Cultural Treasure of the Silk Road
On this Uzbekistan trip, you experience the cultural diversity of this country and the magic of the Orient. In addition to the ancient cities of Uzbekistan such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, and Tashkent, you travel to the fertile Fergana Valley, which is famous for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, silk production, and traditional handicrafts. During this trip we look over the shoulder of artisans, go on culinary forays and have time for our explorations. Let yourself be carried away into the world of 1001 nights. Experience the soundscape and the scents of the oriental bazaars, architectural masterpieces, the history of the individual regions, and a wide variety of cultures and traditions up close. We wish you an unforgettable trip to the land of legends.
Day 1: Flight to Tashkent
You fly to Tashkent with TK or HY from your home country. You arrive in Tashkent (in the late evening or in the morning on a text day depending on your flight connection). Your guide meets with you at the airport and transfers you to the hotel. Overnight stays in Tashkent. (Hotel: Shodlik Palace or similar)
Day 2: Tashkent – Bridge Between Modernity & Tradition (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, you can visit the 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: Shodlik Palace or similar)
Day 3: The Train Journey to Kokand – Rishtan (B, D)
After breakfast in 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 (Friday mosque). Then we continue to Rishtan – the home of artisans who have been hiding the secrets of azure ceramic manufacture for over 800 years. We learn from the ceramic master Rustam Usmanov in Rishtan how the blue and gold faience that adorns the Islamic sanctuaries is created. We continue to Fergana. Dinner and overnight stay in Fergana. (Hotel: Grand Fergana Hotel or similar)
Remarks: Tashkent-Kokand train ticket by 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. You continue 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 the afternoon we drive back to Tashkent by car over the mountain pass. Overnight stays in Tashkent. (Hotel: Shodlik Palace or similar)
Day 5: Tashkent – Morning Flight to Urgench – Fairy Tale Khiva (B, D)
We fly to Urgench on the morning flight. From there we continue to the beautiful oasis city of Khiva. Check-in at noon. The breath-taking fairy tale city of Khiva reveals the fascination of the legendary Silk Road. The city looks back on more than 2500 years of history, but today’s cityscape was only created between the 18th and 20th centuries, in which the magnificent old town “Ichan Kala” took shape. The old town, a UNESCO cultural heritage, was once the residence of idiosyncratic khans and today resembles a lively open-air museum. Today we visit 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, continue to the famous 19th-century Tosh Hovli Palace and the Islam-Hoja 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. In the evening we enjoy the sunset over the oasis. Dinner and overnight stay in Khiva. (Hotel: Shohjahon Hotel or similar)
Remarks: Domestic flight Tashkent-Urgench in economy class is included.
Day 6: Bukhara – Through the Deserts & Steppes (B, D)
You have breakfast in the hotel. Let’s enjoy the time for the last discoveries in the old town “Ichan Kala” on our own. Around noon we drive through the semi-desert Kyzyl-Kum (“Red Sand”) and steppes to Bukhara. In the late afternoon, we reach the city, which has been nicknamed “the noble one” since ancient times. What a contrast to the desert! People stroll through the streets or sit on benches in
front of small tea houses. In the evening we take a little walk through the old town and can already collect first impressions.
The dinner takes place today in an old Jewish house with a Bukharian family. Abdurrahman tells us about the book embroidery. Overnight stays in Bukhara. (Hotel: Komil Boutique or similar)
Day 7: “Noble” Bukhara (B, D)
Bukhara today presents itself as a unique authentic museum. Let us be enchanted by the magic of the old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its imposing palaces, mosques, mausoleums and madrasahs. There is almost everything a tourist’s heart desire: today we explore the old town on foot from the Lyabi Hauz complex in the southeast through the domed bazaars, the madrasahs
from Ulugbek and Abdul-Aziz Khan to the Ark and the Registan in the northwest. The small Samanid mausoleum and the massive Kalon minaret are absolute highlights. In addition to the relaxed sightseeing, the day is filled with strolling, looking and shopping. You feel like you are in the world of fairy tales of a thousand and one nights. Later we visit the exhibition of Uzbek photographer Shavkat Boltaev, which is located in an old caravanserai in his studio. If we are lucky, the artist may be there himself and can tell us about the stories behind the pictures. Overnight stays in Bukhara. (Hotel: Komil Boutique or similar)
Day 8: Drive to the Yurt Settlement in Dungalak via Nurata (B, D)
Today we visit a famous pilgrimage site: the tomb of the founder of the Sufi order Naqshbandi. 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. Sitorai Mokhi Khosa – the wonderful summer residence of the last reigning Emir of Bukhara with its imposing park is another highlight. Our trip continues to Nurata. The city itself has approximately 35,000 citizens who are very proud of their history-steeped past. This ancient city was once known as Nur in 327 BC. BC founded by Alexander the Great and the water supply is still partly used from this time. The city is also famous as a place of pilgrimage for Muslims. In the city of Nurata, we take a hike (approx. 1 hour) along with the sacred spring. Visit the Juma Mosque, which was built over the spring. After lunch with a local family, we continue towards the yurt camp “Kyzyl-Kum desert” in Dungalak. We can also take a walk (at the request of the travelers) to a nearby village and learn about the peculiarities of life and culture of the locals. We have dinner around the campfire accompanied by a Kazakh folk singer. Overnight stays in Dungalak. (Accommodation: “Kyzyl-Kum desert” Yurt Camp)
Day 9: Enjoy in the Lake Aydarkul – Drive to Samarkand (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we go for a short ride on the camels to the nearby village of Dungalak (1.5 km, 30 min). Upon request, we prepare traditional Uzbek bread 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 Aydarkul Lake. Its creation is associated with the construction of a water dam
in the Sirdarya region in the 1960s. Numerous bird species live on the shores of the lake, some of which are listed in the Red Book. Here we enjoy our picnic lunch and can then spend our time swimming, hiking or just relaxing. Then 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)
OPTION: In the evening you can 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 10: The Oriental Samarkand (B, D)
The fairy tale of a thousand and one nights begins again for us in Samarkand. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and at the same time the center of the famous Silk Road. In the Afrasiyab Museum, we get a closer look at old Samarkand. Then we visit one of the largest pilgrimage sites in the Islamic world – the tomb complex of St. Daniel and Ulugbek observatory, once the largest research center in Central Asia. After a break, we drive to a tissue paper factory founded by master brothers Mukhtarov.
|Thanks to their efforts, the old tradition of paper production using Samarkand technology has been revived in this factory. Interestingly, the whole production is done manually and every guest can watch the process of production. Then we visit the Shakhi-Zinda complex, a magnificent ensemble of various mausoleums clad in the Timurid style with majolica and mosaic tiles.
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)
Day 11: Samarkand – The Train Journey to Tashkent (B, D)
Samarkand is considered the Pearl of the Orient. 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 massive and artistically decorated madrasahs. 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. Afterward, we visit the Siab Bazaar, which through the hustle and bustle and oriental scents puts us in a world of 1001 nights. At 6:00 pm, take the “Afrosiyob” express train towards Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stays in Tashkent. (Hotel: Shodlik Palace Hotel or similar)
Remarks: Samarkand-Tashkent train
ticket by fast train is included.
Day 12: Tashkent – Flight Back Home (B)
Check out at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. End of the trip.
Specification: Cultural Treasure of the Silk Road
Terms & Conditions
100% refund if canceled within 30 days of departure
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