The Five Stans of Central Asia

The Best of Central Asia in 15 Days Tour

 

Countries: Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan - Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan
Tour duration: 15 days / 14 nights
Best time to travel: March - June; September - November
Itinerary: Almaty - Issyk Lake - Almaty - Bishkek - Ala-Archa Gorge - Bishkek - Dushanbe - Khujand -
Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Mary - Ashgabat

The trip to five stans of Central Asia

The Five Stans of Central Asia in 15 days: amazing travel itinerary through the five former USSR republics of Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan - Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan, also known as the Stans, includes the main tourist attractions and must-visit destinations at the centre of the Silk Road.

It is the best itinerary to visit Central Asia and its impressive historical monuments and nature's beauties, taste traditional food and enjoy the unique local culture of hospitality!

Begin in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and drive through the stunning Tien Shan mountains to Big Almaty Lake. Then enjoy city time in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), beautiful mountain landscapes in Ala Archa National Park and get to know the nomadic Kyrgyz culture. Learn more about ancient fortress of Hissor near Dushanbe (Tajikistan) and visit authentic Oriental bazaar in Khujand. Discover the great Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara (Uzbekistan), as well as their warm people and architectural masterpieces (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) bejewelled with majolica tiles and gilded ceilings. Get amazed by the ruins of ancient fortresses of Merv (Turkmenistan), the oldest in Central Asia, and finish the trip in Ashgabat, that was included in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest quantity of white marble used in its building and decoration.

Explore the Best of Central Asia in one tour!


  • itinerary / services & cost

  • Visa

  • useful information

 

Itinerary:
Day 1.
(Wednesday)
Arrival in Almaty.
Arrival in Almaty early in the morning. Early check-in at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour of Almaty (6 hours): the Green Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. Transfer to the Medeo Gorge, well known due to the highest mountain skating rink in the world and the dam, protecting the city from dangerous mudflow. Next visit of the Kok-Tobe hill and TV tower. Short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2.
(Thursday)
Almaty - Big Almaty Lake - Almaty (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to beautiful Big Almaty Lake, located in the surroundings of Almaty. En route visit Square of the Republic, Monument of Independence and State museum. Arrival to the Lake and slight hiking in the surroundings. Return to Almaty in the afternoon, and visit “Sunkar” Falcons’ Farm to watch the show with hunting birds at 17:00 pm. Arrival to Almaty. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3.
(Friday)
Almaty - Bishkek (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Bishkek (4-5 hours including border control and customs). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel of Bishkek; accommodation. City tour of Bishkek: Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), central Ala-Too Square, the National Arts Museum, National Philharmonic, Asian Bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4.
(Saturday)
Bishkek - Ala-Archa Gorge - Bishkek (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning transfer to Ala Archa National Park. The Ala-Archa gorge is on a spur of the Tien Shan mountain range, it is located in 45 km from Bishkek. You can have a short hiking tour to see a panoramic view of the gorge. Possible short hiking to the small scenic waterfall. Return to Bishkek. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5.
(Sunday)
Bishkek - Dushanbe (air flight).
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning. Transfer to the airport and flight to Dushanbe (flight YK 749). Half day city tour of Dushanbe on arrival, including visiting of famous Museum of National Antiquities boasting the richest collection of artefacts and the colossal statue ‘Buddha in Nirvana’ 12.85 m long and 5.5 tonnes in weight; Botanical garden, Somoni monument, Building of a National Spirit, stroll Rudaki Avenue. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6.
(Monday)
Dushanbe.
Breakfast at the hotel. Continuation of the city tour of Dushanbe: excursion to Hissor town (23 km from Dushanbe) to see an ancient fortress of Hissor. Visit Madrassah Kuhna and Museum of Tajik Way of life there, Madrassah nearby and mausoleum of Sufi saint Mahdumi Azam. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7.
(Tuesday)
Dushanbe - Khujand - “Oybek” border point - Tashkent (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive to Khujand via ‘Istiklol’ tunnel (4 hours drive). Visiting the following monuments In Khujand: Museum of archeology and fortification, Payshanba Bazaar, one of the interesting places here, which attracts people with various sounds and tastes. After lunch transfer to the Tajik-Uzbek border point “Oybek”. Arrival at border by 17:00. Border formalities. Change car and guide in Uzbekistan and further transfer to Tashkent (1,5 hours drive). Check-in at the hotel on arrival and overnight.
Day 8.
(Wednesday)
Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9.
(Thursday)
Tashkent - Samarkand (morning railway transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the railway station for transfer to Samarkand by a high-speed train “Afrosiab” (08:00-10:10) Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand on arrival: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher); after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10.
(Friday)
Samarkand - Bukhara (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Road transfer to Bukhara (4-5 hours drive). Visitig the out-of-town sites near Bukhara: Sitora-i Mokh-i Khosa Palace, Baha-ud-Din Naqshbandi Complex. Arrival in Bukhara, check-in and overnight at the hotel.
Day 11.
(Saturday)
Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah; after lunch: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12.
(Sunday)
Bukhara - “Farap” border point - Mary (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Uzbek-Turkmen border point ‘Farab’. Border formalities. Transfer to Mary through Turkmenabat. Arrival in Mary, check-in and overnight at the hotel.
Day 13.
(Monday)
Mary - Merv - Mary - Ashgabat (evening flight).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to ancient city of Merv, excursion program. Return to Mary, sightseeing program in Mary: Russian Orthodox Church, the main bazaar of the city, central Mosque, city Museum. Transfer to the airport, evening flight to Ashgabat. Meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel. Check-in and overnight at the hotel.
Day 14.
(Tuesday)
Ashgabat.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Ashgabat: Independence Park, Arch of Neutrality, Museum of history and ethnography, Sacred Mosque of Turkmenbashi, Nissa Fortress (UNESCO Heritage site). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15.
(Wednesday)
Ashgabat.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Flight back home.

