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31 Day Silk Road Railway with Flights

Shiraz - Yazd - Isahan - Tehran - Mashhad - Ashgabat - Mary - Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent - Almaty - Urumqi - Turpan - Xi An - Beijing

Small group tour

Roundtrip international flights included

Experience the Silk Road Railway

See the Terracotta Soldiers in Xi An

Visit Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and China!

From $11,999 $13,999 Include flight pp twin share

Book Now Check Departure Dates

Description


Follow an ancient network of trade routes between East and West on this 31-day journey by coach and rail from Iran through Central Asia.

Your tour will begin in Iran with visits to the incredible mosques of Shiraz and Isfahan. From Tehran, you'll continue on through the Kopet Dag mountains to the capital of Turkmenistan - Ashgabat. After 2 days of guided tours, you'll carry on through the desert into country Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, reaching the capital of Kazakhstan on Day 20.

From Kazakhstan, you'll board the Silk Road Railway for 4 nights and journey through snow-capped mountain peaks into China's Xinjiang Province - home to China's Muslim Uighur population.

The cherry on top will be a visit to Xi An and the world-famous Terracotta Soldiers before reaching your final stop - Beijing.

Itinerary


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25 Day 26 Day 27 Day 28 Day 29 Day 30 Day 31 Day 32

Day 1

Depart Australia

Fly from Australia to Shiraz, Iran.

Meals included: inflight only

Day 2

Shiraz

Welcome to the ‘City of Poets’, the perfect launch point for your interlude with the Silk Road. A treasure trove of Persian culture, Shiraz is the final resting place of the great Persian poets Sa’di and Hafez, a major site of pilgrimage for Iranians. Wander the city's beautiful gardens and take the opportunity to visit the spectacular Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, seeing its stunning interior in the morning sun. Meet your Tour Leader and fellow travellers in the hotel lobby at 10am for your Welcome Meeting.

Meals included: inflight and dinner

Day 3

Yazd

This morning, embark on your journey through striking mountain scenery, pausing to visit one of the ancient world’s most impressive sights – the ruins of Persepolis. Constructed by Darius the Great and destroyed by Alexander the Great, the ruins tell the story of the unquestioned glory and power of the Achaemenid Empire.

In the late afternoon you'll arrive in Yazd, one of the world’s oldest cities. Once important for the Zoroastrian faith, the old town retains much of its character amongst its maze-like streets, and is known across Iran for its fine woven silks and confectionery. Spend the next two nights in one of Yazd’s enchanting and beautifully ornate hotels.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 4

Yazd

Enjoy a city tour with a local guide, including the Jame Mosque, Dowlat Abbad Garden, Zoroastrian Ateshkadeh Fire Temple, Towers of Silence and the Water Museum. The rest of the day is free for your exploration.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 5

Isfahan

Leaving Yazd you'll travel across the Varzaneh Desert dotted with villages that have their own unique culture and customs. Locals in their traditional houses will welcome you, before you continue your journey to Isfahan.

The capital of a number of Persian Empires and an important stop on the Silk Road, the finest city of Persia - Isfahan - is the highlight of any visit to Iran. The glittering roofs of Isfahan’s mosques, the intricate design of its bridges and warm welcome of its residents awaits. Take a locally guided tour with visits to Imam and Sheikh Lutfullah Mosques, Nigash-e-Jahan Square, Chehel Sotun and Ali Qapou Palace. Drop into a nougat manufacturer to learn the secrets of making this sweet local delicacy and then go to the Bazaar.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 6

Isfahan

Today’s guided city tour visits Jame Mosque and Vank Church. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 7

Isfahan

Enjoy a full day at leisure.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 8

Tehran

Tehran is a busy, crowded metropolis which boasts some excellent museums, many housed in former palaces. While some may tell you that this city is lacking in charm, its vibrant, dynamic culture and fast paced lifestyle makes everyday in Tehran an adventure!

Take an excursion to Kashan City, Tabatabei Palace and Fin Garden Hamam.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 9

Tehran

Today’s guided city tour visits the Archaeological Museum, Golestan Palace & Carpet Museum.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 10

Mashhad

Following some free time to further absorb bustling Tehran, you'll board a train for your final stop in Iran – Mashhad. Best known for its incredible shrine complex of Emam Reza, the eighth grandson of the prophet Mohammed, this is one of the great architectural wonders of the Islamic world and is said to receive more than five million pilgrims a year. Witnessing the respect and emotion is a moving experience even for non-Muslims.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 11

Mashhad

Today’s guided city tour visits the Emam Reza Shrine, Astan Quds Razavi Museum and the Bazaar.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 12

Ashgabat

Leaving Iran, your journey will take you across the Kopet Dag Mountains to Turkmenistan and its capital Ashgabat. A flat, sometimes dusty city, twinkling with unique architecture. Turkmenistan’s capital vanished in 1948, levelled by an earthquake, and was rebuilt with Soviet style architecture, filled with opulent marble-cladded palaces, gleaming gold domes and vast expanses of well manicured green spaces.

