Historical and archaeological tour
Duration: 21 days

Countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan 

TOUR ITINERARY
Kazakhstan

Day 01 Arrival in Almaty. Accommodation in the hotel. O/N.
Day 02 Almaty sightseeing Visit the 28 Panfilov’s guardsmen park, Cathedral, Museum of national musical instruments, National museum (visit to GOLD ROOM),   Medeo gorge (Н-1691) and Republic square. Lunch in Kazak Aul restaurant with folk show (traditional Kazak meals), Archaeological Museum, dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03 Excursion to BESSHATYR BURIAL MOUNDS Transfer Almaty – Kapchagay – Chengeldy village – Besshatyr Burial Mounds (175 km, 3,5 hours). Excursion to Besshatyr Burial Mounds (burial places of saks tsars of VII-III  B.C.) Lunch-picnic. Back to Almaty. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight.
Day 04  Almaty – Tamgaly-Bishkek Transfer  Almaty  -  Kopa  - Tamgaly (170 km, 3,5  hours) There are more 150 places  with petrogliphs in Kazakhstan, but Tamgaly is most well-known.  Excursion to the Rock Art Gallery. Lunch-picnic. Transfer to Bishkek  (220 km). Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight.
Kyrgyzstan
Day 05 Bishkek – Issyk-Kul After breakfast transfer to Issyk-Kul lake (260 km).  On the way: Visit  to  Suyab town- ruins of Ak-Beshim, the remains of Buddhism temples V-VIIIc.,  ruins of ancient city Nevaket (VI-XII c) , excursion to Burana Tower – historical complex (XI c), Ruins nar Toru-Aigyr village -  relics of mediaeval bathhouse (XIV c),  lunch,  Visit to  Museum in Cholpon-Ata, petrogliphs. Boat trip on Issyk-Kul lake (1 hour). Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 06 Issyk-Kul – Karakol Transfer to Karakol (140 km).  On the way: Kurmenty Sax barrows  ( V-III c.b.c.) City sightseeing: visit to Dungan mosque , Troitsk Orthodox Church (1894-1895), bazaar, Museum  of Przhevalsky, famous Russian traveler and scientist. Lunch at local café. Excursion to Dzhety-Oguz ( 30 km from Karakol). Walking. Flowers valley.  Accommodation and dinner at  Guest house .
Day 07 Karakol -  Bishkek Transfer to Bishkek ( 400 km) by Southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake. Lunch on the way. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 08 Bishkek – Taraz City sightseeing: Victory square, Main Russian Orthodox Church, l, Famous oriental Osh market, Ala-Too square, History museum. After lunch transfer to Taraz (280 km).  Accommodation in Dzhambul hotel. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 09 Taraz – Turkestan City sightseeing. Transfer to Chimkent (170 km). On the way visit to Aisha-Bibi and Babadzhi-Khatun Mausoleums.  Lunch. After lunch visit to Sairam (15 km from Chimkent). Transfer to Turkestan (165 km). Accommodation and dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
Uzbekistan
Day 10 Turkestan – Tashkent Excursion to Akhmed Yassawi  Complex.  Lunch. Transfer to Cherniaevka (Kazak-Uzbek border). On the way visit to Otrar ruins and Arstan Baba Mausoleum (220 km). Meeting  at Kazak-Uzbek border Cherniyaevka. Transfer to Tashkent. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 11 Tashkent – Samarkand (330 km, 5-6 hrs).After breakfast in hotel, you will make fascinating trip to Samarkand- the one of the most ancient and perhaps one of the most famous cities of Central Asia likelihood, you have heard about this ancient city many times! This is the main point of Great Silk Road, museum of city, preserved like Bukhara and Khiva uniqueness of the Middle Ages. However, it will give you the modern services, which together with color of local traditions will pleasantly wonder you by comfort. Night in hotel.
Day 12 Samarkand. After breakfast in hotel  you will have amazing trip along city, which will be combined as following: Firstly, we will go to the most entertainment square of the Central Asia – Registan square (XVII) made with wonderful architectural ensemble and located in the “heart” of Samarkand. The word “Registan” means “sandy place”. Registan appeared as centre of trade and handicraft. It is intersection of 6 roads, leading from the city gates. Square surrounded by majestic buildings from 3 sides: Ulugbek madrassah (1417-1420), Sher Dor madrassah (1619-1636), Tillya-Kory madrassah (1647-1660). In 1417 Ulugbek – grandson of the famous Amir Temur start to build madrassah here, which was named of his name. This madrassah was finished in 1420 and square became the centre of the science. Firstly about 100 of people studied at that original university of the Middle Ages. In 17-th century, two monumental buildings were built there. These are Sher Dor and Tillya- Kori . They differ with their impressive sizes  and luxury decoration, although with architecture are inferior with comparison of their prototype – immortal