LEGENDARY SILK ROAD BY PRIVATE TRAIN
FROM ASHGABAT TO ALMATY
Cultural tour of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Kazakhstan
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Your route from Ashgabat to Almaty takes you through spectacular scenery and historic surroundings. Shortly after your arrival, we spirit you off to the infamous Karakum Desert. You will also visit the Tokuchka Bazaar, one of the largest and most colorful markets in all of Central Asia. Here, curious onlookers are able to watch the lively goings-on as buyers and sellers from all over Turkmenistan trade in animals, foodstuffs, and traditional jewellery.

Similar program can be done on the reverse (Almaty to Ashgabat)

TRAIN INFO
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Tour Information
Tour Duration : 14 days
Min. Tour Size : 60 persons
Max. Tour Size : 120 persons
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
Day 02: Ashgabat
(B, L, D)
Day 03: Asghabat/Merv
(B, L, D)
Day 04: Merv/Bukhara (UZBEKISTAN)
(B, L, D)
Day 05: Bukhara
 (B, L, D)
Day 06: Bukhara/Khiva
(B, L, D)
Day 07: Khiva/Samarkand
(B, L, D)
Day 08: Samarkand
(B, L, D)
Day 09: Samarkand
(B, L, D)
Day 10: Samarkand/Shakhrisabz/Tashkent
 (B, L, D)
Day 11: Tashkent/Turkistan (KAZAKHSTAN)
(B, L, D)
Day 12: Turkistan/Almaty
 (B, L, D)
Day 13: Almaty
(B, L, D)
Day 14: Depart Almaty
(B) 
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)

You arrive in Ashgabat and are transferred to a centrally located 4-star hotel.  Check in time starts from 1500 hrs.
Overnight: Hotel, Ashgabat (1 night)

Day 02: Ashgabat

In the morning, you visit the bustling Tokuchka Bazaar, a typical oriental market and one of Central Asia’s largest. You then travel to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa. In the afternoon you go on a guided tour of the National Museum in Ashgabat where artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa are on exhibit. After lunch you undertake a brief tour of Ashgabat, whose distinctive appearance is characteristic of Turkmenbashi, the self-proclaimed “great leader of all Turkmen”. Hollywood-style settings throughout this city flush with new-found oil wealth can be impressive, but sometimes also cause a chuckle. You dine aboard your train, which departs later in the evening.
Overnight: on board the train (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 03: Asghabat/Merv

Your private train arrives early in the morning at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Merv, the remnants of what was once one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cities. The initial impression is of disbelief: gigantic walls and ramparts simply standing in the middle of the desert next to the imposing ruins of ancient buildings, such as the Tomb of the Sultan Sanjar, the Maidens’ Castle (Kyz Kala), the historical ice-houses, and other tombs. Lunch is eaten with a local family in the picturesque courtyard of their home. (B, L, D)

Day 04: Merv/Bukhara (UZBEKISTAN)

The city of Bukhara, located in the middle of the Kyzylkum Desert, has some one thousand architectural monuments recalling the golden age of the Great Silk Route. Exotic spices, furs, and especially silk were stored and traded in the city’s caravanserais. In Bukhara’s Old Town (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage), you see the almost fifty-metre tall Kalyan Minaret and the Lyab-I Hauz Ensemble by the pond, among other sights. Dinner is served in a madrassa courtyard, with musical accompaniment, local dances, and a presentation of colourful national costumes.  Check in your 4-star hotel.
Overnight: Hotel, Bukhara (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 05: Bukhara

Bukhara, which also bears the by-name Sherif (the noble one), has preserved its ancient oriental countenance in its extensive, unparalleled collection of authentic architecture. During the morning, we drive you to the splendid Mir-e-Arab Madrassa and the Samanid Mausoleum, one of Central Asia’s most beautiful structures. Afterwards you tour the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city that was once the seat of government of Bukhara’s former rulers. There you view the Throne Room, after which you go to the last emir’s Summer Residence. Your stay is completed with a visit to the world’s only women’s mosque, at a Sufi complex and pilgrimage centre about fifteen kilometres outside of the city. (B, L, D)

Day 06: Bukhara/Khiva

The morning is yours to spend as you please. Your train leaves for Khiva, Uzbekistan around noon.
Overnight: on board the train (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 07: Khiva/Samarkand

