HOME COUNTRY – TASHKENT – KHIVA – BUKHARA – NAVAI – AIDARKUL LAKE – SAMARKAND – TASHKENT – HOME COUNTRY
Day 1 Start Tashkent; city tour.
In the afternoon we will start our sightseeing of this Central Asian capital. This will include visiting Independence Square flanked by public buildings and water fountains and also the Old City with its mausoleums and bazaar. Tashkent was largely destroyed by earthquakes in the 60’s and was rebuilt in true Soviet style with pleasant leafy boulevards and lots of fountains to keep the heat down in summer. There are some very interesting museums as well as mosques.
Day 2 Fly to Urgench; transfer to Khiva; city tour.
In the morning we fly to Urgench, our base for our visit to Khiva and the Desert sites. On arrival we transfer to Khiva and visit the living museum of the perfectly restored old city. We will see the khan’s old residence, the Kunya-Ark 12th century fortress, the tiled base of the never completed Kalta Minar, (which was originally planned to be taller than any minaret in Bukhara) and the beautiful mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud (Khiva’s patron saint) with its tiled courtyard. Many wedding parties and pilgrims come to visit the tomb and drink the water from the well in the courtyard.
Day 3 Visit the desert castles.
After breakfast we head off to the arid plains of Khorezm. These plains were once densely populated marshland, inhabited by Messagetae Scythians. These horseback archers were nomadic and fought to retain the land, even defeating Cyrus The Great, a Persian emperor in BC 529. We visit the 2000-year-old ruined city fortress of Toprak- Qala, dramatically located with the Sultan Vais Mountains acting as a backdrop. The settlement began in the first century BC under Kushan patronage and was later devastated by Turkish raids that led to the depopulation of the town in the sixth century. There are still three large round towers and an impressive portion of the citadel that still remain, but the parchments and paintings that were found there are now in St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. We also visit Kavat-Qala, formerly an important oasis with an impressive amount of remaining buildings and finally Ayaz-Qala, an imposing hilltop fortress dating from the Sixth century. We later return to Khiva to spend the night.
Day 4 Drive across Central Asian Plateau and through desert to Bukhara.
A long day’s drive on to Bukhara (approx 10/11 hours); first we cross the fabled Amu-Darya (Oxus) River and then the Kizilkum Desert. If time allows we may have the chance to make a first visit to old Bokhara and have a cup of green tea at the fascinating chai-khana (tea-house) at ‘Laby Khauz’ (one of the water- filled stone pools).We will break up the journey today with stops en route.
Day 5 Two days in Bukhara to explore 12th century Char Minar, Bolo Khauz Mosque and old Summer Palace of the Emirs.
We have two days sightseeing in Bukhara, the third of our great Central Asian cities. Bukhara boasts over 900 historical monuments, here we will spend time visiting many sites and wandering at leisure amongst the old city streets. Unlike Samarkand the district of the old town has remained separate from the rest of Bukhara and has undergone lots of restoration and preservation in recent years. In addition to its importance as a trading centre, it is the perfect setting to just sit and watch the world go by much as it has done for hundreds of years. Of particular interest is the Fortress Ark where, in the 19th century, the Emir of Bukhara had the English officers Stoddart and Connolly imprisoned and killed and the mausoleum of Ismail Samani, a beautiful example of early Islamic architecture dating back to the 10th century. We will also visit the Emir’s rather kitsch Summer Palace, the old town with its domed bazaars and khauz (stone pools which used to be the city’s only water supply), and the attractive 12th century Char Minar. One of the great landmarks of Bukhara is the Kalyan minaret, known as the death tower, where many an unfaithful wife has met a sticky end.
Day 6 Drive via the rock paintings of Sarmysh Gorge to Nurata, Alexander the Great’s fortress; overnight in traditional yurt camp in desert.
From Bukhara we travel via Navoi to Sarmysh Gorge where over 3000 petroglyphs from the Bronze Age right through to The Middle Ages remain. They are on a dramatic canvas of dark shale and consist of remarkably clear images of animals and primitive man. Continuing on to Nurata formerly known as Nur and founded in the 3rd Century BC by Alexander the Great. This ancient town was once regarded as the frontier between the cultivated lands and the steppes, and the ruins of Alexander’s hilltop citadel stand testament to its ancient history. The city was also an important Muslim place of pilgrimage, reaching its peak in the 10th Century AD as devotees flocked to its many significant graves and memorials. We stop at a 10th century mosque and holy sites that have attracted pilgrims from all over Central Asia. After a traditional lunch at a teahouse we transfer to our Kazakh yurts. These are traditional round felt tents, which are spacious, colourful and comfortable inside. The Kazakh nomads still use them. Our camp offers a glimpse into what life was like on the Silk Road in times gone by.
