The five stans silk road holiday

“Three week small group tour of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Overland travel between cities, towns and remote mountain villages. Cultural and scenic contrasts await.”

Highlights

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan | UNESCO Nisa ruins | Jeep convoy across Karakum Desert | 12 century city of Abiverd | UNESCO ruins of Merv | Bukhara, Uzbekistan | Samarkand | Shakhrisabz | Termez | Dushanbe, Tajikistan | Fann Mountains | Iskanderkul Lake | Khujand | Ferghana | Arslanbob Nature Reserve, Kyrgyzstan | Sulayman Mount | Arslan Bob homestay | Tien Shan Mountains | Kyzyl Oi village homestay | Son Kul Lake | Bishkek | Almaty, Kazakhstan |

Description of The five stans silk road holiday

There can be few more iconic traveller trails to follow other than the Silk Road that leads through the former Soviet era republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Colloquially considered: the ‘Five Stans’, these independent, land-locked nations swirl with the ancient trading traditions of Central Asia and make for a fascinating holiday destination for cultural adventurers.

Landscapes morph from desert plains and undulating steppe to luscious valleys and mountain peaks to ensure the Five Stans conjure up Silk Road experiences that remain totally out of reach of typical sightseeing tourists.

This epic three week small group tour helps you put together the pieces of the past as you journey on a Central Asian odyssey full of ancient insight and exclusive glimpses at modern day lifestyles.

Travelling as part of a group is an ideal experience for solo travellers who are searching for Silk Road tales but can’t find friends who want to share their adventures. Single room supplements, where available, ensure privacy and travelling as part of a guided group allows confidence to build and friendships to form.

Greek, Persian and Mongolian influence is just as evident across all Five Stans as that of the Soviet regime with a succession of trader markets, yurt camps, monuments and mosques opening up all manner of exciting and enlightening encounters across the heartland of Central Asia.

Travel Team

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05 Jun 2021
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local craft and Culture:
We explore the many museums and mosques, mausoleums and markets of Ashgabat, Bukhara and Samarkand. By visiting these cultural and historical sites, we are supporting maintenance, restoration and research. Traditional craftsmanship is evident everywhere we go- from intricate tilework, wooden carvings and patterned textiles, to locally produced delicacies. At the bazaars we visit, local embroidered products, handmade carpets, painted ceramics and jewellery are all for sale. Not only does buying from market vendors benefit local people and celebrate traditional crafts, but it is a cultural experience in itself! (Expect to haggle). Our local guides are able to advise clients on products to purchase and which to avoid especially when the import of Turkmen carpets and carpet decorated items require relevant documentation and there may be extra costs that clients should be wary of. They should purchase carpets from authorized carpet dealer in large hotels or state carpet shops that comes with a certificate to show that taxes and fees are included.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we will spend most nights in hotels and the remaining in local homestays, yurt camps and a guest house. All accommodation employs locally which provides the local community with employment opportunities and income. Additionally, yurt camps uses very little electricity and water, so this is a reduction to our overall impact on the environment. Where meals are provided, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are sourced at local farms and markets. Free meal times are a wonderful opportunity to support small bazaar vendors, cafes and authentic, local restaurants. A common dish within the region is a rice dish with meat, carrot and onions called ‘plov’. Also expect varied salads, fresh fruit, Middle Eastern style stews and dumplings from the Far East.

Climate

1 Reviews of The five stans silk road holiday

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 19 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The burning crater

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack half what you think you need and buy stuff like silk scarves, carpets in Buchara

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

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