Spectacular Custom Tours to Central Asia, the Caucasus and Beyond

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Silk Road Tour to Iran, Uzbekistan and China

Duration of this Trip 25 Days Priced From $11,500 per person

Marvel at the wonders of ancient Persia and modern Iran and the natural beauty that surrounds them in this most ancient cradle of civilization. Iran has long been a cultural and intellectual center along the Silk Road. It is the birthplace of Hafez and Rumi, leaders of the great Persian literary tradition, the site of famed scientific, medical and mathematical discoveries, and the resting place of great kings. What would you expect from one of the oldest civilizations in the world? Discover the wonders of Iran!

At a Glance

Duration

25 Days

Priced From

$11,500 per person

Departures

  • September 18-October 12, 2016
  • Choose your Dates

Itinerary

  • Days 1-8 Iran: Explore the ancient cities of Iran, Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan
  • Days 9-13 Uzbekistan: Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand
  • Days 14-25 China: Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan, Dunhuang, Xian, Beijing

Day 1: Arrival-Tehran

Arrival in Tehran. You will be met by our escort guide and driver and transfer to the hotel

Day 2: Tehran

Set against a backdrop of the Alborz Mountains, discover Tehran, the capital of Iran.  Visit the Nyavaran and Saad Abad Shah Palaces. Explore the world-class Archaeological and Islamic Art Museum for insight into the ancient Persian civilization. Take a break and savor a cup of Iranian coffee, rest in Park-e Shahr (City Park), enjoy a delicious kebab.  Tehran is a feast for the senses and the bazaars are famous for their chaotic blend of vendors and stalls selling every manner of goods, from spices and henna, to brass and silver ornaments and regional ceramics and Persian rugs. Enjoy Gulistan Palace.
This evening we will take a flight to Shiraz, a city of culture, education, and beauty. Dinner.

Day 3: Shiraz – Persepolis

Shiraz is one of the most important cities of the medieval Islamic world, a place of art and scholars, gardens and nightingales. Situated in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains, its altitude gives it a temperate climate with tree-lined avenues and rose gardens in the elegant Bagh-e Eram (Garden of Paradise), and the Jahan Nama Garden. In the older section of town the bulb-shaped domes of its mosques create a picturesque silhouette. The Arg-e Karim Khan, dominates the city center. A massive citadel, it boasts a large pool and wax figurines adorned in traditional Iranian dress. The tombs of Hafez and Sa’di, two of the greatest poets in the Persian literary tradition are here, too. The ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis are only a short drive away. Walk in the footsteps of Kings Darius and Xerxes among the remains of colossal buildings like the Hall of 100 Columns, decorated with artfully carved friezes and cuneiform inscriptions.

Day 4: Shiraz - Yazd

Sightseeing day drive to Yazd, exploring the ancient sites, villages and colorful bazaars along the way.

Day 5: Yazd

Yazd is one of the oldest cities in the world and the holiest city of the Zoraastrians. Like an open air museum, it retains its centuries old enchantments. Today's highlights are the 14th c. Friday Mosque and the silk weaving workshop where exquisite brocades are still made on traditional looms. Yazd is famous for its handicrafts as well as its beautiful, narrow alleys. This a great opportunity to choose ceramics and rugs as souvenirs.

Day 6: Yazd- Isfahan

Visit the Zoroastrian temple where the sacred fire has been kept alive for hundreds of years You will learn more about Zoroastrism, once the main religion before the introduction of Islam. The Towers of Silence, once a Zoroastrian burial grounds, are located on the outskirts of the city.  Late in the afternoon we will drive to Isfahan, visiting Nareen Castle and the old caravanserai in Meibod en route. 

Day 7:  Isfahan

They say “Esfahan nesf-e jahan ast” (Esfahan is half the world). Famous for its majestic bridges, fine carpets and inviting hospitality, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sightseeing tour around Imam square, the huge open plaza in the center of Isfahan. Four monuments at four sides include the Imam Mosque, covered inside and out with intricate turquoise tiles, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque which contains some of the best mosaics from the 17th century, the Ali Ghapoo Palace - the first skyscraper in Iran and the Isfahan bazaar where you can visit the workshop of miniature artists.  Afternoon visit to the  Armenian quarter of Jolfa, the Vank Cathedral, Friday Mosque and the Shaking Minarets . We will also visit the landmark Si-o-Se Pol (thirty three) and Khajoo bridges over Zayande River, and relax in one of the traditional tea houses.

