Silk Road by Private Train itinerary Almaty - Ashgabat

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Day 14

                                                                               

 

The Legendary Silk Road by Private Train

From Almaty to Ashgabat

 

                          This journey makes you familiar with the manifold cultures along the legendary Silk Road and numerous localities that made history, among them no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Tien ShanMountains, the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are richly endowed with history and culture, a flavour of which you will sample on this exciting journey by Private Train.

 

Your route

Almaty–– Turkestan––Tashkent–– Shakhrisabz––Samarqand––Khiva

––Bukhara––Mary/Merv–– Ashgabat

 

Day 1: Welcome to Almaty

Late arrival (around  midnight) in Almaty and bus transfer to your Hotel centrally located.

 

Day 2: Almaty – “The Father of Apples”

In the morning, enjoy a city sightseeing tour of Almaty, situated at the foothills of the northern Tien ShanMountains. There are attractive, wide, tree-lined avenues, many parks and street cafes. Visit the Zenkov Russian Cathedral, one of the worlds tallest all wood buildings. Enjoy a special welcome lunch in the typical yurts and return to Almaty to board your special train "Registan". A luggage service is guaranteed – your suitcases will be taken directly to your compartments. You spend the first night on the train. (BLD)

 

Day 3: Nomad’s Pilgrimage Center: Turkestan

After breakfast you arrive in the city of Turkestan in Kazakhstan. You will see the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi built in 1394 (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its dome hall, monumental mosque and well house - one of the most important buildings of the Timurids Architecture. Then your Private Train will travel on to Tashkent in Uzbekistan, the border formalities are handled easily in your cabin. Overnight on train (BLD).

 

Day 4: Tashkent, the Green Oasis

In the morning your Private Train arrives in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan at the foot of the Tien ShanMountains. On your sightseeing tour you’ll experience the green oasis of the Steppe: the Madrasah Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments and the opera. In the evening you will attend the famous Tashkent Navoy Opera (depending on the schedule). Afterwards your Private Train departs for Shakhrisabz. (BLD)

 

Day 5: Shakhrisabz, home of Tamerlane

Today you will experience a folklore performance in the unique tradition of this region and get to know the inhabitants in their authentic everyday life. A friendly welcome is guaranteed! Next you will follow the Great Silk Road and arrive in the green city, the birthplace of Tamerlane. Here, in Shakhrisabz (UNESCO-World Heritage Site) you’ll tour the monumental memorials of the barbaric Mongol Prince and also have the opportunity to watch the thriving bustle of this lively town. In the evening you'll depart on your Private Train to Samarqand. On board: Uzbek wine tasting. (BLD)

 

Day 6 Samarqand––Intersection of Cultures

Today you experience the historical prominence of Samarqand, the most beautiful city in the world in Tamerlane’s time: the grave city Shah-e-zende (“the living Shah”), the excavation sites of Afrosiab and the Registan Square present an impressive collection of Central Asian architecture. You’ll spend the next two nights in a four star hotel in Samarqand. (BLD)

 

Day 7: Samarqand, the Magnificent You visit a silk carpet factory and an Uzbek craftsman’s family, see paper manufactured from mulberry bark, the observatory of Ulug Beg, the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque and the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum. (BLD)

 

Day 8: From Samarqand to Khiva

In the morning you can enjoy Samarqand until your Private Train departs for Khiva around noon. Spectacular landscapes await you. Overnight in your Private Train. (BLD)

 

Day 9: A Fairy Tale of 1001 Nights

After breakfast you will go to the Southern border of the seven river lands, in the oasis of Khiva. When you stand before the mighty city wall of Khiva with its gates and bastions of clay bricks you are in another world: Around the Kalta Minor Minaret life still pulses today as it did in old times. On a tour you see palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and Koranic schools, examples of oriental and medieval architecture. You will enjoy lunch in the atmosphere of the former SummerPalace of the Emir. Overnight in your Private Train. (BLD)

 

Day 10: Bukhara, the Noble

Situated in the middle of the Kyzyl Kum desert, Bukhara features about one thousand monuments, which recall the halcyon days of the Great Silk Road. Foreign spices, furs and especially silk fabrics were stored and handled in the caravansaries. In the old city (UNESCO-World Culture Heritage) you'll see the Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble. In front of the Nasreddin-on-the-donkey monument you’ll listen to some anecdotes about him. You’ll have dinner in the courtyard of a Madrasah with musical accompaniment, local dances and a presentation of colourful national costumes. You'll spend the night in a centrally located upper middle-class hotel in Bukhara. (BLD)

