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Enjoy a unique exploration of Central Asia, across the mighty Kazakhstan to mountainous Kyrgyzstan. From the space port of Baikonur to the ancient city of Turkistan, the Silk Road ruins of Sayram and Otrar, and the majestic, surreal landscapes of Altyn-Emel National Park and Charyn Canyon, the sights along the way are unlike anywhere else on earth. Continue your journey to the seldom visited Kyrgyzstan, skirt the vast waters of Issyk-Kul and end in the relaxed capital of Bishkek.
- Style: Guided Small Group Adventure Tour
- Duration: 14 days/13 nights
- Starts in: Nur Sultan (Astana)
Guide Price £2650
per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
- Discover the history and architecture of the Silk Road
- Enjpy epic train rides across the Kazakh steppe
- Hike in the picturesque Djety Oguz Valley
- Stroll through the peaceful town of Karakol
Day 1 Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan
Arrive in Nur-Sultan and transfer to your hotel. Meet your tour leader and fellow travellers at a welcome meeting followed by a local dinner in town.
Day 2 Nur-Sultan (Astana)
After breakfast take a guided city tour and see some of the most impressive designs of this ambitious new city. Visit one of the largest Mosques in Central Asia, the Nur-Astana Mosque. Stop by at the Palace of Peace & Reconciliation considered to be Astana's symbolic center. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure.
Day 3 Nur-Sultan to Baikonur
An early morning flight takes you to Kyzyl Orda, on arrival continue to one of the most unique destinations of this trip, Baikonur, situated on the desert steppe of Kazakhstan. Baikonur has been leased to the Russian Federation until 2050. The town was originally constructed to service a huge space base that dispatches astronauts and supplies (and during the Soviet Union, cosmonauts) to the International Space Station.
Day 4 Baikonur
Spend the day exploring Baikonur with a visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome the world’s first and largest operational spaceport. Stop in the nearby museum and see a range of space artefacts, later, explore the cottage once occupied by Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to ever venture into outer space.
Day 5 Baikonur to Turkistan
Drive back to Kyzyl Orda to catch the train to your next destination – Turkistan. Sit back and relax as the epic landscape unfolds before your eyes. Arrive into Turkistan late afternoon, located in southern Kazakhstan, the city of Turkistan contains more historical relics and cultural sites than any other place in the country.
Day 6 Turkistan to Shymkent
Take a tour of the city with a visit to Kazakhstan’s most iconic building, the Kozha Akhmed Yasaui Mausoleum. Continue your journey to Shymkent, en route stop by at Otrar on the way, an ancient city and located on the Silk Road of Kazakhstan, remnants of palaces, mosques and bathhouses can still be seen today. Spend some time in Shymkent before boarding your overnight train to Almaty.
Day 7 Altyn-Emel NP
Arrive in Almaty, get some breakfast on the way to the spectacular Altyn-Emel National Park, where you will be spending the next two days exploring the largest national reserve in the country. Spend the night at a simple guesthouse within the reserve.
Day 8 Altyn-Emel NP to Almaty
Further explore the national park today as you head to the top of the singing Barkha sand dune, extending 3km and up to 120m high. From the top get some amazing panoramic views of the surrounding Djungarian Alatau, Sogety, Boguty and other mountains. Return to Almaty after a full day at the national park.
Day 9 Almaty
A full day of sightseeing lies ahead as you take in a visit to Central Square and the colourful Zenkoff Cathedral in historic Panfilov Park, the fascinating Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments and the State Museum which houses a great collection of ancient relics. Round the day off with a trip up to Kok Tobe Hill for great views over the city before returning to your hotel.
Day 10 Almaty to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
Visit the impressive Charyn Canyon, situated on the Sharyn River before continuing on to the border into the mountainous nation of Kyrgyzstan.
Day 11 Karakol
Explore this quaint town as you stroll along Karakol’s streets and spot Russian style gingerbread houses. Stop by at the Dungan Mosque, Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, a local market and the Przhevalsky Museum. After lunch drive for an hour to the picturesque Djety Oguz for a hike, venture through the forest to a waterfall with stunning views. Return to Karakol for the night.
Day 12 Karakol to Bishkek
Drive to Bishek along the northern shore of Issyk Kul - the second largest alpine lake in the world. Enjoy lovely views of Issyk Kul surrounded by snow-capped mountains along the way. Stop off at Cholpon Ata and head to the petroglyph's site to see the ancient relics. Arrive in Bishkek late afternoon.
Day 13 Bishkek
Enjoy a tour of the city today and visit Ala-too Square, another great place for a wander is Dubovy (Oak) Park, where you'll find a few open-air cafes. The century-old oaks here and all along Freedom Avenue make Bishkek one of the greenest cities in Central Asia. The afternoon is free to further explore Bishkek on your own.
Day 14 Bishkek
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast.
Departs:Selected departures Apr - May & Aug - Sep 2020.
per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
- 9 nights simple hotels, 1 overnight train and 3 night guesthouses
- Journey by private vehicle, plane, train and overnight sleeper train
- 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners
- International flights
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