Rating in Uzbekistan

Silk Road by Private Train itinerary Ashgabat - Almaty

Tour details
Destinations: Bukhara
Guide language: English
Click to Enlarge




The Legendary Silk Road by Private Train

From Ashgabat to Almaty (14 days)


This journey makes you familiar with the manifold cultures along the legendary Silk Road and numerous localities that made history, among them no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Tien Shan Mountains, the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are richly endowed with history and culture, a flavour of which you will sample on this exciting journey by Private Train.


Your route

Ashgabat––Mary/Merv––Bukhara––Khiva––Samarqand–– Shakhrisabz ––Tashkent––Turkestan––Almaty


Day 1 Welcome to Ashgabat

Arrival and transfer to your First-Class hotel in Ashgabat.


Day 2 Former Royal City of Nisa and today’s Capital Ashgabat

In the morning you’ll visit the colourful Tolkuchka Bazaar, a typical oriental market, one of the largest in Central Asia, where in addition to camels one can also buy precious silver jewellery and valuable carpets. Then you will drive to the old Parthian city of Nisa. In Ashgabat’s NationalMuseum you will be able to see ruins of ancient Nisa. After lunch you'll take a city tour and become acquainted with today's capital Ashgabat, with the unmistakable handwriting of the Turkmenbashi, the leader of the Turkmens: Hollywood-like scenes of the nouveau riche. Dinner and later depart on your Private Train. (BLD)


Day 3 Merv, the Ancient Pearl of the East

In the early morning your Private Train will arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Merv with its gigantic walls and ramparts in the desert and the impressive ruins of old buildings such as the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the Virgin Fortress (Kis Kale), the cold room and other mausoleums. You'll lunch in the picturesque courtyard with a local family and then you will get on your Private Train headed for Bukhara. (BLD)


Day 4 Bukhara––The City with the Desert Lighthouse

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 front of the Nasreddin-on-the-donkey monument you’ll listen to some anecdotes about him. You’ll have dinner in the courtyard of a Madrasah with musical accompaniment, local dances and a presentation of colourful national costumes. You'll spend the night in a centrally located upper Middle-class hotel in Bukhara. (BLD)


Day 5 Bukhara, the Noble

Today, you’ll experience the city in an all-day tour program, including lunch. Bukhara is a large, unique and authentic art museum that maintains its old oriental face. In the morning, 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. You'll see there the coronation hall and visit the summer residence of the last Emir. At the end of your stay you’ll see the only women’s mosque in the world. You will spend the night in your hotel in Bukhara. (BLD)


Day 6 Bukhara - Khiva

In the morning you will have time to explore Bukhara on your own. In the afternoon your Private train continues in the direction of Khiva. Dinner and overnight on board. (BLD)


Day 7 A Fairy Tale of 1001 Nights

After breakfast you will have arrived at the Southern border of the seven river lands, in the oasis of Khiva. When you stand before the mighty city wall of Khiva with its gates and bastions of clay brings, you are in another world: Around the Kalta Minor Minaret life still pulses today as it did in old times, and on a tour you see palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums and Koranic schools show you, what medieval oriental urban development must have been like. You will enjoy lunch in the atmosphere of the former SummerPalace of the Emir. In the evening you will depart to Samarqand. (BLD)


Day 8 Samarqand––Intersection of Cultures

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. You will spend the night in a First-Class hotel in Samarqand. (BLD)


Day 9 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. You will spend the second night in your First-Class hotel in Samarqand. (BLD)


Day 10 On the Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz

Enjoy an excursion into the surrounding mountain region where elsewhere forgotten ceremonies of Shaman cult still are held. You will experience a folklore performance in the unique tradition of this region and get to know the inhabitants in their authentic everyday life. A friendly welcome is guaranteed!

