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Great Silk Road Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 35 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 25 people
Destination(s): Uzbekistan   China   Kyrgyzstan  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: April - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 4680 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7985 US Dollar (USD)

During thousand of years, this famous road connected China with the Mediterranean and two hugest civilizations of those times - Oriental and Western. Thousand years numerous caravans with expensive silk, exotic spices and precious stones moved by this road. Many grandiose caravansaries, majestic mosques and madrassas appeared along this way. Now you can go by the ancient road as well! You will have excellent opportunity to cross five Asian republics: China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Iran. This tour is unique from the beginning till the end: from grandiose Chinese Wall, mystic Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven at China - till Tower of Azady and innumerable palaces at Iran. Ancient ruins along the road changes with scaled modern cities, breathtaking legends expressively complement really impressive appearance all around while spicy Oriental atmosphere hides behind any hospitality set table, each madrasah, at the soul of everyone who comes…

-Countries: China - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan - Iran
-Season: April - October
-Tour duration: 35days/34 nights
-Category: individual tour


Day 1. Beijing. Arrival.
Day 2. Beijing - Xian.
Day 3. Xian.
Day 4. Xian - Lanchow.
Day 5. Lanchow - Xiahe.
Day 6. Xiahe - Lanchow - Jiayuguan.
Day 7. Jiayuguan - Dunhuang.
Day 8. Dunhuang - Turpan.
Day 9. Turpan.
Day 10. Turpan - Urumqi.
Day 11. Urumqi - Kashgar.
Day 12. Kashgar - Irkewtam pass - Osh.
Day 13. Osh.
Day 14. Osh - Fergana.
Day 15. Fergana - Margilan - Fergana.
Day 16. Fergana - Rishtan - Kokand - Tashkent.
Day 17. Tashkent.
Day 18. Tashkent - Samarkand.
Day 19. Samarkand.
Day 20. Samarkand - Bukhara.
Day 21. Bukhara.
Day 22. Bukhara.
Day 23. Bukhara - Khiva.
Day 24. Khiva.
Day 25. Khiva - Kunya-Urgench - Tashauz - Ashgabat.
Day 26. Ashgabat.
Day 27. Ashgabat - Mary - Merv - Mary.
Day 28. Mary - Turkmen-Iranian border point - Meshhed.
Day 29. Meshhed - Shiraz.
Day 30. Shiraz.
Day 31. Shiraz - Persepolis - Isfagan.
Day 32. Isfagan.
Day 33. Isfagan - Tehran (air flight).
Day 34. Tehran.
Day 35. Tehran. Departure.

Detailed tour description:

Day 1. Beijing. Arrival. Arival to Beijing in the morning. Transfer to the hotel. Check in. Full day sightseeing about the city. Visit Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City. Overnight.

Day 2. Beijing - Xian (T27, 21:30-08:36). Sightseeing: Hutongs, Summer Palace

We experience an unique Hutong tour by taking rickshaw this morning. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane that is typical in Beijing. Most of them are found around the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.

We continue to visit the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. It is up to now the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China. You may regret it if you come to Beijing without visiting this grand imperial garden. Then take the flight for Xian later. Arrive in Xian, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide.

Day 3. Xian. Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour in Xian. Visit Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, in the afternoon visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Overnight.

Day 4. Xian - Lanchow (K119, 22:26-06:27). Breakfast. Full day excursions in Xian. Visit the Provincial city museum, Great Mosque and local Moslem Market with the abundance of traditional souvenirs.
Evening transfer to the railway station. Train to Lanchow.

Day 5. Lanchow - Xiahe (280 km).

On arrival transfer to Xiahe. En route visit famous Binglingshi caves (80 km from Lanchow). Transfer by yacht via the artificial lake on the Yellow river to reach the Thousand Buddha caves of Binglinshi carved over the period of 1,500 years.
Late afternoon proceed to Wiahe and on arrival transfer to the hotel.

Day 6. Xiahe - Lanchow (280 km) - Jiayuguan (overnight train).

Half day visit Labrang monastery - one of the six great monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect, founded in 1709, unique opportunity to see Tibet culture and way of life. Later drive back to Lanchow. On arrival transfer to the railway station to take train to Jiayuguan.

Day 7. Jiayuguan - Dunhuang.

