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Nur-Sultan (Astana) to Tashkent

Antall dager

30

Priser fra: NOK

61 772

Reisen er levert av

Destinasjoner : Kasakhstan - Kirgisistan - Usbekistan
Turkode : KFSKC
Aktivitets nivå : Blandede aktiviter - Kultur & Tema reiser (standard) - Natur og dyrereiser - Spesial interesse reise

Oversikt

Beginning in the futuristic cityscapes of Nur-Sultan (until recently, Astana), join us on this exploration from mighty Kazakhstan to mountainous Kyrgyzstan and history packed Uzbekistan. From the remote moonscape of Boszhira Vallley to the ancient city of Turkistan and the Silk Road ruins of Sayram and Otrar, the sights along the way are unlike anywhere else on earth. Take in the tranquil landscape of Son-Kol Lake, see Solomon's Throne in historic Osh, and get your fill of mosques and museums in Samarkand and Bukhara. Abounding with ancient culture, divine natural beauty and intriguing relics this is a journey that will leave you eager to discover more of Central Asia.

Reiserute Vis detaljert reiserute

Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Welcome to Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm in the hotel lobby. Recently renamed Nur-Sultan in honour of the long serving first president, the city was purpose built to become th capital city of Kazakhstan in 1997. Similar to Washington D.C. in the United States or Canberra in Australia, Nur-Sultan is a planned city with the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa as its master mind. Now, Nur-Sultan is one of the most vibrant cities in Central Asia. If you arrive early, take the time explore and admire the futuristic city skyline. Join your leader in the evening for an included local dinner tonight.

Jana Ozon

Get ready for an early morning for a flight to Ak Tau – a city on the Caspian shore. Arrive in the mid-morning and take the chance to get acquainted with the city and do some final shopping before venturing into the ‘outback’ of Kazakhstan. Continue the journey to Jana Ozen (approximately 2.5 hours), crossing Karagie, one of the world’s deepest depressions. Continue to a clifftop top that provides incredible views over the area. Arrive in Jana Ozon, the oil industry center of Kazakhstan, where you’ll be settled for tonight.

Boszhira Valley

Gear up for a full day exploring the Boszhira Valley, a truly otherworldly landscape made up of moon-like terrain. Hop in your jeep and cross oil fields before reaching Kyzyl Suu mazar, a holy grave from the 19th century. Then, drive through waste salt lakes before climbing up the East Karatau range, from where you can see the Chalky Mountains of East Ak Tau far in the distance. You can also see Bakty mountain, as depicted on the 1000 KZT banknote. From here, approach the foothills and take a short hike, admiring panoramic views of the unique snow-white rocky outcrops that fall into the Caspi depression with a 15km long cliff. Enjoy a well-deserved picnic lunch on the bottom of the chalky canyon. Continue to the Ustyurt Plateau, a clay desert punctuated with salt marshes and limestone karsts. Finally, continue to your last stop of the day – Kogez Yurt camp.

Ak Tau

Start the day with a drive north to Airakty Shumanai Valley, known among locals as the valley of castles. From here, drive on to Mount Sherkala, famed for its fascinating dome shape. Torysh, the Valley of Balls, is your next stop – another natural miracle made up of spherical rock formations. Next up, head to Shakpak Ata, and underground mosque and necropolis from the 10th to the 13th century. Located at the cross-roads of the ancient Silk Road, this rock-hewn mosque is shaped like a cross and features prayer rooms, columns and ancient drawings. Settle into your hotel in Ak Tau in the evening.

Turkistan

This morning, board your flight to Shymkent and then continue to Turkistan. Grab some snacks, sit back and relax as the epic landscape rushes by. Located in southern Kazakhstan, the city of Turkistan contains more historical relics and cultural sites than any other place in the country. You will arrive in the late afternoon. You’ll visit the main attraction of the Yasaui Mausoleum tomorrow morning, but you'll have the option to see it illuminated at night today. Tonight, you’ll also visit the new Caravan Serai, a complex recently built to model ancient Silk Road trade centres, giving visitors a taste of what life here was once like.