monument of art of building-Ulugbek’s madrasah. Sher Dor madrasah (“building with lions”) with image of fantastic animals of the cat family and chamois at the portal are mirror image of the Ulugbek’s madrasah. It was building during almost 17 years by the order of emir Yalangtush Bakhadur –the ruler of Samarkand. After 10 years after Sher Dor building was finished in the presence of the same ruler was established Tillya-Kori madrasah, which close Registan square from the north. The name of this building means “dressed by gold” and beside it’s main purpose (students teaching) this building also plaid a role of mosque. The Registan haven’t lost his significance of the central city square till these days. Than we certainly will visit Gur Emir mausoleum – table tomb of Temurid’s dynasty, where till these days lie remains of the great Amir Temur commander. According to the legend it’s prohibited to open his grave otherwise will be the war. At the first sight how could it be? But it have already had happened! The Second World War started after the scientists were occupied with excavations at this place. The next objects of our view are Rukhabad  necropolis (XV), Bibi-Khanum (XV), which was build by the special order of Amir Timur by 500 workers and 95 Indian elephants; Ulugbek’s observatory (XV) , where you will see unique astronomic facility –sextant; Shokhi-Zindan architectural complex (XII-XV), where lie remains of AmirTemur’s retainers; Khazrat-Khyzra (XIX).
Day 13 Samarkand-Bukhara (300 km, 4-5 hrs).Woke up early in the morning you will move to Bukhara. En route you will in full evaluate the greatness of Kyzyl-Kum desert, which still keeps footprints of caravans, once slowly stretched along the Great Silk Road. “Bukhara-I-Sharif”, “noble”, “sacred”- these are some of the many epithets with which was nicknamed this ancient city. One of the legend says that it’s founder was Siyavush- the son of Iranian shah. Zoroastrians of Bukhara honored the place of his death and in Navrouz sacred holiday slaughter a rooster at the Guriyan eastern gates, where Siyavush was buried. At times of Samanid’s dynasty Bukhara , being the capital, was considered as the greatest city of Islamic world! Besides, Bukhara became the centre of trade of China with western Asia and  original money-changing store of all Asian nations. Exactly that way became proverbial existed in 19 century words: “he is looking alive as Bukharan moneychanger”.We will have a rest at hotel after long road, anticipating with pleasure meeting with “God’s charm”- Bukhara.
Day 14 Bukhara. Next our morning at hotel starts from breakfast, after which we will continue three-hour fascinating excursion in Bukhara. Then we will go out of city (not faraway, just in 15-20 minutes from city), where will visit summer residence (XIX) of Bukharan emir – Sittorai Mokhi-Hosa- “the palace of moon and stars, Bolo Hauze mosque, Bakhaadin Nakshbandi sheikh’s complex, which considering as Central Asian Mecca, and Nakshbandi at his time was spiritual adviser of Amir Temur, than we will come back to Bukhara and spend the night in hotel.
Day 15 Bukhara – Khiva (440 km, 6-7 hrs.) Woken up early in the morning you will have a long way to Khiva! En route you will estimate in full volume the majesty of Kyzyl-Kum desert, still keeping the footprints of walking here caravans of the Great Silk Road. This day you will see Khiva, the real Oriental city, whose air steel keeps the spirit of the Middle Ages! There are no high modern buildings, wide highways and it seems that time here has stopped just to keep all that ancient beauty which you can see at this amazing earth! Night in hotel.
Day 16 Khiva This day will be devoted to the meeting with places of interest of Khiva. You will see many historical monuments and anicent clay houses! What a surprise - all places of interest are located so compactly not in the big territory, surrounded by the city walls! This is the most ancient part of the Khiva - Ichan-Cala (XVIIIC - internal part of Khiva). Exactly here are situated the basic monuments of our attention: Kyunya -Ark fortress (XVII C), Pakhlavan Makhmud Complex (XIV-XIX CC), which has the biggest dome in Khiva, obtected with blue glazed tile with glitter overgilded top. This masoleum was built in honor of the Pakhlavan Makhmud- the famous Khiva’s poet and person well-known by his herculean strength! Muslim ministry included him to the list of Saints after his death! Islam Khodja madrassah and minaret (1908) - amazing building, skilfully decorated with colorful mosaic. This minared is called as the main symbol of Khiva and his diminished shape go back to the early architectural models (XIV CC). The brick masonry at the minaret is interlaced with stripes of the glazed pattern. The minaret has a height of 56,6 metres and base diameter of 9,5 metres. The Palace of Tash Khauli Alakuli-Khan (XVIII – XIX CC). Djuma mosque (X-XVIII CC). Mukhammadaminkhan minaret and madrassah (1831-1855). Facade of the minaret is decorated with ornament of the glazed brick. At this moment here located a hotel, tourist agency, exchange office, office on air tickets selling, café. Also you can go to Akish-Bobo fortress, where a magnificent view of the whole city is opens up! Also we are recommending you to visit bazaar, where you can look amazing Khiva carpets, syuzane (national embroidered materials), national oriental robes and (embroidered) skullcap embroidered by spun gold! Evening we will come back again to Urgench and accommodate in hotel for 1 night.
