25 days in Central Asia Itinerary

25 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central Asia tour itinerary planner

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Route & dates

25 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fly:  18​h 45​min
1
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 3 nights
2
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 3 nights
3
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Fly:  1​h 15​min
4
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  3​h 15​min
5
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
— 3 nights
6
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
7
Saty, Kazakhstan
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
8
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 4 nights
Fly:  18​h
End: Johannesburg, South Africa

3
nights
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent ©
One of the largest and oldest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent combines layers of history and a bustling modern edge.
Bring the kids along to Tashkent Zoo and Lokomotiv Amusement Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tashkent: Charvak Reservoir (in Yusufhona) and Pulatkhan Plateau (in Chimgan). The adventure continues: admire the striking features of Khamid Alimdjan, make a trip to Independence Square (Mustakillik Square), get outside with Lake Charvak, and explore the world behind art at Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Tashkent route builder site .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Tashkent is an approximately 19-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Johannesburg to Tashkent is 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Samarkand.

Things to do in Tashkent

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Charvak Reservoir, Pulatkhan Plateau
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Pulatkhan Plateau ©
Pulatkhan Plateau
Charvak Reservoir ©
Charvak Reservoir
Lake Charvak ©
Lake Charvak

3
nights
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand ©
Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.
Samarkand is known for historic sites, childrens museums, shopping, museums, and baths. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the sky in a new way at Ulugh Beg Observatory, explore the ancient world of Afrasiab, explore the world behind art at Imam Bokhari Mausoleum, and explore the different monuments and memorials at Gur Emir Mausoleum.

To see ratings, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Samarkand journey builder .

You can fly from Tashkent to Samarkand in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In December in Samarkand, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and -1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel to Bukhara.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Registan ©
Registan
Ulugh Beg Observatory ©
Ulugh Beg Observatory
Shah-i-Zinda ©
Shah-i-Zinda

2
nights
Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara ©
Inhabited for millennia, the city of Bukhara boasts a World Heritage-listed center teeming with historic mosques, madrassas, pools, and ancient ruins.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): admire the striking features of Palace of Bukhara Emirs, steep yourself in history at Chasma Ayub Mausoleum, admire the landmark architecture of Ismail Samanid Mausoleum, then make a trip to Moschea Bolo-khauz, then don't miss a visit to Lyab-i-Hauz, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Chor-Minor. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the ancient world of Chor-Bakr necropolis, admire the striking features of Ulugbek Medressa, admire the striking features of Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, then take some stellar pictures from Great Minaret of the Kalon, then pause for some serene contemplation at Poi Kalyan Mosque, and finally take an in-depth tour of Palace of Moon-like Stars (Sitorai-Mokhi-Khosa).

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Bukhara online route planner .

You can take a train from Samarkand to Bukhara in 2.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. In December in Bukhara, expect temperatures between 9°C during the day and -1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Dushanbe.

Things to do in Bukhara

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Palace of Bukhara Emirs
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Great Minaret of the Kalon ©
Great Minaret of the Kalon
Lyab-i-Hauz ©
Lyab-i-Hauz
Ismail Samanid Mausoleum ©
Ismail Samanid Mausoleum

3
nights
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe ©
Little more than a small town at the turn of the 20th century, Dushanbe grew rapidly during the Soviet era and now serves as the national capital and home to nearly 800,000 people.
Go for a jaunt from Dushanbe to Tagob to see Ski Tourism Complex Safed Dara about 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: try out the rides at Delfin Aquapark, don't miss a visit to Stele with the Emblem of Tajikistan, take a memorable drive along Karatag Gorge, and stroll around Rudaki Park.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Dushanbe holiday app .

Traveling by flight from Bukhara to Dushanbe takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and car. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Bishkek.

Things to do in Dushanbe

Outdoors Parks Fun & Games

Side Trip

Ski Tourism Complex Safed Dara
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Delfin Aquapark ©
Delfin Aquapark
Karatag Gorge ©
Karatag Gorge
Rudaki Park ©
Rudaki Park

3
nights
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek ©
Wandering the grid-like, tree-lined streets of Bishkek, you'll discover the friendly atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and Soviet-era architecture of the country's political center.
Bishkek is known for nature, shopping, museums, historic sites, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Ala-Archa Gorge, don't miss a visit to Victory Square, contemplate the long history of Ala-Too Square, and hunt for treasures at Osh Bazaar.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Bishkek online tour itinerary builder .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Dushanbe to Bishkek takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Dushanbe to Bishkek is 1 hour. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Dushanbe in December: high temperatures in Bishkek hover around 4°C and lows are around -8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Karakol.

Things to do in Bishkek

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Ala-Archa Gorge ©
Ala-Archa Gorge
Kashka-Suu Ski Resort ©
Kashka-Suu Ski Resort
Osh Bazaar ©
Osh Bazaar

3
nights
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Karakol ©
Set in the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains, Karakol reigns as Kyrgyzstan's trekking and climbing hot spot, surrounded by snowy peaks and scenic natural attractions, including canyons, waterfalls, lakes, and hot spring resorts.
Karakol is known for nature, historic sites, museums, winter sports, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Issyk-Kul Lake, pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, make a trip to Dungan Mosque, and take in the natural beauty of Altyn Arashan.

Before you visit Karakol, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Getting from Bishkek to Karakol by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Saty.

Things to do in Karakol

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Issyk-Kul Lake ©
Issyk-Kul Lake
Altyn Arashan ©
Altyn Arashan
Ala Kul Lake ©
Ala Kul Lake

1
night
Saty, Kazakhstan

Saty ©
On the 31st (Tue), contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Kaindy and then contemplate the waterfront views at Kolsai Lake.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Saty vacation planner .

Getting from Karakol to Saty by car takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Almaty.

Things to do in Saty

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Kolsai Lake ©
Kolsai Lake
Lake Kaindy ©
Lake Kaindy

4
nights
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty ©
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
Family-friendly places like Almaty Central Park and Almaty Zoo will thrill your kids. Next up on the itinerary: take some stellar pictures from Kok-Tobe Hill, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ascension Cathedral, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa, and enjoy some diversion at Medeu Skating Rink and Ski resort.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Almaty trip planner.

You can drive from Saty to Almaty in 4.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Almaty can reach 2°C, while at night they dip to -7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Almaty

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kok-Tobe Hill ©
Kok-Tobe Hill
Big Almaty Lake ©
Big Almaty Lake
Medeu Skating Rink and Ski resort ©
Medeu Skating Rink and Ski resort