Kyrgyzstan: The Silk Road

The wild mountain landscape of Kyrgyzstan lies in the heart of the Silk Road, the ancient trading route stretching from China to the Mediterranean. This unique jeep expedition carries you over the magnificent views of the soaring Tian Shan mountain range, home to snow leopards, lynxes and nomadic shepherd cultures. This exhilarating trip is suitable for the travellers who are looking for a real encounter with the wild scenes of Central Asia and takes you on a discovery of unspoilt mountain ranges, impressive canyons, hot springs and endless herds of horses, authentic markets and valleys.

Tour Details

We make every effort to find the most unique and comfortable hotels to enable an enjoyable and authentic holiday. During the more off-track parts of the journey we will stay at the tented desert camps, where accommodation will be shared and the facilities more basic. The traditional Berber desert camps are nestled snug inside the dunes and offer a wonderful vantage point for the sunset and desert night sky.

Braekfast and dinner meals will be included in your trip and will vary depending on the section of the journey.  You have the flexibility of being alone but our groups tend to eat together to enable you to enjoy each others company and to try a larger variety of food. Evening meals will be at the hotel or a restaurant recommended by the locals.

Our teams are led by expert guides, all fluent in English with an in-depth knowledge of the country you are visiting.  We have worked successfully in partnership with our guides for over 15 years. Depending on the group size, you will also have an English guide to accompany you.

Tour Itinerary

Flight to Bishkak

Bishkek – Cholpon-Ata

Early in the morning we will land in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan capital and largest city. After meeting the local staff and eating breakfast at the hotel, we will tour the land of the 40 tribes and stop at one of the oldest buildings in Kyrgyzstan, constructed in the 10th century AD. We will then visit the Silk Road History Museum and the archaeological complex there. After lunch, we will travel to Lake Issyk-Kul, the second largest alpine lake in the world. We’ll eat dinner and spend the night at the Cholpon-Ata Hotel.

Asphalt – 290 km



Cholpon-Ata – Karakol

After breakfast, we will continue on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul and visit the Grigorivka wadis and Semimonovka where we will stop for lunch. We’ll then make our way to the village of Chun Urk-too, which is located on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul. There, we can take a swim in hot springs known for their medicinal properties. Then we’ll continue to Karakol, the tourist capital of Kyrgyzstan. We’ll eat dinner and spend the night at a hotel in Karakol.

50% Off-road – 50% Asphalt – 175 km.



After breakfast, we’ll leave our jeeps and embark on a challenging journey in a six-by-six Soviet truck to one of the most beautiful valleys in the Issyk-Kul region, the 2,600-meter Altin-Arshan valley. Along the way, we’ll take in the Alpine landscape, glimpsing snowy peaks, deep fir forests, and torrential rivers. After the truck trek, we’ll take a walk in a nature reserve, have a picnic in the area, and take a dip in the hot springs in the center of the reserve. We will return in the evening for karaoke and then take part in a cooking workshop to make laghman noodles, a special local dish with cooked noodles, meat, and all kinds of spices. We’ll enjoy the results, one one of the most popular dishes in Central Asia!

Accommodations in a hotel in Karakol.

 

Karakol – Kadji-say

After breakfast, we’ll leave our jeeps and embark on a challenging field trip in a six-by-six Soviet truck to one of the most beautiful valleys in Isik-kol, the 2,600-meter alitin-arshan valley. Along the way we will see the Alpine landscape and see snowy peaks, fir forests, and torrential rivers. After the trip we will take a walk in the reserve, have a picnic in the area, and take a dip in the hot springs in the center of the reserve. We will return in the evening to the karaoke and take part in the legman preparation workshop, cooked noodles with meat and a variety of additives, one of the most popular dishes in Central Asia. Accommodations in a hotel in Karakol.

Kadji-say – Naryn

We’ll enjoy breakfast, then head out to the Jeti Oguz Reserve, which is translated as “the seven bulls,” after the seven huge boulders that stand at its entrance. We will ascend to a panoramic view and then take a walk in the reserve. We’ll find a lunchtime picnic awaiting us on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul and then continue along the southern shore of the lake to meet a hunter who will give us a demonstration of the ancient Kyrgyz tradition of hunting with a golden eagle. We’ll enjoy dinner and some well-earned rest at our hotel in Kadji-say.

50% Off-road – 50% Asphalt – 130 km



 

Naryn – Song-Kol Lake

After breakfast, we will depart for a very full day. We will begin driving toward the mountains on rough terrain and climb to the Tosor Pass, which is 3,893 meters above sea level on the Taskei Alto Range. There, we will stop to look out over the area, which is often called the Switzerland of Central Asia. From there, we will drive through endless scenic expanses, meet herds of yaks and stop for a picnic in the wilderness. In the afternoon, we will reach the Aki-Naryn Valley and take a walk along the banks of the river. We’ll arrive in Naryn for dinner and to spend the night in our hotel.

90% Off-road – 10% Asphalt – 230 km.

Naryn – Lake Song-Kol

We’ll wake up early to hit the road and begin our trip through 33 parrots to the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan,” one of the most beautiful places in the country, Lake Song-Kol. The lake is located at 3,016 meters above sea level, and its area has been used as a pasture for nomads and shepherds for hundreds of years. So, of course, we will come face to face with many herds of sheep and cows! we’ll leave our jeeps and travel by horse, visit authentic yurts that serve as a home for nomads living around the lake and learn about the traditional Kyrgyz way of life. We’ll have dinner and spend the night in a tent camp.

