Do you fancy a colorful mosaic in Uzbekistan? Then experience a lively cultural trip through Uzbekistan with us, in a small group with time and again always available. Visit the ship cemetery in Muynak, a former fishing village on the Aral Sea. Hike in the Tugai forest and enjoy lunch at Lake Amudarya! Spend a night in a traditional yurt in the Kyzyl-Kum desert and experience the starry sky from “1001 Nights” at the crackling campfire with musical accompaniment by an Akin, a folklore singer! Immerse yourself in the fairy tale world of the Silk Road: mosques and mausoleums, magnificent architecture side by side – what a contrast! Take a lot of curiosity with you and get involved in the most exciting mosaic of the Silk Road!
Day 1: Flight to Tashkent
You fly to Tashkent with a direct flight from Uzbekistan Airways or with a stop via Istanbul, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. Arrive in Tashkent late in the evening or midnight / early morning the next day. You are met by your guide at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stays in Tashkent. (Hotel: Navruz Hotel or similar)
Day 2: Capital of the Country (B, D)
Today we experience the contrasting capital of Uzbekistan, which presents itself in a mixture of Post-Soviet charm and oriental flair. It is astonishing how well modernity and tradition merge in Tashkent.
In the old town, we visit the Khasti Imam complex, in which the oldest version of the Koran is kept. On the large square, we visit Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Barak Khan Madrasah, and Mausoleum Kaffal Shashi and experience the hustle and bustle at the Chorsu Bazaar, which was already known in the middle Ages and was located at the intersection of the caravan processions of the Great Silk Road. In the afternoon we visit the Museum of Applied Arts. We also take a look at Independence Square, Navoi Theatre Square, and the Monument to Earthquake Victims. Then we take an underground journey. At the end of the day, there is dinner and an overnight stay in Tashkent. (Hotel: Navruz Hotel or similar)
Day 3: The Train Journey to Kokand, Famous Pottery from Rishtan (B, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we take the comfortable train at 08:07 A.M. through the impressive Kamchik pass (2,268 m) to Kokand. You arrive at 12:13 P.M. In Kokand, we visit the magnificent Islamic buildings – the palace of Khudoyar-Khan and the imposing Juma mosque. Then we continue to Rishtan – the home of the artisans who have been hiding the secrets of azure ceramics for over 800 years. Ceramic master Rustam Usmanov in Rishtan tells us how the blue and gold faience that adorns the Islamic sanctuaries is created. You leave to Fergana. Overnight stays in Fergana. (Hotel: Grand Fergana or similar)
Remarks: Tashkent-Kokand train ticket with the fast train is included.
Day 4: Silk from Margilan, Drive over the Mountain to Tashkent (B, D)
To get to know the city better, we take a city tour through the avenue-like streets in the city of Fergana, visit the German cultural center. Enjoy through varied landscapes to Margilan. In the silk factory “Yodgorlik” we get to know the production steps of “white gold”. The quality and design of the silk fabrics produced here are valued far beyond the country’s borders. In front of the silk factory, there is a great smell of fresh bread, before or after a visit to the silk factory we can go to the bakery. Also really worth seeing is how to make Uzbek traditional bread. Round flatbread is still baked by hand in a large clay oven “Tandir”. In the afternoon we drive back to Tashkent by car over the mountain pass. Overnight stays in Tashkent. (Hotel: Navruz Hotel or similar)
Day 5: Morning flight to Nukus – Muynak – Archaeological Complex Mizdakhan (B, L, D)
After an early breakfast in the hotel, we are driven to the airport and fly to Nukus with the morning flight. Arrival and drive to the former fishing village of Muynak (220 km, 3 hours), which is located on the former shores of the Aral Sea. In Muynak we have a view of a former port with abandoned ships on the sand – “ship cemetery”. Then we visit the local museum with the art exhibitions of the history of the Aral Sea. You have lunch with a local family in Muynak. In the afternoon we return to Nukus. On the way, we stop at Mizdakhan archaeological complex. We visit the most important archaeological sites in the region. Overnight stays in Nukus. (Hotel: Jipek Joli or similar)
Remarks: Domestic flight Tashkent-Nukus in economy class is included.
