Grand Stan Journey to “stans”

Make your Grand Stan tours along the path well-trodden by merchants of the Great Silk Road. During the 21 Day trip you will explore all former Soviet “Stans”-Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and get to know the diverse architecture, ethnic and culinary traditions. Beautiful mountains and alpine lakes of Kyrgyzstan, rich history and architecture of Samarkand and Bukhara will surely become some of the highlights of the trip.

 

Route: Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Tajikistan – Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan

Season: 2018-2019

Duration: 23 days/ 22 nights

Day 1. TASHKENT (ARRIVAL) (-/L/D) (Saturday)

 

Arrival to Islam Karimov International Airport.

Meet a guide. Assistance at the hotel and brief guidance only.

Transfer to a hotel for check-in.

Have a rest on this day.

Overnight in Ramada 4* or similar

 

DAY 2. TASHKENT. CITY TOUR (B/L/D) (Sunday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Tashkent sightseeing and places to visit:

  • Khast- Imam Complex  
  • Chorsu Bazaar     
  • Medrese Kukeldash
  • Tashkent metro
  • Amir Temur Square       
  • Tashkent Broadway 
  • Independence Square

Overnight in Ramada 4*or similar

 

DAY 3. TASHKENT - NUKUS - MUYNAK. (B/L/D) (Monday)

Breakfast (boxes).

05:00 Transfer to the local airport

07:00 Departure to Nukus

08:45 Arrival.

Sightseeing in Nukus:

  • Nukus Museum of Art

Lunch.

Transfer to Muynak (~199 km, ~3 hours, 15 minutes).

Sightseeing in Muynak:

  • “Cemetery of ships” - the former port with abandoned ships in the sand
  • History Museum

Overnight in a hotel

 

DAY 4. MUYNAK - KHIVA. (B/L/D) (Tuesday)

Breakfast.

Transfer to Khiva (~398 km, ~6 hours, 54 minutes).

  • On the way stop to visit the “Shylpyk” tower - once a Zoroastrian “tower of silence” and ruins of some desert fortresses.

Lunch in a traditional yurt.

Continue driving to Khiva.

Overnight in Asia Khiva 4* or similar

 

DAY 5. KHIVA. CITY TOUR (B/L/D) (Wednesday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Sightseeing in Khiva includes:

  • Kunya-Ark Fortress
  • Kalta-minor Minaret
  • Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud
  • Juma Mosque
  • Ismoil Khodja Complex
  • Tash- Khovli Palace

Overnight in Asia Khiva 4* or similar

 

DAY 6. KHIVA-DASHOGUZ- KUNYA URGENCH-DASHOGUZ (B/-/D) (Thursday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Dashoguz border.

Day trip to Kunya Urgench (UNESCO):

  • Arslan and Tekesh mausolems (12th c.)
  • Turabek – Khanum mausoleum (14th c. mausoleum of Sufi Dynasty)
  • Kutlug Timur minaret
  • Mamun II minaret
  • Sultan Ali mausoleum
  • Ibn Khadgib mausoleum (14th c.)
  • Nadjmetdin al
  • Kubra Khanaka

Drive back to Dashoguz.

Overnight in Hotel Dashoguz 5*

 

DAY 7. DASHOGUZ – ASHGABAT (B/L/D) (Friday)

Morning transfer to the airport to board the flight to Ashgabat.

Flight time: 50 minutes per flight.

Arrival to Ashgabat.

City tour in Ashgabat: 

  • Nisa
  • Ruhy Mosque
  • National museum
  • Monuments of Archabil Shayoly
  • Health Path of Turkmenbashy
  • Monument of Constitution
  • The tallest building in Turkmenistan (600 feet)
  • “Alem” Culture and Recreation Center
  • Park dedicated to Turkmen horses-the pride of the Turkmen
  • Gulistan Bazar
  • Monument for the Victims of the Earthquake of 1948
  • Monument of Lenin
  • Ertogrul Gazy Mosque

Lunch

  • Arch of Neutrality
  • Saparmyrat Nyyazow (Turkmenbashi)
  • the Park of Independence
  • Monuments of Independency
  • Ruhnama

Dinner

Overnight in Hotel Akaltyn 4* or similar

 

DAY 8. ASHGABAT – MARY - MERV - MARY (B/L/D) (Saturday)

Transfer to the local airport.

Flight to Mary from Ashgabat.

Flight time: 40 minutes per flight.

Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Mary.

Day trip to Merv: 

  • Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum
  • Large and Small Gyz Gala
  • Erk Kala
  • Gyaur Gala
  • “Kesk” fortresses

Overnight in Hotel Mary 5*

 

 

DAY 9. MARY – FARAB - BUKHARA (B/L/D). (Sunday)

Morning transfer to Turkmenabad.

Lunch on the way.

Transfer to Turkmen-Uzbek border.

Border formalities.

Cross 1,5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available.You might have to cross it on foot).

Enter Uzbek side.

Border formalities.

Meet a guide once you’ve crossed Farab border.

