Best time to visit the Silk Road

temperature & rainfall

Click on a location: Kashgar | Nurata (mountains) | Samarkand
When to visit the Silk Road can seem a complicated question, if only because the route traverses a variety of counties and climates. If youíre heading to western China, donít go in January; itís freezing. The continental climate there benefits from a long summer, so August and September are glorious with warm days and delicious ripe fruits everywhere. If youíre Central Asia bound, March to June bring mild sunny days and little rain, perfect for sightseeing, but avoid high summer Ė soaring heat and bustling bazaars do not a good match make.

When to travel the Silk Road

a month by month guide

The winter months of December and January in Central Asia can get bitingly cold; -30 and sightseeing arenít compatible.

February is cold, but not unbearable Ė if you wrap up warm, visiting then youíll get to see an altogether different landscape covered in frost and topped by a crisp blue sky.

July and August are extremely hot in the desert areas of the Silk Road: very dry air, red-hot sand, not much cover and temperatures that can hit 40oC Ė so, if you are traveling in high summer, just make your sure your route is compatible.

In September and October, autumn is in full swing: the landscape is characterised by deep orange, green and crimson shades and lots of delicious fruits like grapes and dates ripen.

Spring is a great time for budding photographers to visit the Silk Road Ė March, April and May hover at a favourable 15-20-degrees, flowers are in bloom and the grasslands are a vivid green.

June is a warm dry month across the Stans and a fantastic time to visit cities along the Silk Road, although it can be busy; by contrast, Novemberís weather is more erratic in terms of rain and generally quite cold, but brings very low crowd numbers.

What happens, and when

Our Silk Road recommendations

Linda Maguire from our supplier, Undiscovered Destinations shares her opinion on the best time to visit the Silk Road: ďCentral Asia particularly is lovely in April and May because it isnít too hot; you get a little bit of rain, but that helps to clear any dust and the temperature is comfortable sticking between mid to late 20s. Itís also very green at that time and the countryside is lush with wildflowers. In high summer, the land can get very parched, so there isnít much to look at in the countryside and it gets much hotter with temperatures traveling well into the 30s, which is unpleasant when youíre walking around and taking your time to look at monuments. On the flipside, winter gets very cold. The seasons are clear-cut and they correspond with ours, but the summer and winter are more extreme, so itís much better to visit during spring and autumn. In the autumn, the weather is cooler and the land is a rich blend of gold and dark green autumnal colours.Ē

Festivals & events

Our cultural pick from the silk road calendar

Did you know about...?

Boysun Bahori

One of the most culturally significant in Uzbekistanís calendar of annual events is Boysun Bahori, a spring festival held in mountainous Boysun in the Surkhandarya Province. The festival dates back to pre-Islam times and is a colourful celebration of costumes, songs, dance and stories that have stood the test of time.
Photo credits: [Top box: Paul] [autumn/spring: Pekka Tamminen] [festivals: Arian Zwegers]
Written by Polly Humphris
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