Desert yurt | Uzbekistan
FROM: R71,900 pp

Discover the highlights of the Caucasus and Central Asia on this 34-day overland group adventure from Tbilisi to Tashkent. Explore the impressive Vardzia cave city in Georgia, discover ancient Yerevan in Armenia and stay in a Silk Road caravanserai in Azerbaijan. Cross the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan and explore the bizarre capital of Ashgabat then visit the Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, enjoying a night in a traditional yurt in the desert.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Tbilisi - explore the charming old town in Georgia's capital including the Sioni Cathedral and Metekhi Temple
Stepantsminda - hike in the rolling hills to the tiny Tsminda Sameba Church which is surrounded by the towering Caucasus Mountains
Baku - see the bubbling mud volcanoes and petroglyphs at Gobustan and enjoy free time in Azerbaijan's capital which is a mind-boggling contrast of old and new
Darvaza - marvel at the flaming gas crater which is known by the Turkmen locals as the "Door to Hell"
Samarkand - discover the jewel of Timur's empire and see highlights including the stunning Registan
Vardzia - admire the breathtaking cave city which was mostly abandoned in the 16th century but is still inhabited by a handful of monks
Sheki - spend the night in an ancient Silk Road caravanserai where weary merchants used to rest and resupply their caravans
Ashgabat - enjoy a guided minibus tour of Turkmenistan's bizarre capital city which is home to marble architecture and golden statues
Kyzylkhum Desert - stay in traditional felt yurts in the remote desert and opt for a camel ride over the rolling dunes
Tashkent - end your adventure in Uzbekistan's clean and modern Soviet-Style capital city


22 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 11 dinners
6 nights camping (including 3 nights wild camping & 3 nights camping without facilities)
1 overnight ferry from Baku - Turkmenbashi
Transportation in an overland expedition vehicle
Sightseeing as per itinerary
Visits to the Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery & Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia
Visit to Gobustan to see the petroglyphs and mud volcanoes
Guided tour of Khiva, Bukhara & Samarkand in Uzbekistan
25 nights in hotels / guesthouses
1 night camping in a traditional yurt
All necessary camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags)
Services of two crew (drivers/tour leaders) and local guides along the way
Tour of Tbilisi, Vardzia Caves and Telavi wine tasting in Georgia
A stay in the ancient Sheki caravanserai in Azerbaijan
Guided tour of Ashgabat and visit to the Darvaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan

Not Included

International flights and visas
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Local Payment: $1460pp, paid in USD
Items of a personal nature, additional meals and drinks
Sleeping bag and roll mat - please bring your own for camping


Day 1


Welcome to Georgia! On arrival in Tbilisi you can make your way to our start hotel and there’s a pre-departure Welcome Meeting at 18:00. The evening is then free for you to explore Georgia’s charming capital at leisure.
Overnight: Tbilisi

Day 2

Exploring Tbilisi

Today we take in the main sites of Tbilisi’s delightful and historic Old Town, visiting the fascinating National Museum, the Sioni Cathedral and Metekhi Temple, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the Mtkvari River. Optional activities later today include a trip to the Museum of Soviet Occupation, and you can walk up to the ancient Narikala Fortress for free to take in the incredible views of the city below.
Overnight: Tbilisi   |  Breakfast

Day 3

Dilijan National Park & Lake Sevan

Tbilisi - Lake Sevan (Armenia). Climb aboard our overland expedition truck for the first time today as we say goodbye to Tbilisi and head into neighbouring Armenia. After the border crossing, we’ll drive through the picturesque scenery of Dilijan National Park and may choose to camp somewhere in the park. Alternatively, we’ll continue to shimmering Lake Sevan, home to landlocked Armenia’s only beaches. We’ll camp near the shore of the lake.
Overnight: Dilijan NP / Lake Sevan  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 4-5


Lake Sevan - Yerevan. We set off this morning for the ancient city of Yerevan, one of the oldest continuously inhabited human settlements in the world. En route we’ll pay a visit to the impressive UNESCO-listed Geghard Monastery, which was carved from the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. Stop at the Graeco-Roman Garni Temple before finally arriving in Yerevan, where there’s free time to explore and an optional visit to the Ararat Brandy Museum during our stay.
Overnight: Yerevan

Day 6

Khor Virap Monastery & the Armenian Highlands

Yerevan - Armenian Highlands. Today we leave Yerevan and head into the remote Armenian Highlands. There’s a stop near the Turkish border at the Khor Virap Monastery, an important pilgrimage site in the shadow of towering Mt Ararat. On a clear day you’ll have fantastic views of this snow-capped peak. Tonight, we wild camp in the scenic Armenian Highlands.
Overnight: Armenian Highlands  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7


Armenian Highlands - Vardzia (Georgia). Today we cross back into Georgia and drive to the incredible Vardzia Caves. This subterranean city was built to protect medieval Georgians from invading Mongol hordes. Though mostly abandoned in the 16th century, the monastery in the well-preserved complex is still inhabited by a handful of dedicated monks and you'll be able to hear the bells ringing at 07:00.