90% Off-road – 10% Asphalt – 130 km.

Lake Song-Kol – Bishkek

After breakfast, we’ll watch nomadic games that are specially organized for us, and then start the long journey back to Bishkek. On the way, we’ll stop at Kocecor and visit a workshop for manufacturing wool felt. After lunch, we’ll visit the colorful Konorczak Mall. By evening, we’ll arrive in Bishkek for dinner and our hotel, and if you’re not too tired, you can enjoy a night out in a Bishkek pub.

30% Off-road – 70% Asphalt – 330 km.

Bishkek – Flight home

We’ll spend our last morning taking a shopping tour in the largest market in Kyrgyzstan, one of the largest markets in Central Asia, the Dordoy Bazaar. At the market, we’ll take in plenty of exotic smells and colors and have a chance to purchase authentic spices and souvenirs for home. Next, we’ll head out to a fishing farm, where we’ll enjoy lunch prepared for us by our local hosts. We’ll then continue to a Russian sauna and spa, where we can relax after our long journey. A special farewell meal awaits us in the evening, and then it’s early to bed to rest up for our morning flight home.



Tour Itinerary

From the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek, the jeep tour begins at the remote Toktogul, an off-the-beaten-track gem that boasts dramatic scenery and the unbelievable beautiful Toktogul Resevoir. From here you will follow the Kökömeren River in the Suusamyr Valley and pass through Kyrgyzstan’s agricultural areas and picturesque villages. The day will end in Kyzyl-Oi, a small village surrounded by an extraordinary view of the mountain landscape, clay hills and rolling pastures of wild herbs and flowers.

Day two will begin with a visit to the Kökömeren River Marine Observatory. From here we will explore the area of Naryn and Song Kol Lake, passing through the areas’ hidden lakes and visiting the Kara-Keche coal mine. After climbing the Kara-Keche pass the evening will be spent in the Yurt tents, snug in the Song Kol Lake that sits in the Naryn Basin at an altitude of 3000m. It’s tranquil seclusion and impressive views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks makes this one of the must-visit places in Kyrgyzstan.

The expedition continues through the Tian Shan mountain range, visiting some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. The day will be spent exploring the areas’ striking canyons and after a lunch-time picnic we will visit Naryn itself – historically one of the most important towns along the Silk Road. This is where we will spend the night in one of the local hotels.

The jeep will carry us over the challenging Tosor Pass, described by many as one of the best mountain drives in the world. With an altitude of nearly 4000m, this is arguably the most wild and wonderful part of Krygyzstan, revealing vistas of white glaciers and steam-filled pools. From here you will see the Issyk-Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world. Near here we will stop by the hot springs for a picnic. The day will end in a guesthouse village on the south-shore of the lake.

The expedition takes us an a downward path towards the sea, travelling through the Skazka Canyon along the way. Skazka (or Fairy) is named so as the wind has beaten the rock into beautiful animal shapes containing an amazing array of colours. Following on through the canyons we will also pass the Barskoon valley, containing one of Krygyzstan’s largest waterfalls and the Kumtor gold mine. Continuing southward through the alpine landscape we will end the day in one of Krygyzstan’s larger cities Karakol where we will stay for the night.

This day can be used to relax in one of the areas variety of local interests. There are further tours throughout the alpine forest and glacial rivers with a visit to the hot springs. However, local shopping malls are also available if you need some retail therapy. In the evening you can enjoy a wonderful home cooked dinner and a typical folkloric show with the best musicians in the area.

 

Our final day will begin with a short trek and then rafting down the mountain River Chui. After this we will head back to Bishkek, visiting some of the Silk Road relics along the way, such as the Burano Tower.  The evening will be spent in the Capitol where you can rest before departure.

Flight home.

Guided adventure

All of these tours will be led our friendly, experienced guides. You will drive your own jeep through your chosen destination, allowing you to experience all of your adventure without getting lost.

Kyrgyzstan: May 2019

May 19, 2019 Sku: kyr-1 Kyrgyzstan 10 Day 10 Night Self drive 4x4
From £1280 View Details

Kyrgyzstan: June 2019

May 19, 2019 Sku: kyr-1-2 Kyrgyzstan 10 Day 10 Night Self drive 4x4
From £1280 View Details

Kyrgyzstan: July 2019

July 7, 2019 - July 21, 2019 Sku: kyr-1-2-1 Kyrgyzstan 10 Day 10 Night Self drive 4x4
From £1280 View Details

Kyrgyzstan: August 2019

August 11, 2019 - August 25, 2019 Sku: kyr-1-2-1-1 Kyrgyzstan 10 Day 10 Night Self drive 4x4
From £1280 View Details

Kyrgyzstan: September 2019

September 8, 2019 Sku: kyr-1-2-1-1-1 10 Day 10 Night Self drive 4x4
From £1280 View Details

Guided adventure

All of these tours will be led our friendly, experienced guides. You will drive your own jeep through your chosen destination, allowing you to experience all of your adventure without getting lost.

Get in Touch

We’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions about our tours or dates please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.