Explore the ancient and modern Silk Road via private train on this unique journey through one of Asia’s most historically dynamic regions. Amazing natural beauty, mysterious ancient artifacts and modern metropolises are waiting for you on this legendary trade route.Please note: This itinerary is onboard the Orient Silk Road Express Private Train
Day 1 Your First Footsteps on the Silk Road Day 2 The Metropolis of Kazakhstan, Almaty Day 3 Out in the Country: A Day at Lake Issyk-Kul Day 4 Another Day, Another Adventure: The City of Bishkek Day 5 Tashkent, the City of Stones Day 6 An Ancient Crossroads in the Valley Day 7 Traveling Through Time in Shahrisabz Day 8 Samarkand: City of Monuments Day 9 Samarkand: A Day in the Life Day 10 Free Day in Samarkand Day 11 A Most Ancient Adventure: Khujand Day 12 Uzbekistan’s Hidden Gem: Khiva Day 13 Bukhara, City of Millennia Day 14 A City Within a City: The Ark of Bukhara Day 15 Return to Tashkent Day 16 The Detour Home
28.08 – 12.09.2020 (16 days)
21.09 – 06.10.2020 (16 days)
27.08 – 11.09.2021 (16 days)
20.09 – 05.10.2021 (16 days)
Day 1 Your First Footsteps on the Silk Road
As your flight lands at the Almaty Airport, you get your first glimpse of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. After you de-board the plane, your driver meets you and takes you straight to your hotel for the night. As you watch the scenery on the way to the Almaty city center, you get chills of excitement in anticipation of your sixteen-day excursion on the ancient Silk Road. Overnight: Rahat Palace Hotel (or similar).
Day 2 The Metropolis of Kazakhstan, Almaty
You wake up refreshed and waste no time getting to know your surroundings. First on the day’s agenda is a sightseeing tour, where you see the Ascension Cathedral, the Kazakh State Circus, and the Almaty Central Mosque. In the distance, you can see the outline of the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains, giving you a preview of what is to come on your journey. In the afternoon, you enjoy a welcome lunch of local cuisine in a traditional Kazakh yurt. After you say goodbye to the friendly faces and amazing sights of Almaty, it is time to board your private train. As you board, a porter helps with your luggage. Later, your tour guide welcomes you aboard and gives a casual talk about what to expect on the trip. After a refreshing welcome drink, you depart for the next country on your tour, Kyrgyzstan. Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D).
Day 3 Out in the Country: A Day at Lake Issyk-Kul
As the morning sun find its way into your compartment, you see that you are arriving at the greater Lake Issyk-Kul area. You immediately realize that you are now in the midst of great natural beauty, a big difference from the sprawling metropolis of Almaty. Your first stop in this lush region is Cholpon-Ata, where you enjoy a boat ride on Lake Issyk-Kul, one of the largest lakes in the world. The breathtaking views of this enormous lake make you feel as if you’re at sea. Back on land, you go on a mountain excursion, which includes a picnic lunch and a Kyrgyz folk dance. After your full day by the lake, you are ready for the comfort of your private train. Once on board, you depart for Bishkek. A nightcap and good conversation prepare you for the next day’s adventure. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 4 Another Day, Another Adventure: The City of Bishkek
On your second day in Kyrgyzstan you find yourself in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital and largest city. Like Almaty, it is situated at the foot of a mountain range, the Tian Shan. You now begin to realize that Central Asia will never let you down. There is so much to see here, that you already have the feeling that you’ll be back again, and it’s only day four of your journey! Your guide takes you through the city, explaining everything clearly as you go. A visit to the Dordoy Bazaar, the city’s largest outdoor market, gives you a peek into the everyday life of Bishkek citizens. After the market, you visit the National Historical Museum then take a ride outside the city to the Ala Archa National Park.