Day 8 : Isfahan-Kashan- Abyaneh- Tehran

Our day drive to Tehran takes us through Abyaneh, and en route we will visit the Fin complex in Kashan, a city well known for carpets. Abyaneh is a fascinating ancient village with its colorfully dressed inhabitants and mud brick houses, where little has changed for several centuries. Toward Tehran we will stop at the Hazret Masomeh Shrine and Koran museum.
Once in Tehran we'll visit the Imam Khomeini Shrine before our last dinner in Iran.

Day 9: Tehran-Tashkent, Uzbekistan (direct flight  from Tehran to Tashkent on Fridays)

Early morning transfer to Tehran airport to take your flight to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Morning departure at 5:45AM and arrival is 10:30 AM. Arrival at Tashkent International Airport. You will be met by your personal guide and driver and transfer to the hotel. Tashkent is the cultural and economic center of Uzbekistan. Today we'll discover the Old City: the Hast Imam Complex which consists of the Barakkhan Medreseh , the Tello Shayh Friday Mosque, and the Mausoleum of Kaffal Shashi. Visit the old Chorsu bazaar, which is as busy now as it has been for centuries, shop for souvenirs and watch craftsman at work. Visit Independence Square and the Navoi Theatre, with their beautiful parks and fountains. We'll get a true taste of every day life here in the capital city.

Day 10: Tashkent –Urgench- Khiva

Another early morning flight to get to Urgench and on to the legendary city of Khiva. Sightseeing tour in fairy-tale Khiva, one of the most popular World Heritage Sites of the Silk Road. Explore the antiquities of this medeival city in the Ichan Kala or Old City: the Ata –Darvaza, the majestic, blue-tiled Kalta Minar, the Mohammad Aminkhan and Khodja Islam Medresseh,the Kunya Ark (Ancient Citadel), Tash Hauli Palace (Stone yard, with view of the palace's harem), a caravanserai (traditional inn for travelling merchants), and the 200 carved pillars of the Juma mosque. Dinner with a panoramic view of Khiva in moonlight.

Day 11: Urgench-Bukhara

Early breakfast. Sightseeing day drive to Bukhara through the Kyzilkum Desert, the main Silk Road caravan route towards China. We will stop at a yurt camp and enjoy a picnic in a local chaikhana (tea-house), Photo opportunities near the historic Amu Darya (Oxus River), one of the biggest rivers of Central Asia. Arrival in Bukhara.

Day 12:  Bukhara

Bukhara is one of the most ancient and incredible cities in the world, listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site. touring the city includes: the Labi Khaus Complex around the reflecting pool - the heart of social life here and once the principal water source of the city, and the Nadir Divan Begi Khanaka (merchant's hotel). Enjoy tea in an old chaikhana (tea house) near the sculpture of humorist Khodga Nasriddin. We'll tour the medieval architecture of the Magoki Attari Mosque, the Poi-Kalon Complex with its legendary minaret, plus the extensive trade domes of the money changers, hat sellers, silk, carpet, puppet and jewelry merchants as well as teh winter residence of the ancient Bukharan Emirs. Dinner and Folklore show featuring local dancers, singers and a fashion show of fabulous local designs and fabrics.

Day 11:  Bukhara-Samarkand

Today's highlight is the magnificent summer residence of last Bukhara Emirs, the “Sitorai Mohi-Khossa“ (Palace of Moon and Stars), and the Chor Minor minarets. Like ancient caravans, we will follow the route through the Rabota Malik Chul Desert on our way to fabled Samarkand. Enjoy your stay in ancient paradise, Samarkand is  the city with more than 3000 years of history. It was the city where Alexander the Great married his Uzbek princess Roxana.

