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Exploring Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Silk Road Tour

Right in the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is a fascinating destination for those who appreciate rich history and diverse culture. For centuries the Silk Road connected East and West, a route where goods and ideas were exchanged that not only transformed the way these different worlds viewed each other but also brought exotic riches to the region.  Nowhere is this more marked than in the fabulous cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, all of which you will visit on this in-depth cultural tour.

Your Itinerary

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO TASHKENT

Upon arrival you will be met by your private driver and guide who will then drive you through the bustling capital to your centrally located hotel where you can relax after your flight. Once refreshed, go with your guide and explore the Old Quarter of Tashkent with the impressive Khast Imam Complex and see Barak Khan Madrasah, Till Sheikh Mosque and the mausoleum of Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi. There is also time to wander around Chorsu Bazaar, before taking the Metro to the city centre and walk around Tamerlanes’s central square, Independence Square and visit the Museum of Applied Arts.

DAY 2 - FLY TO KHIVA & VISIT ANCIENT DESERT CITADELS

After breakfast take a short flight to Urgench where you will be driven to the ancient desert citadels on the edge of the Kyzyl-Kum Desert. The fortresses of Toprak Kala and Ayaz Kala, which date back to the 1st century AD, are set in splendid isolation and the latter has magnificent views over a nearby lake.  Look around the ruins and enjoy the dramatic scenery with your guide before driving on to Khiva and checking into your hotel.

DAY 3 - WALKING TOUR OF KHIVA

Khiva, a delightful, small walled city, is often overlooked on tours through the region but its labyrinth of side streets and small squares have a very particular charm that evokes the centuries of history the city has witnessed.  Stroll through the main gate, Ota-Davaza, and some of the highlights include Madrassah of Mukhamad Amin-Khan, Kalta-Minor Minaret, the Emir’s Palace and Harem as well as the Kunya Ark or old citadel where the Emir lived. In the afternoon visit the Friday Mosque with its 200 carved wooden pillars, the Tash Khauli Palace – built as a royal palace in the 19th century. Finally visit a local silk carpet workshop, currently under UNESCO sponsorship. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 4 - TRAIN TO BUKHARA

This morning transfer to Khiva train station and board the train number 50 to the mystical city of Bukhara, through the extensive Kyzl Kum or Red Sand Desert. You will be tracing the route of the ancient Silk Road which followed a similar route across the desert from Khiva to Bukhara. On arrival in Bukhara you will transfer to your hotel.

DAY 5 - GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF BUKHARA

One of the great trading cities along the Silk Road, Bukhara’s layout and architecture bring its past to life and make for a truly fascinating visit. Go on a full day tour through the narrow streets of the old Bukhara, where you will have the opportunity to explore the main sites with your local guide. Visit the stunning Chor Minor Madrassa, the Ark Citadel, residence of the Emirs of Bukhara and the Zindan prison in which two 19th century British officers were kept before being executed in Registan Square. Continue to Bolo-Khauz Mosque and the Ismael Samani Mausoleumwhich  dates from the 10th century. Highlights also include Kalyan Square with its great minaret, Miri Arab and a mix of ancient mosques and trading domes.

DAY 6 - BUKHARA & DINNER WITH ARTIST

This morning head to the last Emir’s Summer Palace, known by the poetic name Sitora-i Mokhi -Khossa, which dates from the beginning of the 20th century. Return to Bukhara and see Lyabi-Khauz Square which is surrounded by madrassas and crowded tea houses. The remainder of the day is at leisure to wander around the old town. This evening enjoy a traditional Uzbek dinner and painting at Davlat Toshev’s house. Davlat Toshev is one of the most exciting and in-demand contemporary masters of Bukhara miniatures and calligraphy

DAY 7 - TRAVEL TO SHAKHRISABZ & SAMARKAND

Drive to Shakhrisabz, Tamerlaine’s birthplace, a pleasant provincial town located in a small valley surrounded by the Pamir Mountains. Enjoy fantastic views from the portal of Tamerlaine’s Arksarai Palace and visit his mausoleum, a unique architectural structure. Next, drive to Devil Plateau (Shaitan Djiga), an extensive plateau of granite slabs stretching from the creeks of Mirankul. Huge boulders are scattered around and with a small amount of imagination, you can see faces bent in pain, bizarre animals and monsters turned into stones. Then travel to the nearby mountain village Tersac to have lunch in a local family house and learn about traditional village life. Continue to Samarkand and overnight.

