Legendary Silk Road
Journey the renowned Silk Road aboard the Orient Silk Road Express, visiting 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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 Shan Mountains, 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 our Private Train, the Orient Silk Road Express.
Highlights and Inclusions
• Overnight train accommodations
• Hotel accommodations prior to, during, and after the train journey
• All meals
• Visits to 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites
• Dinner with fashion show in the courtyard of an old Madrasah
• Lunch in the summer Palace of an Emir
• Tour of Tolkuchka Bazaar
• Bukhara all day tour
Day 1: Off to Turkmenistan
You arrive in Ashgabat and are transferred to a centrally located 4-star hotel.
Day 2: The capital city Ashgabat and the former imperial city of Nisa
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. The night is spent on the train. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Merv, the Pearl of the East
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. The night is spent on the train. (B, L, D)
Day 4: The City with a Desert Lighthouse
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. You spend the night in a 4 star hotel in Bukhara. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Bukhara, the Nobel One
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. The night is spent in a 4 star hotel in Bukhara. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Bukhara
The morning is yours to spend as you please. Your train leaves for Khiva, Uzbekistan around noon. The night is spent on the train. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Khiva, a tale from 1001 Nights - in stone
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 Samarqand in the evening. The night is spent on board. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Samarqand, the Crossroads of Culture
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. The night is spent in a4 star hotel in Samarqand. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Samarqand, the Magnificent
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 Samarquand hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 10: On the Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz and the nearby Mountains
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. The night is spent on board the train. (B, L, D)
Day 11: Tashkent, the Green Oasis
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. The night is spent on board the train. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Turkistan, a centre of Nomad Pilgrimage
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. The night is spent on board the train. (B, L, D)
Day 13: Almaty, the Father of the Apple
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. That evening you are served a tasty dinner in a traditional Kazakh yurt. Dayrooms or lodging for the night are at an Almaty hotel (depending on your departure flight). (B, L, D)
Day 14: Return home
Today you will fly home, at the end of a very special journey.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Category Habibi Each car has nine compartments fitting up to four guests, providing sleeping space in 2 upper and 2 lower berths (28” x 72”). In the middle, below the window, you will find a table. Combined washing room / lavatory compartments are located at both ends of each car.
Category Ali Baba Each car has nine compartments providing sleeping space for 2 guests in 2 lower berths (28” x 72”). In the middle, below the window, you will find a table. Combined washing room / lavatory compartments are located at both ends of each car.
Category Aladin Each car has eight compartments for 2 guests with 2 lower berths (28” x 72”). In the middle, below the window, you will find a table. Combined washing room / lavatory compartments are located at both ends of each car. Additionally, a shower is located at one end of each car and you will receive a bathing robe and shower utilities.
Category Kalif The category is equipped with two beds, one of which measures 43” x 75”, providing enough space for two people if required. Furthermore, the compartment offers a cosy seating bench, a commodious table and a wardrobe. The compartment’s exclusive en suite bathroom does not only contain a washing basin, WC and shower, but also storage space for your personal belongings. Each car of the Kalif category has only six compartments. A total of twelve guests at most share the whole of the carriage. In all categories there are power outlets for 110/220 volts and smoker’s corners at one end of each car.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|14th April 2015||$2,795||Book Now|
|20th October 2015||$3,015||Book Now|
|14th April 2015||$5,495||Book Now|
|20th October 2015||$5,715||Book Now|
|14th April 2015||$6,445||Book Now|
|20th October 2015||$6,665||Book Now|
|14th April 2015||$11,195||Book Now|
|20th October 2015||$11,415||Book Now|
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Habibi: Departs 14th April 2015 ($2,795), 20th October 2015 ($3,015)
Ali Baba: Departs 14th April 2015 ($5,495), 20th October 2015 ($5,715)
Il Aladim: Departs 14th April 2015 ($6,445), 20th October 2015 ($6,665)
Kalif: Departs 14th April 2015 ($11,195), 20th October 2015 ($11,415)
International flights, visas (Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan/Kazakhstand), tips, personal expenses and any services not mentioned are not included in tour price.