Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. This fantastic journey takes us deep into the ancient Silk Road, along which ancient traders would journey between Europe and China. Starting in the bizarre city of Ashgabat, we overland across the remote and inhospitable deserts of Turkmenistan to the incredible burning gas crater of Darvaza and the crumbling ancient ruins of Konye Urgench, before crossing into the fascinating country of Uzbekistan. It is in Uzbekistan that we'll discover the jewels in the crown of the fabled journey of the Silk Road, namely the phenomenal ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, all of which we will tour with our expert local guide - once famed trading centres for the caravans that passed this way in ancient times, their streets still bear testament to their historic past, packed full as they are with stunning Islamic architecture and bustling bazaars that have changed little since the rule of the medieval warlord Timur. We will also enjoy a yurt stay in the incredible Kyzylkhum Desert before arriving at the pleasant capital city, Tashkent. Join us on this wonderful and unforgettable overland experience on the Silk Road!
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.
In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
*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.*
Today our journey begins with a drive to the fascinating ancient city of Samarkand, where we will stay for the next 3 nights.
In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
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.
On our second day, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings.
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!
In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
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.
In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.
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.
On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings.
Today we have a full day drive to the incredible historic town of Khiva.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.
On the next day, we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town.
In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
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.
We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
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.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.
Today we will complete our drive to the interesting capital of Ashgabat, usually arriving mid-afternoon.
In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Today we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. In the afternoon we have the option of visiting the famous Ashgabat Sunday Market.
Border Information: if finishing in Ashgabat, you wil most likely exit Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ashgabat. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman 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.
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Jalol, the guide in Uzbekistan, was very knowledgeable and helpful.Overall Rating
Jalol was really funny - one of the best guides we have ever come across.Overall Rating
Jalol was a first rate guide. He was knowledgable, considerate of the whole group and fun. He shared his personal thoughts about his country, which was of great interest to me as a traveller there.Overall Rating
Jalol was always enthusiastic, extremely well informed, ready, willing and very able to take the initiative regardless of circumstances - he was faultless in my view.Overall Rating
On long trips or when spirits were down, Domingo did a wonderful job at cheering people up. Euan the driver was great, he drove very well, and had a very good attitude.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Tashkent To Ashgabat
Duration: 15 Days
From Price: 2200
Trip Code: 157982
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