MYSTERIOUS UZBEKISTAN

15 Days

Oriental Samarkand and „noble “Bukhara, the mythical town of Khiva and welcoming Tashkent – these wonderful pearls of Uzbekistan reveal their mysteries and teach you not just their history and culture, but also the old customs and traditions together with Uzbekistan’s hospitable cuisine! Besides these highlights, you will also see the beautiful Fergana Valley, famous for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, silk and traditional ceramics. It will be a special experience to spend the night in a yurt in a desert camp in the middle of nowhere – without electricity and comfort, far away from the hectic life of the large towns. Become part of Uzbek culture and centuries-old traditions and enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains.

  • 13 x overnight stays in premium-class hotels (country category) in double room, and one yurt overnight stay
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • 14 breakfast, 3 lunches (P=picnic, L=lunch), 13 dinners according to programme
  • Easy
  • Journey with private cars over the mountain pass from Fergana to Tashkent

Overview

Oriental Samarkand and „noble “Bukhara, the mythical town of Khiva and welcoming Tashkent – these wonderful pearls of Uzbekistan reveal their mysteries and teach you not just their history and culture, but also the old customs and traditions together with Uzbekistan’s hospitable cuisine! Besides these highlights, you will also see the beautiful Fergana Valley, famous for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, silk and traditional ceramics. It will be a special experience to spend the night in a yurt in a desert camp in the middle of nowhere – without electricity and comfort, far away from the hectic life of the large towns. Become part of Uzbek culture and centuries-old traditions and enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains.

Itinerary

You fly with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul to Tashkent, where you land very early the following day.

After your arrival at midnight in Tashkent you will be greeted by the tour guide who will take you to your hotel where you can rest. Late breakfast will be served for you in the hotel.
Towards midday you will make a tour of modern Tashkent. In the old town you will then visit the historical complex Khast Imam. In the large square you will see Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Barakkhan Madrasa and Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum as well as the library in which the oldest Koran in the world is kept. Then we go to Chorsu Bazaar, which was already well-known in the Middle Ages that stood at the crossroads of the caravansary processions of the Great Silk Road. You can wander around the pedestrian area with its many street traders and cafés and take the only Underground Train of Middle Asia which has impressively decorated stations. Dinner in a local restaurant. Two overnight stays in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Garnet Hotel in Tashkent

After breakfast in the hotel we will take a train through the impressive Kamchik-Pass (2.268 m) to Kokand. In the Fergana Valley you will have a different coach driver for two days. In Kokand you will discover the splendid Islamic buildings – the Palace of Khudoyarkhan and the imposing Djuma Mosque. In Rishtan we will visit a ceramics workshop in which the potter will tell you about the process of producing ceramics and give you a demonstration. Dinner in the hotel. One overnight stay in Fergana.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Grand Fergana Hotel in Fergana

To get to know the town, you will make a tour through the avenue-like streets of Fergana and visit Margilan. Here you will visit the largest Silk Factory, the “Yodgorlik”, where you will learn the individual steps in the making of silk. In the afternoon we will again drive in cars over the mountain pass back to Tashkent. Dinner in a local restaurant. One overnight stay in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Garnet Hotel in Tashkent

You take the morning flight to Nukus (1255 Km, 2h 45 min). On arrival, trip to the former fishing village Muynak (220 km, 3 h), which is on what was once the banks of the Aral Lake. In Muynak you can see the former port with abandoned boats in the sand - "Boat Cemetery". Then you will visit local museum with art exhibitions showing the history of the Aral Lake. Picnic lunch. In the afternoon return to Nukus. On the way you will stop at the archaeological Complex Mizdakhan. Here you will visit the most important grave sites of the region. Overnight stay in Nukus. Dinner in a typical local restaurant. One overnight stay in Nukus.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic and dinner
Accommodation: Jipek Joli Hotel in Nukus

