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ALONG THE CARAVANSARIES IN CENTRAL ASIA

13 Days

A tour through interesting countries such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, a wonderful combination in Central Asia. The most important reloading points of many great empires were always the caravansaries as we find them in the largest trading towns along the Silk Road. The old trading houses within Uzbekistan are among the most beautiful buildings in Central Asia. We will drive and walk along the old trading routes. You can experience everyday life in Central Asia on this trip, the bustle in the Old Towns of Uzbekistan, the buildings in Turkmenistan with their massive dimensions, and the nomadic life in Kyrgyzstan where nature is the main element.

Trip info

Trip overview

A tour through interesting countries such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, a wonderful combination in Central Asia. The most important reloading points of many great empires were always the caravansaries as we find them in the largest trading towns along the Silk Road. The old trading houses within Uzbekistan are among the most beautiful buildings in Central Asia. We will drive and walk along the old trading routes. You can experience everyday life in Central Asia on this trip, the bustle in the Old Towns of Uzbekistan, the buildings in Turkmenistan with their massive dimensions, and the nomadic life in Kyrgyzstan where nature is the main element.

Itinerary

You arrive in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Today we visit the historical complex of Khast Imam in the Old Town. In the large square you see The Tilla Sheykh Mosque, the Barakkhan Madrasa, the Kaffal Shashi mausoleum and the library, in which the oldest Koran in the world is kept. Then we go to the Chorsu Bazaar, which was already known in the Middle Ages and situated on the crossroads of the caravan processions of the Great Silk Road. In the afternoon, we will stroll through the modern town and visit Independence Square and the Timur Park. In the afternoon we fly to Urgench. Arrival in Urgench, transfer to the –Khiva.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Musa Tura Hotel in Khiva

Day 3 :
Khiva

Excursion to the Zangi Ota complex in Tashkent. Towards midday, flight to Urgench. Then on to Khiva. There we visit Ichan Kala («the inner town citadel»). Khiva is a town citadel which can look back on a rich history and which still looks today as it did hundreds of years ago. It is one of the few preserved places in Central Asia where one can imagine life as it was in Khan times. The famous buildings of Central Asia which have long become landmarks are to be found inIchan Kala. The summer palace Nurullabay lies outside Ichan Kala and was built by local masterbuilders and German Mennonites.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Musa Tura Hotel in Khiva

Journey towards Shavat to the Uzbekistan border with Turkmenistan. There you will be greeted by your travel guide in Turkmenistan. On to Kunya Urgench. The history of this town in the Khorezm Oasis can be traced back to pre-Christian times. After a lunch break, we go on towards the Darwaza gas crater in the midst of the scorching hot Karakum Desert („black sand -desert“) (270 km.). Arrival late afternoon. Set up camp site.
Darwaza literally means "the gateway". The whole area around Darwaza is rich in natural gas. During drilling in 1971, geologists discovered by chance an underground cave filled with natural gas. The earth under the drilling machines collapsed leaving a large hole with a diameter of about 60 to 100 m and a depth of 20 m. In order to avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn off the gas. Geologists hoped that the fire would burn out the gas in a few days, but it is still burning today: The locals call the gas crater "gateway to hell". The sight of the gas crater in the night is breathtaking, and camping for the night offers a unique opportunity to enjoy this miracle of nature. A relaxing evening in the quiet tranquillity of the desert and dinner together around the fire.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Yurtcamp in Gascrater

Trip to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. A town with many tall houses the facades of which are covered with marble. We will visit the town centre, the bazaar and the central mosque. On to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Ak Altyn in Ashgabat

Trip to Mary. We will see the Annau Seyitjemaleddin Mosque. On the way there you will discover a town ruin, Abiverd, eight kilometres west of Kaka. Abiverd was once the most important trading town of Khorasan. Visit to the archaeological findings of the ancient town Merv.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Margush Hotel in Mary

During the journey to the Farab border, we will visit the ancient town of Merv. It was on the Great Silk Road and quickly became one of the largest towns of the Ancient World. Brief visit to the forts: Gyz Kala and Oglan Kala, Soltan Kala, Soltan Sanjar. Continue on via Turkmenabad towards Farab. Cross the border, arrival in Bukhara.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Komil Boutique Hotel in Bukhara