As the sun sets, you are ready to board your private train for Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 5 Tashkent, the City of Stones
As you wake from a comfortable sleep, your private train rolls into Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, also known as the City of Stones. Although you’ve now experienced only two Central Asian countries, you feel as though you’re an expert. Your tour guide has been very informative from the beginning, and the staff on board has made you feel at home. Needless to say, you are ready for the day’s new sights. On your guided tour of Tashkent, you see the medieval Kukeldash Madrasa, the Amir Timur Museum and traditional Uzbek houses. After taking the day to discover the largest capital city in Central Asia, you are prepared to take the night for further discovery. An opera or concert in a music hall would do just fine as would a drink at the hotel bar. Overnight: Grand Mir Hotel (or similar)(BLD)
Day 6 An Ancient Crossroads in the Valley
After breakfast, you spend the morning on board your private train, crossing the Kamchik Pass in the Qurama Mountains. By the afternoon, you reach Kokand, an important crossroads on the ancient Silk Road. You learn from your guide that it was once was the capital of an Uzbek kingdom—the Khanate of Kokand. You visit the Khan’s Palace, now a museum, which was the home of Khudayar Khan who had once reigned over the area. After taking in the city’s sights, you have the chance to visit a local family and help bake traditional bread. After an enjoyable day of exploration, you board your private train, which whisks you off to another adventure. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 7 Traveling Through Time in Shahrisabz
On the way to Shahrisabz, you pass through a remote mountainous region of Uzbekistan, accessible only by your private train. Upon arrival, you immediately notice the eclectic character of the city. One of Central Asia’s most ancient cities, its architecture is a mix of Greek, Turkic and Mongol, which make it unique in the region. It is most notably the birthplace of Timur—a Mongol emperor from the 14th century. The city’s old center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to one of many architectural highlights, including the White Palace, Timur’s so-called summer home. Later, you enjoy a folk dance that puts the region’s unique culture on full display. After a day of exploration, that evening you depart for Samarkand—another UNESCO World Heritage Site—on your private train. On board you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 8 Samarkand: City of Monuments
Today, you spend the day visiting the sights of Samarkand, which was considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious city in Timur’s time. As your guide shows you the sights, you find it hard to keep your eyes on each one as he explains them. There are so many things to see that you wish you had two sets of eyes! The city is filled with architectural monuments, including the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, the Afrasiab archaeological site and museum, and Registan Square. The city is known for its Islamic influence, which is clearly shown through the beautiful mosaics, minarets and domes of its mosques and madrasas. By the time you get back to the hotel for dinner, you are glad that you have more than one day in this amazing city. Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar) (BLD)
Day 9 Samarkand: A Day in the Life
Today is another day filled with amazing monuments to behold, including the Ulugh Beg Observatory, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque and the palatial Gur-e-Amir mausoleum. However, you also take a detour to get a glimpse into the Samarkand’s daily life. In a silk carpet workshop, you marvel at the ancient craft of silk weaving. A visit to an Uzbek paper-making family wows you with the process of making paper from mulberry bark. Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel (or similar) (BLD)
Day 10 Free Day in Samarkand
On your final day in Samarkand, you have morning to yourself. You take in some more of the amazing monuments of the city, but you also explore the Siyob Bazaar, the city’s largest market, and wander through the streets near the hotel, sampling the sights and smells of local galleries and cafés. Around noon and with a bittersweet goodbye, you board your private train and depart for Khujand, Tajikistan, for your next adventure. Overnight on board (BLD)
Day 11 A Most Ancient Adventure: Khujand
As you pull into the station at Khujand, your tour guide gives a brief overview of the city. It was formerly known as Leninabad and is now the second largest city in Tajikistan. As one of the most ancient cities on the Silk Road, it has been ruled by some of the world’s most successful emperors, such as Cyrus the great, who founded the city more than 2,000 years ago. With that in mind, you disembark your private train, expecting to see many amazing sights. One of your first impressions of the city is a unique view of the Syr River, whose beauty immediately fulfills your expectations. Among the highlights of your tour today are the Historical Museum of Sughd, which is housed in a restored bastion of the city wall, and the Panchshanbe Bazaar, possibly one of the largest markets in Central Asia, built in 1964. In addition to these impressive monuments to the city’s history, you also see many stunning mosques and have the opportunity to meet a local Tajik family. In the afternoon, your private train continues its journey westward. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 12 Uzbekistan’s Hidden Gem: Khiva
