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The Marco Polo

Departing: Istanbul, Turkey - 25 days
Countries visited: Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan & China

Follow in the footsteps of the grandfather of wanderlust! Traverse deserts and mountains, of the ancient Silk Road; Discover the jewels of ancient Persia, the carpets of Uzbekistan and the dumplings of China on this journey well off the beaten track.




Day 1. Istanbul - Meet your new friends and perhaps relax in a hamam before your adventure begins.
Day 2. Istanbul - Don't miss Topkapi Palace the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire!
Day 3. Farewell Turkey - Last minute wanderings before our bus to Tehran. (Should the train line reopen this sector will be by rail)
Day 4. Arrive into Tehran late this evening.
Day 5. Plunge into the dynamic culture and fast pace of Iran's modern capital. 
Day 6. Set off on your journey to Isfahan.
Day 7. Isfahan - Discover the mosaic clad jewel of ancient Persia. 
Day 8. Isfahan and afternoon departure for Mashhad.
Day 9. Morning arrival in Mashhad - Don't miss the spectacular shrine of Imam Reza.
Day 10. Cross the Kopet Dag mountains into Turkmenistan and explore Ashgabat.
Day 11. Ashgabat - Discover this city of white marble before an overnight train to Turkmenabat.
Day 12. Arrive in Turkmenabat and transfer to Bukhara in Uzbekistan.
Day 13. Bukhara - Relax by the leafy ponds and watch centuries of life unfold.
Day 14. Morning transfer to Samarkand - Witness the amazing Registan!
Day 15. Samarkand  - Home to breathtaking monuments and glittering minarets, all for you to explore.
Day 16. Morning in Samarkand and afternoon in Tashkent.
Day 17. Tashkent - Head to the Chorsu Bazaar before departing for Almaty by train.
Day 18. Almaty - Welcome to Kazakhstan!
Day 19. Almaty - Stroll the leafy streets this cosmopolitan city.
Day 20. Almaty and depart for Urumqi late in the evening.
Day 21. Train to Urumqi - Pass through the fabled Dzungarian gate, an ancient Silk Road trade route.
Day 22. Morning arrival in Urumqi - the city that lies furthest from the ocean in the world!
Day 23. Depart for Beijing.
Day 24. Arrive in Beijing - Pick up some tasty morsels at the Dong Hua Men Night Market.
Day 25. Beijing - Your epic Silk Road journey concludes! 



Visa support for pre-booked services

Services of Vodkatrain; Honchos in Istanbul,Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Ashgabat, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Almaty, Urumqi and Beijing.  

Accommodation on a share basis (twin/triple or dorm rooms, private facilities not guaranteed):
Trains - 6 nights (shared)
Bus - 1 night
Guesthouses/ Hotels - 13 nights (twin share)
Hostels - 4 nights (shared)

4-berth train tickets between:
- Isfahan to Mashhad (1 night)
- Ashgabat to Turkmenabat (1 night)
- Tashkent to Almaty (1 night)
- Almaty to Urumqi (2 nights)
- Urumqi to Beijing (1 night)

Sitting Class Rail between;
- Samarkand to Tashkent

All departure and arrival transfers en-route, once you have joined the group. 

Please Note: Your arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included, however just let our Travel Advisors know if you would like to pre-arrange these transfers...  

Extra Stuff! 
Linger a little longer. Pre and Post tour accommodation including visa support… stay as long as you like.

Want to spend more time in Turkey? 
Why not hook you up with our friends at Busabout for their Sail Turkey Adventure?

Get me to the airport on time!
Take the hassle out of arriving and departing… arrange a transfer.

Rail Packs: Travel longer, travel further!
Explore China and Vietnam at your own pace with a collection of the best rail tickets, pre-booked for your travel pleasure.