Best Time to Visit Central Asia

Updated: 11th May 2020

Seasons and Weather

Stretching from Turkey to China, Central Asia is a vast area that’s historically linked to the ancient Silk Road. While there are slight variations from country to country, this region is generally characterized by a dry climate with extreme fluctuations between roasting summers and freezing winters.

The best time to visit Central Asia is from late April to May and late August to September. Much of the region is mountainous and during these months you can go hiking and avoid the winter snowfall or sightsee at lower elevations and avoid the fierce summer heat.

To help you plan your visit, here’s a closer look at what the seasons have to offer.

Jeti-Oguz seven bulls rocks, Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan
Winter melting away at Jeti-Ögüz Rocks

Winter in Central Asia:

Lasting from November to March, winter is also the low season in Central Asia. Whether you’re in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan or the deserts of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, you can expect freezing temperatures. Snowfall often restricts travel, with some roads, trails and passes closed in high-elevation areas.

Generally, this season isn’t recommended for travelling Central Asia. However, if you’re looking to hit the slopes, you’ll find the ski season in Georgia in full swing and you’ll need to book your ski lodge in advance.

Traditional pasture in the high mountains
High mountain views during Springtime

Spring in Central Asia:

Springtime in Central Asia lasts from late April to June. There’s a greater chance of rain in April, but this season generally sees mild temperatures which makes it the ideal time to visit.

You can enjoy comfortable sightseeing in Silk Road cities such as Samarkand in Uzbekistan. If you’re looking to go hiking in more mountainous countries such as Armenia, spring also brings flowers into bloom across the landscape.

Shores of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan
The shores of Lake Issyk-Kul are idyllic during summer

Summer in Central Asia:

The summer months of July and August bring sizzling hot temperatures to lowland regions, especially in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan. But if you’re looking to travel in this season, there are still several options.

For those keen to trek, now is the prime season to head into the cooler mountains of Kyrgyzstan or the Caucasus mountains of Georgia and Azerbaijan. It’s also the perfect time to hit the beach-like shores of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan or perhaps head to Lake Sevan in Armenia for sunbathing and watersports.

Sher-Dor Madrasah in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
The beautiful Sher-Dor Madrasah in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Autumn in Central Asia:

The autumn months of September and October are considered a great time to visit Central Asia. Similarly to spring, you can expect mild temperatures ideal for cultural sightseeing or heading into the mountains.

Markets and bazaars are overflowing with fruit and vegetables and it’s also the time of the wine harvest in Georgia. However, as countries such as Tajikistan can see snowfall from October, you’ll want to look at individual weather patterns to see exactly when the winter chill will arrive in the destinations you wish to visit.

Central Asia Trip Styles