AMAZING TRIP TO UZBEKISTAN

Length

15 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

  An extraordinary tour to Uzbekistan on the trail of the Silk Road, from the caravan cities of Tashkent, today the eclectic capital of the Uzbek Republic, to the legendary Samarkand, known as the “crossroads of cultures”, one of the oldest cities in the world, to Bukhara, with its architecture that has hardly changed over time and for centuries an important religious centre, not to mention Khiva, one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Central Asia.

Visit the remote Muynak on the ‘Aral Sea’ and the fascinating abandoned fortresses in the Kyzylkum Desert. Immerse yourself in the nature of the Nuratau Mountains and stay overnight in an authentic Uzbek yurt, the typical round nomadic dwelling decorated with local carpets.

Explore Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of the famous conqueror Tamerlane and discover the ancient manufacturing traditions of the Fergana Valley.

The itinerary can be customised to suit your travel needs and can also be combined with other routes.

Itineraries-Gran-tour-in-Uzbekistan © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 15D 14N
From : TASHKENT
To : TASHKENT
Destinations  : Tashkent, Nukus, Moinaq, Khorezm, Khiva, Bukhara, Nurata, Sentyab, Fazilman, Aydar Kul, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Termez, Kokand, Fergana, Margilan

ITINERARIO

01. ARRIVAL IN TASHKENT

Arrival in Tashkent, the ancient trading oasis, today the eclectic capital of the Uzbek Republic. Artifacts found at various excavation sites are evidence of the ancient origins and settlements of the city.

Included : Private pick up from them airport, tour guide, tickets, private transportation and hotel

02. VISIT TASHKENT - NUKUS

 Khast Imam mosque © Gabriele StoiaKhast Imam Mosque

After breakfast visit the Khast Imam complex, the capital’s religious centre located in the oldest part of the city, and the Muyi Mubarak library which houses thousands of manuscripts including the 7th century Uthman Quran, one of the oldest copies of the sacred book in the world.

Afterwards visit Amir Temur Square, in the modern part of the capital; in the centre stands the equestrian statue of the famous undefeated Turkish-Mongolian conqueror, known in the West as Tamerlane.

Not far away we find the remarkable Mustaqillik Maydonila, or Independence Square, a symbol of Uzbekistan’s exit from the Soviet Union on August 31, 1991, surrounded by monuments, fountains and impressive public buildings.

Transfer to the airport and domestic flight to Nukus.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

03. ARAL SEE - NUKUS

Moinaq © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelAral Sea, Muynaq

After breakfast we drive to Muynaq. Once home to a lively community of thousands of fishermen, Muynaq was Uzbekistan’s only port city on the Aral, the lake in north-western Uzbekistan, which crosses the border into Kazakhstan, so vast that it is called the Aral Sea. The lake’s abundance of fish has ensured the region’s economy for decades, thanks to industrial fishing and canning.

We visit the suggestive “graveyard of ships “, the fishing fleet of rusty ships stranded in the sand of the Ustyurt plateau for decades.

We return to Nukus to visit the necropolis of Mizdakhan, once the largest city in the Khorezm region, inhabited from the 4th century BC to the 14th century AD. Nearby, the impressive remains of the Gyaur Qala fortress dating back to the 4th-3rd centuries BC rest on a hill.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, picnic lunch, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

04. KHOREZM FORTS - KHIVA

Ayaz Qala fortress © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelAyaz Qala fortress

Visit the Savitskiy Museum of Art, or Savitskiy Museum, by the renowned painter, archaeologist and collector Igor Savitskiy. With over 82,000 fine objects ranging from Khorezm antiquities to Karakalpak folk art and Uzbek fine art, the museum houses the second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art in the world.

Visit the fortresses Qavat Qala, Toprak Qala and Ayaz Qala, the latter built on a hill overlooking the Kyzylkum desert in the 2nd century AD by the Kushan Empire, probably part of a chain of fortresses guarding the desert borders. Interesting residential structures can be found within the surrounding walls.

