3 Stans and Caucasus – 27 Days Tour
What an unforgettable experience! This was a masterpiece of all the tour we've previously taken. So much we say about it, just can't write it all. We went through 6 countries, each so different, yet somehow smoothly connected The itinerary was well handles. Just the fact that we didn't need to worry about visa processing and East Site took of it for us, was a big credit to this tour. All hotels, guides, drivers, restaurants were well selected. We didn't worry about anything being that tour was all inclusive. Would highly recommend the itinerary and the company, East Site well done! Thank you!
A truly fascinating adventure of a lifetime. Look the further, and just enjoy this tour. It will be your best decision! Well put together itinerary, will organized and well conducted. East Site's best product.
We were on this tour privately with 4 of our close friends, and it was just fantastic. We had a lot of fun, learned so much from our guides, had tons of interaction with locals, took master class in craft shops, watched several show programs. This destination has to much to offer, even after 27 days, we didn't want it to end. Thank you!
Day 1 – Arrival to Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Welcome to Uzbekistan! Upon your arrival to Tashkent airport, you’ll be met and transferred to hotel to check in and rest. We’ll have a welcome dinner at 7PM with short introduction about Uzbekistan – one of the economically developed states of the Central Asian region, occupying a bit more than 11% of the territory of Central Asia. Main branches of industry of the republic are linked with the cotton growing, silk production, fruit and vegetable production and irrigation construction. Today we’ll overnight in Tashkent hotel.
Day 2 – Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel, today we’ll have a full day of sightseeing of Uzbekistan’s capital city Tashkent. While full day of sightseeing in Tashkent for many travelers seem as a necessary stopover en route to the dream destinations, this historical city holds many unexpected surprises. First half of the day we’ll visit old part of the city: Khast Imam Complex which displays unique Osman Koran thought to be the world’s oldest Koran. Chorsu bazaar- is one of the oldest, biggest bazaars of Tashkent. Madrasah Kukeldash – is a significant architectural sightvof the 16 century. After lunch we will continue on to modern part of the city: Independent square (Mustakillik) the main square of Tashkent, flanked by largest public buildings and walls of fountains. A. Navoi theatre square built in 1947 by Japanese prisoners in World War 2. Visits to museum of Amir Temur and museum of Handcraft Art will end our excursion of Tashkent, and we’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants and overnight at hotel in Tashkent.
Day 3 – Tashkent – Samarkand – 190 mi (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast we will take a train to world famous Samarkand located 190 mi from Tashkent. The road to Samarkand is via Syrdarya and Jizzakh provinces and takes approximately 3 hours. We will arrive to Samarkand in the afternoon, check in to hotel and have lunch. After short rest we’ll start our excursion of Samarkand by visiting Paper Mills Factory where we’ll have a presentation of paper production from mulberry tree, Afrasiyob Museum, Ulugbek’s observatory – dated to 1428 - 1429 – known as biggest observatory of the East with best equipment to the time. After dinner at one of the local restaurants we’ll transfer to hotel for overnight in Samarkand.
Day 4 – Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel today we’ll have a full day sightseeing of Samarkand. Visit heart of the city – Registan Square which played great role in commercial and scientific life of the time. Gur Emir Mausoleum - mausoleum for the males of Temurid’s dynasty, real masterpiece of Central Asian architecture. Shaki Zinda Necropolis in the northern outskirts of Samarkand. Bibi – Khanum Mosque construction of which started in 1399 after Victorian campaign of Temur to India. Central bazaar of Samarkand- Siyobian where we’ll taste famous round bread (non) made only in Samarkand. After this long day, we’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants and overnight in Samarkand.