After breakfast, your train will have arrived at the southern extent of the Zhetysu (seven rivers) landscape, at the oasis of Khiva. Standing at the mighty town wall with its gates and bastions of mud brick, you feel transported into another world. Life still pulses around the base of the Kalta Minor Minaret, just as it did in former times. Your tour allows you to take in the atmosphere and sights of the oasis. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums, and madrassas (Muslim religious schools) represent some of the best-preserved examples of oriental town architecture from medieval times. You enjoy lunch in the former emir’s Summer Palace. Your private train leaves for Samarkand in the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 08: Samarkand

Today is spent visiting the sights of this famous historic city, which during the rule of Timur was considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious city. The Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde (the living Shah), the excavation sites at Afrosiab (with a museum tour), and Registan Square are certainly among the most notable architectural ensembles in Central Asia. It is also historically important as the site where many Uzbek women burned their veils (paranjas) in 1917, to mark their arrival in a new era.  Check in your 4-star hotel.
Overnight: Hotel, Samarkand (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 09: Samarkand

Your day in this fascinating city includes a tour of a silk carpet manufactory, a visit to an Uzbek craftsman’s family to see paper being made from mulberry bark, stops at the Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque, and viewing the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum.  You spend the night in your Samarkand hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Samarkand/Shakhrisabz/Tashkent

Today you enjoy an excursion to the surrounding mountain region, where fire worship and shamanism are still practiced in the form of rituals and myths seldom found elsewhere. A traditional ceremony offers you firsthand insight into the region’s unique folklore and you have the chance to experience the daily life of the local residents. Aboard your train, you then continue along the Great Silk Road to Timur’s birthplace, the green city of Shakhrisabz (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site). Here you will see monumental architecture of the Mongol ruler’s Great Palace from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the evening you depart to Tashkent on your private train. On board you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Tashkent/Turkistan (KAZAKHSTAN)

In the morning your private train arrives in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Your sightseeing tour of the city offers a closer glimpse of this green oasis in the steppe. You see the Madrassa Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments, and the typical Kazakh mud brick houses. In the evening you attend Tashkent’s famous Navoi Opera or a concert in the Tashkent Philharmonic Hall (programme permitting). Afterwards your train departs for Kazakhstan. (B, L, D)

Day 12: Turkistan/Almaty

Border formalities at the Kazakhstan border are completed in the comfort of your compartment and you arrive before noon in the city of Turkistan. You visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the most significant examples Timurid architecture. Afterwards you continue on towards Almaty aboard your private train. (B, L, D)

Day 13: Almaty

Your train arrives in Almaty after lunch. A sightseeing tour of the city offers you an impression of this green metropolitan city at the foot of the mighty Ile Alatau Mountains. You see the imposing Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral built entirely of wood, the Wedding Palace, the Almaty Circus, and the Central Mosque.  Check in your 4-star hotel.  This evening you are served a tasty dinner in a traditional Kazakh yurt.
Overnight: Hotel, Almaty (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 14: Depart Almaty

Airport transfer for individual departure. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2018

Apr 10*; Oct 16

(*) what's this?

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

Departure(s) 2018 Per Person Single Room Supplement
4-berths sharing compartments US$ 3540 US$ 660 (for 6 hotel overnights)
2-berths sharing compartments US$ 5240 -


Notes

- Reduction of US$ 240 per person for April departure
- Please contact us for possible upgrade to better compartment/category.
- Maximum group size is 26 when sightseeing.
- For Train Info please click here



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Train journey from Days 02-13.
  • 7 nights on board your private train in Habibi category.
  • 6 overnights 4-star hotels in a double/twin room with private WC.
  • 41 meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transfers according to the itinerary.
  • Tour director present throughout the train journey and additional competent travel guides for each group of not more than 26 guests or 12 guests depend on the reserved train category.
  • Experienced local English Speaking guides.
  • Traditional welcome ceremonies upon arrival at the Bukhara and Samarkand railway stations.
  • City tours and excursions as mentioned.
  • Wine & Vodka tasting.
  • Doctor on board the train.
Not Included
  • International airfares
  • Entry fee for Turkmenistan (currently at $12 per person)
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1800

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1600

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1700

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1500

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.