Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Locally Hosted, Private

Essential Silk Road (19 days)

Exeter International

Tashkent, Uzbekistan To Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Dec 2019


Day 1
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Hyatt Regency Tashkent None

Welcome reception on arrival at Tashkent airport. Meet and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Hyatt Regency Tashkent Breakfast

Full day city tour of Tashkent. Visit Old city: Barak Khan Madrasah, Tillya Sheikh mosque, Chorsu bazaar, Kukeldash madrasah, Friendship square, Abul Kasim madrasah, Applied Arts Museum, Navoi theatre square, Amir Temur Square and walk through Sailgoh street. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 3
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Asia Breakfast

Today you will fly to Urgench. Excursion the historical town of Khiva. Visit Madrasah Allakuli Khan, Madrasah Muhammad Amin Khan, Kunya Ark, Kelte Minar, Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islam Khoja Minaret and Madrasah, Madrasah Muhammad Rahimkhan, Juma Masjid, Tash Hovli Palace. Return to Urgench for overnight.

Day 4
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Asia Breakfast

Today visit Ayazkala and Toprakkala ruins. Topraq Qala and other sites of ancient Khorezm State settlements, now located on the territory of Karakalpakstan. This 2000 years old ruined city fortress, 350 by 500 meters and framed by the brooding Sultan Vais Mountain, is the dramatic and best explored in the region. About 2500-3000 years old settlements flourished during I Century BC - III Century AD under Kushan patronage. The later collapse of Kushan and White Hephtalite rule left the region open to devastating Turkic raids which destroyed irrigation canals and lead to the depopulation of the town in the sixth century. Return to Urgench (70 km) for overnight at hotel.

Day 5
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Minor Hotel Breakfast

Drive to Bukhara along the Kizilkum desert. Photo stop at Amudaryo river bank. On arrival transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 6
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Minor Hotel Breakfast

Full day city tour of Bukhara. Visit Ark fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, Ismail Samani mausoleum, Chashmai Ayub, Poi Kalyan complex with Kalyan mosque and Miri Arab madrassah, Ulugbeg and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Trade Domes, ancient Silk Market, Magokki Attori mosque and Labi Hauz complex. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Minor Hotel Breakfast

Continue city tour of Bukhara. Visit Chor Minor mosque, national Uzbek bakery “Tandir”, where tourists can see the baking process of Uzbek bread. Also visit Sitorai Mokhi Khosa, the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, Chor Bakr and Naqshbandi complex. Overnight at hotel.

Day 8
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Grand Samarkand Superior Breakfast
Today drive to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz. In Shakhrisabz visit Aksarai Palace, Dorus Saodat and Dorut Tilovat complexes, including Kuk Gumbaz mosque, Gumbazi Sayidon, Mausoleum of Djekhangir and Hazrati Imom Mosque. After sightseeing drive to Samarkand and transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 9
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Grand Samarkand Superior Breakfast

City tour of Samarkand. Visit Gur Emir Mausoleum, Reghistan Square, Bibi Khanym mosque, bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Afrosiab Museum, Shakhi Zinda necropolis. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Grand Samarkand Superior Breakfast

Continue city tour of Samarkand. Visit Imam Al Buhariy complex, History Museum, Nodir Devonbegi Madrasah, Hazrati Hizr mosque, Hodja Doniyor mausoleum. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Hyatt Regency Tashkent Breakfast
Morning drive to Tashkent. Afternoon city tour of Tashkent. Visit Metro, Earthquake Monument, Shahidlar Hotirasi Park. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast

This morning is at your leisure. This afternoon meet your driver for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Almaty. Upon arrival meet your transfer to the hotel.

Day 13
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast

After breakfast drive to Tamgaly. 170 km North-West of Almaty Tamgaly is a unique cultural monument representing several historical periods. The petrogliphs of different ages were discovered in 1957. The most ancient are believed to be from the bronze age containing erotic scenes, ritual and hunt dances, wild animals such as boar, oxen, mountain sheep, deer, horses, wolves, snow leopards and foxes, scattered in an area of about 10 km. Then drive to Issyk vinery.

Day 14
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast

Visit Panfilov park, Zenkov Cathedral. Museum of Instruments, Central State Museum. Panfilov Park was founded in the mid-60s in the area around the Voznesenski (Zenkov) Cathedral. Like the Cathedral, Museum of Kazakh National Musical Instruments is entirely made of wood. The Museum was founded in 1980. In its collection is about 60 different types and varieties of Kazakh folk musical instruments. Visit Medeo and Kok-Tube (cable way, one level). Medeo has one of the world’s largest speed skating rink at 170 m above sea level.

