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With their mosques, madrasas, and markets, the Central Asia Drive 2021 will offer you a fascinating glimpse of a beautiful part of the world that most travelers miss. Discover the breath-taking mountain and desert scenery, soak in history with a visit to the mausoleum of Timur, one of Uzbekistan’s greatest rulers in Samarkand or the 16th-century mosque of Babur, the founder at Mughal Empire in Osh. Roam around and admire gorgeous buildings built centuries ago, meet the locals and more, as you embark on an adventure to find some of the most incredible, untouched landscapes in the world!
Each country on this drive is quite unique – in terrain, culture and travel experiences too! Are you ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime?
DAY 1: INDIA – BISHKEK [FLY-IN]
Fly to Bishkek today. Bishkek doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves as a cultural hub but as you explore Kyrgyzstan’s capital and largest city, you may well be surprised by the vibrancy of this gateway. Bishkek is relaxing and unhurried – everything you’d want in a city. Rest and relax at your hotel or check out the nightlife.
DAY 2: BISHKEK – OSH [FLY-IN]
Today, take a flight from Bishkek to Osh. You will be directly transferred from the airport to the hotel, where you can relax before you start exploring the old city of Osh. In the evening, meet your fellow travelers who have been driving all the way from India. Get to know your fellow participants as you wine & dine together!
DAY 3: OSH – SIGHTSEEING
Osh is the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan – reputedly 3000 years old. Osh’s sprawling bazaar and hospitable citizens provide an atmosphere that is far more archetypically Central Asian than you will find. So how about some Retail Therapy at the Bazaar while we are here! We’ll also be visiting “SulaimanToo” sacred mountain of Kyrgyzstan, which is a major pilgrimage place for Muslims along with the seven sacred caves and see many ancient petroglyphs.
DAY 4: OSH – FERGANA (117 KM/ 4 HOURS)
Are you excited to drive through Central Asia? Today, we cross the ‘Dustlik’ border to enter Uzbekistan – your first land border crossing on this expedition. Brace yourself for a very long wait as this border can sometimes take as much as the entire day to cross! If we are lucky and are able to cross the border on time, we will have a chance to explore some interesting places en route Fergana. The final stop in today’s drive is Fergana, one of the most beautiful areas in Uzbekistan, where we’ll stay for the night.
DAY 5: FERGANA – TASHKENT (320 KM/ 6 HOURS)
This morning we’ll drive to Tashkent, the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan. Tashkent has its own unique flavor. It combines medieval buildings as if descended from the pages of old oriental tales, elegant European architecture from the period of the Turkestan governor-generalship, standard concrete “boxes” of the Soviet era and, finally, glittering skyscrapers of glass and concrete. Overnight stay in Tashkent.
DAY 6: TASHKENT – SIGHTSEEING
Breathe in a breath of fresh air, as you’ve made it to the quirky, edgy city perched on the crossroads of Central Asia that is Tashkent. Today, you can explore the city as per your likes.
DAY 7: TASHKENT – SIGHTSEEING CONTINUES
You can choose to visit:
– Khast Imam Square
– Chorsu Bazaar
– Museum of Applied Arts
Follow it by an excursion to visit Mustakillik Square in the heart of Tashkent. This is your day to get touristy.
Oh, you will never go hungry in an Uzbek market, with vendors practically force-feeding your samples in every direction. Be prepared to have your mouth stuffed with Dried Fruits, Nuts, Horsemeat & many varieties of cheese.
DAY 8: TASHKENT – TURKISTAN (300 KM/ 5 HOURS)
Are you itching to get back on the road? It’s time to cross another land border today and enter Kazakhstan! By now you would be familiar with the custom and immigration processes at the border and understand that patience is definitely a virtue here! This also means that leaving early would give us a head start and we would be able to reach our hotel in Turkistan in time to get a good night's rest after an extremely tiring day on the road. Welcome to Kazakhstan, the 9th largest country in the world!
DAY 9: TURKISTAN – ARALSK (745 KM/ 11 HOURS)
We hope you slept well after a long driving day. After a relaxing breakfast, get back on the road for the drive from Turkistan to Aralsk. En-route we’ll be crossing many historic settlements like Erenozek, Zhalagash, Zhosaly, Korkyt-Ata- Baikonur, Aiteke-Bi (Kazalinsk) and Aralkum- Aralsk. Soak in the desert air of Kazakhstan as you drive through the pages of history! Watch out for the notorious police in Kazakhstan as they sure have an uncanny way of finding a way to pull over foreign travelers.
DAY 10: ARALSK – AKTOBE (619 KM/ 9 HOURS)
Pedal to the metal as we’ll be driving for approximately nine hours today to reach the city of Aktobe. The vast open spaces of the Kazakh steppes are not only appealing but are also great to drive on. If time permits and if you are still up for some sightseeing, may we recommend visiting the Nurdaulet mosque, which is the local highlight here in Aktobe. However, it might just make more sense to hit the bed early as tomorrow is going to be a very long day on the road.
