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Yerevan to Almaty

Caspian Odyssey

By Private Jet & Golden Eagle

YEREVAN – LAKE SEVAN – TBILISI – TELAVI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE – MTSKHETA – BAKU – ASHGABAT – DARVAZA GAS CRATER – KHIVA – BUKHARA – SAMARKAND – TASHKENT – ALMATY

Embark on a pilgrimage through paradise, with this 16-day immersive showcase of the mysticised lands of the Caspian Sea.

From Armenia to Kazakhstan, this epic adventure heads east through a magnificent backdrop of majestic medieval cities, breath-taking archaeological architecture, and palatial Islamic masterpieces.

Itinerary

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Dates & Prices

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What’s Included

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Your Train

The Golden Eagle, appointed for the ultimate travel experience

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DAY 1 Yerevan

Upon arrival at Yerevan International Airport you will be met and transferred to the five-star Alexander Hotel, where we stay for two nights.

Boasting a prestigious central location the Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is located in the heart of Yerevan’s historic quarter and allows guests a relaxing stay in luxurious surroundings. Even the hotel’s facade with a history dating back to the 18th century presents a unique glimpse into the country’s fascinating past.

For early arrivals to Yerevan, do not miss the opportunity to take advantage this afternoon of a Freedom of Choice option to visit the Mother Cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church, often referred to as the Vatican of Armenia. Built in 301 AD, Etchmiadzin is considered the oldest cathedral in the world. During the tour, we will visit the Treasury Museum of Etchmiadzin. The exhibition showcases important Christian relics, such as the pieces of the True Cross, a fragment of Noah’s Ark, and the Holy Spear which pierced the body of Christ. After Etchmiadzin we make a brief stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zvartnots Cathedral. Built in the 7th century, the cathedral features a unique circular shape. From here we make a stop at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial. This expansive complex, which was completed in 1967, was built to honour the 1.5 million Armenians killed by genocide during the 20th century. Today, the hillside memorial serves as a destination for pilgrims who want to pay homage to the fallen.

Tonight, we will enjoy a Welcome Dinner at an authentic local restaurant – the perfect opportunity to meet meet your fellow travellers and look forward to the journey across six captivating countries of the South Caucasus region and Central Asia.

Why not extend your stay in Yerevan with additional nights before the tour to explore more of the city and region at your leisure?

DAY 2 Yerevan

The Yerevan skyline is dominated by Mount Ararat in nearby Turkey, with its snow-covered peak towering in the distance. Yerevan has a rich history; it was occupied as early as 6,000 BC and the fortress of Erebuni was erected there in the 8th century BC. Seized by a succession of conquerors, the city later passed back and forth between the Turks and the Persians until 1827, when it was taken by Russia. It became the capital of Soviet Armenia in 1920 and following the demise of the Soviet Union, the capital of the new nation of Armenia.

Our touring will take us 23 miles (37 km) out of Yerevan to the ancient Geghard Monastery. The beautiful monastery contains a number of churches and tombs, many of them cut into the rock. The complex of medieval architecture is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the head of the Azat Valley.

We will also visit the 1st century pagan temple of Garni, built to worship the Sun God Mitra. We will have the opportunity to explore the fascinating remains of an ancient fortress, palace, and baths there. Lunch will also be taken at this stunning location.

This evening we head to the Armenia Wine Company, located close to Yerevan. Here we have opportunity to explore the entire process of Armenian wine making technology, walk through the factory cellars, learn about the evolution of Armenian wine making history at the special museum and try the premium wines followed by authentic and exclusive dinner.

DAY 3 Yerevan & Lake Sevan

This morning we will visit The Cascade, a giant stairway made of limestone. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat in the distance. Located inside the staircase is the Casfesjian Museum of Modern Art, where we make a short visit.

Leaving Yerevan our journey takes us to Lake Sevan, where we stop for lunch with stunning views.  Along with Lake Van and Lake Urmia, Sevan was considered one of the three great lakes of the historical Armenian Kingdom, collectively referred to as the Seas of Armenia; it is the only one within the boundaries of today’s Republic of Armenia.

After lunch we continue our way, by coach, to Armenian-Georgian border in Bagratashen driving through the spa town of Dilijan well known for its forest landscapes and medicinal mineral water before we make a coffee & brandy stop at Avan Dzoraget Hotel. nestled amongst the forest-covered hills and rocky slopes of the Caucasus Mountains.

