Overnight at hotel in Almaty.
Day 5: Almaty – Bishkek (Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek via a newly built highway. En route watch the natural landscapes. Afternoon arrival at Bishkek. Check in to the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing of Bishkek: visit Central Museum (museum is closed for reconstruction), Independence Square, Philharmonic Square, University Boulevard, and TSUM. Overnight at hotel in Bishkek.
Day 6: Bishkek – Issyk Kul – Karakol (Kyrgyzstan) [B,L,D]
After breakfast, you drive to Karakol town situated in the east of the lake area, at the foot of the most picturesque mountains of Tian Shan. The way passes along the south shore of Issyk Kul. Follow the way along the shore of Issyk Kul till Karakol town. On the way stop in yurt makers village Kyzy Tuu and visit yurt masters home. Visit Djety Oguz canyon on the way. Djety Oguz in Kyrgyz means “Seven Bulls”. This picturesque gorge is named so because of the red rocky sand formations covered with forests of Tien Shan Spruces. Arrival and accommodation at our hotel.
Day 7: Karakol – Cholpon Ata (Kyrgyzstan) [B,L,D]
After breakfast, you start city-tour in Karakol: visit the wooden Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral. It was completed in 1895 and used as an officers’ club during Soviet Times; it is now restored and in use again as a church. There is also a small section of Russian Colonial ‘gingerbread’ style residential buildings. Also you visit to a very pretty wooden mosque built entirely without nails by Chinese Artisans between 1907 and 1910 for the local Dungans (Muslims of Chinese origin who fled China during the aftermath of the 19th century Hui Minorities’ War). Next visit is to the Museum of Nikolay M. Prjevalskiy, the outstanding Russian Explorer of The Asian Continent. Drive to Cholpon Aty City, situated in the Northern shore of Issyk Kul Lake. Upon arrival to Cholpon Ata visit a Petroglyphs site, the temple in the open air of Scythians and Hungsuns civilizations in 8-9 Centuries B.C. until 3-4 Centuries A.D. Accommodation at our hotel.
Day 8: Cholpan Ata – Bishkek – Tashkent (Kyrgyzstan/Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer back to Bishkek. En route visit Burana Tower historical complex in Tokmok District, which used to be center of Karakhanid Kingdom Culture. Lunch on the way in local restaurant or local family. Continue drive to Bishkek, Manas Airport to take flight to Tashkent at 18.40 HY 780. Upon arrival immigration and customs clearance. Meet outside of arrival hall. Transfer to hotel and overnight.
Day 9: Tashkent (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Full day sightseeing in Tashkent, visit the old part of the city – Khast Imam Complex as well as possessing a rich Islamic Library with immense Osman Koran VII Century, Chorsu Bazaar, Kukeldash Madrasah. Afternoon visit Independence (Mustakillik) Square with governmental buildings, A. Navoi Theater Square, A. Temur Museum and Square. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent.
Day 10: Tashkent – Samarkand (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to railway station for the bullet train AFROSIAB to Samarkand. Upon arrival to Samarkand start tour of “Rome of the East” visiting: Registan Square, Gur Emir Mausoleum, Bibi – Khanum Mosque and Central Bazaar in Samarkand, Afrosiyob Museum, and Museum of Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand.
Day 11: Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Shakhrisabz, hometown of Great Tamerlane, arrival to Shakhrisabz: visit remains of Ak-Saray Palace, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque, Khazrati Imom Ensemble. After sightseeing Shakhrisabz depart back to Samarkand and visit Paper Mills. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand.
Day 12: Samarkand – Bukhara (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Start driving to Bukhara via Gizjduvan. En route visit remains of Caravanserai and Sardoba, a water reservoir. Excursion to Gijduvan – famous pottery house. Arrival to Bukhara, check in to the hotel. Sightseeing tour in Bukhara: Kalon ensemble, Madrasah Miri-Arab, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chashma-Ayub, Madrasah Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan, Kosh Madrasah, Trade Domes, Lyabi Hauz Complex, Madrasah Chor – Minor. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara.
Day 13: Bukhara (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Continue sightseeing of Bukhara: summer palace of Bukhara Emirs Sitora-i-Mokhi Khosa, Necropolis Chor Bark, burial of Sheikhs and Royal family members, Complex of Bahautdin Nakshband, place of locals to worship, visit Samanid Dynasty Mausoleum, Ark Fortress. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara.
