For a short but sweet introduction to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, this nine-day itinerary highlights the best that these countries have to offer, from the Charyn Canyon to the Petroglyphs of Tamgaly in Kazakhstan to the glamour of Tashkent and Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Starting and ending in two major cities, this trip is an excellent overview of Central Asia on its own, or a perfect addition to a larger trip.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Ulugh Beg Observatory: Built in the 1420s, this fascinating observatory brought about new discoveries in mathematics and astronomy, and is housed in a beautiful tiled building.
• Ancient History: Explore ancient Otrar, a settlement dating back to the 8th century, which was key in linking Kazakhstan with China, Europe, Siberia, Ural and the Middle East.
• Great Outdoors: The 50-mile-long Charyn Canyon, located just outside of Almaty, is an impressive landscape sculpted by the Sharyn River and makes for a challenging and rewarding trek.
Welcome to Kazakhstan! On your first day, arrive in Almaty – the country’s largest city – first thing in the morning. After being picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel, settle in and then enjoy a tour of the city, including the State Historical Museum. Enjoy lunch at a traditional restaurant, and more exploring followed by dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Today, you will take a day trip to Charyn Canyon (around 4 hours), one of the most spectacular sites in the area. Enjoy lunch en-route and views of the 50 mile-long canyon – located along the Charyn River – before returning to Almaty for dinner and the night.
Your third day includes a daylong excursion to the Petroglyphs of Tamgaly (around 2.5 hours), a UNESCO world heritage site featuring 5,000 petroglyphs from the Bronze, Iron and Medieval ages. Enjoy dinner at your hotel back in Almaty before boarding an evening train to Taraz.
Enjoy a full day in Taraz, a large city in the southern Jambyl Province of Kazakhstan. Take a city tour, which includes a visit to the Historical Museum, visit local shops and restaurants, and enjoy an overnight stay at your hotel.
After breakfast, you will be transferred by road to Shymkent (around 3 hours), one of the largest cities in the country and the capital city of the South Kazakhstan Province. On the way, visit the Aisha-Bibi and Babadji-Khatun mausoleums, and once in town, enjoy lunch, a city tour, dinner and an overnight stay.
This morning, you will depart from Shymkent. Your first stop is the town of Turkestan, some 3 hours away, where you can visit the ancient settlement of Otrar and the Hodja Ahmed Yassavi mausoleum. After lunch at a traditional restaurant, you will cross the border into Uzbekistan, where you will stay overnight in the capital city of Tashkent - a 4-hour drive.
Today, you will head into Samarkand, the second-largest city in Uzbekistan (around 4.5 hours' drive), where you will visit the Registan and enjoy several local sites and restaurants before enjoying an overnight stay.
Spend the day taking in the sites of Samarkand: visit Gur-Emir, the mausoleum of Asian conqueror Tamerlane, enjoy a trip to the Ulugbek observatory and explore the city before once again staying overnight.
On your final day, you will return to Tashkent and take a tour of the large, modern city before checking out of your hotel and departing from the city airport in the evening. Enjoy a safe journey home or to your next exciting destination!
Occupying the top ten floors of the Esentai Tower, the Ritz Carlton enjoys unrivalled views of Almaty and the sweeping, jagged, snow-peaked Ile-Alatau mountain range. Guests choosing to stay here have the best of both worlds with easy access to the city and all its famous historic sights as well as the ski slopes in the national park to the south. After a long day on the piste or exploring the city, guests can ascend the escalator into the luxurious surroundings and enjoy all that the hotel has to offer. With restaurants and bars decorated with the latest works from the hottest modern artists in the country, from cocktails with a view to sumptuous dishes prepared with expertise, dining and drinking at the Ritz Carlton is a feast for the senses. Rooms and suites boast stunning panoramas and are fitted with every modern convenience and comfort. Meanwhile, the acclaimed Six Senses Spa offers a retreat from the stresses of everyday life.
The InterContinental in Almaty is a luxury hotel sitting opposite the famous Presidential Palace in Republic Square. It’s the perfect location to see this popular attraction, as well as the city’s many others in this central area. The InterContinental’s rooms are big, bright and fresh with a whole list of facilities and services right on hand. The dining options are impressive too, with an excellent international breakfast buffet, Asian café, rooftop grill, Turkish restaurant and jazz bar. In the evening guests can enjoy relaxing in one of three bars, including a jazz bar and beer garden with light music and boardgames to wind down summer evenings. Elsewhere there is an indoor pool, children’s play area and tennis courts.
