Legendary Silk Road | Small Group Tour from Australia

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Overview

Traverse the path of the legendary Silk Road on a private train. Rich in history, culture and bright emotions the journey transfers you to your own adventure in the scenery of 1001 Nights. You will get to attend a concert at world's famous Navoi Opera, witness the art and craft that goes into making silk carpets and explore three UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Tour type:
Group Rail Tour
Tour rating:
4.9 / 5, Based on
  • BEST HOTELS
  • 4-star best location hotels
    Double room - 5 nights
    A private train - 7 nights
  • BEST CONNECTIONS
  • Private airport-railway-hotel transfers
    A private train ride
  • BEST SIGHTSEEING
  • 4 guided city tours
    3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    Concert at Navoi Opera
  • MEALS
  • 12 breakfasts
    12 lunches
    12 dinners

Day-by-Day

Day 1
Arrival in Almaty

Welcome to Almaty! Upon arrival, you are transferred to your centrally located 4-star hotel where you spend the night.

 

Day 2
Almaty City Tour 

After breakfast at your hotel, you go on a sightseeing tour of Almaty. You see the main landmarks of this green metropolitan city. Among them are the impressive Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of the worlds tallest all wood buildings. At midday, you are in for a treat. You try the Kazakh cuisine during a welcoming lunch in traditional yurts. 

Afterwards, you depart aboard the "Orient Silk Road Express" train. A luggage service guarantees the transfer of your large luggage directly to your train compartment. You spend the night aboard the train. 

Day 3
Exploring Turkistan

Today you arrive at Turkistan, known as the center of Nomad Pilgrimage. After breakfast on board, you visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, built in 1394, with its dome hall, monumental mosque and well house. It is one of the most significant examples of Timurid architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Then you board your private train and continue the journey, crossing the Kazakh-Uzbek border towards Tashkent. Border formalities are completed in the comfort of your compartment. Overnight on the train.  

 

Day 4
Sightseeing in Tashkent

Early in the morning, you arrive in Tashkent the capital of Uzbekistan situated at the foot of the Tien Shan Mountains. During your sightseeing tour you enjoy this green oasis and steppe, see the Madrassa Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments, and the typical Kazakh mud-brick houses.

In the evening you attend Tashkent’s famous Navoi Opera or a concert in the Tashkent Philharmonic Hall (program permitting). After the performance, you continue your train journey and spend the night on board.

 

Day 5
Exploring Shakhrisabz

During the night, your train passes a mountainous region where many traditions of its rich heritage are still preserved. A traditional ceremony offers you firsthand insight into the region’s unique folklore,  you get to know the inhabitants of their authentic everyday life. 

Your journey then continues along the Great Silk Road aboard your train to the green city of Shakhrisabz - a UNESCO-World Heritage Site. Here you see the monumental architecture of the brutal Mongol ruler’s great palace from the 14th and 15th centuries. In the evening on board your train you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines. The night is spent on the train. 

 

Day 6
Samarquand City Tour

Today you arrive in Samarkand - the famous historic city often described as the crossroads of culture. During the rule of Timur, it was considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious city. The territory is also historically important, it is the site where many Uzbek women burned their veils (paranjas) in 1917 to signal their arrival in a new era. 

You visit such must-sees as Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde (the living Shah), the excavation sites at Afrosiab (with a museum tour), and Registan Square. After seeing these most notable architectural ensembles in Central Asia you spend the night in a 4 star Samarqand hotel. 

 

Day 7
 Exploring Samarqand

Today your journey in fascinating Samarqand continues. You go on a tour to a silk carpet manufactory, then visit an Uzbek craftsman’s family to see paper being made from mulberry bark. Then you make a stop at the Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque, view the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum. 

After the tour, you return to your Samarqand hotel where you spend the night.

Day 8
Free day in Samarqand

In the morning you are free to see the rest of Samarqand, buy souvenirs or spend the time before departure as you wish. Your train leaves for Khiva around noon, overnight on the train. 

 

Day 9
Khiva Sightseeing

Today you visit the oasis of Khiva, a fairy tale from 1001 Nights – in stone. After breakfast, you go to the Southern border of the seven river lands, in the oasis of Khiva. On your sightseeing tour of the oasis, you have a chance to take in its exotic atmosphere. 

You see one of the best-preserved ensembles of medieval oriental urban architecture in the world: Khiva's Kalta Minor Minaret, incredible palaces, mosques, mausoleums, Koranic schools, the mighty town wall with its gates and bastions of mud brick. Then you enjoy lunch in the surroundings of the former emir’s Summer Palace and spend the night on the train. 

 

Day 10
Bukhara City Tour

Located in the middle of the Kyzylkum Desert, Bukhara has about one thousand architectural monuments recalling the golden age of the Great Silk Route. Bukhara is also often called Sherif translated as "the noble one" and preserved its ancient oriental countenance in its extensive, unparalleled collection of authentic architecture. 

During your tour, you see Bukhara’s Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and its famous almost 50-meter tall Kalyan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble by the pond. Later you have dinner served in a Madrasah courtyard, with musical accompaniment, local dances, and a presentation of colorful national costumes. You spend the night in a 4-star hotel in Bukhara. 

 

Day 11
Exploring Bukhara

In the morning, you go on a tour to the splendid Mir-e-Arab Madrasah and the Samanid Mausoleum, one of Central Asia’s most beautiful architectural treasures. Then you explore the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city which was once the seat of government of Bukhara’s former rulers. There you view the Throne Room, after which you visit the last emir’s Summer Residence. At the end of your stay, you see the only women’s mosque in the world.

Afterwards, you board the train to continue your journey and spend the night on the train.

 

Day 12
Sightseeing in Merv

In the morning your train arrives at Merv - a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Considered the pearl of the East, Merv today is the unique remnants of what was once one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cities.

