Tashkent to Ashgabat

Tashkent to Ashgabat

From $ 3,002 AUD


Strategically positioned along the Silk Route, the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva were famed trading centres for the caravans that passed this way in ancient times. On this Overland trip we follow in their footsteps, discovering magnificent architecture and bustling bazaars that have changed little since the rule of Tamerlane. We’ll stay with nomads in the Turkmenistan’s desert, explore the imposing Oxus Valley, tour the wonders of Samarkand and head into the markets of Ashgabat to practice our bargaining skills.

Trip Name
Tashkent to Ashgabat
Last Updated
  • Pick up souvenirs in the bazaars of Tashkent
  • Experience the romance of the Silk Road in Samarkand
  • Spend a memorable night sleeping in a yurt
  • Walk through Bukhara's historic Old Town
  • Gaze up at the ancient walls surrounding Khiva
  • Discover the futuristic architecture of Ashgabat
  • Learn about Tamerlane’s dynasty


Our itineraries are developed and published with the best of intentions, however travel in more remote areas of the world is unpredictable – borders can close, there can be extreme adverse weather, strikes or maybe mechanical issues that affect the running of your trip, but equally due to the nature of our trips we can often spontaneously include a local festival or event into the itinerary. This being said, the safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a priority for Dragoman. With this in mind we monitor world events very closely. By the very nature of the adventure travel that we take, there are risks and hazards that are inherent in our itineraries. Dragoman makes operational decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources: • The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice • Reports from other travel companies and local suppliers • Leaders reports from off the road • Local contacts we have built up over many years of experience. TRAVEL ADVICE & WARNINGS Dragoman follows the British Foreign Office Travel advice when deciding where and where we are unable to travel. We will base our decisions on itineraries and alterations to published routes based on their advice rather than the advice of other governments. However, we recommend you check the latest travel advisories from your own government for the country you are travelling to before you book and prior to departure. If there are any travel warnings present for the region you will travel to, as well as considering whether you are happy to travel despite the warning you must also check to ensure that it is not invalidating your travel insurance. Here are a few useful addresses: UK - www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice Australia - http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand - http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ United States - https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html Canada - http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/menu-eng.asp We also recommend that you check out the UK Travel Aware website before you travel at https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/. This website offers straightforward travel advice, top tips, and up-to-date country information to help you plan a safe trip. We will advise you of any significant changes in advice before travel or whilst you are overseas. INCLUDED ITINERARIES Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not necessarily be refunded; this is something you will need to check with your leader. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities is listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This list is designed to be a helpful guide as to what is commonly available in each location, and is neither an exhaustive list, a guarantee that the activity is available, or an endorsement or recommendation. Please note that certain activities may not be available on your particular visit if they are overbooked, underbooked, out of season, or for any other reason - the list of activities is made according to our latest information and in the best faith, but please be aware that things may change between our last visit and your arrival. Please also note that it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, and it is recommended to give yourself extra time in your joining or ending city if you would like to participate in some optional activities there. Prices listed are for entrance only and do not include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated - again, these prices are displayed according to our latest information and in the best faith, but prices do fluctuate due to exchange rates, season, numbers of participants, and simple increases from the operator - any prices listed are a guide only and certainly cannot be guaranteed. Optional activities are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Dragoman nor included in the price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and does not form part of your contract with Dragoman. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or optional activity form for some optional activities.

