AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
The Heart of the Silk Road

The Heart of the Silk Road

The Heart of the Silk Road Overview

Delve into the history of this fascinating region. Visit Khiva with its superb monuments, the holy city of Bukhara and Samarkand, home to Central Asia’s most stunning architecture. Cross the border into Turkmenistan to visit the ancient cities of Merv and Konye-Urgench, and its unique capital Ashgabat before time in stunning Tajikistan.

Maximum Group size 12 - Regular departures

Itinerary

Day 1 – Tashkent

Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to the hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you may have time to explore the city. Overnight at Shodlik Palace or similar.

Day 2 - Khiva

Fly to Urgench and transfer to Khiva, a stunning city with a wealth of ancient monuments. We spend the afternoon exploring its sites, including its many mosques, medressas and mausoleums of former rulers. Overnight Malika Khiva Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 3 – Khiva

Continue our exploration of this marvellous city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later there will be time for you to explore on your own. Overnight Malika Khiva Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 4 – Konye-Urgench - Ashgabat

We cross the border into little known Turkmenistan and head for the site of Konye-Urgench, an ancient capital of the land of Khorezm with beautiful mausoleums. After visiting its key sites we fly to Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat. Overnight Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 5 – Ashgabat - Mary

Spend the morning exploring the sites of Ashgabat, a modern city that has been the focus of extensive and some would say eccentric building projects. We then fly to Mary, an oasis town close to the ancient city of Merv. Overnight Margush Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 6 – Merv - Bukhara

This morning we visit the ancient site of Merv, the most important in Turkmenistan and dating back 2500 years with an array of old mosques, citadels and Buddhist stupas. After exploring Merv we cross the border back into Uzbekistan and head to Bukhara, Central Asia’s holiest city. Overnight Caravan Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 7 – Bukhara

We spend today exploring Bukhara, one of the most spectacular cities in the region and with a superbly preserved old quarter. Overnight Caravan Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 8 – Gijduvan – Samarkand

Drive to the legendary city of Samarkand, stopping en route at Gijduvan, locally renowned as a centre for ceramics. Upon arrival in Samarkand we start to explore. Overnight Malika Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 9 - Samarkand

A full day exploring glorious Samarkand with its spectacular collection of traditional buildings. Samarkand is most famous for its Registan Square, which contains perhaps the most stunning and well preserved architecture in the whole region. Long held in awe by early western travellers, it is easy to lose yourself in wonder at the incredible mosques and medressas, elaborately decorated in blue tiles and traditional Islamic art. Overnight at Malika Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 10 – Shakhrisabz – Termez

Drive to Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of the famed leader Timur (Tamerlane). Shakhrisabz is home to numerous breathtaking mausoleums and monuments, and we spend time delving into the history of this once glorious town. Continue to Termez for the night. Overnight Meridien Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 11 – Dushanbe

Cross the border into Tajikistan and drive to Dushanbe, the capital. On arrival we explore Dushanbe’s sites and soak up the atmosphere of this little visited Central Asian city. Overnight Hotel Gulistan or similar. (B)

Day 12-13 – Iskander Kul

Drive through stunning scenery to Lake Iskander Kul in the Fann Mountains, where we have opportunities to hike around the lake shore. We have a full free day to explore the area and can visit nearby waterfalls and springs as well as small settlements. Overnight tourist cottages. (BLD)

Day 14 – Tashkent

Cross the border back to Uzbekistan and head to Tashkent for our final night. Overnight Shodlik Palace or similar. (B)

Day 15 – Tashkent

Tour ends with a transfer to the airport. (B)

B = Breakfast , L = Lunch, D = Dinner (Meals included)
Find out more about the The Heart of the Silk Road group tour

Reviews of this holiday

The Heart of the Silk Road by Mike, 3 Oct 2018
Traveller rating:

What a great travel destination - the Silk Road! In 15 days we visited beautiful Uzbekistan, exotic Tajikistan, and slightly ... read more

The Heart of the Silk Road by Mrs C M 18, 3 Oct 2018
Traveller rating:

A full on tour to Central asia read more

The Heart of the Silk Road by Gu, 7 Jun 2017
Traveller rating:

An adventure into unknown territory which gave me an understanding of the area and opportunities to experience and explore ... read more

The Heart of the Silk Road by GM, 17 May 2017
Traveller rating:

We covered a lot of territory in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, seeing an extraordinary range of mosques, madrassas ... read more

The Heart of the Silk Road by Mrs H D 16, 26 Apr 2016
Traveller rating:

A fairly comprehensive travel around the major sights of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan - a small group with efficient ... read more

The Heart of the Silk Road by AnnieW, 28 Apr 2015
Traveller rating:

A return visit to Uzbekistan but interesting to compare with two other Stan states. Worked well with three sets of guides ... read more

Overall Holiday Rating
97%
Excellent 5
Good 1
Average 0
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Reviews Submitted: 6
Reviews Accepted: 6
Reviews Rejected: 0
The Heart of the Silk Road by Mike, 3 Oct 2018
Traveller rating:

What a great travel destination - the Silk Road! In 15 days we visited beautiful Uzbekistan, exotic Tajikistan, and slightly ... read more

The Heart of the Silk Road by Mrs C M 18, 3 Oct 2018
Traveller rating:

A full on tour to Central asia read more