Day 14: Bukhara – Farab – Turkmenabat – Mary (Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning depart Bukhara and drive to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border point Farab. Border formalities on both sides, crossing the border. Transfer to Mary via Turkmenabat and Merv (350 km/4.5 hrs.). Upon arrival tour of Merv which was located at the crossroads of Great Silk Road and quickly became one of most important and biggest cities of the Ancient World. Sightseeing will include: Gyz Gala and Oglan Gala, Complex of Askhabs, Gyaur Gala, Erk Gala, Soltan Gala, Soltan Sanjar Mausoleum, Ibn Zeid Mausoleum. Dinner and overnight in Mary.
Day 15: Mary – Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for flight to Ashgabat. Visit Ashgabat famous Oriental Bazaar, Hippodrome of Ashgabat, Arch of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Gulistan Bazaar, Monument of Lenin, Ertogrul Gazy Mosque, National Museum of History & Ethnography Excursion to Nissa (Visit Old Nisa Ruins), discover Kopet Dag Mountains, Carpet Museum, Turkmenbashy Spiritual Mosque. Afternoon sightseeing of Monument of Independence and Ruhnama. Overnight at hotel in Ashgabat
Day 16: Ashgabat – Dashoguz – Kunya – Urgench – Nukus (Turkmenistan -Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, transfer to the airport for flight to Dashoguz. Arrival to Dashoguz, transfer to Kunya-Urgench (120km/1.5h). Sightseeing tour in Kunya Urgench: visit Portal of Caravansarai, Mamur Minaret, II Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret, Turabek Hanum Mausoleum. After sightseeing, return to Dashoguz and transfer to border check point. Border formalities on both sides. Enter Uzbekistan and transfer to Nukus, en route visit oldest Necropolis Mizdakhan and remains of Gaur Kala Fort. Continue to Nukus, check in to the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Nukus.
Day 17: Nukus – Kala – Khiva (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Morning tour in Nukus, capital of Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, visit the Savitskiy State Museum, a collection of over 95,000 pieces including fine arts, applied Karakalpak Folk Art, and ancient art from the region of Khorezm. After lunch drive to the ruins of Toprak Kala from the Kushan period, built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. Next stop is Kizil Kala, a frontier fortress from the Kang Kuyi period. Last will be Ayaz Kala, the Fort of Wind, built in early AD. Continue to Khiva, upon arrival check into hotel and overnight.
Day 18: Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent (Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
Breakfast at hotel. Full day sightseeing of Khiva: visit Ichan Qala Fortress – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where monuments Allakulikhan Madrasah, Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islom Khoja Minaret, Juma Mosque, Toshhovli and other monuments are located. Evening transfer to Airport in Urgench for the flight to Tashkent as per timetable. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel for check in and overnight.
Day 19: Tashkent – Khujand (Uzbekistan/Tajikistan) [B,L,D]
After early breakfast at the hotel in Tashkent today we’ll head on to a 2 day excursion of Tajikistan. We’ll drive to the border check point Oybek and after border crossing formalities we’ll continue on to city Khujand. Khujand – the country’s second largest city – situated in the north of Tajikistan and is one of its most ancient, founded about 2,300 years ago during the time of Alexander the Great. Standing in a favorable location in the Ferghana Valley, Khujand prospered for a long time, becoming rich and building palaces, mosques, and citadels. In the XIII Century, it was conquered and destroyed by the Genghis Khan’s Army. We’ll have a close city tour in second part of the day, and end the day with dinner at a local restaurant followed by a show program. We’ll overnight in Khujand.
Day 20: Khujand – Oybek – Tashkent (Tajikistan/Uzbekistan) [B,L,D]
After breakfast at the hotel, we‘ll continue sightseeing of Khujand: visit ancient part of Khujand, Timurmalik Fortress, Archaeology, History Museums, and Orient Bazaar Panjshanbe – famous Panjshanbe City Market is one of the most interesting sights of Khujand. Near the market we’ll stop by Sheikh Muslihiddin Mosque and Mausoleum, Museum of Archaeology and Resporation. We’ll have lunch at the local restaurant and in the afternoon transfer back to Tashkent. Once back to Uzbekistan, we’ll have a rest at the hotel before making a long way back home. We’ll have a farewell dinner followed by a show program and return to hotel for overnight in Tashkent.
Day 21: Tashkent (Uzbekistan) [B]
Today is the last day of the tour. We’ll have breakfast at the hotel and arrange transfer to the airport for your flight home. End of our tour.