Small group tour of the Stans

Description of Small group tour of the Stans

Our five 'Stans' tour is an epic 30 day journey through the historic heart of Central Asia. During this journey you will be able to discover the ancient fortresses and strange politics of Turkmenistan, absorb the history and admire the stunning architecture of Uzbekistan's numerous UNESCO-listed sites. Moving on to Kyrgyzstan you will see dramatic mountains and pastoral landscapes, its vast lakes and its nomadic customs. Then onto Tajikistan's where you can learn about its history and Persian influences.

- The sparkling white marble eeriness of Ashgabat
- The old fortress of Nisa
- The ruins of the ancient city of Merv
- Historic monuments in Kunya-Urgench
- The UNESCO listed Silk Road city of Bukhara
- The great "Tower of Death" minaret and mosque of Poi Kalan
- The sublime architecture of the UNESCO-listed city of Samarkand
- The bustling capital of Dushanbe
- Discover Kazkhstan's rich history in Almaty's Central State Museum
- Impressive rock formations at Sharyn Canyon
- Intricate wooden carvings on Karakol's Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
- Beauty of Issy Kul Lake

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

27 Aug 2021
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Aug 2021 departure
22 Apr 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Apr 2022 departure
30 Aug 2022
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 30 Aug 2022 departure

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 ensure our guides are mindful about protecting the environment in which you travel, and they do a fantastic job of promoting having a minimum impact to the environment whilst travelling. We ask you to be vigilant about disposing of your waste and recycle where possible. During your trip you will be asked if you have any waste to dispose of when it is a suitable time in the itinerary. This ensures we make it as easy as possible for our travellers to be eco-friendly whilst traveling.

We strongly advise all travellers to bring a reusable water bottle - this is an easy way to save plastic waste and is detailed in our ‘What to bring’ trip notes for all trips to all destinations. Your guide will remind you where and when you can fill up your re-usable water bottle. We also encourage general sustainability - limited use of air-con for instance. Something we focus on as an organisation and try to pass on to our travellers.

The Impacts of this Trip

As regular travellers, one thing that never ceases to amaze and inspire us is the kindness and generosity of local people, often people who have very little to their name. We firmly believe that they are who make these places special should and that they should benefit from our visit. Therefore, as first preference, we use local guides and locally-owned lodges, shops and eateries. We do our best to ensure that the benefits of our tours reach as widely as possible into the communities where they operate. Accross the 'Stans' our tours only use local drivers, assistants, cooks and staff, who all ensure that supplies are purchased locally. Our belief is that all operational costs should go directly into the local economy wherever possible. Improving employment opportunities in remote regions is a powerful tool in tourism and something that goes right to the heart of our responsible travel ethos.

On day 8 of this tour we visit a United Nations Development Project (UNDP) Assisted Workshops near Lyabikhauz. UNDP Uzbekistan has cooperated with the Government on finding solutions to national development challenges. Their work focuses on two overall objectives; to support the Government in advancing economic and democratic reforms; and strengthening the participation of civil society in development processes at national and local levels. At the Assisted Workshop you will observe block printing, carving and suzani embroidery traditionally orchestrated by the local community.

There are several flights on this tour and we recognise that this is not the most environmentally friendly way to travel. However the regional flights on this tour help us to cover the vast distances meaning our clients get to explore the diversity of cultures in the area and meet the various people who call it home - from marvelling at skilled horsemen in the remote village of Chon Kemin in Kyrgyzstan to witnessing the intricate work of master craftsmen in Istaravshan in Tajikistan. This allows for the travellers to be able to give back to several communities on this epic journey.


1 Reviews of Small group tour of the Stans

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 21 May 2019 by

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

Learning about the impact of the Central Asia region - both for centuries past, and the possibilities for the future. Also seeing all the marvellous historical forts, mosques, madrassahs and other buildings remaining from the Silk Road era.

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

Accommodation and food are definitely around 2-star ... and travelling long distances in a small mini-bus was uncomfortable. It is also quite difficult to change money - the best option is to take USD and change at a bank.

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

The increase of tourism is always a benefit for local people, as long as it done with sensitivity.

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

Wonderful. We had a great group of 8 people in total which made a difference, and ameliorated some of the 'hardships'.

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