The 5 'Stans

Our 5 Stan tour brings together most of the highlights of the region at the lowest possible price.

We have condensed the tour into 2 weeks to enable it to fit better into people's holiday schedules so you're not using up all your annual leave in one go. This does however mean that there is a lot of travelling involved with not too many days of rest in between. Please be aware of this before booking.

We think this tour is a great taster to the region and we hope it will give you the chance to see which countries you like the most and hopefully come back to explore them in more depth in the future.


Date Tour name Price
20 May-3 June 2018
5 'Stans Tour full!
27 May- 10 June
5 'Stans From 2112 €
22 July - 5 Aug
5'Stans Tour full!
29 July - 9 Aug Turkmen, Uzbek and Tajik adventure From 1999 €
29 July - 19 Aug Extended 3 weeks tour From 3050 €
7-18 Aug.
Tajik, Kyrgyz and Kazakh tour From €
2-16 Sept.
5 'Stans TOUR FULL!
14-28 Oct.  5 'Stans From 2112 €
2019 Tour name Price
19 May-2 June 5 'Stans      From 2222 €



16 places are available on these tours for a price of 2112 EUR (2200 EUR with Kazakh extension). This includes:

Turkmenistan

- letter of invitation
- Entry pass
- Registration
-One nights' homestay accommodation, one nights camping at Darvaza
- Breakfast each day
- Air conditioned transport
- Dinner on days 1 and 2
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites
- Camping gear on visit to Darvaza (tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment and eating utensils

 

Uzbekistan

- Letter of invitation
- Four nights' 3 star hotel accommodation, one night each in Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Termez
- Full board; breakfasts, lunches and dinners each day
- All transportation, including overnight train (4 berth)
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites
- Mineral water provided each day

 

Tajikistan

- Visa support
- One nights' 5 star hotel in Dushanbe, one nights 3 star hotel in Khujand
- Full board; breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
- All transport
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites

 

Kyrgyzstan

- Visa support (if required)
- One nights' hostel accommodation in Osh (twin room)

- Three nights' hostel accommodation in Bishkek (twin and room)
- All transport
- National park entrance fees
- Entrance fees at all sites

 

Kazakhstan (88 EUR surcharge payable for this extension)

- Visa support (if required)
- One nights' hotel accommodation in Almaty (twin room)
- All transport
- Entrance fees and tour guide



The price doesn't include:

- Visa fees
- Turkmenistan Immigration duty (14 USD )
- International Flights
- Tips
- lunches in Turkmenistan, all meals in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
- Other personal expenses
- single room supplement (we can allocate someone to share with on a group tour if you prefer to avoid this cost)

Single supplement price: 450 EUR for 4 Stans or 480 EUR for 5 Stans.

 

If you prefer to arrive a day earlier in Turkmenistan then there is a 55 EUR surcharge for an additional night (twin room) and 25 EUR for transfer cost.

 

For those of you who have already taken our Turkmenistan tour; it is possible to miss this section and meet us in Uzbekistan for a ??? reduction in tour cost.

 

Most nationalities require visas for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan but for several nations (including UK), Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are visa free. Other nationalities should check with us for current status, but we can offer support if visas are required.

Payment methods.

A £250 deposit is taken on booking and can be made by credit card (via Paypal), bank transfer or cheque.

Balance can be paid in advance by bank transfer or cheque or Paypal, 8 weeks prior to departure.

Sunday, Oct. 1st 2017

Arrive at Ashgabat airport early morning and transfer to the city centre to begin our tour. Visit the square and parks to see the huge monuments and statues of the leaders as well as Ertogrul Ghazi mosque.

We will then drive on to Turkmenbashy mosque and mausoleum.

In the afternoon we will drive to the incredible Darvaza Gas crater. En route we stop off for supplies in the desert village of Erbent. We then turn off road and drive across desert dunes.

Arrive at Darvaza early evening when the light is fading and all you can see for miles around is the glow of the crater.

Our guide will set up camp in tents at a safe distance from the crater before cooking dinner while you relax and stare in awe at the Gas crater.

 

Monday Oct. 2nd

After breakfast we leave Darvaza and drive North to Konye Urgench historical site. It is a UNESCO heritage site and contains the remains of the capital of Khwarezm, part of the Achaemenid empire.

