Caucasus & Central Asia
Orient Silk Road Express
15 days from £6,275 pp
Includes: accommodation; all transfers; Silk Road Express (train); tours & guides, meals as per itinerary (excludes flights)
Overview & Highlights
From the incredible architecture of Tashkent to the cosmopolitan city of Almaty, discover the beauty of Central Asia by rail on the Orient Silk Road Express. The legendary Silk Road is perfect for a group tour, with spectacular sights and thrilling excursions hiding around every corner.
Whether you want to visit the Amirsoy Mountain Resort or enjoy a sightseeing tour of Samarkand, we can create the ultimate adventure of a lifetime. During this unforgettable journey, you’ll explore impressive Khiva and uncover its history that stretches back 2,500 years. Experience a folklore show in Bukhara, take a dip in Issyk-Kul Lake and spend a day in Dushanbe.
- Explore the famous Silk Road over 15 days via a private chartered rail service on the Orient Silk Road Express
- Enjoy an epic journey with every detail planned out by destination specialists.
- Learn about diverse cultures and steeped history across four distinct countries
- Discover stunning sights and exhilarating excursions from Tashkent to Almaty
“An adventure like no other, this is the original ‘road trip’! For more than 1000 years, the demand to obtain the strands of the silkworm’s cocoon resulted in a trading route stretching from Xi’an in China to Istanbul in Turkey. Great cities emerged at the locations merchants stopped to rest.”
This escorted journey will take you between four diverse countries and introduce you to vastly different cultures – following an iconic route with awe-inspiring moments along every step of the way.
The itinerary is also available in reverse.
- Day 1: Upon arriving in Tashkent in Uzbekistan you will be greeted at the airport by a friendly tour guide and transferred to the hotel for a two night stay. Enjoy the rest of the day to relax/recover at your leisure.
- Day 2: Morning at leisure. Afternoon tour of Tashkent including Kukeldash Madrassah (which dates to the late 16th century) and the Kavoj and Amir-Timur monuments. (B,D)
- Day 3: After checking out of the hotel, day trip to the Chimgan Mountains, northeast of Tashkent. Visit the Amirsoy Mountain Resort and ride the cable car to a scenic spot at 2,290 metres above sea level. Visit Charvak Reservoir and take in the glorious mountain scenery before returning to Tashkent to board the Orient Silk Road Express which will be your home from home for the next fortnight. (B,L,D)
- Days 4: Today arrive into Khiva, one of the most impressive cities on the Silk Road, sandwiched between the Karakuk and Kyzylkum deserts—a logical place for Silk Road traders of yesteryear to rest up before their difficult onward journey. (B,L,D)
- Day 5: Arrive today in Bukhara, another wonderful Silk Road city with a history that stretches back millennia. Sights today will include the impressive Kalyan Minaret. Later today, in the courtyard of a madrassah, experience a folklore show replete with music, national costumes and traditional dances. (B,L,D)
- Day 6: Spend the day further exploring Bukhara, including the awesome Ark Of Bukhara, a massive fortress. Return to the train and set off southwest through the night towards the small city of Sha-kriysabz, birthplace of Amir Timur. (B/L/D)
- Day 7: Arrive in Shakriysabz, another spectacular city whose historic centre has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, continue the journey to the second country of the trip, Tajikistan. During the night the train will pass through Kumkurgon, the southernmost point of the journey, just over 60km/27miles from the Afghan frontier. (B/L/D)
- Day 8: Arrive in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, a curious city with a mix of Soviet influence, Persian culture and modern authoritarianism. After a tour of the city, return to the train for another night on board. (B/L/D)
- Day 9: Discover the legendary Samarkand, the final in the trio of unmissable Uzbek ‘Silk Road’ cities. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city with visits to the Shahi-i-Zinda, Afrosiyab and the mighty Registan Square, arguably one of the most impressive sights in all of Central Asia. (B/L/D)
- Day 10: Enjoy a further full day of sightseeing in Samarkand with visits to include a Silk Carpet manufacturer, a workshop where paper is made traditionally, from mulberry tree bark, the Ulug Bek Observatory and Bibi Khanum Mosque. Visit the Gur-i-Amum Mausoleum Complex, where Amir Timur, founded of the Timurid Empire, is buried. (B/L/D)
- Day 11: Checking out of the hotel return to the train and head towards the next stop, Kyrgyzstan. Spend the rest of the day, heading to Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital. (B/L/D)
- Day 12: Arrive this morning into Bishkek, one of the greenest capital cities in the world. Enjoy an introductory tour of this pleasant yet often overlooked capital, which has a population of just under one million. Moving on, enjoy an excursion to the nearby Ala Archa National Park, where the tallest peaks rise to just shy of 5,000 metres in height. (B/L/D)
- Day 13: Depart Bishkek and journey east to stunning Issyk-Kul Lake, a 6,236 square km lake situated at an altitude of 1,607m. One of the deepest and largest lakes in the world by volume is also one of the most beautiful, located in the Tien Shan Mountains. Visit the Centre of Nomadic Culture and spend some time savouring in the beauty of the lake, those brave enough may wish to take a dip in its chilly waters. Enjoy a boat trip on the lake before getting back on board your train for the final leg (and border crossing) of your journey to Kazakhstan. (B/L/D)
- Day 14: Arrive, after lunch, in cosmopolitan Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city (and former capital). Disembark the Orient Silk Road Express train for the final time, enjoy an afternoon touring the city, including the Zenkov Cathedral, Wedding Palace, Kazakh State Circus and Central Mosque. A farewell dinner will be served in a yurt inspired restaurant. (B/L/D)
- Day 15: This morning check out of your hotel and transfer to Almaty International Airport (ALA) for your departure flight home. (B)
15 day tour, from £6275 per person
(Single person supplement + £1875)
03 Oct 2024-17 Oct 2024 : from £6375 pp
27 Mar 2025-10 Apr 2025 : from £6275 pp
- All airport taxes & security charges
- Accommodation and meals as specified
- Transfers as specified
- Activities and excursions as specified
- All entrance fees on sightseeing tours as specified
- Flights (we will quote to include flights as part of an ATOL protected package)
- Travel Insurance
- Any meals not specified in the itinerary
- Tips and gratuities
- Optional excursions
This is just one example of a journey along the Silk Road. We can curate your own bespoke holiday for any destinations along the Silk Road through many countries. Either joining a group or creating an itinerary just for you to suit your interests.
“Julie’s wealth of travel experience, patience and understanding of our requirements was faultless. I bombarded her with questions and points on our ‘wish list’ which she patiently took on board and created a fantastic trip of a lifetime“Mr & Mrs C
Let us begin the journey that will create memories to last a lifetime.