Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are central links along the Silk Road and have extraordinary
histories, from the great empires and conquerors of the ancient and medieval world, to
the migrations and exchanges between vastly different cultures. Nevertheless, these two
countries have retained their distinctive cultures, seen most clearly in their traditional
arts and crafts. This 18-day tour uncovers the wealth of history and culture in the ‘Stans’,
with visits to the Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, to Sasanian citadels,
Achaemenid and Parthian ruins, the palaces of the emirs and the desert oasis of Merv.
Admire archaeological sites at Shahrisabz and Tamerlane’s Samarkand, the heart of
the Silk Road
Bukhara’s Samanid monuments, vestiges of the last Persian dynasty to rule Central Asia
Outstanding examples of Sasanian and Achaemenid cities at the oasis city of Merv
Ruins of ancient Parthian kings, dating from the 3rd century BC, at Nisa near Ashgabat
Fine Central Asian architecture and designat the World Heritage-listed site of Kunya
The extraordinary city walls of Khiva old town, and its mosques, minarets and
Days 1–2: Arrive in Tashkent, tour the old town and Khast-Imam complex.
Day 3: Train to Samarkand, visit the main square.
Days 4–5: Visit Shahrisabz, the city of Tamerlane.
Days 6–9: Investigate Bukhara’s Samanid sites, Islamic mosques and emirs’ palaces.
Days 10–11: In Turkmenistan, visit Mary and the excavations at Gonur Tepe.
Days 12–14: Explore ancient Merv; fly to Ashgabat, visit the extraordinary Carpet Museum.
Days 15: Fly from Dashoguz to Kunya-Urgench, admire iconic Islamic architecture, cross to Nukus.
Days 16-17: In Khiva, explore the old town.
Days 18: Fly to Tashkent and depart.
Start & Finish
The tour begins and ends at our hotel in Tashkent. Korean Airlines offers the best connections into Tashkent from most Australian cities. A stopover in Seoul is required in each direction. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming weeks. To receive a copy of the published itinerary once available, please register your interest below and we will be sure to email you a copy. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9235 0023.
An archaeologist, historian, author and linguist, formerly a tutor and lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern history.
Sue Rollin is an archaeologist, historian and linguist with 30 years’ experience in leading tours to Central Asia, India, the Middle East and countries around the Mediterranean. Her personal interests include art and architecture, comparative religion, gastronomy and walking.
Sue has a BA and MA from the University of London, a Diploma in Conference Interpreting from the University of Westminster and held a 2-year research scholarship at Heidelberg University. She has worked as a tutor and lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern history at both Cambridge and London Universities and continues to lecture on a variety of topics for the Art Fund, Arts Society and the Victoria and Albert Museum’s adult learning programme. In Australia Sue has done 3 lecture tours for ADFAS, with a fourth one in the pipeline for 2019. She speaks French, German, Spanish and Italian (and a little Russian, Arabic and Turkish) and works regularly for international organisations such as the European Union, Council of Europe and United Nations.
Sue’s historical knowledge covers a long time frame, from the ancient world to modern times. She is particularly interested in cultural interaction as she and her group explore the rich legacy of ancient Greece and Rome, visit the splendid monuments of the Arab and Berber dynasties of North Africa, Andalusia and the Middle East, admire the glittering mosaics of Norman Sicily, delight in the superb architecture and decorative arts of the Ottoman empire and Central Asia and experience the colourful diversity of Mughal and Hindu India.
Since Sue led her first tour of Classical Turkey in 1987, she has designed and led over 60 cultural tours in 10 countries and 3 continents and travelled in many more.
We asked Sue, what motivates you as a tour leader?
“I enjoy meeting adventurous and open-minded travellers and renewing old acquaintances, sharing my knowledge as we visit interesting sites, travel through beautiful landscapes and chat and exchange ideas over a drink or a delicious meal. It is a privilege to be able to introduce others to some of my favourite places,” says Sue, “and to share some unforgettable experiences.”
“My fellow travellers often comment on my energy and enthusiasm and I hope that when they return home they take back with them positive memories of the places we have visited and the people we have met. Prepare to be surprised, feel inspired, learn something new, relax, have fun and make new friends – these are just a few of the benefits of our travels.”
In order to avoid unnecessary transfers and allow for individual exploration, we select comfortable, centrally-located hotels wherever possible. Where possible, most of the hotels we use are 4-star. We prefer smaller hotels if available, and we are constantly researching and reviewing our choices.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.
A Grade 3 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days. More Details
A detailed itinerary for this tour is not yet available, and as such we're not accepting bookings for this tour at this time. If you would like to be notified when places become available, please register your interest.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is not yet available, and as such we're not accepting bookings for this tour at this time. If you would like to be notified when places become available, please register your interest. We will email you an itinerary as soon as it’s available.
Please keep me informed about the next departure of this tour.
Hold a Place
Thank you for your interest in this tour. We are happy to hold a tentative place for seven days while you make your final arrangements to come on tour.
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