Take in the highlights of Kyrgyzstan on this 16 day overland group tour which also visits Tashkent and Fergana in Uzbekistan. Stay in a traditional yurt on the shore of Song Kol Lake, overland through the stunning Kyrgyz Fergana Valley and explore the Russian-style town of Karakol. Hike in the Jeti Oguz region, see a demonstration from a local eagle hunter and end your adventure in Kyrgyzstan’s bustling capital, Bishkek.
Day 1 – Tashkent
Welcome to Uzbekistan! On arrival there’s a pre-departure Welcome Meeting and the rest of today is free to explore Tashkent, the Soviet-style capital of Uzbekistan.
Please note: The following itinerary is subject to change due to the unpredictable conditions in Kyrgyzstan. We have tried and tested alternatives in place to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
Day 2 – Fergana
Tashkent – Kokand – Fergana. Today we cross over the mountainous Kamchik Pass in local transport to Kokand where we’ll visit the Khudayar Khan’s Palace and the Margilan Silk Factory. We then continue through striking mountain scenery to Fergana where we’ll be joined by our overland truck, which must cross the pass without passengers. (B)
Day 3 – Arslanbob
Today we enter Kyrgyzstan and drive to the village of Arslanbob in the stunning Kyrgyz Fergana Valley. If the border crossing takes a long time then we may stay in the closer town of Jalalabad instead. (B)
Days 4-6 – Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
Arslanbob – Kyrgyz Fergana Valley. We spend the next three days overlanding through the Kyrgyz Fergana Valley. We’ll make frequent stops to hike in the stunning mountain region and will camp in suitable spots on the route. (B, L, D x3)
Days 7-8 – Song Kol Lake
On day 7 we drive to shimmering Song Kol Lake, where we base ourselves for the next two nights. We’ll stay in traditional yurts and experience the life of rural Kyrgyz people. There’s optional hiking and horse-riding in the area. (B, D x2)
Day 9 – Kochkor
Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor. We’ll stay in small, family-run guesthouses so you can get to know the local people. We also visit the village museum and a women’s felt making cooperative which produces shyrdaks – the felt carpets that Kyrgyzstan is known for. There’s also an optional outdoor folk concert and you can learn how to erect a yurt. (B, D)
Days 10-11 – Jeti Oguz Valley
Today we have a scenic drive along the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kol and up into the mountains of the Jeti Oguz region. We’ll make a stop en route to watch a demonstration from a local eagle hunter, whose well-trained birds are used to catch wild animals for their skins and meat.
Day 11 is free to explore this picturesque corner of Kyrgyzstan. Hike in the hills and mountains or opt for a horse-riding excursion with some local nomads. We’ll camp in the area for these two nights. (B, L, D x2)
Day 12 – Karakol
Today we drive to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where the afternoon is free to explore. Perhaps pay a visit to the beautiful Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral. (B)
Days 13-14 – Chong Kemin Valley & Cholpon Ata
Leaving Karakol behind on day 13, we drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kol to admire the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. We then continue to the Chong Kemin Valley, our base for the next two nights.
Day 14 is free to hike in the region or join an optional white water rafting excursion. There is also horse-riding available in the area. We plan to camp in Chong Kemin but if it’s too cold or preferred by the group then we may be able to camp in the grounds of a guesthouse instead, or possibly upgrade to rooms. (B, L, D x2)
Day 15 – Bishkek
Board our overland truck for the final time today as we complete our journey to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s relaxed and charming capital. En route we’ll visit the impressive Burana Tower and there’s free time to relax or explore Bishkek at leisure. Perhaps head out to the colourful Osh Bazaar or explore Ala-Too Square – the central point of the city. (B)
Day 16 – Bishkek
Our adventure ends today after breakfast. (B)
- 15 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 10 dinners
- 6 nights in hotels and guesthouses
- 7 nights camping without facilities
- 2 nights in a Yurt Camp
- All necessary camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags)
- Services of two crew (drivers/tour leaders) and local guides along the way
- Demonstration from a local eagle hunter in Jeti Oguz
- Transportation in an overland expedition vehicle
- Visit to the petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
Images courtesy of OntheGo