Mountains and Marvels of Central Asia
Tajikistan & Uzbekistan, Trek & Walk, 15 days - from £1,395 (land only) - from €1,885 (land only) - from $2,330 (land only)
Day 1: Arriving in Dushanbe in Tajikistan in the early morning, we meet our local guide and transfer to the group hotel. KE Land Only package services begin with access to rooms for a couple of hours rest. After breakfast, we visit the botanical gardens and the local bazaar. Later, we drive to the village of Chourmash (2000m), the starting point of our trek. Overnight in local homestay accommodation.
Day 2: Our first day of trekking takes us through the traditional villages of Passroude and Morguzor before we reach our campsite at Sangi Safed (2452m), 6 - 7 hours of walking.
Day 3: Today the trail snakes up to the summit of the Chapdara Pass (3430m) before descending to the shores of the turquoise-blue Alaudin Lakes. From our campsite we can enjoy the views of the sharp peaks of the Bodhkhona and Chapdara mountain ranges. Altitude at camp 2777m, 6 - 7 hours walking.
Day 4: An exploration day - we walk up to scenic Lake Mutny (3500m), the gateway for climbers ascending the glaciers of Chimtarga and peaks Energia and Mirali, the highest in the range. We return to our camp at Lake Alaudin in the afternoon. Approx 6 hours walking.
Day 5: Today we pass through the hills surrounding Lake Alaudin and descend to Lake Kouli-Kalon (2800m) where we set up camp in a beautiful location at 2800m. Approx 7 hours walking.
Day 6: A pass crossing at 3180m takes us across high pasture, where local Taijik herdsmen spend the summer in simple huts tending their grazing flocks of sheep and goats. The trail takes us to the shores of Lake Choukrak (2435m) before descending to Artuch village where we spend the night in a homestay. Approx 6-7 hours walking.
Day 7: Our vehicles come to meet us at Artuch early in the morning and we begin the drive across the Tajik-Uzbek border to Tashkent in Uzbekistan. This will be a very long day of driving so dinner in a restaurant and accommodation in a comfortable hotel will be welcome for all.
Day 8: This morning we take a short sightseeing tour of Uzbekistan capital city, visiting the Kokaldash and Abul Kasim madrasahs and the colourful Chorsu Bazaar (dependent on domestic flight timings). In the afternoon we take the flight to Urgench from where we transfer by road (30kms) to the ancient Silk Road city of Khiva. Accommodation will be in a guesthouse within the city walls.
Day 9: We have a full day for sightseeing, with a guided tour of this atmospheric ancient city. Khiva was a major Silk Road trading centre and the historic city is a masterpiece, with its palaces, mosques, mausoleums and madrasahs. Overnight in our guesthouse accommodation.
Day 10: We depart early in the morning for Bukhara on a road that runs alongside the Oxus River. Here, we are following in the traces of Alexander the Great through a striking desert landscape. Arriving in the late afternoon, we check in at a guesthouse.
Day 11: Bukhara, 'Pearl of the Desert' is rich in history and ancient monuments. Today we will visit the city's highlights including the Chor Minor, the Poye Kalon Mosque and the Kosh and Ulugbek madrassahs. Overnight in our city guesthouse.
Day 12: After the scenic drive across the Uzbek countryside we arrive in the magnificent city of Samarkand. We have 2 days to explore in the footsteps of Tamerlane. Visits include Tamerlane's mausoleum, the blue-dome Gur Emir complex, the lovely Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis. Overnight in a guesthouse in the centre of the old city.
Day 13: A second day for sightseeing in Samarkand. Today we will visit the famous Registan Square, one of the most impressive monuments in Central Asia; its 3 madrassahs complete with mosaics, minarets and turquoise blue domes. We'll also pay a visit to the astronomer King Ulugbek's observatory and the Afrosiab History museum. Overnight in guesthouse.
Day 14: This morning is free to do any last minute sightseeing and shopping before we board a train in the later afternoon to Tashkent. Overnight in a Tashkent hotel.
Day 15: We have an early morning transfer to Tashkent Airport where KE Land Only package services end.