The cost of the tour 2018:

№ of people in group 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 SGL supplement
Hotels of 3* 4016 2812 2098 1872 1707 1669 1632 + 420
Hotels of 4* 4381 3116 2402 2189 2032 1986 1948 + 690

The cost tour includes:

Accommodation at the hotels of 3* or 4* (mentioned below) in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check-in at the hotel in Almaty on day 1 - check-in after 06:00. Check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00;
Services of English-speaking local guides (separate guides in each country);
Entrance fees at museums and historical parks mentioned in the program, including a fee to the cable car in Kok-Tobe;
Train tickets for high-speed premium service train «Afrosiab» from Tashkent to Samarkand (economy class);
Domestic air flight from Mary to Ashgabat;
Transportation services on comfortable air-conditioned vehicles (sedan cars or minibuses - depending on the number of tourists in a group);
Mineral water for each day of the tour;
Visa invitation to Turkmenistan, including Letter of Invitation, State Registration and Travel Pass (obligatory for all foreigners);
Visa invitation letter to Tajikistan.
 

The cost tour does not include:

International flights;
Air flight from Bishkek to Dushanbe - current cost of the flight is 160 USD, which is subject to change *The flight is available only on Sundays (YK 749);
Visa invitations  to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan - please, require our operators to get more information on the necessity of visa invitations;
Visa fees to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan;
Meals (except breakfasts at the hotels).

Additional Services:

Visa invitation to Kazakhstan - 65 USD/per person (if necessary);
Visa invitation to Kyrgyzstan - 55 USD/per person (if necessary).
Visa invitation to Uzbekistan - 45 USD/per person (if necessary).
Group visa to Kyrgyzstan (can be issued by our company for a group of 4+ tourists) - 70 USD/per person (if necessary).
Supplement for meals on half board basis - 280 USD/per person/for the whole tour (optional).
Supplement for meals on full board basis - 480 USD/per person/for the whole tour (optional).

Important note for all travelers:

Please bring only cash USD for your local expenses in Central Asia, no EURO and no credit cards are accepted in these countries (only in Almaty and Bishkek it is possible to cash money via cash machine).

Hotels
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at. The list of the hotels we offer is below. However, due to seasonal conditions and group size this list is subject to change.
- Hotels 3* - inexpensive yet cozy private hotels, with traditional national interiors in many of them, providing all the necessary facilities for comfortable stays; notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere;
- Hotels 4* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.

This tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 3* Hotels 4*
Almaty Astra Hotel 3* or similar Kazzhol Hotel 4* or similar
Bishkek Discovery Hotel 3* or similar Plaza Hotel 4* or similar
Dushanbe Vatan / Meridian / Rohat Hotel 3* or similar Lotus / Atlas Hotel 4* or similar
Tashkent Samir Hotel 3* or similar Shark Hotel 4* or similar
Samarkand City Hotel 3* or similar Sultan Boutique Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Fatima Hotel 3* or similar Zargaron Plaza Hotel 4* or similar
Mary Mary Hotel 4* or similar Mary Hotel 4* or similar
Ashgabat Ak-Altyn Hotel 3* or similar Grand Turkmen Hotel 4* or similar

 

Visa to Uzbekistan Visa to Kyrgyzstan Visa to Turkmenistan Visa to Kazakhstan Visa to Tajikistan

Visa to Uzbekistan:

The citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine can enter the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan without visa. In relation to these countries there was established a bilateral visa-free regime.

The citizens of Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Thailand, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Japan can obtain visa to Uzbekistan without preliminary issuance of the visa invitation by the inviting party from Uzbekistan (in our case, by travel agency). The citizens of listed countries can obtain visa at the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the country of their residence during 2 working days.

