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Oases, mountains, minarets of Central Asia

Oases, mountains, minarets of Central Asia

This tour will leave unforgettable impressions of the magnificent landscapes, culture and wildlife of Central Asia. You have a great opportunity to visit the Tamgaly gorge of Kazakhstan - an ancient art gallery with pictures of animals, everyday life. Several generations of ancients artists left their pictures here. Rock drawings gallery is a monument of world heritage under UNESCO protection.
Kyrgyzstan, one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Central Asia, will certainly amaze you with its wildlife: magnificent waterfalls and rugged mountain rivers flowing into the lake with crystal clear water… You will be able to plunge into the unforgettable world of wild and unexplored routes and take a closer look at the everyday life of the hospitable Kyrgyz people.
The world-famous historical cities of Uzbekistan with its thousands of cupolas, mosques, mausoleums, madrassahs, mosaic, its vibrant bazaars and with imaginary illustrations to the fairy-tales of “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights” reviving in front of you day by day will strike imagination of anyone. 
Majestic ruins of fortresses, unique architectural complexes of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan – this is a paradise for archaeologists and people interested in history, ancient traditions and customs.

Best period to travel: from mid June to mid September 

Duration of stay: 17 days/16 nights from Wednesday to Friday by Turkish Airlines

Day 1/2: Arrival/Almaty
Arrive in Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, and the commercial and cultural center of Kazakhstan.  This leafy city, with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, has a charming Russian flair.  The city is located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan, near the border with Kyrgyzstan. Whole day spent on exploration of the city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Almaty – Tamgaly – Kazakh/Kyrgyz border point “Kegen” – Bishkek (405 km)
Today you will have a long drive to Kyrgyzstan via Kyrgyz-Kazakh border point “Kordai". 
Enjoy beautiful landscapes on the way (meadows, snow peaked mountains, small villages, Tamgaly petroglyphs). For many centuries Tamgaly has been used for rituals and ceremonies. Most carvings depict deer and hunting scenes, but there is also a famous Buddha (or Shiva) drawing.
Passing through visa and customs formalities. Meet by local team.
Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: Bishkek – Cholpon Ata – Issyk Kul Lake (260 km)
Panoramic tour of Bishkek - the capital of Kyrgyzstan. This is a young city with modern architecture, it is located at the foothills of Terkes Alatau in one of the most picturesque places of the region.
Drive to Issyk Kul Lake. En route visit Burana Historical Complex near Tokmok. Stop in Cholpon Ata to visit the Regional Museum and also the Open Air Petroglyphs Museum. Arrival and accommodation at hotel situated on the border of Issyk Kul Lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Issyk Kul Lake  Karakol (145 km)
Drive to Karakol. Arrival and accommodation at guest house.
Enjoy a half day city tour of Karakol, with its apple orchards, quaint neighborhoods, and somber war memorials. Overnight at guest house.

Day 6: Karakol  Jety Oguz  Kochkor (355 km)
Drive 20 miles to the Jeti Oguz, a lush valley with striking red sandstone rock formations. As you approach the valley, you will pass another rock formation which resembles a broken heart. Legend says that this is the heart of a beautiful woman who died of a broken heart after two suitors killed each other fighting over her. These iconic rock formations have become symbols of the Issyk-Kul. 
Further drive to Kochkor – famous craft centre of Kyrgyzstan. Overnight at guest house.

Day 7: Kochkor  Son Kul Lake (160 km)
Drive to Son Kul Lake (3016m) is surrounded by mountains and it is the highest alpine lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3016 meters above sea level. Kyrgyz nomads started to come to this wonderful area with their families for rest and relaxation. Herders of the Naryn region come to the lake to use it as a pastureland. Overnight at yurts.

Day 8: Son Kul Lake  Bishkek (300 km)
Return to Bishkek and visit to famous Osh Bazaar – one of the largest and colorful markets in Kyrgyzstan.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 9: (Thursday) Bishkek  Tashkent (by flight)
Transfer to airport for flight to Tashkent (HY 780 at 08h55/09h15). Arrive in Tashkent. Start exploration of the capital of Uzbekistan – Tashkent was known as important trade point on the Great Silk Route. Today it is a huge modern city of European style. Visit to an old part of Tashkent with its madrassahs and mosques, then panoramic tour of modern part of Tashkent: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Temur Square, and the Alisher Navoi Theatre Square.

Day 10: Tashkent – Samarkand (2h by train)
Transfer to railway station for high-speed train ‘’Afrosiyob’’ (08h00/10h10). Arrive in 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”.  Today visit to: the Mausoleum of Gur-Emir - Timur was buried in this tomb; the excavation site of Afrosiab and museum of the city foundation (incl. wall painting of 7th century). 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 Khanym Mosque, the necropolis of Shakhi Zinda. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Samarkand – Bukhara (300 km)
Drive to Bukhara – one of the most prosperous city of a Great Silk Road. Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Bukhara
Explore Bukhara - 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.
Day 14: Bukhara – Uzbek/Turkmen border point “Farab” – Mary/Merv (400 km)
Drive to Uzbek/ Turkmen border point “Farab”. Passing through visa and customs formalities. Meet by local Turkmen team.
Transfer to ancient Merv important architectural complexe which once were the most significant points along the Great Silk Road. Evening flight to Ashgabat.  Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: Ashgabat (Nissa)
Start 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 16: Ashgabat (Kov-Ata Lake)
Drive to the unique natural monument, the Kov-Ata (100 km), a deep cave in the belly of the mountain with the underground lake on the thermal spring. Overnight at hotel.  

Day 17: Ashgabat – Departure
Transfer to airport for your next destination.
For more detailed information and rates please contact us on office@tour-orient.com
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