The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran
The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran

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The Orient Silk Road Express
16 days, 15 nights from £4,400
Once-in-a-life-time journey across Central Asia & Middle East

This journey makes you familiar with the manifold cultures along the legendary Silk Road and numerous localities that made history, among them five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran are richly endowed with history and culture, a flavour of which you will sample on this exciting journey by private train. Choose from four comfortable cabin types: Habibi, Ali Baba, Aladdin and Kalif, with Kalif being the most luxurious with private en suite facilities in each cabin.
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The Route

TASHKENT • Samarqand • Bukhara • Mary • Ashgabat • Mashhad • Yazd • Isfahan • Shiraz • Pasargadae & Persepolis • TEHRAN

Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, is the largest city in Central Asia. The first mention of Tashkent dates from the 7th century A.D., although it was probably founded by the 1st century B.C. It is located in an oasis near the Chirchik River in a fertile cotton- and fruit-growing region. Tashkent is a very attractive city. The roots of the rich Uzbek culture shine through the city’s architecture, museums and vibrant cultural life.
Samarkand
Samarkand
The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures. Founded in the 7th century B.C. as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory (UNESCO)
Bukhara
Bukhara
Situated in the middle of the Kyzyl Kum desert, Bukhara features about one thousand monuments, which recall the halcyon days of the Great Silk Road. Foreign spices, furs and especially silk fabrics were stored and handled in the caravansaries. The old city is an UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site which features stunning Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble.
Merv
Merv
Once an important stopping point on the Silk Road, it claims to have briefly been the largest city in the world during the 12th century. 1794 saw the demise of Merv, after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam which the population depended on for its water.
Ashgabat
Ashgabat
The grandiose desert city of Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, is a dreamscape in white marble, an oasis of opulence on a terrain. Situated between the Kara Kum Desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range, Ashgabat has a population of about 400,000.
Mashhad
Mashhad
Iran’s second city Mashhad is one of the seven holy sites of Shiite Islam. Tour the majestic shrine of Imam Reza, an important pilgrimage site. Decorated with the finest marbles and topped with a golden dome and minarets, this complex is a wonder to behold.
Yazd
Yazd
This city’s remote location has kept it an important center for Zoroastrianism. You discover more about this ancient faith at a tower of silence once used for funeral rites, and at a traditional fire temple, where one ritual flame has burned for over 1,500 years.
Isfahan
Isfahan
Isfahan is one of the most magnificent cities of the 17th century. Standing in the middle of the vast Imam Square, the second-largest public space on Earth and one of its most beautiful, it’s easy to understand how this UNESCO World Heritage site became known as image of the world by its many admirers. Explore the city, tempted by the charm and wares of the merchants and gold market. Be sure not to miss the Si-o-seh Pol at dusk, with this iconic bridge’s 33 arches glowing gold and spanning the Zayandeh River.
Shiraz
Shiraz
Head to Shiraz, the city of poets, and the lush greenery of a UNESCO World Heritage site: the Persian paradise gardens. Stroll past ornamental pools and date palms at the famous Eram Garden, or visit another of the several historic gardens, all offering their unique flavor of paradise.
Pasargadae
Pasargadae
An ancient city of the Persian kings. Go to Pasargadae, the capital created by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. His simple tomb watches over the remnants of this long-gone civilization.
Persepolis
Persepolis
Persepolis, the ceremonial center eventually ransacked by Alexander the Great. Pass huge stone gates carved with mythical creatures, stand amid palatial ruins—Apadana Palace and the Naqsh-e-Rostam necropolis—or simply wander through the streets of antiquity, taking in the immensity of this cultural wonder.
Tehran
Tehran
Tehran is the capital city of Iran. A bustling metropolis of 14 million people, it is situated at the foot of the towering Alborz mountain range. It is a cosmopolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, warm friendly people.

