The Five Stans
The Five Stans adventure is amazing travel itinerary through the five former USSR republics of Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan -Tajikistan - Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan, also known as the Stans, includes the main tourist attractions and must-visit destinations at the centre of the Silk Road. This region is unified by the common past and a number of similar traditions; nevertheless, each of the countries is highly unique and characterised by a range of distinctive features.
Arrival in Ashgabat early in the morning. Meet at the airport and further group transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and rest.
After breakfast meet the local guide. Today we make a day trip to Nohur village, located in Kopetdag Mountains - here we visit tribal cemetery and pilgrim site; get acquainted with the local craftsmen, specializing in silk weaving. En route to Nohur village - visit Turkmenbashi mosque-mausoleum and Kow-Ata underground lake. Return to Ashgabat in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast start of the half-day sightseeing tour around the city. Visit National Museum of Turkmenistan, Nissa ancient fortress (UNESCO Heritage site), Independence Park and Neutrality Arch. After lunch transfer to the most unique site in Central Asia - Darwaza burning gas crater. Arrival in Darwaza before sunset. Enjoy barbeque dinner near the burning gas crater; watch and make photos of the crater during the nighttime. Return to Ashgabat (slow driving after dark). Arrival at the hotel before or just after midnight. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast meet the guide and further transfer to the airport; flight to Mary. Upon arrival - transfer to visit the ancient city of Merv, which is also included into the list UNESCO Heritage Sites. Exploring the region. Further transfer to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities. Meet Uzbek team of guide and driver and further transfer to Bukhara. Accommodation at the hotel on arrival. Rest and overnight.
After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah. After lunch visit Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Return to the hotel for rest and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Samarkand which will take around 5 hours. On arrival - start of the sightseeing tour in Samarkand. Visit the main pride of the city - Registan Square, most famous square in Central Asia (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah); and Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, Tamerlane’s final resting place. Accommodation at the hotel in late afternoon. Rest and overnight in Samarkand.
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide; continuation of the city tour in Samarkand. Visit Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. After lunch visit Afrosiab museum and settlement, Saint Daniel’s tomb and Silk paper workshop. Return to the hotel. Rest and overnight.
After an early breakfast, we will go on a day trip to Tajikistan - an important part of ancient Sogdiana. In the morning - transfer to the land border with Tajikistan. Border formalities. Meet the Tajik guide and driver and. Rest and night. Penjikent is one of the ancient cities of the planet, where the ancient historical and archaeological monument of Sarazm, whose age is five thousand years, is located, archaeologists from all over the world strive to get there. It should be noted that by UNESCO decree this rare historical and archaeological heritage was included in the list of world historical monuments protected by this organization.
Arriving in Penjikent and at the entrance to the city, visit the excavations of ancient Penjikent, where you can watch a real picture from antiquity: a medieval citadel, residential buildings with wall paintings, a necropolis. As a result of excavations in 1946, there were discovered: a citadel with the palace of the last ruler of Panjakent, Divashtich, two temples, shops, streets, workshops, bazaars, fortress walls, multi-room two- and even three-story dwellings. The fortification gained special fame thanks to wall paintings, preserved under the rubble for 1300 years. Overnight at the guest house or hotel, where we will stay at the hotel and spend the rest of the evening.