Day 6: In the Desert – Hike in the Badai-Tugai Forest (B, L)
Today we are impressed by a cultural treasure in the barren landscape of the desert: The Savitski Museum houses a collection of classic Russian avant-garde art that is unique in the world and one of the largest collections of applied art in Central Asia. Around noon we drive to the Amudarya River. Have a picnic lunch by the lake. If you wish, you can also take a short bath break. Enjoy with wonderful hiking in the Tugai forest. Here you can see the Euphrates poplar, which, in contrast to other poplar species, has curved trunks and is easily recognizable by the peculiarity of its somewhat leathery leaves: namely, both long pointed and round leaves grow on the same tree, depending on the age of the tree and the length of the branch. We arrive in the oasis city – Khiva in the late afternoon. The oriental fairy tale city immediately enchants us with its atmosphere! Overnight stays in Khiva. (Hotel: Shohjahon Hotel or similar)
Day 7: Khiva – The World of Fairy Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (B, D)
The breath-taking fairy tale city of Khiva reveals the fascination of the legendary Silk Road. The old town, a UNESCO cultural heritage, was once the residence of idiosyncratic khans and today resembles a lively open-air museum. In the fortress city – Ichan Kala we explore the former residence of the Khan – Kuhna Ark, the unfinished minaret Kalta Minor, Juma Mosque, whose wooden beam ceiling is supported by 212 wooden columns decorated with elaborate carvings. Afterward, the tour continues to the famous 19th-century Tosh Hovli Palace and the Islam Khoja Minaret, the symbol of the city. We also visit the Pakhlavon Makhmud mausoleum, the interior of which is considered a masterpiece of Khiva decor art. Today we enjoy our dinner next to the highest minaret Khiva and let us take in the magical impressions of the day. Overnight stays in Khiva. (Hotel: Shohjahon Hotel or similar)
Day 8: From Oasis to Oasis (B, D)
Today we drive along the Silk Road to the next oasis town of Bukhara, following the traces of the caravans on the Silk Road, which leads us through the Kyzyl-Kum desert and into the desert town of Bukhara, which we reach in the late afternoon. The long drive is worth it. On the way, we see green oases that are irrigated by the Amudarya River. Have your camera ready, because photo stops are planned in unusual, picturesque locations. After arriving in Bukhara, we can already get a first impression on a walk through the historic old town. Overnight stays in Bukhara. (Hotel: Komil Boutique or similar)
Day 9: Bukhara Enchants (B, D)
A highlight of your trip! Bukhara (UNESCO World Heritage Site) presents itself today as a unique authentic museum. The mosques, madrasahs, and minarets are lined up like narrow pearls in narrow, winding streets, which are mostly traffic-free. The Poikalon complex is considered a showpiece of Islamic architecture. The Kalon minaret, built in the 12th century, which rises like a lighthouse and once served as a guide for caravans, is the symbol of Bukhara. Other highlights include the Ark Citadel (the former residence of the Emir) and the Samanid Mausoleum. The heart of Bukhara is the architectural ensemble of the Lyabi-Hauz; it consists of three large monumental buildings: the Kukeldash Madrasah in the north, the Madrasah Nadir Devan Begi in the west, and the Khanaka in the east.
