Central Asian Explorer

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 89 days
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • age requirement 18+ years old
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Explore the amazing sights of Istanbul
  • Guided tour of Ancient Troy
  • Visit the Gallipoli Peninsular and the battlefields
  • Ancient ruins of Ephesus
Starting in Istanbul and ending in Xi'an, the Central Asian Explorer trip is a guided explorer tour that takes 89 days. You will visit Egirdir, Xiahe, Stepantsminda and 51 other destinations in 8 different countries. Central Asian Explorer is a group trip which will include accommodation, transport, meals and others. See below for further details.

Overlanding started along the Silk Route back in the 60s, the famed Hippy Trail. Our route takes us along the northern Silk Route, across the heart of Central Asia. From the legendary city of Istanbul crossing the wild mountains and lush valleys of the Caucasus, through Georgia and Azerbaijan; both countries renowned for their food, home stays and hospitality. The Caspian Sea is the divide between true Central Asia, the deserts and nomads of Turkmenistan and the infamous city of Ashgabat. In the north of the Karakum deserts, lies the country's most bizarre attraction, the Darvaza Crater. Crossing the Oxus River is the heart of the route, Uzbekistan's fabulous cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. Towering above the deserts are the Tian Shan Mountains and the lands of Kyrgyzstan; home to shepherds and horseman; this is our opportunity to really get to grips with the local life. Crossing the Torugart Pass, the lands of Western China open up at Kashgar; ahead lies the vast bowl of the Taklimakan Desert and then it's onto the edge of the Tibet Plateau and the Tibetan town of Xi'ahe. But no trip to China can be complete without a visit to the seminal city of Xi'an, home of the terracotta army.
5 - Excellent
Based on 1020 reviews
Madelaine's review for another Dragoman tour
5 - Excellent
  • Madelaine
  • On Jun 04 2015
“The gudie taking us over the altiplano was really infomative!”
Sarah's review for another Dragoman tour
4 - Very Good
  • Sarah
  • On Mar 22 2018
“Well looked after by professional crew. There were a lot of extremely long driving days just getting from
A-B. Once the roads improve the travel time will reduce - to visit all those places (with probably little places in between to visit) this is unavoidable The best times were when we had activities morning and afternoon with some time to relax in the middle (like at South Lwanga NP and canoeing the Zambezi”
Kirsten's review for another Dragoman tour
5 - Excellent
  • Kirsten
  • On Jan 22 2018
“Pre departure support was excellent. Really appreciated the visa support and assistance at Khartoum airport.”
Select Tour Version:
  • Day 1: Xi'an
  • Day 2: Xi'an
  • Day 3: Pingliang
  • Day 4: Pingliang
  • Day 5: Xiahe
  • Day 6: Xiahe
  • Day 7: Xiahe
  • Day 8: Liujiaxia
  • Day 9: Zhangye
  • Day 10: Jiayuguan
  • Day 11: Dunhuang
  • Day 12: Dunhuang
  • Day 13: Turpan
  • Day 14: Turpan
  • Day 15: Urumqi
  • Day 16: Urumqi
  • Day 17: Korle
  • Day 18: Aksu
  • Day 19: Kashgar
  • Day 20: Kashgar
  • Day 21: Kashgar
  • Day 22: Kashgar
  • Day 23: Tash Rabat
  • Day 24: Tash Rabat
  • Day 25: Kochkor
  • Day 26: Bishkek
  • Day 27: Bishkek
  • Day 28: Chong Kemin Valley
  • Day 29: Chong Kemin Valley
  • Day 30: Karakol
  • Day 31: Jeti-Oguz Valley
  • Day 32: Jeti-Oguz Valley
  • Day 33: Kochkor
  • Day 34: Son-Kol Lake
  • Day 35: Son-Kol Lake
  • Day 36: Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
  • Day 37: Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
  • Day 38: Arslanbob
  • Day 39: Arslanbob
  • Day 40: Fergana Valley
  • Day 41: Tashkent
  • Day 42: Tashkent
  • Day 43: Samarkand
  • Day 44: Samarkand
  • Day 45: Samarkand
  • Day 46: Kyzylkhum Desert
  • Day 47: Bukhara
  • Day 48: Bukhara
  • Day 49: Bukhara
  • Day 50: Khiva
  • Day 51: Khiva
  • Day 52: Kunye Urgench
  • Day 53: Darvaza
  • Day 54: Ashgabat
  • Day 55: Ashgabat
  • Day 56: Turkmenbashi
  • Day 57: Caspian Sea
  • Day 58: Baku
  • Day 59: Baku
  • Day 60: Baku
  • Day 61: Baku
  • Day 62: Lahij Village
  • Day 63: Sheki
  • Day 64: Lagodekhi
  • Day 65: Telavi
  • Day 66: Telavi
  • Day 67: Stepantsminda
  • Day 68: Mtskheta
  • Day 69: Borjomi-Kharagauli NP
  • Day 70: Armenian Highlands
  • Day 71: Yerevan
  • Day 72: Yerevan
  • Day 73: Lake Sevan
  • Day 74: Tbilisi
  • Day 75: Kutaisi
  • Day 76: Batumi
  • Day 77: Sumela
  • Day 78: Zara
  • Day 79: Goreme
  • Day 80: Goreme
  • Day 81: Egirdir
  • Day 82: Olympos
  • Day 83: Olympos
  • Day 84: Pamukkale
  • Day 85: Selcuk
  • Day 86: Selcuk
  • Day 87: Gallipoli
  • Day 88: Istanbul
  • Day 89: Istanbul
WHAT'S INCLUDED Download PDF Brochure
  • 104 Breakfasts
  • 38 Lunches
  • 62 Dinners
  • Overland Expedition Vehicle, Local Bus, Boat, Jeep, Russian Bus, Overnight Boat, Private Bus
  • Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary, One Local Crew Member, Local Crew Member in certain areas
  • Any international flights to Istanbul and from Xi'an are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Central Asian Explorer tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
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No additional cancellation fees apply for this Central Asian Explorer tour. You can cancel the tour up to 61 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 60 days of departure.


A deposit may be required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 60 days before departure.

Travel Insurance

Central Asian Explorer tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Central Asian Explorer tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Local Payment The local payment is a group fund, paid separately from the trip price on the first day of the tour. It covers everything that the group does together on the ground. This is primarily hotel accommodation and campsite fees, meals whilst camping (but not while eating in restaurants), and included activities and puts money directly back to the local community. The local payment, or kitty system, is unique to overlanding tours and provides maximum flexibility and best value on the road - you can see exactly what is being paid for, you get everything at cost price, it keeps costs competitive by leveraging group expenses and saves on administrative costs. The fund is run by the tour guide, and any excess left over at the end is returned equally to the group. Local prices are estimated in USD when we print the brochure then reviewed monthly as local costs and exchange rates vary throughout the year. It's therefore important once you book your trip to check the website regularly and just before departure for any changes to the amount.

If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.