A Classic Silk Road Survey

More than 2,000 years ago, the great trade routes that linked Europe and China opened Central Asia to foreign cultures, customs and religions. Join a modern-day caravan on an epic journey to five of these exotic countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Admire masterpieces of Islamic architecture, interact with locals in vibrant bazaars and visit eight awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way.

21 Day Trip

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Meet Uzbek artisans in their workshops
    Learn about the life and work of Uzbek silk and ceramic artisans during visits to their workshops in the rural Fergana Valley. ...
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  • Dine at the home of an Uzbek family
    Dine at the homes of Uzbek and Karakalpak families and sample traditional Central Asian dishes....
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  • Witness exhilarating horse games
    Witness the spirit of Kyrgyzstan at exhilarating horse games, such as oodarysh, a kind of wrestling match on horseback....
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  • Encounter world-class art in a tiny desert town
    Examine the trove of rescued Russian art with an expert who leads you behind the scenes at the Savitsky Museum, a gem in the desert in remote Nukus, Uzbekistan....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 25 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • The first American travel company to open an accredited office in Uzbekistan
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
  • Recommended by Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-4: Almaty, Lake Issyk-Kul, Bishkek

Begin the tour in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, driving to the majestic Tien Shan mountain range. Cross into Kyrgyzstan and spend a night at beautiful alpine Lake Issyk-Kul before exploring Bishkek.


  • Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital and largest city
  • Lofty Tien Shan Mountain Range
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Days 5-7: Osh, Fergana, Margilan, Rishtan, Khujand

Fly to the lush Fergana Valley, divided among three of the five ‘Stans. Ascend to UNESCO-listed Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain, one of the holiest Islamic sites in Central Asia, rising from the outskirts of Osh, where you meet with a group of locals. In the Uzbek portion of the valley, visit Margilan and Rishtan, villages specializing in silks and ceramics. Cross the border into Tajikistan for an overnight in historic Khujand.


  • Suleiman-Too Sacred Mountain, a UNESCO Site in Osh
  • Margilan Sunday Market in the lush Fergana Valley
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Days 8-16: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Nukus

Journey overland to Tashkent and admire one of the oldest Korans in the world. Explore the blue-tiled monuments of Samarkand, Tamerlane’s UNESCO-listed Ak Saray Palace in Shakhrisabze, the interlocking brickwork of Bukhara and the winding alleys of Khiva. Drive through the Kyzyl Kum (Red Sands) desert to the astonishing Savitsky Museum of avant-garde Russian art in remote Nukus, capital of Karakalpakstan, for an overnight.


  • Uzbekistan’s capital and largest city, Tashkent
  • The Square of Independence, tracing Tashkent’s history
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Days 17-21: Kunya Urgench, Tashauz, Ashkabad, Nisa, Merv

In Turkmenistan, explore three UNESCO Sites - the ruins of Khorezm’s Kunya Urgench, the Parthian city of Nisa and mythical Merv. In the modern capital of Ashkabad, discover the white marble monuments, so plentiful that they were awarded a Guinness World Record in 2013.


  • UNESCO-listed Kunya Urgench, with 11th century Kutlug-Timur Minaret
  • Parthian Kingdom of Nisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 21 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 6-16 Travelers $7,795
  • Plus Internal Air $300
  • Single Supplement $1,295

2015 Dates

  • April 6-26 - Sold out!
  • April 13-May 3
  • April 27-May 17 - Filling fast!
  • August 17-September 6
  • September 14-October 4 - Sold out!
  • September 21-October 11 - Sold out!
  • October 12-November 1 - Just 3 spots are left!
  • $7,795
  • Max 16 Travelers
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Group Size

Small Groups – Never More than 16 Travelers. Guaranteed!

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located first class hotels in the major cities and best available hotels elsewhere.
  • 20 breakfasts, 19 lunches, and 15 dinners. A few dinners are not included so that you may enjoy a chance to experiment on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Transportation throughout itinerary by private coach or van (size of vehicle depends on group size).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
  • Bottled water at group meals.

 Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (if applicable to your itinerary; please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

Many travelers choose to extend their Journey Through Central Asia program by adding one or more pre-tour nights in Almaty.  Select departures of this tour are specifically timed to coincide with the Treasures of the South Caucasus tour or our Essential Iran package.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations are as comfortable as possible for the region, they will vary from four and five star properties to relatively basic and simple hotels. It is important to keep in mind that the countries of Central Asia are, in general, not up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

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MIR in the News
  • Chicago Tribune suggests MIR tour to Central Asia and Iran

    January 8, 2015

    “If travel on the edge is your thing,” the Trib suggests MIR’s Once Forbidden Lands of Central Asia & Iran. Exploring Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran, the 20-day trip begins in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, and ends in... Read More

  • “Most Exciting Ideas” for Travel in 2015

    January 5, 2015

    Curious Animal, an online magazine about “Adventure Travel, Photography, Music, Books, Big Issues and Ideas from around the world,” has compiled a list of new and fascinating things to do in 2015, and MIR is on it. “Fro... Read More

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