In the afternoon we will drive onwards to the city of Dashoguz. check into our hotel and then take a tour of the city in the afternoon. Evening at leisure.

 

Tuesday Oct. 3rd

After breakfast we drive onto Konye Urgench border crossing and pass through into Uzbekistan. Our Uzbek guide will meet us here and drive to Khiva where we will check into our hotel. After lunch and some free time we will take a walking tour of the city visiting the Ichan Kala fortress with its minarets, madrassah, mosque and mausoleums. After a group dinner there will be free time in the city.

 

Wednesday Oct. 4th

After a bit of free time for any last minute sightseeing we will depart on the 7 hour drive to Bukhara across the desert. We will have a packed lunch during the journey and also make a stop at a dest Chai Khanah (Tea house) in the early afternoon for tea and kebabs.


On arrival to Bukhara we will check into our hotel and after dinner have free time to enjoy the atmosphere around the Lyabi Hauz pool.

 

Thursday Oct. 5th

In the morning we will take a half day sightseeing tour of Bukhara, visiting Samanids mausoleum, Ark fortress, Polkalon complex, trading domes and the Lyabi Hauz complex.

After lunch we will drive onwards to Samarkand where we will check into our hotel and spend the evening at leisure.

 

Friday Oct. 6th

Today we tour the historical city of Samarkand, taking in Registan square, Gur Emir mausoleum, Slab bazaar, Ulugbek observatory, Afrasiab museum wall paintings and the Meros handicraft centre.

We have dinner in Samarkand before departing on the 22:00 overnight train to Termez.

Saturday Oct. 7th

Arrive into Termez at 9:30 and drop our luggage off at our hotel before starting a full day tour. We will visit the archaeological museum, Sultan Saadat complex, Kirk Kiz hanaka and Fayaztepa Buddhist monastery.

After a farewell dinner with our Uzbek guide, spend the evening at leisure.

Sunday Oct. 8th

At 9:00 we depart for the Sariosiyo border crossing. Pass the border and meet our Tajik guides.

En route to Dushanbe we will visit Hisor town to visit the Hisor fortress, one of the most important historical sites in Tajikistan. We will also visit the nearby 16th Century Kunha Medrassah, Museum of Tajik Life and the mausoleum of the Sufi Saint, Mahdumi Azam.

On arrival into Dushanbe we will visit the Museum of National Antiquities before checking into the 5 star Sheraton and spending the evening at leisure.

Monday Oct. 9th

After breakfast we drive to Khujand, passing through the 5km Anzob 'tunnel of death' en route.

On arrival to Khujand we will visit the Shikh Muslihiddin mosque, Oriental bazaar (the biggest in Central Asia), the Arbob palace and the Lenin monument. Check into our hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant before spending the rest of the evening at leisure.

 

Tuesday Oct. 10th

After breakfast we take a further tour of Khujand visiting the ancient city fortress. We'll have lunch afterwards before driving to the border and then onwards to the Kyrgyz city of Osh.

Arrive in Osh and check into our hostel and spend the evening at leisure.

 

Wednesday Oct. 11th

We have an early start today as we begin the longest drive of the journey - a 12 hour journey North up to the capital of Bishkek (an alternative flight option is available on request). This road rivals the Pamir Highway for the most beautiful and scenic journey in Central Asia. We pass huge mountains, canyons and valleys throughout the whole journey as well as crossing a host of different climatic zones and vegetation levels as we pass the natural and cultural divide of the country through the Fergana valley and Tien Shan mountain range.

We at special-destinations.com are very passionate about the scenery during this long drive, but, we decided to poll all our clients who have taken this journey to help you make the decision of whether to fly or not. Scroll to the bottom of this itinerary for info**.

After arriving in Bishkek early evening, we will check into our hostel before going out for optional meal and beers!

 

Thursday Oct. 12th

We have a well earned day of rest today with the chance to spend your day at leisure around the capital, checking out the great Soviet architecture and monuments.

Friday Oct. 13th

In the morning we will drive out to visit Ala Archa; a beautiful alpine National Park situated in the Tian Shan mountain range. The day is free to spend hiking or relaxing around the region before returning to Bishkek in the early evening.

