4 STANS + Azerbaijan
- Tour countries:
- Type of tour:
- Historical, General
KAZAKHSTAN - KYRGYZSTAN - UZBEKISTAN - TURKMENISTAN - AZERBAIJAN
Day 1 Almaty
Arrival to Almaty. Short rest. Almaty (i.e. "father of apples" or "father of apple trees") is the former capital of Kazakhstan and the nation's largest city, with a population of 1,5 mln. Despite losing its status as the capital to Astana in 1997, Almaty remains the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan. The city is located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan, near the border with Kyrgyzstan.
Second half of the day will be dedicated to Alamty's landmarks sightseeing: visit Panfilov park, the remarkable Cathedral of the Holy Ascension (built in 1907 by architect Andrei Zenkov during a period in which the main building material of the earthquake-wary city was wood. The cathedral reaches a height of more than 53m, making it one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world), Museum of national musical instruments, National museum, Medeo gorge, Republic square. Visit to mountain "Kok-Tyube" by cable way. Transfer to railway station - departure to Turkestan. Overnight in the train.
Day 2 Turkestan
Arrival to Turkestan. Visiting of Azret-Sultan historical-architectural complex - Khodja Akhmed Yassayu mausoleum, Turkestan town necropolis, oriental baths and underground mosque. In the evening visit 'night bazaar'. Overnight in Turkestan hotel.
Day 3 Turkestan - Shymkent - Almaty
Early in the morning transfer to Shymkent. On the way visiting Arstan-Baba Mausoleum (XIX c). Arystan Bab was a mentor of Khodja Ahmed Yassaui, and by tradition a pilgrimage to Yassaui's great mausoleum in Turkestan should be preceded by a visit to the mausoleum of his teacher. Also visit Otrar ruins (XI-XII c), the town that brought Chinggis Khan to Central Asia. Much of the rest of Asia and Europe might have been spared the Mongols if Otrar’s Khorezmshah governor had not murdered the great khan’s merchantenvoys here in 1218.
Arrival to Shymkent. The rest of the day excursion to Sairam village that once was a Silk Road stop long before Shymkent existed: in fact it’s one of the oldest settlements in Kazakhstan, dating back possibly 3000 years. Kozha Akhmed Yasaui was born here, and Sayram is a stop for many pilgrims en route to his mausoleum at Turkistan. It receives a mention in the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism. Sayram's status today as a place of pilgrimage largely rests on its associations with the Sufi mystic Khodja Ahmed Yassaui, who was born here around 1103, at a time when the town was named Ispijab. The mausolea of Yassauis mother and father lie in the town, and are visited by pilgrims as part of a route which also takes in the Mausoleum of Arystan Bab, and culminates in a visit to Yassaui's mausoleum in Turkestan.
After lunch continue excursion to Keme Kalgan village that is considered to be one of the most sacred places in Kazakhstan. The place is famous with Stone sculptures Mountain where there a number of sculptural creations made by nature. Most famous of the them are Adam & Eve rocks that are separated by a very narrow passage. People believe that those who manage to pass between them will be blessed, get cured of their ilnesses and those infertile can have children. In the evening transfer to Shymkent railway station. Train back to Almaty. Overnight in the train.
Day 4 Almaty - Bishkek (240 km, 4 hrs)
After breakfast depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek (250 km, 4 hours) via a newly built highway, see the natural landscapes on the way and Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border crossing. Arrive Bishkek in the afternoon, check in to the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing Bishkek: typical soviet-style architecture such as Philharmonia - concert hall, government building, Monument dedicated to World War II, and also modern monuments pointing out the traditional Kyrgyz culture such as Monument of Manas, Monument of Independence. Bishkek is known as one of the greenest cities in Central Asia, due to its countless parks and alleys (the city is said to have more trees per person than anywhere else in central Asia). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5 Bishkek - Grigorevka Gorge - Cholpon Ata - Issyk Kul
In the morning depart Bishkek and drive to Issyk Kul lake (250 km, 3,5 - 4 hours). Arrival to the lake, drive to Grigorevka gorge (60 km, 1,5-2 hours) full of lush green Alpine meadows and fur trees, easy hike in the gorge. Transfer back to Cholpon Ata where you will be able to visit Petroglyphs and Open Air Museum, sometimes referred as a Stone Garden. Transfer to a hotel or guest house on the Norther shore of the lake. Overnight.
Day 6 Issyk Kul - Bishkek
Breakfast at the hotel. Return to Bishkek. On the way back visit Burana Tower. It is 11th century minaret, and one of the first buildings of such type in Central Asia. Arrive Bishkek, check in to the guest house or hotel. Overnight.
Day 7 Bishkek - Tashkent (1,5 hrs flight)
Morning flight to Tashkent. Arrival to Tashkent, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8 Tashkent - Samarkand (300 km, 2 hrs 10 minutes)
At 07:00 driver will transfer you from hotel to Railway Station. Fast-speed 'Afrosiyob' train departs Tashkent at 08.00 and arrives in Samarkand at 10:10. Your guide and driver will meet you at train station to begin sightseeing program in Samarkand. Visit spectacular Registan Square (XV-XVII CC), Gur Emir Mausoleum (tomb of Tamerlane), Shakhi Zinda Necropolis (XI-XX CC), Bibi Khanum Mosque (XIV-XV CC) and Samarkand oriental bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9 Samarkand
In the morning head outside of the city to explore Afrosiab museum, once a heart of ancient Samarkand and nowadays a unique archeological site. Then visit the tomb of Saint Daniel and drive to mausoleum of Muslim scholar Imam Al Bukhari - a pilgrimage place for Muslims (25 km, 30 min). Return to Samarkand and free time at your leisure to explore this wonderful city.