Today you arrive in Khiva, one of Central Asia’s hidden gems. When you first de-board your private train, the city seems somewhat plain compared to what you’ve seen so far on your journey. However, as your tour guide leads you into the city center, you begin to feel transported to another world. It is filled with mosques, minarets and mausoleums, and you get the feeling that you could spend all day among them. However, it is only when you come to the site of Uzbekistan’s first entry on the UNESCO World Heritage List— Itchan Kala—that you understand how amazing the city is. Itchan Kala is Khiva’s old town district, where city walls and bastions tower above you. Here you enjoy many fantastic ancient sights, including the brilliant turquoise mosaics of the Kalta Minor Minaret, and the Seid Alauddin Mausoleum, one of the oldest buildings in Khiva. It is in this fairy-tale setting that you enjoy lunch before getting back on your private train. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 13 Bukhara, City of Millennia
When your private train arrives in Bukhara (your second stop in Uzbekistan), you smile when you remember that you’ll be here for two nights. That’s a good thing, because Bukhara is dense with architectural monuments and world renowned sites that originate millennia ago. Like Khiva, Bukhara has an old town that is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the jaw-dropping wonders you visit here is Po-i-Kalyan, which contains the Kalyan Minaret, the Kalyan Mosque and the exquisite Mir-i Arab Madrasa. You also visit the equally beautiful Lyab-i Hauz, an architectural complex that surrounds a pond, once part of a system that provided water for the city. Later, you take your eyes off the dazzling architecture of Bukhara to watch a local dance performance, complete with colorful national costumes and music. Overnight: Hotel Asia Bukhara (or similar) (BLD)
Day 14 A City Within a City: The Ark of Bukhara
After a good night’s sleep, you awake with one thing on your mind: exploration. Everything you saw yesterday whetted your appetite for more. Today, you adventure takes you slightly out of the center of the city. You visit the amazing Ark of Bukhara, which in addition to being an imposing ancient fortress was also a city within a city. You get your fill here of museums dedicated to its history, which spans more than a thousand years. Later, you take your exploration to the Samanid Park, a beautiful green space that surrounds the Samanid Mausoleum, a shrine to one of the last Persian rulers of Central Asia. Overnight: Hotel Asia Bukhara (or similar) (BLD)
Day 15 Return to Tashkent
The past two days were filled with so much wonder that you can’t help but think about the possibility of staying here longer. You walk the now familiar streets of Bukhara, imagining yourself as a local. Your revelry stops when you look at your watch and realize your private train will depart for Tashkent around noon, so you head back to the hotel. Later that afternoon you arrive in Tashkent, where you continue reminiscing and prepare your things. Overnight: Grand Mir (or similar) (BLD)
Day 16 The Detour Home
You have spent sixteen days collecting beautiful memories, and your days on the Silk Road are now complete. However, as you reflect on your amazing adventure, you can’t help but feel that you will never truly leave the Silk Road behind—it will stay with you forever. You enjoy breakfast then head to the airport for your flight home. (B)
HabibiThis compartment has sleeping berths (26.4 × 72.4 in /67 × 184cm) for up to four guests. A table near the window separates lower and upper berths on either side. Each car has nine compartments, with washroom facilities at both ends.
Ali BabaThis compartment has two lower berths (27.5 × 74.8 in/67 × 184 cm each), as well as a table and additional storage space. Each car has nine compartments, with washroom facilities at both ends.
AladdinThis category features two lower beds (27.5 × 74.8 in/67 × 184 cm each), a small table and storage space. Each car has eight compartments and a shower, together with washroom facilities at both ends. Guests in this category also receive one bathrobe per compartment.
SultanThis category features two beds, upper and lower (31.6 × 68.5 in/80 × 174 cm and 43.3 × 72.4 in/110 × 184 cm) These compartments also offer comfortable seating, a larger table and a small closet. Each room has its own private bathroom, complete with integrated shower. The cars in this category are comprised of just six compartments.
KalifThe Orient Silk Road Express’ grandest accommodation. The Kalif category features two beds, upper and lower (31.6 × 68.5 in/80 × 174 cm and 44 × 72.4 in/112 × 184 cm). Each compartment includes a closet, safe and private bathroom with a separate shower cabin. Each car in this category is limited to four compartments and a maximum of just eight guests.
- 8 nights on your private train according to the category booked
- 7 nights in hotels
- All meals as specified in the itinerary
- All excursions and sightseeing, including admission fees
- Transportation to and from all airports and train stations according to itinerary
- Multilingual Lernidee tour director
- Experienced local guides
- Doctor on board
- Traditional welcome in the train stations of Bukhara and Samarkand
- Wine and vodka tasting
Highlights Of Your Journey
- Discover Central Asia aboard a private train featuring 4 compartment classes
- Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Shahrisabz
- Explore 4 Central Asian countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
- Marvel at ancient architecture like the Kalta Minor Minaret and the Ulugh Beg Observatory
- Meet local families and watch the traditional baking of bread and many other crafts
DATES for 2020
(16 days / 15 nights)
28 Aug – 12 Sep
21 Sep – 06 Oct
RATES (per person, twin share)
DATES for 2021
(16 days / 15 nights)
August 27 – 11 Sept
20 Sept – Oct 5
Please contact us for pricing.