Turkmenistan
Day 17 Khiva – Urgench-“Shavat” Border check point – (Turkmenistan) Kunya Urgench- Darvaza. Drive to the border and cross the border in Turkmenistan. Visit Kunya Urgench historical site (Formerly situated on the Amu-Darya River, Old Urgench was one of the greatest cities on the Silk Road. Its foundation date is uncertain, but the extant ruins of the ‘Kyrk mullah’ fortress have been dated the Achaemenid period. The XII and early XIII centuries were the golden age of the city, as it surpassed in population and fame all other Central Asian cities, barring Bukhara. In 1221, Genghis Khan razed it to the ground in one of the bloodiest massacres in human history. The city was revived after Genghis's assault, but the sudden change of Amu-Darya's course to the north and the town's destruction again in the 1370s, this time by Tamerlane, forced the inhabitants to leave the site forever). Since 2005, the ruins of Old Urgench have been protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Sight seeing. Continue drive across the Kara Kum desert, leave the asphalt road at Darvaza & arrive at ‘Fire gas crater’. Camping. Discover it at night.  O/N in tent.
Day 18 Darvaza- Erbent- Ashgabat, 250 km Drive to Ashgabat. Discover on the route ‘Erbent’ village. Check in hotel. After lunch start sight seeing in Ashgabat, visiting the Independence park, monument of Neutrality, Earthquake Memorial, Ertogrul Ghazi mosque. Visit the archeological site “Nisa” UNESCO site from 2007 (Nisa is situated at the crossroads of important commercial and strategic axes. The archaeological remains vividly illustrate the significant interaction of cultural influences from central Asia and from the Mediterranean world. The Parthian Empire was one of the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world, and a brilliant rival of Rome which prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire to the east. Nisa, the capital of the Parthian Empire, is the outstanding symbol of the significance of this imperial power). Discover Turkmenbashy spiritual mosque. Return in Ashgabat. O/N at hotel.
Day 19 Ashgabat- Mary, 410 km total Drive to Mary, 350 km. Visit the Merv historical site. The ancient city of Merv (Persian Marv) contains a succession of ancient cities developed over a period of 2500 years at the heart of the oasis formed by Murgab river delta, and close to the course of where the main river channel flowed in ancient times. Together, the cities of Merv once encompassed over 1000 hectares. In 1999, the United Nations declared Merv a World Heritage Site. Site seeing (Alexandria & Antiochia of Margiana, Sultan Kala, Usuf Hamadany shrine, ‘Keshk’ castles VI- X c, Askhabs tombs, Muhammed ibn Zeid mausoleum). Return in Mary. Dinner & O/N at hotel.
Day 20 Mary- Gonur- Ashgabat, 200 km total + FLT Drive to Gonur (Margiana) archeological site. The part of the Bronze Age archaeological sites dating from c. 2200 to 1700 B.C., the remains of a connected Bronze Age civilization centered on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus), the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) and the inhabitants of that period and region, the Oxus civilization. Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian province of Margush. Visit the excavations: the sprawling maze of sun-baked adobe have revealed much of the Murgab’s way of life. An agricultural and herding community, residents grew grain, raised sheep, built sophisticated irrigation and sewage systems, and produced ceramics in the many kilns that dot the landscape. The main city was fortified by thick walls and packed with one-story buildings that included a vast palace featuring living quarters, funeral chambers, temples and what researchers believe are a pair of observatories. Necropolis digs have revealed exquisite objects of both local and foreign origin, the latter indicating trade with cultures as far off as Egypt and the Indus Valley. Return in Mary. Flight to Ashgabat. Check in hotel. O/N.
Day 21 Ashgabat- airport Transfer to airport. End of tour. 

  

Map Of Turkmenistan