Uzbekistan and Silk Road gems

From 1670€ / person 10 days

Uzbekistan, wonders of the Silk Road and more

Central Asia's geography is often not well known and is referred to as the Stans countries. Uzbekistan used to be a land of major stops on the Silk Road, and the cities that developed thanks to this trade revenues still stand today to show you their past magnificence. Uzbekistan was a place where cultures and people met, as well as a country where important leaders and kings showed their power and expanded their Empires from. In the 20th century this entire role changed as Uzbekistan was integrated into the USSR, to play the role of the Soviet Union's cotton producer. Visit Uzbekistan and see for yourself its majestic cultures, past and present!

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History's influences

Due to its position in the middle of Central Asia, Uzbekistan always received mixed influences; it's been the land of different ethnic groups' kingdoms. Witness the remains of old Scythian kingdom (Eastern Iranian nomads) followed by the Persians and the Iranian Achaemenid Empire, as well as the Macedonian Greek rule with Alexander the Great. Then it was the Muslim conquest and Islamic Golden Age (when Central Asian cities were full of great artists and scientists). It was all brought down by the Mongol expansion in the 13th century, and Tamerlane the Great founded the Turco-Mongol Timurid dynasty. Last but not least, Babur's Mughal dynasty arrived, you know, the same as in northern India... But the Russian Empire slowly incorporated the Stans countries, which then stayed under the USSR rule. Now independent but filled with so many rich and different cultures, Uzbekistan will unfold its mysteries to you.

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Itinerary

Visit Uzbekistan firstly in the capital city Tashkent, with its Islamic age and Russian/Soviet mixed influences. Then reach Khiva to discover this old fortress and its much older town of Khorezm. Reach the outskirts of the town to experience the desert's nomadic life, before going to Bukhara, a city filled with history that went from hand to hand, always coveted by different kingdoms. Finally, you'll visit Samarkand, a legendary stop on the Silk Road and capital city for the Emperor Tamerlane in the 14th century.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tashkent (D)

Today you’ll fly to Tashkent. Upon arrival your driver will bring you to your hotel for check in.

Day 2: Tashkent (B,L,D)

Today discover Tashkent: visit the Khast Imam complex which has a rich Islamic Library and posesses the biggest Othman Quran, dating back to the 8th century. Go to the Chorsu bazaar, one of the oldest markets in Central Asia and discover the Kukeldash madrasah (16th century), the most important old Koranic school in Tashkent. You will also see the Independence (Mustaqillik) Square, relating to a much more recent part of history.

Day 3: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva (B,L,D)

In the early morning you will fly to Urgench. Upon arrival you will start visiting Khiva with the Ichan Qala fortress, the Allakulikhan Madrassah, the Kalta Minor, Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islom Khoja Minaret and Juma Mosque.

Day 4: Khiva – Ayaz Kala – Khiva (B,L,D)

After breakfast you will visit the ancient fortress of Khorezm built in the 4th century BC. Then you will have lunch at a yurt in Ayaz Kala: you’ll spend all day at Ayaz Kala yurt camp. Experience the life of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia, ride on a “desert ship” – a camel on the shores of Lake Ayazkoul. You will also visit the fortresses of Toprak Kala (former capital of the Khorezm state) and Kizil Kala.

Day 5: Khiva - Bukhara (B,L,D)

Today you will drive to Bukhara. On the way, enjoy a panoramic view of the Oxus (old name for the Amou Daria river). Upon arrival to Bukhara check in at the hotel. After a short rest, you’ll take a walking tour around the old city. Finally, enjoy a folklore show at Nodir Devon Begi Madrassah.

Day 6: Bukhara (B,L,D)

Today, enjoy a city tour of Bukhara: you will the visit Samanid dynasty mausoleum, the Arc Fortress,  Magoki-Attori mosque, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum (also known as Job’s well), Madrasah Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan, Kalon ensemble, Miri-Arab madrasah, Kosh madrasah, trade domes, madrasah Chor-Minor and Lyabi Hauz complex.

Day 7: Bukhara – Shakhrisabz  – Samarkand (B,L,D)

Today you will drive to Samarkand. In the south of the city, explore Shakhrisabz, the town where Tamerlane was born. Visit the audacious Ak-Saray Palace, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque and Khazratilmom ensemble. Then you will enjoy a lunch at a local family. Stay in Samarkand for the night.

Day 8: Samarkand (B,L,D)

Today discover Samarkand with your guide: start with the Registan Square which is the centerpiece of Central Asia, Gur Emir Mausoleum, Ulugbek’s Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Bibi-Khanum Mosque. You will see today in a local family the preparation of the most popular dish in Uzbekistan: Plov, and then eat it. Overnight in Samarkand.

Day 9: Samarkand – Tashkent (B,L,D)

This morning you will visit the Afrosiyob Museum, and the Central bazaar in Samarkand. After lunch you will learn everything about Paper Mills.
Then you’ll be transferred to Tashkent by train and arrive in the evening. Enjoy your dinner in a good restaurant in Tashkent.

Day 10: Tashkent Departure (B)

Today is the time to say goodbye, your driver will bring you to the airport for a flight to your next destination.

Information

Inclusions:
  • Standard / Boutique Hotels with breakfast (B)
  • Lunch (L) and dinner (D) when mentioned
  • Private drivers
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Domestic flight and train as mentioned
Exclusions:
  • Visa
  • International & other domestic flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to guide and driver
  • Insurances
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