Next you will follow the Great Silk Road and arrive in the green city, the birthplace of Tamerlane. Here, in Shakhrisabz (UNESCO-World Heritage Site) you’ll tour the monumental memorials of the barbaric Mongol Prince and also have the opportunity to watch the thriving bustle of this lively town. In the evening you'll depart on your Private Train to Tashkent. On board: Uzbek wine tasting. (BLD)


Day 11 Tashkent, the Green Oasis

In the morning your Private Train arrives in Tashkent at the foot of the Tien ShanMountains. 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 departs for Kasachstan. (BLD)


Day 12 Nomad’s Pilgrimage Center: Turkestan

After breakfast and lunch on board you arrive at the city of Turkestan in Kazakhstan (border formalities occur comfortably in your cabin). You will see the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its dome hall, monumental mosque and well house. Then your Private Train will travel on to Almaty – at dinner it will be time to say farewell to your friendly train staff. (BLD)



Day 13 Almaty­–– The Father of Apples

You arrive to Almaty after lunch. Enjoy a city sightseeing tour of Almaty, situated at the foothills of the northern Tien ShanMountains. There are attractive, wide, tree-lined avenues, many parks and street cafes. Visit the Zenkov Russian Cathedral, one of the world's tallest all wood buildings, the wedding palace, the circus and the central mosque.  In the evening, you will enjoy a special farewell dinner in country-specific yurts. Transfer to the airport - depending on flight time either day room in hotel or overnight. (BLD)


Day 14 Almaty— An epic journey comes to an end!


Highlights of the tour


UNESCO's World Heritage:

1. The old Parthian city of Nisa

2. The Pearl of the East: Ruins of ancient Merv

3. Itchan Kala: The inner town of the old Khiva oasis

4. Historical Centre of Bukhara

5. Samarqand­––Crossroads of Cultures

6. Historical Centre of Shakhrisabz

7. Turkestan: Mausoleum Kooja Ahmed Yasawi


Distinctive capitals:

 Ashgabat: the most modern city in Central Asia

 Tashkent: the cultural centre of Central Asia


Places that made History:

 Registan: the most beautiful square of the Orient

 Ulug Bek observatory

 Ismael Samani and Gur Emir mausoleum

 Ark Fortress in Bukhara

 Excavations of ancient Afrosiyob town

 Shah-i-Zinda complex of mausoleums

 Almaty - "Father - apple"


Everyday life in Central Asia:

 The making of traditional art objects: silk and carpets

 Tolkuchka Bazaar in Ashgabat

 Valuable cultural insights: lectures, fairy tales and information about history and regional traditions

 Dinner with fashion show in the courtyard of an old madrasah

 Lunch in the summer palace of an Emir

 Lunch in a typical Uzbek house


Spectacular nature:

 Unique fire crater in the Karakum desert

 Karakum and Kysilkum deserts

 Tien ShanMountains


Our service––Your benefit

  Multi-lingual Lernidee Tour Director

  Experienced local guides for a maximum of 25 guests per group

  Doctor on board

  6 overnights in upper Middle- or First-Class hotels

  7 overnights on the train according to the booked category

  All meals according to program (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

  Sightseeing program including all entrance fees

  Guided transfers to and from all airports and train stations according to program

  Sightseeing tours/guided walks in Ashgabat, Bukhara, Khiva, Samarqand, Taschkent and Almaty

  Traditional welcome in the train stations of Mary, Bukhara, Samarqand and Urgentch

  Lunch/dinner with an Uzbek and a Turkmen family as well as in a Madrasah with folklore

  Wine and Vodka tasting

  Log book with information about the Silk Road

Special features

- No inner-Asian flights

- No long bus rides on bad and dusty roads

- Safe, clean and well maintained: your Private Train

- Your luggage remains on board during the entire trip

- All cars air-conditioned while the train runs

- Excellent food meeting high hygienic standards

- After dinner restaurant cars operate as bars


Entry requirements:

Visas for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan should be obtained on your own. Invitation letter for Turkmenistan is obligatory (70 EUR per person, must be organised by Marco Polo CAT)

Health: No vaccinations are prescribed

Not included: Flights, tips, beverages, visa fees (if requested we will procure the visa for you)

Minimum number of participants: 60

Program and expenses are subject to modifications and amendments

All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Marco Polo Central Asia Travel
You may also like
Minor Hajj to Sacred Land


Rating in Uzbekistan
Green valleys and mountains


Rating in Uzbekistan
Interesting facts
Artem Kozdrovich, director of Travel Land LLC about his culture-rich trips
From low-key to loud and subtle to extreme The director of Travel Land LLC, Artem Kozdrovich is a guide that makes it his job to possess a vast amount of knowledge about the landscapes he takes travelers to. Being a local and having a first-hand exper…