The Alnur Hotel is a modern, European-style hotel in the heart of Taraz, Kazakhstan. The hotel features a range of different double and twin bedroom options, and all rooms available come with hot water, heating, private bathrooms and comfortable beds. Each room also comes with its own telephone, refrigerator, cable TV, shower and air-conditioner. The hotel is well-placed in the southern Kazakhstan city of Taraz, which is one of the oldest cities in the country and once played an important role in the ancient silk route that encompassed the region. Guests staying at this hotel can walk to nearby attractions and take advantage of local restaurants, cafes and bars that surround the area.
This modern hotel in the south Kazakhstan city of Taraz offers 24 rooms catering to guests visiting from all over the world. Ark MS is a modern-built hotel located near the Astana district of Taraz, as well as the nearby Presidential Park. The range of different rooms are spacious and comfortable, each featuring amenities such as satellite TV, air-conditioning, a mini-bar and private bathrooms. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout for guests’ convenience. The hotel also boasts a downstairs restaurant that can sit up to 150 people, a large bar for 150 and a separate VIP section that can be rented out. For those not wanting to dine inside the hotel, there are a few fine restaurants and cafes in the nearby area that remain open late.
For class, style, and a dash of opulence, the Rixos Khadisha Hotel is the perfect luxury-home-away-from-home in Shymkent. This world-class hotel, located in the business district of the city, features a grand staircase, a spacious entry, and a full-featured spa, including an indoor pool and fitness area, a sauna, and a Turkish hammam - the perfect way to relax after a busy day. Dining options abound: Kazakhasia restaurant, which serves a variety of Asian cuisine; Olivia restaurant, offering traditional Italian; a cocktail at one of the on-site bars; or room service delivered straight to the guest’s luxurious room or suite. At this hotel, guests should prepare to be treated like royalty.
This boutique hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan is the perfect base from which to explore this vibrant city in the south of the country. With its world-class service and intricate design, Orbita Hotel is setting the standard for hotels in Shymkent. Located inside a historic two-storey house built by Japanese prisoners-of-war in the 1950s, the hotel combines Kazakhstan flair with traditional Japanese design, including the counter-clockwise numbering of the hotel’s seven rooms, each uniquely decorated. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, the quiet location, just outside of the busting city, and most importantly, the top-quality service.
Located near the center of Turkestan, Hotel Edem is one of the more well-known hotels in the whole region. That said, there is no too much in the way of competition, with few other quality places to stay for foreign visitors in the city. The hotel boasts a range of standard twin, double and deluxe rooms, and although this hotel may have seen better days, the rooms still deliver plenty of home comforts to make for a pleasant stay for a night or two. Amenities include air conditioning, heating controls, TV, telephone, mini-bar and private bathrooms. There is also an on-site restaurant at Hotel Edem which serves mainly local food and a few western dishes, as well as breakfast every morning.
This large, atrium-style hotel located in the center of Samarkand offers traditional Uzbek hospitality in a modern setting. Conveniently placed both for business and leisure travelers, this four-star property offers well-equipped rooms with satellite TV with English-language channels, air conditioning, Egyptian cotton linens, mini-bar and work desk. Accommodation is spread over seven floors, with 166 rooms in total, with a deluxe category offering the most space and luxury for guests. The hotel has an indoor pool, massage services, gift shop, bar and lounge area with fee-based WiFi, 24-hour room service and complimentary daily newspapers. The hotel is located within walking distance to Central Park and Registan Square, with Bibi Khanym Mosque, Sher Dor Madrasah and most other major historic sites also within an easy stroll. The restaurant serves up local and European dishes buffet-style for breakfast and dinner with staff well-trained in serving the needs of an international clientele.
This elegant hotel is located close to the heart of historic Samarkand, convenient for shopping and within a mile of the famous Registan Square and Old Town. Rooms at the Grand Samarkand Superior Hotel are decorated in a traditional manner, with Uzbek carpets and Silk Road textiles creating a cozy, comfortable ambience. Modern in-room technology includes a flat-screen TV with satellite and USB connectivity, air conditioning and free WiFi. Bathrooms amenities include robes, slippers and hairdryer. Aside from single and twin/double rooms, larger apartment-style rooms are also available for guests who require more living space. The hotel has a wide array of facilities, including a Finnish sauna, a rooftop pool with sun loungers, a fitness center with cardio machines and free weights, and a well-equipped business center offering a range of executive services. The onsite restaurant serves up Western and traditional Uzbek cuisine, with a fine collection of wines to match and a pianist providing live music every night. Just across the road is the hotel’s sister property, the Grand Samarkand Hotel.
Located in the heart of the city, the Dilimah offers convenience and comfort to visitors of this historic city. The 11 guest rooms are furnished with contemporary amenities and furnishings, and premium rooms feature a balcony. Facilities and services include 24-hour concierge, fitness center, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, indoor pool, business center, babysitting services, and on-site restaurant and bar. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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