From here you'll venture outside the city to the Parthian Fortress of Nisa, an empire that was among the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world. During your time in Ashgabat you'll embark on an excursion beyond the city to the bewitching Darvaza Crater known as the ‘The door to Hell’. The natural gas crater was created in 1971 when Soviet geologists started to drill at the site where they tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. Fearing that the hole would release toxic gas they decided to burn it off with the hope the fire would use all the fuel in a few days, today it is still burning and is quite a sight to encounter.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 13

Ashgabat

Today’s guided city tour visits Nisa and a visit to Arkadash Stud Farm.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 14

Mary

Today, continue your journey through Turkmenistan to the desert oasis of Mary in the Karakum.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 15

Bukhara

Early this morning, depart by road to the ancient city of Merv - the oldest and best-preserved of the oasis-cities along the Silk Road in Central Asia - before continuing across the Karakum Desert to Bukhara, arriving early evening. Once known as ‘holy’ Bukhara, it was historically home to more than 2000 mosques. Today Bukhara’s monuments are some of the oldest on the Silk Road; the Ark Fortress, Samanid Mausoleum and the Kaylan Minaret – one of Central Asia’s tallest and which was spared destruction from Genghis Khan. The Old Town is well worth exploring, you can enjoy some of the many chaikhanas (tea-houses) in Lyabi-Hauz, one of the most peaceful and interesting people watching spots in town.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 16

Bukhara

Enjoy a full day guided city tour and Folk Performance at Nodir Devanbegi Madrasah.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 17

Bukhara

Enjoy a full day at leisure.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 18

Samarkand

A spectacular drive through the Zerafshan Mountains takes you to Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane. Beside the ruined entrance towers of his Ak-Serai Palace, the pretty market town offers a relaxed atmosphere with traditional homes, teahouses and mosques.

Continuing across the Kyzl Kum Desert you will find the fabulous monuments of Samarkand, Tamerlane’s turquoise-spangled capital. Here you can explore Central Asia’s most spectacular architectural ensemble, the Registan – guaranteed to leave even the most jaded traveller gazing in awe, plus many other highlights including the Shah-i-Zinda Complex, Bibi Khanym Mosque and the Ulug Bek Observatory.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 19

Samarkand

Enjoy a full day guided city tour and dinner with a local family.

Meals included: breakfast and dinner

Day 20

Tashkent

Onwards to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, a city that cleverly juggles its cultural and historical past, the Soviet era’s impact and modern day lifestyles. Here you'll have a brief opportunity to enjoy the splendor of this old Soviet city during a half day guided city tour.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 21

Almaty

From Tashkent, cross the border to Kazakhstan where your train journey takes you to Almaty, passing the occasional now-derelict Silk Road town.

Accommodation: Silk Road Railway in a 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 22

Almaty

Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Tien Shan Mountains, Almaty offers an enjoyable change from the desert landscapes of Central Asia. Your half day city tour visits Republic Square, 28 Panfilov Soldiers Park, Zenkov Cathedral and the Museum of Musical Instruments. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meals included: none

Day 23

Silk Road Railway

The long delayed Sino-Soviet Peace Railway project was finally completed a couple of years ago and you'll take full advantage of it to cross through the Dzungarian Gate bound for China’s Xinjiang province home to China’s Muslim Uighur population. Snow-capped peaks can be seen for most of the year at the border post of Druzhba (Peace) before the downhill run to Urumqi.

Accommodation: Silk Road Railway in a 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 24

Urumqi

Your train rolls into the capital of the Xinjiang Province, mid-morning. Urumqi is a wonderful fusion of an exotic mix of peoples. Whilst here you'll gain an insight into how this intriguing clash of cultures came to be at the Xinjiang Regional Museum and witness archaeological treasures from the Silk Road, including a fascinating exhibition of wellpreserved 3000 year old Indo-European mummies. Later, take in the panoramic views from the picturesque Hong Shan Park, as well as the vibrant colours and smells within the bustling Grand Bazaar.

