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Summary

Short description

Explore the fascinating countries of the Caspian Sea on this 16-day luxury rail journey aboard the Golden Eagle

In Brief

  • 1 Night Yerevan (Armenia)
  • 4 Nights Golden Eagle
  • 1 Night Baku
  • 1 Night Ashgabat
  • 7 Nights Golden Eagle
  • 1 Night Almaty (Kazakhstan)
  • 1 Night Golden Eagle

About

Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Natural world | Rail journey | Summer

This incredible adventure, aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle private train, takes you from Yerevan to Almaty, passing through Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, offering a unique insight into one of the most culturally diverse regions on earth.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Yerevan (Armenia)

Arrive at Yerevan Airport where you'll be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. This evening you'll join your fellow passengers for a welcome dinner and the chance to look forward to your 16-day journey across the South Caucasas and Central Asia.

Stay: Armenia Marriott Hotel (or similar)

Dinner included

Day 2
Yerevan (Armenia)

The Armenian city of Yerevan, set in the shadow of Mount Ararat, across the border in neighbouring Turkey, has a rich and varied history, dating back as far as 6,000 BC. Today's touring takes you 23 miles away from Yerevan to the ancient Geghard Monastery, a complex of medieval architecture set into the landscape and containing a number of churches and tombs, many of which have been carved from the surrounding rock of the Azat Valley. You'll also visit the pagan temple of Garni, built to worship the Sun God, Mitra. Explore the temple's ancient fortress, palace and baths before returning to Yerevan City where you'll visit the Casfejian Museum of Modern Art.

This evening you'll head to the station to board the Golden Eagle private train for the start of your rail journey to Almaty.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 3
Lake Sevan & Dilijan (Armenia)

Today the train winds its way through the scenic landscapes around Lake Sevan, one of the three great lakes of the old Armenian Kingdom, making a short stop for a walk to the beach and the chance to photograph the stunning scenery.

Continue to Dilijan where you'll visit the monastery of Haghpat, built between the 10th and 14th centuries. Its beautiful woodland location, set in the gorges of two small mountain rivers makes a beautiful and atmospheric backdrop for St Astvatsatsin Church, the monastery's most important building.

Tonight you'll enjoy a cognac reception at the Avan Dzoraget Hotel on the Debed River, set among the forested hills and rocky slopes of the Caucasus Mountains.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 4
Tbilisi (Georgia)

Arrive in Georgia and its capital Tbilisi, hemmed in by the Surami Range and extending 17 miles along the banks of the River Kura. Despite numerous wars and fires, the city's old town remains, for the most part, miraculously in tact and retains its original layout of narrow winding streets and alleyways.

Your guided tour of Tbilisi takes in the 13th century Metekhi church, the 5th century Sioni Cathedral, the recently built Holy Trinity Cathedral, and a walking tour of the historic old town, including Rustaveli Avenue, the Great Hall of the Georgian Philharmonia and the many treasures of the Janashia Museum of Georgia.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 5
Gori, Uplistsikhe Cave City & Mtskheta (Georgia)

This morning you'll explore Gori, one of the oldest cities in Georgia, dating back to the 7th century. It was also the birthplace of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1879 and the city's Stalin Museum offers a fascinating insight into the life of one of history's most ruthless leaders.

From Gori you'll head to the famous cave city of Uplistsikhe, which dates from the 6th century BC. Carved into a rocky plateau, you'll discover vast halls, narrow winding streets, chambers for pagan worship and even the remains of Georgia's oldest theatre.

Late in the afternoon you'll visit the city of Mtskheta, Georgia's oldest capital which, due to its historical importance and myriad of ancient monuments, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 6
Baku (Azerbaijan)

Arrive in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, located on the western shores of the Caspian Sea and the southern side of the Apsheron Peninsula. Spend today exploring the historical sites of Baku or, if you prefer, take a tour to Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, located 40 miles from Baku. Here you'll discover more than 6,000 pre-historic rock engravings and the remains of ancient inhabited caves, settlements and burial sites.

Tonight you'll stay at the five-star Hilton Baku while the train is taken to the ferry for the crossing to Turkmenistan.