We explore the caves either today or tomorrow morning and enjoy a night of wild camping close by.
Overnight: Vardzia  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Borjomi National Park & Mtskheta

Vardzia - Mtskheta. We explore the incredible Vardzia Caves if there wasn’t time yesterday, then make our way to Borjomi National Park. There’s time for a hike in the forest and you may wish to ride the cable car up the mountain. We then complete our journey to Mtskheta where we’ll discover the pretty Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.
Overnight: Mtskheta   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Stunning Stepantsminda

Mtskheta - Stepantsminda. Today we drive to Stepantsminda, a town surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. During our stay in the town we’ll trek up to the tiny Tsminda Sameba Church, which is nestled in the hilly scenery. There’s also an optional Georgian cooking lesson where you can create delicious kinkhalis - Georgian meatballs.
Overnight: Stepantsminda   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 10-11

Telavi & wine tasting

Stepantsminda - Telavi. We journey to the wine-making region of Telavi on day 10 and spend the next two days exploring the area. Nearly every village in the region grows its own variety of grape and we’ll visit some local vineyards to watch aspects of the wine production process in action, including grape harvesting. On day 11 we enjoy lunch and wine tasting at a local winery, where we’ll experience some traditional Georgian hospitality.
Overnight: Telavi   |  Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 12

Gremi Citadel & Lagodekhi National Park

Telavi - Lagodekhi NP. Today we visit the ancient Gremi Citadel and journey into Lagodekhi National Park. Tonight, we’ll wild camp in the park, close to the border with Azerbaijan. Opt for a stroll through the park from our camping spot.
Overnight: Lagodekhi NP  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Sheki & caravanserai stay

Lagodekhi NP - Sheki (Azerbaijan). Say goodbye to Georgia today as we cross into the resource-rich country of Azerbaijan. We’ll drive to Sheki and visit the beautiful Khan’s Palace before arriving at our accommodation for the night. There’s a real treat in store as we stay in a hotel built inside an old Silk Road caravanserai, where weary merchants used to stop for a rest and to resupply their caravans.
Overnight: Sheki (Caravanserai)

Day 14


Sheki - Lahij. Today we drive into the mountains to visit the small village of Lahij, which is known for its coppersmiths and arms production. We stay at a campsite with facilities close to the village tonight.
Overnight: Lahij  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 15-16

Gobustan & Baku

Lahij - Baku. On day 15 we visit Gobustan to see the ancient petroglyphs and bubbling mud volcanoes that the region is known for. Later we’ll arrive in bustling Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The city is a wonderful contrast, with ancient sites such as the Maiden Tower and the glistening skyscrapers that are a symbol of Azerbaijan’s growing prosperity, largely generated from oil.

At some point in the next couple of days we’ll take the ferry across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. However, the ferry timetable is notoriously unpredictable so our itinerary will have to be extremely flexible over the next few days. Please see the trip notes for more details. In the meantime, relax in vibrant Baku and explore as you please. We may be joined by new travellers for the next leg of our journey.
Overnight: Baku

Day 17

Caspian Sea ferry crossing

Baku - Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan). Today we will hopefully be able to board the overnight ferry bound for Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. The ferry crossing is a fantastic and authentic experience but please don’t expect too much luxury! The crossing is an overnight journey but please note that there will generally only be seats available for the overnight crossing.
Overnight: Caspian Sea ferry

Day 18


Today the ferry will hopefully dock in Turkmenbashi. Depending on timings we'll either stay at a local hotel in Turkmenbashi or begin our drive towards Ashgabat, finding a suitable spot to wild camp.

Please note: Due to the unpredictability of the ferry, please get your Turkmenistan visa issued with at least two 'flexible' days before the entry date given on the tour.
Overnight: Turkmenbashi OR wild camping

Days 19-20

Amazing Ashgabat

Turkmenbashi - Ashgabat. Day 19 is a travel day as we drive to Turkmenistan’s capital city, Ashgabat. Ashgabat is like nowhere else on the globe with its bizarre marble architecture, plethora of golden statues and unique attractions including the world’s largest indoor Ferris Wheel. On day 20 we enjoy a guided minibus tour of the city. New travellers may join us in Ashgabat for the next leg of our journey into Uzbekistan.
Overnight: Ashgabat   |  Breakfast x 2

Day 21

The flaming Darvaza Gas Crater

Ashgabat - Darvaza. Driving north from Ashgabat, we head into the wild Karakum Desert and stop to admire the incredible Darvaza Gas Crater, known by the locals as the “Door to Hell”. These never-ending fires in the middle of the desert were created in 1971 when Soviet oil drillers accidentally caused the ground to collapse and gas to be released. They tried setting fire to the gas to burn it all off and it has been burning away ever since. After we’ve admired this unusual site we’ll find a spot to camp near the crater.
Overnight: Darvaza  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22