Shymkent/Overnight train

Head out on a city tour this morning, the highlight of which is a visit to the Kozha Akhmed Yasaui Mausoleum, Kazakhstan’s most iconic building. The blue and while-tiled Mausoleum is the final resting place of a great Turkic holy man and Sufi. Built by Tamerlane, it is said that three visits here are equal to one visit to Mecca. As it is a religious site, we recommend that women wear a headscarf when entering. In the surrounds you'll find a rose garden, other monuments, an archeological museum and a mosque, which are all included in the entry ticket. Continue the journey to Shymkent (approximately 4 hours) by private vehicle, stopping at the ancient settlement of Otrar on the way. It was first excavated in 1969 and has a history dating back to the first century AD. Remnants of palaces, mosques and bathhouses can still be seen today. It is also where Genghis Khan's army is said to have fought heroically (though unsuccessfully) when the Mongols first invaded Central Asia. There'll be some time to spend in Shymkent before boarding the overnight train (approximately 11 hours) to Almaty.

Almaty

Hop off the train early this morning and head straight to your hotel to drop off your luggage and make use of shared rooms to refresh – you’ll be able to check in later in the day. Then embark on a full-day guided city tour of Almaty. The development and wealth you’ll see on display as you walk the streets comes from the country's main export – oil. Kazakhstan is one of the world's top five oil-producing nations in the world. Visit Central Square and the colourful Zenkoff Cathedral in historic Panfilov Park, dedicated to the 28 guardsmen who died defending Moscow against German tanks in WWII. Check out the fascinating Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments and the State Historical Museum, which features a great collection of ancient relics. Finally, summit Kok Tobe Hill for great views over the city before returning to the hotel after a long but fulfilling day.

Almaty – KAZ/KGZ Border Crossing – Karakol

Today before saying goodbye to Kazakhstan, stop at spectacular Charyn Canyon (approximately 4 hours' drive). The colorful formations of different shapes and sizes are no less impressive than the Grand Canyon in the United States, (though it's much smaller!). Continue to the border and enter the mountainous nation of Kyrgyzstan. Tonight you'll stay in the peaceful town of Karakol.

Karakol

This mainly Russian town was officially founded on 1st of July in 1869 by the military. At this time the town already had a large population of military officers, explorers from the Russian Geographical society, merchants and artisans. The town’s Soviet name was Przhevalsk after the Great Russian explorer of Central Asia and China, Nikolai Przhevalsky. His last expedition ended here and he is buried on the lakeshore near Karakol. Stroll along Karakol's streets spotting Russian-style 'gingerbread' houses. Visit the Dungan Mosque, Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, a local market and the Przhevalsky Museum. After lunch, drive for about 1 hour for a hike (approx. 2 hours) in the picturesque Jety Oguz Valley, aka Seven Bull Valley. Your leader will guide you through the forest to a waterfall (with jaw-dropping panoramic views). Return to Karakol for the night.

Bishkek

Today is a full day's drive to Bishkek along the northern shore of Issyk Kul – the second largest alpine lake in the world after lake Titicaca in South America. The views are lovely along the way, especially seeing Issyk Kul surrounded by snow capped mountains. On the way, you'll stop at Cholpan Ata, visit a petroglyph's site and take a short boar ride onto the lake to enjoy its sheer size and scale. Arrive in Bishkek in the late afternoon.

Don Aryk – Issyk-Kul Lake – Kochkor

Drive 60 kilometres to the 11th-century Burana Tower, a minaret that is the most visible remnant of the ancient city Balasagun. Continue to the nearby village of Don Aryk and visit a local home. Learn a little about the important role horses have played in the traditional Kyrgyz nomadic lifestyle and watch some displays of horsemanship, before eating a tasty lunch with your hosts. Continue to Issyk-Kul Lake, the second-largest alpine lake in the world. At 170-kilometres-long and 70-kilometres-wide, his beauty is a real sight to behold. Next up is the village of Kochkor. Explore a small local market in the centre of town and, depending on our arrival time, a local co-op that provides training for women in crafting traditional handicrafts to make an income.

