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NAVRUZ – THE NEW YEAR’S FESTIVAL OF THE ORIENT

10 Days

The word Navruz is Persian and means «New Day». Navruz is celebrated all over the Orient on 21 March and is an old, traditional Spring Festival and thus New Year’s Festival. It was started by the Iranian ruler Jamshid who declared Zoroastrianism to be the state religion in Iran and Central Asia. The «Navruz – the New Year’s Festival of the Orient»-Trip takes you to the very old roots of the region, to the world beyond Uzbekistan and to a profound, old culture – together with much food and drink. Navruz makes Uzbekistan a special place where you can enjoy the Spring smells of the blossoming trees and feel the safeguarding of ancient traditions.

Trip info

  • 3-4* and Boutique Hotels, Guesthouse
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • Half-board + 1 lunch
  • Easy
  • Aeroplane, fast train, coach

Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva – Bukhara – Ashraf village – Samarkand – Tashkent

The word Navruz is Persian and means «New Day». Navruz is celebrated all over the Orient on 21 March and is an old, traditional Spring Festival and thus New Year’s Festival. It was started by the Iranian ruler Jamshid who declared Zoroastrianism to be the state religion in Iran and Central Asia. The «Navruz – the New Year’s Festival of the Orient»-Trip takes you to the very old roots of the region, to the world beyond Uzbekistan and to a profound, old culture – together with much food and drink. Navruz makes Uzbekistan a special place where you can enjoy the Spring smells of the blossoming trees and feel the safeguarding of ancient traditions.

Itinerary

Flight to Tashkent. Arrival in the evening or early the following day (depending on your flight connection). Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and accompany you to your hotel. Two overnight stays in Tashkent.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: City Palace Hotel in Tashkent

In the morning you will make a tour of the old town of Tashkent. You will see Khast Imam Square, the wonderful Barak Khan Medrasa, whose turquoise domes form a unique contrast to the sand-coloured facade. Beside the medrasa there is a library in which the oldest Koran in the world is kept, a Koran of Othman, the third Caliph. Then we will visit the Kukeldash Medrasa which was built in 1569 and which is one of the largest and best-preserved medrasas of the 16th century in the whole of Central Asia. In the Museum of Applied Arts, which is in a magnificent historic mansion, there are over 7000 exhibits of traditional Popular Culture and foreign culture from ancient times
In the afternoon, you will discover Dorboz and Polvon Art, a type of Uzbek art found particularly in the Fergana Valley. The Uzbek national Dorboz Group presents an outside show especially for Navruz Festival. On the programme there are clowns, illusions, games with stones, performances with Polvon and Dorboz artists (tightrope walkers). The acrobatic performances of the tightrope walkers (15 to 25 metres off the ground), complicated, dangerous, but amazingly good performances from Polvons (e.g. lifting of people and cars, etc.) will make unforgettable impressions. We take an evening flight to Urgench, then we go by coach to the oasis town of Khiva (35 km). Dinner in a local restaurant. Two overnight stays in Khiva.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Shaherezada in Khiva

Day 3 :
Khiva

Today we will visit the old town of Ichan Kala, which has maintained its historical, Oriental character. You will stand in front of the massive town wall with its four entrance gates to Ichan Kala and feel transported to another world: Around the Kalta Minor (short minaret), that was once supposed to be built so high that one could see distant Bukhara from the top, life continues to pulsate as it did in ancient times. On a tour, all the sites of the town will have their effect on you: Kunya Ark – the old residence of the Khiva Khans, the Medrasa of Muhammad Rakhim Khan, the Mausoleum of Pakhlavon Makhmud, Medrasa and Minaret Islam Khodja, the residence of Tosh Khovli and the Djuma Mosque – Friday Mosque whose wooden beam ceiling is carried by 212 artistically decorated carvings. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Shaherezada Hotel in Khiva

Impressive journey through the vegetated desert „Kyzylkum “(«Red Sand») and the vast steppe to Bukhara (420 km). On the way we will have a lunch break in an Uzbek «Roadhouse» resp. tea-room. In the late evening we arrive in Bukhara and then you can explore the old town on your own. Dinner in a local restaurant. Two overnight stays in Bukhara.

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

Day 5 :
Bukhara

Today you will experience the unique magic of the old town of Bukhara: The Chor Minor (four minarets) Mosque, the Samanids’ Mausoleum – the oldest architectural building in Central Asia, the Mosque Bolo Khauz, Arc Citadel and the largest complex and emblem of Bukhara – the Poi Kalyan Complex. On the way from the Poi Kalyan Complex through the dome bazaars past medrasas to the Lyabi Khauz, you will be greeted by gold embroiderers, scissor makers and cobblers. The Lyabi Khauz Complex is the centre of old Bukhara with magnificent buildings. Then you can dive into the hustle and bustle of craftsmen and discover wood carvers, cutlers, cobblers, weavers and others. The Lyabi Khauz Complex is the centre of old Bukhara with magnificent buildings. In the evening you will prepare the national dish Plov with an Uzbek family.