Day 5 – Samarkand – Bukhara – 172 mi (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart Samarkand for Bukhara. Stop on the way at the ruins of medieval monument Caravanserai Rabat-i-Malik. Continue driving to Bukhara via Gijduvan where we’ll visit Abdulla’s pottery house where we’ll be offered short presentation and a cup of tea. Upon arrival to Bukhara, we’ll accommodate at the hotel. Visit Chor Minor memorial. Today we’ll dinner in one
Day 6 – Bukhara (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast we’ll have a full day of sightseeing of this ancient city. Bukhara is one of most historically rich cities on the Great Silk Road attracting attention of thousands of people with its unique heritage. Today we’ll visit: Samanid’s dynasty mausoleum known to be one of the best architectural samples of the Samanids period (875 - 999). Chashma Ayub Mausoleum – legend say is it of Prophet Jove. Bolo – Khauz Mosque. The Ark Forteress – Citadel is the most ancient memorial of Bukhara, on archeological matter dated to the 3rd century B.C. Kalon Complex – consists of minaret, Mosque and Madrasah both of which are still active. Magoki Attori Mosque. Ulugbek and Abdulazizi Khan madrasahs. Next we’ll visit most popular place of Bukhara – reservoir Lyabi Khauz complex built in 1620 by khans’ dignitary Nodir Devan Begi. We’ll end the day with a dinner at the local restaurant followed by a show program. Today we’ll overnight in Bukhara.
Day 7 – Bukhara – Farab – Turkmenabat – Mary – 290 mi (Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan)
After breakfast we’ll continue with half a day of sightseeing in Bukhara, visiting: former summer palace of Bukhara Emir Said Olimkhan – last Emir of Bukhara Sitora – iMokhi – Khosa, Museum of Decorative Applied Art. After Lunch we say good bye to Uzbekistan as we make our way to Turkmenistan border which is almost 1.5 hours of driving away. Upon arrival to the border point we’ll go through custom procedures and continue on to drive directly to Mary via Turkmenabat which will take another 4.5 hours. On the way we’ll cross the Floating Bridge (almost .5mi. long). We will proceed our way to Mary crossing one of the biggest deserts in the world known as Kara Kum Desert which means “black sand”. Upon arrival in Mary we will accommodate in hotel and have dinner in one of the local restaurants. Overnight at hotel in Mary.
Day 8 – Mary – Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll make our way through sand dunes and bush forests of the desert, to an important excursion of Old Merv – Merv located at the road crossing of Great Silk Road quickly became one of most important and biggest cities of the ancient World. Sightseeing will include: Gyz Gala and Oglan Gala, Complex of Askhabs, Gyaur Gala, Erk Gala, Soltan Gala, Soltan Sanjar Mausoleum, Ibn Zeid Mausoleum. After lunch we’ll take a walking tour within the central part of Mary City. Sightseeing Local United Museum of History, Ethnography, Flora and Fauna of Mary and Orthodox Church built by Russians at the end of XIX century, the Regional Mosque of Mary Province, The Central Theater of Mary, The Convention and Conference Center “Ruhiyet Koshgi”, Central Park and Monument of Mollanepes. Late afternoon transfer to the airport of Mary for flight to Ashgabat by flight T5-132. Upon arrival transfer to have dinner at local restaurant. Accommodate and overnight at hotel in Ashgabat.
Day 9 – Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
Today after breakfast we’ll proceed with sightseeing one of the most beautiful cities of the world which was recently included into the Book of Guinness as the Most-White Marble City. Today’s sightseeing includes: Complex of Monuments of Oguz Han and Sons surrounded with fountains. Tombs of Turkmenbashy (first President of Turkmenistan S. Nyyazow) and his parents and brothers, Old Nissa - The Sanctuary of Parhian Kings, Nissa was the capital of Parthian Empire which lasted 600 years and was greatest enemy of Rome Empire. After excursions of Old Nissa we’ll proceed to Monuments of Archabil Shayoly and discover new part of Ashgabat with its’ modern buildings, monuments and parks which includes: Health Path of Turkmenbashy built on mountains which became very popular place among locals, Monument of Constitution and tallest building in Turkmenistan (600 feet), “Alem” Culture and Recreation Center. In the afternoon we’ll transfer to hotel and check in. We’ll have lunch at one of the local restaurants. After lunch we will continue with sightseeing of Ashgabat, visiting: Museum of Turkmen Carpets, Park dedicated to Turkmen horses-the pride of Turkmen, Gulistan Bazar, Monument for the Victims of the Earthquake of 1948, Monument of Lenin, Ertogrul Gazy Mosque. We’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants. After dinner we’ll go for a night tour, driving along the main streets of Ashgabat making stop near Palace of Happiness. Dinner followed by a folk show program. Today we’ll overnight at hotel in Ashgabat.
