Small group holiday to the Stans

“An incredible journey across mountains and steppe, through the five ‘Stans’ of Central Asia and along the ancient Silk Road.”


Nur-Sultan | Almaty | Charyn Canyon | Bishkek | Osh | Khujand | Dushanbe | Istaravshan | Samarkand | Bukhara | Merv | Ashgabat | Darvaza Crater – ‘Door to Hell’ | Kunya-Urgench | Khiva | Tashkent | Silk Road |

Description of Small group holiday to the Stans

Follow in the footsteps of intrepid early explorers and trading caravans as you explore the fascinating history and culture of the Silk Road, journeying through Central Asia and the five ‘Stans’: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Travel overland by train, as part of a small group of likeminded adventurous souls, and accompanied by professional tour leader throughout, on a month-long itinerary peppered with enthralling cultural discoveries and a stunning variety of landscapes.

You will pass architectural treasures from Almaty to Samarkand, and mesmerising natural features such as the Charyn Canyon, said to rival the Grand Canyon, the beautiful Chon Kemin Valley, and Lake Iskanderkul, which is thought to have been named for Alexander the Great, another legendary personage who once travelled this way.

Your group will wander the vibrant bazaars of Osh, Khujand, Bukhara; take in the amazing sight of the flaming crater at Darvaza, said to be a doorway to Hell; trek alpine national parks and explore ancient cities.

Local is the name of the game here. Locally owned accommodations for a more welcoming stay. Local guides for deeper insights. Local food and markets for authentic cuisine and lower food mileage. All putting money into the local economies through which you pass. There are more luxurious ways, but no better way to travel.

And throughout the tour, as you will be travelling predominantly by train, you will have the opportunity to meet many people from all backgrounds on their own journeys, an unparalleled immersion into the cultural melting pot of the ‘Stans’.

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30 Aug 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 30 Aug 2021 departure
20 Sep 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Sep 2021 departure
23 May 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 May 2022 departure
29 Aug 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Aug 2022 departure
19 Sep 2022
excluding flights
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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 are committed to positive environmental impacts through our Responsible Travel Policy. As an overland company we have extremely low carbon emissions throughout all our journeys. This journey operates over 6,457 km departing from Nur-Sultan, travelling through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan before concluding in Tashkent. We like to ensure that rail travel is used where possible, allowing for the journey to be shared between many. We also ensure to use experienced drivers who know the areas best when transfers are needed. This allows us to be confident there will be no risk of damage to the environment and local flora.

We use local partners who work with us to design journeys an optimal way to limit our impact on the environment. We make certain to reduce plastic waste by promoting reusing drink bottles instead of buying bottled water. Where possible our clients stay in smaller-scale accommodation, such as locally owned guesthouses, in support of the local people.

We try to include as many local lunches, dinners and wineries in our journeys which enables us to spread economic benefits while also promote cultural understanding. We also make certain that none of our scheduled sightseeing visit zoos or orphanages.

The Impacts of this Trip

We have a very clear mandate to support the local community and without these Local Partners our on ground experiences wouldn’t be the same. We have been operating journeys throughout Asia for over 50 years and strive to build on our long established reputation for having the utmost respect for the places and communities that we visit.

We contract the services of local guides and City Ambassadors through our Local Partners. We use Djonghir, a trusted Local Guide from Samarkand for many of our tours. Djonghir loves showing our travellers the lifestyle in Samarkand and has even been known to demonstrate how to make local cuisines upon request. He wants all travellers to leave Uzbekistan loving it as much as he does.

In addition, we partner with local families, which we find not only enriches the overall experience but allows us to understand local traditions and create sound relationships between clients and locals.

We visit local markets where possible again helping to serve as an authentic and cultural experience and one, which maintains a closer bond between client and local. We always encourage our group to buy locally and encourage local trade and artistry.


1 Reviews of Small group holiday to the Stans

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2019 by

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

Walking in the Kyrgyz mountains.

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

Be prepared to be flexible, pack light.

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

Interaction with local people was good. Difficult to evaluate environmental impact. Use of personal water bottles is a good idea, but drinking water is mainly
supplied in single use plastic bottles. Conservation is probably supported only by the fact that as tourists you bring much needed dollars into the country.

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

Very good, a great way to see and experience five countries of similar but different cultures.

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