The dinner takes place today in an old Jewish house with a Bukharian family. Abdurrahman tells us about the book embroidery. (Hotel: Komil Boutique or similar)
Day 10: Around Bukhara (B, D)
We continue our tours around Bukhara today. As is well known, Bukhara is one of the seven holy cities of the Islamic world. Sufism has a large number of directions, and representatives of all orders acted in the area of what is now Uzbekistan at different times. They visit the tomb of the founder of the Sufi order “Naqshbandiya”. Outside the city, the wonderful summer residence of the last ruling emir – Sitorai Mohi Khosa – awaits us. We convince how wealthy merchants and traders lived in Bukhara 100 years ago in the house of the merchant F. Khodjhaev, which today serves as a museum. The visit to the wonderful little Chor Minor building concludes our tour. Then start your free afternoon. Stroll through the oriental bazaar, relax with a hammam in the old town or visit an Uzbek puppet theatre (optional). If you have already bought your souvenirs and would like to save another bumblebee stroll for Samarkand, we recommend a visit to the “German corner” of the Wishbone café. Have a cup of tea with Uzbek students. Overnight stays in Bukhara. (Hotel: Komil Boutique or similar)
Day 11: Nomadic Desert Life and Camel Riding (B, D)
Today we leave Bukhara and drive to the small town of Nurata. There we visit the fortress ruins of Alexander the Great and the sacred spring “Chashma” next to it. About an hour through the semi-desert Kyzyl-Kum, we drive to a yurt camp in Yangikazgan. Staying in the yurts and riding on camels and free time. After dinner, we spend time by the fire under a starlit sky and enjoy the folklore music of a Kazakh folk singer. Thanks to the comfort of yurt camp, the acquaintance with the world of the desert brings only positive impressions into memory. Overnight stays in Yangikazgan. (Accommodation: Yurt Camp)
Day 12: Enjoy in Aydarkul – Samarkand (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we go for a short ride on the camels or take the transport to the nearby village of Yangikazgan (3.5 km.). If you wish, we can prepare traditional Uzbek bread together with the locals and watch how it is baked in a clay oven. Afterward, we take a walk through the village to get to know the daily life of the villagers. Around noon we drive to Lake Aydarkul. The lake is 250 km long and 25 km wide. In summer temperatures it invites you to swim. Enjoy your time and picnic lunch by the lake. In the afternoon we continue to Samarkand. Samarkand – the pearl of the Orient, which is over 2750 years old, was considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world in the Middle Ages and has lost none of its charms to this day. Overnight stays in Samarkand. (Hotel: Ideal Hotel or similar)
Day 13: Samarkand – The Pearl of the East Samarkand (B, D)
One of the most glamorous stations along the Great Silk Road, a thriving cultural and commercial center at the intersection of the caravan routes, is now a modern city that has lost none of its appeals. During a full-day city tour, we explore both the ancient and modern monuments of Samarkand today. Visit the Afrosiyob Museum, the Ulugbek Observatory, the Shakhi-Zinda Complex, the remains of the Bibi-Khanum Mosque, and the oriental Siab Bazaar, which is located right next to the mosque. The abundance of dried fruit alone is remarkable. Today we are preparing the Uzbek dish – Plov together with a local family. This is the Sultan of national dishes in Uzbekistan. Enjoy a typical dinner with the locals. Overnight stays in Samarkand. (Hotel: Ideal Hotel or similar)
OPTION: Towards evening we experience the theatricalized performance for historical oriental costumes in the theatre “El Merosi”. This theatre demonstrates costumes of the peoples of Central Asia in different epochs – from the ancient times to the 19th century – the times of the massages, Akhamanids, Anakhita, Sogdian, and Timurid.
Day 14: Samarkand – Train to Tashkent (B, D)
The whole day is available for the many sights of the city, which is over 2,700 years old. During the visit, we are impressed by the palace-like mausoleum of the ruler Amir Timur, the Gur Emir mausoleum. Today we enjoy the highlight of our trip – Registan Square with three impressively huge and artistically decorated madrasas. Then we visit the once largest mosque in Central Asia – Bibi Khanum Mosque. To demonstrate his unlimited technical and financial possibilities, Timur wanted to build the most beautiful mosque in the eastern world. Afterwards, we visit the Siab Bazaar, which will put you in a world of 1001 nights through the hustle and bustle and the oriental scents. At 6:00 p.m. we take the “Afrosiyob” fast train towards Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stays in Tashkent. (Hotel: Navruz Hotel or similar)
Remarks: Samarkand-Tashkent train Ticket with the fast train is included.
Day 15: Flight Back Home (B)
Check out at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. End of the trip.
Specification: Mysterious Uzbekistan
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