ADVENTURE TOURS: HISTORY AND SECRETS OF TRANSOXANIA

10 Days

A journey along the oldest trading route in the world, the Silk Road. Experience the lively oases in the middle of the Kyzylkum and Karakum Deserts, where heavily-laden camel caravansaries once travelled. The formidable palaces, medrasas and mosques from the Middle Ages still make an overwhelming impression. You are also invited to a wine-tasting in the “Samarkand Wine-Factory”. Spend a night in a traditional yurt in the middle of the desert and experience the starry sky from ‚One Thousand and One Nights ‘by the bright campfire with musical accompaniment by an Akyn (folklore singer).  You will moreover be delighted by the lively Middle East bazaars, where you will discover traces from the dazzling era of the rulers along the Silk Road.

Trip info

  • 3-4* and Boutique Hotels, Yurts, Guest houses
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • 9 x breakfast, 3x lunch, 8 x dinner according to travel programme
  • Easy
  • Fast train, Coach

Trip overview

A journey along the oldest trading route in the world, the Silk Road. Experience the lively oases in the middle of the Kyzylkum and Karakum Deserts, where heavily-laden camel caravansaries once travelled. The formidable palaces, medrasas and mosques from the Middle Ages still make an overwhelming impression. You are also invited to a wine-tasting in the “Samarkand Wine-Factory”. Spend a night in a traditional yurt in the middle of the desert and experience the starry sky from ‚One Thousand and One Nights ‘by the bright campfire with musical accompaniment by an Akyn (folklore singer).  You will moreover be delighted by the lively Middle East bazaars, where you will discover traces from the dazzling era of the rulers along the Silk Road.

Itinerary

Day 1 :
Arrival

Flight to Tashkent. Arrival in the evening or early the following day (depending on your flight connection). Your travel guide will meet you at the international airport and take you to your hotel for two nights in Tashkent.

Meals: -
Accommodation: Arien Plaza in Tashkent

Day 2 :
Tashkent

After breakfast in the hotel, you will go on a sightseeing tour through the old town of Tashkent. We will see the Khast Imam Complex. In the large square, the Barakkhan Medrasa and the Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum bear witness to the time when Tashkent was the centre of the great development of Islamic culture and religion. The oldest Koran in the world is kept in the medrasa’s library. The manuscript dates back to the third Caliph Osman.
Then we go to the «Chorsu» Bazaar, which was already known in the Middle Ages that lies at the crossroads of the caravansaries of the Great Silk Road. This is one of the largest markets of Tashkent, not far from the centre. In the bazaar, you will see many Uzbek specialities, and all kinds of exotic, spicy smells will tickle your taste buds. In the Museum of Applied Art, which is housed in an impressive, historic community centre, there are over 7,000 exhibits of traditional popular art from a past era and a foreign culture. Then we will take the Underground (Subway) train with its countless decorated stations. You can walk through the pedestrian areas with its many street traders and cafés and take a trip on the only underground railway of Central Asia, impressive with some originally decorated stations. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Arien Plaza in Tashkent

In the morning, transfer to the station to take the fast train to Bukhara at 7:30-11:19. On arrival, transfer to the hotel in Bukhara’s old town. Today you will visit the most important sites: The Samanids Mausoleum - the oldest architectural building in Central Asia, the Bolo Khauz mosque, the Ark-Citadel, the residence of the Emirs of Bukhara, and the most famous complex and landmark of Bukhara – the Poi Kalyan Complex. On the way from the Poi Kalyan Complex through the domed bazaars past the medrasas to the Lyabi Khauz, gold embroiderers, scissor makers and cobblers will greet you. The Lyabi Khauz Complex is the centre of old Bukhara with majestic buildings. To relax, you can drink coffee in the Café Wishbone (German Corner) “. Then you can watch the bustle of the craftsperson and discover the woodcarvers, cutlers, potters and weavers in their workshops. Folklore show in the Nadir Divan Begi medrasa. Dinner in a local restaurant. Two overnight stays in Bukhara.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Komil Boutique

Day 4 :
Bukhara

Today we continue our tour of the oasis town Bukhara. You will see the Chor Minor Mosque, built in 1807 by the rich Turkman Khalif Niyazkul. The four sky-blue minarets rise up in the midst of a traditional residential area. With its unusual style, this building has become the emblem of Bukhara. On we go through the alleys of the old town and you will discover Jewish traces in Bukhara when visiting the synagogue. In the house of the merchant Khodzhaev, you will see how wealthy merchants and traders lived 100 years ago in Bukhara. The complex, which consists of several buildings, is today a museum and your guide will show you the most interesting rooms. Then the wonderful Summer Palace will receive you at the gates of Bukhara, the "Sitorai Mokhi Khosa" (Palace of the Moon and Sky) of the last ruling Emir of Bukhara, Said Alim Khan. The palace has a mixture of Russian, Oriental and European architecture and has an impressive park. In the afternoon we will visit the Jewish residential area of Bukhara and enter a synagogue which is over 400 years old. Then we will see a Puppet Workshop. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Komil Boutique