Day 12: Samarkand

Sightseeing tour to Registan Square, the main attraction of Samarkand and an impressive place for holding the world’s finest traditional and modern music festivals and celebrations. Full day exploration in ancient Samarkand: Ulugbek’s Observatory, the ancient necropolis of the Shah i Zinda Ensemble, the Bibi Khanum Complex and the Gur i Emir Mausoleum.  Dinner.

Day 13:  Samarkand-Tashkent

Photo opportunities from the highest point of Samarkand, then a visit to the local bazaars and handicraft center.  Drive to Tashkent, stopping near the "gate" of Amur Temur where two mountain ranges meet for photo opportunities. Arrival in Tashkent.

Day 14: Tashkent- Urumqi, China

Transfer to Tashkent Airport for flight to Urumqi, China. Upon arrival you will be met by our China tour manager and will transfer to your hotel.  This evening you will have welcome dinner at the Kurgon restaurant and try  a traditional Uygur meal.

Day 15: Urumqi-Kashgar

Morning excursion to Xinjiang regional museum to see archaeological treasures from the Silk Road and Xinjiang's minority cultures. A display of well-preserved 3000 year old mummies, excavated from Loulan at Takla Makan desert, completes the exhibition. This afternoon visit picturesque Hong Shan Park from where you can enjoy a panorama of Urumqi city, visit the Red Hill Pagoda, the Grand Bazaar or Erdao Qiao Market for traditional Uygur silk and Chinese cotton, enjoy the displays of nuts and dry fruits, herbs, and aromatic oils. Evening flight to Kashgar and transfer to hotel. Dinner

Day 16: Kashgar

Full day sightseeing in Kashgar. Visit the largest mosque in China, the 15th century Idkah Mosque, Apak Khoja's Tomb – the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufis, Handicraft Street, and the old parts of town. Excursion to the Mor Stupa (3BC), a remnant of the big Buddhist temple located 30 km northeast of Kashgar and then picturesque Atush village nearby.

Day 17: Kashgar-Urimji-Turpan

This morning visit the colorful, chaotic Great Sunday Bazaar where you will see sections for silk and cotton, knives, hats, pots and pans, fresh vegetables and fruits, carpets and jewelery, and even a separate livestock section located several km down the road.
Afternoon transfer to the airport for flight to Urimji and on to Turpan and your hotel.

Day 18: Turpan

Visit picturesque Tuyoq Village to see the oldest Buddhist caves in the Turpan area, dating back to the 4th c. Visit local Uygur families and enjoy beautiful mountain scenery. Tour the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves on the flanks of the Flaming Mountains (there are 67 caves dating from 317 to 1368, an important center for Buddhist worship). In the evening, visit the famous Grape Valley; a pleasant park with vineyards and fruit trees, and special places for relaxing and sampling the grapes and melons of the area. Grapes were introduced to Turpan over 2000 years ago.

Day 19: Turpan-Dunhuang

Morning visit famous to the well preserved ruins of Jiaohe City - capital of the State of South Cheshi. It was one of the 36 kingdoms of the Western region during the Han Dynasty and settlements first appeared there in 2 BC. Later visit remnants of the remarkable karez system, an old engineering miracle designed to bring water to the dry desert town. The karez channels of Turpan have a history of more than 2000 years. This evening we shall take a train to Dunguang.

Day 20: Dunhuang

Full day sightseeing in Dunhuang. Day trip to the Mogao Caves – the world's richest treasure-trove of Buddhist manuscripts, wall paintings, and statuary dating from the 4th through 14th centuries. Created during the nine dynasties they mark the height of Buddhist art. Later, visit the nearby Mingsha (Singing) Sand Dunes and Crescent Lake. Enjoy a sunset view of some of the most spectacular desert scenery along the entire length of the Silk Road.

Day 21: Dunhuang-Xian

Excursion to the Western 1000 Buddha Caves (although in reality there are only 22). The frescoes are similar to the ones found at Mogao and therefore assumed that they are also Dunhuang Buddhist art. 
In town see the White Horse Pagoda and the informative Dunhuang County Museum which contains some of the Tibetan and Chinese scriptures found at the famous Mogao grottoes, along with silks, sacrificial objects and reed torches for the beacon towers. Transfer to the airport for flight to Xian. Overnight in Xian.

