For over 3000 years Central Asia has been a cultural and intellectual crossroads, luring travelers, traders, scholars and conquerors. Bordered by the vast Russian steppe to the north, the fairy tale beauty of the Caspian Sea to the west, soaring mountains and wilderness to the south, and forbidding deserts and snow-capped peaks to the east, the countries of Central Asia are the ultimate travel destination for anyone seeking the trip of a lifetime. Recently independent, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the new frontiers on travel itineraries. We create memories with our travelers in Bukhara, Tashkent, Samarkand, Merv, Ashgabat and Khiva; the fabled cities of Marco Polo, Tamerlane and Alexander the Great. The region is a mix of the ancient world with modern flair and a dash of Soviet era thrown in. Its home to the warmest people in the world and we can take you there.
The journey begins in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent, rightly called the “Star of the Orient” for its central location which facilitated the exchange of trade. Travelers will be awed by the Islamic influence of the architecture where madrasahs, ancient schools of Muslim theology, flourish alongside bustling bazaars, modern monumental parks and the Kaffal Shashi tomb of an ancient Islamic scholar and mystic. Continuing on, the tour crosses into Tajikistan, famous for its alpine lakes and enormous glaciers, where the northern city of Khujand claims to be the birthplace of the original Silk routes.
Across the border in Uzbekistan, Samarkand, arguably one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, fiercely guards its reputation as “The Rome of the East,” a magnificent city so advanced in classical learning and architectural display that it even rendered conqueror Alexander the Great speechless. Between the famous Bibi-Khanym mosque built by Tamerlane to the stunning blue dome of the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, and the singular beauty of Registan Square, which remains the hub of city life, Samarkand continues to impress visitors today.
Bukhara, as well: blending the modern and traditional, it delights travelers with its hearty plov dishes, folk shows, and rich scholastic heritage as once the cultural, scientific, and commercial center of the Silk Road. Thousands of ancient scholars and theologians once called Bukhara home, the city’s Kaylan Minaret evidently inspired Genghis Khan with such an appreciation for its beauty that he left it standing despite its religious overtones. The tour then proceeds into Turkmenistan, particularly famous for its intricately woven, bold red carpets, where travelers can explore the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in the ancient province of Mary and Ashgabat’s own Blue Mosque.
We return back to Uzbekistan after exploring Konya Urgench of Turkmenistan. Khiva of Uzbekistan is next to explore. It is a fairy-tale city of the Silk Road. Claimed to have been founded by Shem, the son of Biblical Noah, Khiva remains one of the best-preserved towns of the Silk Road, enchanting visitors with its brick-and-majolica-tiled city walls as well as the Khan’s Tash-Hauli Palace and Harem, and the Djuma palace with its distinctive 200 wooden pillars.
Moving along, the tour enters Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia and home to some of the most spectacular alpine landscapes, which, in contrast with the vastness of the steppes below, exist if only to amplify the beauty of Kazakhstan’s hallmark geography. In the capital city of Almaty, travelers will visit the National Museum of Folk Musical Instruments as well as the magnificent Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Finally, the trail ends in Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek. Once a mere caravan stop on the Silk Road, the city is today a blend of Soviet, Asian and European influences, with its enticing mile long Dordoy Bazaar as one of the greatest marketplaces in Central Asia. Nearby, the warm alpine lake retreat of Issyk-Kul, one of the largest and deepest of its kind in the world, evokes a lasting impression of the weeks of cultural immersion in Central Asia’s rich heritage. We enjoy scouting our destinations once and again and creating new activities that are extraordinary. Contact us to join this Central Asia tour or request for your customized Central Asia adventure to Central Asia Silk Road.More