This evening we arrive into the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where we stay for the next three nights at the Marriott Hotel.

DAY 4 Tbilisi

Hemmed in by the Surami Range, the city of Tbilisi extends for 17 miles (27 km) along the banks of the River Kura. Despite the wars and fires which caused innumerable changes in the topography of Tbilisi, the old part of the city still retains much of its original layout, a spider’s web of narrow winding streets and alleyways.

Historical sites we visit include the 13th century Metekhi church, a cross cupola church which forms part of the Royal Residential complex, and the 5th century Sioni Cathedral, the main church of Tbilisi. We will also visit the recently built Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, and take a walking tour of the old town and Rustaveli Avenue. Here we will see the Great Hall of the Georgian Philharmonia. Built in 1969-71, it has been acknowledged as one of the finest public buildings since the Second World War. Moreover, there will be the chance to see the treasures of the city housed in the Janashia Museum of Georgia.

DAY 5 Tbilisi – Gori, Uplistsikhe & Mtskheta

Gori is one of the oldest cities in Georgia, founded in the 7th century AD as Tontio. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader, was born here in 1879. He spent his childhood years in the city and later (1888-94) studied at its theological seminary. The small house where Stalin was born is preserved under a canopy outside the huge columned palace-like building that houses the Stalin Museum. To the side of the museum is Stalin’s private railway carriage. The museum offers a haunting and fascinating insight into a man responsible for more deaths and suffering than any other human being.

The famous cave city of Uplistsikhe dates from the 6th century BC and is first mentioned in the chronicles of the 1st century AD. Carved into rocky plateau we find huge echoing halls, meandering corridor-streets, chambers for pagan worship and even the remains of Georgia’s oldest theatre, complete with auditorium, stage and orchestra pit. Like the other cave-towns of Georgia, it is rooted in the prehistoric traditions of the peoples of the Near East. On one side the fortress was protected by the Mtkvari and an almost vertical rock face; on the other, by powerful fortifications. Its strategic position on the approaches to Gori and its strong defences made it possible to control the surrounding terrain. There were numerous attempts to destroy Uplistsikhe. Only in the 13th century, however, did the hordes of Genghis Khan’s son Khulagu succeed in doing so, after capturing and destroying many fortresses in Transcaucasia with the help of siege machines. The 5,000 inhabitants of Uplistsikhe perished and life ended forever in the fortress.

Late afternoon, our explorations will take us to the city of Mtskheta, Georgia’s Old Capital. Due to its historical significance and numerous ancient monuments, Mtskheta became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. During today we will also enjoy a private performance of traditional Georgian polyphonic singing – this is an immersive experience which offers a truly unique insight into the beautiful local culture and heritage.

DAY 6 Tbilisi to Baku

This morning we visit a Georgian winery.

After lunch in the city we board our private jet for the short flight to Baku. Upon arrival we stay for three nights at the Four Seasons Baku.

DAY 7 Baku

Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, lies on the western shore of the Caspian Sea and the southern side of the Apsheron Peninsula, around the wide, curving sweep of the Bay of Baku. The bay, sheltered by the islands of the Baku Archipelago, provides the best harbour of the Caspian Sea, while the Apsheron Peninsula gives protection from violent northerly winds. Baku derives its international importance from its huge oil industry. The core of present-day Baku is the Old Town, or fortress of Icheri-Shekher. Most of the walls, strengthened after the Russian conquest in 1806, survive, as does the 90 ft (27 m) tower of Kyz-Kalasy (Maiden Tower, 12th century). The walled old town is highly picturesque, with its maze of narrow alleys and ancient buildings. These include the Palace of the Shirvan-Shahs, now a museum, the oldest part of which dates from the 11th century. Also of the 11th century is the Synyk-Kala Minaret and Mosque (1078-79).

Other notable historic buildings are the Law Court (Divan-Khan), the Dzhuma-Mechet Minaret, and the mausoleum of the astronomer Seida Bakuvi. Around the walls of the fortress, the regular streets and imposing buildings of modern Baku rise up the slopes of the amphitheatre of hills surrounding the bay.

DAY 8 Baku

This morning we offer a Freedom of Choice tour to Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape. Located 40 miles (64 km) from Baku on the west bank of the Caspian Sea, Gobustan is an outstanding archaeological site of more than 6,000 pre-historic rock engravings. The area also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials. This is followed by lunch overlooking the Caspian Sea.

