Kyrgyzstan walking holiday, Silk Road mountain trek

“Explore some of Europe’s wildest scenery with a challenging trekking holiday through Tien Shan – the ‘Mountains of Heaven’. Encounters with semi-nomadic Kyrgyz are likely as you follow the historic Silk Road route to Osh.”


Bishkek | National History Museum | Burana Tower | Son Kul Lake | Tien Shan | Mountains of Heaven | Trekking in the Fergana Mountains | Silk Road | Tash Rabat yurt stay | Chatyrkul Lake | Kashgar, China | Mustor Valley | Kokbel Valley | Karakol Valley | Kitchi-Karakaman Glacier | Schilbeli Gorge | Gelanghatch | Uzgen minaret | Osh | Sulayman Mountain | Solomon's Throne | Internal flight to Bishkek |

Description of Kyrgyzstan walking holiday, Silk Road mountain trek

For experienced walkers looking for an ambitious new challenge, this 18-day small group walking holiday through Tien Shan is bound to fire your imagination.

Beginning in Bishkek, you’ll head east from the capital via Son Kul Lake and the 11th century Burana Tower to the legendary Silk Road caravanserai Tash Rabat. From here you’ll embark on a thrilling 13 days of trekking, over steep mountain passes and glaciers, through deep valleys and gorges, camping on picturesque riverbanks, until you reach your final destination, the ancient city of Osh. From here you’ll take an internal flight back to Bishkek.

The views, as you would probably expect, are nothing short of epic. Snowcapped mountain peaks, lush green pastures and tranquil lakes - Tien Shan is a real feast for the eyes. You’ll also enjoy the sensation of following a journey taken by millions of traders long ago, as you walk sections of the ancient Silk Road route, pausing at several historic staging posts.

Beyond the spectacular scenery offered by the Fergana Range, other highlights include wandering the bustling bazaar of Bishkek, sleeping in a cosy yurt in Tash Rabat, and seeing Solomon’s Throne near Osh. It is located on the Sulayman Mountain, which is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyrgyzstan.

If you’re planning your next walking holiday, Kyrgyzstan promises to be one of the most memorable you’ll ever take. Sections at high altitude may need a little adjustment, but for regular hikers, this trip will be a bonanza of landscapes and culture with just the right level of challenge.

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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.

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote.

Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. This is particularly relevant on a tour such as this one since we will be walking though fragile sites and delicate ecosystems from days 4-14 as we trek over the Fergana Range. By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.

The Impacts of this Trip

In Kyrgyzstan we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism.

On day 2 of this tour we spend the night in the small village of Kochkorka, which is famous for its felt-making. This is an example of an opportunity to engage with local communities and ensures that small scale local economies are supported through our visit there.

Day 3 of this tour demonstrates another example of our itinerary allowing time for travellers to engage with the local community, when at the Silk Road Caravanserai of Tash Rabat we settle into our cosy yurts, it is usually in the company of Jergal, the caravanserai caretaker and his delightful family.

We believe it is important to show respect for local traditions, cultures and history. For this reason our Silk Road Mountain Trek visits the excellent Natural History Museum on day 1 in Bishkek and also allows time to explore the local bustling bazaars to get a taster of everyday life in Bishkek. We also visit Solomon’s Throne on Day 14 to provide further insight into local cultures and history.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.


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