Central Asia, the Caucasus and Turkey are smoldering cauldrons of culture. Ethnicity, geopolitics, language and religion meld into a potent brew. From the jagged mountainous landscape of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to the exotic splendor of Uzbekistan, and the plateaus of Kazakhstan.
The best way to travel in this region is on a custom designed trip.
Architecturally magnificent, the stark beauty of the landscape forms a fitting backdrop to what can only be described as poetry in stone –Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Registan Square in Samarkand, and the soaring minarets of Khiva and Bukhara to name just a few. Even as the dust settles over these vestiges of empires, its natural beauty, unbelievable hospitality, ancient history and incredible gastronomy shine like rare jewels in today’s world.
Known for its fine arts, architecture, embroidery and handicrafts, some extremely versatile artists, musicians, poets, craftsmen and writers have emerged from this part of the world.
Continually occupied, invaded and conquered, this region has given rise to history’s greatest legends – from Noah to Genghis Khan to Stalin to Kemal Ataturk! Ancient stomping grounds of the Assyrians, the Persians, the Armenians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Mongols, the Arabs, the Turks, the Ottomans and the Imperial Russians – this entire tract of the world went behind the Iron Curtain after World War II. Only Turkey remained separate and retained its independence, even after Ottoman rule came to an end.
Inevitably, there is an amalgam of religious beliefs that proliferate in these parts. While Islam currently dominates the region, there are distinct groups of Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Christians, and Jewish believers. You cannot miss a visit to the ancient Azeri site of fire worship and the petroglyphs that date from antiquity, just outside Baku. In some of the more remote parts of Central Asia, Shamanism is a common practice and the influence of neighboring China has brought in Confucianism, Daoism and several other schools of Chinese philosophy.
Gregarious and full of humor, wit and wisdom, there is always an open door and a cup of tea or coffee for any visitor who steps across these thresholds. Worldly and wise, these are people who have truly seen history stand the test of time.
Jody and Stella are our in-house experts for Central Asia & Turkey. Their knowledge of each region, along with how to meld them together, helps them put together the ideal custom itinerary.
Allow Exeter International to open the doors of luxury travel, tours and vacations to Turkey & Central Asia, contact one of our travel experts.