Day 15
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
Hotel Asia Breakfast

After breakfast drive to Karakol via Kegen pass.

Day 16
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
Local Resort Breakfast

Morning tour of Karakol. Visit Orthodox Church, Dungan Mosque, Museum of Przhevalsk. PM. Drive to Grigorievskoe gorge. After excursion drive to resort for overnight.

Day 17
Kul , Kyrgyzstan
Local Resort Breakfast

Morning visit to Ethnographical Museum and Cholpon-Ata petrogliphs. Afternoon boat cruise (1 hour). Overnight at Resort.

Day 18
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Hyatt Regency Breakfast

After breakfast drive to Bishkek. En route visit Burana Tower. Burana was the site of Balasagun. It was founded in the middle of the 10 century on the site of an old settlement. The minaret (Burana from Turkish “munara”-minaret), one of the oldest of its kind in Central Asia, was built in 11 century and was originally 45 m tall, Balasagun was the birthplace (in about 1015) of the poet Jusup Balasagun, and was later, with Kashgar, on eof the capitals of the eastern Khanate when the Karakhanid state split (the western capital was Samarkand). Visit Ala-Too Square, Panfilov park, Historical Museum.

Day 19
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Hyatt Regency Breakfast
Morning excursion to Ala-Archa Nature park. The Kyrgyz National Nature park Ala-Archa is situated 52 km away from Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range at the height from 1600 m to 4860 m (Korona Peak), the total area of the Park is 19,5 thousand sq. km. The park abounds in wildlife, including eagles, ibex, Marco-Polo sheep, wolf, bear, lynx, boar and the rarely seen, often talked of - snow leopard. This afternoon, transfer to airport for departure flight

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


An 18 night exploration Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

This is a sample itinerary and may be customized accordingly.

About Us

For 25 years, Exeter International has established itself as the leading deluxe specialist operator to Central and Eastern Europe, Russia & Central Asia. We use our intimate regional knowledge and expertise to create unique, often limited access travel experiences. Our multi-national, multi-lingual specialists craft authentic insider experiences, created with imagination. When you book with Exeter International you can expect the top guides in each city pre-reserved weeks in advance, matched to your preferences. Our specialists have also been recognized by the Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure top agent list since their inception.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Advisor for more information.

Terms & Conditions

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The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Exeter International


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Highly recomended

By: KandeeB

Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2013

Exeter International was staffed with first class personnel from the drivers to the EXTRAORDINARY guides through out the trip. The vehicles used to transport us were luxurious. The hotels were commensurate with the level of quality expected by the cost and located in the most advantageous sites. Totally organized and stress free experience.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg
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Great high-end travel company

By: Not provided

Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2013

Does superb job for demanding high-end travel Customized travel with excellent guides and programs. You pay but you get what you pay for.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner
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Highly recommend

By: Jean

Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2013

Exeter was very well organised with very good guides and drivers. Our requests were responded to with professional speed. Some of our hotels could have been better. But we understand that they were the best available. We would have no hesitation using this agency again and recommending them to others.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale
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Pampered Travel

By: KandeeB

Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2013

Exeter provides luxury travel with all the hassles and worries removed. The quality of their drivers and guides is first rate. From the minute you arrive until your final departure you are in excellent hands. The itinerary is well thought out and provides many special visitations not offered to other tourists. I have heartily recommended Exeter to several people without any reservation.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg


By: Jean

Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2014

We have used Exeter on a prior trip and were equally happy with them this time. We did have a Russian Visa situation which could have been serious, but was resolved quickly.The guide spoke very good English and was knowledgable in history and art along with the local architecture. The driver was also very safe in a chaotic traffic system.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

highly recommend

By: BB

Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2014

Travel Advisor:  Rochelle Lieberman

Highly recommended

By: Mkt123

Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2014

We were connected with local English speaking guides and drivers that gave us an inside view of each country we traveled to. The experience was priceless.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Rhodes

Oustanding Guides

By: J & W

Reviewed on: 15 Oct 2014

All of the services provided by Exeter were truly outstanding. The hotel accommodations were excellent. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and well organized. The drivers were prompt and courteous. The suggestions for restaurants and additional things to do and see were very good. The printed booklet of helpful hints and language support was a nice bit of support for travelers who are visiting countries for the first time.
Travel Advisor:  Sara Krutsinger