Song-Kol Lake (3016 metres)

Drive 130 kilometres to Song-Kol Lake, another alpine stunner that is considered a sacred place to many Kyrgyz people, as well as one of the best summer pastures for nomadic herders. The landscape will change depending on the season but is sure to be beautiful no matter when you travel. In the summer you might see nomadic herdsmen and their families watching over goats, sheep, and horses. Enjoy exploring your surroundings for the rest of the day, maybe hiking one of the many trails. Tonight, fall asleep in yurts set up along the shore. Made of felt and tarpaulins on a round frame, yurts are the traditional dwellings of the Kyrgyz people. Tomorrow, those daring enough for an invigorating morning splash can use the lake to wash off the sleep.

Kyzyl-Oi

Travel along gravel roads to the tiny village of Kyzyl-Oi, which is squeezed between mountains. On the way, pass large coal deposits and travel along the Kokomeren River, which feeds into the Syr Darya. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the river in the shade of the trees and use your free time to explore the village on arrival.

Suusamyr Valley – Chychkan – Kok-Bel

Get ready for a full-day of driving though big, beautiful landscapes. As the roads in Kyrgyzstan see little regular maintenance, even short distances on a map can take hours. The road crosses the Suusamyr Valley – a high steppe plateau situated at around 2200 metres above sea level. The mountainous surroundings are often dotted with yurts. Continue along the Chychkan River that cuts through the Tien Shan mountain range. Stop here for a while and soak up the amazing scenery. Arrive at tonight's accommodation in Kok-Bel sometime in the early evening.

Osh

After breakfast, get ready for another all-day journey to Osh, the second-largest city in Kyrgystan. Stop en route at Uzgen, an ancient trading town and handicrafts centre along the Silk Road. Although much of the ancient city has been destroyed, a minaret and three mosques that have survived remain important examples of medieval Central Asian architecture. Continue to Osh. Located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country, Osh is often referred to as the 'Capital of the South' and is the oldest city in the country.

Border crossing – Andijan – Tashkent

This morning, drive to Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, which is just outside of the city. After passing through the border control (approximately 1–2 hours), farewell and thank your Kyrgyz guide and meet your new Uzbek guide. Transfer to Andijan and board a local train to Tashkent (approximately 5.5 hours). The train is a great place to meet locals, so don’t be surprised if people want to chat to the chet ellik (foreigner). Arrive in the evening and check into the hotel.

Tashkent

Begin your introduction to Uzbekistan by exploring the capital on a sightseeing tour. Visit the State History Museum, which shows exhibits and collections spanning the countries 5000-year history. Continue to the Abdul Khasim Medrassah, where craftspeople operate in many small ‘cells’, making jewellery and other things. Finally, stop by the Khast Imom complex, a restored series of religious buildings (including a mosque) and a library containing an ancient Qur’an, parts of which have been dated to the ninth century. After lunch, lose yourself in the exciting Chorsu Bazaar, browsing traditional wooden cradles, handmade musical instruments, and the extensive vegetable and spice markets.

Samarkand

Transfer to the station for the high-speed train to fabled Samarkand (approximately 2 hours). This city is located at the very centre of the ancient Silk Road. Enjoy some free time in the city on arrival, saving some of the key sights for the tour tomorrow. Maybe inspect the remains of the remarkable medieval observatory developed by Ulug Beg, an astronomer and grandson of nomadic conqueror and Timurid emperor Tamerlane (Amir Timur). Today, only half of the below-ground semicircle track can be seen, but there is a small museum close by that gives some context. Or perhaps visit the Afrosiab Museum of Samarkand, the main attraction of which is a tenth-century mural.

Bukhara

Travel from Samarkand to Bukhara by train this morning (approx 2 hours). Located on the ancient Silk Road, Bukhara was an important regional and world hub for many, many years and has a long, fascinating history featuring invasions by both Genghis Khan and the Soviet Red Army. Explore this fascinating city with your tour leader on an orientation walk after arrival.

Gijduvan – Bukhara

Travel to Gijduvan, historically a caravan stop on the way to Bukhara. Ulugbek, the famous astronomer and grandson of Tamerlane, built a madrasa here next to the grave of a Sufi saint. The town gained further fame as a centre of glazed pottery production. Visit the private studio of a local ceramic artist, meet the family and watch them at work. Later you have some free time to explore this small town. For lunch we recommend the juicy local kebabs that are famous throughout Uzbekistan. On your way back to Bukhara, stop to see a minaret from the late 12th century in Vobkent.

Viktig Informasjon Vis detaljert viktig informasjon

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