Day 10 – Ashgabat – Dashoguz (Turkmenistan)
Today after breakfast we’ll have another full day of sightseeing in Ashgabat which will include: Ashgabat’s famous “Altyn Asyr” Oriental Bazar, Jygyldyk bazaar – one of the biggest bazaar in Central Asia. After bazaar we’ll visit Hippodrome of Ashgabat where we’ll see famous horses of Turkmenistan: Turkmen Horses – Akhalteke. We’ll have lunch at one of the local restaurants in Ashgabat. After lunch we’ll continue sightseeing of National Museum of History highly recommendable: one of the biggest museums in Central Asia. After Museum we’ll be visiting Arch of Neutrality – famous rocket and tripod style built building symbolizing neutral status of Turkmenistan. Its’ height is over 300 feet including 40 feet rotating statue of first President of Turkmenistan: Saparmyrat Nyyazow (Turkmenbashy). Enjoy short walking tour within the Park of Independency along the hundreds of fountains and statutes with stops to visit Monuments of Independency and Ruhnama. Late afternoon transfer to the airport of Ashgabat for flight to Dashoguz. Upon arrival transfer to have dinner at local restaurant. After dinner accommodation and rest. Today overnight is at hotel in Dashoguz
Day 11 – Dashoguz – Kunya – Urgench – Khiva – 184 mi (Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll proceed with drive of 75 mi to Koneurgench – the capital of Khorezmshahs, have sightseeing of Old City which will include: Portal of Caravansaray, Mamun Minaret, Il Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret – one of the tallest minarets in Central Asia and Turabek Hanum Mausoleum. After half day excursion of Koneurgench we’ll drive back to Dashoguz where we’ll stop for a lunch at one of the local restaurants. After lunch we’ll transfer to the border pass Dashoguz – Shavat which is located 10 mi from Dashoguz. Upon arrival proceed the way through passport control and customs procedures and return to Uzbekistan. After border formalities on both sides we’ll continue our way to Khiva. Upon arrival we’ll accommodate in hotel in Khiva for rest and relaxation. Khiva is a fascinating place, walk through Ichan Kala – old walled city of Khiva, will give you an insight into the life led there from ancient days up to the present time. We’ll have a dinner at the local restaurant followed by a show program. Overnight is at the hotel in Khiva.
Day 12 – Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at hotel today we’ll have a full day sightseeing in Khiva: visit Ichan Kala – a UNESCO World Heritage Site including madrasah Muhammad Amin Khan, Kelta Minar, Kunya Ark, madrasah Muhammad Rakhimkhan. We’ll have lunch at local restaurant and continue sightseeing program: visit Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islam Khodja Minaret and Madrasah, Djuma Mosque and Minaret, Tash Hovli Palace. After dinner at the local restaurant we’ll proceed to airport for a flight back to Tashkent leaving at 08:40PM and arriving at 10:10PM (subject to change). Upon arrival to Tashkent, we’ll accommodate in hotel for overnight and rest.
Day 13 – Tashkent – Oybek – Khujand – 104 mi (Uzbekistan/Tajikistan)
After early breakfast at the hotel in Tashkent today we’ll head on to a 1 day excursion of Tajikistan. We’ll drive to the border check point Oybek and after border crossing formalities we’ll continue on to city Khujand. Upon arrival we’ll accommodate at the hotel after a long drive and start sightseeing. Khujand – the country's second largest city – situated in the north of Tajikistan and is one of its most ancient, founded about 2,300 years ago during the time of Alexander the Great. Standing in a favorable location in the Ferghana valley, Khujand prospered for a long time, becoming rich and building palaces, mosques, and citadels. In the 13th century it was conquered and destroyed by the Genghis Khan's army. We’ll have a close city tour in second part of the day, and end the day with dinner at a local restaurant. We’ll overnight in Khujand.
Day 14 – Khujand – Oybek – Tashkent – 104 mi (Tajikistan/Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel we‘ll continue sightseeing of Khujand, visit ancient part of Khujand: Timurmalik fortress, Archeology and History museums, Orient bazaar Panjshanbe – famous Panjshanbe city market is one of the most interesting sights of Khujand. Near the market we’ll stop by Sheikh Muslihiddin Masque and Mausoleum, Museum of Archaeology and Resporation. We’ll have lunch at the local restaurant and in the afternoon transfer back to Tashkent. Once back to Uzbekistan, we’ll have a rest at the hotel before making a long way back home. We’ll have a Farewell dinner followed by a show program and return to hotel for overnight in Tashkent.