 

Day 11: Mausoleum of the Samanid

Today, you’ll experience Bukhara in an all-day tour program, including lunch. Bukhara is a large, unique and authentic art museum that maintains its old oriental face. In the morning, we guide you to the magnificent Mire-e-Arab Madrasah and the most beautiful and precious building in Central Asia, the Samanid Mausoleum. Then you'll take a tour through the fortress Ark. You'll see there the coronation hall and visit the summer residence of the last Emir. At the end of your stay you’ll see the only women’s mosque in the world. In the evening your train departs for Mary/Merv and you will spend the night in your compartment. (BLD)

 

Day 12:  Merv, the Ancient Pearl of the East

In the early morning your Private Train will arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Merv with its gigantic walls and ramparts in the desert and the impressive ruins of old buildings such as the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the Virgin Fortress (Kis Kale), the cold room and other mausoleums. You have lunch in the picturesque courtyard of a family. Afterwards you will board your Private Train to Ashgabat.

 

Day 13: Former Royal City of Nisa and today’s Capital Ashgabat

In the morning you’ll visit the old Parthian city of Nisa. After lunch you'll take a city tour and become acquainted with today's capital Ashgabat, with the unmistakable handwriting of the Turkmenbashi, the leader of the Turkmens: Hollywood-like scenes of the “nouveau riche”. In the afternoon Ashgabat’s NationalMuseum shows you ruins of ancient Nisa. Farewell dinner in the evening, and depending on your flight arrangement you will be either taken to the airport in the evening or the next morning. (BLD)

 

Day 14 Ashgabat ­— An epic journey comes to an end!

Flight back

 

Highlights of the tour

UNESCO's World Heritage:

1. The old Parthian city of Nisa

2. The Pearl of the East: Ruins of ancient Merv

3. Itchan Kala: The inner town of the old Khiva oasis

4. Historical Centre of Bukhara

5. Samarqand­––Crossroads of Cultures

6. Historical Centre of Shakhrisabz

7. Turkestan: Mausoleum Kooja Ahmed Yasawi

 

Distinctive capitals:

Ashgabat: the most modern city in Central Asia

Tashkent: the cultural centre of Central Asia

 

Places that made History:

 Registan: the most beautiful square of the Orient

 Almaty - "Father - apple"

 Ulug Bek observatory

 Ismael Samani and Gur Emir mausoleum

 Ark Fortress in Bukhara

 Excavations of ancient Afrosiyob town

 Shah-i-Zinda complex of mausoleums

 

Everyday life in Central Asia:

 The making of traditional art objects: silk and carpets

 Valuable cultural insights: lectures, fairy tales and information about history and regional traditions

 Lunch in a typical Uzbek house

 

Spectacular nature:

 Karakum and Kysilkum deserts

 Tien ShanMountains

 

 

Our service––Your benefit

 Multi-lingual Lernidee Tour Directo

 Experienced local guides for a maximum of 26 guests per group

 Doctor on board

 5 overnights in upper middle- or first-class hotels

 7 overnights on the Private Train according to the booked category

 All meals according to program (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

 Sightseeing program including all entrance fees according program

 Guided transfers to and from all airports and train stations according to program

 Sightseeing tours/guided walks in Almaty, Taschkent, Samarqand, Khiva, Bukhara and Ashgabat

 Traditional welcome in the train stations of Bukhara, and Samarqand

 Lunch/dinner with an Uzbek and a Turkmen family as well as in in a Madrasah with folklore

 Wine and Vodka tasting

 Log book with information about the Silk Road

 

Special features

- No inner-Asian flights

- No long bus rides on bad and dusty roads

- Safe, clean and well maintained: your Private Train

- Your luggage remains on board during the entire trip

- All cars air-conditioned while the train runs

- Excellent food meeting high hygienic standards

- After dinner restaurant cars operate as bars

 

Entry requirements:

Visas for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan should be obtained on your own. Invitation letter for Turkmenistan is obligatory (70 EUR per person, must be organised by Marco Polo CAT)

Health: No vaccinations are prescribed

Not included: Flights, tips, beverages, visa fees (if requested we will procure the visa for you)

Minimum number of participants: 60

Program and expenses are subject to modifications and amendments

Tour route: 
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