Get ready for a massive overland adventure from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the metropolitan core of Beijing. Travel through some of the planet's most remote, wild and unique wildernesses along the legendary Silk Road into China. Pass through the mountainscapes of Iran, pitch a tent beneath the stars in the Karakum Desert and arrive at secluded sections of the snaking Great Wall. From Turkey to Turkmenistan and beyond, this adventure will introduce you to the friendly and hospitable locals who call these rugged lands home. If you're longing for an epic overland odyssey, away from the tourist crowds and through some of the world's last wild terrains, then this epic journey is just for you.
Days 28-29 Khiva
Gaze up at the ancient walls surrounding Khiva and imagine how they once provided sanctuary for weary Silk Road travellers. Explore the historic and perfectly preserved Old Town, beautifully decorated in classic turquoise tiles.
Days 30-32 Bukhara
Get to know Central Asia's holiest city, where the combination of buildings spanning a thousand years and a thoroughly lived-in Old Town help create the awe-inspiring atmosphere.
Days 34-36 Samarkand
Travel to one of Central Asia's most magical cities, Uzbekistan's Samarkand. Discover the romance of the Silk Road in this perfectly preserved city full of exotic architecture and majestic buildings.
Days 37-39 Tashkent
End your Samarkand and Tamerlane's Testament adventure in the most modern of Uzbekistan's cities. Visit Tashkent's thriving Chorsu Bazaar to pick up Soviet-style souvenirs and admire the ornately decorated Kukeldash Medressa.
Days 53-54 Bishkek
Relax on the final days in Bishek. Why not stroll through the city's markets and haggle for bargains. Alternatively, relaxing in an Oak Park cafe and reflecting on the adventure is another good option!
Days 66-67 Turpan
Escape the desert sands in the laidback town of Turpan.
Days 69-70 Dunhuang
Arrive in Dunhuang and relax in this Gansu oasis trading town. Visit the nearby Mogao Caves and discover their breathtaking Buddhist art.
Day 42 Bishkek
Soak up the relaxed charm of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital. Wander through its wide streets and admire its wealth of handsome houses.
Days 43-44 Chong Kemin National Park
Set off on a leisurely hike along Chong Kemin River - or if feeling adventurous, perhaps tackle one of the tough 4000m passes.
Day 45 Cholpon Ata
Head to Cholpon Ata, nestled on the shores of the vast and beautiful Issyk-Kul Lake.
Day 46 Karakol
Discover the remote, picturesque town of Karakol, complete with quaint tree-lined streets and colonial houses.
Days 47-48 Djety Oguz Valley
Admire the lofty sandstone cliffs in Djety Oguz Valley.
Day 49 Kochkor
Mingle with friendly locals and relish Kyrgyz hospitality while enjoying a homestay in Kochkor.
Days 50-51 Song-Kol Lake
Spend the night in a yurt near Song-Kol Lake and join in a game of ulak-tartysh.
Day 52 Bush Camp
Make tracks back to Bishkek, stopping to camp in the wilderness overnight.
Days 59-61 Kashgar
Travel to the westernmost end of China and visit Kashgar, an exotic fusion of Chinese, Uzbek and Kyrgyz. Wander the streets that weave through the old town and discover the markets and bazaars of this diverse city.
Days 62-63 Bush Camp
Leave Kashgar and head to the outskirts of the enormous Taklamakan Desert. Travelling into seemingly unchartered terrain, spend two days on an overland adventure.
Days 64-65 Heavenly Lake
Travel towards the Tian Shan mountain range, and arrive at the pristine Heavenly Lake. Located at the top of a mountain - and in the middle of a desert - this is a remote spot, perfect for relaxation.
Days 73-74 Liujiaxia
At the crossroads of Qinghai and Gangsu, arrive at Liujiaxia. Visit the Bingling Si Buddhist Grottoes to see intricate cliff-side carvings.
Days 75-76 Xiahe
Travel to the Tibetan monastery town of Xiahe, often described as one of the most enchanting places to visit in China.
Day 77 Lanzhou
Relax beside the rushing waters of the Yellow River.
Day 78 Pingliang
Camp beneath the stars.
Days 79-81 Xi'an
Admire the 2,000-year-old army of Terracotta Warriors at the end of this journey from Kashgar to Xian.
Day 84 Shapotou
The reward for a morning of travel is letting off steam in Shapotou, where daredevils will delight in the dune sliding madness of this sandy wonderland. And if the stars align, embark on an overnight camel safari on the fringes of the stunning Tengger Desert.
Day 85 Yinchuan
After a pit stop at the grand temples of Zhongwei Gao Miao, enjoy fraternising with locals amid the ebb and flow of daily life in provincial China in the friendly city of Yinchuan.
Days 86-87 Hohhot
Travel to the cultural centre of Hohhot, the gateway to Inner Mongolia. This busy ancient city gives off a laidback vibe making it the perfect place to reload before embarking on a Mongolian homestay. Yak butter tea, anyone?