Continue driving to Bukhara.

Transfer to a hotel.

Check-in.

Dinner.

Overnight in Omar Khayyam 4*/Lyabi house 3* or similar.

 

 

DAY 10. BUKHARA (B/L/D) (Monday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we explore the old quarter on foot.

  • We will visit bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town.
  • We also visit The Ark, a large fortress with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved.
  • We will also visit the local market to interact with local people.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Diyora 4*/Malika classic 3* or similar.

 

DAY 11. BUKHARA - GIJDUVAN - SAMARKAND (B/L/D) (Tuesday)

After breakfast drive to the outskirts of Bukhara to to the Summer residence of the former rulers of Bukhara emirate.

Then drive to Samarkand.

On the way we stop at a small town of Gijduvan to visit a workshop of a famous local ceramicist to see and learn about the production of unique pottery with centuries-old history and traditions and enjoy a home-cooked lunch in their house.

Continue driving to Samarkand.

Arrive in Samarkand.

Hotel check-in.

Dinner. 

Overnight in Diyora 4*/Malika classic 3* or similar.

 

DAY 12. SAMARKAND. CITY TOUR (B/L/D) (Wednesday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Sightseeing of Samarkand:  

  • Gur-Emir Mausoleum
  • The Registan Square (Sandy Place) – the most visiting place of Samarkand, which consists of three magnificent monuments: Ulugbek Madrasah (XV c.), Sherdor Madrasa (XVII c.), Tilla-Kari Madrasa.

Lunch.

Continue sightseeing of Samarkand: 

  • The observatory of Ulugbek-the ruins of one of the wonders of Islamic science of the Middle ages
  • Architectural complex of Shakhi-Zinda (A living King)
  • Mausoleum of St. Daniyar (Prophet Daniil)- equally revered by the followers of three religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism)

Dinner at national restaurant.

Overnight in Diyora 4*/Malika classic 3* or similar.

 

 

DAY 13. SAMARKAND-BORDER JARTEPPA – PENJEKENT CITY (B/-/-) (Thursday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Jarteppa border.

Cross the border.

Drive to Penjikent.

The city of Penjikent ("five villages") is located in Khujand area of Tajikistan in a picturesque Zeravshan river valley. Quite possibly the five villages started the history of this remarkable city which originated in the 5th-8th centuries AD. Penjikent of that time was one of the most important cultural and crafts centers of Sogd. It was even named "Central Asian Pompeii".

           Sightseeing the city:

  • Museum of Rudaki – As Penjikent is a birthplace of Abu Abdallah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian Poetry.
  • Ancient Penjikent - ruines of old Sogdian town founded in 5th century and abandoned in th 8th century by arabs. Foundations of houses, a citadel with a couple of Zoroastrian fire temples and city bazaar are visible in the excavated ruins.
  • Sarazm settlement – 5500 years

Dinner in the national chayhana Sayohat.

Overnight in the hotel Umariyon 3*.

 

DAY 14. Dushanbe – Iskandarkul lake - Dushanbe (270km) (Friday)

Breakfast.

Drive to Iskandarkul lake

You will see Fan Mountains – a popular tourism and mountain climbing area in Tajikistan. There are about 100 passes in height from 3200 to 5060 m (Mirali). The Fan Mountains are the highest part of Zeravshan range with 11 peaks above 5,000 m with sharp fantastical pointed forms. In the bosom of these mountains are about 30 lakes, the largest of which are Iskandarkul, and the most beautiful and picturesque, famous for the unique play of colors - Kulikalon.

Iskandarkul lake:  length - 5км, width - 3,5км and depth to - 80м, located at height 2250м. The heart of Fan mountains, the treasure of Tyan-Shan, a scenic Iskandarkul lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Tajikistan. Having emerald green and blue color. A fast flouring Iskandar-darya river flows from the lake, forming a marvelous and gorgeous waterfall, so called the “Fan Niagara” that falls from the height 38 meters.

Walking near the lake. See waterfall

Lunch. Walking near the lake.

Drive to Dushanbe.

Dinner and overnight in the hotel Atlas 4*.

 

DAY 15. Dushanbe – Hissar village – Dushanbe (30+30km) (Saturday)

Breakfast.

Sightseeing the Dushanbe city: Dushanbe is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan. Dushanbe means "Monday" in Tajik (Persian language), and the name reflects the fact that the city grew on the site of a village that originally was a popular Monday marketplace. Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Varzob and Kofarnihon.

  • Navruz palace
  • Museum of ethnography – professional showcase of 20th centure Tajik art. The collection includes pottery, carpets, cloaks, embroidery, jeweler, musical instruments, woodwork and more.  Sleeping Budda.
  • Monument Somoni and park Rudaki

Lunch in local restoran.  

  • Hissar fortress 30km outside of city – the remains of an 18th century fortress, occupied until 1924 is located in 30 km west of Dushanbe. Beside the fortress are two plain madrassahs, one dating from the 18th century and the other 19th, and beyond them is the mausoleum of 16th century (25km). Drive to Dushanbe.