Kunye Urgench

Darvaza - Kunye Urgench. Our drive across the Karakum Desert continues today and we stop to visit the ruined Silk Road city of Kunye Urgench, which was spared by Genghis Khan during his ruthless invasion. Highlights of the well-preserved settlement include the towering Kutlug-Timur Minaret, which is the highest minaret in Central Asia. Tonight, we camp in the desert close to the city.
Overnight: Kunye Urgench  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Days 23-24


Kunye Urgench - Khiva (Uzbekistan). On day 23 we browse the market in the border town of Dashoguz before crossing into Uzbekistan. We then journey to the ancient city of Khiva, enjoying a guided tour the next day. Take in the well-preserved city walls and other highlights including the giant Kalta Minor Minaret, the blue palace of Tash Khovli and the incredible Juma Mosque. Afterwards, there's free time to explore at leisure.
Overnight: Khiva   |  Breakfast x 2

Days 25-27

Historic Bukhara

Khiva - Bukhara. Day 25 sees us embark on a long drive to the beautiful ancient city of Bukhara. There’s a guided tour on day 26 which takes in the Kalon Mosque, Ark Fortress and the Ismail Samani Mausoleum. We also see the giant Kalyan Minaret, which earned the nickname of "Death Tower" due to its historic use as a place of execution.

On day 27 you have plenty of free time to explore and there’s an optional excursion to the gruesome Zindon Prison, which was once notorious for the Bug Pit - prisoners were held here and lice, rats and scorpions were emptied onto their heads.
Overnight: Bukhara

Day 28

Nurata & Kyzylkhum Desert camp

Bukhara - Kyzylkhum Desert (Nurata). Today we venture into the wild Kyzylkhum Desert. There’s an optional camel ride over the rolling sand dunes and we spend the night in a traditional yurt tent near the town of Nurata.
Overnight: Nurata  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 29

Nurata Hills & Samarkand

Kyzylkhum Desert (Nurata) - Samarkand. This morning there’s time to hike in the Nurata Hills and take a dip in Lake Ajdar Kul if you wish. After lunch we drive to the Silk Road city of Samarkand, our home for the next three nights.
Overnight: Samarkand   |  Breakfast

Days 30-31

Discover Samarkand

On day 30 we enjoy a tour of the characterful Silk Road city of Samarkand. Visit sites including the beautiful Registan Square, Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque. The mosque was once the jewel in the empire of Timur, the famous warlord who was born in Samarkand. Optional activities on day 31 include a visit to the nearby city of Shakhrisabz.
Overnight: Samarkand  |  Breakfast x 2

Days 32-33


Samarkand - Tashkent. Spend the morning of day 32 at leisure in Samarkand before we drive to the clean and modern Soviet style city of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The rest of today and tomorrow is free to explore or join optional activities. Perhaps visit the Hast Imam Square to see the world’s oldest copy of the Koran.
Overnight: Tashkent   |  Breakfast x 2

Day 34


Today our tour comes to an end - please get in touch with our sales team if you'd like to book any extra nights accommodation in Tashkent.

Is Overlanding Right For Me?

Overlanding is not a style of travel that will suit everyone so please carefully read the Trip Notes before selecting this tour and be realistic about your ability and desire to join such a trip. If you’re the adventurous type who’d rather spend a night wild camping in the wilderness than luxuriating in a boutique hotel, then overlanding is for you. You just need the right attitude, an open mind, and a desire to participate fully in the trip.

Overland travelling can be demanding and challenging. On your trip you’ll travel in a purpose-built expedition vehicle on an off-the-beaten-track adventure along rugged roads, sometimes across vast distances and at high altitude. You will find the drive times noted on the Trip Notes.

On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger, these are full participation trips and everyone gets involved and pitches in! You will also be expected to erect your own tent and help with camp chores including cooking meals for the group on a rota basis. Like all great adventures, the more you put in the more you'll get out!

The type, variety and standard of accommodation can vary greatly from very basic rooms without electricity or running water to comfortable hotels with good facilities. Generally in hotels most rooms will be twin-share, but some may be triple/quad-share. Hostels and yurts are nearly always multi-share and may be mixed sex.

The campsites we use range from basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and a bar. On occasions we wild camp with no facilities, which means there are no toilets - just the vast expanse of the great outdoors and a shovel!

Our overland journeys are designed to offer freedom, and many of our routes have a large degree of flexibility rather than a strict hour-by-hour or even day-by-day itinerary. We intend to follow the planned route but exact night stops and inclusions cannot be guaranteed and it sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our planned itinerary.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling.

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Local payment - $1460pp, paid in USD

Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.

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In Brief

Trip Type
Tbilisi, Georgia
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
March to July
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 22
Hotel Rating
Simple hotels, guesthouses & camping
Local Payment
$1460pp, paid in USD
Tour Guide
Escorted by a tour leader
Breakfast: 22, Lunch: 8, Dinner: 11
OTG002229Tbilisi To Tashkent Overlander - 34 DaysCentral AsiaEssentials71900 ZARfalse0Georgia