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.”

Highlights

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.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Date
Price
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21 Jul 2018
£ 2545
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Jul 2018 departure
08 Sep 2018
£ 2545
including domestic flights only
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Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Sep 2018 departure
20 Jul 2019
£ 2595
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Jul 2019 departure
07 Sep 2019
£ 2595
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Sep 2019 departure
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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

Responsible tourism: Silk Road cultural holiday

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.

When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation who work with hundreds of organisations to measure their carbon footprint and reduce their carbon emissions. We also support several NGOs around the world, all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.

3 Reviews of Silk Road cultural holiday

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 21 Aug 2016 by

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


Every day was different with a very well thought out balance between stunning scenery, fascinating cityscapes, modes of transport, levels of activity, types of accommodation and cuisine.
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.

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


Read up on the history and cultures of the Silk Road countries before you go.

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


Reasonably.

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


Well planned and organised by the holiday providers and expertly led by Jude.

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2015 by

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


This was a holiday of two completely different parts: - Staying in a Yurt by Son Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan - beautiful, peaceful surroundings, lovely shepherds & their families, contented cows, horses, sheep & goats & then travelling across the mountains to see the amazing blue tiles of the mosques & minarets in the heat of Uzbekistan

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


Be prepared for basic conditions in the yurt camps - no washing facilities (& don't
mention the toilets)
Take head torch, plenty of wipes (!), gloves for horse riding or trekking in Kyrgyzstan.
Need to pack carefully for very cold & very hot conditions.

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


Definitely in Kyrgyzstan - we were supporting the families in the yurt camps and the people in the homestays and supporting the way of life of the shepherds

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


One of the best trips I have been on !!

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2013 by

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


Walking in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

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


Be flexible. Don't expect a 5 star beach holiday but it is a much more rewarding experience. Engage with local people. Read the holiday information before going. There is much good advice there, some of which is from previous travellers.

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


Yes to all three.

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


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

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