Citizens of all other countries can get visa to Uzbekistan only on the basis of preliminary issued visa invitation. The visa invitation is being issued by our company on the basis of the following documents of yours:
- filled-in application form (sample of the application form is being send beforehand);
- scanned copy of your passport of good quality;
- employment verification letter.

After receiving these documents we apply to the MFA of Uzbekistan for visa invitation issuance for our tourists. The process of visa invitation issuance takes 13-15 days. On the basis of the visa invitation a tourist can get visa at the embassy of Uzbekistan in his/her country of residence (or in another country, where there is our embassy). If in the country of tourist’s residence there is no Uzbekistan Embassy, he/she can obtain Uzbek visa at the Uzbekistan in any other country (where it is located) or at the consular department of Tashkent airport on arrival.

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»

Visa to Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan allows visa-free entry for nationals of Russia and other SIC countries.

Since August 2012, nationals of another 44 countries have been allowed visa-free entry into and stay in Kyrgyzstan for the period of maximum 60 days, which makes a visit to the country easier and cheaper.

The 44 countries enjoying Kyrgyzstan visa-free regime are the following:

Australia
Austria
Bahrain
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brunei Darussalam
Canada
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Kuwait
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Republic of Korea
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America
Vatican

Read more about visa to Kyrgyzstan here »»

Visa to Turkmenistan:

Citizens of all foreign countries, intending to enter Turkmenistan, are obliged to have visa. Visa to Turkmenistan can issued only on the basis of preliminary issued visa invitation. The visa invitation is being issued by our company on the basis of the following documents of yours:
- filled-in application form (sample of the application form is being send beforehand);
- scanned copy of your passport of good quality;
- a photo of good quality (size 3:4).

After receiving these documents we apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan for visa invitation issuance for our tourists. The process of visa invitation issuance takes 7-10 working days. On the basis of the visa invitation a tourist can get Turkmenistan visa at the embassy of in any country, where there is Turkmenistan Embassy, in Ashgabat airport or at the consular department on the border.

Read more about visa to Turkmenistan here »»

Visa to Kazakhstan:

Currently citizens of many countries do not need visa to Kazakhstan. Please, require our operators for visa information for the citizens of a particular country, as visa rules depend on nationality.

Visa to Tajikistan:

Currently the foreign citizens have an opportunity to obtain Tajikistan visa on-line on the official web here: www.evisa.tj.
Visa invitation from the MFA of Tajikistan is not necessary. Cost of visa online is 50 USD/per person and cost of the GBAO permit is 20 USD/per person.

Please, note, this program does NOT require the necessity of GBAO permit.

 

Information
about Kyrgyzstan
Information
about Uzbekistan
Information
about Tajikistan
Information
about Turkmenistan
Information
about Kazakhstan

Useful Information on Traveling to Kyrgyzstan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Uzbekistan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Tajikistan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Turkmenistan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Kazakhstan:

Photo of the tour:

