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Ala Archa, Kyrgyzstan

Five Stans

Departure dateDuration
Prices Start from
Tour ExpertMax Group SizeStatus
26/08/2017 Days £4,995 ex. flightsDr Mehreen Chida-Razvi15 AVAILABLE Reserve your place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Mountain scene, Kyrgyzstan 1

Central Asian Stans

Enjoy remarkable contrasts of a region that is remains largely undiscovered.

Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty, Kazakhstan 2

Alamaty and Khujand

Explore the historic cities of Almaty, former capital of Kazakhstan, and Khujand, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia.

Statue of Mana Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 3

The Great Game

Discover the world of the intrigue of the Russo-British relations in Central Asia during the 19th century.

Registan, Samarkand, Uzbekistan 4

Samarkand and Bukhara

Visit the colourful bazaars and architectural wonders of Samarkand and Bukhara.

Why we like it

Our group tour to Central Asia has been created to allow you to see the highlights of each of the five countries visited. For the geographer, this region offers everything from congregations of mountains, steppe grasslands and deserts. There will also be the opportunity to meet the local nomadic peoples, who call this region home.

In addition, you will be accompanied throughout by group tour expert, Dr Mehreen Chida-Razvi who is a Research Associate in the Department of the History of Art at SOAS, University of London. She has been leading group tours over central Asia, India, Pakistan and Lebanon for over three years and will be a great addition to this group tour.


Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
    Bishkek - Cholpan Ata
  • Day 3
    Cholpan Ata - Bishkek
  • Day 4
    Bishkek - Almaty
  • Days 5-6
  • Day 7
    Almaty - Dushanbe
  • Day 8
    Dushanbe - Khujand
  • Day 9
    Khujand - Oibek - Tashkent
  • Day 10
    Tashkent - Samarkand
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
    Samarkand - Bukhara
  • Day 13
  • Day 14
    Bukhara - Turkmenabat - Mary
  • Day 15
    Mary - Ashgabat
  • Day 16
  • Day 17
Mountain scene, Kyrgyzstan
Central Mosque, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Men, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia by Paul Craven
Scenery on road Sary Tash and Irkeshtam border, Southern Kyrgyzstan
View of lime green grassland leading to shores of curved lake and snowy distant mountains.


The mountain vistas alone are reason enough to visit Kyrgystan but, while visitor numbers are increasing gradually, a short tourist season and the relative difficulty of reaching it have ensured that Kyrgyzstan is unlikely to ever become a mainstream travel destination. This means that those adventurous travellers who do make the effort to come are guaranteed a unique and unforgettable experience.

Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana , Kazakhstan
Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi, Turkistan, Kazakhstan
Turkestan, Kazakhstan
Voznesensky Cathedral, Almaty, Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan is a mineral-rich country with a tiny population in relation to its size, and yet it has built itself a new capital, Astana. However, most visitors to Kazakhstan prefer to visit the more interesting old capital of Almaty, meaning valley of apples, which sits nestled under the snowy peaks of the mighty Tien Shan (Celestial) Mountains. The splendid Zhenkov Cathedral is made entirely of wood, interlocked with such skill that no nails have been used in the construction. The markets are a delight and there is a fine museum of musical instruments.

Tajikistan Mountains and Koulikalon Lakes, Tajikistan
Tajikistan Mountains and Koulikalon Lakes, Tajikistan
Kyrgyz nomad by yurt, Bulunkul, Tajikistan
Kyrgyz nomad in Tajikistan
Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan
Pamir mountains, Tajikistan
Front Gate of Hissor Fort, Dushanbe, Tajikstan


Lying along Afghanistan’s northern border, most of Tajikistan’s population belong to the Persian-speaking Tajik ethnic group, who share language, culture and history with both Afghanistan and Iran. Starkly beautiful, remote and beguiling, mountains cover more than 90% of the country and include such famous names as Peak Lenin and Peak Communism both over 7,000m. While accommodation is at best adequate and the roads diabolical, all is made up for by the hospitality of the local people.

Amir Temur square, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
View of Islamic buildings through blue mosaic archway.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Inner courtyard of the Kalyan Mosque, part of the Po-i-Kalyan Complex in Bukhara
Kalyan Mosque, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Full frame close up of patterned red carpet.
Registan, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, Uzbekistan


Uzbekistan possesses the cream of Central Asian architecture, epitomised by the magnificent ensemble in Registan Square in Samarkand. Its buildings and architecture, dating from the 13th and 15th centuries, are truly magnificent and one can only wonder at the skills of the craftsmen who laboured with such primitive tools. The markets are a delight and a photographic paradise while outside the cities the dusty, isolated villages with their flocks of woolly, fat-tailed sheep have changed little over the years.

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Gypjak Mosque, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Gypjak Mosque, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Old Lady Baking Bread, Nokhur, Turkmenistan
Mary, Merv, Turkmenistan
Mary, Turkmenistan


Turkmenistan has transformed itself from a forgotten Russian satellite state to a major player on the world stage. The wealth is obvious and the contrast between life in the cities and life in the remote villages is striking. Much of Turkmenistan is desert, but you will find lush green mountains, natural gorges and a diverse range of fauna and flora ranging from the bustard to the Central Asian gazelle. Ashgabat is a relatively new city, but Kunya Urgench was one of the greatest cities on the Silk Road, and along with Merv and Nisa, provides some insight into the vast wealth that once defined the region.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Very Active
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf and the above is an indication of the cost, based on return flights departing from London. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by Dr. Mehreen Chida-Razvi throughout
  • Accompanied by English speaking local guides
  • Airport transfers
  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • All meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and porters
  • Almaty to Dushanbe flight
  • Transport as detailed in the itinerary

What is excluded

  • International flights at the beginning and end of the trip
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks with meals
  • Items of a personal nature

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience Matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Size Matters

Our average group size is typically eight to ten people, smaller than other group tours typically offered – a factor which many of our clients appreciate. Travelling as part of a smaller group provides a more intimate, personalised and relaxed atmosphere.

4.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

3.Like-Minded People

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people – interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

5.Value for money

Our tours are well-priced to ensure you get real value for money. We include gratuities on the majority of our tours and do not pass on currency surcharges. We strive to look after single travellers as well as we can, keeping single supplements to a minimum.

6.Peace of Mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 601 784

Departure dateDuration
Prices Start from
Tour ExpertMax Group SizeStatus
26/08/2017 Days £4,995 ex. flightsDr Mehreen Chida-Razvi15 AVAILABLE Reserve your place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes

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