Istanbul to Beijing Overland (15 weeks)

Company : Oasis Overland
Duration: 3 months to 4 months
Approx Costs: 3000+ to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

From Europe to the edge of Asia - travel overland along the ancient Silk Route

Follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo on this groundbreaking & challenging expedition along ancient trading routes. You will get to discover some of the oldest cities in the world steeped in history and legend, from Troy in Turkey and Esfahan in Iran, to the Terracotta Army and Great Wall in China.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Turkey

  • Istanbul
  • Our first day is free in Istanbul

Days 2 to 12

  • Gallipoli - visit the battlegrounds and war graves of the forces that fought here in WWI.
  • Ephesus - built by the Greeks 1000 years BC, then rebuilt by the Romans
  • Pamukkale - hot springs and stunning waterways
  • Cappadoccia - explore dwellings carved from the eerily eroded landscape

Days 13 to 20 - Georgia

  • Batumi - on the Black Sea Coast
  • Foothills of the Caucasus - bush camps in rural Georgia
  • Kutaisi - Georgi'a second largest city
  • Gori – birthplace of Stalin
  • Tbilisi – Georgia’s capital

Days 21 to 22

  • Telavi – ancient wine-growing region
  • Days 23 to 27

Armenia

  • Savanavank – monastery on the shores of Lake Sevan
  • Yerevan – Capital of Armenia, cafes, museums and world-famous brandy

Days 28 to 42

Iran

  • Tabriz - explore the bazaar and the Blue Mosque
  • Tehran - Iran's non-stop capital
  • Esfahan - discover this historic and beautiful city
  • Persepolis - ancient ruins partly destroyed by Alexander the Great
  • Shiraz & Yazd
  • Dasht e Kavir Desert - desert crossing with an overnight Oasis stop
  • Mashhad - home to the stunning Imam Reza Mosque

Day 43 - Turkmenistan

  • Ashgabat – Free time and City Tour
  • Days 44 to 45
  • Turkmenistan
  • Kara-Kum Desert – drive across the barren desert
  • Darvaza Gas Craters – the ‘Door to Hell’, a result of Soviet-era gas exploration.
  • Kunye Ugench - see the 60mtr high minaret

Days 46 to 55 - Uzbekistan

  • Aral Sea - ships marooned in the desert
  • Khiva - explore the ancient medressas, mausoleums and museums.
  • Bukhara - an important stop on the Silk Rd of old & home to over 350 mosques & 100 Islamic colleges.
  • Kyzylkum Desert - beauty & harshness in one.
  • Samarkand - as old as Babylon, view the beauty of the Registan, medressas & mosques.

Tajikistan

  • Drive south towards Tajikistan border.
  • Stop off in the unesco Town of Shahrisabz (time allowing).
  • Dushanbe – Tajikistan’s Capital.

Days 56 to 61

  • Fann Mountains – 5000 mtr + peaks.
  • Iskanderkul Lake and Tajikistan’s highest waterfall.
  • Khujand – an important city on the old Silk Road.

Kyrgyzstan

  • Fergana Valley – the home of silk and where the great route started from.
  • Osh – home to oldest bazaar in Central Asia.
  • Stunning mountains and lakes
  • Bishkek - the Kyrgyzstan capital.  Soviet built city with tree lined boulevards and parks.  A chance to let our hair down, relax and maybe remind our taste buds about western food!

Days 62 to 63

  • Bishkek - the Kyrgyzstan capital.  Soviet built city with tree lined boulevards and parks.  A chance to let our hair down, relax and maybe remind our taste buds about western food!

Days 64 to 76

  • Almaty - Kazakhstan's largest metropolis
  • Lake Issyk-Kul - a massive mountain lake with magnificent scenery & loads of activities to choose from.
  • Altyn Arashan
  • Karakol/Jeti Orguz Region - hiking into the surrounding Terskay Ala-Too Mountains.
  • Lake Song Kol - Traditional yurt stay, horseback riding and trekking the surrounding areas.
  • Tash Rabat - visit this ancient caravanserai.

Day 77

  • Transfer over the Torugat Pass into China.

Day 78

  • Full day guided tour in Kashgar, using local transport.
  • Time to relax or explore further.

Days 79 to 83

  • Overnight train to Jiayuguan
  • Jiayuguan - our first taste of the Great Wall of China
  • Train to Dunhuang, a city on the edge of the Gobi desert.
  • Visit Mogao Grottoes (Caves of the Thousand Buddhas).
  • Visit to Ming Sha Hill and the Crescent Moon Pool.
  • Board the night train to Lanzhou.

Days 84 to 88

  • Overnight train to Lhasa – one of the highest cities in the world.
  • Explore the city with our Tibetan guide.  Must see sights include Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Square, the stunning Potala Palace and time allowing, the Sera Monastery.
  • Private bus to Shigatse, crossing the Gampala Pass (4790 mtrs).
  • Visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery.

Days 89 to 91

  • Rongbuk – the highest Monastery in the world.
  • Visit to Everest Base Camp.
  • Tingri – on the Friendship Highway
  • Gyantse - Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa. 

Days 92 to 95

  • Yamdrok Tso Lake
  • High altitude train to Chengdu (2 days)
  • Chengdu (2 nights) – visit the Giant Panda Sanctuary
  • Xi’an – visit the famous Terracotta Warriors

Days 96 to 98

  • Overnight train to Beijing
  • Beijing - day trip to visit the Great Wall of China; stay a few extra days to take in all the sights including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City & the Temple of Heaven

Accomodation

  • Accomodation Included

Tour Price

From: £5650.00 + Local Payment From: US$2,680.00

Start Dates

April

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