After breakfast you will visit the Savitsky-Art Museum, which lies in the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan on Uzbekistan territory that has a unique collection of classical Russian Avant-garde Art. On to Khiva, on the way visit Ayaz Kala – an impressive ancient mud fortress. In the Kyzylkum Desert, on the slope of the eastern foothills of the Sultan Uvays mountains, there are enormous ruins of one of the largest fortresses of the old Khorezm – Ayaz Kala. According to archaeological excavations, the Ayaz Kala fortress stems from the 2nd century BC. It was part of a system of border fortresses which stretched from east to west and defended the oasis Khiva from the desert side. Lunch in the yurts. Then we will visit the other mud fortress Toprak Kala (ancient capital of Khorezm, 2nd century AD). Arrival in the oasis town Khiva in the afternoon.
For dinner, we will have the meal typical of this region – „Shivit oshi “, which can be translated as „green noodles “. As the noodle dough is made with dill juice, the noodles are green. Two overnight stays in Khiva.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Shaherezade Hotel in Khiva

Day 7 :
Khiva

A highlight of your trip! The mud streets and the two-wheeled donkey carts which can still be seen today give you an idea of the unchanged way of life since the Middle Ages. Admire in the historic centre the Oriental ornaments and turquoise tiles of the finely decorated buildings, and you will see why the old town of Khiva “Ichan Kala” is rightfully called an “Open Air Museum”. Kunya Ark, once residence of the Khans of Khiva, Djuma Mosque – a Friday mosque, known for its very artistically decorated 212 wooden columns. Pakhlavon Makhmud Mausoleum, Medrasa and Minaret of Islam Khodja – the wise Vizier of Khan, Muhammad Rakhimkhan Medrasa and the Tash Hovli Palace. Splendid dinner in the summer palace of the Khans called „Toza-Bog “(at least 8 people). Let the magical impressions of the day sink in.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Shaherezade Hotel in Khiva

Trip through the half-desert Kyzylkum («Red Sand») and steppe to Bukhara. Picnic lunch on the way in an Uzbek «Roadhouse». Arrival in Bukhara, check into the hotel. Then you have time to explore on your own. Dinner in a local restaurant. Two overnight stays in Bukhara.

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

Day 9 :
Bukhara

We start our sightseeing with the mausoleum of Ismail Samani and visit the mausoleum Chashmai Ayub. We continue our tour on foot. Bukhoroi sharif (noble Bukhara) is a town with impressive market dome buildings, active mosques and medrasas. Bukhara has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One feels transported to the world of the Tales of One Thousand and One Nights, and it is amazing that teaching and learning still continue today in the mosques and medrasas, for example in the medrasa Miri Arab. You can admire the «classic» architectural complexes Lyabi Khauz with their trading domes, and several mosques, medrasas and the dervish monastery Khanaka in the town centre and will understand the honorary title «noble». On the way we will also visit market dome buildings such as Toki Zargaron, Toki Telpakfurushon and Toki Saraffon. In the afternoon, we have time to discover the Jewish quarter of Bukhara and visit a Synagogue which is over 400 years old. Then we will visit a Puppet Work Shop.
Dinner today in an old Jewish house with a Bukhara family. The Suzani embroiderer Abdurahman will tell us about Bukhara embroidery. Tonight you will try Emir’s Plov.

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

In the house of the merchant Khodjaev, which is today a museum, you can see how wealthy merchants and traders lived in Bukhara one hundred years ago. Then we will visit the summer residence of the last Bukhara Emir - Sitorai Mokhi Khosa which in Persian means «The place where the moon and the stars meet». As it is known, Bukhara is one of the seven holy towns of the Islamic world. In the afternoon, we leave Bukhara and drive towards the yurt settlement in the Kyzylkum Desert (230 Km, 4 h*). On the way we will make a brief stop at the ruins of an old Caravansaray and «Sardoba» (water reservoir). Both these sights date from the 11th to the 14th century and bear witness to the many caravansaries which passed through that way on the Silk Road. You will stop briefly in Nurata in order to visit a local mosque and the holy spring. Then on to the Nurata Pass where you can see petroglyphs. Arrival towards evening in the yurt settlement. The yurts sleep 2-6 participants – or exceptionally even eight persons. After dinner an Akyn (folksinger) will sing Uzbek songs around the campfire. One overnight stay in the yurts.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Yurt Camp in Nurata