Returning to the city in the afternoon, you can choose to enjoy free time in the city or visit a local theatre. Dinner will be held in a traditional local restaurant this evening.

DAY 9 Ashgabat

Following breakfast we take a morning flight onboard our private plane to Ashgabat. The capital of Turkmenistan is known as the ‘Las Vegas of the Kara Kum’. Situated between the Kara Kum desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range, Ashgabat is a relatively modern city built upon the ruins of the Silk Road city of Konjikala and the Soviet city built after the devastating earthquake of 1948.

The city’s extravagant fountains, golden domes and towering modern buildings appear strangely incongruous in this desert setting. Highlights on our visit include a trip to the National Museum and Kipchak Mosque.

Upon arrival we will board the Golden Eagle. Once settled into our cabins, lunch will be served in the Restaurant Cars. This afternoon we have the opportunity to explore Ashgabat and highlights on our panoramic city tour includes visits to the National Museum and Wedding Palace.

DAY 10 Ashgabat & Darvaza

A further morning of touring in Turkmenistan features a visit to nearby Nisa, an ancient settlement of the Parthians, and was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

The Golden Eagle departs Ashgabat at lunch and makes a scheduled stop tonight at Ichoguz. We leave the train and make a short journey to Darvaza’s famous burning gas crater, a spectacular sight best seen at night. Located in the middle of the Kara Kum desert where the area is rich in natural gas, the 70-metre wide crater is known by the locals as the ‘Door to Hell’ and has been burning for over 40 years. A unique experience that is not to be missed.

DAY 11 Khiva

Our train travels towards Urgench, from where we transfer to the ancient city of Khiva, founded 2,500 years ago. As one of the Silk Road’s most important trading posts and now a World Heritage Site, it lies at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia. A truly magnificent sight to behold, it rises out of the desert to reveal a wealth of impressive architecture. Stepping back in time, we discover its impressive mosques, bazaars and minarets within Khiva’s ancient walls.

DAY 12 Bukhara

Bukhara is quite simply outstanding. Like Khiva, UNESCO sponsored the renovation of much of the city for its 2,500th anniversary in 1999.

The highlight of this wonderful tour is a visit to The Ark, a fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara – the despotic and ruthless leaders who ruled until Soviet times. Our touring programme will also transport us to the grandeur of Poi-Kalyan Square, home to the iconic Kalyan Mosque, a living relic of traditional Islamic design. Stroll through the mosque’s large maksura rooms, pillar-domed galleries, and deeply recessed niches, and you will be transported to a bygone era.

Immerse yourself in the lively pulse of the city as we explore the bustling Trading Domes of Bukhara and gather at Lyabi-Hauz Square, a vibrant social hub cocooned by a pool and embraced by the soothing shade of mulberry trees and local tea rooms.

This evening, weather permitting, we will enjoy a barbecue on the station platform before our train departs – a unique farewell to an incredible city.

DAY 13 Samarkand

More so than any other town, just the mention of Samarkand instantly conjures up evocative images of the Silk Road. Founded in the 6th century BC, Samarkand’s stunning architecture hints at its former status as one of the most important cities in Asia and is particularly noted for its architectural remains from the 14th to the 17th century, when it flourished as the fabled capital of the Mongol empire of Timur and his successors.

Today we will visit some of its most significant sites including Registan Square, the refined elegance of the beautifully proportioned Bibi Khanum Mosque and the Ulag Beg observatory, one of the earliest Islamic astronomical observatories built in 1428.

Prepare for an unforgettable evening in Samarkand that will leave an indelible mark on your memory. As the sun sets and night descends upon this ancient city, we will whisk you away to the illuminated Registan Square, where an extraordinary spectacle unfolds. From your prime front-row seats, you’ll be treated to a dazzling light show that weaves the rich tapestry of Samarkand’s history and significance.

DAY 14 Tashkent

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and we spend time touring this modern Soviet-style city which was rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1966. Our tour of the city includes the Old Town, where traditional homes and religious buildings line the narrow streets and here in a small library we’ll be privileged to see one of Islam’s most sacred relics – the world’s oldest Koran. This is followed by a visit to the Railway Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts.

This evening we enjoy our Farewell Dinner onboard the Golden Eagle as we head overnight to our final destination of Almaty.

