Meeting of all tour participants in Munich. Get to know each others in the evening. Tour briefing.
Munich – Ljubljana (Slovenia):
From Munich we cross the Eastern Alps and find ourselves at the end of the day in the small and beautiful capital of Slovenia. Our hotel is located right inside the historic center. By foot it takes us only a few minutes to reach the heart of the old Ljubljana where street artists and wonderful bars and restaurants are located.
The first two riding days will have some highways and serve us as a link towards the more spectacular landscapes in Eastern Europe and Turkey. However, if time allows we can take also deep countryside roads.
Ljubljana – Belgrade ( Croatia,Serbia):
Ride to Serbia´s capital Belgrade. We leave the European Union and take the border crossing in a hilly landscape to Serbia. Belgrade is located at the confluence of the rivers Danube and offers unique Soviet architecture and European modernity.
|4||Belgrade – Nis (Serbia): |
We reach the foothills of the Balkan Mountains and enjoy an evening in the old yet modern and hip town of Nis.
Nis – Koprivshtitsa (Bulgaria):
We will reach the beginning of the Central Balkan Mountains and stay overnight in a small historic village in the middle of a forest. Small mountain roads lead us to our 150 years old hotel where the owner and his family will cook traditional meals for us.
|6||Koprivshtitsa – Sozopol|
Today we explore the central Balkan Mountains, which gave the entire region its name. We ascent over a thousand meters above Bulgaria and have from the Beklemento Pass (1520 m) an incredible view over the wide landscape. Beautiful curves bring us back down, where we continue our way through the Bulgarian hinterland and drive east towards the Black Sea. We reach its shores at Sozopol. Sozopol emerged from the Greek colony of Apollonia and is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria. We enjoy the rest of the day on the beach and spend the evening on the peninsula where we enjoy the restaurants with sea view.
|7||Sozopol – Istanbul (Turkey):|
We follow the coast south and then cross the Strandscha Mountains of Thrace. Great curves lead through this forested mountain all the way to the Turkish border.
Our fantastic hotel is located on the European side of Istanbul, directly at the Bosporus and in walking distance to the historic quarter of the town. From the excellent rooftop bar and restaurant, we have a view onto the sea and the at night illuminated Blue Mosque.
|8||Istanbul : |
Istanbul visiting day. We visit the modern metropolis on the Bosphorus with many of its highlights, such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and enjoy the flair of this unique city.
Istanbul – Safranbolu:The Mediterranean flair of the Bosphorus slowly gives way to an alpine mountain landscape as we move into the North Anatolian highlands.
Safranbolu has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1994 because of its beautiful townscape of timber. If time permits, we can practice our off-road skills by riding through a nearby national forest park before reaching our destination. 410 Kilometers
Safranbolu – Amasya:
Amasya lies in the hinterland of the Black Sea coast in the Pontic Mountains in a narrow valley directly at the river. The main part of the charming city extends on the east side of the river, on the west side there are only a few rows of houses at the foot of the steep castle hill. Five bridges connect both halves of the city, which invites you to linger. In caves on the hillside dating back to the times when the Greek colonized this part of Turkey, you find the final resting places of the kings of this long-gone civilization.
|11||Amasya – Bayburt:|
We ride further east and follow the high valleys of the north Anatolian highland. We continue through the idyllic mountain landscape to Bayburt.
Bayburt – Savsat:
A beautiful winding mountain road brings us to Savsat in the fast East of Turkey. Here, we stay overnight in wooden bungalows in the lush mountains separating Georgia from Turkey and enjoy fresh river trout or homemade grilled meatballs at the hotel´s restaurant.
|13||Savsat – Gori (Georgia):|
We take a remote inland border to Georgia. Near Gori we visit the old Silk Road ruins of Uplistisikhe, and of course the famous castle of Gori for a sun downer.
Gori – Grosny ( Russia):
From Gori we ride north to the Russian border. Border formalities. Continue to Grozny, capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya. The city which was completely destroyed during the civil war in the 1990s is now a modern business hub of the region. We stay in the best hotel in town, from the rooftop restaurant we have a great view over the city.
|15||Grosny – Astrakhan:|
Astrakhan is situated on the Volga and has buildings from different eras, from Renaissance to Classicism to Orthodox influences. Sights are the Astrakhan Kremlin and the Trinity Church.