In the morning drive to the Aydarkul Desert Lake. Lunch by the lake. In the afternoon, drive to Samarkand. Samarkand – the pearl of the Orient, over 2750 years old, was considered in the Middle Ages to be one of the most beautiful towns in the world and still today it has lost none of its fascination. Dinner in a local restaurant. Three overnight stays in Samarkand.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Shahdil Hotel in Samarkand

Day 12 :
Samarkand

In Samarkand the Tales from One Thousand and One Nights begin again for you. It is one of the oldest towns in the world and was at the same time the hub of the famous Silk Road. In the Afrosiyob Museum, you can get a clear idea of old Samarkand. Then you will visit one of the greatest pilgrimage sites of the Islamic world – the Grave Complex of Saint Daniel and the Shahi Zinda Necropolis - a marvellous collection of different mausoleums decorated in Timur style with majolica and mosaic tiles. After a break, we will go to a Silk Paper Manufacturer which has been revived by the brothers Mukhtarov. Thanks to them, the production of paper according to Samarkand Technology has come alive again. It is interesting that the entire production is done by hand, and the guests can watch the process of making a silk paper.
Then we will visit Ulugbek Observatory, once the greatest research centre in Central Asia. Ulugbek, the grandson of Amir Timur, where you will get introduced with the sextant of the observatory which was only discovered in 1908. Dinner with a local family.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Shahdil Hotel in Samarkand

Day 13 :
Samarkand

During your tour, you will not fail to be impressed by the palace-like mausoleum of the ruler Amir Timur, the Gur Emir Mausoleum. Today you can enjoy the highlight of your trip – Registan-Square with three impressive, enormous and richly decorated medrasas. Tashkent Street, with its many souvenir shops, leads you to the once largest mosque of Central Asia – the Bibi Khanum Mosque. Timur wanted to demonstrate his unlimited technical and financial capabilities by building the most beautiful mosque of the Eastern world. You are encouraged during your walk through the Bazaar to try raisins, apricots and nuts. Enjoy the colourful hustle and bustle life of the friendly locals. Towards the evening you attend a theatricalised presentation of historical Oriental costumes in the „El Merosi “Theatre. This theatre shows costumes of the people of Central Asia at different eras – from ancient times to the 19th century – the times of the Massagets, Achemenids, Anachits, Sogdians and Timurids. Dinner in the restaurant „Samarkand “, where you can see the culture of the country and the people.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Shahdil Hotel in Samarkand

Today you will make an excursion to Shakhrisabz – to the birthplace of the great Timur. Drive with private cars over the picturesque mountain pass where you will have a photo-stop to make some shots. You can see the remains of Timur’s summer palace Ak Saray, which took 20 years to build; the Jakhongir Mausoleum for Timur’s eldest son who died in a military campaign. You will also see the Kok Gumbaz Mosque, which is visible from far away with its blue dome and which has unbelievable acoustics. Return to Samarkand in the afternoon. At 17:00h transfer to the station. Departure at 1800h on the fast train “Afrosiyob” to Tashkent (300 km). Arrival at 20:10h. Dinner in a local restaurant. One overnight stay in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Garnet Hotel in Tashkent

After an early breakfast you will be driven to Tashkent 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
  • * Inland flight Tashkent-Nukus
  • * Train journeys for Tashkent-Kokand and Samarkand-Tashkent in Economy Class
  • * Journey with private cars over the mountain pass from Fergana to Tashkent
  • * 13 x overnight stays in premium-class hotels (country category) in double room, and one yurt overnight stay
  • * Sightseeing programme including admission fees according to travel programme
  • * Theatricalised performance “El-Merosi” in Samarkand
  • * Meals: 14 breakfast, 3 lunches (P=picnic, L=lunch), 13 dinners according to programme
  • * English-speaking travgel 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

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MYSTERIOUS UZBEKISTAN
From $2,090
/ Adult
From $1,000
/ Child
  • 13 x overnight stays in premium-class hotels (country category) in double room, and one yurt overnight stay
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • 14 breakfast, 3 lunches (P=picnic, L=lunch), 13 dinners according to programme
  • Easy
  • Journey with private cars over the mountain pass from Fergana to Tashkent