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Pingliang_2

Central Asian Explorer

Pris fra {{totalPrice}} DKK Ekstra udgifter på rejsen
Prisen er en fra-pris, og afhænger af afrejsetidspunkt. Se den nøjagtige pris, når du vælger hvilken dato du vil af sted. Flybilletter er ikke inkluderet, men vi hjælper dig selvfølgelig gerne med at finde de bedste og mest fleksible billetter.
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Varighed
89 dage
Start
Xian
Slutter i
Istanbul
Gruppestørrelse
26
Overlanding started along the Silk Route back in the 60s, the famed Hippy Trail. Our route takes us along the northern Silk Route, across the heart of Central Asia. From the legendary city of Istanbul crossing the wild mountains and lush valleys of the Caucasus, through Georgia and Azerbaijan; both countries renowned for their food, home stays and hospitality. The Caspian Sea is the divide between true Central Asia, the deserts and nomads of Turkmenistan and the infamous city of Ashgabat. In the north of the Karakum deserts, lies the country's most bizarre attraction, the Darvaza Crater. Crossing the Oxus River is the heart of the route, Uzbekistan's fabulous cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. Towering above the deserts are the Tian Shan Mountains and the lands of Kyrgyzstan; home to shepherds and horseman; this is our opportunity to really get to grips with the local life. Crossing the Torugart Pass, the lands of Western China open up at Kashgar; ahead lies the vast bowl of the Taklimakan Desert and then it's onto the edge of the Tibet Plateau and the Tibetan town of Xi'ahe. But no trip to China can be complete without a visit to the seminal city of Xi'an, home of the terracotta army.
  • Explore the amazing sights of Istanbul
  • Guided tour of Ancient Troy
  • Visit the Gallipoli Peninsular and the battlefields
  • Ancient ruins of Ephesus
  • Olympos Beach and Fire mountain
  • Ancient Mountain City of Termessos
  • Take an optional balloon ride over Cappadocia
  • Guided tour of the valley & underground cities of Cappadocia
  • Visit the Black Sea at Batumi
  • Visit the Prometheus Caves near Kutaisi
  • Stay in the fascinating city of Tbilisi
  • Visit Vardzia, a cave monastery on the UNESCO World Heritage list
  • Explore Armenia's ancient city of Gyumri, with its great churches and Soviet Era grandeur
  • Explore the Armenia's capital, Yerevan and learn about its extensive history
  • Visit Lake Sevan a high altitude lake known for its beaches
  • Hike to the amazing Gergeti Trinity Church at Stepantsminda
  • Visit Georgian Vineyards in Telavi for wine tasting
  • Explore the 1797 built Palace of the Sheki Khans
  • Explore the old town of Baku
  • Explore the unique Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour
  • Wild camp near the 'Door to Hell' Darvaza Crater
  • Overland in to the Karakum desert
  • Explore the ruined city of Kunye Urgench
  • Guided tour of the ancient and beautiful city of Khiva
  • 3 nights in Bukhara with guided tour of the many unique sites
  • Overnight in the Kyzylkum Desert staying in yurts
  • Guided tour of the historic city of Samarkand and surrounding area
  • Overland through Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley in local transport
  • See the silk-weavers of the Fergana Valley
  • Stay in traditional felt yurts at the incredible Song Kol Lake
  • Experience the daily life of the Kyrgyz mountain shepherds
  • See a demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter near Kochkor
  • Learn how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made
  • Trek into the wilds of the Jeti-Oghuz Gorge
  • Walk around the incredible scenery of the Chong Kemin valley
  • Relax in the picturesque city of Bishkek
  • Explore Kashgar's traditional Sunday market and Animal market
  • Cross the Taklamakan Desert
  • Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan
  • Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang
  • Camp near an adobe section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan
  • Explore the colourful natural phenomenon of the Rainbow Mountains
  • Cross the northern end of the Tibetan Plateau
  • Explore Xiahe - one of Tibets most historic cities
  • See Bingling Si's vast Buddha statue and outstanding cave sculptures
  • Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples
  • Guided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors
  • This great road journey through Asia, crosses different cultures and religions. It is ideal for lovers of history and culture. A great trip to meet different peoples and for lovers of stunning scenery, from deserts, river valleys.

