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- GREAT SILK ROAD TOUR -
/60 DAYS TO DISCOVER SILK ROAD/
CHINA - KYRGYZSTAN - UZBEKISTAN - TURKMENISTAN - IRAN - TURKEY

 

GREAT SILK ROAD TOUR ITIENARY

Day 1 Arrive Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and transfer to hotel. Welcome dinner. (Kunlun Hotel)
(Section A begins)

Day 2 Beijing
B/L/D (Kunlun Hotel)

Day 3 Beijing/Xian
Morning rickshaw tour of Beijing's old residential area of twisting lanes and courtyard homes. Enjoy lunch as the guest of one of the local families. Afternoon transfer to the airport and fly to Xian. Transfer to hotel upon arrival. B/L/D (ANA Grand Castle Hotel)

Day 4 Xian
Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, the Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Art Museum and City wall. Xian is the start of your Silk Road journey. B/L/D (ANA Grand Castle Hotel)

Day 5 Xian/Pingliang
Today is your first driving day! You will try to drive around for sometime and learn about the traffic signs. Afternoon drive to Pingliang and Mt. Kongtong, one of China’s famous Taoist mountains. Overnight on top of the mountain. B/L/D Kongdong Mountain (Top Guest House)

Day 6 Pingliang/Wuwei
A driving day. Enjoy the scenery of the Yellow Clay Plateau. B/L/D Wuwei (Tianma Hotel)

Day 7 Wuwei/Jiayuguan
Drive to Jiayuguan. On the way, tour the Zhangye Museum. This museum is located in the Giant Buddha Temple, which is the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province, of the Western Xia (1038-1227) period. China's largest reclining Buddha is well preserved in this temple. Overnight in Jiayuguan. B/L/D (Jiyuguan Great Wall Hotel)

Day 8 Jiayuguan/Dunhuang
Visit the Jiayuan Pass - the western end of the great Wall. Then drive to Dunhuang. An important junction on the Silk Route, where it split into different branches, this oasis in Gansu province in northwest China, on the edge of the Gobi Desert, is surrounded by sand dunes. By the 4th century AD, the route had brought the city both commercial prosperity and a growing Buddhist community. B/L/D (Shazhou Grand Hotel)

Day 9 Dunhuang
This morning, visit the Maogao Grottoes, a series of 500 caves which contain the world's most valuable display of Buddhist art - manuscripts, some 2,400 painted sculptures and 45,000 square metres of frescoes. In the late afternoon, tour the Singing Sand Hill and Crescent Moon Lake. B/L/D (Shazhou Grand Hotel)

Day 10 Dunhuang/Hami
Half-day drive to Hami located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Visit some villages en route. B/L/D

Day 11 Hami/Turpan
Drive to Turpan, located in the Turpan Basin at the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains. The city has a population of nearly 200,000, most of whom are Uygurs, The Turpan Basin is the lowest area in China, in which the Aiding Lake, with its surface being 154 meters below sea level, is the second lowest spot in the world, next only to the Dead Sea in Jordan. En route, visit the Astana Tombs and Flaming Hill. B/L/D

Day 12 Turpan

Visit to the Kan-er Waterwell, and the ruins of Jiaohe City, now on the list of UNESCO's historical and cultural sights, which protects the Tang Dynasty ruins of homes, garden walls, government offices, pottery kilns, temples and pagodas, all of which are still easily recognisable. B/L/D

Day 13 Turpan/Korla
Drive from Turpan to Korla; visit the Bosten Lake en route. B/L/D (Bay Inguoleng Hotel)

Day 14 Korla/Tazhong

B/L/D

Day 15 Tazhong/Minfeng
Drive from Tazhong to Minfeng crossing the Taklamakan Desert from north to south on the longest desert highway in the world. B/L/D (Minfeng Hotel)

Day 16 Minfeng/Khotan
Drive from Minfeng to Khotan; visit the local ethnic groups en route. On the southern part of the Silk Road, Khotan was an early centre for the spread of Buddhism from India into China. It fell to the Arabs in the 8th century and grew wealthy on the proceeds of the caravan trade that travelled the route between China and the West. B/L/D

