desolate desert outposts, forbidden arts and the disappearing waters of the aral sea
Nukus – Moynaq – Aral Sea
DAY 1 - Nukus
Our tour guide will meet you either at Nukus International Airport or at Nukus Central Railway Station (exact meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email in accordance to your flight/train schedule).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Karakalpakstan.
During the day we'll tour the quintessentially Soviet downtown of Nukus, the Karakalpak capital, visiting also its lively central bazaar and the surprisingly rich Savitsky Collection of Renegade Soviet Art in the Karakalpak State Museum.
Dinner and overnight in Nukus.
DAY 2 - Moynaq
After a long drive across surreal landscapes and remote post-Soviet hamlets we will reach the of Moynaq, an end-of-the-world outpost of Soviet civilization located on the former shores of the disappeared Aral Sea.
Moynaq sightseeing: Ship Graveyard, Former Fish Factory, Aral Sands, School, Museum, Memorial, Cultural Centre.
During your time in the area you'll have the unique chance to meet with local Karakalpak artists, students, former fishermen and herders, who will share with you their memories, their dreams and the curious oddities of their endangered culture.
Dinner and overnight in Moynaq.
DAY 3 - Aral Sea
After an early morning walk through Moynaq we'll set off on our second 4x4 adventure across the Ustyurt Plateau heading north towards the actual shores of the constantly retreating Aral Sea.
Besides the routine pauses for food, toilet, random landscape pictures we'll break the bumpy ride stopping at isolated Karakalpak hamlets that seem to have come straight out of a Mad Max movie.
Under good weather conditions (and if time permits) we might also be able to visit the lost city of a Kantubek, an abandoned Soviet town built on Vozrozhdenja, Aral's biggest island (now a desolate hill in the desert).
Once we reach the shores of the Aral we'll set up a camp and prepare for a night full of stars, hundreds of kilometres from any form of civilization; the brave ones might also to take a plunge in the extremely salty waters of the Sea.
Dinner and overnight on the shores of the Aral Sea.
DAY 4 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last picnic-style Karakalpak breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to either Nukus International Airport or Nukus Train Station for your trip back home and/or your connection to yet another exciting destination in the region such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan.
End of the tour.
If you are fit enough you can also prolong your stay in the area and undertake either a challenging but extremely rewarding 3-day 4x4 drive along the shores of the lake or an historical tour of the ancient fortresses of Southern Karakalpakstan; please contact us to learn more about this option.
3 to 9 participants: 850 €
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euros/night), private transport in the region (jeep or minivan), entrance fees for the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
Please note: our short trips are generally offered as extension to our tours. Upon request we can take care of transport and connections between the two segments of a trip combination and guarantee you a smooth transfer from one tour to the next. Please see below for a list of possible combinations for this trip. Flexibility is our motto and an exception to the rule is always possible. This means that this short trip may be also offered as a standalone tour if the demand is high enough. Please see our F.A.Q. or contact us for further details.
WHERE THE HECK AM I TRAVELLING TO?
BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENT TOUR STAGES MARKED ON A MAP OF THE REGION YOU ARE GOING TO EXPLORE WITH US
POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE
Turkmenistan and/or Kazakhstan