Currently only some of the petroglyphs at the entrance to Sarmysh Gorge are available for viewing as the gorge itself is shut.
Day 7 To Aidarkul Lake
After having a good rest breakfast at yurts. After transfer to Aidarkul lake. Today we walk and there is also the chance to ride camels for a short time towards Aidarkul Lake. The lake stretches through the desert within sight of the Nuratin Mountains and once there we are free to explore the shoreline or swim. Departure to Samarkand.
Day 8 Samarkand
One of the highlights of today’s tour will certainly be the Registan Square, Samarkand’s most famous landmark. Registan (Sandy Place) probably got its name from the sand that was strewn on the ground to soak up blood from public execution held there until the early 20th century. Nowadays, the complex consists of three main buildings – the 15th-century Ulugbek Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah and the 17th-century Sher-Dor Madrasah, where you can get acquainted with the history of Uzbek musical instruments. Your guide will also show you the Bibi Khanym Mosque constructed in the 14th century after Timur’s conquest of India. It is said that some 90 elephants were used to carry the precious stones and metals from India used to decorate this temple. There is a large marble Koran standing in the center of the mosque’s courtyard and the bazaar next to it has changed little since the time of Tamerlane.
Day 9 Free morning; return to Tashkent.
This morning is left free for us to enjoy just a little more time in Samarkand. Perhaps a visit to the local bazaar where you can sample delicious fresh produce, or you might like to return to the many stalls nestled in the Registan Ensemble to find that perfect souvenir. Our adventure in Uzbekistan is almost complete as we leave Samarkand and drive back to the capital for our final night. Tonight we have a farewell dinner to mark the end of our travels together, and reflect on all we have seen.
Our price for 2018
Number of visitors
|price in $ per/pax||1228||1098||1006||930||877||918||881||852||
- hotel in Tachkent
- hotel in Boukhara
- hotel in samarkand
- hotel in Khiva
- entrance fee + Sarmysh
- meals BLD
- Transport coach, van , bus
- touristes tax
- International / domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Soft drinks / alcohols
|Tashkent||Grand Orzu 3*, Malika 3* or similar|
|Khiva||Malika Xiva 3*, Old Hiva private hotel, Euro Asia 3* or similar|
|Bukhara||Dargoh 3*, Sacha and son private hotel, Komil 3* or similar|
|Samarkand||Uzbegim Plaza 3*, City 3* or similar|
Transport specifications, as per table below, with maximum seat space per pax, and sufficient luggage space:
Regular road vehicles (2WD)
|2||Lacetti Chevrolet, 3-seater, Sedan|
Hynday Grand Starex, 11-seater, Minivan
Javlong, 17-seater, Minibus
Javlong, 17-seater, Minibus
Important notes for all travelers:
- Please bring only cash USD or EURO for your local expenses in Uzbekistan, and no credit cards
- Please be aware that a member of staff of our agency will need to take your original passport for several hours for registration in hotels
- Please be aware that there may be various vehicles and drivers used during your tour, depending on the route section and type of transport needed on that section.
Registration and Regulations
- Registration for this trip will be considered after confirming in writing and paid by the participant, a reservation deposit of 30% of the total trip. An invoice with the payment method of deposit will be sent by email after your acceptance of quotation. The balance must be settled one month before the departure date, without stimulus from us. If inscription within one month of departure, full payment is that you will be required upon acceptance of the quotation.
Cancellation by the client:
- In case of cancellation by you (for whatever reason), more than 40 days before departure, the amounts paid as a deposit will be refunded, unless selected for a lump sum of 50 USD per person.
- From 30 days of departure, the cancellation will result in the application of the selected scale of the following:
- 30 to 22 days: 25% of travel
- 21 to 15 days: 50% of travel
- 14 to 8 days: 75% of travel
- 7 to 2 days: 90% of travel
- Less than 2 days: 100% of travel
- Please note, if you cancel your tour, let us know as soon as possible by e-mail or fax, as this is the date of receipt of cancellation will be allowed in calculating the refund.
- Any travel interrupted or shortened due to the participant for anything whatsoever, does not give rise to any refund.
Cancellation on the part of Uzbegim Tour:
- Cancellation may occur in circumstances imposed and outside our control (political unrest, security problem,…) In such cases of cancellation, full refund of amounts paid will be made by Uzbegim Tour, but no other compensatory will be granted.