On arrival visit Jiayuguan Fortress. The Jiayuguan Great Wall Museum (just outside the Fortress main gate), the “Open Wall” between the Fortress and the Qilian Mountains, and the first - or last - beacon tower on entire Ming Wall.

Day 8: Dunhuang - Turpan (overnight train).

Day trip to the Mogao Caves - the world’s richest treasure trove Buddhist manuscripts, wall paintings and statuary dated back to 4th up to 14th century onwards; created during nine dynasties they mark the height of Buddhist art. Evening transfer to the railway station to take overnight to Turpan.

Day 9. Turpan.

On arrival to Turpan transfer to the hotel. Sightseeing tour about Turpan: early morning visit picturesque Tuyoq ancient village (7 km), to see oldest in Turpan area Buddhist caves dated back to the 4th century. Visit local Uygur families, enjoy beautiful mountain and grapes sceneries. Later visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves (56 km) on the flanks of the Flaming Mountains, there are 67 caves dating from 317 to 1368, Bezeklik was an important center for Buddhist worship. At the end of the day visit famous Grape valley (12 km) is a pleasant part with vineyards and fruit trees, there are speasial places for relaxing and eating the grapes and melons. Grapes were introduced to Turpan over 200 years ago.

Day 10. Turpan - Urumqi (200 km).

Morning visit ruined Jiaohe city - capital of the State of South Cheshi. It was on of the 36 kingdoms of the Western region during the Han dynasty. First settlements appeared there in 2nd century BC. City is comparatively well preserved. Afternoon drive to Urumchi. On arrival transfer to the hotel.

Day 11. Urumqi - Kashgar (CZ 6803, 08:30-10:15). Morning transfer to the airport for flight to Kashgar. On arrival transfer to hotel. Morning visit colourful unique chaotic Great Sunday bazaar where you will see numerous sections: silk and cotton, knives, hats, pots, pans, fresh vegetables and fruits, carpets and jewellery, there is a separate livestock and horse section located in 6 km from the main market. Visit the largest mosque in China Idkah mosque (1442), Apak Khoja’s Tomb - the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufis (1640), Hanicraft Street, old parts of the town.

Day 12. Kashgar - Irkeshtam pass (250 km) - Osh. Aerly morning drive to Irkeshtam border point. Border formalities. Further transfer to Osh. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13 Osh. Breakfast in the morning. City tour in Osh: the sacred mountain Suleiman, Babur’s house, a local museum and famous Osh bazaar. Overnight.

Day 14. Osh - “Dustlik” border point - Fergana. Transfer to Fergana, located in Uzbekistan via the “Dustlik” border point. Arrival. Walk about the city. Overnight.

Day 15. Fergana - Margilan - Fergana.

Breakfast. Visit the town of Margilan. In 10th century Margilan was widely known for its silk ware, and its fame spread over long distances to the East and the West. You will have a chance to see these unique items, during the excursion to the “Yodgorlik” silk factory. Overnight.

Day 16. Fergana - Rishtan - Kokand - Tashkent.

Transfer back to Tashkent via two towns of Fergana Valley: Rishtan and Kokand.

In the south of the Fergana Valley there is a small town Rishtan - one of the oldest centers of creation a unique pottery in Central Asia. For 1100 years, masters broadcast the secrets of manufacture of ceramic products from generation to generation. Big dishes "lyagan", deep bowls "shokosa”, water jugs, milk vessels, decorated with ornaments from the “ishkor” glaze. A visit to the ceramic workshop.

The next city is Kokand. Kokand was the second largest city of the Ferghana Valley. The city itself is known since 10th century, but its prime falls on the 18th century, when it became the centre of Kokand Khanate and the spiritual centre of the region. Visit the palace of Khudayar Khan, the cemetery of Kokand Khans, the Mausoleum of Modari Khan. Arrival to Tashkent. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 17. Tashkent.

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, fourth in size city of CIS and has population of 2,3 million people. In general it's a good attempting to tell you that Tashkent divides in two parts for convenience - The Old and New city. Visit Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan madrassah, Kafal-al Shashi Mazar, Kukeldash madrassah, Chor-su bazaar, Applied arts museum, Independence Square, Istiklol Square, Tashkent metro.

Day 18. Tashkent - Samarkand (330 km, 5 hours).

