Golden route of the past

Season: May - September
Duration: 15 days
Countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan
Category: Summer
Type: Cultural

 

Itinerary of the trip:

Day 1 ARRIVAL DAY-TASHKENT
Arrival at Tashkent airport. Full day city tour in Tashkent: visit Kukeldash Madrassah and Khast Imam Square. Also visit Barak Khan Madrassah, Tillya Sheykh Mosque and Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum. After lunch visit to Chorsu bazaar. Overnight in hotel.


Day 2 TASHKENT-KHIVA (flight)
AM flight to Urgench. Sightseeing of Khiva: Visit Ichan Kala (Inner town), Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah (1852-1855) – the largest of its kind in the city with a capacity of 250 Islamic students, or rather 130 romantic tourists, as the madrassah today houses hotel “Madrassah”; Kelte Minor (“Short minaret”); Kunya Ark (Old Fortress) – the Khiva rulers’ residence; Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum; Islam Khoja Madrassah (1908) and Minaret (1910) – Khiva’s newest Islamic monuments; Juma Mosque (1788) (Friday Mosque). Lunch at private house. After lunch visit Tosh Howli (Stone House) – residence, built by Allah Kuli Khan between 1832 and 1841 as a more splendid alternative to the Kunya Ark; Allah Kuli Khan Madrassah (1835), bazaar and caravanserai. Overnight in hotel.


Day 3 KHIVA-BUKHARA (480 KM, 8-9 HRS)
Full day drive to Bukhara. Overnight in hotel.


Day 4 BUKHARA
Full day sightseeing of Bukhara: visit Poi Kalon Ensemble (Pedestal of the Great). The square separates the Mir-I-Arab Madrassah and the Kalon Jummi mosque. Also visit 3 remaining domed bazaars – Taqi Zargaron (1570), or Jeweler’s Bazaar, Taqi Telpak Furushon or Cap Makers’ Bazaar and Taqi Sarrafon, or Moneychangers’ Bazaar, Magok- I-Atori Mosque – the remains of a Buddhist monastery, a Zoroastrian temple and the mosque of the Arab invaders, all sharing the same space and Lyabi Hauz Ensemble. Lyabi Hauz, the Nadir Divanbegi Madrassah, the Kukeldash Madrassah. Lunch at local restaurant. After lunch visit the Ark fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque (“Mosque Near the Pool”) (1712) – the royal court mosque, Ismoil Samani Mausoleum – the town’s oldest building (completed around 905) and one of the most elegant structures in Central Asia, and Chashma Ayub (“Spring of Job”) – built in 12 century over a spring.


Day 5 BUKHARA-SAMARKAND (300 KM, 5-6 HRS)
Drive to Samarkand. Visit Reghistan square (Sandy place) – ensemble of majestic madrassahs (15-17 cc.), ranks first in Central Asia and among the greatest of all the grandiose and magnificent works of the Islamic world, Bibi Khanym Mosque (15 c.) – the gigantic congregational mosque, once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosque and Siab market – colorful main farmers’ market. Overnight in hotel.


Day 6 SAMARKAND-TASHKENT (300 KM, 5-6 HRS)
Morning sightseeing of Samarkand: Visit to Gur Emir (in Tajik - Tomb of the emir) – mausoleum of Timur and the Timurids (15 c.); Shakhi Zinda (The Living King) – necropolis of Samarkand rulers and nobles. Also visit to Ulugbek Observatory (1420) – the remains of an immense (30 m. tall) astrolabe for observing star position, part of three-storey observatory and Afrasiab ruins and museum with fragments of 7th century frescoes. PM. Drive to Tashkent. Overnight in hotel.


Day 7 TASHKENT-CHYMKENT (155 KM, 2-3 HRS)
After breakfast drive to Uzbek-Kazakh border “Chernyaevka”. After border formalities drive to Chymkent. Lunch en route. Dinner and overnight in hotel.


Day 8 CHYMKENT-TURKESTAN-CHYMKENT (330 KM, 5-6 HRS)
Full day trip to Turkestan. Visit Akhmed Yassawi Complex. Yasawi, a Sufi poet and teacher is credited with the conversion of the Turkish speaking people of Kazakhstan to Islam, and is commonly known as 'Father of the Turks'. Lunch at local café. Return drive to Chymkent via Otrar ruins. Dinner and overnight in hotel.


Day 9 CHYMKENT-BISHKEK (477 KM, 8-9 HRS)
After breakfast drive to Bishkek via Kazakh-Kyrgyz border “Chaldovar”. En route visit Mausoleum of Babadji-Khatun. Lunch en route. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in guest house.


Day 10 EXC ALA-ARCHA NATURE PARK (52 KM one way, 1 HR)
After breakfast city tour of Bishkek. Visit History Museum, Ala-Too square, Panfilov Park, open air Gallery, Osh Bazaar. Lunch at local restaurant. PM. Drive to Ala-Archa Nature Park for excursion. The total area of the Park is 19, 5 thousand sq. km., and its altitude ranges from about 1.500 meters at the entrance to a high of 4.895 meters. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in guest house.


Day 11 BISHKEK-CHOLPON-ATA (304 KM, 5-6 HRS)
After breakfast drive to Issyk-Kul Lake. On the way visit Burana Tower. Lunch en route. Continue drive to Cholpon-Ata, visit an open-air gallery of rock engravings, dating from 500 BC up to 600 AD. After excursion transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.


Day 12 CHOLPON-ATA-KARAKOL (140 KM, 2-3 HRS)
After breakfast Boat cruise. After lunch drive to Karakol and upon arrival city tour. Visit a very pretty wooden mosque built by Chinese artisans for the local Dungans, and a similarly appealing wooden Russian Orthodox church, the Holy Trinity Cathedral. You will also visit the Przhevalsky museum, dedicated to this famous Russian geographer and explorer, and after whom the Mongolian wild horse was named. Dinner and overnight in guest house.


Day 13 KARAKOL-BISHKEK (430 KM, 7-8 HRS)
After breakfast drive to Bishkek by the south side of Issyk-Kul Lake. On the way excursion to Djety-Oguz gorge, a valley with striking red sandstone rock formations – the “Seven Bulls” from which valley takes its name. Free time for a little hiking. Lunch en route at local house in Bokonbaevo village. Upon arrival at Bishkek, transfer to local restaurant for dinner. Overnight in guest house.


Day 14 BISHKEK-ALMATY (250 KM, 4-5 HRS)
After breakfast drive to Almaty via Kyrgyz-Kazakh border “Kordai”. Lunch en route. Upon arrival city tour of Almaty. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Central State Museum and Kok-Tube. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in hotel.


Day 15 DEPARTURE DAY
Morning transfer to airport for departure flight. **Registration 2 hours before the flight.

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