The Epic of Central Asia
Group Travel | 22 Days
- Road trip across Central Asia’s Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan
- UNESCO Heritage sites galore, including Konye Urgench, Khiva’s walled city, 2,000-year-old Bukhara, and the great crossroad of Samarkand
- Impressive Islamic architecture, thrilling bazaars, and stunning nature
- Jaw-dropping scenery at Ala Archa National Park and mile-high Issyk Kul, a larger Lake Tahoe
The Epic of Central Asia packs in a tremendous lot of old-fashioned travel romance in just three weeks. We begin in Turkmenistan, wend through Uzbekistan—which every fan of eye-snapping Islamic architecture and slam-bam history must eventually visit—and revel in Kyrgyzstan. Along the way, we encounter fabled place-names like Ashgabat, Tashkent, and Ferghana. We explore Samarkand’s ancient heart and walk the narrow streets of Khiva’s old city. We circumnavigate mile-high Issyk Kul lake, and soak up colorful markets hawking everything from sheepskin hats to livestock. And in the Djety Oguz Gorge, we spend time with our favorite eagle hunter.
Sarah [Timewell] is a wonderful person and trip leader. Her presence added a great deal to our experience. She is professional, knows the territory, and runs a tight ship with humor and aplomb. It was a joy to travel with her and I would like to do so again. She did everything just right and with grace.– Pamela E.
Tese [Wintz Neighbor] was extraordinary. Her humor, intelligence, and compassion were a gift to each of us. Truly exceptional. There were no strings left untied on our trip. Her respect for each of us and for everyone she came in contact with was noble. She was inclusive of everyone—drivers, guides, travelers. She is the real deal.– Mary T.
1 – 2
Get to know Turkmenistan's unique marble-clad capital, Ashgabat, and visit the nearby ruins of Nissa, ancient Parthian kingdom.
3 – 5
After flying to the Konye Urgench ruins, we cross into Uzbekistan and drive to Khiva, an enchanting Silk Road town with gorgeous mosques and madrassas The Savitsky Museum wows us with its collection of avant-garde Russian art.
6 – 10
Bukhara and Samarkand provide endless delights, including exquisite Islamic architecture, dome-covered bazaars, and time with a carpet maker.
11 – 13
Our journey continues to the bustling capital of Tashkent and the fertile Ferghana Valley, awash in spectacular scenery In the small town of Rishtan, a master ceramicist treats us to a demonstration and delicious lunch.
14 – 16
Now in Kyrgyzstan, we savor beautiful Chychkan Gorge, dine with a family in Oso, and take a guided walk of Bishkek, the country's capital.
17 – 19
Join a Kyrgyz eagle hunter amid Djety Oguz Gorge's red-rock cliffs to learn about the tradition Study the open-air petroglyphs at Cholpon-Ata on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul, the second-largest alpine lake in the world.
20 – 22
Back in Bishkek, breathtaking mountains and water invigorate us in Ala Archa National Park We enjoy hikes and leisure time before departure.
We’re happy to extend your trip with visits to Kazakhstan, mountainous Tajikistan, western China, or other intriguing Central Asia locales.
Dates & Prices
04/17/21 – 05/08/21 Led by Tese Wintz Neighbor
09/04/21 – 09/25/21 Led by Sarah Timewell
04/23/22 – 05/14/22 Led by Sarah Timewell
For a similar trip, see our Silk Road: A Journey Through Time itinerary.
Group Trip: From $11,205 per person
based on double occupancy
- Expertise of GeoEx’s travel specialists
- Services of GeoEx’s in-house air reservations team
- All accommodations
- All ground transportation and airport transfers
- Sightseeing, events, visits, and entrance fees
- Most meals
- Bottled water at included meals and while sightseeing
- Services of a GeoEx trip leader, local guides, drivers, and other staff
- Some gratuities
- Emergency evacuation services and secondary medical expense insurance