Opulent Journeys

The Silk Road by Private Train

From Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan

From (AUD)

$6,995

14 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

Overview

Experience the fascination of the diverse cultures in three of the countries along Central Asian’s Silk Road while travelling in the comfort of your private train. You start your journey in Almaty, “the father of the apple”, and travel to the Uzbek oasis of Tashkent, to Samarqand and to Khiva, where a tale from 1001 Nights – preserved in stone – awaits you, to romantic Bukhara in the middle of the Kyzylkum Desert, to the ruins of the ancient cities of Merv and Nisa, and finally to Turkmenistan’s capital of Ashgabat. You have the opportunity to experience the region’s cultures, peoples, and delicious cuisine along this otherwise quite inaccessible section of Central Asia’s Silk Road, while enjoying the amenities of private train travel: all the makings of your very own 1001 Nights tale.

Dates & Prices

Prices listed are per person, twin-share compartment 

 

 
Cat. Ali Baba $6,995  
Cat. Aladdin $7,900  
Cat. Sultan $12,995  
Cat. Kalif           $13,435  
  • Visas are required and they are not included in the price.
  • We are able to assist you with the visa application process, please contact us for further information on the visa requirements and guidelines.
  • For quad-share (4-berth), 3 people sharing a compartment or single train compartments and hotel rooms, please contact us for details and prices.
Tour Highlights
  • Tashkent- the cultural centre of Central Asia
  • Ashgabat- the most modern city in Central Asia
  • Valuable cultural insights- lectures, fairy tales and information about history and regional traditions
  • Everyday life in Central Asia
  • Dinner & costume show in courtyard of an old madrasah - Bukhara
  • Lunch in the summer palace of an Emir - Khiva
  • Lunch in a typical Uzbek house
  • Tolkuchka Bazaar in Ashgabat
  • The making of traditional art objects: silk and carpets
  • Almaty - “Father - apple” - a touch of Russia
  • Registan: the most beautiful square of the Orient
  • Shah-i-Zinde complex of mausoleums - Samarkand
  • Excavations of ancient Afrosiyob town - Samarkand
  • Ark Fortress in Bukhara
  • Ismael Samani and Gur Emir mausoleum - Bukhara
  • Ulug Bek observatory - Samarkand
  • Highlights UNESCO's World Heritage:
  • Turkestan: Mausoleum Kooja Ahmed Yasawi
  • Historical Centre of Shakhrisabz
  • The inner town of the old Khiva oasis
  • Historical Centre of Bukhara
  • Samarkand - Crossroads of Cultures
  • The Pearl of the East: Ruins of ancient Merv
  • The old Parthian city of Nisa

 

Dining Experience

37 superb meals including, 13 Breakfasts (B), 12 Lunches (L) and 12 Dinners (D)

 

Private Chartered Train - Orient Silk Road Express
  • Travel with the private train
  • Gourmet meals on the train
  • Tour director present throughout the train journey and additional competent travel guides
  • A physician is on board the train
  • Traditional welcome ceremonies upon arrival at Bukhara and Samarqand railway stations
  • Wine tasting

 

To enquire or book this tour, please contact

Phone: 1300 219 885            Email: enquiries@opulentjourneys.com.au

Please Click Here to download the tour details.

Itinerary

You arrive in Ashgabat and are transferred to a centrally located hotel.

In the morning, you visit the bustling Tokuchka Bazaar, a typical oriental market and one of Central Asia’s largest. You then travel to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa. In the afternoon you go on a guided tour of the National Museum in Ashgabat where artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa are on exhibit. After lunch you undertake a brief tour of Ashgabat, whose distinctive appearance is characteristic of Turkmenbashi, the self-proclaimed “great leader of all Turkmen”. Hollywood-style settings throughout this city flush with new-found oil wealth can be impressive, but sometimes also cause a chuckle. You dine aboard your train, which departs later in the evening. The night is spent on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Your private train arrives early in the morning at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Merv, the remnants of what was once one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cities. The initial impression is of disbelief: gigantic walls and ramparts simply standing in the middle of the desert next to the imposing ruins of ancient buildings, such as the Tomb of the Sultan Sanjar, the Maidens’ Castle (Kyz Kala), the historical ice-houses, and other tombs. Lunch is eaten with a local family in the picturesque courtyard of their home. The night is spent on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

