Silk Road cultural holiday

“Discover two of Central Asia's most strikingly contrasting neighbours, swooping from wild nomad-trekked Kyrgzystan to the fabled Silk Road towns of Uzbekistan.”


Biskhek | Son Kul | Yurts and ancient caravanserais | Bukhara | Samarkand | Khiva | Osh | Kokand | Fergana Valley | Margilon | Rishton | Kyzyl Kum Desert | Tien Shan mountains | Tashkent

Description of Silk Road cultural holiday

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are Central Asian neighbours which couldn’t be more different. While Kyrgyzstan is a land of epic mountain scenery and semi-nomadic shepherds, Uzbekistan is home to the atmospheric towns of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, garlanded with legends befitting three of the fabled Silk Road's most renowned trading centres.

In these cities – and others like ancient Osh - merchants still ply their wares in the shadow of some of the world’s greatest architectural achievements. You'll also stay in fantastic traditional accommodation – yurts, medieval caravanserai and village home stay – in experiencing the timeless charms of the Old Silk Road.

After a relaxed dip into the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek, head to the mountain lake of Son Kul, where you'll visit local nomads – and perhaps see traditional Kyrgyz horse games. Heading south through the Tien Shan mountains, you'll reach the ancient caravanserai of Tash Rabat, nestled in a lush mountain-ringed valley.

Solomon's Throne is a highlight in the ancient city of Osh, ushering in the crossing to Uzbekistan via the glorious Fergana Valley to visit two beacons of timeless crafts – the silk weaving centre of Margilon, and the ceramics hotspot of Rishton. Then Compare the Khan's Palace in Kokand with some of the glories in the UNESCO protected old town of Khiva, whose architectural treasures include Mohammed Khan Madrassa.

You'll cross the Kyzyl Kum Desert to the colourful atmospheric city of Bukhara, then drive the Royal Road to Samarkand – an amazing town whose major sights including Tamelane's Tomb & Shah-i-Zindar – the street of the dead.

Journey's end is Tashkent, a thriving city rich with the history of its pivotal role in the imperial power games between Britain and other global powers that became known as the Great Game.

**Price includes all activities/equipment, tour leaders, local guides and drivers, meals, mineral water, all transport (excluding international flights) , all accommodation and all entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary.

Travel Team

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24 Jul 2021
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Holiday type

What this trip includes

Trips are on full board basis, and include transport as outlined in itinerary, twin-share accommodation, mineral water and entrance fees.

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.

In Central Asia we have developed unique relationships with many of the semi-nomadic peoples of the region and through our form of interactive, socially conscience tourism have helped them adapt to the modern, changing world by providing important income opportunities. With Sogan Bai, an eagle hunter from the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, or Noorgul, a shepherdess from the pristine Son Kul, or Nazira and her family at Tash Rabat, we have been responsible for introducing them to the homestay market, helping them to provide good, clean and interesting accommodation which in term allows them to educate their children, improve their standard of living and look after their ill.

The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the nomads financially and us with the wonderful welcome and experience they give us. On our horse treks, we work exclusively with the fine horse-man Anar Bek, who along with his family and members of the local community, ensure that the horses we trek with are well treated, well fed and well looked after. Wherever possible we stay in locally owned accommodation, eat in locally owned establishments and purchase supplies from the local nomads.

3 Reviews of Silk Road cultural holiday

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 21 Aug 2016 by

We were able to get a small sense of what the Silk Road merchants must have experienced, and also an insight into some pretty remote parts of Central Asia. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2015 by

One of the best trips I have been on !! Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2013 by

A series of memorable experiences that will continue to be thought about in the weeks and months to come. Read full review

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