Journey the renowned Silk Road aboard the Orient Silk Road Express, visiting 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
About the Tour
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.
Journey available from Almaty to Ashgabat based on your travel preference.
- Overnight private train accommodations for 7 nights
- Hotel accommodations for 6 nights
- All meals according to itinerary
- Visits to 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Visit the fascinating excavation site of ancient Afrasiyab
- Lunch in the summer Palace of an Emir
- Tour of Tolkuchka Bazaar
- Bukhara all day tour
- Professional tour guides
- Luggage service at train stations
- Transfers in Ashgabat and Almaty
Day 1 - Welcome to AshgabatOn you first day in Central Asia, you arrive where the mountains meet the desert, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s extraordinary capital city. You take the airport shuttle along newly-built, modern boulevards, past golden domes and marble monoliths to your hotel. Once you arrive, you make yourself comfortable, getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Overnight Ashgabat.
Day 2 - Ashgabat & the Ancient City of NisaThis morning, visit the bustling Tokuchka Bazaar, a typical central Asian market. You then travel to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa, and its relics in the National Museum in Ashgabat. After lunch you undertake a brief tour of Ashgabat with its new marble buildings, a gleaming display of the city's oil wealth. This evening, board you private train and enjoy dinner in the dining car. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Merv, the Ancient Pearl of the EastYour private train arrives early in the morning at the UNESCO World 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 Ahmed 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. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - BukharaBeneath the imposing yellow brickwork of the Kalyan minaret, you gaze at the magnificent city gates on either side of the courtyard, each a powerful mix of intricate tile work and grand design. This is only a first glimpse of the Bukhara Historical Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a city-museum filled with a thousand monuments, each a testament to the glory days of caravan trade. At the Lyab-i Hauz complex, you discover the 500-year-old architectural ingenuity that makes it possible to have a pond in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert. You learn about the Sufi Nasreddin, watch local dances, and listen to stirring Uzbek music. Overnight Bukhara. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - The Samanid MausoleumToday, you spend another beautiful day exploring the infinitely rich Bukhara. After taking in the sumptuous tile designs of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa, you move on to the gorgeous geometry of the Samanid Mausoleum, one of the most highly regarded buildings in Central Asia. Later you discover the 1,500-year-old Ark of Bukhara, a fortress built around the fifth century. Standing on its immense rampart, you take a gaze over Bukhara, glistening turquoise and gold in the afternoon light. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - En Route to Khiva
Today, you enjoy your final morning exploring the winding, romantic streets of Bukhara. After you say goodbye to this spectacular city, you board your private train for Khiva. Stunning landscapes pass by your window-wide steppes, blue sky, and distant mountains-the same natural beauty that inspired the ancients who came before you. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Khiva, a tale from 1001 NightsAfter 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 madrasah 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 this evening. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Samarkand, the AncientToday 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. Overnight Samarkand. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Samarkand, the MagnificentYour 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. Overnight Samarkland. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - On the Great Silk Road to ShahrisabzUnder wide blue skies, you explore Shahrisabz, home to yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Timur-the fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror-filled the city with immense monuments to his success. Today, his palaces surround you in the bustling market of the city, crumbling reminders of a once great empire. Later, you watch a traditional folk performance and meet some locals in a small village. Before nightfall, your private train departs for Tashkent. On board, you join your fellow travelers for an Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Tashkent, the Green OasisYour private train rolls into Tashkent, a city studded with monuments that hark back to the Silk Road. You experience the lush, green oasis of the steppe and tour its caravanserais, fortresses and madrasah-history in earthen brick and turquoise tile. As evening arrives, you depart and travel the Silk Road trail to Kazakhstan. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Turkistan, a center of Nomad PilgrimageAs you eat breakfast, the glorious steppe unfolds outside the window to the steady beat of the railroad moving along the tracks. Soon you arrive in Turkistan, and stand before the magnificent Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, the vast, brightly tiled testament to power and beauty that UNESCO have made a World Heritage site and the Kazakhs revere as their national icon. It’s your last night on the train and your last dinner in the dining car. You bid a fond farewell to the staff as you roll on towards Almaty. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 13 - Almaty, the Father of the AppleStanding beneath the brilliantly colored patterns on the Ascension Cathedral, you gaze up at one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. It’s been a day of discovery, strolling through Kazakhstan’s capital of avenues and cafes, framed by the foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range. You see the circus, the wedding palace and the central mosque, and, in the evening eat a farewell dinner in a yurt restaurant. Overnight Almaty. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Return HomeYou catch the transfer for your flight home, leaving wide blue skies, the open steppe, and epic monuments behind you, laden with unparalleled memories of the Silk Road.
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.
This category features two beds, one of which measures 43" x 72", comfortable seating, a larger table and a small closet. Each compartment has its own bathroom equipped with toilet, wash basin and integrated shower with shower curtain.
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 four compartments. A total of eight 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.
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