The city of Bukhara, located in the middle of the Kyzylkum Desert, has some one thousand architectural monuments recalling the golden age of the Great Silk Route. Exotic spices, furs, and especially silk were stored and traded in the city’s caravanserais. In Bukhara’s Old Town (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage), you see the almost fifty-metre tall Kalyan Minaret and the Lyab-I Hauz Ensemble by the pond, among other sights. Dinner is served in a madrassa courtyard, with musical accompaniment, local dances, and a presentation of colourful national costumes. You spend the night in your hotel in Bukhara.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Bukhara, which also bears the by-name Sherif (the noble one), has preserved its ancient oriental countenance in its extensive, unparalleled collection of authentic architecture. During the morning, we drive you to the splendid Mir-e-Arab Madrassa and the Samanid Mausoleum, one of Central Asia’s most beautiful structures. Afterwards you tour the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city that was once the seat of government of Bukhara’s former rulers. There you view the Throne Room, after which you go to the last emir’s Summer Residence. Your stay is completed with a visit to the world’s only women’s mosque, at a Sufi complex and pilgrimage centre about fifteen kilometres outside of the city. The night is spent in a hotel in Bukhara.

(Meals: B, L, D)

The morning is yours to spend as you please. Your train leaves for Khiva, Uzbekistan around noon. The night is spent on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

After breakfast, your train will have arrived at the southern extent of the Zhetysu (seven rivers) landscape, at the oasis of Khiva. Standing at the mighty town wall with its gates and bastions of mud brick, you feel transported into another world. Life still pulses around the base of the Kalta Minor Minaret, just as it did in former times. Your tour allows you to take in the atmosphere and sights of the oasis. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums, and madrassas (Muslim religious schools) represent some of the best-preserved examples of oriental town architecture from medieval times. You enjoy lunch in the former emir’s Summer Palace. Your private train leaves for Samarqand in the evening. The night is spent on board.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today is spent visiting the sights of this famous historic city, which during the rule of Timur was considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious city. The Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde (the living Shah), the excavation sites at Afrosiab (with a museum tour), and Registan Square are certainly among the most notable architectural ensembles in Central Asia. It is also historically important as the site where many Uzbek women burned their veils (paranjas) in 1917, to mark their arrival in a new era. The night is spent in your hotel in Samarqand.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Your day in this fascinating city includes a tour of a silk carpet manufactory, a visit to an Uzbek craftsman’s family to see paper being made from mulberry bark, stops at the Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque, and viewing the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum. You spend the night in your Samarquand hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today you enjoy an excursion to the surrounding mountain region, where fire worship and shamanism are still practiced in the form of rituals and myths seldom found elsewhere. A traditional ceremony offers you firsthand insight into the region’s unique folklore and you have the chance to experience the daily life of the local residents. Aboard your train, you then continue along the Great Silk Road to Timur’s birthplace, the green city of Shakhrisabz (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site). Here you will see monumental architecture of the Mongol ruler’s Great Palace from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the evening you depart to Tashkent on your private train. On board you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines. The night is spent on board the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

In the morning your private train arrives in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Your sightseeing tour of the city offers a closer glimpse of this green oasis in the steppe. You see the Madrassa Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments, and the typical Kazakh mud brick houses. In the evening you attend Tashkent’s famous Navoi Opera or a concert in the Tashkent Philharmonic Hall (programme permitting). Afterwards your train departs for Kazakhstan. The night is spent on board the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Border formalities at the Kazakhstan border are completed in the comfort of your compartment and you arrive before noon in the city of Turkistan. You visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the most significant examples Timurid architecture. Afterwards you continue on towards Almaty aboard your private train. The night is spent on board the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Your train arrives in Almaty after lunch. A sightseeing tour of the city offers you an impression of this green metropolitan city at the foot of the mighty Ile Alatau Mountains. You see the imposing Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral built entirely of wood, the Wedding Palace, the Almaty Circus, and the Central Mosque. That evening you are served a tasty dinner in a traditional Kazakh yurt.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Tranfser to airport for your onward flight.

(Meals: B)

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