Maps

The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran

Video

TASHKENT TO TEHRAN

DAY 1, ARRIVAL IN TASHKENT
Flight from your airport of departure to Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan. After arriving in Tashkent you will be lead to your centrally located hotel.
Overnight: Grand Mir Hotel (or similar)
DAY 2, TASHKENT, THE GREEN OASIS
On your sightseeing tour you’ll experience the green oasis of the Steppe: the Madrasah Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments and the opera. In the evening you will attend the famous Tashkent Navoy Opera (depending on the schedule). Afterwards your Private Train Orient Silk Road Express departs for Samarquand.
Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D)
DAY 3, SAMARQAND, INTERSECTION OF CULTURES
After breakfast your Private Train will arrive in Samarkand. Today you experience the historical prominence of Samarqand, the most beautiful city in the world in Tamerlane’s time: the grave city Shah-e-zende (“the living Shah”), the excavation sites of Afrosiab and the Registan Square present an impressive collection of Central Asian architecture.
Overnight: Hotel Registan Plaza (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 4, SAMARQAND, THE MAGNIFICENT
You visit a silk carpet factory and an Uzbek craftsman’s family, see paper manufactured from mulberry bark, the observatory of Ulug Beg, the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque and the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum. In the evening, your train departs for Bukhara.
Overnight on board. (BLD)
DAY 5, BUKHARA, THE NOBLE ONE
Situated in the middle of the Kyzyl Kum desert, Bukhara features about one thousand monuments, which recall the halcyon days of the Great Silk Road. Foreign spices, furs and especially silk fabrics were stored and handled in the caravansaries. In the old city (UNESCO-World Culture Heritage) you'll see the Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble. In the afternoon, we guide you to the magnificent Mire-e-Arab Madrasah and the most beautiful and precious building in Central Asia, the Samanid Mausoleum. Then you'll take a tour through the fortress Ark. In a madrassa courtyard you watch a performance of local dances, and a presentation of colourful national costumes with musical accompaniment.
Overnight on board. (BLD)
DAY 6, MERV, THE PEARL OF THE EAST
Your private train arrives toward morning at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Merv, the remnants of what was once one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cities. The initial impression is of disbelief: gigantic walls and ramparts simply standing in the middle of the desert next to the imposing ruins of ancient buildings such as the Tomb of the Sultan Sanjar, the Maidens’ Castle (Kyz Kala), the historical ice-houses, and other tombs. Late in the evening you will arrive in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat.
Overnight: Hotel Ak Altyn (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 7, THE CAPITAL CITY ASHGABAT AND THE FORMER IMPERIAL CITY OF NISA
In the morning you are driven to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa. After lunch you take a guided tour of the modern-day capital, with its distinctive appearance so characteristic of Turkmenbashi, the self-proclaimed “great leader of all Turkmen”. Hollywood-style settings throughout this city flush with new-found oil wealth can be impressive, but sometimes also cause a chuckle. In the afternoon you take a guided tour of the National Museum in Ashgabat, where you view artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa and gain insight into the development of a culture shaped by various peoples, ethnicities, and religions.
Overnight: Hotel Ak Altyn (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 8, MASHHAD
After breakfast, a bus ride will take you to Mashhad in Iran. This city is one of the seven holy sites of the Shiite Islam – and the only one in Iran. Here you find the mausoleum of the eighth Shiite Imam, Ali ibn Musa ar-Reza, who is said to have been poisoned at Calif al Ma’mum’s behest. The sanctuary in his honour consists of numerous patios and features one of the most comprehensive art collections in the whole of Iran.
Overnight: Hotel Homa (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 9, YAZD
Around noon, you will embark your private train Persian Explorer and depart in the direction of Yazd.
Overnight on board. (BLD)
DAY 10, YAZD, CITY OF FIRE-WORSHIPERS
In the morning, you reach the most exciting desert city of Iran: Yazd. Wind towers and domes dominate the city founded by Alexander the Great. Here, you visit the Zoroastrian fire temples and towers of silence, where the dead were once buried after the Zarathustra rite. The Yazd Water Museum introduces you to the desert city’s water supply by the Qanat system and gives you an idea of the green and water-refreshed life of a well-to-do family’s home. While you are taking your lunch in the dining car, your private train heads towards Isfahan, where your hotel room is waiting for you. Today’s dinner will be served in the lovely courtyard of a former caravansary.
Overnight: Hotel Kowsar (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 11 & 12, ISFAHAN, IMAGE OF THE WORLD
Take your time to explore this wonderful city! Image of the World is what the locals like to call the Imam Square. With 1,840 ft. x 520 ft., it is not only the second largest, but also one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The marble columns bear witness to the fact of this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s former purpose as a venue for polo games. You cross the threshold to visit the Ali-qapu Palace and a veranda where you can enjoy an excellent view of the Imam Square. Once a private mosque for the Safavid royal families, the Lotfullah Mosque opens its doors for you today. You also visit the Jameh Mosque and the Armenian Quarters and you have enough time to explore the city and its markets on your own. Walk the Zayandehrud River and get to know the city’s two famous bridges, a favourite meeting place for the locals. Get enchanted by the merchants’ skills and products on display at the gold bazaar. Two days full of exciting experiences end with a dinner in an oriental style restaurant featuring local food at its best and a visit to a typical zurkhaneh, where the locals go for their sporting activities. 