Day 1 - Tashkent
Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting. We will then have a free afternoon to explore the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent. In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. *Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*  Hotel for the night: Grand Orzu Hotel Grand Orzu Hotel 27 Makhmud Tarobi Street Tashkent Uzbekistan Tel - +998 71 120 88 77  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Visit the delightful traditional farmer's market at the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent's Old Town : Free See the grand 16th-century Kukeldash Madrassa and the city's principal Juma Mosque in the Old Town : Free Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran : USD 5  About Tashkent: Whilst the historic cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva still retain much of the atmosphere of the ancient Khanates, Tashkent is very definitely a Soviet city, because old Tashkent was largely destroyed by a series of earthquakes and Soviet planners. Having said that, it is still a great place to visit - the city has a clean, modern feel and there is some unusal contemporary architecture here, which makes it an interesting contrast to many other places along the Silk Road.
Day 2 - Samarkand
Today our journey begins with a drive to the fascinating ancient city of Samarkand, where we will stay for the next 3 nights. In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). About Samarkand: A city brimming with history, Samarkand became famous in the 14th Century CE as the birthplace of the warlord Timur and the capital of his Sultanate. Thanks to its cemtral location along the Silk Road, the town originally grew propserous as a crossroads between East and West, creating a melting pot of different cultures and traditions whose influences are still very much apparent today. Samarkand is perhaps the most romantic and evocative of the Silk Road cities, and is crowned by the decorative domes and minarets of the many beautiful buildings here. The must-sees include the iconic Registan Square (the central focus of the city and home to a group of impressively decorated madrassas), Guri Amir and the Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum. 
Day 3-4 - Samarkand
" Day 3 to 4" Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, BibiKhanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda. On our second day, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Explore the stunning green city of Shahrisabz, the centre of folk art in Uzbekistan and the birthplace of the medieval warlord Timur : USD 20  Wander through the markets and carpet vendors of Samarkand, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the local carpet weavers : Free  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory, once the finest observatory in the Islamic world : Included in Kitty Visit the Guri-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur : Included in Kitty Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan, a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia : Included in Kitty Discover the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the world and the jewel in Timur's empire : Included in Kitty See the beautiful and moving ancient mausoleum of Shah-I-Zinda : Included in Kitty
Day 5 - Nurata
Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a swim in Lake Ajdar Kul and head out on an optional camel ride into the desert! In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Spend the night in nomadic yurts out in the the Kyzylkum Desert : Included in Kitty OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Take a short camel ride around the sand dunes of the Kyzylkhum Desert : UZS 5000 
Day 6 - Bukhara
Today we will drive to the beautiful city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. Our drive will take us via the desert town of Nurata, which we will have a brief stop. In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours. About Bukhara: Bukhara is an atmospheric city with an incredible history and a wonderful heritage - exploring the streets, you really get the feeling that this is how Central Asia was before Soviet domination. Bukhara was once a very powerful Khanate, controlling most of Turkmenistan and the surrounding area. Many of the buildings here are spectacular and very well-preserved, particularly the Ark Fortress, Ismail Samanid Mausoleum and the famous Kalyan Minaret (also known as the Death Tower). The government has invested a considerable amount of money into the city in order to preserve the architecture here. 
Day 7-8 - Bukhara
" Day 7 to 8 " Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress.  On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Explore the city's oldest Islamic monument, the 10th-century mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, the founder of the Samanid Dynasty : Included in Kitty Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark : Included in Kitty Explore the colossal Kalon Mosque and Minaret, which has survived without restoration for 850 years and impressed Genghis Khan so much that he ordered the building to be spared : Included in Kitty Visit the magnificent 16th-century architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city's principal source of water : Included in Kitty OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  See the Indian-style Char Minar Minarets, four towers nestled in a maze of alleyways in downtown Bukhara : Free Visit the gruesome museum at the old prison of Zindon : UZS 4500  Watch an entertaining evening puppet show, featuring many local Uzbek and Tajik poems and songs : USD 5 
Day 9-10 - Khiva
