TRIPS

Caspian Odyssey – 22 Days

$ 4,645.00

Explore the countries on both shores of the Caspian Sea – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. With their location at the crossroads of trade, religion, language and the arts, these countries are home to fascinating modern cultures as well as some of the world’s most ancient and timeless architecture.

22 days visit Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Dashoguz, Ashgabat, Darvaza gas crater, Baku, Shamakhi, Sheki Tbilisi, Wine Region – Kakheti, Caucasus Mountains, Black Sea Coast and Batumi

Description

Day 1 Tashkent
Arrival to Tashkent, meet in airport transfer to the hotel.

Moderate:   Le Grand Plaza
Superior:   Gloria Hotel

Day 2 Tashkent (B/D)
Today enjoy a guided tour Tashkent visits (old part); Hast Imam Square, Kaffal Sashi Mausoleum, Barak-Khan Madrassah where the world’s oldest Uthman Qur’an is kept, Juma Mosque, Tillya Sheikh Mosque Kukeldash Madrassah with Chorsu bazaar.

Take a ride on Tashkent subway.

Dinner in local restaurant.

Day 3 Tashkent – Samarkand (B/D) (B/D)
Morning transfer to the train station for depart by fast train “Afrasiab” to Samarkand.

On arrival to Samarkand, transfer to hotel and check-in.

After short rest begins guided tour of Samarkand visits; Ensemble of Registan: (Ulugbek, Sher Dor and Tillya Kari Madrasah’s) and Gur-Emir Mausoleum (graves of Tamerlane and his descendants).

Dinner in local restaurant.

Moderate:   Malika Prime
Superior:   Registan Plaza Hotel

Day 4 Samarkand (B/D)
Half day guided tour Samarkand visits Bibi-Khonym Mosque with Siab bazaar, Shakh-i-Zinda Ensemble, Khazrat-Khizr Mosque, Aancient settlement Afrosiab with Museum, Mausoleum of Khodja Doniyor (Prophet Daniel) and observatory and memorial museum of Ulugbek.

Afternoon, visit to local market and family.

Dinner in local house.

Day 5 Samarkand – Bukhara (B/D)
Drive to Bukhara once was former capital of the powerful Emirate of Bukhara with more than 140 architectural monuments, is a “town museum” dating back to the Middle Ages- 2300 year old. City was once a big commercial centre of the Great Silk Road, en route visit Gijduvan ceramic centre.

Arrive in Bukhara and check-in to hotel.

Dinner in Lyabi Hauz restaurant.

Moderate:   Lyabi House or similar
Superior:   Asia Hotel or similar

Day 6 Bukhara (B/D)
Full day guided tour Bukhara visits remaining of city wall and gate of Bukhara, Samonid’s Mausoleum, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum, Kosh Madrasah Ensemble (Abdullakhan Madrasah & Modarikhan Madrasah), Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark citadel & Zindan (ancient prison), Khodja Zaynuddin Complex, Poi Kalyan Complex: (Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque & Miri Arab Madrasah), Trading Dome: (Toki Zargaron, Тoki Telpak Furushon & Toki Sarrafon), Ulugbek Madrasah, Abdullazizkhan Madrasah, Khodja Gaukushan Ensemble, Magoki Attoron Mosque, Architectural ensemble Lyabi Hauz (Kukeldash Madrasah, Khanaka and Nodir Devan-Begi Madrasah) and Synagogue.

This evening you attend a traditional Bukhara cultural folk show.

Day 7 Bukhara – Khiva (B/D)
Morning visit Summer Palace (residence) of last Bukharan Emirs Sitora-i-Mokhi Khosa and then drive between the Kara-Kum (black sands) and the Kyzyl-Kum (red sands) deserts to Khiva, en route stop to see the Amudarya River, known to many western explorers as the Oxus.

Arrive in Khiva & check-in to the hotel.

Dinner in “Toza Bog Palace’’ with folk show (summer residence of Mohammed Rakhim Khan II).