Meals included: none

Day 25

Turpan

After this morning's breakfast, you'll be driven beyond the city to the oasis of Turpan, which still reflects life as it was along this part of the Silk Road. Early travellers report that it was once two towns – the smaller of Chinese inhabitants, the larger of the Turks. These days, the faces in the bazaar recall the four corners of Asia. Most of Turpan’s attractions lie outside of the city and its grapevine-trellised pedestrian streets. While here, embark on an excursion to the fascinating Karez Irrigation System, the life source of Turpan.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 26

Silk Road Railway

Today, further explore Turpan and head out to the ruins of the ancient city of Jiaohe. This is a spectacular site, and due to its remote location perched on top of a cliff, it remains mostly intact. When you return to the city you'll have the chance to enjoy a cultural performance before boarding our late night train to Xian (you will board the train after 1 am).

Accommodation: Silk Road Railway in a 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 27

Silk Road Railway

Aboard the Silk Road Railway, leave the Taklamakan Desert in your wake past Jiayuguan, and the bastion ramparts of the Great Wall’s most westerly garrison and onto Xian.

Accommodation: Silk Road Railway in a 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage. 

Meals included: none

Day 28

Xian

Once called Chang’an, this was the glittering capital of Cathay. Old pagodas, city walls and watchtowers remain, but the major attraction is the famed Terracotta Warriors that reveal the city’s long and turbulent history.

Meals included: none

Day 29

Silk Road Railway

Beyond the city is the mind-boggling, entombed Terracotta Warriors. You will be astounded at the display of thousands of life-sized terracotta warriors, a hundred or so chariots plus thousands of weapons before boarding your final overnight train that carries you from the gateway of the great Silk Road to the nation’s capital.

Accommodation: Silk Road Railway in a 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 30

Beijing

Beijing is an incredible contrast of sights, sounds and smells. Explore the backstreet lanes (hutongs) of the old town with their food stalls and street vendors for a taste of ‘old Beijing’ and of course the Great Wall of China at the Mutianyu section.

Meals included: none

Day 31

Depart China

Spend your last morning of this epic journey exploring Beijing’s must-see sights, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven before saying farewell to your fellow travellers. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals included: breakfast and inflight

Day 32

Arrive Australia

Arrive back in Australia.

Meals included: inflight only

Inclusions & Exclusions


Inclusions

  • Return economy class airfare from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide*, Hobart* or Canberra* (*surcharge applies)
  • International flights with Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways or Cathay Pacific (subject to availability)
  • Airport to hotel transfers
  • 24 nights hotel or guesthouse accommodation on twinshare basis
  • 5 nights on-board the Silk Road overland train journey in a 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage
  • Meals as indicated: 22 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Tour Leader
  • Local guides for local sightseeing
  • Entrace fees as per itinerary

 

Accommodation

Hotel accommodation is confirmed one month prior to travel. You will receive the hotel list at that time.

Silk Road overland train - 4 berth cabin with shared bathroom facilities located at the end of the carriage.

 

Visa Information

  • Iran now has an online pre-approval process before sending your passport to the embassy.
  • A group visa will be obtained on arrival into Turkmenistan.
  • Following a recent unconfirmed change in policy, Uzbekistan should now be visa free for Australians and some other nationalities.
  • A visa is not required to visit Kazakhstan.
  • A confirmation of services letter and other details will be provided to support the application for a Chinese visa. The cost and organisation of the Chinese visa is not included.


All Traveldream deals are backed by a 14-day refund guarantee! 

Exclusions

  • Meals not mentioned
  • All drinks
  • Any additional requests
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Tips (Driver, Representative & Guide)

 

Child Policy

The minimum age to participate in this tour is 18 years old.

 

Single Supplement

The additional supplement for a single traveler is $1800. The single supplement applies to hotel accommodation nights only.

Departure Dates


MAY 2019
13 th
Monday 13 May 2019  ‐  Thursday 13 Jun 2019
JUN 2019
03 rd
Monday 03 Jun 2019  ‐  Thursday 04 Jul 2019
AUG 2019
19 th
Monday 19 Aug 2019  ‐  Thursday 19 Sep 2019
SEP 2019
02 nd
Monday 02 Sep 2019  ‐  Thursday 03 Oct 2019
MAY 2020
11 th
Monday 11 May 2020  ‐  Thursday 11 Jun 2020

More Departure Dates  

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