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

Today we will visit the Chor Minor Medrasa, whose four minarets (chor – four) and the entire style has similarities with Indian building style. Then we will visit the summer residence of the last Bukhara Emir – Sitorai Mokhi Khosa. «the place where the moon and the stars meet» this is the translation of the palace from Persian. In the afternoon we go to the mountain village Ashraf. Upon arrival we will explore the village before dinner. Or we can relax on Tapchans and Aivans (covered seats) our guest family has a picturesque house through whose large orchard and mountain stream flows. In the evening a local musician will come to entertain us. (this is not a professional show for tourists!). Dinner and one overnight stay with the family.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Guesthouse in Ashraf village

After breakfast you say goodbye to the family in Ashraf before travelling on to world-famous Samarkand. We will then see a typical national sport – Kupkari, a horse or riding sport for men. Towards lunchtime we reach the ancient town along the Silk Road - Samarkand. The town still has the radiance it had in ancient times! You will be impressed by the palace-like mausoleum of the ruler Amir Timur, the Gur-Emir-Mausoleum. Then you come to the heart of Samarkand, the wonderful Registan-Square, the noblest square in the world. Tashkent Street with many souvenir shops brings you to the once largest mosque of Central Asia – the Bibi Khanim Mosque. The glittering domes of the medrasas of Samarkand are turquoise, the mosaics shine in sky blue and green, the silk dresses of the women are yellow and black and in the market you will smell coriander and freshly baked pita bread. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the friendly locals. In the evening you will help a family prepare the Navruz main dish Sumalak - the main dish of this Festival. In each Mahalla (urban district), Sumalak is cooked before and after Navruz and given to neighbours and relatives. It is made from wheat, flour, water and oil without added sugar in a giant Kazan (bowl). It actually takes 24 hours to make. As soon as the “Sumalak” is ready the next morning, it is given to at least 10-15 families. You can not only try these delicacies, but take it for friends and relatives to try. Dinner with the family. Two overnight stays in Samarkand.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Largamak in Samarkand

Day 8 :
Samarkand

Today you enjoy the highlight of your trip – Navruz-Festival together with the locals. Uzbeks celebrate the Festival of the Start of Spring every March. It is accompanied by countless traditional rituals and colourful ceremonies, funfairs and concerts in the squares and parks. Join in with the locals, watch traditional Uzbek wrestling matches and try the delicious festive food.
In the afternoon you can wander for the last time through the lanes of Samarkand. On a hill you will visit the historical Observatory of Ulugbek with its massive sextant built into the earth. The research site of the famous astronomer was already a modern observatory in the 14th century. Then you will visit a paper manufacturer in which the fine, traditional Samarkand paper is made from mulberry fibres. Samarkand was once known all along the Silk Road for its exquisite silk paper. Then you will visit the Shakhi Zinda Complex, a marvellous collection of mausoleums coated in Timur style with majolica and mosaic tiles.
Ceremonial dinner in a local restaurant with music.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Largamak in Samarkand

Today you will make an excursion to Shakhrisabz – to the birthplace of the great Timur. Journey over the mountain pass with photo stops on the way. You will visit the remains of Timur’s Summer Palace Ak Saray, which took 20 years to build; the Jakhongir Mausoleum for Timur’s oldest son who died in a military campaign. You will also see the Kok Gumbaz Mosque, which can be seen from far away with its blue dome and which has excellent acoustics. In the afternoon return to Samarkand.
Driver will take you tot rain station at 17.00h. A journey to Tashkent (300 km) with the high-speed train „Afrosiyob”at 18:00. Arrival at 20.10h. Dinner in a local restaurant. Transfer to hotel. One overnight stay in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel City Palace in Tashkent

Early morning flight home.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

COST

Includes

  • * Round trip / excursions and transfers in air-conditioned vehicles, typical for the country.
  • * Train journey Samarkand-Tashkent with the fast train „ Afrosiyob “.
  • * 9 x overnight stays in middle-class hotels (country category) in double room.
  • * Sightseeing programme including admission fees according to travel programme.
  • * Visits around Navruz-Festival including concerts and events.
  • * Half-board according to travel programme (B= breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
  • * Participation in the preparation of the Navruz national dish „Sumalak“.
  • * English-speaking travel guide from DOCA TOURS from/to Tashkent Airport.

Excludes

  • * International flights.
  • * Inland flight Tashkent - Urgench.
  • * Photo/video fees.
  • * Tips for travel guides and drivers.
  • * Visa fees.
  • Additional services:
  • * Supplement for single room 190 - EUR .
  • * Inland flight Tashkent-Urgench in Economy-Class 60 EUR per person.

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NAVRUZ – THE NEW YEAR’S FESTIVAL OF THE ORIENT
From $1,215
/ Adult
From $1,000
/ Child

Trip info

  • 3-4* and Boutique Hotels, Guesthouse
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • Half-board + 1 lunch
  • Easy
  • Aeroplane, fast train, coach