Day 17 Khotan/Kashgar
Drive from Khotan to Kashgar, the largest oasis city in China and Central Asia. A city of bazaars, two-wheeled carts, dusty streets and 4000 mosques, Kashgar reveals a strong Islamic influence. Its narrow maze of alleyways and open air markets display all the myriad faces of Central Asia with Uygur, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Kazakh merchants and locals, all busy haggling over camels and sheep, brightly coloured fabrics, fur hides and hats, handmade carpets and knives. B/L/D (Section B begins)

Day 18 Kashgar
Sunday market. B/L/D

Day 19 Kashgar/Naryn
From Kashgar drive to the Torugart Pass, and cross the border into Kyrgyzstan. Continue on to the Tash Rabat Caravanserai, a carefully restored stone building that once housed an inn on the Great Silk Road. Its date of origin is strictly unknown, but there is archaeological evidence to suggest that the site was occupied in the 10th century. There is evidence that it was a place of both rest and worship and would have served to protect caravans to and from China from both the ravages of the weather and of bandits — from before the time of either Tamerlane or Genghis Khan. Later, drive to Naryn for your overnight stay. B/L/D (End of Section A – those not continuing will depart from Kashgar today)

Day 20 Naryn/Songkol Lake
Drive from Naryn to Songkol Lake. Songkol Lake is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3013 m above sea level. Surrounded by dramatic snow-covered mountain peaks, it is hidden in a flat, plate-like valley. Your route takes you through some of the alpine mountains and meadows of Kyrgyzstan. Along the way to the lake you will get a chance to meet Kyrgyz shepherds, follow their paths and experience their nomadic life. Enjoy a Kyrgyz national game and folk show. Overnight in a Yurt camp. B/L/D

Day 21 Songkol Lake/Chichkan Valley
Drive to Susamyr valley, a high steppe plateau that although only some 160 kilometers from the capital Bishkek is also one of the more remote and rarely visited regions of Kyrgyzstan. There are signs of early settlement dating back to between the 9th and 11th centuries. The road climbs through the spectacular mountains and on to Chichkan valley. Accommodation in Guest House or Yurt Camp. B/L/D

Day 22 Chichkan Valley/Osh
Drive to Osh. The road climbs through the spectacular mountains and follows the Naryn River. At the end of mountain’s road the Ferghana valley starts. En route, you will pass the town of Uzgen, which has a history of over 2000 years - it is claimed to have been the site of a number of citadels built at various times since the 1st century BC. After lunch, drive to Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan; reputed to be about 3000 years old. There are several legends about the origin of the city, including claims that it was founded by Solomon or Alexander the Great. Even if such a grand personage did not establish Osh, its position at a crossroads along the ancient trading routes that became known as the Silk Road almost guaranteed that it would become a major settlement. B/L/D

Day 23 Osh/Ferghana
Excursion to Osh Bazaar, one of the biggest bazaars in Central Asia, stretching for about one kilometre along the river. Visit holy mount Suleiman-Too (Solomon’s Throne). According to, legend this mount appeared after King Solomon rested here. For Central Asian Muslims, “Taht-I-Suleiman” is the 3rd most sacred place after Mecca and Medina. At the top there is a 16th century mosque and a museum. Afternoon drive to the Uzbekistan border. B/L/D

Day 24 Ferghana Valley
In the morning we will drive to Kokand and visit the major sights: Khudayar Khan Palace, Jommi Mosque, Narbutabey and Dasturkhanchi Madrassah, Royal Cemetery and Khaidarov Workshop (museum of Kokand woodcraft). Then on the road from Kokand to Margilan we will visit the famous Rishtan Art Ceramics factory. The major sights in Margilan are Toron Mosque, Said Akhmad Khoja Madrassah and famous silk factories: Yodgorlik factory, Margilan Silk factory and Khanatlas Silk factory. B/L/D (Club 777 Hotel)

Day 25 Ferghana Valley/Samarkand
In the early morning we will start out for Samarkand. The road from Ferghana Valley to Samarkand is quite a long distance and will be a challenging drive, crossing many mountain passes on the way to Tashkent. We will stop for a rest and some lunch in the local houses in the Jizzah region, arriving in Samarkand in the afternoon. B/L/D (Afrosiab Palace Hotel)