Afternoon transfer to Khiva, the most isolated of the caravan cities on the Silk Road, considered one of the best-preserved ancient historical cities in all Central Asia.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, picnic lunch, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

05. KHIVA

Kunya Ark fortress © Gabriele StoiaKunya Ark fortress – Khiva

We spend the day exploring Khiva, an open-air museum that takes us to the time of the merchant caravans on the Silk Road.

After breakfast we wander through the maze of narrow streets of the World Heritage-listed Itchan Qal’a city centre and let ourselves be taken back in time surrounded by the exciting artistic contrast of mud houses alternating with the turquoise decorations of minarets and madrasas.

Walk through the walls of Kunya Ark fortress and explore the mythical citadel with its impressive architectural masterpieces including the Muhammad Amin-Khan madrasa, the largest in Central Asia, the famous Kalta-Minor minaret made of turquoise enamel with brick and majolica, and the Muhammad Rakhim-Khan II and Alla-Quli-Khan madrasas.

We visit the mausoleums of Said Allauddin and Palvan Makhmud, the Shergazi-Khan Madrasa, and Islom-Khodja Minaret and Mosque. We continue the visit to the corridors and courtyards of the Tosh Khauli Palace and admire the turquoise dome of the mausoleum of the famous warrior Mahmud.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

06. TRANSFER TO BUKHARA

Kyzylkum desert © Gabriele StoiaKyzylkum Desert

Transfer by car to Bukhara, once the intellectual and cultural centre of the Islamic world, and a flourishing city on the Silk Road, which has hardly changed since the days of the merchant caravans.

We cross the Kizylkum Desert and Amudarya River. Along the way we stop to learn about the fauna and flora of the desert.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

07. BUKHARA

Abdulaziz-Khan-Madrassah-Bukhara © Gabriele StoiaAbdulaziz Khan Madrassah Madrasa

Today we visit the historical centre of Bukhara, the Ark citadel, the massive fortress built in the 5th century for military purposes and used as the residence of the royal courts until 1920.

We continue to the Lyabi Khauz architectural complex in the city centre where we admire the marvellous mosaics of the Divan Beghi madrasa, the Khanaqa Divan Beghi and the Kukeldash Madrasa.

Visit the Po-i-Kalyan religious complex overlooking the iconic square dominated by the Kalyan Mosque, Miri-Araba Madrasa and Kalyan minaret, symbol of Bukhara, used for centuries as a beacon to guide the caravans arriving from the desert.

We visit the Chor Bakr necropolis, the Samanid mausoleum, the oldest funerary building in Central Asia and an icon of early Islamic architecture, and the Chashma Ayub mausoleum where we find a water spring named after the prophet Job (Ayuba).

We visit the Ulugbek madrasa, an important Islamic school built in the 15th century, the Abdul Aziz Khan madrasa and the Magok-i Attari mosque, one of the oldest in Central Asia, predating the Mongol invasion.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

08. TRANSFER TO NURATA - YURTS CAMP

Yurta Uzbeka © Gabriele StoiaUzbek yurt

After breakfast drive to Nurata. Flint quarries, mines, ancient settlements, burial mounds, cemeteries of ancient nomads, pagan altars, crypts and some 4,000 petroglyphs, including monuments from the Middle Ages, the Iron Age, the Bronze Age and even the Stone Age, can be found in the area.

Afternoon excursion to Chashma, the religious complex known throughout Asia, at the centre of which is a sacred spring (‘Chashma’), according to a legend it was created by a meteorite. Visit the remains of the Nur fortress.

Transfer to Lake Aydar Kul to the yurt camp, the typical nomadic dwelling, circular in shape and decorated with locally made sherdoke carpets. It is possible to participate in the making of local dishes or to take a camel ride into the desert to see the local flora and fauna, and to admire a beautiful sunset

Included : Yurt, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

09. AYDAR KUL LAKE - FORISH - SAMARKAND

Morning walk on the shore of the Aydar Kul lake where you can take a swim or just relax and enjoy the peaceful landscape.

After lunch we travel to the Forish region (Sentob and Asraf village) where we can learn about the rural lifestyle.