After breakfast in the hotel we go to Gijduvan (ca. 40km) where we will visit the grave complex of Abdukhalik Gijduvani (1103-1179) – one of the Sufi saints. We will also visit a ceramics factory and the appendant museum. Gijduvan is well known all over Uzbekistan amongst other things for its ceramics in particularly warm colours. We continue on to the ancient town of Nurata (170km) where we will visit the Mausoleum Nurata and the Ruins of the Fort of Alexander the Great. A source of fresh water which was here, called Chashma, was the reason for the settlement. The holy source of chashma is a place of pilgrimage and one of the most important religious centres of Islam in the region. After lunch in Nurata, you will go to the yurt camp in the Kyzylkum Desert, where you will be shown your yurt. You will be pleasantly surprised to see that everything is provided for a comfortable stay in the midst of the desert. On the way to the yurt you will have visited the Petroglyphs of the Sarmysh Gorge where there are more than 3500 drawings from the Bronze Age. This gorge is a real museum and one of the largest galleries of petroglyphs in the world. Your beautifully situated yurt camp is near the Aydarkul Lake. After dinner, you will enjoy typical Kazakh songs by local Akyns (folklore singers). Dinner and overnight stay in the yurt.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Yurt Camp

After breakfast, you can try riding a camel. Camel-riding or a hike along a part of the route to the Aydarkul Lake (4.5 km), and a walk along the lake (5 km). The water is refreshing, and you should take a swim if possible (depending on the season). Then you will enjoy a picnic by the lake or in the camp (depending on the weather). On to the mountain village Sentob (ca. 60km). Lodgings with a local family (guesthouse). In the afternoon, you can learn about the traditions of the typical village family. Visit to a silkworm breeding factory (only possible in May), (participation in bread-baking). Chatting to your hosts, their neighbours and a short walk through the village before dinner to hear about the everyday life of Uzbeks. Dinner and overnight stay in Sentob with the host family.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Family Guesthouse

During a short walk in the area (if so desired), you can see the ladies out milking on their farms. Today is an adventure day for the hikers with a climb to the pass next to the „Gaukum “(1615). From here, you have a panorama view of Sentob, the River Sentobsoy and the Aydarkul Lake. After a short walk, you will have lunch with your host family before going on to world-famous Samarkand (ca. 220km trip). Arrival towards evening.
Samarkand is one of the oldest and most famous towns in the world and at the same time the centre-point of the Great Silk road. The town owes its heyday to Amir Timur (Tamerlan), who brought back the best craftsmen and artists from his military campaigns from India to Europe. In the 14th century, these created the architecture which made Samarkand famous at home and abroad. Registan Square, the emblem of Samarkand, is evidence of this heyday of Oriental architecture. Samarkand is not just well known for its historic monuments, but also for its wine. Here, wine and brandy are balsam for the throat! After visiting the Wine Museum in Samarkand, you can try 10 types of Uzbek wine and brandy. Dinner in the restaurant “Samarkand”. Two overnight stays in Samarkand.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Ideal

Day 8 :
Samarkand

In Samarkand, you will again feel transported to ‚One Thousand and One Nights ‘. Today you will visit the sights in this town which is over 2700 years old (UNESCO-World Heritage): In the “Afrosiyob” Museum you can get a feeling for ancient Samarkand. We will also visit the grave of Daniel – the prophet of three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is not the most imposing, but perhaps the most interesting of Samarkand’s mausoleums. Then we go to the Shakhi Zinda Complex, a wonderful group of mausoleums cased in majolica and mosaic tiles in Timuridic style. You will see that centuries-old traditions still continue in Samarkand when you see the paper manufacturing factory. You will experience a traditional, natural paper-making process which uses the fibres of the mulberry tree. Our last trip today will be to the observatory in Ulugbek. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Ideal

Ancient Samarkand still shows the splendour of old times! In the Middle Ages, it was considered to be one of the most beautiful and most important towns in the world. The palace-like mausoleum of the ruler Amir Timur, the Gur Emir Mausoleum, will not fail to impress you. Today, you will enjoy the highlight of your trip, Registan Square, with its three enormous, artistically adorned medrasas. Then you will go to what was once the greatest mosque of Central Asia – the Bibi Khanym Mosque. After the visit, you will go to a colourful bazaar, passing from the museum-like to Oriental reality. Pyramids of nuts, almonds, pistachios, dried apricots, raisins as well as all sorts of fresh fruit and vegetables are piled up on the market stands. All sorts of exotic aromas from spices and herbs will assail your noses. A market which is as colourful and fascinating as life itself. In the late afternoon you leave Samarkand on the “Afrosiyob” fast train at 17:00 to Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight stay in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Arien Plaza in Tashkent

After an early breakfast you will be driven to Tashkent International Airport for your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

COST

Includes

  • Included in the standard price :
  • * Round trip / excursions and transfers in air-conditioned vehicles, typical for the country
  • * Train journeys Tashkent-Bukhara and Samarkand-Tashkent in Economy Class
  • * 7 x overnight stays in middle-class hotels (country category) in double room, 1 x yurg camp, 1 x with a family
  • * Meals: 9 x breakfast, 3 x lunch, 8 x dinner according to travel programme
  • * Sightseeing programme including admission fees according to tour description
  • * Folklore-show in the Nadir Divan Begi medrasa in Bukhara
  • * Dinner by the campfire with typical songs from the local Akyns (folksingers)
  • * Bread-baking with the local family in the Sentob mountain village
  • * Wine-tasting in the „Khovrenko “vineyard in Samarkand
  • * English-speaking travel guide from DOCA TOURS from to Tashkent Airport

Excludes

  • Not included in the standard price :
  • * International flights
  • * Photo/video fees
  • * Tips for travel guide and drivers
  • * Visa fees
  • Additional Services:
  • * Supplement for single room ¬¬ 160 USD

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ADVENTURE TOURS: HISTORY AND SECRETS OF TRANSOXANIA
From $1,390
/ Adult
From $1,000
/ Child

Trip info

  • 3-4* and Boutique Hotels, Yurts, Guest houses
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • 9 x breakfast, 3x lunch, 8 x dinner according to travel programme
  • Easy
  • Fast train, Coach