Name of tour: Charming East Tour
Length: 20 days
Places of interest: Almaty, Issyk, Bishkek, Burana, Issyk Kul, Karakol, Skazka, Osh, Khujand, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Kunya Urgench, Darwaza, Ashgabat, Mary, Merv
Day 1: Almaty
This day you will arrive to amazing Kazakhstan! After arrival at the airport you will drive to the Almaty and explore the fabulous attractions of the city. This day you will have Almaty Grand tour that takes about 5 - 6 hours. You will walk along the modern and historical buildings of the Southern capital of Kazakhstan. Today you will have amazing chance to observe the fascinating attractions of the city! During the tour you will visit the popular place Green Bazaar and have a chance to buy amazing goods, souvenirs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. There you will have a chance to find anything you want according to your preferences and budget! Then you will continue tour with exploring the oldest Almaty parks - Panfilov Park, there you will fascinate the marvelous structure Zenkov Cathedral. You will have a chance to take amazing photos! In course of the tour you will visit the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame which was erected in honor of the soldiers who gave their lives for the Motherland. After that you will transfer to the famous Medeo Gorge and marvel the highest skating rink in the Central Asia, here you can try yourself. There are also located the dam that protest city from the landslide. We sure that you will like this tour! After that you will drive to Kok Tobe hill by the fabulous mountain road and observe the spectacular scenery. There are located the highest TV tower in Central Asia. Walking in Kok-Tobe Park you will see the beautiful panoramic views and observe the enchanting souvenir shops and other interesting places. You will finish the tour with driving from the popular Almaty cableway. Then you will drive to the hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Almaty – Issyk – Almaty
This day you will start the tour at 11:00 am. You will drive to the fascinating Issyk Lake the road will take about 7 hours. Along the way you will visit vivid gorges of Trans-Ili Alatau - Issyk Gorge that lies along the Kuldja tract. In the old days, caravans passed through here. Travelling there you will explore the enchanting nature and discover the ancient history of burial mounds of Saka period. There was found the popular symbol of Kazakhstan “Golden Man”. Being here you will experience the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “ISSYK”. It stores ancient artifacts devoted to the history culture of the Saka period as well as a copy of Golden Man. There are also you can find golden items, ancient ceramics, weapon, horse equipment and others. After that you will direct to the altitude 1756 meters above sea level, there you will marvel the beautiful lake Issyk. This lake was formed 10,000 years ago because the magnificent landslide and natural dam of 300 meters in height. You will see the nature of Issyk Lake and explore the details of disaster in 1963. After that you will have the picnic and enjoy nature. Then you will transfer to the hotel.
Day 3: Almaty – Bishkek
After breakfast you will (9 am) transfer to Bishkek. This day is dedicated to a city tour of the capital. During the tour you will explore the Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Central Ala-Too Square, the National Arts Museum, National Philharmonic and other interesting sites. This day you will also explore the colorful site called Asian Bazaar! Here you can enjoy the Oriental flavor and see a lot of interesting products, Souvenirs and bargain, get a good discount. We promise you will like it! The night will be in the hotel.
Day 4: Bishkek – Burana – Issyk Kul northern shore
This day you will begin the tour with transferring to the fabulous highlight Issyk Kul Lake. On the way you will be admired by the beautiful mountains surrounded the lakes. This lake never freezes and it is the second largest alpine lake in the world of 1608 m. above sea level. A lot travelers want to observe the amazing “the pearl of Central Asia”. During the tour we recommend you to visit ancient attraction Burana Tower that was built by in 11th century. There you will also visit garden of Balbals or stone warriors. These stone warriors were erected in honor of the fallen soldiers who fought for the independence of the country. During the tour you will visit in Cholpon Ata city ancient stone inscriptions (found 800 B.C.). According to the General opinion of researchers, this is the heyday of the Scythian-Saka animal style, which was particularly widely reflected in rock art. You will also explore the local ethnography museum. This night will be in the hotel.
