Trip scholar

Professor Charles Melville, Fellow, University of Cambridge

Charles has recently retired as Director of Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and has accompanied seven successful alumni tours to Central Asia


  • Explore Samarkand with some of the finest art and architecture in the Islamic world

  • Visit the beautifully preserved town of 'Divine Bukhara' with its hundreds of mosques, minarets and madrassas

  • Discover the ancient city of Nisa, seat of the Parthian Kings in the 3rd century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Cross the mighty Oxus River from Uzbekistan into Turkmenistan's Karakum desert with its splendid array of spring flowers

  • Enjoy local hospitality and meals in private homes

  • Complete your journey in the marvellous city of Khiva where it is still possible to experience the timelessness of a Central Asian caravan town


19 April – 3 May 2022


From £3,280 per person including flights (£320 single supplement)

More information

A regular feature in our annual travel programme, few landmarks have tantalised travellers more than the legendary cities of Central Asia. Originally caravanserais on the Golden Trade route across Central Asia, they developed into thriving centres of commerce and culture. Under the ferocious medieval warriors Genghis Khan and then Tamerlane and their descendants, they assumed inimitable power and splendour. These great cities were once so remote, behind barriers of deserts and mountains, that until the demise of the Soviet Union, it was almost impossible to visit them. 

Further details & bookings

 Distant Horizons
 +44 (0)151 6253425