Moderate:   Malika Khiva
Superior:   Hotel Asia Khiva

Day 8 Khiva (B/D)
Full day guided tour Khiva visits Monument of Al Khorezmiy, Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasah & Kalta Minor, Palace Complex Kuhna Ark: (Korinishona, Winter & Summer Mosque and Ak-shikh-bobo), Muhammad Rakhimkhan Madrasah, Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Shergazi Khan Madrasah, Minaret and Madrasah of Islam-Khodja, Djuma Mosque, Ota Darvaza “Father Gate”, Ak Mosque, Anushakhan bath-houses, Palvan Darvaza ‘’Warriors Gate’’, Alakulihan Madrasah, Qutlugh Murad Inaq Madrasah, Caravansary Tim Allah Kuli Khan with bazaar and Tash Khauli Complex.

Day 9 Khiva – Kunya-Urgench – Dashoguz – Ashgabat (B/D)
In the morning drive to Turkmenistan border point Shavat-Dashoguz (60 km, 1 h.). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints.

Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone and meet your Turkmenistan guide and drive to Kunya-Urgench. Visit mausoleums of Turabek Khanum, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il-Arslan, Najmuddin-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug-Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla Hill.

In the afternoon drive to Dashoguz airport, take an evening flight to Ashgabat.
Upon arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Moderate:   Ak Altyn Hotel
Superior:   Oguzkent (former Oguzkent Sofitel)

Day 10: Ashgabat (B)
Start the day with a sightseeing tour in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan that has recently been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble buildings than any other city in the world.

During the city tour you will explore an archaeological site of Old Nisa (included in UNESCO World Heritage list) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. You will visit the National Museum of History, the Monument of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and newly built Independence Park. Intense and interesting excursion also includes a stopover at the Akhalteke horse stables and Lenin Monument.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11 Ashgabat – Darvaza gas crater – Ashgabat (B/D)
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby in Ashgabat and drive to Darvaza gas crater located in the middle of Karakum desert (280km, 4h). On the way stop at Erbent village to witness life of locals surrounded by desert.

Arrive at the crater. Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for early dinner near the burning gas crater. After dinner drive back to Ashgabat and arrive in the city later tonight and transfer directly to the airport for your next morning flight to Baku.

Day 12 Ashgabat – Baku (B/L)
Your Lufthansa flight leaves Ashgabat at 3:20 am and takes 1ess than 2 hours to Baku, Azerbaijan.

Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for immediate check in.

After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Baku old city, visit Shirvanshah’s Palace, Maidan Tower, Ateshgah and Carpet Museum.

Lunch at a local restaurant, then drive to Absheron Peninsula to visit the Burning mountain Yanar Dag, Mardakan Castle and Ramana Castle.

Moderate:   Diplomat
Superior:   Central Park

Day 13 Baku-Gobustan-Shamakhi-Sheki (B/L/D)
Depart this morning and drive to Gobustan. Visit Gobustan National Park. Continue drive to Shamakhi. and visit Diribaba Mausoleum.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, visit Juma-Mosque (Friday Mosque) of Shamakhi city and Seven Domes – the complex of tombs built for Shirvan’s royal family in 18th century.

Continue Sheki and check into the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Moderate:   Karavansaray Hotel
Superior:   Sheki Saray

Day 14 Sheki- Lagodekhi Border-Tbilisi (B/L/D)
This morning, we will visit Sheki Khan’s Palace, and followed by lunch at local restaurant.

Continue drive to Lagodegkhi Border and visit Gremi Architectural Complex between 16th and 17th century.

Arrive in Tbilisi to night, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Moderate: Hotel Sharden
Superior: Courtyard by Marriott

Day 15 Tbilisi City Tour (B/D)
Savor the excitement, as you start the first full day city tour of the capital of Georgia –Tbilisi. During this day you’ll visit Old City, Metekhi Church, Narikala Fortress, ‘Abanotubani’ – Sulphur bath district, Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica and Rustaveli Avenue.

Lunch on your own at local restaurant.

in the afternoon, take time to visit National Museum of Georgia, Open Air Ethnographic Museum on your own.

Day 16 Round trip to Wine Region – Kakheti (B/L)
The region of Kakheti is the heart of traditional Georgian wine making. Located between the Gombori and Caucasus mountain ranges, the picturesque valley of the river Alazani is fertile and full of life. Here, you will learn how real Georgian wine is made in modern wineries, and how the tradition of fermenting wine in earthenware vessels – Kvevri – is preserved and advanced, ceaseless in its existence for the past eight thousand years. Kakheti is famous not only for its vineyards and gastronomic delights but also for its rich history

We will visit Bodbe Nunnery, Sighnaghi ‘City of Love’ and enjoy lunch and wine tasting at the local winery, Visit Tsinandali Family Estate before return back to Tbilisi

Day 17 From Tbilisi to Khevi Province (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel and then start your journey to North Georgia.

