Kazakhstan: From The Silk Road to Sir Norman Foster
31 May — 14 Jun 2020 | Tour Director: Steve Mastin
• Trace the span of Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age carvings to futuristic city landmarks
• Explore Silk Road connections at the UNESCO site of Turkistan, home to a famous Timurid Imperial mausoleum
• Discover Kazakhstan’s remarkable landscape and geology, including the awe-inspiring ‘Valley of the Castles’ at Charyn Canyon
MA, PGCE, FHA
Steve studied history and classics before becoming a teacher and is Fellow of the Historical Association
Depart London Heathrow 1805 via Astana.
Arrive Alamty 0840. Transfer to Mercure Hotel Almaty City Centre, for two nights. Free time followed by afternoon orientation walking tour (including Gogol Street, site of Trotsky’s exile by Stalin). Welcome and introduction.
Morning lecture: The History of Kazakhstan. Visits in Almaty (Kazakhstan’s former capital): Ascension Cathedral, WWII Memorial, Museum of Musical Instruments (exterior), Geological Museum and Central Mosque.
Two day excursion from Almaty: Charyn Canyon National Park via Issyk Museum (site of the discovery of the ‘Golden Man’, whose remains are now displayed in Astana), town and lake. Overnight in Charyn Canyon.
Morning talk: The Geology and Landscape of Kazakhstan. Free time to explore the canyon. Return to the Mercure Hotel Almaty City Centre, Almaty, for three nights.
Morning lecture: Apples & Tulips are from Kazakhstan. Further visits in Almaty: Green Bazaar, Museum of Arts and Republic Square.
Whole day excursion to UNESCO site of Tamgaly, archaeological landscape in the Chu-Ili Mountains, site of 5000 Bronze Age petroglyphs.
Morning visit to the Apple Monument. Transfer by air to Shymkent and continue to the Rixos Hotel, Shymkent, for overnight.
Transfer to UNESCO World Heritage site of Turkistan, via Otrar archaeological site (ancient Silk Road city, now in ruins) and Arystan Bab Mausoleum. Overnight at Hotel Khanaka, Turkistan.
Morning visit to the Silk Road site of Sauran (one of the biggest desert fortresses in the world). Afternoon exploring the UNESCO site of Turkistan, including the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, erected by Timur. Return to Shymkent for overnight at Rixos Hotel.
Transfer by air to Astana and continue to Hilton Garden Inn for four nights. Cruise through central Astana (Kazakhstan’s modern capital, now known as Nur-Sultan in honour of its former president) followed by walking tour of the old city. Evening lecture: Kazakhstan in the Soviet Era.
Cultural visits in Astana including National Museum of Kazakhstan (extensive new museum complex with spaces dedicated to history, ethnography, art and more), Independence Square, Hazrat Sultan Mosque and Palace of Peace & Reconciliation (famous pyramid shape, designed by Sir Norman Foster).
Morning visits in Astana: Bayterek Tower (incredible views over Astana), opera house (exterior), Ethno-Memorial complex and park. Afternoon excursion to ALZHIR Memorial Museum.
Morning: Expo 2017 and Silk Way Mall. Afternoon: Nazarbayev Centre and Assumption Cathedral. Evening lecture: The Modern Age of Kazakhstan.
Morning visit to Khan Shatyr, the enormous entertainment centre designed by Sir Norman Foster. Depart Astana 1440, arriving Heathrow 1650.
31 May — 14 Jun 2020
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Please note this tour will involve a significant amount of walking, frequently over uneven ground, particularly at Tamgaly and Charyn Canyon. Many of Kazakhstan’s most important sites are spread out from one another and participants should expect some long overland journeys by coach in addition to two internal flights. Some visits will involve heights, including the Bayterek Tower in Astana.
ACCOMMODATION AT CHARYN CANYON
Our visit to Charyn Canyon has been designed to make the most of this stunning natural site, allowing our explorations there to be taken at a relaxed pace. Overnight accommodation will be very simple, within the canyon itself, in a series of shared bungalows with shared but modern facilities. There is also a restaurant on site. We recommend you speak to a member of our Sales team for more information about this property ahead of booking.
For customers who wish to make their own travel arrangements, ACE are pleased to be able to offer a flight reduction of:
Cost of £3545 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, ten lunches (three packed), thirteen dinners with water & tea, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £365.