" Day 9 to 10 " Today we have a full day drive to the incredible historic town of Khiva. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours. On the next day, we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town. In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  See the beautiful turquoise Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva : Included in Kitty Visit the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassa, a museum dedicated to the Khan that surrendered to the Russians in 1873 : Included in Kitty  Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva : Included in Kitty Learn all about the Khoezm culture and handicrafts at the Islam Hodja Madrassa, Khiva's newest monument : Included in Kitty Explore the incredible Juma Mosque and the 12th century fortress of the Kukhna Ark : Included in Kitty Visit the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mohammed, the legendary 14th-century poet, philosopher, wrestler, and patron saint of Khiva : Included in Kitty About Khiva: The small historic town of Khiva in Uzbekistan was once the capital of the Khwarezmid Empire, one of Central Asia's most powerful states in the 12th Century CE until they were invaded by Genghis Khan in 1220 CE. Khiva once again rose to prominence as the centre of the Khanate of Khia between 1500 CE and 1924, when the area was fully incorporated into the Soviet Union. The city's long history is fascinating, and fortunately much of the magnificent architecture has been incredibly well preserved. The ancient walls that used to provide sanctuary for the travellers on the Silk Road are intact, as is the old town that the walls were built to protect. Many of the buildings are beautifully decorated in classic turquoise tiles. As well as exploring the streets of the old city, you should make sure you visit the Kukhna Ark and Juma Mosque, Pakhlovan Mahmus Mausoleum and Islam Hodja Madrassa. 
Day 11 - Konye-Urgench
Border Information: Exit Uzbekistan at Nijazov, enter Turkmenistan at Shovot. This morning we will drive across the border into Turkmenistan, visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, and explore the Kunye Urgench ruins to wards the end of the day. We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Explore the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench, once one of the most splendid cities in Central Asia until it was ransacked by Timur and abandoned : Included in Kitty About Kunye Urgench: Kunye Urgench is one of Turkmenistan's most important historic sites, and was once a major city along the Silk Road. Situated on the shores of the Amu Daria River, the area has been settled since the 5th-Century BCE and came to prominence under the rule of the Persian Khwarezem Empire in the 11th Century CE. The city managed to flourish even after Genghis Khan's invasion of 1221, only being finally destroyed and abandoned after an attack by the warlord Timur in 1373. Timur did a very thorough job in demolishing the city, there are still plenty of old ruined buildings from the 11th-14th centuries dotted around, including a mosque, mausoleum and the towering 60-metre-high Kutlug-Timur minaret, the highest in Central Asia.  
Day 12 - Darvaza
Today we continue south through the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!). We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours. INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvasa, popularly known as the 'Door to Hell' : Included in Kitty  About Darvaza: Darvaza is a tiny settlement in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, which is the location of one of the world's more unusual highlights - the flaming Darvasa Gas Crater, sometimes dramatically called 'The Door to Hell'. The crater formed as a result of an industrial accident - Soviet oil prospectors started drilling in 1971 expecting to find oil, and when only gas was found underneath the ground collapsed to form the crater. Worried about the gas released into the air, they deliberately set the crater on fire to burn off the excess, expecting this to only last a few weeks - however the natural gas supply turned out to be much more plentiful, and it's been burning away ever since! The crater is truly a breathtaking sight, especially at night - it's about the size of a football pitch and ablaze with fire, truly looking like the entrance to the underworld! 
Day 13 - Ashgabat
Today we will complete our drive to the interesting capital of Ashgabat, usually arriving mid-afternoon. In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours About Ashgabat: Ashgabat is a unique modern city that has been extensively rebuilt since the country gained independence in 1991. Little is left of the original Russian Imperial city as most of it was destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1948, and today the city centre is a bizarre mix of futuristic and outrageous public buildings that are an extraordinary sight - these include many ornate marble buildings and extravagant golden statues of the president. Ashgabat's Sunday Market is famous along the whole Silk Road - this wonderful market stretches for hundreds of acres into the desert. Carpets, camels, clothes, pigs, jewellery, goats, cars, chickens, hats and ex-Soviet military paraphernalia are readily available. 
Day 14 - Ashgabat
Today we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. In the afternoon we have the option of visiting the famous Ashgabat Sunday Market.  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Learn about the history and culture of Turkmenistan at the huge National Museum in Ashgabat : USD 10 INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Explore, shop, and haggle at the vast Altyn Asyr Sunday Bazaar : Included in Kitty Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city : Included in Kitty
Day 15 - Ashgabat
Border Information: if finishing in Ashgabat, you Will most likely exit Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ashgabat. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-07-201930-07-2019AUD $ 3,002-
03-09-201917-09-2019AUD $ 3,022-
09-09-201923-09-2019AUD $ 3,022-
15-10-201929-10-2019AUD $ 3,022-


Hotels,Wild Camps,Yurts


Overland expedition vehicle