Day 1/2: Istanbul/Ashgabat
Arrival in Ashgabat- the City of Love (from the Arabic ashk “to love”) – is the biggest city in Turkmenistan. The first recorded comment on Ashgabat is that they made good wine there, written on Parthian-era tablets noting a gift of several casks to the emperor. Meeting at airport.
Transfer to hotel for accommodation. Early check in to hotel. Breakfast. Rest at hotel.
This afternoon panoramic city tour including: Park of Independence, Rukhnama statue, Earthquake Monument, Palace Square, Arch of Neutrality. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Ashgabat (Nissa)
Continue exploration of Ashgabat: visit archaeological site of Old Nissa , the capital of the Parthian Empire, which existed more than 2000 years ago. Visit to Ashgabat’s pride – National Museum of History and Ethnography. Visiting Turkmenbashi mosque. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Ashgabat – Darvaza Gas craters (290 km)
Transfer to Darvaza gas craters - one of the most extraordinary sites in Turkmenistan and is one of the most apocalyptic landscapes in the world. It is about 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep and it is not of a natural origin, but actually man-made.
Arrival and accommodation at tents. Overnight at tents.
Day 5: Darvaza gas craters – Kunya Urgench – Uzbek/Turkmen border point “Shavat” – Khiva
Transfer to Kunya Urgench, one of Central Asia's most ancient cities. Enjoy an excursion to Kunya-Urgench. Here you will visit a number of striking mausoleums and minarets, including one of the few surviving monuments of pre-Mongol Urgench.
Drive about an hour to the Turkmen border “Shavat”, where you will cross over into Uzbek, and be met by your Uzbek team. Drive to Khiva - the last capital of Khorezm region. Khiva is an architectural masterpiece of Central Asia, a city of palaces and spender minarets, unique mausoleums and madrassahs. Accommodation at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Khiva
Today explore Khiva -
an architectural masterpiece of Central Asia, a city of palaces and spender minarets, unique mausoleums and madrassahs. A walk in Khiva will bring you to the world of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights fairytales from a long forgotten childhood. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Khiva – Bukhara (450km)
Depart to Bukhara. This is a long drive through the Kyzyl-Kum desert along Amu-Darya River. Arrival in Bukhara which is probably the most nostalgic and cultural in this region. Accommodation at hotel.
Day 8-9: Bukhara
Explore Bukhara over the next 2 days - Central Asia's holiest city with ancient buildings dating back to the previous millennium, the city center has century-old buildings, and almost takes you back in time. Dinner with folklore performance and presentation of national costumes at ancient madrassah. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Bukhara – Samarkand (300 km)
A.M. Drive to Samarkand - the city which has marvelous and attractive power. Poets and historians of the past called it “Rome of the East, “The pearl of the Eastern Moslem World”.
P.M. Start observation of Samarkand: visit to Observatory of Ulugbek (Ulugbek, Temur the Great’s grandson, was the founder of the unique constructions of the observatory (1428-1429); visit to Gur-Emir Mausoleum (graves of Tamerlane and his descendants, 15c). Time at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Samarkand
Full day sightseeing tour of Samarkand including majestic Registan Square, the most beautiful place of Central Asia, the Bibi Khanum mosque, the necropolis of Shakhi Zinda. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Samarkand – Uzbek/Tajik border point “Oybek” – Khudjand (235 km + 80)
Transfer to Uzbek-Tajik border point “Oybek”. After passing the border formalities, meet by local Tajik team. Drive to Khudjand - located on an ancient caravan route from China to the Mediterranean, was a famous town marking the farthest expansion of Alexander the Great.
Arrival and accommodation at hotel.
Panoramic tour of Khudjand: Oriental Bazaar - the biggest bazaars of Central Asia is Payshanba bazaar, one of the interesting places in Khudjand attracting people with various sounds and tastes; Shaykh Musliddin mosque.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Khudjand – Iskandarkul Lake (240 km)
Drive to Iskandarkul Lake (altitude 2200 m, deep 72 m), one of the most spectacular in Tajikistan and in the whole region. It lies on the northern slopes of the Gissar Range
in the Fann Mountains
Arrival and accommodation at touristic base. Walk around the lake with a visit to the waterfall on the river Iskanderya (24 m). Overnight at base.
Day 14: Iskandarkul Lake – Dushanbe (150 km)
Drive to Dushanbe –the capital and largest city of Tajikistan
, situated in the western part of the country, in Hissar Valley. Arrival and accommodation at hotel.
Visit to Gurminj Museum of traditional musical instruments and Museum of National Antiquities, which opened in 2001. Botanical garden – very beautiful garden with many old trees is the favorite place of Tajiks; Somoni monument, Building of a national spirit, Stroll Rudaki Prospect.
Day 15: Dushanbe– Departure
Transfer to airport for your next destination.