DAY 11: AKTOBE – SAMARA (686 KM/ 11 HOURS)
Are you excited to enter the largest country in the world? Yes, today you will be entering Russia. It is worth mentioning here that Russian border control is very strict and it may take a few hours before we are allowed entry in Russia. Beginning from dawn to dusk, we’ll be driving towards Samara, our first night stop after crossing the border into Russia. Samara is the 6th largest city of Russia and is an alluring, intriguing city that is a pleasure to explore. You cannot escape history while driving through Ex-Soviet countries or Russia, but you can certainly escape for the evening and enjoy some Russian Vodka Shots now that you are in Russia!
DAY 12: SAMARA – SIGHTSEEING
After four days of long hours of driving on the road, today you can enjoy a day at leisure. Who are we to judge if you want to spend the day lazing in your bed. But if you are enthusiastic and have the energy, enjoy the city tour as there are a lot of historical buildings in Samara which make the city precious from the architectural point of view. Don’t forget to pout and pose in front of the monuments:
– The Cat on a Radiator
– Comrade Sukhov
and more while exploring this beautiful city. But whatever you do, don’t forget to raise a toast and cheer the customary “Nazdarovya” meaning “Good Health” in Russian.
DAY 13: SAMARA – PENZA (415 KM/ 7 HRS)
Today, you will be driving west to the city of Penza. The city gets its name from the river on the shores of which it was built but the meaning of the word ‘Penza’ has long been lost over the centuries. Originally the city was built on the bank of the Penza River, but over time it expanded and now a second river called Sura flows through its territory.
Nowadays Penza is one of Russia’s major industrial, transportation, and cultural centers, famous for manufacturing computer equipment, watches, and production equipment for a lot of different industrial sectors. It is a fascinating city, which miraculously combines calm, unhurried province and an impressive number of interesting cultural objects. Penza has a lot of interesting architectural monuments.
One of the most beautiful buildings is the former Meat Arcade (Moskovskaya Street, 85), built in the late 19th century. “Good Health” in Russian.
DAY 14: PENZA – MOSCOW (642 KM/ 9 HRS)
Wake up early in the morning refreshed and ready to face the day as we are heading to Moscow today, the capital of Russia and undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world! Enjoy the drive to reach the political and cultural center of the Russian federation. Beware of the traffic cops on the highway and drive very carefully as you will be under the watchful eyes of Russia traffic police while driving to Moscow. Also, Moscow being one of the busiest cities in the world, the traffic here can be a nightmare so be patient as we approach the center of the city, we might just have to remain stuck in traffic jams and move at a snails’ pace.
DAY 15: MOSCOW – SIGHTSEEING
It would be a crime to miss out on all the architectural and historic marvels that Moscow has to offer. A fine day to get ready and explore all the attractions and famous landmarks of Moscow that you can pack in a day. Our hotel is located in the city center to save you travel time and ensure that you are able to see as much as possible in a day. There is so much to do and see here. Don’t miss a visit to the gorgeous Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin and the Red Square. If you are not a history buff but a bit of a shopaholic, head to the “Gum” shopping mall and pick up some fine Russian Hats and Coats! In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with the group and reflect on fond memories of the tour.
DAY 16: MOSCOW – INDIA [FLY OUT]
The expedition concludes this morning and you fly back home. However, in case you wish to extend your program and stay back in Russia for a few more days, we will be happy to assist you in extending your holiday!
Date: 13th May 2021 – 28th May 2021
Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
Cost: INR 5,75,000 Per Person
Accommodation on twin occupancy
Self-drive vehicle (4 people in 1 vehicle)
All visas and standard fees (Kyrgyzstan / Uzbekistan / Kazakhstan / Russia)
Border crossing assistance
Domestic flight from Bishkek to Osh
Road books, maps and wireless radio sets for the vehicle
Driving permits and vehicle insurance
International Air Tickets
*Lunch and Dinners on Day 6, Day 7, Day 12 and Day 15
Any cost arising out of unforeseen circumstances
Additional accommodation charges due to unforeseen delays in the journey
Any charges for carrying video camera or still camera
Any additional fee for issuance of visa apart from the standard fee
International Driving Permit
10% of the trip cost will be charged as a cancellation fee if the trip is canceled any time after confirmation until 31st August 2020
25% of the trip cost will be charged as a cancellation fee if the trip is canceled between 1st September 2020 – 30th November 2020
50% of the trip cost will be charged as cancellation fee if the trip is cancelled between 1st December 2020 – 31st January 2021
100% of the trip cost will be charged as cancellation fee if the trip is cancelled post 1st February 2021
In case of cancellation, the refund will be made in 07-10 working days as per the cancellation policy and subtracting 5% GST on the deposited amount.
The refund will be made to the same account/mode through which transfers have been received.