Across the Russian Far East

By: Judee 544

Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2015

Everything was perfectly planned and resulted in a wonderfully exciting trip with all of our interests and needs taken into account. going on such an adventurous and challenging trip, so far away when one is no longer young could have been quite difficult, but instead was nothing but a fabulous experience. Wonderful guides and wonderful experiences on the Trans-Siberian Express and the cities of the Russian Far East, and a lovely hotel at the end in Moscow.
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Rubenstein

Excellent Russian Trip

By: Roger

Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2016

Exeter provided all of our guides and support for a 9 day family trip to Russia - very well informed, personable guides and smooth transportation. We were a bit hesitant to go to Russia but highly recommend - the trip of a lifetime !
Travel Advisor:  Tony Huffman
Not Recommended


By: TheGrapevine

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2017

Take out trip insurance - not going to bash - but you get the idea.....
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1st Class

By: Carlos Gavidia

Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2017

From the beginning to the end this organization really surprised me! From getting our travel visas for Moscow to every detail of the tour pick up transfers and tours through the city were perfectly executed
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale



Reviewed on: 14 May 2017

Exeter was excellent with tour logistics and great guide. Seamless trip.
Travel Advisor:  Britt Gerber

Great planning and service

By: WWII And Cold War History

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2017

Exeter planned an excellent two week trip for me and my three teenagers. We went to Poland, Germany and Amsterdam. We focused on WWII and Cold War history. The plan was thoughtful and well paced. When I had questions Exeter staff responded promptly. A very good experience.
Travel Advisor:  Josh Friedman

St. Petersburg Tour

By: B Snead

Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2017

Our driver and guide could not have been better. Polite and accommodating for the three days we were in St. Petersburg. We saw a lot of attractions, got some behind the scenes tours and were able to access some sights prior to the general public. I would use Exeter again without hesitation!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth


By: Hodges

Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2017

Exceeded all expectation. Super cost effective to compared to Oceania.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Germany & Russia

By: Oz

Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

I strongley reccomend Exeter for shore excursions. Their staff and vehicles were first class, and the value was tremendous. We never felt uncomfortable or worried about being back to the ship on time. True professionals.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great tour

By: mt

Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2017

Knowledgable, efficient and friendly tour operators!

Baltic Cruise

By: Roger

Reviewed on: 17 Sep 2017

Fantastic tour service. Their guides and drivers were outstanding. Guides all had an excellent knowledge of the city and the history. We are very pleased that Ralph recommended Exeter. When comparing notes with others that had used the tours supplied by the ship, we learned that we had seen and accomplished much more than they had. Our guides were able to make special arrangements that others could not. Will always use Exeter when it is available
Travel Advisor:  Ralph Iantosca

Great tour

By: Ann

Reviewed on: 26 Sep 2017

Everything was wonderful. Very nice guide and well informed about the places we visited.

Exeter International

By: Goodwitch

Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2017

All guides were great and expedited airport service was fantastic
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Smith

St Petersburg

By: Swan

Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2017

Absolutely fabulous
Travel Advisor:  Sherrie Coffey

Custom Guided Tour

By: JJ

Reviewed on: 18 Dec 2017

The tour guides and drivers were outstanding plus. They were very personable, always early, and their local knowledge was excellent. All of them were eager to please and all adapted to the changing crowd situation caused by weather, national holiday, or political meeting.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Well run independent travel to Russia

By: Susan and Murray Morrison

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2018

From getting visas for us to planning a private visit to Russia for us, Exeter International was top notch. No detail was overlooked. The guides that Exeter provided were outstanding, spoke fluent English, had a good grasp of Russian history and were willing to accommodate our every interest. The guides were truly experts about their cities: museums, palaces, and surroundings. In addition, the guides were friendly and helpful. Exeter ran a well organized, well thought-out tour of Russia for the two of us.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

Family time and fun

By: Jane

Reviewed on: 27 Jul 2018

My experience with Exeter was positive. The drivers were on time and very courteous. There was water in the cars for us. They had information to offer as we drove to destinations. They were accommodating to our schedules and were very helpful if we had questions. We missed walking around the interior of a famous church due to the day the tour was scheduled. There were services going on and we could not enter. Another tour was partly taken up by a long walking tour to get to a castle. I would have rather spent time inside the castle. We had to exit with the guide and missed a lot of interesting things. Too bad we were not allowed to stay inside on our own to see more.
Travel Advisor:  Stephanie Miller Murphy

less common places tour

By: ssunsfanatic

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2018

good tour to less visited places in Bergen. We had been to the more common tourist sites.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner

Central Europe

By: Tour of Central Europe and QM2 to NYC

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2018

Vienna, Prague, Krakow, Berlin, Hamburg. Wonderful hotels, wonderful guides, wonderful restaurants. Not one single mistake or hiccup. Exeter does an outstanding job.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg

St. Petersburg

By: SandStar

Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2018

We had a wonderful trip. Hotel was excellent. They were able to accommodate our special requests and schedule. We highly recommend the local guide, Anya, who was extremely knowledgeable about local and Russian history.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Zelisko

Exeter tour guides

By: smcknight

Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2018

We had basically positive experiences both days we toured with Exeter guides. The first day there was a little too much emphasis placed on taking us to "gift shops" and expecting us to buy tourist trinkets. The heat and the crowds may have been easier to bare if we had gone to the Hermitage in the early morning instead of wasting 45-50 minutes in a trinket shop. The second guide was very professional and led us seamlessly through Catherine's palace and the palaces on the canal in St. Petersburg.
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Meyer

Every detail was perfect!

By: Beth

Reviewed on: 31 Aug 2018

Exeter was a joy to work with. Our drivers and tour guides were helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable. I traveled with my 13-year-old daughter, and our tours were uniquely tailored to interest her. I had heard horror stories about obtaining Russian visas. Not for us! Exeter took care of everything, and quickly. I loved the custom packet that they sent me in advance of the trip. It listed our itinerary in detail, helpful phone numbers, restaurant recommendations, and travel tips that were specific for our destinations. I would enthusiastically recommend Exeter for travel planning.
Travel Advisor:  Andre Koester

St. Petersburg tour

By: Rocky Mountain Flier

Reviewed on: 31 Aug 2018

Becky recommended Exeter International for my party of four. We all agreed after two full days of touring with our guide and driver that we would not have wanted to see St. Petersburg any other way. Our guide was excellent and very informed and we liked the driver too. We were able to avoid the long lines and were admitted to areas of the palaces that other visitors would never have the opportunity to see. We invited her to join us for lunch on both days whereby we learned even more about St. Petersburg.
Travel Advisor:  Becky Sullivan

Exeter/Norwegian Tour

By: Lien

Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2018

Exeter (Jody Ricottone) coordinated my recent sole tour of Norway. This involved guides in three cities, hotels in those cities and in two fjordside locations, trains and ferry, rental car and other transfer arrangements. I was very pleased with everything, including that Jody paid close attention to what I wanted and was responsive to my requests. Her recommendations and examples of somewhat similar sole tours really assisted me in my planning. The entire trip went off without a scheduling hitch, and introduced me, as I had wished, to Norwegian sites and experiences I never would have seen or had without Jody's good work.
Travel Advisor:  Wanda Worsley

Russia St. Petersburg

By: Jay Johnson

Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2018

The guide and driver were both wonderful and full of knowledge and professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone. They also had great suggestions for lunch venues, during our stay in and about St. Petersburg.
Travel Advisor:  Jay Johnson

Russia Private Tour

By: Susan

Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2018

We engaged Exeter to provide a private tour in St Petersburg, Russia. Exeter was outstanding!! We had a guide, Anya Smirnova, and driver for 3 days and it was a fabulous experience. Anya spoke perfect English and was able to relate the sites we saw to Russian history and culture in a fascinating manner. We asked her many, many questions that she readily answered. Her knowledge was extensive. We had special entry to the exhibits, bypassing the long normal entry lines. We had the flexibility to see what was of interest to us, and the ability to visit sites that the ship tours did not include. For lunch we stopped at wonderful restaurants that served authentic Russian food at reasonable prices, which was far better food than on the ship. The day at Peterhof Palace, with the extravagant fountains and grotto, was especially memorable. Our experience with Exeter was outstanding and I would highly recommend them for future private tours.

Great Tour Group

By: Tommy

Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2018

We had a four day touring experience with Exeter in Prague and both my wife and myself could not be happier. Peter, our driver met us for the transfer from our ship to Prague right on time and throughout our tour. He was extremely professional and made sure we were where we needed to be and was always pleasant. We felt very comfortable while being driven. Lucie, our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable in all areas that we visited and made sure we got to see everything we were supposed to see and more. She worked things out while we were with her to ensure things went like clockwork and we were not disappointed. I can't say enough how using Exexter made our time in Prague a wonderful experience and I would not hesistate using them again.
Travel Advisor:  Ourisman Travel


By: Sharon

Reviewed on: 25 Oct 2018

The quality of the tours and the guides was great. Some of the guides were exceptional. The tours were informative and we enjoyed them very much.
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Smith

russian guides

By: Toni

Reviewed on: 29 Oct 2018

Exeter was all you could ask for. We were always met on time and the guides were terrific.
Travel Advisor:  Jamo Ladd