Silk Road vacation, small group

“An adventurous small group tour along the legendary Silk Road, exploring ancient cities and wild natural landscapes with the help of expert local guides.”

Highlights

Tashkent | Khiva | Konye-Urgench | Ashgabat | Mary | Merv | Bukhara | Gijduvan | Samarkand | Termez | Dushanbe | Lake Iskander Kul | Istravshan | Khudjand

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

Toll free 1-866-821-6866 Calling from outside the US?

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
19 Apr 2020
£2925
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Apr 2020 departure
13 Sep 2020
£2925
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Sep 2020 departure
18 Apr 2021
£3125
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Apr 2021 departure
12 Sep 2021
£3125
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Sep 2021 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Silk Road vacation, small group

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted and green thinking is largely absent.

Uzbekistan does not see the same numbers of visitors that many other countries experience and as such some practices which we take for granted in other parts of the world may not be found here. We work closely with our suppliers to introduce concepts of environmental responsibility to the communities that we travel through. This can include asking hotels to implement practices such as asking guests if they need fresh cleaned towels each day, and reminding guests to turn off lights when they leave the room – small things that are standard practice in many places in the western world but not necessarily elsewhere.

Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation - not only reducing our carbon footprint but we believe leading to a more enjoyable and intimate experience for our clients.

This tour travels through some of the world’s most remote regions, away from the well beaten tourist trail. Our guides will brief travelers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us

Community

Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community.

When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through.

For example, on this tour we stop in Gijduvan, which is locally renowned as a center for ceramics. Our team are keen to support this local industry which has benefited from a local micro finance scheme. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local businesses and services.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects.

This tour travels through some remote communities that often do not have much exposure to the wider world, and where opportunities for employment are extremely limited. We spend many nights in homestays and local tourist cottages, for example at Lake Iskander Kul in the Fann Mountains.

Not only does this help small communities see some benefits from tourism but we believe it does much to promote cultural understanding and ultimately leads to a more enjoyable experience for our clients.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travelers. This has much less impact when traveling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travelers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.

4 Reviews of Silk Road vacation, small group

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
1
3
0
0
0

Reviewed on 30 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The wonderful places we saw and the differences between the three stans

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don’t expect too much in the way of gourmet food!!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Local people were all thrilled to see us and tell us about their countries

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fascinating

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The most memorable was taking 3 hours for the border crossing from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan. Appreciating the historical importance of the different waves of civilizations in developing The Silk Road and the different resulting cultures, was interesting. We now understand the importance of restoring the Aral Sea by better managing the irrigation from its rivers and how important water is to the countries that we visited. The opulence of Ashgabat compared to rural Turkmenistan was surprising, as was the need for restoration work in Samarkand. We enjoyed the great diversity of geography and cultures.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The women need to be prepared for squat toilets - you need to retrieve the toilet paper from your pocket before you squat. Travel as lightly as possible and have good walking shoes. Be prepared for a range of temperatures. Hotel WiFi signal may not allow internet connections. Only use the website recommended by the tour company, when applying for visas, and be prepared for lots of security checks at border crossings. Don't forget anti diarrhoeal medication (Loperamide works well) and electrolyte replacement. US$ worked well.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We hope that our puchases at markets, and meals and accommodation benefited local people. We were concerned about using so much bottled water but no safe alternative was available or suggested. We were not aware of supporting conservation - would volunteering time for a community project be a possibility on future tours? We would have liked more interaction with local people, including eating in less touristy eateries and not being over catered for with respect to food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The trip can be enhanced by the quality of the guides, and there was variability between our guides. We covered a lot of territory but the variety of destinations was excellent, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for your feedback and constructive comments. The border crossings can be very slow which is highlighted in our literature and this group was nearly full so this of course slows things a little. We are looking at the possibility of some market visits in Turkmenistan to enhance the possibilities of local interaction. The feedback from the group has been that the guide for Turkmenistan was outstanding, Tajikistan excellent, but Uzbekistan a little less so and we will continue to work with the local guides to ensure continual improvement. We are working towards providing larger recyclable water vessels to allow clients to fill their own reusable bottles and this is a work in progress to implement. We have successfully introduced this to many of our tours already and we continue to consider this a high priority moving forward. Once again thank you for the feedback and traveling the Silk Road with us and we hope to see you again.

Reviewed on 15 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It was all memorable and exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


For the information of anyone interested, the only thing you need to get an Uzbekistan visa, if you are an Australian citizen, is a Letter of Invitation, with
which you can get a Visa on Arrival. This information is for people who do not have diplomatic representation in their country, as we don't (2017).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Possibly

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had an excellent and packed trip, with a wonderful group of people. The hotels were midrange; two of the guides were five stars; one was three stars and one was two stars. Having said that, they all introduced us to a world we were ignorant of, were very nice people, knew a lot, conveyed a lot and helped a lot.

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


New country, different culture

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


check what medicines you can take into the country with a doctors prescription info, otherwise may have problems at boarder control.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


yes, very much so

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


very good, learnt lots and as only a small group we all got on very well

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for your review. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office entry requirements advice has just been updated for Uzbekistan regarding bringing medicines into the country. We are delighted you enjoyed your trip along the Silk Road.

Popular similar vacations

Central Asia overland tour, the stans

Central Asia overland tour, the stans

An epic journey through the five 'stans' of Central Asia

From £4999 26 days excluding flights

Xian to Istanbul overland tour

Xian to Istanbul overland tour

Expereince the Silk Road and the beautiful Caucasus

From £8830 - £9085 42 days excluding flights

Silk Road vacations, Central Asia

Silk Road vacations, Central Asia

Journey along the Old Silk Road

From £3995 22 days excluding flights

Silk Road cultural vacation

Silk Road cultural vacation

See spectacular mountain scenery on this Silk Road journey

From £2685 15 days excluding flights

Convert currencies