    Itinerary

    Central Asian Explorer

    Day 1 Xi'an

    Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free day to explore the city, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.Please note that many of the optional activities listed will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

    Day 2 Xi'an

    This morning we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour.We will return to Xi'an for the afternoon, where we'll have a free afternoon to further explore this incredible city.

    Day 3 Pingliang

    Today we will drive to the town of Pingliang at the base of the Mount Kongtong, one of the holiest mountains in Chinese Taoism.

    Day 4 Pingliang

    Today we will have an included visit to Mount Kongtong, and will have the full day to explore the temples and walk and explore the pilgrimage routes on the mountain. Please note that if the group and leader prefer to split the drive between Turpan and Dunhuang over 2 days, there will only be 1 night in Pingliang and a half-day exploration of Mount Kongtong.

    Day 5 Xiahe

    Today we set off to the enchanting Tibetan town of Xiahe where we spend the next 3 nights. 

    Day 6 Xiahe

    The next few days are free to explore this beautiful town and surrounding grasslands. We can take a guided visit to the Labrang Monastery where Tibetan monks can be seen doing their daily rituals and chants.

    Day 7 Xiahe

    On your second free day there may also be a chance to go trekking, horse riding or exploring the surrounding grasslands, visiting Tibetan families and perhaps trying the local Yak butter tea.

    Day 8 Liujiaxia

    Today we will leave Xiahe behind us to reach the small city of Liujiaxia. We will have an included visit to the incredible Bingling Si Buddha Caves en route.

    Day 9 Zhangye

    Today we will have a full day's drive towards Zhangye. This evening we will find a place to camp in the hills surrounding Zhangye. 

    Day 10 Jiayuguan

    Today we will have a short drive to the incredible Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains - we will spend some time exploring the beautiful scenery, before continuing our drive on to Jiayuguan where, tomorrow, we will have an included visit to the Jiayuguan Fort - the most western point of the Great Wall of China. Please note that the Great Wall here is adobe, unlike the more famous stone sections further easy. 

    Day 11 Dunhuang

    Today we will continue our journey westwards to reach the city of Dunhuang.

    Day 12 Dunhuang

    Today we will have an included visit to the awe-inspiring Mogao Buddha Caves in the morning. We will then have a free afternoon to explore this amazing town and it's surroundings - there are possibilities for camel rides along the sand dunes and bicycle rides out to the nearby White Goose Pagoda!

    Day 13 Turpan

    Today we will have an early start and a big drive to the oasis town of Turpan.Please note that due to the political tension in Western China there are many police checkpoints that we must go through to show our passports in the Xinjiang province. Sometimes it may be preferred by the group and the leader to split this drive over 2 days, finding a local hotel in between to break up the travel day. 

    Day 14 Turpan

    Today we will have a free day to explore the surrounding sites including the famous Jiaohe ruins.

    Day 15 Urumqi

    Today we will continue on to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province.

    Day 16 Urumqi

    On the second day we will have an included visit to Heavenly Lake to enjoy the incredible scenery in the Tian Shan Mountains and walk around the lake.

    Day 17 Korle

    Today our journey continues westwards through the Taklamakan Desert. Our crossing of the desert usually takes 3 days/2 nights, and we plan to stay in local hotels near Korla or Bayanbulak on our first night and Aksu on our second.

    Day 18 Aksu

    On our second day travelling through the Taklamakan Desert, we plan to stay the night near Aksu. 

    Day 19 Kashgar

    Today we complete our journey to the far west of China, arriving in Kashgar, once one of the ancient trading posts on the Silk Route! 

    Day 20 Kashgar

    We will spend 3 nights in Kashgar, during which time there will be lots of opportunity to explore the city and its central Id Kah Mosque. We will also have an included visit to the animal market just outside of town, and then the famous Kashgar Sunday Bazaar.

    Day 21 Kashgar

    We have a free day in Kashgar for optional activities. 

