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Following Tracks of the Silk Road & Iran

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • Tehran
  • Golden Eagle Train
  • Shiraz
  • Isfahan
  • Yazd
  • Ashgabat
  • Samarkand
  • Moscow

20 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 13 Oct 2019

Travel on the Golden Eagle train from Iran to Moscow, and discover a multitude of sacred sites along the Silk Road.

Following Tracks of the Silk Road and Persia 2019 Map

Itinerary

In the Iranian capital of Tehran, we check in to the five-star Espinas International Hotel for a two-night stay. Keen to explore this fascinating city, a highlight is our visit to the Crown Jewels Museum in the Central Bank of Iran building. We transfer to the main railway to board the Golden Eagle. Settle in to your stylish cabin, then enjoy dinner as the train rolls on through the night towards Persepolis.

After a stop in Sa’adat Shahr we arrive at Persepolis. Take in the city’s ruins, as well as Naqsh-e Rostam, before journeying on to Shiraz. In this city rich in culture, wine and architecture, we see the Quran Gate, the tomb of the Persian poet Hafez, and the Shiraz Citadel Vakil Fortress. Isfahan is our next stop. We tour its main sights, including Chehel Sotoun Palace and Naqsh-e Jahan Square among many others.

Rolling on, we reach the ancient desert city of Yazd where Persian architecture has withstood the ages and the elements. We visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, and the Amir Chakhmaq complex, then continue to Rayen for a discovery set under the gaze of Mt Hezar. In Iran’s holiest city, Mashhad, we stay overnight at the Homa Hotel while the Golden Eagle prepares for the new rail gauge.

Arriving at the border town of Sarakhs by road, we visit the excavation site of the old Sarakhs Citadel and the Mausoleum of Abul Fazl. We then re-join our train and continue our journey into Turkmenistan – the shimmering town of Ashgabat our first stop here. We explore to the National Museum before a trip to the Kipchak Mosque. A highlight occurs as we alight at Ichoguz for an excursion to the Darvaza Gas Crater.

We arrive at the walled town of Khiva, marking an ancient intersection of the Silk Road, and are welcomed by musicians playing karnay horns. The oasis city of Bukhara awaits us the next morning. Here, through its World Heritage-listed edifices, we learn about the 2,500 year-old city. We then reach one of Central Asia’s longest inhabited cities, Samarkand, at the crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures.

Our train arrives into the city of Tashkent, where we disembark for a tour through the narrow streets of the Old Town. In the library, we view the world’s oldest Koran. Having crossed the border into Kazakhstan, the Golden Eagle rolls to a halt in the town of Baikonur for a visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the site from where Yuri Gagarin made his history making journey into space. A relaxing day on board the Golden Eagle follows.

Views of the gold-domed Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer bids us welcome to Moscow. We make our way to the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, our resplendent home for the next three nights. Our discovery includes a private performance at St Basil’s Cathedral and a visit to the Kremlin Armoury before it opens to the public.

We visit Sergiev Posad and enjoy lunch at Café Pushkin, then set out on a Your World experience. Either step behind the curtains of the Bolshoi or visit a World War 2 bunker. An afternoon has been set aside to explore Arbat Street, before we gather for a Farewell Dinner at Turandot. Enjoy a leisurely final morning in Moscow as our minds run over with memories of exotic locations and rich and unusual experiences.

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