Your first stop is Mtskheta town. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites – located in this small town, which has been referred to by Georgians as “holy city”. One of them is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral dating back to 11 c. The interior of the church was once full of frescos; now only a few of them survive. Another UNESCO site is Jvari Monastery – while standing on top of the hill you can overlook Mtskheta at the confluence of two rivers – Mtvari and Aragvi. The views are simply breathtaking. Drive along Georgian Military Highway to Ananuri fortress the former seat of Argvi Dukes (16-17th cc.). Explore the fortress and drive to Gudauri.

Moderate: Hotel Truso
Superior: Hotel Marco Polo

Day 18 Explore the Greater Caucasus Mountains (B/D)
After breakfast at the hotel, start a full day excursion and explore the high Caucasus Mountains. Head to Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) via Cross Pass (2395 m. above sea level), where we can make several stops and taste mineral waters. En-route observe the snowy peaks of surrounding mountains and waterfalls. Arrive in Stepantsminda town – administrative center of Khevi province. Change transport to 4×4 vehicles and have a short off-road adventure to the top of Gergeti mountain. Here stands a small church – Gergeti Trinity . If we’re lucky with the weather we can spot the peak of Kazbegi glacier (5033 m. above sea level). Drive back to Stepantsminda.

Day 19 Trip to the oldest urban settlement in Georgia (B/L)
After breakfast, drive to Uplistsikhe and explore Uplistsikhe rock-hewn town. Visit the house-museum of J. Stalin, where the leader of Soviet Union was born. Explore the ancient rock-hewn town Uplistsikhe. Archaeological excavations have uncovered layers from Early Iron Age to Late Middle Ages in Uplistsikhe. Artifacts found in here are now part of Georgian National Museum exhibition.

Continue to Kutaisi, the ancient Kingdom of Colchis and overnight in Kutaisi.

Moderate: Aeetes Palace
Superior: Bagrati

Day 20 Trip to Black Sea Coast – Batumi (B/D)
After breakfast, visit Gelati Monastery – the UNESCO Heritage Site.

Drive to Batumi and on arrival, enjoy your lunch.

Explore Batumi, one of the most beautiful cities of the Black Sea Coast.

Moderate: Era Palace
Superior: World Palace

Day 21 Batumi (B/L)
This morning visit the Botanical Garden.

This afternoon, explore Mountains of Adjara.

Enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 22 Departure from Batumi(B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out time and you are transferred to the airport for onward flight.


Moderate
$4645
Land only per person based on sharing

  • Single supplement: $995
  • Internal Flight $ 475


Superior
$5350
Land only per person based on sharing

  • Single supplement: $1395
  • Internal Flight $ 475


GROUP DEPARTURE CALENDAR 2019 – 2020

January:
2020:
February:
2020:
March:
2020:
April:
2019:
14, 28
May:
2019:
12, 26
June:
2019:
09, 23
July:
2019:
7, 21
August:
2019:
4, 18
September:
2019:
1, 15, 29
October
2019:
13
November:
2019:
December:
2019:

Additional information

OVERVIEW

Explore the countries on both the eastern and western shores of the Caspian Sea – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. With their location at the crossroads of trade, religion, language and the arts, these countries are home to fascinating modern cultures as well as some of the world’s most ancient and timeless architecture.

DEPARTURE

Group departure guaranteed for minimum 4 travelers.

HOTELS

As indicated in the itinerary.

INCLUSIONS

■ Transportation as per program
■ English speaking tour guide service,
■ Meals and wine tasting as per the itinerary
■ Accommodation at your choice of the hotels with daily breakfast.
■ Entrance fees as per program
■ One bottle of mineral water per person/per day

EXCLUSIONS

International Airfare/train ticket, Call 1-888-887-1688 to get a quote from your home city
Travel insurance. visa fees, gratuities, drinks, personal spending and optional activities.
Personal expenses, extras in the hotels, tips to guides and drivers and beverages

QUESTIONS

Should you have any further questions, please call 1888-887-1688 for assistance.

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