Tonight is the final day of the 4 Stans tour before departure the following day.

 

Saturday Oct. 14th

Today you can depart for your flight home or take an optional extension up into Kazakhstan. For those taking the extension, we will take a 5 hour journey up across the border and into the Kazakh city of Almaty. We will check into our hotel before taking an afternoon tour of the City, visiting Green Hill with its panoramic views of the city along with bizarre Beatles statue!

Evening at leisure.

Sunday Oct. 15th

Today the tour ends but you are welcome to add extra nights on request.

 

16 places are available on this tour for a price of 2112 EUR/person (2200 EUR/person with Kazakh extension). This includes:

Turkmenistan

- letter of invitation
- Entry pass
- Registration
-One nights homestay accommodation, one nights camping at Darvaza
- Breakfast each day
- Air conditioned transport
- Dinner on days 1 and 2
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites
- Camping gear on visit to Darvaza (tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment and eating utensils

Uzbekistan

- Letter of invitation
- Four nights 3 star hotel accommodation, one night each in Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Termez
- Full board; breakfasts, lunches and dinners each day
- All transportation, including overnight train (4 berth)
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites
- Mineral water provided each day

Tajikistan

- Visa support
- One night 5 star hotel in Dushanbe, one nights 3 star hotel in Khujand
- Full board; breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
- All transport
- English speaking guide throughout
- Entrance fees at all sites

Kyrgyzstan

- Visa support (if required)
- One nights hostel accommodation in Osh (twin room)

- Three nights hostel accommodation in Bishkek (twin room)
- All transport
- National park entrance fees
- Entrance fees at all sites

Kazakhstan (88 EUR surcharge payable for this extension)

- Visa support (if required)
- One nights hotel accommodation in Almaty (twin room)
- All transport
- Entrance fees and tour guide



The price doesn't include:

- Visa fees
- Turkmenistan Immigration duty (14 USD )
- International Flights
- Tips
- lunches in Turkmenistan, all meals in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
- Other personal expenses
- single room supplement (we can allocate someone to share with on a group tour if you prefer to avoid this cost)

Single supplement price: 450 EUR or 480 EUR including Kazakh extension

If you prefer to arrive a day earlier in Turkmenistan then there is a 55 EUR p/p surcharge for an additional night (place in twin room) and 25 EUR for transfer cost.

For those of you who have already taken our Turkmenistan tour; it is possible to miss this section and meet us in Uzbekistan for a 260EUR reduction in tour cost.

Most nationalities require visas for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan but for several nations (including UK), Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are visa free. Other nationalities should check with us for current status, but we can offer support if visas are required.

**75% of people who took the drive considered the scenery to be a highlight of the tour, 17% felt the drive was OK and 8% wished they had flown. Some comments on the drive...

"The views were unbelievable, I would definitely recommend taking the drive. It isn't the most comfortable but it's worth it."

"The scenery was a real highlight of the tour. To be honest when I booked, I thought of it as sleep/reading time - I didn't end up doing any of that - looked out of the window and chatted to the group the whole time! I'd highly recommend it unless you're especially car sick!"

How difficult is the visa process?
We take care of all your visa invitations and support paperwork. For Turkmenistan we provide you with a LOI that you can use to obtain a visa either at your nearest Embassy or on arrival at the airport. For Uzbekistan we provide an invitation that you need to use to collect a visa at your nearest Embassy. Tajikistan is a simple e-visa process. Kyrgyszstan is visa free for most nationalities. Many nationalities are also visa free for Kazakhstan but please check first. In case you need a visa, the process is quite simple.

What flights do I take?
You will need to make a multi leg flight booking into Ashgabat and out of Bishkek or Almaty. Turkish Airlines usually offer the best prices.

Is alcohol allowed?
Alcohol is widely available in each country.

Are credit cards accepted?
Credit cards are not widely accepted. It is recommend you take all cash with you (USD strongly preferred)

What is the typical age range on this tour?
We have a huge range of both ages and nationalities on these tours. On our May 2016 tour we had ages ranging from 24 to 81! And a group made up of 8 different nationalities.

Booking