Crossing the Ancient Silk Road

Crossing the Ancient Silk Road

  • Dunhuang
  • Burana Tower
  • Kyrgyzstan

17 August - 4 September 2022 (18 days)

Dr Iain Shearer
Islamic scholar currently seconded to the V&A Museum
Price details  

Single supplement £860

Tour type  
History and Architecture
Activity level  
China and Central Asia

The term Silk Road is a modern one, coined in the 19th century by the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen. It was of course not a single route but a vast network of roads stretching from Xi’an to the Eastern Mediterranean. Linking India, Europe and the Far East, routes passed through spectacular cities and tiny hamlets, through harsh forbidding mountains, gentle steppe lands and hot deserts. Along its length, intrepid merchants traded in a huge number of items such as Baltic amber, lapis from Afghanistan, beautiful silk, porcelain and jade from China and fine carpets from Central Asia. But the Silk Road was not simply a highway for the trade of precious items, it was the main East West artery for the flow of ideas.  Buddhist monks from India rubbed shoulders with Persian Manichean priests, and Zoroastrians whilst Nestorian Christians sought converts among the travellers and settlers of the roads. 


  • Explore beautiful Kyrgyzstan and Lake Issykul, the world's second highest navigable lake
  • Journey through the spectacular Tien Shan Mountains, past herds of Bactrian Camels and Tajik camping grounds
  • In Urumqi visit one of China's most impressive museums and learn more of the Mummies of Urumqi and the secrets of the Silk Road
  • Visit Turfan, an oasis of gardens, orchards and vineyards in the barren desert
  • Discover the caves at Dunhuang in Central China and Longmen Caves in Eastern China, two of the world's richest treasure troves of Buddhist art
  • Explore the great city of Xi'an, the Eastern Terminus of the Silk Road
Tour operator
Address: 13 Melloncroft Drive, Caldy, Wirral CH48 2JA
Telephone: +44 (0) 151 625 3425