Day 15 – Tashkent – Baku (Azerbaijan/Uzbekistan)
After breakfast today, we’ll transfer to airport of Tashkent for flight to Baku. Depending on flight schedule we’ll have time to rest before or after the flight. Upon your arrival to Baku airport, you’ll be met and transferred to hotel to check in and rest. We’ll have a welcome dinner at 7PM with short introduction about Azerbaijan – one of the economically developed states of the Caucasus region, located at the shore of Caspian Sea. Main branches of industry of the republic are linked with the.oil drilling due to reach deposits of oil and gas in Azerbaijan. Today we’ll overnight in Baku hotel.
Day 16 – Baku – Gobustan – Baku (Azerbaijan)
After breakfast at the hotel today we’ll spend a day in Azerbaijan having an excursion to Gabustan where we’ll see more that 4000 rock-cravings which describe like style of ancient inhabitants of area near Caspian Sea. In the afternoon we’ll have lunch and continue our excursion with visit to Museum of Art and have a short (40 min long) cruise of Caspian Sea (if weather permits). In the evening we’ll have a dinner at one of the local restaurants followed with folk show program. We’ll overnight in Baku hotel today.
Day 17 – Baku – Absheron Peninsula – Baku (Azerbaijan)
After breakfast at the hotel today we’ll spend the morning sightseeing capital of Azerbaijan – city of Baku. Sightseeing will include: panoramic view of the city, visit Shirvan Shahs Palace, Maiden Tower architectural monument of 12th century, Caravanserai. After lunch break at one of the local restaurants we’ll visit Absheron peninsula – the Fire Worshippers Temple in Surakhany district, historical architectural monument of the 17th. Visit Merdakan Fortresses. Have acquaintance with the Oil Industry in Azerbaijan. Continue on with excursion to “Yanar Dag” – Firing Mountain. We’ll have dinner at the local restaurant at the end of the day and overnight at a hotel in Baku.
Day 18 – Baku – Shamakha – Maraza – Sheki (Azerbaijan)
After breakfast at the hotel today we’ll spend most of the day in transfer from Baku to Sheki. The transfer will take 4hours and we’ll cover almost 220 mi. In route we’ll visit mud volcanoes, Diri Baba mausoleum in Maraza, YeddiGumbez and Cuma masque in Shamakha. We’ll have lunch break at the restaurant in route. Upon arrival to Sheki, we’ll accommodate at the hotel, have some time to rest and then head for dinner. Today we’ll overnight at hotel in Sheki.
Day 19 – Sheki – Georgia border – Telavi (Azerbaijan/Georgia)
Today after breakfast at the hotel, we’ll have a half day excursion of Sheki and Shebeke visiting Khan’s palace and museum of history. After we’ll have lunch at the local restaurant we’ll be transferred to the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia called Lagodekhi. Once border formalities will be completed, we’ll continue sightseeing tour in Georgia, visiting Gremi complex – once the capital of Kakheti province. Visit local family to observe Georgian bread ‘Shoti’ baking in “Tone” and try local cheese with freshly baked bread. You’ll be offered a cup of simple coffee and we’ll move on to Telavi. Upon arrival we’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants, accommodate at hotel for rest, overnight is in Telavi.
Day 20 – Telavi – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi (Georgia)
After breakfast at the hotel today we’ll have a full day sightseeing of Kakheti region well known for its wine producing. Visit Great Caucasus Mountains and valleys of Kakheti, observe traditions and culture of the country, taste wines and delicious food. We visit 11th century church of Alaverdi operating as a monastery. Later transfer to Tsinandali Garden and the Museum – estate of 19th century Georgian Duke. After excursion we try a glass of wine and continue to a farmer’s house to see a unique 300 year-old wine-cellar. We’ll get acquainted with the Georgian way of wine-making, quite different from the European and drink more Georgian wine straight from the clay jars. Transfer to the fortified town of love – Sighnaghi. Here we take a leisure walk and enjoy more wine-tasting at a winery established by an American painter. Afterwards we’ll continue making our way to Tbilisi. We’ll have lunch and dinner at local restaurants on the way. Today we’ll overnight at hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 21 – Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Gori – Gudauri (Georgia)
Today after breakfast we’ll have an excursion to the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia Mtskheta dated 3000 years back and see its’ historical places: Jvari church built in 6th century and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral built in 11th century– known as the place where the Robe of Christ is buried –a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later we’ll transfer to town of Gori – the heart of Kartliregion. We visit Stalin museum and Uplistsikhe Cave Town – dated to 1st millennium BC, it is the place where the Great Silk Road used to pass. Later drive along the Georgian Military Highway and enjoy a photo stop at Ananuri fort set on the background of Jinvali water reservoir.We’ll have lunch and dinner at local restaurants on the way. Today we’ll overnight at hotel in Gudaury.