Day 10 Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara (90 km, 1,5 hrs + 290 km, 4hrs)
In the morning depart Samarkand and drive to Bukhara via Shakhrisabz. Arrive to Shakhrisabz, visit remains of Ak-Saray Palace, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque, Khazrati Imom Ensemble. After sightseeing Shakhrisabz continue driving to Bukhara. Arrive Bukhara, check in to the hotel.
Day 11 Bukhara
Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. The starting point sightseeing tour is Lyabi Hauz complex (XVI -XVII CC), continue to Magoki-Attori mosque, trade domes, Kalon Ensemble and Miri-Arab madrasah, Ulugbek Madrassah (XV C) and Abdulazizkhan Madrassah (XVII C), Ark Fortress (I-XX CC), Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum (XII-XVI CC). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12 Bukhara
Start the second day with a visit to summer palace of Bukhara Emirs Sitorai Mokhi Khosa, unique site combining Oriental and Russian architecture. Continue to Baghautdin Nakhshbandi Complex – a center of Sufism (XIV-XVI CC, 14 km outside the town) and Chor Bakr Necropolis (XVI-XX CC, 10 km outside the town). Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13 Bukhara - Mary (380 km, 6 hrs)
In the morning transfer to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border point at Farab (100 km, 1 and a half hours). Customs and passport control on both sides (1 hour). After passing Turkmenistan border post meet Turkmenistan guide. Transfer to Mary via Turkmenabat. Arrive Mary, check in to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14 Mary - Merv - Ashgabat (40 minute flight)
Sightseeing tour to Ancient Merv (30 minutes drive from Mary). Sightseeing Merv historical park: Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Kala, Gyaur Gala, medieval fortresses - "Kesk" and others. Return to Mary. Lunch. Visit Mary Historical Museum. Late in the afternoon flight to Ashgabat. Arrive Ashgabat, overnight at the hotel.
Day 15 Ashgabat
After breakfast sightseeing Ashgabat city center with Arch of Neutrality and magnificent marble buildings, archeological site of Nissa fortress, National Museum of History & Ethnography, Ertogrul Gazi Mosque & Turkmenbashy Spiritual Mosque, statue of the first President of Turkmenistan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 16 Baku
Transfer to airport and flight to Baku by Lufthansa (1,5 hour). Arrival to Baku, check in to the hotel and short rest. Beginning of excursion in Old Town - 'Icheri Sheher'. You will see the highlights of Icheri Sheher including the Palace of the Shirvans (the most striking example of the medieval palace structures in Azerbaijan, dating to the middle of 15th century); Maiden's Tower (the ancient, eight storey fortress originally built as a fire beacon); visit Dzhuma Mosque, antiques and carpet shops. Proceed with sightseeing tour across the city. Pay a visit to Martyr's Cemetery, located on the higher slopes of the city's west-end, this is the best place for panorama viewing of the city and the Bay of Baku. After that you will have a walk along Baku Boulevard, the second longest one in the Europe. You can get a boat and make 30 minutes trip along Baku Bay. You will be introduced with the interesting facts and legends of the largest lake in the world better known as Caspian Sea. Return to the hotel.
Day 17 Baku
The second day will be spent primarily within the Greater Baku,
you will visit the Gobustan reserve. This is an open-air museum littered with Neolithic rock drawings. Just 65km south of Baku, Gobustan has some 4000 inscriptions that go back 12,000 years (with some 2000 year old Latin graffiti to boot). The well-preserved sketches display ancient populations travelling on reed boats; men hunt antelope and wild bulls, women dance. The famed Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl returned many times to Azerbaijan between 1961 and his death in 2002 to study the site, which he argued to be evidence that modern-day Scandinavians migrated north through the Caucasus in prehistoric times. He found similarities in the drawings to those found in Scandinavia, particularly some in Alta, Norway. According to Icelandic Sagas, written in the 13 th century, the Norse God Odin (Wotan) migrated from the Caucasus in the first century AD.
After that you will also have a chance to visit quite a unique site where 300 of the planet's estimated 700 mud volcanoes sit Gobustan, Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. Many geologists as well as locals and international mud tourists trek to such places as the Firuz Crater, Gobustan, Salyan and end up happily covered in mud which is thought to have medicinal qualities. In 2001 one mud volcano 15 kilometers from Baku made world headlines when it suddenly started spewing flames 15 meters high. It is definitely worth a visit as it's one of the rarest things one can find on Earth.
Return to hotel. Free time exploring night Baku that looks great with all the lightning around.
Day 18 Baku
Transfer to airport and flight home.
Group (Package cost on Twin/Double basis)
Price per person in USD
3 star hotel
4 star hotel
Early check-in / Late check-out
|Service include||Service does not include|
- All transfers
- Consular visa fees
Please note that this is the sample of itinerary and we can tailor any tour based on your request.