    Day 22 Kashgar

    For everyone that is continuing with us to Kyrgyzstan, there will be quick pre-departure meeting in the early morning in order to explain the next 6 days until Bishkek, and your leader will collect the kitty for this linking section.In the afternoon we will do an included visit to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world!Tonight we will stay in a good quality local hotel

    Day 23 Tash Rabat

    Border Information: Exit China at Torugart, enter Kyrgyzstan at Torugart.Today we will have a full day drive over the 3752m Torugart Pass into the magical mountain kingdom of Kyrgyzstan! We will head just over the border to Tash Rabat, once a key staging post on the Silk Road close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border. During our time here we will visit an ancient caravanserai and have some time to explore the surrounding area.In Tash Rabat we will wild camp. In cold weather (or if simply the group prefers and there is availability), we may choose to stay in local nomadic yurts that are set up for guests near the caravanserai, sleeping 8-10 people per yurt.We will spend 2 nights in Tash Rabat. On the second day we will have time to explore the local area. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

    Day 24 Tash Rabat

    We will spend 2 nights in Tash Rabat. On the second day we will have time to explore the local area.

    Day 25 Kochkor

    Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor, where we stay in local family-run guesthouses and enjoy traditional Kyrgyz hospitality!Whilst here we will visit a small museum and women's felt making cooperative that produces 'shyrdaks', the felt carpets for which Kyrgyzstan is renowned. We may also have the opportunity here to see some excellent local musicians playing traditional Kyrgyz folk music and to see how a yurt is put up!In Kochkor we will stay in family-run guesthouses, accommodating up to 8 guests in each home.Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.Please note that if nobody from this group is leaving in Bishkek, we may choose to stay instead in a guesthouse in the small town of Naryn (a 2-3 hour drive from Tash Rabat). This is so that we don't repeat Kochkor unnecessarily on the next section and can have more time to explore the area of Tash Rabat this morning.

    Day 26 Bishkek

    Today we have a short drive to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The remainder of the day is free to explore the relaxed and atmospheric city.In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (from Kochkor).

    Day 27 Bishkek

    Border Information: if joining in Bishkek, you will most likely enter Kyrgyzstan at Bishkek Manas International Airport (IATA code: FRU).There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting.The rest of the day is free for you to explore this relaxed and atmospheric city.Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Bishkek before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Bishkek.*Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.**Another important note - please be aware that all itineraries in Kyrgyzstan are highly weather-dependent. The itinerary described in these notes are a statement of best intention, but we must approach each trip in Kyrgyzstan with a large degree of flexibility, as our leaders and local guides will have to 'play things by ear' according to the local conditions and weather. In low season certain routes become impossible and it may become far too cold to camp - in all cases there are fantastic and well-tried alternatives in place which means we can always run an excellent and comprehensive trip here, but please do not treat the exact details of the itinerary listed here as gospel - thanks for your understanding!*

    Day 28 Chong Kemin Valley

    Today we will begin our journey to Chong Kemin National Park, where we will have free time to explore and hike in this beautiful area, or to get involved in an optional white water rafting excursion.In Chong Kemin we will wild camp. If it is too cold or simply preferred by the group, we may choose to camp in the grounds of a guesthouse in Ashu, a village in the Chong Kemin valley, where there could be the possibility to upgrade to rooms.

    Day 29 Chong Kemin Valley

    We will have a free day to explore and hike in this stunning area today or perhaps get involved in an optional white water rafting excursion!

    Day 30 Karakol

    Today we will drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and visit the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. We will then continue to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where we will have a free evening to explore and relax!

    Day 31 Jeti-Oguz Valley

    Today we drive up into the mountains to the alpine trekking region of Jeti Oguz.Please note that on trips in the low season we may not be able to camp in Jeti Oguz due to low temperatures. If this is the case, we will take a stunning and incredible drive up a mountain in a Russian 4x4 truck to Altyn Arashan, a hot spring development in a stunning alpine setting, staying in dormitory accommodation. We will then stay for 1 night in a local hotel at the base of Jeti Oguz Valley (allowing time for some day walks).

