2016-2017 Central Asia Family Tours Wishlist
If you can think it, we can do it. Our extensive network of contacts and insider knowledge of Central Asia means that whatever your interests or dreams, we can help make it a reality.
Add your family history to the great legends of the Silk Road! Our world is rapidly globalizing and family travel enhances our children's perspective, providing just the right mix of adventure and education, while creating shared memories to last a lifetime. Central Asia is a fabulous destination filled with history, culture, outdoor excitement, and the warmest hospitality in the world! Tour this amazing region with your intrepid travelers and experience all the excitement of a new destination. The "stans" of Central Asia are the five nations of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan long hidden from the west and now emerging as independent countries. Criss-crossed by the Great Silk Road routes and set amid vast stretches of desert, and steppe surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world, the pristine landscapes of Central Asia are waiting to be discovered. Whether your family prefers exploring archaeological ruins, guided tours of museums, time with naturalists and wildlife, visits with local families or to the workshops of artisans, craftsmen and musicians for hands-on experiences, Silk Road Treasure Tours has the insider contacts to make that a reality. Ride a camel in the Kyzyl-Kum desert of Uzbekistan, stay in a traditional yurt by a lake in Kyrgyzstan, visit with an Uzbek family and share a meal, make bread with a local family or join the children for games, watch Turkmen nomads haggling for livestock in the bazaars, add to your collection of carpets, hats and fabrics, and enjoy lively music and dance performances in ancient caravanserais. Make the fabled UNESCO World Heritage cities of the Silk Road come alive! Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Khodjand, and Ashgabad offer thousands of years of history, culture, and tradition. Get the experts on your side; we can help you create the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy the treasures of the Silk Road with us - where the world is more interesting. What's on your agenda for today?
- Explore a single country in-depth, or create your own caravan across Central Asia, learning about the lands, the peoples, and the cultures. Be welcomed at the home of a local family or be honored guests at a wedding in a land where hospitality is ranked above courage! Explore Soviet-era cities and monuments, vibrant capitals of modern planning, traditional rural villages, ancient walled towns, and nomadic herding yurt camps.
- Go on a culinary tour, including shopping at the markets and bazaars for spices and produce, exploring the depth and breadth of Silk Road cuisine. Make delicious dishes with well-known chefs and learn the secret tips and tricks of the home kitchen with local families.
- Learn from the masters of Central Asian music, whether instrumental or vocal and attend music festivals, workshops and performances.
- There are festivals galore in Central Asia! Navruz is widely celebrated in March for spring, in June there's the Festival of Nomadic Life in Kazakhstan and the Silk and Spices Festival in Uzbekistan, the Horse Games Festival twice in the summer in Kyrgyzstan, and the Roof of the World Music Festival in Tajikistan. In August the Sharq Taronalari World Music Festival is the biggest traditional world music festival of its kind, held in iconic Registan Square, Samarkand.
- Trace the stories of Central Asia through its 3,000 years of history and civilization in archaeology, architecture, and museums. Get up close and personal with the lives of the region's famous travelers, scholars, rulers, and conquerors like Ulug Beg, Tamerlane, Alexander the Great and Chingiz Khan. Explore the legendary cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Penjikent, Osh, and Merv.
- Follow the route to independence for the nations of Central Asia following Soviet rule.
- Appreciate medieval Islamic architectural gems of soaring minarets, glittering turquoise tile, and sun-baked adobe walls along majestic squares and twisting medieval streets.
- The world's religions met along the Silk Road. Visit the sacred shrines of Sufi masters and Zoroastrian priests, ornate Muslim mausoleums and medresseh, the tomb of the Hebrew prophet Daniel, and the domes of Russian Orthodox churches.
- Satisfy your curiosity with museums dedicated to every art and craft of Central Asia and in the workshops and ateliers of artists and craftsmen. Watch geometric patterns appear on crimson patterned carpets or the kaleidoscope of brilliant Ikat on silk and take your turn at the loom.
- Experience silk, cotton, wool, and felt workshops, learn about the importance of these textiles to the culture and economies of the area. Try your hand at suzani embroidery or shyrdak felting and revel in the fabulous colors and patterns of traditional fabrics.
- Visit nature preserves in desert, steppe or alpine habitats. Engage with naturalists and study ambitious environmental projects in places like the Tien Shan Mountains and the Aral Sea. Meet falconers in Kyrgyzstan or a Przhevalsky's horse at the Djeyran nature reserve, a true oasis in the Kyzyl-Kum desert of Uzbekistan. There's usually a camel or two somewhere for a ride!
- Is there a dancer in your family? Visit the former home of Tamara Khanoum, one of Central Asia's most famous dancers. See the ballet in Tashkent at the Navoi Theatre and take in as many folk dancing performances as you wish!
- See a traditional Bukhara puppet show and learn this traditional skill from the performers. Why not visit the State Circus College as well, or Olympic wrestling training?
- Are horses your thing? Horses are the mainstay of the nomadic people of Central Asia. Visit a hippodrome, or a breeding facility for the fabled Akhal-teke horses, catch local equestrian games and competitions on the vast grassy steppes and go horseback trekking in the foothills of the mountains of Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
- Examine ancient petro glyphs of Cholpan-Ata where stunning views of the mountains are juxtaposed against beachfront Russian-style tourist attractions on Lake Issyk-Kul.
- The incredible variety of terrain and the pristine environments in Central Asia guarantees fabulous trekking, hiking, white water rafting and even heli-skiing activities for the adventurous.