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Silk Road Odyssey

Departing: Beijing, China - 26 days
Countries visited: China, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan & Russia

A classic Silk Road journey along the rails to some of Asia’s most remote cities. See the Registan at dusk, old Bukhara’s covered bazaars and relaxing tea-houses; cross China’s largest desert and marvel at Russia's most famous cites.

  

 

Itinerary

Days 1-2. Beijing
Your journey begins in the ever-changing metropolis of Beijing. 

Suggested sightseeing: The Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Forbidden City, Acrobats, Tiananmen Square, Hutongs, Lama Temple. 

Days 3-5. Xian
Early morning commence your journey along the Silk Road Railway to Xian - the gateway to the Silk Road. Arrive Xian and transfer to your hotel (AT). 

Rejoin the train and travel aboard the Silk Road Railway onwards to Urumqi.

Suggested sightseeing: Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarter, City Wall bike ride. 

Day 6. Silk Road Railway
Aboard the Silk Road Railway across the mighty Taklamakan desert.

Days 7-8. Urumqi
Arrive Urumqi and transfer to your hotel (AT). Apart from breathtaking scenery the Xinjiang province is also famous for its food. Sample some fresh naan, spicy kebabs, steaming pilaf and famous hand-stretched noodles. 

Late in the evening on Day 8 return back to the railway station to meet your onward train that will carry you into Kazakhstan. 

Suggested sightseeing: Xinjiang Provincial Museum, Renmin Park and Tianchi Lake. 

Day 9. Silk Road Railway
Over the Tien Shan and through the Dzungarian Gate to Almaty.

Days 10-11. Almaty & Tashkent
The journey continues along the northern edge of the Tien Shan and down into Kazakhstan's cosmopolitan former capital, Almaty. Transfer to your hotel (AT). 
Suggested sightseeing: Zenkhov Cathedral, Panfilov Park. 

The following day depart by flight to Tashkent. Arrive Tashkent and transfer to your hotel (AT).
Suggested sightseeing: Chorsu Bazaar, Amir Temur Square.

Days 12-14. Tashkent to Samarkand

Leaving Tashkent in the morning you will be whisked off to the fabled city of Samarkand, Tamerlane's turquoise-spangled capital.
Suggested sightseeing: Registan Square, Gur Emir, Bibi Khanum, Shah-i-Zinda. 

Days 15-18. Bukhara & Return to Tashkent
Our journey then takes us across the Kyzyl Kum Desert to the holy city of Bukhara, which has all the elements of the classic Silk Road city; the crumbling walls, Ark Fortress and the old covered bazaar dating back almost one thousand years through a rich and turbulent history.

Return to Tashkent on Day 18. 

Suggested Bukhara sightseeing: Lyabi Hauz, Traders Domes, Kalyan Minaret, Ark Fortress. 

Days 19-21. Silk Road Railway
It is time to leave Central Asia and board your train which will carry you 3800 kilometres across the Kazakh steppe, through cotton crops, desert and grasslands to Moscow's Kazan Station. 

Days 22-23. Moscow
Arrive Moscow and transfer to your hotel (AT). Moscow has established its place amongst the great cities of the world. Its wonderful historic heart is proudly presented and is easy to get around, with many of the major sights within walking distance or use the palatial, chandelier draped metro system that is a destination in itself! 
Suggested sightseeing: Tretyakov Gallery, Church of Christ the Saviour, Kremlin, Red Square, Metro, Boat cruise, Pushkin Gallery. Depart Moscow by overnight train.

Days 24-26. St.Petersburg - Journey concludes
 
Welcome to St. Petersburg - the city on the water, the 'Venice of the North'. Arrive St.Petersburg and transfer to your hotel (AT). Richly filled palaces and museums, wide boulevards and canals await you and provide a fascinating end to this diverse journey. 
Suggested sightseeing: Summer Palace, Russian Gallery, St.Isaac's Cathedral, Hermitage.

 

Essentials

Transfers
(AT) = arrival transfer included Hotels Choose from ‘Classic’ or ‘Traveller’.

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

2 berth rail supplement - Optional
Only available when 2 people travel together. Available on all rail sectors between Urumqi and St.Petersburg.

Visas
Required for China, Kazakstan (some exceptions apply until 31/12/17), Uzbekistan & Russia. Sundowners Overland will provide all required visa invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines. 

From Beijing
Travel & Accommodation
Hotels - 17 nights. Twin or Single.
Trains - 8 nights. Comfortable 4 berth sleepers (optional 2 berth rail supplement also available).
Flight - Almaty to Tashkent.