Stay: Hilton Baku

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 7
Crossing the Caspian Sea (Turkmenistan)

This morning the train is loaded onto a cargo ferry for the journey across the Caspian Sea. For the more adventurous it is possible to travel on the ferry with the train, although the facilities and catering are basic (this option would need to be requested at the time of booking). Guests who take this option will then travel overnight by train from Turkmenbashi to Ashgabat, or, alternatively, you can fly directly from Baku to Ashgabat, where you'll spend the night at a hotel.

Stay: Oguzkent Sofitel, Ashgabat

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 8
Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)

Spend today exploring Ashgabat, a relatively modern city built on the ruins of the old Silk Road city of Konjikala. Throughout the day you'll see extravagant fountains, beautiful golden domed buildings and towering modern skyscrapers providing an interesting contrast against the desert backdrop. Your tour also includes a visit to the National Museum and Kipchak Mosque.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 9
Darvaza (Turkmenistan)

This morning the train makes a short stop at Ichoguz, where you'll have the option to make the short journey to Darvaza's famous burning gas crater, a 70-metre wide crater that's been burning for more than 40 years and is known by the locals as the 'Door to Hell'.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 10
Khiva (Uzbekistan)

Arrive in Urgench and transfer to the ancient city of Khiva. Founded 2,500 years ago, this city, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was one of the Silk Roads most important trading posts, lying at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia. Your tour today takes in the many sites of Khiva, including mosques, bazaars and minarets, all set within the city's ancient walls.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 11
Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

The spectacular ancient city of Bukhara is certain to provide one of the highlights of your journey. Like Khiva, the city was almost completely renovated by UNESCO during the late 1990s and offers the chance to totally immerse oneself in the unique history and atmosphere of one of Central Asia's most impressive sites. The main highlight of the day is a visit to the Ark, a fortified residence if the Emirs of Bukhara, the despotic leaders that rules the region until the Soviet era. You'll then travel to away from the city to experience the Emir's 'Palace of Moon and Stars'.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 12
Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

Samarkand is one of the Silk Road's most alluring and evocative destinations; city of breathtaking architecture dating back to between the 14th and 17th century, when the city flourished under the rule of the Mongol empire. Today you'll visit some of Samarkand's most significant sites, including Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Ulag Beg observatory. Return to Registan Square this evening to see it illuminated in all its theatrical glory, before returning to the Golden Eagle for dinner.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 13
Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Spend today exploring Tashkent, Uzbekistan's modern Soviet-style capital, which was rebuilt following a huge earthquake in 1966. Take a tour of the Old Town, where traditional homes and religious buildings line narrow streets, and visit a small library, which houses the world's oldest Koran, one of Islam's most sacred relics. Later, you'll visit the Railway Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts before enjoying a farewell dinner on board the train as you head towards Almaty, your final destination.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 14
Almaty (Kazakhstan)

Arrive in Almaty this morning and bid farewell to the Golden Eagle for the last time. Take a walking tour of Almaty, including a visit to the centrally located Panfilov Park, home to Zenkov Cathedral, a 19th century Russian Orthodox church made entirely of wood. Spend your last night at the Intercontinental Hotel in the heart of the city.

Stay: Intercontinental Hotel (or similar)

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 15
Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight, or perhaps extend your stay and further explore the city and its surrounds at your own pace.

Breakfast included

Day 16
Telavi (Georgia)

Today you'll explore the beautiful Kakheti region, bordering the Great Caucasus Mountain range and known as the birthplace of Georgian viticulture and wine making. Today's tour takes in the Tsinandali country estate of the Alexandre Chavchavadze family with its beautiful gardens, house-museum, park and winery dating back to the 19th century.

Stay: Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

16-day luxury rail journey from £17,495

Silver Class

2018

from £17,495 pp.

2019

from £17,495 pp.

Valid for travel:      21 Sep - 06 Oct 2018

                                    19 Sep - 04 Oct 2019

Package includes:
• 4 nights hotel accommodation as noted in the itinerary.
• 12 nights accommodation onboard the Golden Eagle as noted in the itinerary.
• All meals with wines at lunch and dinner except in Iran where soft drinks and non-alcoholic beer will be available.
• Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water throughout the day.
• Guided off-train sightseeing excursions.
• Arrival and departure transfers.
• The services of experienced tour leaders.
• All gratuities.
• The services of a doctor travelling with the group.

Please note: Flights are not included in above prices. Please speak to our tailor-made experts for flight options.


Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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