In the morning transfer to Samarkand. On arrival visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Daniyor (or Daniel the Prophet). Daniel is hallowed by the followers of three major religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. By the order of Tamerlane the mosque was built at the tomb, however, later (in 1900) the mausoleum was erected in its place. Legends tell that here in an 18-meter long grave a hand of the great prophet is lying. Well, in fact 18 meters is too much for a hand! However, national fantasy is quite dodgy: some people say that the hand is growing year by year whereas others claim that Daniel was a giant. The only statement, which is the same in all legends about Daniel, is that Tamerlane brought this hand to Samarkand.

Day 19. Samarkand.

This entire day will be devoted to Samarkand. Visit the Registan Ensemble, Ulugbek madrassah, Sher-Dor madrassah, Tillya-Kari madrassah, Gur-Emir mausoleum, Rukhabad necropolis, Bibi-Khanym mosque, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda ensemble, Khazrat-Hyzra mosque.

Day 20. Samarkand - Shakhrisabz (90 km) - Bukhara (280 km).

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Bukhara via Shakhrisabz. Shakhrisabz - the hometown of Tamerlane. Visit Ak-Saray palace, Dorussaidat complex, Dorut-Tilyavat madrassah, Kok-Gumbaz mosque in Shakhrisabz.
Arrival to Bukhara. Overnight.

Day 21. Bukhara. Breakfast. Visit the Chashma Ayub mausoleum, Poi-Kalon complex, Ulugbek madrassah, Laybi-Hauz ensemble, Kukeldash madrassah, Nadir Divanbegi madrassah, Samanid mausoleum, “Ark” fortress.

Day 22. Bukhara. Breakfast. Visit the Summer residence of the Amir of Bukhara (XIX C) «Sitora-i Mokh-i Khosa», Chor-Bakr necropolis, and the complex of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, the ancient bathhouse “Bozori Kord Hamam”.

Day 23. Bukhara - Khiva (480 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Khiva. Arrival. Accommodation and overnight at the hotel.

Day 24. Khiva. Full day excursion about the city. Visit Ichan-Kala, Islam-Khoja minaret, Juma mosque, Kalta-Minor minaret, “Avesta” museum.

Day 25. Khiva - “Shavat” border point - Kunya-Urgench - Tashauz - Ashgabat.

Transfer to the border point. Border formalities. Continue drive to Kunya Urgench. Visit Kunya Urgench historical site (Mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug Timur minaret & Kyrk Molla. Return drive to Dashoguz. Flight to Ashgabat (Boeing 717, 50 min flt). Arrival & check in the hotel.

Day 26. Ashgabat. Sightseeing in Ashgabat with visiting the National Museum of History & Ethnography of Turkmenistan, Old Nisa – ancient Parthian settlement. Continue to the Spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi.

Day 27. Ashgabat - Mary - Merv - Mary.

Early morning flight to Mary (optional drive). Accommodation in the hotel. Drive to Bairamaly (25 km). Sightseeing Ancient Merv (Alexandria, Antiochia, Sultan Kala).Continue to the mausoleum of Talkhatan Baba XII century (masterpiece of Seljuk architecture). Return to Mary. Visit of the museum.

Day 28. Mary - Turkmen-Iranian border point “Serahs” - Meshhed. Drive to the border point. Border formalities. Drive to Meshhed. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel. Brief excursion about the city. Visit the Oriental bazaar. Overnight.

Day 29. Meshhed - Shiraz (air flight). Breakfast. Excursion about the city. Visit the Imam Reza mosque, bazaar. Drive to Nishapur and visit Omar Khayam mausoleum. Drive back to Meshhed. Evening flight to Shiraz.

Day 30. Shiraz.

After breakfast excursion about the city. Visit the Vakil bazaar (mosque, bathhouse, citadel, bazaar), Eram garden, mausoleum of two great Iranian poets Khafiz or Saadi, Mirror mosque, which is called the Ali ibn Khamza mausoleum, Kavami Citrus plantation and Nasir Ol Molk mosque.

Day 31. Shiraz - Persepolis - Isfagan (air flight).

This day visit Persepolis, Necropolis - the graveyards of the kings of Akhemenid dynasties - and Pasargadae. In the morning en route to Persepolis visit the Quran gates. Visit the mausoleum of Kir the Great - the founder of Akhemenid dynasty, Pasargadae is the first capital of the Akhemenids. In the evening return to Shiraz. Flight to Isfagan.

