x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Travel deals: Take a trip to unseen Asia

A trek through Afghanistan and Tajikistan or more leisurely journeys through Kyrgystan and Pakistan are just some of the new trips on offer this spring.

A Buddhist stupa in Vrang, Tajikistan, overlooks the Wakhan Valley, where the Panj River separates Tajikistan from northern Afghanistan. Bloomberg News
A Buddhist stupa in Vrang, Tajikistan, overlooks the Wakhan Valley, where the Panj River separates Tajikistan from northern Afghanistan. Bloomberg News

Afghanistan, Tajikistan

Go on an expedition in Afghanistan and Tajikistan along the famous Wakhan Valley all the way to Lake Zorkul, one of the sources of the historic River Oxus. Led by experienced guides, you'll explore villages on foot and by 4x4, horses and yaks, meet Wakhi and Kyrgyz tribes and spot wildlife along the way.

The trip costs £2,999 (Dh17,672) per person, land only, and includes accommodation in basic homestays and tents, some meals and all local transport. The 21-day trek is scheduled for July. The group is limited to 12 persons; the minimum age is 21. For more information, visit www.secretcompass.com.

Old Silk Road

Travel down the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with Wild Frontiers on a 17-day adventure. Spend 10 days exploring in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and living in yurts with the nomads of Son Kul and the shepherds of Tash Rabat, trekking over the Ton Pirivial Pass, riding along high trails and camping beneath the stars. The trip includes flights to Uzbekistan, to the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, with a possible extension to Khiva.

The trip costs from £2,410 (Dh14,201) per person and is on a predominantly full board basis, with government passes and permits, entrance fees and all transport outlined in the itinerary. Visit www.wildfrontiers.co.uk for more details.

Pakistan

Enjoy a holiday in northern Pakistan, from the bazaars of Peshawar to a tour of Islamabad and exploring in the Margalla Hills, the sleepy mountain town of Chitral and a night in the home of Maqsood Ul Mulk, one of the princes of Chitral, exploring the Kalash Valley of Rumbor, Shandur Pass, Sol Laspur and Phander, Hunza, Gilgit and Skardu, along River Indus and through the heart of the Karakorum range.

The 17-day trip costs from £2,010 (Dh11,844) on a full board basis, with twin-share accommodation, transport and entrance fees. Departures in May and July. Visit www.responsibletravel.com for more information.

Rajasthan, India

See the northern Indian state in a palace on wheels. Starting in New Delhi, the "royal" train stops in several cities, including Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambhor National Park, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur bird sanctuary and Agra.

The 11-day trip runs from April 25 to May 5 and costs £3,370 (Dh18,860) per person, with accommodation based on two sharing a cabin, meals as in the itinerary, transfers and excursions, sightseeing, all entrance fees and the services of an English-speaking guide. For more information and to book, visit www.balesworldwide.com.

Bhutan

Spend two weeks in Bhutan on Exodus's Land of the Thunder dragon trip. Explore the dzongs, or monasteries- Takstang monastery in Paro and Tashichodzong in Thimpu, embark on a four-day trek along a classic Himalayan trail that follows an ancient and high route between Paro and Thimpu, hike through rhododendron forests, cross high mountain passes including Phume La, and camp beside clear blue mountain lakes with splendid views of the peaks that border Tibet, including Gangar Punsum and Jichudrake. Spring and autumn departures are timed for the Paro and Thimpu festivals respectively.

From £2,249 (Dh13,252) per person, with all accommodation, including at camp sites, most meals and local transport. International flights are not included. Visit www.exodus.co.uk for more information.

ciyer@thenational.ae