Rest day for relaxation. And for everything else an adventurer has to do.
|17||Astrakhan – Atyrau (Kazakhstan) :|
Today we cross the border to Kazakhstan. With a little luck we will see camels on the way. Atyrau, a town that lives from the oil and gas deposits of the Caspian Sea, is our destination. Atyrau lies within the vast Kazakh steppe landscape.
Atyrau – Beyneu:
Through the steppe to Beineu.
Beineu – Elabad (Uzbekistan):
Border formalities. We reach the largest desert of Central Asia and the Aralkum Desert near the nowadays mainly dried out Aral Sea. Elabad is surround by 250 kilometres of desert, a truckdriver stop and surely a great location for a Quentin Tarantino movie. The restaurant next door has great BBQ and ice cold vodka.
Elabad – Khiva:
We follow the traces of the old silk road and reach Khiva, former capital of the Khanat Chiwa in Choresmien with flourishing textile industry (among other things carpets). The historic city centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.
Khiva – Buchara:
We ride through the desert Kysylkum to Buchara, which is one of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan. Like Samarkand, it was a trading and resting place on the old Silk Road. With over 140 architectural monuments, Bukhara is an impressive “museum city”.
Buchara – Samarkand:
This pearl of the Silk Road and UNESCO world heritage, which awaits us at the end of a short riding day, impresses with its Islamic architecture. We visit the Registan Square and the adjoining Madras and the old city.
Samarkand visiting day. Allow your tired bones to rest or explore the city. Don´t miss the night bazaar and all the great restaurants.
|24||Samarkand – Kokand:|
We cross Uzbekistan from west to east and cross the first mountain pass in days before reaching Kokand near the border to Tajikistan.
In Kokand we visit the Palace of Xudaya Khan, whose façade adorns numerous ornaments and colors. In addition, the city is known for its madrasas and mosques.
|25|| Kokand – Osh (Kyrgyzstan):|
Short riding day to Osh and border crossing into Kyrgyzstan.
|26||Osh – Kazarman:|
The first part of the route brings us to Jalalabad. After a while the road turns into a gravel road and we hit the first mountain passes. We gain altitude and ride on an elevation in between 1,500 and 2,000 meters. We conquer four gravel passes, remote and devoid of any traffic, through the most beautiful and unforgettable mountain landscape of Kyrgyzstan. Overnight stay in the small village Kazarman in the mountains. Here are only homestays available and the group will stay at the homes of a handful of families.
|27||Kazarman – Tash Rabat:|
Tash Rabat is a well-preserved 15th century caravanserai. Today’s overnight stay takes place in a yurt camp. The way to the historic settlement, which is translated as “stone hostel”, leads again across gravel roads. Tash Rabat is located in the Altbaschi mountain range (part of the Chinese Tian Shan mountains) on the old Silk Road near the Chinese border.
|28|| Tash Rabat –|
Poste station near Kashgar – Kashgar (China):Around noon we reach the Kyrgyz-Chinese border. The 3,752 meter high Torugart Pass marks the border between Kyrgyzstan and China.
The vehicles have to be parked 120 km away from Kashgar at a special customs station for inspection. In the evening we will arrange a transfer to Kashgar and the next morning another transfer back to the customs station to pick up our motorcycles. This will be a long day and we may only arrive at the hotel past midnight due to the unbelievable Chinese buraucrcy. 220 Kilometers
|29|| Kashgar: |
Motorcycle pick up and customs procedures. We take care of everything, only patience has to be brought along.
|30|| Kashgar: |
Today the provisional Chinese driving licenses and number plates will be issued. There will also be a short medical/technical check. Again, you will need some patience.
|31|| Kashgar – Sanshili:|
Very early departure before sunrise. Today will be a long day since there is no accommodation available open to foreigners in between Kashgar and Sanshili. On the way to Sanshili on the Tibetan high plateau we pass numerous controls and have to register several times with the police – this requires a lot of patience. The climate here on the Silk Road, very close to the Taklamakan Desert, is really desert-like hot. Today we start from the “deep” of the Tarim Basin and the desert-like areas along the Silk Road up into the Tibetan mountains with the first pass beyond 4000 meters and several passes beyond 3000 meters. The most challenging day on the entire tour.
|32|| Sanshili- Duoma:|
Another pass, almost 5000 meters high, awaits us after breakfast. We cross the wide plateau, ride alongside mountains and rivers to Duoma, a tiny place in the middle of nowhere.
