Tour d’Afrique - vacations and travel

Silk Route Bicycle Tour

China, Turkey, Asia, Europe

from €11,900* per person 129 Days May-September
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Tour d’Afrique 12 people max
  • Airport, china near shanghai, china
  • Active & Adventure trips
National Geographic Traveler's Tours of a Lifetime 2010
The Silk Road has beckoned seekers of truth and adventure since time immemorial. Now you have the opportunity to discover the magic of the world’s most famous trade route from the best seat in the house – your bicycle. As part of a group of free-spirited cyclists, you will follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Marco Polo and Genghis Khan. Like them, your passage across the vast Asian continent will depend on sheer muscle and determination, a sound body and an open mind.

Locations visited/nearby

China, Turkey, Asia, Europe

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Make history! Cycle the ancient route of the silk trade across the entire continent of Asia; from Shanghai to Istanbul. Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo, General Zhang Qian and Genghis Khan. Like them, you will depend on muscle and will, your body and your mind – the Silk Route Bicycle Race/Expedition will be unlike anything you’ve ever done before. You and your companions will bike over 12,000 kilometres, through seven countries in 129 days; a journey that took the merchants, soldiers and adventurers of the past many uncomfortable months -- if they made it at all!

As a Silk Route Rider, you will camp below sea level in the stunning deserts of China’s Xinjiang province and cycle to the top of the world, climbing to over 3600 m through the Taldyk Pass in Kyrgyzstan. You will stay in ancient caravanserais and shop in markets that have thrived for two thousand years. You will be amazed at the layers of history emerging from the sand, shake your head at all that has been lost and take heart from all that is being preserved and created.

Now you have the opportunity to re-discover the magic and adventure of this historical, trans-continental journey. Join a free-spirited group of cyclists as you traverse the modern countries of China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran & Turkey; crossing borders, making friends, overcoming obstacles, experiencing new ideas and cuisines - all with a view from the best seat in the house – your bicycle seat.

This voyage will celebrate fellowship and sportsmanship. With the participation of riders from many countries, this project will recapture the power of trade and cultural exchange. Marrying technology and the human spirit, it will demonstrate one way to conquer distance and spare the environment even as energy and the environment emerge as great challenges for the empires of the East and West.

The tour features 104 cycling days, averaging 117 km each, broken up by 25 rest days,  a total of 129 days. The length of each day’s ride will range from 80 km on really bad terrain to over 180 km on good paved roads.

Going the distance on the Silk Route is a unique experience. But if your time frame or interest is more limited, you may sign up for a section of the tour - joining and leaving the group at almost any point along the route. Take some time and review the many options. We have highlighted eight pre-determined sections on the website, but you can also choose to start and end anywhere along the route.

All riders must pay a 100 Euro registration fee that is in addition to the entry fee.

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