Day 26 Samarkand
Today we will have a city tour of Samarkand including the famous Registan, Bibi Khanum Mosque, Bibi Khanum Mausoleum, Shah-i-Zinda Ensemble, Ulugbek Observatory (15th century), Chupan Ata (1440s), Gur Emir, Ak-Serai (around 1470) and Rukhabad Mausoleums. Later we will visit Khoja Abdi Darun, Khoja Abdi Birun and Ishrat Khana Mausoleums, Khoja Akhrar Complex, Chorsu and the famous Samarkand carpet factory. B/L/D (Afrosiab Palace Hotel)

Day 27 Samarkand/Bukhara
After breakfast we will start our trip to Bukhara. Arriving at Bukhara city in the afternoon we will have lunch and some leisure time. In the evening we will see a folk performance in Nadir Devanbegi Madrassah. B/L/D (Lyabi House Hotel)

Day 28 Bukhara
Today we have an excursion in Bukhara including visits to the mausoleum of Ismail Samani, the Bolo-Hauz mosque, the Historical Fortress - Arch, Poi Kalon Ensemble (the Kalon Minaret, Kalon Mosque and Mir-I-Arab Madrassah), Ulugbek and Abdulaziz khan Madrassahs, the Magoki-Attar mosque. In evening we will have dinner in a local traditional style restaurant. B/L/D (Lyabi House Hotel)

Day 29 Bukhara-Khiva
Drive to Khiva through KizilKum Desert. En route we stop to see the Amudarya River, known to many western explorers as the Oxus River. We will arrive at Khiva in the late afternoon. B/L/D (Khorezm Palace Hotel)

Day 30 Khiva
Our tour in Khiva will include Ichan-Kala (Inner town): Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah, Kunya Ark, Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum, Islam Khoja Madrassah and Minaret, Jummi Mosque, Eastern Ensemble, Tash Hauli Palace. Atajan Tura Ensemble and functioning hamman (bath), Chadra Hauli, Sheikh Mukhtar Vali Mausoleum, Kubla Toza Beg Summer Palace. Also you will see desert sights such as Toprak Kala and Koi Krylgan Kala.
B/L/D (Khorezm Palace Hotel)

Day 31 Khiva/Darvaza
Cross the border into Turkmenistan and drive to Darvaza. En route, see the sights of Kunya-Urgench, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The monuments here testify to outstanding achievements in architecture and craftsmanship whose influence reached Iran and Afghanistan, and later the architecture of the Mogul Empire of 16th-century India. Later on, continue to Darvaza. B/L/D

Day 32 Darvaza/Ashgabat
Drive to Ashgabat. En route, we will visit the colourful and varied Tolkuchka bazaar. Arriving in Ashgabat, take a city tour and visit the Carpet Museum. B/L/D (Section C begins)

Day 33 Ashgabat
Today we will have a full day tour around Ashgabat, visiting the Bakharden underground lake as well as Kipchak mosque. Later, we will tour the Old Nisa – the remains of the Parthian kings’ residence. Continue to National museum and return Ashgabat. This evening, enjoy a traditional dinner with Folklore group performance. B/L/D

Day 34 Ashgabat/Mary
Drive to Mary via the medieval Anau mosque, which was built between 1446-1456, and destroyed by earthquake in 1948. The mosque was unique with its blue mosaic facade, depicting dragons. We will also visit the old city of Abiverd, which was an important trading post from the 5th to the 7th centuries. We will have lunch upon arrival in Mary.