Day 8 :
Bukhara

Excursion to the mausoleum of Ismail Samani. Then we go to the gravesite of Chashmai Ayub. We visit the Old Town on foot. "Bukhoroi sharif" (noble Bukhara) is a town with imposing market dome buildings and active mosques. Bukhara is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage. You will feel transported to the world of the fairy-tales from One Thousand and One Nights. It is amazing that teaching and learning are still carried out today in the mosques and madrasas, for instance in the madrasa Miri Arab. You can admire the «classic» architectural complexes of Lyabi Khauz with trading domes and several mosques, madrasas and the dervish monastery Khanaka in the Town Centre and understand the title of «noble». In the afternoon, we go to the Jewish Quarter of Bukhara to visit a synagogue which is over 400 years old. Then we will see a puppet workshop.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Komil Boutique Hotel in Bukhara

The caravans go on: Journey towards the Nurata Mountains (about 250 km). According to a legend, the name Nurata comes from the Nur Fort which was founded in the time of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. There was then a spring with fresh water here, called Chashma, and this was the main reason for the settlement. We will visit the Nurata mausoleum and the ruins of Alexander the Great’s fort. Then on towards the yurt camp above the Aydarkul Lake. Depending on the season, you can swim in the lake or observe the fauna. Then we arrive at the yurt camp where you can ride on a camel or walk in the dunes. Overnight stay in a yurt.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Yurtcamp Hotel in Yangigazgan

Today we are travelling to Samarkand, one of the pearls of the Orient, which is over 2750 years old.
The town from the fairy-tales of One Thousand and One Nights was considered in the Middle Ages to be one of the most beautiful towns in the world and has still today lost none of its charm. Lunch break on arrival in Samarkand. Then we visit one of the visiting cards of Uzbekistan, the famous Registan Square with its three unique madrasas Ulughbek, Sherdor and Tillya Kori. Also on the programme is a visit to the palace-like mausoleum Guri-Emir of the ruler Timur. We also visit the largest mosque in Central Asia: BibiKhanum - which was once considered to be one of the largest sacral buildings of the Orient. An interesting construction which was enormous in its time. Then on to the Siyob Bazaar which is next to the mosque. Here you can buy souvenirs from Uzbekistan. The selection of dried fruits is unbelievable.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Ideal Hotel in Samarkand

Day 11 :
Samarkand

Visit to the Samarkand Paper Factory, where silk paper has been produced since the year 751 AD. Interesting articles are produced from the paper in this self-sustaining factory. It is also interesting that the whole production is carried out by hand and the guests can observe the process in this idyllic place. Then we will go to the Ulugbek Observatory which was once the largest research centre in Central Asia, the gravesit of Shakhi Zindaor «living king», where today Timur’s family members are buried.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Ideal Hotel in Samarkand

Early start towards Tashkent. On the way there will of course be a „technical “break. When you make the trip in summer (or even autumn/fall), you will see markets selling all sorts of products such as honey melons and watermelons, apples and pomegranates. The locals sell fruit and vegetables from their gardens. On arrival, you have some free time.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Navruz in Tashkent

Early flight home

Meals: Breakfast

COST

Includes

  • Included in the standard price :
  • * Inland flights Tashkent – Urgench
  • * Overnight stays in Hotels according to Standard (local category)
  • * Meals according to travel programme
  • * Travel and transfers in Uzbekistan and in Turkmenistan
  • * Sightseeing, tours and events programme incl. Entrance fees
  • * English-speaking DOCA TOURS travel guide throughout

Excludes

  • Not included in the standard price:
  • * Long-haul flights to Tashkent
  • * Photo/Video-fees
  • * Tips for travel guide and driver
  • * Personal expenses
  • * Visa costs
  • Additional Services:
  • Supplement for single room ¬¬220 USD

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ALONG THE CARAVANSARIES IN CENTRAL ASIA
From $1,990
/ Adult
From $1,000
/ Child

Trip info