www.peregrineadventures.co.uk Crossing the desert valleys and peaks of the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains, the high rugged roads of the historic Silk Road, and following the spectacular Irkeshtam Pass before arrving in Kashgar, Peregrine Adventures offer an 18-day Turkestan adventure departing Tashkent 28th June 2007.
Once the centre of mighty empires, TurkestanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great Khans controlled the citadels of Khiva, Bukhara, Kokand and Kashgar as Silk Road caravans scaled the mountain passes to ply their trade in the Kashgar baazars.
After arriving in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, two nights are spent exploring the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s architectural and cultural delights, including Amir Timur Square, Barak Khan Madrassah, Kukeldash Madrassah and the Chorsu Bazaar.
Then there is a flight to Urgench, followed by a road trip to the city of Khiva, according to legend, dating back to the time of Shem, son of Noah.
This is followed by an 80km journey to Ayaz Kala, visiting relics of the Khorezm towns that existed here in the Amu-Darya Delta 2000 years ago. The night is spent under the stars in traditional Central Asian yurts.
The journey continues via UNESCO World Heritage site and Central AsiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s holiest city, Bukhara, through the Kyzyl-Kum (meaning 'red sands') desert.
With numerous preserved monuments, Bukhara has a vast span of history to uncover and the meticulous restoration of many of the mosaic and majolica decorations give a true sense of how these buildings looked in their original glory.
The evening can be spent wandering the areas around the Lyab-i-House Pool, a central gathering place, and enjoying a traditional chaikhana (tea-house) style dinner.
Next is Samarkand, a city that evokes the romance of the Silk Road, stopping en route to visit Bronze Age petroglyphs at Sarmysh Gorge, before arriving at the ancient town of Nurata, founded in the 3rd Century BC by Alexander the Great.
The trip ends with Pamir-Altay range, climbing to the crossroads of Tadjikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China at Sary Tash. The afternoon is free for trekking, with excellent walks from the campground base before crossing the border and continuing along the rugged and challenging Irkeshtam Pass. The adventure ends by following the spectacular Karakoram Highway (1,289m) to Kashgar, once occupied by Genghis Khan in 1219.