In the afternoon, drive to ancient Merv, one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia. At one point in its history, Merv was called 'The Pearl of the East'. Razed by the Mongols, it was rebuilt over the centuries and today five distinct cities covr 130 square kilometres. Later, we will return to Mary.B/L/D (End of Section B – those not continuing will depart from Ashgabat today)

Day 35 Mary/Mashad
After breakfast drive to the border check point at Serahs. Continue to Iran, driving to the Holy city of Mashad. This is the holiest city in Iran, containing the pilgrimage site of the Shrine of Imam Reza, who was martyred
here in the 9th century. B/L/D

Day 36 Mashad
Today we have a full day to see the sights of Mashad, including the complex of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza, one of the most comprehensive and elegant architectural complexes in the Islamic world at the present time. We will also visit the old city of Toos and the tomb of greatest Persian epic poet Ferdousi. B/L/D

Day 37 Mashad/Bidokht
Drive to city of Bidokht and visit the Mosque and Mausoleum of Saleh Ali Shah. B/L/D

Day 38 Bidokht/Tabas
Drive to Tabas visiting a caravanserai en route. Tabas is a pretty oasis city between the Dasht-e Lut and Dasht-e Kavir deserts. Here you will visit the Bagh-e Golshan garden with its variety of tropical trees, pools and cascades, and the ruined 11th century citadel of Tabas. B/L/D

Day 39 Tabas/Yazd
Drive to the city of Yazd, with its winding lanes, wind towers and mud-brick Old Town. This relaxed city, with
Iran’s largest Zoroastrian community, is famous for its bagdirs (or wind towers) sitting atop the roofs of the houses, circulating even the smallest breeze to cool the homes inside. B/L/D

Day 40 Yazd
Today we will have a full day of sightseeing in Yazd. Visit the Zoroastrian fire temple (Ateshkadeh) – it is said that the eternal flame here has been burning since around AD 470. Take a tour of the old city, one of the oldest towns in the world according to UNESCO. Enjoy seeing the courtyards, ornate wooden doors, and pretty adobe architecture. Also visit the Jameh (Friday) Mosque dominating the old city with its beautiful turquoise- tiled domes. Later, take a short drive to see the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence. B/L/D

Day 41 Yazd/Isfahan
Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Isfahan, the most beautiful city in Iran. Isfahan is one of the finest cities in the Islamic world; a place for savouring the high refinements of Persian culture. En route, visit of the old city Naeen with its Jameh Mosque, ruined fire temple and caravanserai. Isfahan. B/L/D

Day 42 Isfahan
Full day of sightseeing in this magnificent city with its bridges, palaces and mosques. B/L/D

Day 43 Isfahan/Tehran
Drive to Tehran, the capital city of Iran. En route visit the cities of Ntanz, Kashan, and Qom. B/L/D

Day 44 Tehran
Full day sightseeing in Tehran. B/L/D

Day 45 Tehran/Zanjan
Leave Tehran and drive to the city of Zanjan, the capital of Zanjan province. En route visit city of Ghazvin with its mosque and palace, and continue on to visit the 3rd biggest Tomb of Soltanieh (a 14 century Moughal Tomb), before arriving in Zanjan. B/L/D

Day 46 Zanjan/Tabriz
Today, drive from Zanjan to Tabriz. B/L/D

Day 47 Tabriz/Van
We will have a short tour of the city visiting places such as the museum and mosque before driving to the Turkish border. Cross into Turkey, and drive on to Van. B/L/D

Day 48 Van/Diyarbakir
The day begins with the tour of Van. Van was the Urartians capital. An imposing 9th century B.C. citadel overlooks the town. Visit the ancient Urartians site of Austere, Hosap Castle, and the famous Citadel of Van.
Drive to Lake Van. This lake is the largest in Turkey and lies at an altitude of 1720 m. The first site en route is the Akdamar church, which is built on an island in the lake. We will take a small boat across the lake to see the church. After lunch in Akdamar, we will continue to the walled city of Diyarbakýr. B/L/D

Day 49 Diyarbakir/Sanliurfa
Today we visit the Ulu (Great) Mosque from the Seljuk period and possibly the third century Aramaic Church of the Virgin Mary. Drive to the city of Mardin, with its golden stone houses that blend into the hills. The houses are often decorated with intricate carvings. This is a very lively trading centre with people coming from surrounding villages to buy and sell. We will have a fantastic view of the Plain of Mesopotamia and visit the Syriac-Jacobite Monastery of Deyrulzaferan. Continue to Sanliurfa. B/L/D

Day 50 Sanliurfa/Harran/Sanliurfa
Visit to Mevlid Halil Mosque and the Cave of Prophet Abraham, then the sacred fish pool. Drive to Harran - city of the prophet Abraham. See the fortress, Islamic school and curious beehive-shaped adobe houses. Return to Sanliurfa for your overnight stay. B/L/D

