Be entranced by the beauty of Kyrgyzstan and historical wonders of Uzbekistan on this 17-day tour. Traverse landscapes of alpine lakes and mountains interrupted only by dots of yurts, feel the divine artistic power of the detailed mosaics and towering minarets of ancient cities, and be welcomed into homes and family-run businesses by locals. A mix of ancient nomadic cultures, various iterations of both conservative and progressive Islam, Soviet influence and post-independence nationalism mean Central Asia is home to unique traditions. Travels here will leave you raving about the region for years to come and planning your next trip back as soon as you get home.
- Wander through the grand square Registan in Samarkand, admiring the imposing architecture from afar and the detailed craftmanship on the tiling up close.
- Walk under pointed arches and between dome-topped mausoleums the size of apartments in the Shak-i-Zinda necropolis, which has pieces from the 14th–19th century.
- Travel along the Chychkan River beneath the towering peaks of Kyrgyzstan’s Tien Shan range, mountains even more spectacular for emptiness of the valleys below them.
- Stay in a classic felt-lined yurt on the shore of alpine Song-Kol Lake, where you can watch the sunset behind craggy mountains before warming yourself by the stove.
- Visit a Kyrgyz village and watch locals play a traditional horseback sport like odarysh (wrestling on horseback) or kok-baru (goat polo).