DAY 8 - TOUR OF HISTORICAL SAMARKAND

The historic town of Samarkand lies at a crossroads and melting pot of world’s cultures. It was Tamerlaine’s capital and contains some of Asia’s most stunning architecture.  On today’sfull-day tour, visit the ancient settlement of Afrosiab and its museum as well as Ulugbek’s observatory and Bibi Khanum Mosque, built by Tamerlaine for his favourite wife. Later, see Gur Amir, the mausoleum of Tamerlaine and of course the famous Registan Square, which has extraordinary blue tiled madrassas, minarets and shimmering mosaics on three sides. No trip to Samarkand would be complete without a stop at the colourful Oriental Bazaar-Siya.

DAY 9 - CONTINUE VISITING EXQUISITE SAMARKAND

Your second day of excursions include the Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum complex, where a medieval street is lined with sparkling blue coloured tombs and mausoleums on each side that were built in the 14th and 15th century. Later drive out of the city to Konigil village to experience a paper-making workshop. For many years Samarkand has been widely revered as the centre of high-quality paper manufacture. The workshop is run by a talented master, who will demonstrate how the rind of the mulberry tree is transformed into crisp sheets of paper

DAY 10 - HIGH SPEED TRAIN TO TASHKENT

Day at leisure in Samarkand to relax or revisit any sites you would like to. Later in the day transfer to the city’s train station where you will board the ‘Afrosiab’, the passenger train that departs late afternoon train for Tashkent.  Taking the train is one of the most comfortable and convenient ways to travel to Tashkent. On arrival you will be met at the station and driven to your hotel.

DAY 11 - DEPART TASHKENT

This morning we will ensure you are taken to the airport in good time for your onward flight.

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DETAILS:

This itinerary costs from £2190 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.

You can get flights from as little as £570 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

INCLUDED:
  • Prices start from £2190 per person
  • 11 nights accommodation on B&B basis
  • Accompanied by an English speaking guide throughout.
  • Private vehicle and transfers (air-conditioned car)
  • Internal flights (one)
  • All entrance fees for excursions
  • Dinner on Day 6
  • Local taxes
  • Meals for guides and drivers
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are financially protected
Make a booking

Right in the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is a fascinating destination for those who appreciate rich history and diverse culture. For centuries the Silk Road connected East and West, a route where goods and ideas were exchanged that not only transformed the way these different worlds viewed each other but also brought exotic riches to the region.  Nowhere is this more marked than in the fabulous cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, all of which you will visit on this in-depth cultural tour.

Tashkent
Tashkent is one of the oldest cities on the Great Silk Road between China and Europe and the capital of Uzbekistan. You will be able to explore the Old Quarter of Tashkent with its impressive Khast Imam Complex, wander around Chorsu Bazaar and take the metro to the city centre.

Nukus
The remote town of Nukus is only a short flight away from Tashkent and is surrounded by three deserts - the Kara Kum, Kyzyl Kum and Ustyurt. It is home to the famous Savitsky Art Museum, boasting a huge collection of Russian avant-garde paintings.
Khiva
Khiva, a delightful, small, walled city, is often overlooked on tours through the region but its labyrinth of side streets and small squares have a very particular charm that evokes the centuries of history the city has witnessed.
Nurata
The Nurata Mountains, home to the Nurata Nature Reserve with lush green river valleys, is becoming the main eco-tourism destination in Uzbekistan, and you can stay in homestays and immerse yourself with the local culture. Our handpicked guesthouses are situated in Khayot and Yahshigul villages.
Bukhara
One of the great trading cities along the Silk Road, Bukhara’s layout and architecture bring its past to life and make for a truly fascinating visit. During your visit you can stay in stunning boutique hotels that are perfectly located in the old town of medieval Bukhara.
Samarkand
The historic town of Samarkand lies at an ancient caravan crossroads and is a melting pot of world cultures. It was Tamerlaine’s capital and contains some of Asia’s most stunning architecture. There are plenty of traditional hotels to choose from, featuring classic Uzbek décor, that are close to Registan Square.
Shakhrisabz
Shakhrisabz, Tamerlaine’s birthplace, is a pleasant provincial town located in a small valley surrounded by the Pamir Mountains. You can enjoy fantastic views from the portal of Tamerlaine’s Arksarai Palace and visit his mausoleum, a unique architectural structure.

Fergana Valley
Lying a day’s drive south-east of Tashkent and encircled by the snowy peaks of the Tian Shan range, the Ferghana Valley is a lush, fertile area where many generations of artisans have continued to make silk, ceramics and wood carvings in the traditional way.


Termez
Termez, a remote city in the south of Uzbekistan, is an ancient centre of Buddhism and a fascinating, little-visited destination - in fact during the Soviet era travel to this area was forbidden for foreigners. Highlights include the Fortress Kyrk-Kyz and the Mausoleum of Al-Hakim at-Termezi.

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