Afterwards, transfer to Samarkand.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

10. SAMARKAND

Registan Samarqand © Gabriele StoiaRegistan square – Samarcanda

Today we visit the iconic Registan Square, home to some of the world’s finest examples of Islamic architecture, dominated by the impressive Sher-Dor, Ulugbek and Tilla-Kori madrasas

We then explore the enchanting Shakhi Zinda complex adorned with an extraordinary array of blue tiles, Timur’s tomb, and admire the sparkling turquoise dome of the Bibi Khanum cathedral mosque dedicated to Timur’s favourite wife.

Visit the ancient observatory of Ulugbek built in 1420 by the Timurid astronomer Ulug Beg, considered by scholars to be one of the best in the Islamic world.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

11. SAMARKAND - SHAKHRISABZ - TERMEZ

Amir Timur statue © Gabriele StoiaAmir Timur statue in Shakhrisabz

Transfer to the Kashkadarya region to visit Shakhrisabz, birthplace of the famous conqueror Tamerlane.

Visit the remains of the architectural complex that includes Aksaray buildings, Dorut Tilovat memorial complex , Shaykh Shamsaddin Kulal al-Keshi Mausoleum, Gumbazi-seidon Mausoleum, Kok-Gumbaz Mosque.

Later we drive to Termez, one of the oldest cities in Asia, located in Bactria on the border with Afghanistan, in the Hellenistic kingdom at the eastern end of Alexander the Great’s Empire.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

12. TERMEZ - TASHKENT

Visit the impressive Kara Tepe Monastery, a Buddhist place of worship built on three hills. It comprises a series of temples and monasteries dating back to the 2nd century AD and consists of a combination of caves carved into the sandstone and surface buildings of unfired brick.

Visit to the 11th-15th century Hakimi Termizi architectural complex, named after the renowned author of numerous religious philosophical works, theorist of Islamic mysticism and founder of the Dervish order.

We visit the Sultan Saodat religious complex, built between the 11th and 17th centuries on the grave of the Sayyid dynasty of Termez, direct descendants of the prophet Mohammed.

We end the day by visiting the Kirk-Kiz Palace.
Afterwards, we take a domestic flight to Tashkent.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

13. TASHKENT - KOKAND - FERGANA

Fergana market © Gabriele StoiaLocal market, Fergana

Morning transfer to Fergana Valley, towards the Kyrgyzstan border, known for its massive cotton production.

We stop at Kokand for a visit to the Khudoyor Khan Palace, residence of the last ruler of the Khanate of Kokand. Built in 1871 following the traditions of Central Asian architecture with a high portal at the centre decorated with four minarets, the Palace is without any doubt one of the greatest architectural works in the area.

We visit the Jami Mosque, an important symbol of Kokand located in Chorsu Square, and the Norbut-biy Madrasa built in the 18th century, an important religious and educational centre in the city.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

14. FERGANA - MARGILAN - TASHKENT

Yodgorlik Silk Factor - Margilan © Gabriele StoiaYodgorlik Silk Factor – Margilan

We continue our journey to Margilan, the town in the Fergana valley which, according to some European legends, was founded by Alexander the Great. It was a key stop on the Silk Road on the way through the Alay mountains to Kashgar in China.

Visit the Yodgorlik Silk Factory known worldwide for its sublime silk manufacture. The fame acquired over the centuries has granted Margilan the full-fledged nickname of the ‘Silk Capital of Central Asia’.

Visit Rishtan, one of the most famous and oldest pottery towns in Uzbekistan, with traditions handed down from generation to generation for over eight centuries. The town owes its fortune to the substantial deposit of clay at the base of most of the town area.

Afterwards, transfer to Tashkent

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

15. TASHKENT - DEPARTURE

Chorsu Market - Tashkent © Gabriele StoiaChorsu Market – Tashkent

Free time at your disposal until the transfer to the international airport for your departure.

Following transfer to international airport in time for your departure flight.

Included : Breakfast, private transportation and private airport transfer

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