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Men, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia by Paul Craven

Journey through Central Asia



21 Days

Prices Start from

£5,200pp (ex. flights)

Travel through five very different countries, crossing desert, mountains and grasslands, seeing the finest architecture in Central Asia and mingling with the many different ethnic groups that inhabit the region.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Yurt, Kyrgyzstan 1


Stay in a traditional yurt and experience nomadic life.

Chor Minor, Bukhara, Uzbekistan 2


Visit exquisite architectural monuments in Uzbekistan.

Old Lady Baking Bread, Nokhur, Turkmenistan 3


Take in the local market and some of Central Asia’s finest museums in Ashgabat.

Zenkov Cathedral in Panfilov Park, Almaty, Kazakhstan 4


Visit Zenkov Cathedral, one of the worlds tallest wooden buildings, built without a single nail.

Why we like it

This fascinating journey takes in the highlights of five very different countries, the ‘stans’. A region known for its nomadic culture and silk road history, this trip offers an insight into the cultures, people and landscapes which shape this captivating region, a crossroads which for thousands of years connected Europe and Asia. Cross borders exploring mountains and lakes, spend a night under canvas in a traditional yurt and experience a melting pot of regional ethnic groups, colourful bazaars and architectural gems.

Explore the itinerary

Internal Flight
Train Journey
  • Day 1
    Almaty (Kazakhstan)
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
    Almaty - Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Day 4
    Bishkek - Cholpan Ata
  • Day 5
    Cholpan Ata - Karakol
  • Day 6
    Karakol - Son-Kul Lake
  • Day 7
    Son-Kul Lake - Bishkek
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
    Bishkek - Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
    Dushanbe - Khujand
  • Day 12
    Khujand - Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
  • Day 13
    Tashkent - Samarkand
  • Day 14
  • Day 15
    Samarkand - Bukhara
  • Day 16
  • Day 17
    Bukhara - Mary (Turkmenistan)
  • Day 18
  • Day 19
    Mary - Ashgabat
  • Day 20
  • Day 21

Now for the details

Spires of Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Spires of Zenkov Cathedral in Almaty


This trip begins in Kazakhstan, a huge landlocked country of rolling plains, rich in oil and minerals and dotted with archaeological sites. Spend time in the former capital of Almaty with its mountainous backdrop and many fine 19th Century buildings. The Zenkov Cathedral, a wooden structure was built in 1904 without the use of any nails. Adjacent is the museum of musical instruments and the central State Museum with wonderful pictorial displays and an excellent display of costumes.

Scenery on road between Sary Tash and Irkeshtam border, southern Kyrgyzstan


Cross the border into visa free Kyrgyzstan, a land of magnificent landscapes. Forested mountains and grassy steppes hide nomadic communities, crystalline lakes and rolling valleys. Spend time in the capital of Bishkek, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too ranges. Over the next six days journey overland taking in ancient sites such as the 11th Century Burana Tower and the petroglyphs at Cholpan Ata, as well as the Russian history of Karakol city. Journey through dramatic gorges enroute to the picturesque lakes of Issy Kul and Son Kul and spend a night under canvas in a traditional yurt.

Lady in headscarf, southern Tajikistan
Local woman in Tajikistan


Continue south across the border to Tajikistan, a wild and forgotten corner of the globe with a fascinating history, a melting pot of regional ethnic groups and over 90% of the land covered by mountains. Based in the capital city of Dushanbe, visit Hissor Fort and the Museum of National Antiquities, the centre piece of which is the 19-metre reclining Buddha in Nirvana. Since the tragic destruction of the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan, this is the largest Buddha in Central Asia. Travel overland to Khujand, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and an important point on the Silk Route.

View of Islamic buildings through blue mosaic archway.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan


Begin your adventures in Uzbekistan in the now relatively modern Tashkent, before boarding a train to Samarkand, one of the world’s most ancient and fabled cities. Inextricably linked with the great Silk Road, Samarkand was a famous trading city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While here visit one of the country’s most iconic sites, Registan Square. Next, Bukhara, a former capital and centre of Islamic learning the city has over 300 intricately decorated mosques along with 80 madrasas as well as colourful bazaars and tea houses.

Mary, Merv, Turkmenistan
Mary, Turkmenistan


Your journey across Central Asia ends in Turkmenistan with a visit to Merv, an oasis in the Karakum desert and once one of the most important cities on the Silk Route. Finally, Ashgabat, once devastated by an earthquake it is now a glittering example of hydro-carbon funded architecture and what it lacks in history, it makes up with a stunning array of marble-clad palaces, and some fascinating museums.

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


Paul is very knowledgeable about all the destinations we book with him. Always organised to a high standard and a great help, he gives us confidence in our trip.

Central Asia

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £5,200 Per person

When to travel

Due to the varying landscapes across the region there can be dramatic changes in the climate. In general, the best time to visit is Spring and Autumn, between April and June and again from September to late October when days are dry and temperatures warm. Winters can be bitterly cold and summers dry and extremely hot. The Pamirs in Tajikistan are best visited between mid-June and late September to avoid snow-bound roads.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

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.

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