Discover Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Day 1. Thursday ARRIVE ALMATY Arrive Almaty, capital of Kazakhstan, and you will be met and transferred to your hotel. No meals included today
Day 2. Friday ALMATY TOUR AND DEPART. (BLD) Enjoy a walking tour of Almaty this morning including the Asension cathedral, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. Lunch ina Yurt restaurant and board your train for departure.
Day 3. Saturday TURKISTAN (BLD) Enjoy the scenes of the steppes while you enjoy breakfast in the dining car before arriving in Turkistan for a tour of the city. See the magnificent mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and other sights of the city before reboarding your train.
Day 4. Sunday TASHKENT (BLD) Arrive Tashkent in Uzbekistan this morning. the city is studded in monuments dating back to the Silk Road era including caravanserais, fortresses, and Madrassah - as well as the architecture and monuments of the Soviet era. Tour the city and depart this evening by train.
Day 5. Monday SHAKRISABZ, the mighty. (BLD) Explore Shakrisabz, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Timur, the 14th century Mongol conqueror, filled this city with grandiose testaments to his earthly power. Now his palaces stand in ruins around the market place. Explore the area and viisit a small village for a folklore performance. depart by train and enjoy Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car.
Day 6. Tuesday SAMARKAND, the ancient (BLD) Enjoy the splendours of ancient Samarkand, one of the oldest cties on earth. At the time of Timur this was called the most beautiful city on earth. Marvel at the beauty and splendour of the of the ornate marble pillars and vaults of Registan Square or the exquisite glazed tiles of the Shah-I Zinda Necroplis and explore the Afrosiyab excavation site. Two nights accommodation at the Registan Plaza Hotel or similar
Day 7. Wednesday. SAMARKAND, the magnificent (BLD) Another day of wonders exploring the ancient buildings plus the markets and seeing the Uzbek craftsmen weaving silk into carpets and press paper from Mulberry bark. Also visit the amazing Ulugh Beg Observatory the ruins of Bibi Kharum Mosque, and the impressive Gut Emir Mausoleum.
Day 8. Thursday. SAMARKAND DEPART (BLD Free morning to explore at your lesiure and depart around midday for more mountain and steppe scenery. Overnight on the train.
Day 9. Friday. KHIVA (BLD) Khiva is an ancient fortress. Visit the Kalta Minor Minaret and and see he winding streets on a tour of the towns palaces, mosques, mausoleums, and madrasah, all thriving in a living museum. Lunch in the old Summer Palace of the Emir. Overnight on the train.
Day 10. Saturday. BUKHARA, the noble. (BLD) Gaze at the magnificent gateways on either side of the Kaljan Minaret, a monument to intricate and grand design. This city-museum holds over a thousand monuments to the glory of the caravan trade. At the Lyab-i-Hauz ensemble witness the 500 year old architectural ingenuity that keeps a pool full in the baking Kysylkum desert, watch local dances and listen to exotic Uzbek music in the courtyard of a Madrasah. Overnight at Hotel Asia or similar.
Day 11. Sunday. BUKHARA DEPART. (BLD) Most of the day is spent exploring Bukhara including the Mire-e-Arab Madrassah the exquisite Samanid Mausoleum the 1,500 year old Ark Fortress, and the only womens mosque in the country. return to the train and depart.
Day 12. Monday MERV (BLD) Arrive at the ancient oasis of Merv early this morning. In the 12th century this was one of the largest cities in the world Now see the imposing ruins of the UNESCO site including the gigantic tomb of Ahmed Sanjar, the virgin fortress, and the cold room. Lunch in the courtyard of a family home. Overnight in Ashgabat at the hotel Ashgabat or similar.
Day 13. Tuesday. ASHGABAT AND NISA. (BLD) Explore the former royal city of Nisa this morning and this afternoon the modern city of Ashgabat including the museum. Farewell dinner tbis evening.
Day 14. Wednesday ASHGABAT DEPART (B) The end of an amazing journey. Transfer to the airport for departure.
Passengers continuing on our ANCIENT EMPIRES tour fly to Rome for 2 days sightseeing and 14 night cruise to Greece and israel.
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