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Ride through the Mountains of Kyrgyzstan with Alexandra Tolstoy

Ride through the Mountains of Kyrgyzstan with Alexandra Tolstoy

“To follow the Silk Road is to follow a ghost. It flows through the heart of Asia, but it has officially vanished leaving behind the pattern of its restlessness: counterfeit borders, unmapped peoples. The road forks and wanders wherever you are. It is not a single way, but many: a web of choices.” So writes Author Colin Thubron in his dynamic biography of the world’s greatest overland trading route.

The Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, lying at the heart of the old Silk Road, is one of the least-known and yet most fascinating of landscapes. Join us and explorer Alexandra Tolstoy on a unique riding tour across the utterly picturesque Sary Chelek region. Alexandra has been riding across the country for the last 20 years, having co-written the bestselling book The Last Secrets of the Silk Road, recounting her equine journey with three friends across Central Asia. The two tours taking place between 5th-14th June and 14th-23rd June 2020, will see guests riding through the meadows and peaks of what the horsewoman calls “perhaps the most spectacular scenery I have ever encountered”. Mounted on Kyrgyz horses, which are among the most hardy and sure-footed in the world, the group will be accompanied by one guide for every three guests on horseback and housed in comfortable English-style camps in spectacular settings.


Beginning in Osh, the oldest city in Kyrgyzstan and once a pivotal Silk Road trading post, the tour will explore the local bazaars, which still retain an old-world atmosphere before dinner at a local tavern. The ancient city, said to be founded by Solomon or Alexander The Great, is also home to UNESCO World Heritage Site the sacred mountain, Sulaiman Too. The following morning will see a guided tour of Uzgen, once the capital of the 12th-century Turkish Karakhanid Khanate and filled with minarets and bathhouses from its golden era. After lunch in the colourful town of Djalal-Abad, the first camp will be set up near the hamlet of Dharik Tash beside an aquamarine river and encircled by mountains.

The next morning will see the group ride through the breathtaking panorama of alpine meadows and flower-filled villages stopping for a picnic lunch and breathing in the freshest air in the world. The next day’s riding will head towards the Sary Chelek Golden Hollow Reserve via the Tas Bel Pass and spirited canter through a carpet of wildflowers and a swim in the crystal clear waters. The reserve sports the largest walnut forest in the world which will be explored before settling down next to a turquoise alpine lake for the night. The next three days will be a kaleidoscope of scenery that can hardly be imagined with dreamlike views. There will be visits to local yurts and a memorable chance to watch a game of Ulak-Tartysh, reminiscent of polo but using a dead goat, on a plateau next to the dramatic Lake Kara-Suu.


Following the sun-dappled River Kara-Suu downstream past waterfalls and cascades, the ride will close with a driver to the impressive Susamir Valley, the home of nomads and their herds. Saddle-stiff bodies will find blissful comfort in the swimming pool and soft beds of the family-run Asia Mountain Hotel! The tour’s final day will be spent in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek. This little-explored city was once a Silk Road caravan resting stop before becoming a mud fort of the Uzbek Khan and a Russian garrison town. The Soviet-era buildings make for an interesting visit including the vast Ala-Too Square, scene of the largest protests of the Tulip Revolution of 2005. There will also be a chance to buy some jaunty colourful Kyrgyz felt rugs and hats before flying back home.

We hope that you will join us and Alexandra on this one-of-a-kind adventure into some of the most pristine and untrammelled landscapes on the planet. It is sure to produce a lifetime of memories and be a unique bonding experience with both fellow travellers and horses! 

For more information about this tour, please contact us:
info@ampersandtravel.com // +44 (0) 207 819 9770 


Client Testimonials

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India

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