Dinner at national chayhana

Overnight in hotel Atlas 4*.

 

DAY 16. Dushanbe – Bishkek (Sunday)

Breakfast. Drive to the airport. Flight Bishkek at 12.30 by Avia Traffic. (available on Sundays only)

Arrival at Bishkek airport.

Transfer to the city (25kms).

Lunch.

Walking tour around Bishkek city which will take you to the biggest and capital city of Kyrgyzstan where every traveler will find something interesting:

  • The Museum of History  - one of the largest ethnographic collections in the world
  • The Museum of Fine Arts

The colorful Osh bazaar

  • White House
  • Monument of Revolution
  • The Victory Monument

Overnight at hotel Hotel Plaza/similar (4*)

 

DAY17. BISHKEK - ISSIK KUL (Monday)

Breakfast at hotel.  Transfer to Cholpon Ata town at Lake Issyk Kul (270km)

  • Visit the Burana Tower 

Lunch at restaurant.

Dinner and overnight at hotel Raduga or Kapriz/similar (4*)

 

DAY18. ISSIK KOL – KARAKOL (Tuesday)

Breakfast at hotel

Transfer to Krakol (170 km)

  • Sightseeing tour in Karakol visit Dungan Mosque and Orthodox Church

Lunch at restaurant

  • Visit the Panoramic View at jolgolot village  

Dinner at Ughur family

Overnight at hotel Karagat/similar (4*)

 

DAY19. KARAKOL – CHON KEMIN (Wednesday)

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer to Chon Kemin Nature park (340 km). Along the southern shore of the lake.

  • Visit to Jety-Oguz gorge to the famous red rock formations (seven Bulls and Broken Heard).

Lunch on the way in the family  (Possible eagle show in Bokonbaevo)

  • Visiting on the way Kyzyl-Tuu village and look the process of yurt production

Dinner and overnight at the mountain guesthouse Ashuu

 

DAY20. CHON KEMIN - ALMATY (Thursday)

Breakfast at the guesthouse

  • Walking excursion in the Chon Kemin gorge.

Lunch in the guesthouse

Transfer to the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border of Korday.

Border formalities.

Drive to Almaty.

Arrival to Almaty.

Hotel check-in.  

Dinner at the restaurant

Overnight at hotel Otrar 4* or Grand Voyage 4

 

DAY21. ALMATY (Friday)

Breakfast at hotel.

Sightseeing of Almaty.

  • Visit the Public Square, Monument of Independence, Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral.

Lunch.   

  • Visit Medeo Ski resort.

Back to Almaty

Overnight in hotel Otrar 4* or Grand Voyage 4

 

DAY22. ALMATY - CHARYN CANYON - ALMATY (Saturday)

Breakfast at hotel. 

  • Transfer to Charyn Canyon (220 km one way)

Lunch with lunch box

Dinner at restaurant

Overnight in hotel Otrar 4* or Grand Voyage 4*

 

DAY23. ALMATY - ALMATY BIG LAKE - Istambul (Sunday)

Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Transfer to the big Almaty Lake.
  • Drive back to the city and visit Kok Tebe Hill.

Lunch

Free time for leisure and shopping  

  • City tour and to Arabat road for shopping

19.00 Dinner at restaurant

20.00 Transfer to airport


 

The price of tour:

For group of 1 pax 5771 USD per person

For group of 2 pax 3704 USD per person

 

The price in Uzbekistan includes:

  • Accommodation (9 nights, breakfast is included)
  • Transportation services (a car 1-2 pax: Chevrolet Lacetti/Cobalt) from arrival to departure including all transfers
  • English-speaking local guide, on city tour days only
  • Meals (B-L-D)
  • Entrance fees on abovementioned monuments
  • Train ticket BHK-SKD, Afrosiyob, economy
  • Airticket TAS-NCU, economy
  • LOI
  • Water (1 liter per day per person)

 

The price in Turkmenistan includes:

  • Visa support (Letter of Invitation, State Registration)
  • All transfers and all other overland transport as per program per AC vehicles as in the table under “itinerary”
  • Accommodation based on twin-shared hotel room, including breakfast as in the table under “accommodation”
  • Fixed meals (lunch and/or dinner) where indicated in table under “meals”
  • English-speaking local guide-interpreter services as mentioned in the table under “guide”
  • Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the table under “program”
  • Bottled drinking water en route 1,5l pppd

 

The price in Tadjikistan includes:

  • twin accommodation (Dushanbe – hotel Atlas  4* 2nigth, Panjakent  – hotel Umariyon  3*, )
  • meals full board
  • transport (1-2pax Toyota RAV4)
  • guide
  • transfers
  • entry fees
  • Service of the company

 

The price in Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan includes:

  • Accommodations with breakfasts
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals on Full Board  
  • Transfers by Toyota or Similar Car 
  • Entrance fees
  • Mineral water without Gas


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