Day 5: Issyk Kul – Grigorievskoye – Semenovskoye – Karakol
Today you will explore the stunning gorges of the lake Issyk Kul- Semenovskoye and Grigorievskoye. These fascinating gorges are connected in the end. Along the way you will meet the wonderful landscapes, mountains and meadows. You will marvel the incredible colors of the gorges and take photos along the way. Then you will head on to Karakol city and during the way you will see the magnificent views of the northern shore. After arrival to Karakol you will observe the outstanding Dungan mosque. We would like to note that the mosque was built in the style of Chinese architecture during the Qing Empire, which existed from 1643 to 1912. And then you will continue exploring an old wooden Orthodox Church. The overnight is in the guesthouse.
Day 6: Karakol – Skazka – Bokonbaevo
Every day is an adventure and you will drive today to Jeti Oguz gorge. These spectacular gorge will give you a chance to fascinate the amazing landscape. From Kyrgyz it is translated as Seven Bulls. These stunning rocks are situated in one row. Along the way you will fascinate the Broken Heart Mountain. During the tour we recommend you to explore the panoramic views of the gorge from the top of the mountain. (about 20 minutes) The tour route will take you today along the southern shore of the amazing lake Issyk Kul. Don’t miss chance to take photos today. You will transfer about 4 km. from the village of Tosor to the Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyon. You will admire the enchanting and mesmerizing sand formation that has different forms. Along the way you will transfer to Bokonbaevo village where you will get acquainted with the local eagle-hunter or berkutchi. There you will have a chance to see the eagle hunting. Don’t miss chance to take photos. The overnight is in the nomadic dwellings - yurts.
Day 7: Bokonbaevo – Kyzyl Tuu – Bishkek
This day you will transfer to Bishkek city. The tour route will lead you to Kyzyl Tuu village and where you will take a part in yurt workshop. Yurts are portable frame dwelling with felt. After arrival to Bishkek you will rest the night in the hotel.
Day 8: Bishkek – Osh – Khujand
After breakfast you will have the flight to Osh city. After arrival to Osh you will have a walk to a pilgrimage place called Suleiman Mountain. Sulaiman, a sacred mountain, is located right in the center of the city, and is a place of worship for Muslims. Back in the days of the Great Silk Road, the lonely towering mountain served as a guide for caravans on their long and difficult journey. According to legend, Suleiman the prophet was buried right at the foot of the mountain. After that you will transfer to Tajik border. Along the way you will have a chance to observe the fascinating views of passes and take amazing photos. Then you will meet Tajik guide at the border and transfer to Khujand city. This city is the second largest city of Tajikistan. This city is located right to the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley. It is interesting to note that population of the city is about 149,000. It is also the capital of the northernmost province of Tajikistan, Sughd. You will have a city tour after arrival observing Cultural Palace of Khujant. There was elected the first president of Tajikistan. Further you will explore Central Mosque. You will spend the night in the hotel.
Day 9: Khudjand – 7 lakes – Penjakent
Today you will start the tour with travelling to Fannsky Gory (Fann Mountains). You will admire the fabulous hiking area. Along the way you will transfer to Seven Lakes (Marquzor Lakes). The way will take about 60 km south of Panjakent. There you will have a short hiking and along the way there will be wonderful opportunity to take photos. You will get to the fabulous Seven Lakes that are located on the different heights and have the different names. After that you will continue tour with driving to Penjakent. The city is translated as the five villages and located in Khujand area of Tajikistan in wonderful Zeravshan river valley. It was formed in the 5th -8th centuries AD. Since ancient times, Penjikent was the most important cultural and craft center of Sogdiana, the era of Zoroastrianism. There is an opinion that it was even called "Central Asian Pompeii». There were ruled palace of two temples, markets, rich dwelling houses decorated with numerous paintings, wooden and clay statues of ancient gods. The ruins of this wonderful city were found in the last century. A lot of travelers admire dwelling houses and office buildings, the citadel with the palace, the house of craftsmen, and fire worshiper’s church. You will spend the night in the hotel.
