Get to know – or under-Stan, if you will – the desert landscapes, multicultural influences and religious significance in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on a 26-day Central Asian adventure. The region’s allure lies in the heritage of the Silk Road, where ideas, culture and people flowed from East to West, and in the green field backcountry and sweeping mountain landscapes that play host to the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Journey through cities featuring crumbling reminders of Soviet occupation and influence and out into the stunning wilds, where the ancient history of these long-lived nations – Persian and Mongol, Buddhist and Muslim – becomes clearer. Samarkand’s iconic Registan Square, the soaring Ak-Baital Pass, Khiva’s city within a city, the ‘Door to Hell’ – Central Asia has got it all.
- Skirting the border with Afghanistan, get glimpses of the other side, from the hair-raising Afghan-built ovrings (footbridges) to the exotic imports on display in Khorog's local bazaar.
- Soaring along the renowned Pamir Highway is an unforgettable experience, especially in fine weather when the mighty peak of Muztag Ata rears its head.
- Steeped in Silk Road history and immortalised in many great tales, the UNESCO-protected town of Khiva is as photogenic as it is legendary.
- Witness the eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, known as the 'Door to Hell', as you camp nearby – one of the strangest, most mesmerising geological oddities on earth.
- Ashgabat rose from the devastation of an earthquake in 1948 and has enjoyed a surreal and futuristic makeover – witness its often bizarre, but certainly memorable architecture on a city tour.