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Silk Road Adventure

Departing: Tashkent, Uzbekistan - 22 days
Countries visited: Uzbekistan, China and Kyrgyzstan

Designed especially for travellers who seek high adventure among the peaks and mountain passes of the Tien Shan Mountains, this journey traverses some of the least travelled routes of the Silk Road. Your adventurous spirit will be rewarded with breathtaking scenery in unspoilt wilderness and some of the most welcoming the Silk Road has to offer.




Days 1-4 Tashkent and the Fergana Valley
Beginning in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, the heart of the Silk Road, take the chance to explore the Old Town and Chorsu Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest bazaars in Central Asia. Later, you travel by road to the Fergana Valley where you have the opportunity to take an excursion to the potters' town of Rishton; and the silk producing town of Margilan where tourists are seldom seen, and locals dress in traditional wear. The local bazaar with its seductive sights, sounds and aromas is one of the most interesting in the valley. To the valley's east you find Osh, strategically positioned along the old Silk Road, where it prospered as a major silk producing centre, and was generally regarded as a midway point between China and Europe.  

Days 5-11 High Passes of the Tien Shan Mountains 
The roads leading to the Chinese Frontier carry little traffic. Apart from a few small towns in river valleys, the terrain is alluringly barren and rugged. You steadily climb through the Tien Shan Mountains to the newly opened Irkeshtam Pass (3,005m.), bound for Kashgar, now the most westerly city in China. Located between the massive mountain ranges of the Tien Shan to the north, the Pamir to the west, the Karakoram to the south, and Asia's largest desert, the Taklamakan, to the east; Kashgar remains a strategically important trading centre. Its old city once regarded as one of the best preserved examples of a traditional Islamic city anywhere in Central Asia, is now sadly reduced in size.

Travelling north through barren mountains, you pass Muslim shrines and traditional homes of Central Asia's nomads (known as yurts), en route to the Torugart Pass (3,752m), and the Kyrgyzstan border. Set within a beautiful valley, near Tash Rabat you find and stay in one of the few remaining Silk Road caravanserais with its large impressive stone walls dating from the 10th century. Farther north, the road to Cholpon Ata cuts through the rugged Kyrgyz steppe and offers spectacular mountain views.

Later, you see Lake Issyk Kul (Warm Lake), a pearl amid the snow-capped peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains. Despite an altitude of 1,600m this lake never freezes. Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek is justly famous for its parks and intriguing Soviet-style buildings. After exploring the city, you return to Tashkent by air, in time for your train journey to Urgench in Uzbekistan's ancient west. 

Days 12-17 Ancient settlements of Uzbekistan
You head for a remote region bordering Karakalpakstan to explore the ancient forts of Ayaz Qala, before spending a night in a traditional yurt under some of the world's most astonishing skies. Khiva is a highlight; being one of the best preserved examples of a walled Khanate city with foundations dating from the 10th century. Beyond, Bukhara brings history alive with some of the world's oldest monuments, and a covered bazaar where trade in silks, rugs and spices goes on in much the same manner as it did in the days of Marco Polo. 

Days 18-20: Golden Samarkand
No city is so evocative of the Silk Road as 'golden' Samarkand. Registan Square is the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia. Made up of three madrasas (places of learning) and a mosque, this beautiful square is inspiring. Other highlights of the city include Shah-i-Zinda, the narrow alley of tombs and mausoleums, Bibi Khanym Mosque and the Ulug Bek Observatory. You return to Tashkent and spend the evening in the Uzbek capital.

Days 21-22: Return to Tashkent - Journey concludes
This incredible journey, tracing the path of defeats and victories, of births and deaths, ends where it all began.



All arrival transfers are included once you have begun this journey. See the Journey Itinerary for more details.

Choose from ‘Classic’ or ‘Traveller’.

The suggested sightseeing in these itineraries is not included in the prices shown. 

Many breakfasts (20) are included. 

Required for Uzbekistan, China and Kyrgyzstan. Sundowners Overland will provide all required visa invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines. 

From Tashkent
Travel & Accommodation 
Hotels - 17 nights. Twin share
Homestay - 1 night (shared)
Yurts - 2 nights (shared)
Train - 1 nights. Comfortable 4 berth sleepers