Days 88-89 Datong
Marvel at the Hanging Monastery, delicately perched on a steep cliff face in Golden Dragon Gorge, and explore the World Heritage listed Yungang Grottoes, home to a staggering collection of over 50,000 statues and fascinating ancient rock art.
Days 90-91 Chengde
Stroll through the lush Shanzhuang gardens in the footsteps of past Emperors who holidayed here. Take in the rich heritage of Chengde by bicycle or admire Mongolian and Tibetan influences in local temples and monasteries.
Days 94-96 Beijing
Journey into the valley of the Changrui Mountains, where emperors and their concubines lay entombed at Qing Dongling. End the tour by joining the buzzing hive that is Beijing - a place where discovery and intrigue lie around every corner. Visit the Forbidden City to admire imperial architecture or the sprawling Summer Palace on the banks of Kunming Lake.
Days 1-2 Istanbul
Welcome to incredible Istanbul! Have your fortune told in the Taksim, bargain up a storm in the Grand Bazaar or admire the imposing Blue Mosque in this fascinating city.
Day 3 Tuz Golu/Bush Camp
Visit Turkey's salt lake, Tuz Golo, which provides 63% of Turkey's salt. Bush camp in the evening.
Days 4-5 Goreme
Discover Cappadocia's Goreme Valley and underground troglodyte cities, fairy chimneys and caves. Perhaps also enjoy a traditional Turkish bath or sip tea with locals in the quaint cafes of this fascinating area of Turkey.
Days 6-7 Bush Camp
Travel overland into Eastern Turkey via ancient trade routes. Camp under skies that have been gazed at for centuries by fellow travellers.
Day 8 Dogubeyazit
Visit Ishak Pasha Palace near Dogubayazit on the Iranian Border. The town of Dogubayazit is at the foot of Mount Ararat, reportedly where Noah's Ark came to rest after The Flood.
Day 9 Kandovan
Enjoy the first night in Iran at Kandovan, an ancient village of caves built into the volcanic rock - and where locals still live.
Day 10 Zanjan
Explore Zanjan's delightful bazaar and check out the beautiful handicrafts on sale here - perhaps answer the question: does an incredible handcrafted rug fit in a backpack?
Days 11-12 Tehran
Travel to Tehran and be awed by this vibrant city where ancient meets modern. There is plenty of time here to explore the incredible Golestan Palace, the city's many fascinating museums and galleries, and to relax and chat with locals while watching this interesting part of the world go by.
Days 13-15 Esfahan
Spend three days in this breathtaking city and take time trawling the souqs, bazaars, beautiful squares and blue tiled Mosques of Esfahan.
Days 16-17 Persepolis/Shiraz
Explore the ancient ruins of Persepolis, Persia, and visit the stunning Islamic Shiraz - discovering its impressive citadel and mosques.
Day 18 Zein-o-din Caravanserai
Feel transported back in time while staying in a traditional caravanserai in the Dasht-e Lut desert.
Days 19-20 Yazd
Wind through the old city of Yazd - reputedly one of the oldest towns in the world. Sign up for a scrub in a local hamam or sample some tasty Iranian cuisine.
Day 21 Dasht-e Kavir Desert/Khoor
Travel through the Dasht-e Kavir Desert, which lies in the middle of the Iranian plateau, to the tranquil oasis of Khoor.
Day 22 Damghan
Explore Iran's oldest surviving mosque - dating back to the 1st century - in Damghan.
Day 23 Shirvan
Relax by Shirvan's Atrak River, which gives this small town a lush and peaceful feel.
Days 24-25 Ashgabat
Say goodbye to Iran and travel into Turkmenistan. Conclude the adventure among the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat.
Day 26 Darwasa
Sleep under the stars in the Karakum Desert. See the spectacular fires of the Darvaza Gas Crater.
Day 33 Nurata
Spend a night in a yurt camp with the local nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.
Days 40-41 Aksu National Park
Make tracks into Kazakhstan and enjoy a night with a local family in Zhabagly before exploring the grasslands of Asku National Park. Kazakhstan's oldest national park is a scenic wonderland full of mountain lakes, rivers and glaciers, plus all sorts of unusual flora and fauna.
Days 71-72 Bush Camp/Great Wall
Drive to Jiayuguan and discover deserted sections of the Great Wall.
Days 82-83 Gansu Province/Mount Kongtong
Admire the view from atop the temple-studded Kongtong Mountain and enjoy the spoils of Gansu Province, which has a rich and colourful history as one of the important links on the ancient Silk Road.
Day 92 Huairou
Take a walk along the monumental Great Wall as it snakes its way through rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Imagine the exhaustive effort of farmers and labourers who toiled for many generations to construct the Wall.
Day 93 Qing Dongling
Perhaps go on a short trek along a stunning section of the Great Wall from Jinshanling to Simatai.