Trip scholar

Professor Charles Melville, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge
Charles specialises in the history of Central Asia, the Middle East and Iran, especially the Mongol and Safavid periods


  • Visit the Registan in Samarkand, described by Lord Curzon as the 'noblest square in the world’

  • Explore the beautifully preserved town of Bukhara, home to some of the finest and most important monuments in the Islamic world

  • Discover the citadel of Merv in Turkmenistan, the second most important city in Asia Minor during Medieval times

  • Visit the ancient walled city of Khiva and experience the timelessness of a Central Asian town

  • Enjoy meals in private homes


22 September-5 October 2021



Flexible booking policy: all deposits fully refundable up until March 2021. 

More information

A regular feature in our annual travel programme, few landmarks tantalise travellers more than the legendary cities of Central Asia. This journey will take you along the Golden Trade route across Central Asia, exploring cities that, until the demise of the Soviet Union, were almost impossible to visit. Visit Samarkland and continue your journey through the beautifully preserved town of Bukhara, and across the fabled Oxus Riber and Karakum Desert into Turkmenistan.

Please note that this departure is now fully booked. However, Distant Horizons are offering alumni places on a second departure accompanied by Dr Iain Shearer (5-19 October 2020). Places on this trip are also open to members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Association. Please contact Distant Horizons for further details. 

Further details & bookings

 Distant Horizons
 +44 (0)151 6253425