Overnights: 1x Hotel Kowsar (or similar), 1x on board. (BLD)

DAY 13, SHIRAZ, CITY OF HAFIZ, THE POET
With the verses of Hafiz in your mind and following the scent of roses, you explore the city of the Persian paradise gardens (UNESCO World Heritage site). Not just flowers and fruit were thriving in the mild climate, but Persian poetry also struck roots here. Experience the hustle and bustle of the Old Town bazaar and discover Nasir-al-Molk Mosque, where the winter prayer hall is one of the most beautiful of its kind. Bud-shaped domed structures are typical for Shiraz – a visit to the Shah Cheragh monument and mosque will show you one of the best examples of this style.
Overnight: Chamran Grand Hotel (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 14, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES PASARGADAE AND PERSEPOLIS
At the site of his victories, the Persian King, Cyrus the Great, built his capital city of Pasargadae. I am Cyrus the King, an Achaemenian, states the inscriptions on pillars and reliefs of the audience hall of the Residence. Your local tour guide shows you all of the attractions of this sprawling archaeological site, including the Cyrus grave. By bus, you reach your next sightseeing spot in about an hour. The kingdom of Darius the First extended from Egypt to Pakistan, and he founded the capital of Para; the Greeks named it Persepolis. Your guide takes you on a discovery tour of the 1,500 ft. x 985 ft. palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Step up the two stairs to the Portal of All Countries, which gives you an idea of ​​the size of the Achaemenid Empire. The Assyrian models of hybrids and bull figures had a defensive and protective function. Discover Apadana Palace, where King Darius received his visitors, and the Naqsh-e-Rostam necropolis of the Achaemenids. A short bus ride brings you to the train station where your private train waits for you.  
Overnight on board. (BLD)
DAY 15, TEHRAN
After your arrival in Tehran, you say goodbye to your charming train staff. In the Iranian capital, you visit Golestan Palace, an exciting monument of the glories and excesses of the Qajar emperors. One of the most oustanding gem collections in the world is on your agenda after lunch. The precious stones are estimated at up to 182 carats! A very special and magnificent exhibit in the extensive collection is the Naderi Thorn, which is decorated with 26,733 gems. In the Archaeological Museum you take a journey through history – here again the impressions gained on your journey are of historical proportions.
Overnight: Hotel Laleh (or similar). (BLD)
DAY 16, TEHRAN, END OF YOUR JOURNEY
Airport transfer for individual departure.(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

The Orient Silk Road Express

The private Orient Silk Road Express is designed to provide you with a comfortable experience as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime and offers a range of cabins to suit every budget.

Enjoy dining in the charming restaurant carriages where you are able to try the freshest local cuisine and relax with fellow passengers. Also, take the time to get involved in several lectures on board the train where you can learn about the history, people and cultures of the countries you travel through.

Choose from 4 different cabin types

The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran
This 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.
The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran
This 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.
The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran
This 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.
The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran
The 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.

The Legendary Silk Road 2017 is available on enquiry basis - please get in touch with our Destination Managers to secure your holiday with an Early Booking Discount.

DATE
2017
HABIBI from ALI BABA from   ALADIN from KALIF from
Tashkent to Tehran 16 days  excl flights  incl flights  excl flights  incl flights  excl flights  incl flights  excl flights  incl flights
September 16
Без имени 1
from 
4639.01 £
from 
5139.01 £
from 
6281.67 £
from 
6781.67 £
 from 
6817.82 £
from 
7317.82 £
from 
12475.87 £
from 
12975.87 £

DATE
2018
HABIBI ALI BABA
  ALADIN
SULTAN
Tashkent to Tehran 16 days excluding flights per person from per person from per person from per person from
15 to 30 September
Без имени 1
4661.39 £ 6486.57 £ 7045.53 £ 12772.02 £
 SUPPLEMENTS PER PERSON
 Supplement for use of the compartment by 3 persons (Habibi)   1095.11 £
 Single use supplement for 9 hotel overnights for cat. Habibi   787.11 £
 Single use supplement train and hotel for cat. Ali Baba   2406.95 £
 Single use supplement train and hotel for cat. Aladin   2851.84 £
 Single use supplement train and hotel for cat. Sultan   5931.83 £

All Tours Include:

  • •   6 overnights on the Private Train according to the booked category (Day 1-7 with Orient Silk Road Express; Day 8 – 15 Persian Explorer)
  • •   9 overnights in hotels
  • •   All meals according to program (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • •   Sightseeing program including all entrance fees according program
  • •   Guided transfers to and from all airports and train stations according to program (depending on arrival/departure time)
  • •   Multi-lingual Lernidee Tour Director
  • •   Experienced local guides for a maximum of 26 guests per group
  • •   Doctor on board
  • •   Traditional welcome in the train stations of Bukhara, and Samarqand
  • •   Wine and Vodka tasting 

 

Not Included:

•   International flights

•   Visa fees paid directly to the Consulate

•   Gratitutes

  • •   Compulsory individual guide for UK and US passport holders booking post-nights in Iran

Please note that 15% deposit is payable on this tour

The Legendary Silk Road - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran

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