Day 10: Penjikent – Jartepo – Samarkand
This day you will transfer to Jartepo border checkpoint at 10am. There you will get acquainted with Uzbek driver with signboard and then drive to Samarkand. In Samarkand you will have a city tour. Samarkand is one of the most ancient cities in Uzbekistan, it was formed 2500 years ago. It is the same age as Rome and Babylon. It is the second largest city in Uzbekistan. It is situated on the valley Zerevhan River. Along the way you will visit such wonderful landmarks Registan square, Shakhi-Zindeh, Mausoleum Guri Emir and Bibi Khanum Mosque. Registan is a grandiose square, where 3 magnificent madrassas of 15-17 centuries are located. You will not remain indifferent to their beauty. It is one of the most amazing sites of Samarkand. It is also the main highlight of Samarkand. Shakhi-Zindeh consists of powerful mausoleums of 11-15 centuries, which are also included in the UNESCO list of protection. Amazing Bibi Khanum Mosque, it is a beautiful mosque that was built in honor of Tamerlane's wife and after his campaign in India. This night will be in the hotel.
Day 11: Samarkand – Gijduvan – Bukhara
After breakfast you will transfer to Bukhara. Along the way you will have a break at Gijduvan village. You will find there the wonderful private pottery workshop. It is important to note that Gijduvan ceramics school passed from generation to generation. Today, the family Narzullayev in the 6th generation who is still practicing charming the possession of such a fine craft. Gijduvan school ceramics are popular all over the world. This is top for the visiting for famous travelers. No doubt you will like it. This ceramic is made in a geometric pattern with blue and green colors. Then you will transfer to Bukhara. During the tour you will observe memorial complex of Al Bukhary. Al Bukhary was an Islamic scholar, who settled the hadith collection known as Sahih al-Bukhari. After arrival to holy city Bukhara you will rest the night in the hotel.
Day 12: Bukhara
This day you will have a wonderful city tour in Bukhara. Today you will explore the wonderful citadel in Bukhara - Citadel Ark. This citadel was found in the 4th century and served as a palace for several dynasties of Bukhara Empire. Then you will lead to Samanids mausoleum (9th -10th century). It is a wonderful site of Bukhara. The tour continues with transferring to Chashma Ayub or Job's well and Bolo-Hauz mosque, a beautiful mosque with a small pond where Friday prayer was once held. You will have a chance to walk along the spectacular shops and on the way you will visit magnificent madrasahs of Bukhara as Nodir Divan Begi, it was named after the vizier Nodir divan Begi. You will also explore today Poi Kalon complex. There are located the wonderful architectural art of Bukhara and include three buildings erected in the 12th - 16th centuries as Kalon minaret, Kalon mosque and Mir Arab Madrasah. The night will be in the hotel.
Day 13: Bukhara – Khiva
Today you will have a wonderful travelling to Khiva city. This outstanding city was has about 140 architectural monuments dating back to the Middle Ages. There you will find fascinating narrow streets, green parks and gardens, sites and amazing attractions! They were built in different times but located close to each other. The tour route will lead you from Bukhara to Khiva along the stunning Kizilkum desert. This day you will also see the enchanting view of Amu Darya river, winding, long and, as it was called by the ancients, stubborn: on its way it overcomes high mountains and vast deserts, in which it is helped by numerous tributaries. This is the second longest river in Central Asia and the most full-flowing. The overnight is in the hotel.
Day 14: Khiva
This day you will have a city tour in fascinating city of Uzbekistan. You will explore today the wonderful Ichan-Qala. Ichan- Qala is an interesting city, an open-air Museum surrounded by powerful walls. There you will also explore the fascinating old sound buildings, palaces, mosques, Madrasahs, Mausoleums, Minarets, Caravan-Sarais and Bathhouses altered Ichan-Qala into unique city-monument. There are also located over 400 traditional dwelling houses and about 60 architectural monuments. Ichan-Qala opened a historical and architectural conservation area in 1969. You will explore there the Kunya-Ark fortress found in the 17th century and made by Muhammad Arang Khan, Kalta Minor minaret and Tash Khouvli palace. This is incredible masterpiece of 1830s. This night will be in the hotel.
