Central Silk Road - Reverse

Follow the central Silk Road through harshly beautiful deserts, past mountains and lakeshores that were once home to brutal yet sophisticated khans and sultans, and later still were the furthest reaches of the USSR. Now they offer the bold traveller a startling vision of Central Asian culture: a blend of futuristic cities, Islamic monuments and traditional nomad customs. From the modern streets of Ashgabat to the relaxed charm of Bishkek, the myriad experiences of this overland journey will stay with you a lifetime.


Day 1 Bishkek

Enjoy the relaxed charm of Kyrgyzstan's capital, traipse its wide streets and admire its wealth of handsome houses. Learn about Lenin's ties to the city or simply relax and enjoy tasty local fare.

Days 15-16 Tashkent

Shop for Soviet memorabilia at the Chorsu Bazaar, where everything from Soviet stamp collections to military uniforms is up for grabs. Or if you're a little more adventurous, the city's old imperial restaurants provide eye-popping cabaret shows for a bit of raunchiness over dinner.

Days 2-3 Chong Kemin Valley

Camp in the foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range, which separates Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan. Enjoy spectacular views and plenty of wildlife.

Days 6-7 Djety Oguz Valley

Admire the sandstone cliffs of the Djety-Oguz Valley and hike among the unusual rock formations.

Day 11 Chaek

Relax on the long journey back to Bishkek by admiring the immense natural beauty out your window, before stopping to make a bush camp for the night.

Day 12 Bishkek

Upon returning to the capital, relax at one of Dubovy Park's open-air cafes, take a long walk to stretch your legs or chat with locals in one of the city bars.

Day 4 Cholpon-Ata/Issyk-kul Lake

Visit the ancient rock inscriptions outside Cholpon-Ata or simply kick back on the beaches of Issyk-kul Lake.

Day 5 Kara-kol/Kara-kul

Soak up the idyllic vibes of Kara-Kol, framed by stunning orchards, glaciers and mountains.

Day 8 Kochkor Homestay

Sleep in a yurt alongside a family of local shepherds. Learn about local customs and traditions, and enjoy hikes through the surrounding hills for spectacular views over this breathtaking and isolated location.

Day 9-10s Song Kul Lake

Watch the locals play a bizarre game of ulak-Tartys or goat polo (yes, goat polo) on the shores of Song Kul Lake, and absorb as many local customs and cuisine as you can during this unique home stay.

Days 13-14 Zhabagly/Aksu National Park

Crossing the border into Kazakhstan, journey overland through Aksu National Park with a memorable home stay in a small fishing village.

Days 17-19 Samarkand

From the sprawling street of tombs, larger-than-life monuments and technicolour bazaar - Samarkand is one of Central Asia's most magical destinations. Discover the romance of the Silk Road in this perfectly preserved city.

Day 20 Yurt stay

Visit the old fortress of Alexander the Great. Spend a night in a yurt camp with the Uzbek nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.

Days 21-23 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 add to Bukhara's charisma.

Days 24-25 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.

Day 26 Kunye Urgench

Travel into Turkmenistan and visit 11th century ruins on the shore of the Amu Daria River.

Day 27 Darwasa

Follow a local trading route through the harsh Karakum Desert and meet the nomadic Turkmen. Visit the truly breathtaking sight of the massive Darwasa Gas Crater spitting flames into the sky.

Days 28-30 Ashgabat

Wander amongst the futuristic architecture that dominates the Ashgabat skyline. Stop by the Carpet Museum to spy the world's largest hand-woven rug or learn about the city's traumatic history at the Earthquake Museum.

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