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Tashkent To Ashgabat
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Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. This fantastic journey takes us deep into the ancient Silk Road, along which ancient traders would journey between Europe and China. Starting in the bizarre city of Ashgabat, we overland across the remote and inhospitable deserts of Turkmenistan to the incredible burning gas crater of Darvaza and the crumbling ancient ruins of Konye Urgench, before crossing into the fascinating country of Uzbekistan. It is in Uzbekistan that we'll discover the jewels in the crown of the fabled journey of the Silk Road, namely the phenomenal ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, all of which we will tour with our expert local guide - once famed trading centres for the caravans that passed this way in ancient times, their streets still bear testament to their historic past, packed full as they are with stunning Islamic architecture and bustling bazaars that have changed little since the rule of the medieval warlord Timur. We will also enjoy a yurt stay in the incredible Kyzylkhum Desert before arriving at the pleasant capital city, Tashkent. Join us on this wonderful and unforgettable overland experience on the Silk Road!

  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: STT2/157982
  • Starts: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Finishes: Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
You will Visit
  • Tashkent
  • Samarkand
  • Nurata
  • Bukhara
  • Khiva
  • Kunye Urgench
  • Darvaza
  • Ashgabat

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Tashkent

Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS).

There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting.

We will then have a free afternoon to explore the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent.

In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

*Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

02

Day 2: Samarkand

Today our journey begins with a drive to the fascinating ancient city of Samarkand, where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3-4: Samarkand

Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda.

On our second day, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings.

04

Day 5: Nurata

Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a swim in Lake Ajdar Kul and head out on an optional camel ride into the desert!

In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

05

Day 6: Bukhara

Today we will drive to the beautiful city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. Our drive will take us via the desert town of Nurata, which we will have a brief stop. 

In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

06

Day 7-8: Bukhara

Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress.

On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings.

07

Day 9-10: Khiva

Today we have a full day drive to the incredible historic town of Khiva. 

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the next day, we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town.

In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

08

Day 11: Kunye Urgench

Border Information: Exit Uzbekistan at Nijazov, enter Turkmenistan at Shovot.

This morning we will drive across the border into Turkmenistan, visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, and explore the Kunye Urgench ruins towards the end of the day.

We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

09

Day 12: Darvaza

Today we continue south through the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!).

We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

10

Day 13: Ashgabat

Today we will complete our drive to the interesting capital of Ashgabat, usually arriving mid-afternoon.

In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

11

Day 14: Ashgabat

Today we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. In the afternoon we have the option of visiting the famous Ashgabat Sunday Market.

12

Day 15: Ashgabat

Border Information: if finishing in Ashgabat, you wil most likely exit Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ashgabat. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory, once the finest observatory in the Islamic world
    • Visit the Guri-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur
    • Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan, a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia
    • Discover the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the world and the jewel in Timur's empire
    • See the beautiful and moving ancient mausoleum of Shah-I-Zinda
    • Overnight in the Kyzylkum Desert staying in yurts
    • Explore the city's oldest Islamic monument, the 10th-century mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, the founder of the Samanid Dynasty
    • Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark
    • Explore the colossal Kalon Mosque and Minaret, which has survived without restoration for 850 years and impressed Genghis Khan so much that he ordered the building to be spared
    • Visit the magnificent 16th-centrury architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city's principal source of water
    • See the beautiful turquoise Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva
    • Visit the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassa, a museum dedicated to the Khan that surrendered to the Russians in 1873
    • Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva
    • Learn all about the Khoezm culture and handicrafts at the Islam Hodja Madrassa, Khiva's newest monument
    • Explore the incredible Juma Mosque and the 12th century fortress of the Kukhna Ark
    • Visit the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mohammed, the legendary 14th-century poet, philosopher, wrestler, and patron saint of Khiva
    • Overland into the green Oxus Valley to the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench
    • See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvasa, popularly known as the 'Door to Hell'
    • Explore, shop and haggle at the vast Tolkuchka Sunday Market
    • Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew and local guide
    Accomodation
    • 15% Camping - 85% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • History & Culture
  • Overland Journey
  • R & R
  • Adventure Activities


Reviews (12)
Eric Albert Clara Da B Posted on: 

Jalol, the guide in Uzbekistan, was very knowledgeable and helpful.

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Peter J Posted on: 

Jalol was really funny - one of the best guides we have ever come across.

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Robyn D Posted on: 

Jalol was a first rate guide. He was knowledgable, considerate of the whole group and fun. He shared his personal thoughts about his country, which was of great interest to me as a traveller there.

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Peter Posted on: 

Jalol was always enthusiastic, extremely well informed, ready, willing and very able to take the initiative regardless of circumstances - he was faultless in my view.

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Kushal I Posted on: 

On long trips or when spirits were down, Domingo did a wonderful job at cheering people up. Euan the driver was great, he drove very well, and had a very good attitude.

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Lee C. Posted on: 

A well put together itinerary and a smooth, seamless travel experience.

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Joseph K. Posted on: 

Jalol was our guide in Uzbekistan and he was - far and away - the best guide we've had. He was full of information, gave us detailed explanations of the sights we were visiting (even quizzed us on them), constantly put events in perspective with respect to the local culture, and was a great story teller. He was full of tips and ideas, and went out of his way to help members of the group who wanted to do optional activities. Jalol was a big part of making Uzbekistan a most memorable part of our journey.

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Graham T. Posted on: 

All the equipment and the vehicle was very highly suitable for this kind of trip and added a real sense of character, community and togetherness to the group.

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Graham T. Posted on: 

Perfect guide. He knew so much and wasn't afraid to deviate from the official government party line. He always tried to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and gave us all the help and assistance we could ever need and more.

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Eric Albert B. Posted on: 

Ricky and Em did an excellent job on this trip. While Ricky was more occupied maintaining the truck and driving, Em did a wonderful job managing the difficult personalities in the group. Both of them made a great team and ensured a relatively smooth travel in a difficult region!!

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Yvonne D. Posted on: 

Both the driver and co-driver were excellent and their driving was top-class along with their people skills, as they were challenged a little by one client on this trip and Tim was just brilliant in how he handled the situation. I was very impressed with this and he has a fantastic way about him so really suited to this job.

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Yvonne D. Posted on: 

Both the driver and co-driver were excellent and their driving was top-class along with their people skills, as they were challenged a little by one client on this trip and Tim was just brilliant in how he handled the situation. I was very impressed with this and he has a fantastic way about him so really suited to this job.

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