Day 15: Khiva – Shavat – Kunya Urgench – Darwaza
After breakfast you will transfer to Shavat border. There you will meet the group at Shavat/Dashoguz border of Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan, after you will transfer to the outstanding architectural monuments as Kone-Urgench, Khorezm capital 10th -12th centuries. During the tour you will also explore the Mausoleum of Najm al-Din al-Kubra, Tyurabek-Khanum, IL-Arslan, Tekesh Ibn Hadzhibey and the highest minaret in Central Asia Kutlyk Timur. You will transfer to fantastic Gas Crater – Darvaza or Door to Hell and fascinate the views of the spectacular crater. You will have a chance to marvel the evening views of it. You will have today dinner in BBQ style. This night will be in the hotel.
Day 16: Darwaza – Ashgabat
Today you will travel to marble capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat. Along the way you will have a city tour. During the tour you will admire new parks, fountains and statues of the great men of antiquity, also visit Carpet Museum, the Park 10 years of Independence and also World of children's fairy tales.
Day 17: Ashgabat – Mary – Merv
This day you will start with amazing trip to Mary city. Along the way you will have a break at Annau. You will see the ancient ruins of the 15th century in Seyit Jamal-ad-Din Mosque. There you will also find Abiward or Abi-ward an ancient city of the Sassanid era, located on the territory of modern Turkmenistan. It is located at the foot of three mountains in the Karakum desert. It was located in the Northern part of the medieval region called "Great Khorasan". The tour route will take you to Mary city. Along the way you will explore the amazing Ancient Merv (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Merv is the name not only of one of the oldest Asian cities, but also of the entire surrounding area in the old Murgab River delta. Since time immemorial, these lands have attracted people with their fertility and abundance of water. It was one of the most important and influential cities of the Great Silk Road. You will have a chance to explore the fascinating mausoleums of Sultan Sanjar and Muhammed ibn-Zeyd dating to XII c, that will show you the fabulous attractive Seljuk period brickwork and architectural décor.
Day 18: Mary – Ashgabat
After breakfast you will transfer back to Ashgabat. Today you will also have a sightseeing tour in the capital of Turkmenistan and explore Russian bazaar, Lenin Monument, Ertugrul Gazi mosque and admire them. You will have a city tour in the evening.
Day 19: Ashgabat
Today you will explore the fabulous site of Turkmenistan called “Ancient Nisa”. It was the capital of the ancient Parthians and is a UNESCO cultural heritage site. You will also explore today the mosque “Ruhy” and the Mausoleum of the first President of Turkmenistan. After that you will transfer to horse farm and ride along gorges. Along the way don’t miss chance to visit Saparmyrat Hadji Mosque in Gokdepe. Drive back to the capital Ashgabat.
Day 20: Flight
Departure to international airport of Ashgabat.
Almaty – “Kazakhstan” Hotel 3*
Bishkek – “Discovery” 3* or “Garden” 4*
Issyk Kul – “Karven” Resort
Karakol – “Karagat” Hotel 4* or “Green Yard” Guesthouse
Bokonbaevo – Yurts (4 pax in 1)
Khujand – “Firuz” Hotel 4*
Penjikent – “Umariyon” Hotel 3*
Samarkand – “Ideal” Hotel 3*
Bukhara – “Porso” Hotel 3*
Khiva – “Old Khiva” Hotel 3*
Darwaza – Tents with dinner
Ashgabat – “Menzil” Hotel 3*
Mary – “Merv” Hotel 3*
- Visa support to Turkmenistan
- Provision of mineral water
- Bishkek-Osh flight tickets
- English speaking guide in Turkmenistan
Service does not include:
- Full board
- Travel insurance
- Migration tax (12 $)
- English speaking guide
- Museum admissions
- Use of cameras on monuments for additional payment
Note: Availability of 2 photos (5×6) for each traveller in order to be presented at the points of entry.