Day 32. Isfagan.

Full day city tour at Imam Square, a jewel of Persian architecture with 4 monuments at the 4 sides which includes the Alighapou Palace, Imam & Sheikh Lotfollah Mosques, handicraft factories and the 2-Km long Isfahan bazaar with its traditional arcades. In the evening we visit the most beautiful and famous Isfahan bridges over the Zayandeh Rud river.

Day 33. Isfagan - Tehran (air flight). Half Day city tour of Jame mosque ,Vank Cathedral and the Shaking minarets . Afternoon free at leisure. Evening flight to Tehran.

Day 34. Tehran. After breakfast visit Archaeological & Islamic Art Museum, the finest museum in Iran where you'll view a collection of ancient Persian civilization.

Day 35. Tehran. Departure. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

Cost of the tour per person under accommodation at the hotels 2-3*:
-Group in 2 pax - 6900 USD/per person
-Group in 3-4 pax - 6500 USD/per person
-Group in 5-6 pax - 5415 USD/per person
-Group in 7-9 pax - 4850 USD/per person
-Group in 10-15 pax - 4680 USD/per person

Supplement for single accommodation is 825 USD/per person

Cost of the tour per person under accommodation at the hotels 3-4*:
-Group in 2 pax - 7985 USD/per person
-Group in 3-4 pax - 7095 USD/per person
-Group in 5-6 pax - 6010 USD/per person
-Group in 7-9 pax - 5350 USD/per person
-Group in 10-15 pax - 5235 USD/per person
-Supplement for single accommodation is 1070 USD/per person

Cost of the tour includes:
- Double/twin accommodation at the hotels mentioned in standard rooms:

*Bejing: Rainbow Hotel 3*//Peixing Hotel 4*
*Xian: City Hotel 3*//Jian Guo Hotel 4*
*Xiahe: Wang Fu Hotel 3*//Wang Fu Hotel 3*
*Dunhuang: International Dunhuang Hotel 3*//Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel 4*
*Turpan: Jiao he Minor Hotel 3*//Houzhou Hotel 4*
*Urumqi: Show Lotus Hotel 3*//Mirag B Tower Hotel 4*
*Kashgar: Yambu Hotel 3*//International Hotel 4*
*Osh: Sun Rise Hotel 3*//Sun Rise Hotel 3*
*Fergana: Club 777 Hotel 3*
*Tashkent: Sairam Hotel 2*//Tashkent Palace 4*/Markaziy Hotel 4*
*Samarkand: Malika Samarkand Classic 2*//Asia Samarkand 3*+
*Bukhara: Minzifa Hotel 2*//Asia Bukhara 3*
*Khiva: Malika Khiva 2*//Asia Khiva 3*
*Ashgabat: Turkmenistan 3*// Lachyn 4*
*Meshhed: Tehran Hotel 3*//Razavi Hotel 4*
*Shiraz: Eram Hotel 3*//Aryo Barzan Hotel 4*
*Isfagan: Melal Hotel 3*//Setare Hotel 4*
*Tehran: Shiraz Hotel 3*//Enghalab Hotel 4*

- Excursion program including visiting the main monuments and museums of each city according to the program with local guides;
- Railway ticket “Beijing - Xian”;
- Railway ticket “Xian - Lanchow”,
- Railway ticket “Lanchow - Jiayuguan”;
- Railway ticket Dunhuang - Turpan”;
- Air flight “Tashauz - Ashgabat”;
- Air flight “Meshhed - Shiraz”;
- Air flight “Shiraz - Isfagan”;
- Air flight “Isfagan - Tehran”;
- Comfortable air-conditioned transportation for the whole tour including meeting and seeing off at the airports;
- Visa invitation to Turkmenistan, China and Iran.

Cost of the tour does not include:
- International airfare;
- Visas fee;
- Air flight "Urumqi-Kashgar" - 165 USD/per person;
- Cost for the photo and video filming in museums and on the monuments.

Additional services:
- Meals (except breakfasts at the hotels):
*Supplement for half board (only dinners) is 440 USD/per person/for the whole tour
*Supplement for full board (lunches and dinners) is 905 USD/per person/for the whole tour

Airfare is not included in the tour price.