    Day 32 Jeti-Oguz Valley

    We will have a 2nd night here in Jeti Oguz with a chance to hike in the incredible scenery here, or take an optional horse ride with some of the local nomads.

    Day 33 Kochkor

    This morning we will drive to the small village of Kochkor, where we stay in local family-run guesthouses and enjoy traditional Kyrgyz hospitality! En route we will have an included demonstration from a local 'eagle hunter'.Whilst here we will visit a small museum and women's felt making cooperative that produces 'shyrdaks', the felt carpets for which Kyrgyzstan is renowned. We may also have the opportunity here to see some excellent local musicians playing traditional Kyrgyz folk music and to see how a yurt is put up!

    Day 34 Son-Kol Lake

    Today we will drive to the incredible Song Köl Lake, where we will spend the next two nights.We will have free time here to explore the area, and to enjoy some optional activities including hiking or horse-riding! Please note that trips during the low season will not be able to visit Song Köl Lake, as temperatures will be below freezing, the road will be snowed over, and there will be no yurts to stay in! Instead we will likely stay in yurts on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl.

    Day 35 Son-Kol Lake

    On our 2nd day in Song Kul Lake we have free time to explore the area, and to enjoy some optional activities including hiking or horse-riding! 

    Day 36 Kyrgyz Fergana Valley

    We will spend the next 3 days overlanding through the stunning and remote Kyrgyz Fergana Valley, stopping often to admire the views and perhaps take some impromptu hikes in the hills and countryside.During these days we plan to wild camp en route. Please note that trips running in low season (May to mid-June and October to November), we may not be able to camp if temperatures are too low, in which case we will stay in local guesthouses along the route instead.

    Day 37 Kyrgyz Fergana Valley

    We will have another day of scenic driving as we make our way to our second wild camp near Toktugal Lake

    Day 38 Arslanbob

    Today we will complete our drive to Arslanbob in Kyrgyzstan's Fergana Valley - if we have had a slow journey in the previous days with lots of stops, we may choose to stay in the closer town of Jalalabad instead.

    Day 39 Arslanbob

    Today we have a free day to explore the local area. There will be options to do an all day hike to a big waterfall or alternatively do an optional horseride through the Walnut Forest

    Day 40 Fergana Valley

    Border information: Exit Kyrgyzstan at Dustlik, enter Uzbekistan at Andijon.Today we will have a full day's drive across the Uzbek border to the eastern city of Fergana.

    Day 41 Tashkent

    This morning we travel in local transport to Kokand, where we will have the oppurtunity to visit the Khudayar Khan's Palace and the nearby Margilan Silk Factory before completing the journey over the Kamchik Pass to Tashkent, the Uzbek capital.The truck must pass over the Kamchik Pass without passengers and will rejoin us this evening in Tashkent.

    Day 42 Tashkent

    Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS).There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting.We will then have a free afternoon to explore the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent.*Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

    Day 43 Samarkand

    Today our journey begins with a drive to the fascinating ancient city of Samarkand, where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

    Day 44 Samarkand

    Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda.

    Day 45 Samarkand

    We will have a free day today with the chance to wander the streets and delve into this beautiful city and its history further.

    Day 46 Kyzylkhum Desert

    Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a swim in Lake Ajdar Kul and head out on an optional camel ride into the desert!

    Day 47 Bukhara

    Today we will drive to the beautiful city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. Our drive will take us via the desert town of Nurata, which we will have a brief stop.

    Day 48 Bukhara

    Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress.

    Day 49 Bukhara

    Spend the day exploring this incredible historic city and its surroundings further and soaking up the atmosphere.

    Day 50 Khiva

    Today we have a full day drive to the incredible historic town of Khiva.

    Day 51 Khiva

    After breakfast we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town.

    Day 52 Kunye Urgench

    Border Information: Exit Uzbekistan at Nijazov, enter Turkmenistan at Shovot.This morning we will drive across the border into Turkmenistan, visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, and explore the Kunye Urgench ruins towards the end of the day.

    Day 53 Darvaza

    Today we continue south through the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!).We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight.