Day 51 Sanliurfa/Adiyaman
Drive to Nemrut Mountain via Kahta, on the way visit the huge Ataturk Dam and the Cendere Bridge. Nemrut Mountain is a significant attraction, with thousands of people coming at sunrise and sunset to see the stones in the best possible light. Drive to Adiyaman. B/L/D

Day 52 Adiyaman/Cappadocia
Drive to Cappadocia via Kahramanmaras. Visit the Coppersmith’s Bazaar in Kahraman Maras and continue to Cappadocia. B/L/D

Day 53 Cappadocia
Full day in Cappadocia. Visit to the enchanting "fairy chimneys" (conical and unusual rock formations) in Devrent Valley. We continue to the Goreme Open Air Museum, where we will see the finest examples of religious rescoes in rock-cut churches from the 10th to the 13th centuries. Enjoy Pasabag Valley, and then continue to Avanos, centre of terra cotta work. Afternoon visit Derin kuyu underground city. In the evening, we shall enjoy a whirling dervishes show. B/L/D

Day 54 Cappadocia/Konya/Pamukkale
This morning, you may take an optional hot air balloon tour. Drive to Pamukkale via Konya. On the way visit Obruk han (Lake Obruk). Continue on to Pamukkale B/L/D

Day 55 Pamukkale/Kusadasi
Visit the ancient site of Hierapolis (nearby Pamukkale), and its calcium terraces. This is a magical and pectacular natural site, unique in the world; it is a fairyland of dazzling white, petrified castles. Thermal spring waters laden with calcareous salts running off the plateau's edge have created this fantastic formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. Later, drive to Kusadasi. B/L/D

Day 56 Kusadasi
Today we shall explore the ancient city of Ephesus. First we will visit the Temple of Artemis, and then drive to the Ephesus Ruins and visit the Theatre, Celsius Library, Agora, Odeon, Domitianus Temple, and Trajan Fountain. In the afternoon visit a traditional old Ottoman Village. Return to Kusadasi. B/L/D

Day 57 Kusadasi/Canakkale
Drive to Canakkale via Pergamum (Bergama) and Troy (Truva). Visit the acropol at Pergamum, and after visiting Troy continue on to Canakkale. B/L/D

Day 58 Canakkale/Istanbul
Today, we shall explore the Gallipoli peninsula on the way to Istanbul. The Gallipoli area is known for the war cemeteries and memorials dedicated to the Turkish and foreign soldiers killed during the Canakkale Sea and shore battles in 1915. There are sunken ships, trenches, castles, towers and hundreds of remains of the war. In total, there are graves and memorials of around 250,000 Turkish soldiers, and 250,000 from Australia, New Zealand, England and France. Thousands of people visit the war cemeteries every year, and it is one of the most famous sites in Turkey. Continue to Istanbul. B/L/D

Day 59 Istanbul
In the morning visit the Blue Mosque, built in 1616 unequalled for its mosaics, and the Haghia Sophia dedicated in 536 AD during the reign of Justinian, we will also visit Topkapi Palace, which was built by Mehmed the Conqueror. In the afternoon tour the Grand Covered Bazaar. This evening we shall have a memorable dinner on a boat in the bosphorous. B/L/D

Day 60 Istanbul
End of this fantastic tour experience.

 

PS.Call us at (90) 212 527 68 59  or send us EMAIL to request the complete itinerary and PRICE of the tour. You can also customize your own itinerary.


Section A (19 days)
You can join section by section Northwestern China From Beijing to Kashgar
Section B (19 days)
You can join section by section.Central Asia Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turmenistan
Section C (29 days)
You can join section by section. Iran and Repaublic Of Turkiye, From the Desert to the Sea

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Silk Road Hotels: Ishak Pasa Caddesi No: 6 Cankurtaran, Sultanahmet - Istanbul / Turkey
Tel: +90 212 527 68 59 Tel1: +90 212 638 12 15   Fax: 90 (212) 527 68 59 - 527 68 59  E-mail:  info@silkroadhotels.com