Koktobe hill. Almaty, Kazakhstan Ala-Archa national park. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Tashkent, Uzbekistan Ancient Merv, Turkmenistan
TV Tower «Koktobe». Almaty, KazakhstanKoktobe hill. Almaty, KazakhstanBishkek, KyrgyzstanBishkek, KyrgyzstanAla-Archa national park. Bishkek, KyrgyzstanAla-Archa national park. Bishkek, KyrgyzstanUzbek melons and watermelonsGur-e Amir Mausoleum. Uzbekistan, SamarkandBibi-Khanym Mosque. Samarkand, UzbekistanBibi-Khanym Mosque. Samarkand, UzbekistanBibi-Khanym Mosque. Samarkand, UzbekistanNational sweets of UzbekistanСhasing on copper. UzbekistanUzbek breadNational dress in UzbekistanSouvenirs in UzbekistanSouvenirs in UzbekistanSouvenirs in UzbekistanAla-Archa national park. Bishkek, KyrgyzstanAla-Archa national park. Bishkek, KyrgyzstanAla-Archa national park. Bishkek, KyrgyzstanDried apricotsArk Fortress. Bukhara, UzbekistanArk Fortress. Bukhara, UzbekistanArk Fortress. Bukhara, UzbekistanBarak-Khan Madrasah. Uzbekistan, TashkentBarak-Khan Madrasah. Uzbekistan, TashkentBibi-Khanym Mosque. Samarkand, UzbekistanBishkek, KyrgyzstanBishkek, KyrgyzstanBishkek, KyrgyzstanBolo Hauz Complex. Uzbekistan, BukharaBolo Hauz Complex. Uzbekistan, BukharaBolo Hauz Complex. Uzbekistan, BukharaBolo Hauz Complex. Uzbekistan, BukharaDushanbe, TajikistanDushanbe, TajikistanDushanbe, TajikistanDushanbe, TajikistanFigsGur-e Amir Mausoleum. Uzbekistan, SamarkandGur-e Amir Mausoleum. Uzbekistan, SamarkandGur-e Amir Mausoleum. Uzbekistan, SamarkandKhazrati Imam Architectural Complex. Tashkent, UzbekistanKhazrati Imam Architectural Complex. Tashkent, UzbekistanKukeldash Madrasah. Uzbekistan, TashkentKukeldash Madrasah. Uzbekistan, TashkentBaha-ud-din Naqshband Complex. Bukhara, UzbekistanNadir Divan-Begi Madrasah. Bukhara, UzbekistanNadir Divan-Begi Madrasah. Bukhara, UzbekistanNadir Divan-Begi Madrasah. Bukhara, UzbekistanUzbek pilafPo-i-Kalyan Complex. Bukhara, UzbekistanPo-i-Kalyan Complex. Bukhara, UzbekistanPo-i-Kalyan Complex. Bukhara, UzbekistanPo-i-Kalyan Complex. Bukhara, UzbekistanUlugbek Madrasah (XV c). Uzbekistan, SamarkandSher-Dor Madrasah (XVII c). Uzbekistan, SamarkandTilla-Qori Madrasah (XVII c). Uzbekistan, SamarkandRegistan square. Uzbekistan, SamarkandRegistan square. Uzbekistan, SamarkandRegistan square. Uzbekistan, SamarkandTilla-Qori Madrasah (XVII c). Uzbekistan, SamarkandIsmail Samani Mausoleum. Bukhara, UzbekistanIsmail Samani Mausoleum. Bukhara, UzbekistanIsmail Samani Mausoleum. Bukhara, UzbekistanIsmail Samani Mausoleum. Bukhara, UzbekistanIsmail Samani Mausoleum. Bukhara, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanShah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Samarkand, UzbekistanSitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Uzbekistan, BukharaSitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Uzbekistan, BukharaSitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Uzbekistan, BukharaSitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Uzbekistan, BukharaBukhara Domed Shopping ArcadesBukhara Domed Shopping ArcadesBukhara Domed Shopping ArcadesSouvenirs in TurkmenistanNational food in TurkmenistanKutlug Timur minaret (XI-XVI) in Kunya-Urgench. TurkmenistanAncient Merv, TurkmenistanTomb of Ahmed Sanjar (1157). Merv, TurkmenistanIndependence Monument. Ashgabat, TurkmenistanCarpets in TurkmenistanTurkmenistanTashkent TV tower. UzbekistanUlugh Beg Observatory. Samarkand, UzbekistanUzbek nationUzbek watermelonWalk in the mountains

View all photos »»

Our video gallery:

Traditional cuisine of Central Asia
Cuisine of Central Asia
Charms of Kyrgyzstan’s nature
Charms of Kyrgyzstan’s nature
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Uzbek fruit and vegetables
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables

View all videos »»

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the copyright owner.

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Heritage group tours: Adventure group tours:
To the Heart of Tamerlane’s Empire (Uzbekistan)
Oriental dastarkhan (Uzbekistan)
Tour to The Fergana Valley (Uzbekistan)
The Aral Sea and Oasis of Ancient Cities (Uzbekistan)
The Pearls Of Kyrgyzstan
New Year Holidays in an Oriental Fairy Tale (Uzbekistan)
Pamir resort (Kyrgyzstan)
To the toe of the Khan-Tengri peak (Kyrgyzstan)
Three summits in the Pamirs (Kyrgyzstan)
Trekking to lake Sary-Chelek (Kyrgyzstan)
Journey to Aksu and Sabakh peaks (Kyrgyzstan)
Lenin Peak expedition (Kyrgyzstan)
Other interesting tours: Usefull links:
The Silk Road tour (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China)
Sogdiana, the Pearl of the East (Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan)
The Disappearing Sea (Uzbekistan)
The Trip to the Country of Fires (Azerbaijan)
Treasure Chest with Oriental Adventures (Uzbekistan)
The Chimgan ring. Trekking (Uzbekistan)
Along the way of ancient caravans (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)
A trip to the Baikonur cosmodrome(Kazakhstan)
Exploring of Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan)
Airline tickets
Uzbekistan’s Tourist Attractions
Kyrgyzstan’s Tourist Attractions
Tajikistan’s Tourist Attractions
Turkmenistan’s Tourist Attractions
Navruz - the New Year by the natural calendar
Photo of Uzbekistan
Photo of Kazakhstan
Photo of Tadjikistan
Photo of Kyrgyzstan
Photo of Turkmenistan


     	

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