    Day 54 Ashgabat

    Today we will complete our drive to the interesting capital of Ashgabat, usually arriving mid-afternoon.

    Day 55 Ashgabat

    Today we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. The afternoon will be free to freely explore Ashgabat and its museums.

    Day 56 Turkmenbashi

    This morning we have a full days drive to Turkmenbashi, on the shore of the Caspian Sea. If time permits we will stop at the spectacular Kow Ata Underground Lake on the way. Our itinerary in Turkmenbashi and over the Caspian Sea must remain very flexible and is very much determined by sailing times of the local ferries. Please note that there is no regular schedule for the ferries, they are notoriously unpredictable, and information from the ferry operators regarding the sailing times constantly changes (or is non-existant) up until the point of departure. Maximum flexibility, open-mindedness and co-operation with your tour leaders are absolutely essential here! In Turkmenbashi we will stay in a local hotel for as many nights as is needed until we finally depart on the ferry over the Caspian Sea. Most trips tend to be able to set off on the ferry 1 or 2 days after arriving in Turkmenbashi.Azerbaijan Visa Note - as the timing of the Caspian ferry crossing can be very unpredictable, please get your Azerbaijan E Visa issued with at least 2 - 3 extra days before the entry date listed on these notes. Please see the detailed visa notes below.

    Day 57 Caspian Sea

    From Turkmenbashi, we will take the ferry across the Caspian Sea to Baku in Azerbaijan.The ferry is a fantastic local experience, but please do not expect any luxury whatsoever! These ferries are budget vessels for the locals and cargo hauliers, and are not designed with tourists in mind. We must be prepared for very basic conditions and limited provisions on board.Please also note that the time that the ferry takes to cross is also highly unpredictable, as it is often forced to wait outside of the port in Baku while they arrange the unloading of the cargo on the boat.There will be basic seats on the ferry overnight. Generally there are no cabins available for passengers.

    Day 58 Baku

    Border information: Exit Turkmenistan at Turkmenbashi, enter Azerbaijan at Baku.Today we plan to disembark the Caspian ferry and enter Azerbaijan.We will have free time on these days to explore the sights of Baku and the surroundings.Please note that if the ferry is severely delayed we may not have much time to explore the town of Baku and will need to continue on to catch the itinerary up.

    Day 59 Baku

    Today we will have a free day to explore Baku - depending on when our ferry arrives into Baku.

    Day 60 Baku

    Border Information: If joining in Baku, you will most likely enter Azerbaijan at Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport (IATA code: GYD).There will be an important group meeting at 6.00pm - please look out for a welcome note from your tour leader when you arrive at the joining hotel in Baku. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Baku before the start of your trip with us - please contact your Sales Agent if you would like to book pre - tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Baku. * Important note - please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details. *

    Day 61 Baku

    Today we will have free time to explore all the sites of Baku and the surroundings.

    Day 62 Lahij Village

    This morning we will make our way to Lahic Village. An old coppersmiths village, nestled in the mountains.

    Day 63 Sheki

    Leaving the village behind we make our way to the old town of Sheki this morning. Here we can visit the exquisite Khan's Palace.

    Day 64 Lagodekhi

    Border Information: Exit Azerbaijan at Balakan, enter Georgia at Lagodekhi.Today we will continue our journey west and cross the border into Georgia. We will wild camp tonight, most likely in the Lagodehki National Park shortly after crossing the border.

    Day 65 Telavi

    Today we will drive to the Alazani valley and on to Telavi, where we will base ourseves for 2 days to explore this fascinating region. We will visit the Gremi citadel en route, and have a free afternoon on arrival in Telavi to explore the area.

    Day 66 Telavi

    The area of Telavi is well known for its vineyards and wineries - there are hundreds of different grapes grown here, and every village has its own particular variety. We will visit some of the local vineyards today, where we can hopefully see some of the local traditions including grape harvesting and wine making, and enjoy some famous Georgian hospitality.