You see gigantic walls and ramparts simply standing in the middle of the desert next to the imposing ruins of ancient buildings such as the Tomb of the Sultan Sanjar, the Maidens’ Castle (Kiz Kale), the historical cold-room, and other mausoleums. Then you have lunch with a local family in their home’s picturesque courtyard.  You spend the night in a hotel.

 

Day 13
Ashgabat City Tour

In the morning you are driven to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa and see this former imperial city's main landmarks. After lunch, you take a guided tour of the modern-day capital of Ashgabat with Hollywood-style settings of the “nouveau riche”.

In the afternoon you visit the National Museum in Ashgabat, where you view artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa and gain insight into the development of a culture shaped by various peoples, ethnicities, and religions.

In the evening you are treated to a special farewell dinner and are either taken to the airport in the evening or the next morning.

 

Day 14
Departure Day

Today is the day when you return home, your flight departs in the early morning, marking the end of a very special journey. We hope you've enjoyed your trip and return home with lifelong memories and unforgettable impressions. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips.


Included

5 nights at centrally-located 4-star hotels

  • Hand picked hotels
  • Best value rooms
  • Restaurant

Always included

  • Best location for sightseeing
  • Breakfast
  • All taxes and fees

What's included
  • 7 nights aboard your private train in the reserved category;
  • 5 nights in 4-star hotels in a double room;
    Meals according to itinerary;
  • Guided transfers to and from all airports and train stations and other transfers according to the itinerary;
  • Sightseeing tours including all entrance fees according to the program;
  • Tour director present throughout the train journey and additional competent travel guides for each group of not more than 26 guests. (In the Kalif category: 12 guests);
  • Off-train tours with experienced local guides;
  • A physician on board the train;
  • Traditional welcome ceremonies upon arrival at Bukhara and Samarqand railway stations;
  • Lunch/ dinner with an Uzbek and a Turkmen famil;
    Wine and vodka tasting;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.

Not Included: airfares, visas, optional tours and services, gratitudes, beverages and all personal expenses

Tour highlights
  • Four guided city tours
  • A concert in Navoi Opera
  • A visit to silk carpet manufacturer
  • Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Ulug Beg Observatory
What to Know
  • Russian climates are unpredictable and weather can be quite harsh even during summers
  • Usual tip size in restaurants is 10% of the check. Recommended tips for guides and drivers is $8-12 per day for a great level of service
  • You should bring a few hundred dollars with you on the trip to pay for food as trains do not have ATM machines

Dates & Rates

Dates
Mar 28
Apr - 10, 2019
Apr 9
Apr - 25, 2019
Oct 3
Oct - 16, 2019
Oct 17
Oct - 28, 2019
Habibi Cabin
$4,550
deposit
$910
$4,550
reverse
deposit
$910
$4,550
deposit
$910
$4,550
reverse
deposit
$910
Ali Baba Cabin
$6,640
deposit
$1,328
$6,640
reverse
deposit
$1,328
$6,640
deposit
$1,328
$6,640
reverse
deposit
$1,328
Aladdin Cabin
$7,710
deposit
$1,542
$7,710
reverse
deposit
$1,542
$7,710
deposit
$1,542
$7,710
reverse
deposit
$1,542
Sultan Cabin
$11,650
deposit
$2,330
$11,650
reverse
deposit
$2,330
$11,650
deposit
$2,330
$11,650
reverse
deposit
$2,330
Kalif Cabin
$11,730
deposit
$2,346
$11,730
reverse
deposit
$2,346
$11,730
deposit
$2,346
$11,730
reverse
deposit
$2,346
Dates
Mar 28
Apr - 10, 2019
Apr 9
Apr - 25, 2019
Oct 3
Oct - 16, 2019
Oct 17
Oct - 28, 2019
Habibi Cabin
$4,550
deposit
$910
$4,550
reverse
deposit
$910
$4,550
deposit
$910
$4,550
reverse
deposit
$910
Ali Baba Cabin
$6,640
deposit
$1,328
$6,640
reverse
deposit
$1,328
$6,640
deposit
$1,328
$6,640
reverse
deposit
$1,328
Aladdin Cabin
$7,710
deposit
$1,542
$7,710
reverse
deposit
$1,542
$7,710
deposit
$1,542
$7,710
reverse
deposit
$1,542
Sultan Cabin
$11,650
deposit
$2,330
$11,650
reverse
deposit
$2,330
$11,650
deposit
$2,330
$11,650
reverse
deposit
$2,330
Kalif Cabin
$11,730
deposit
$2,346
$11,730
reverse
deposit
$2,346
$11,730
deposit
$2,346
$11,730
reverse
deposit
$2,346

Map


Reviews

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Excellent Mongolia tour extension!

The different departments at Firebird Tours have been excellent and helpful and efficient. Mongolia was wonderful. Our tour guide was excellent and spoke perfect english and answered all our questions and taught us so much about Mongolia its people and culture. We appreciate all that she did for us ensuring that we ...

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Trans-Siberian Adventure

All went well. Guides were all excellent, though the one in Irkutsk was a bit difficult to understand, but we thoroughly enjoyed the many golden moments there and at each place we went. Each place we stopped had its own distinct culture and ways of enjoying life: Our XingYuan hotel in Beijing was excellent--a short walk...

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Reviews

No rating

October 16, 2016

Kathleen Dansie

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

Excellent Mongolia tour extension!

The different departments at Firebird Tours have been excellent and helpful and efficient. Mongolia was wonderful. ...

Read more

Russell Lee and Laura Lee Bolton

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

Trans-Siberian Adventure

All went well. Guides were all excellent, though the one in Irkutsk was a bit difficult to understand, but we thoroughly ...

Read more

More Firebird Tours reviews