Day 22 – Gudauri – Kazbegi – Tbilisi (Georgia)
Today after breakfast we’ll have a stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River which will bring us to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. From Kazbegi a leisurely 2 hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland leads to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 7100 ft –round trip will take 3hr of walking. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi – 16500ft high. On our way back we enjoy lunch at a local cafe. Walk a bit more back to our vehicle and transfer to Tbilisi.After accommodation and short rest at the hotel we’ll head for dinner at a local restaurant followed by a folk show. Overnight at hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 23 – Tbilisi – Georgia – Armenia “Sadakhlo” – Sevan – Dilijan (Georgia/Armenia)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll have a walking sightseeing tour of Tbilisi – capital of Georgia, visiting different religious buildings – churches, synagogue, as well as famous 19th century houses with wooden multi-colored balconies, Old city, Georgian History Museum, Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi.After lunch drive to Georgia – Armenia border “Sadakhlo”. After border formalities we’ll start acquaintances with Armenia with the Haghpat dated to 976 AD, Monastic Complex which one of outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture and is inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The complex used to be an educational center of the middle ages where the majority of Armenian scholars and scientists obtained their education.We’ll continue on driving to Dilijan, where we’ll accommodate at the hotel, have dinner at local restaurant and overnight in Dilijan.
Day 24 – Sevan Dilijan – Noravank – Khor Virap – Yerevan (Armenia)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll start sightseeing tour with Lake Sevan – the emerald of Armenia. It is the second largest alpine freshwater lake in the world and the biggest in Caucasus. Thismountain lake is located at 6200 ft above sea level. Sightseeing in Sevanalso includes peninsula with Sevan Monastery. Later we’ll drive toSelimcaravanserai– built in 1332 by Prince ChesarOrbelian, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic, it used to be an important trade point in the famous Silk Road.Visit Noravank monastery – religious and cultural centre of 12th century,Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of grapes grows in Armenia andNoravank. We’ll have lunch in local cave café. Continue sightseeing withKhor-Virap monastery which is situated in the Ararat valley close the biblical Ararat Mountain, where Noah's arch cast its’ anchor. We’ll have dinner at a local restaurant followed by folk show program and overnight at hotel in Yerevan.
Day 25 – Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan (Armenia)
After breakfast today we’ll drive to a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture –Geghard monastery partly carved out of a mountain. Continue on to Garni Temple – citadel and pagan temple of Garni. Have lunch at a local house in Garni where you will have opportunity to watch Armenian national bread “lavash” baking and barbeque making process in the underground stove called “tonir”. After lunch we’ll return to Yerevan. Second part of the day we’ll visit the depositary of ancient manuscripts –Matenadaran, which contains historical documents of Europe and Asia from many centuries.We’ll have dinner and overnight in Yerevan today.
Day 26 – Yerevan – Etchmiatsin – Zvartnots – Yerevan (Armenia)
After breakfast at the hotel, today we’ll drive to Echmiadzin. On the way visiting St Hripsime church. We’ll have lunch in a local community tasting homemade dishes. Then drive back to Yerevan with stop at the ruins of Zvartnots temple – of the 7th c. architecture.Second part of the day our main attraction will be Armenian History Museum and visit toTsitsernakaberd memorial and museum of victims of Genocide.We’ll have farewell dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Day 27 – Departure (Armenia)
Today is the last day of the tour; we’ll have breakfast at the hotel and arrange transfer to the airport for your flight home. End of tour.