The quiet chill of the morning is broken by the call of the Mu’adhan calling the faithful to prayer and welcoming the new dawn. The majestic skyline of brightly colored minarets and sand-coloured towers all contribute to the ultimate atmospheric setting. We are in the company of some of history’s greats, Marco Polo and Tamerlane, of beautiful buildings and exotic peoples.
Our central Asian journey begins in Kazakhstan; little known by westerners, but a land of wild natural landscapes, of mighty canyons and ‘singing’ sand dunes. In contrast, the cities, such as Astana and Almaty, are home to the most unusual and futuristic architecture. Our time here will be spent exploring natural wonders such as Big Almaty Lake, Altyn Emel National Park and Charyn Canyon as well as visiting the city highlights in Astana and Almaty.
We follow the Silk Road further into neighbouring Uzbekistan, with some of the most precious opulent buildings in the Islamic world. We begin in Tashkent and briefly explore the city before continuing to Khiva, the best preserved of the Silk Road cities.
Travelling south to Bukhara, we experience how life might have been lived by the Silk Road traders. Adopting the Nomad life, we will sleep for two nights in a Yurt Camp in the desert. We stop at Nurata to explore Alexander the Great’s castle then onto our camp at Yangikazgan on the shores of Lake Aidarkul. Then on to Samarkand, a wonderful place and home of the impressive Registan Square (described by Curzon in 1899 as “the noblest public square in the world”). Finally we return to Tashkent where we will enjoy some free time before our return flight home, stopping in Astana overnight enroute.