DAY 15 Almaty

This morning we arrive into Almaty, our final destination and bid farewell to the Golden Eagle. Today we will take a tour of Almaty including a visit to Panfilov Park, located in the heart of the city, and home to the Zenkov Cathedral, a 19th century Russian Orthodox Church made entirely of wood.

Overnight we stay for one night at the Ritz-Carlton, Almaty, or similar.

DAY 16 Almaty

Following breakfast you will be transferred to Almaty Airport for your onward flight.

Why not extend your stay in Almaty with additional nights to explore more of the city and surrounding region at your leisure?

Tour Inclusions

Accommodation

  • Five-star pre and post tour hotel accommodation
  • Private en-suite accommodation on the Golden Eagle train
  • 2-night hotel stay at the five-star Alexander Hotel, Yerevan (or similar)
  • 3-night hotel stay at the five-star Marriott Hotel, Tbilisi (or similar)
  • 3-night hotel stay at the five-star Four Seasons, Baku (or similar)
  • 1-night hotel stay at the five-star Ritz-Carlton, Almaty (or similar)

Service

  • 24-hour cabin attendant service
  • Experienced Tour Management team
  • Services of a UK-registered Doctor and medical facilities on board
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All gratuities – on and off the train
  • Luggage porterage throughout the journey

Excursions

  • Expertly guided off-train excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Freedom of Choice touring option

Dining

  • Freshly prepared meals on board, using the finest local ingredients
  • Authentic dining experiences in local restaurants
  • Generous drinks allowance, including international wines with lunch and dinner
  • Golden Eagle Gala Caviar dinner
  • 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners

Tour Highlights

  • Visit the monastery of Geghard, the cultural centre of medieval Armenia
  • Sample delicious Georgian wine in the renowned wine-making region of Kakheti
  • Private performance of Georgian Polyphonic singing in the ancient cave city, Uplistsikhe
  • Stunning 3D Light Show on the beautifully lit Registan Square, Samarkand
  • See the Darvaza Burning Gas Crater light up the night sky in the Kara Kum desert
  • Explore the historic, UNESCO honoured, cities of Khiva, Merv, Bukhara and Samarkand

GOLDEN EAGLE

The Golden Eagle, comprising three categories of cabins, featuring state-of-the-art amenities and en-suite facilities, is the only private train of its kind operating in these regions of the world.

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Dates & Prices

All prices are per person

2024

USD ($) Silver Class Gold Class Imperial Suite
Twin ($) Single ($) Twin ($) Single ($) Twin ($) Single ($)
Sep 21 – Oct 06 28,095 42,195 35,195 57,995 57,695 115,295
Deposit $1,750 $3,000 $6,000

2025

USD ($) Silver Class Gold Class Imperial Suite
Twin ($) Single ($) Twin ($) Single ($) Twin ($) Single ($)
Sep 2 – Sep 17 29,195 43,895 37,795 62,295 66,395 132,595
Deposit $1,750 $3,000 $6,000

2024

GBP (£) Silver Class Gold Class Imperial Suite
Twin (£) Single (£) Twin (£) Single (£) Twin (£) Single (£)
Sep 21 – Oct 06 22,495 33,695 28,195 46,395 46,195 92,295
Deposit £1,500 £2,500 £5,000

2025

GBP (£) Silver Class Gold Class Imperial Suite
Twin (£) Single (£) Twin (£) Single (£) Twin (£) Single (£)
Sep 12 – Sep 27 23,395 35,095 30,195 49,795 53,095 106,095
Deposit £1,500 £2,500 £5,000

2024

EUR (€) Silver Class Gold Class Imperial Suite
Twin (€) Single (€) Twin (€) Single (€) Twin (€) Single (€)
Sep 21 – Oct 06 25,495 38,395 31,995 52,695 52,395 104,695
Deposit €1,500 €2,500 €5,000

2025

EUR (€) Silver Class Gold Class Imperial Suite
Twin (€) Single (€) Twin (€) Single (€) Twin (€) Single (€)
Sep 12 – Sep 27 26,495 39,895 34,395 56,595 60,395 120,495
Deposit €1,500 €2,500 €5,000

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Itinerary

See your daily itinerary for this journey

Dates & Prices

See our tour dates and prices for upcoming journeys

What’s Included

Everything you need to know about what's included

Your Train

The Golden Eagle, appointed for the ultimate travel experience

Book Now

Get in touch with us today and start your rail adventure