The Silk Road, Caucasus & Central Asia

The Silk Road – definitely off the beaten track! For thousands of years this route has linked East and West, a route followed by traders in silk, spices and slaves, plus explorers interested in new ideas as much as new territories.

Modern day travellers will begin their journey in Uzbekistan’s capital – Tashkent before heading off to Samarkand, worth a trip by itself with it’s jewel-box of Islamic mosques, mausoleums and a fabulous observatory and, for a place pushing 3000 years old, remarkably lively.  From the flatlands of Uzbekistan head to Kyrgyzstan’s rugged mountains and famous Lake Issyk Kul for restorative treatments.

Central Asia has many countries that end in “stan”, these are as exotic and foreign as you could imagine. With bustling markets selling silks, perfumes and kalashnikovs, ancient ruins, magnificent madrases and horrible Soviet monoliths – the contrasts are quite startling.