Duoma – Ali:
Via Lake Bangong to Ali. One part of Lake Bangong is located in China, the other half in India. One side of the lake is filled with salt water, while the other side has fresh water. Ali is the administrative capital of Western Tibet.
|34|| Ali – Mt. Kailash:|
Short trip to Mt. Kailash, holy for the Tibetans. With a little luck we will see numerous pilgrims, some of them coming from even more remote parts of Tibet, Nepal and India. Some of them walk thousands of kilometres and embark from their homes for a jounrey that can take several years to complete. It is their goal to circumbulate the holy mountain as often as possible -or up to 51 times-, praying all the way, trying to leberate themselves and other from negative Karma. The mountain is 6,638 meters high, rises majestically above the Tibetan plateau with its snow-covered summit. According to legend, every believing Buddhist has to circumbulate the mountain at least once in their life. After arriving in Tacheng – the starting point for the pilgrim walk – we can ride or walk to the Tarpoche Pagoda. If you wish, you can also visit the shore of holy Lake Manasarovar, just a few kilometres away.
|35||Mt. Kailash – Saga:|
Ride to Saga along the deep blue Manasarovar lake, framed by snow-covered mountains. Also today, the endless vastness of Tibet and spectacular landscapes with wildlife await us.
|36|| Saga – EBC (Mount Everest base camp): |
Today, we ride near the Nepalese border to remote Lake Paiku which is surrounded by high mountains. A 4,500-meter-high and winding pass is waiting for us before we reach the lake shore.
From Tingri, the road turns south and snakes its way further up into the Himalaya mountains, where we will have a good view of the world’s 8,000m high mountains and the surrounding valleys.
An unbelievable hairpin road with dozens of turns and views on several 8000 meter high Himalayan mountains leads you to the Rongpu Monastery. 10 kilometers before Rongpu monastery we have to drop the bikes and take a government bus.
The road we take by motorbike is truly spectacular. We have to cross cross several 5000-meter-high passes on a fantastic new road which was built in 2016 – one of the greatest roads on earth. Shortly after Rongbu Monastery, the road comes to an end.
At Rongbuk monastery, you can enjoy the view and take breathtaking photos. Overnight stay in the basic inn of the Rongbu monastery.
EBC – Xigaze:The view of the 8.848-meter-high summit of Everest rewards all efforts and awaits us in the early morning for sunrise. A hot coffee and the first rays of sunlight illuminating the mountain are the best way to start the day. 5,220-meter-high Gyatso La Pass brings us to to Xigaze where we can visit Tashilhunpo monastery if time permits. 340 Kilometers
|38||Xigaze – Gyangze – Lhasa:|
We cross the wide central Tibetan plateau to Gyangze, where we visit the largest stupa (Tibetan pagoda) of Tibet. Ride along the turquoise blue lake Yamdrok, where we may see shaggy yaks for the last time, we pass the 5100-meter-high Karo La mountain pass before reaching the fertile river valley of the Yarlung Tsangpo. The we reach Lhasa. We have arrived at the destination of the trip.
Shipping of the motorcycles. This day serves as a buffer day in case of delays.
We enjoy the day at the Bharkor market in the old town of Lhasa, visit the former residence of the Dalai Lama, the Potala Palace, and the most sacred of all temples for Tibetans, the Jokhang.
Departure from Lhasa: flight to Chengdu and transfer to the hotel. If you want, you can either extend your stay in Chengdu on your own – or continue your journey from Lhasa to Dali. (The onward journey to Dali follows seamlessly from Lhasa. Please ask for the separate brief information).
Airport transfer 1 hour
Individual departure from Chengdu.