    Day 67 Stepantsminda

    Today our journey begins with a beautiful drive to the spectacularly located town of Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi). Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, we will take a trek up to the Tsminda Sameba Church (the Church of the Holy Trinity), a beautiful small church nestled in the mountains.

    Day 68 Mtskheta

    We spend the morning in and around Stepantsminda, where we can trek to the Tsminda Sameba Church if we haven't done so already. This afternoon we have a beautiful drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Whilst here we will explore the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

    Day 69 Borjomi-Kharagauli NP

    After breakfast we will make our way to Borjome National Park where we will have time to do a small hike through the ancient forest and an optional cable ride up the mountain. In the afternoon we will continue on to Vardzia where we will find a place to wild camp for the night in the stunning valley. If time permits we will have an included visit to the Vardzia Caves this afternoon if not we will have the chance to explore them tomorrow morning also.

    Day 70 Armenian Highlands

    We continue south towards the Armenian border this morning. Once we have crossed we will drive through the beautiful Armenian Highlands before finding a place to bush camp for the night.

    Day 71 Yerevan

    Today we will make our way to the city of Yerevan. On the way we will have an included visit to Khor Virap Monastery.

    Day 72 Yerevan

    We have a free day today for any optional activities or simply spend the time relaxing and soaking up the city atmosphere.

    Day 73 Lake Sevan

    We will leave the city of Yerevan behind this morning and make our way to the World Heritage - listed Geghard Monastery which has been carved out of the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. We will also spend some time exploring the Garni Temple before we continue onto the beautiful Lake Sevan.

    Day 74 Tbilisi

    Border information: If you are joining in Tbilisi, you will most likely enter Georgia at Tbilisi International Airport (IATA code: TBS).There will be a pre-departure meeting at 6.00pm - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tbilisi before the start of your trip with us - please contact your Sales Agent if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tbilisi. *Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

    Day 75 Kutaisi

    This morning we drive to Gori, the birthplace of Stalin - here we will have a guided tour of the city and the Stalin Museum.We then make our way to the ancient town of Kutaisi. This afternoon we will visit the medieval Bagrati cathedral and the Gelati monastery.

    Day 76 Batumi

    Today we will continue to the port town of Batumi, where we will have a free afternoon to explore.On the way we will visit the Prometheus Caves

    Day 77 Sumela

    Border Information: Exit Georgia at Sarpi, enter Turkey at Sarp.This morning we will continue to the border and cross into Turkey. We will reach the Sumela Monastery near the town of Macka, which we will either visit in the afternoon or the next morning.We will camp overnight in a campsite near Sumela if conditions allow. Or we may opt to stay in a local hotel in Macka or Trabzon.

    Day 78 Zara

    This morning we will visit the beautiful Sumela Monastery if we didn't have time yesterday, and then start our drive through central Turkey towards Göreme.We will break the journey with a wild camp near Zara or the village of Alucra.

    Day 79 Goreme

    Today we will complete our drive to Göreme, a small enchanting town in the heart of the Cappadocia mountains.In Göreme we will stay 2 nights here in a well-equipped hostel - please note that dorm beds are sometimes used here.

    Day 80 Goreme

    Today will be a full day to explore Goreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will also be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during your time here.. Weather permitting.

    Day 81 Egirdir

    After breakfast we will continue south towards the town of Egirdir, today will mostly be a travel day. Tonight we will wild camp near the small town of Egirdir or stay in a guesthouse depending on the time of year and weather.

    Day 82 Olympos

    This morning we will continue onto the ancient beach town of Olympos on the Southern Turkish coast. On the way we will make a small detour to visit the ancient city of Termessos in Gulluk Dagi National Park.This evening we will walk up to the Chimera Fire Mountain and toast some marshmallows.We will have 2 nights in Olympos staying in multi share accommodation.

    Day 83 Olympos

    Today we will have time to explore and participate in optional activities today or simply take a dip in the cool turquoise waters on one of the many beaches.

    Day 84 Pamukkale

    Today we will head back inland to the small village of Pamukkale. Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning we will have time to visit the thermal hot springs and traverse the travertine pools and terraces.