Day 22: Xian

Full day sightseeing in Xian: Visit the Terracotta Warriors, created by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang Di. This amazing megalomaniac conquered and united China from a collection of warring states to become its First Emperor. He built the Great Wall and amassed treasure troves of art works. Obsessed with a quest for the secret of immortality, 70,000 workers built his tomb, said to be filled with legendary treasures. His 3000 wives and concubines followed him to the grave. Later, visit the Horse Museum. In the afternoon you will see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda; this symbol of old Xian is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. Evening visit to the Muslim Mosque and nearby local bazaar.

Day 23: Xian

Continue sightseeing in fabulous Xian. Visit the Provincial History Museum, with its collection of more than 113,000 historic and cultural artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi, northwest of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Since it was opened to the public in 1991, its architecture and exhibits have made it a world-class museum. Explore Xian's City Wall. Afternoon flight to Beijing. This afternoon you will explore Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the country.

Day 24: Beijing

Visit the Great Wall, one of the seven wonders of the world and the symbol of China, then on to the Imperial Palace, also known as the "Forbidden City," the symbol of imperial China. Visit Hutongs by rickshaw. Hutongs are unique neighborhood street designs in Beijing with crisscrossing old narrow paths and courtyard houses. Enjoy a famous Peking Duck Banquet for dinner.

Day 25: Departure

Land Tour Costs

From $11,500 for 6-10 travelers

Single Supplement

$129

Scheduled Departures

  • September 18-October 12, 2016
  • Choose your Dates

Trip Highlights

  • Discover cultural treasures and silk road destinations of Iran, Uzbekistan and China; magnificent temples and mosques, ancient palaces and UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Fall in love with the splendid artistry of the Golestan Palace Complex in Tehran, examine one of the remaining Zoroastrian fire temples in Yazd and learn firsthand about one of the world's oldest religions.
  • Create your own 1001 nights in the bazaars of Bukhara, Samarkand and Kashgar
  • Visit the hutongs, to see how the people of Beijing have always lived. See what was hidden at the mysterious Forbidden City

Visited Countries

Iran, Uzbekistan, China

Visited Cities & Places

Tehran, Sheraz, Persepolis Yazd, Isfahan, Kashan, Abyaneh Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan, Dunhuang, Xian, Beijing

Suggested Extensions

Hidden Treasures of Normadic Mongolia

Reading Lists

  • Amin Maalouf "Samarkand" (translated by Russell Harris)
  • Frances Wood:  "The Silk Road, Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia"
  • Calum Macleod, Bradley Mayhew "Golden Road To Samarkand"

What's Included

  • Visa support
  • Domestic Flight
  • Ground Transportation
  • Experienced English-speaking escort guide
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
  • Entrance fees for the sights and mountains and parks
  • Folklore Show
  • Pre Departure Silk Road Treasure Tours Packages

What's Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Charges in hotels for additional services
  • Consular fees

Visited Countries

Iran, Uzbekistan, China

Visited Cities & Places

Tehran, Sheraz, Persepolis Yazd, Isfahan, Kashan, Abyaneh Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan, Dunhuang, Xian, Beijing

Suggested Extentions

Hidden Treasures of Normadic Mongolia

Reading Lists

  • Amin Maalouf "Samarkand" (translated by Russell Harris)
  • Frances Wood:  "The Silk Road, Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia"
  • Calum Macleod, Bradley Mayhew "Golden Road To Samarkand"

Thank you for your interest in Silk Road Treasure Tours. We're looking forward to providing you with the trip of a lifetime. Please take a moment to complete and submit the form below. You can also call us at 1-888-745-7670 (or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to discuss all the aspects of the tour and reserve your tour.

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Silk Road Tour to Iran Uzbekistan and China

A 25 day tour available as scheduled group tour or as custom private tour

Scheduled Departures

  • September 18-October 12, 2016
  • Choose your Dates

Land Tour Costs

From $11,500 for 6-10 travelers

Single Supplement

$129