    Day 85 Selcuk

    We only have a short drive this morning to make it to our next destination Selcuk where we will have two nights. On arrival we will have free time to explore the local area or simply relax in one of the many cafes or tea bars which are great for people watching.

    Day 86 Selcuk

    Today we will have a full day exploring the Ephesus Ruins and Terraced Houses

    Day 87 Gallipoli

    After breakfast we will leave Selcuk and drive to Helsik following the coast. Here we will have an included tour of the Troy Ruins. In the afternoon we will cross the Dardenelles by ferry to arrive into Ecebat where we will stay the night.

    Day 88 Istanbul

    Rising early we will have an included tour of Gallipoli with our local guide. After lunch we will then jump on the truck one last time to make our way to the bustling city of Istanbul.

    Day 89 Istanbul

    Border information: if leaving the trip in Istanbul, you will most likely exit Turkey from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IATA code: IST).Today will be free to explore the many sights of the incredible exotic city of Istanbul, including the Grand Bazaar, the Bosphorus River and the phenomenal Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia!Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Istanbul. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
    Oversigt

    What’s included?

    Activities

    Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples

    See the vast Buddha statue and the outstanding Buddhist cave sculptures at the fabulous Bingling Si gorge

    Explore the incredible and colourful natural phenomenon of the Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains

    Journey down the Gansu Corridor to Jiayuguan Fort, our first stop at the Great Wall

    Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang

    See the striking red sandstone landscape of the Flaming Mountains near Turpan

    Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan

    Learn about the Karez water system the ingenious method of irrigating the area that was developed by the Han Dynasty and allowed Turpan to flourish as an oasis town

    Enjoy a day to walk around Heavenly Lake, or maybe take a boat trip out on the water.

    Hike up to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world.

    Hike up to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world.

    Visit the ancient Silk Road caravanserai at Tash Rabat close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border

    See the traditional felt workshops or Kochkor and learn about how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made here

    See an incredible demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter near Kochkor

    See the traditional felt workshops or Kochkor and learn about how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made here

    See the silk-weavers of the Fergana Valley at the Yodgorlik Silk Factory

    Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia

    Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory once the finest observatory in the Islamic world

    Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark

    Visit the magnificent 16th-centrury architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city\'s principal source of water Guided City Tour of Khiva Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva

    Overland into the green Oxus Valley to the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench

    See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvaza popularly known as the 'Door to Hell'

    Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city Ashgabat Sapar Haji Mosque Visit the huge Turkmenbashi Ruhy mosque on the outskirts of Ashgabat built in 2004 as the mausoleum of Saparmurat Niyazov the first president of Turkmenistan after the fall of the Soviet Union Bakhardan Underground Lake Turkmenistan Caspian Ferry Cabin Lahj Coppersmiths

    Day trip to Gobustan to see the mud volcanoes and the petroglyphs

    Gobustan Petroglyphs Explore the exquisite Palace of the Sheki Khans, built in 1797 Sheki Teze Bazaar

    Hike to beautiful 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church set in the stunning mountains above Stepantsminda

    Head out on Telavi's 'Big Day Out' - a tour of the town's monasteries bee-keepers and textile-weavers followed by lunch and wine tasting at a local family-run winery

    Explore the colossal and awe-inspiring Prometheus Caves near Kutaisi

    Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves

    Hike up Chimera Mountain and witness the natural phenomenon of never ending fires emerging from the rocks.

    Stop off for a visit to Termessos the ancient mountain top city Guided tour around the ancient ruins of Troy Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli on a guided tour through the battlefields

    Accommodation

    Comfortable Hotel 20 nights
    Basic Hotel 25 nights
    Guesthouse 8 nights
    Camping without facilities 8 nights
    Yurt Camp 5 nights
    Homestay 5 nights
    Wild Camp 10 nights
    Overnight Boat 1 night
    Multishare Hostel 5 nights

    Local transport

    Overland Expedition Vehicle, Local Bus, Boat, Jeep, Russian Bus, Overnight Boat, Private Bus

    Meals

    Breakfasts x 104, Lunches x 38, Dinners x 62

    Central Asian Explorer

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