Silk Road Tour in Central Asia

Historical Cities of Central Asia

Chase a common thread of culture through the diverse Silk Road cities of Central Asia.

Days

15

Price

€4060

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12

Countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Route:

  • Tashkent
  • Khiva
  • Samarkand
  • Dushanbe
  • Almaty
  • Bishkek

Themes: Cultural Tours

Kalpak Travel’s Central Asian Silk Road Tour will lead you through the remarkable cities of the Great Silk Road, many of which are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will discover the cultural treasures and traditions of both the nomadic people who have crossed the region for millennia, and of the settled population. Explore three of the sprawling, Soviet-era capitals of Central Asia. Absorb the architectural legacies of flourishing Islamic cultures and the mighty Timurid Empire in Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. In your two-week stay, you will be immersed in centuries of history and the diverse cultures of the peoples who built the ‘Stans as you see them today.

highlights

  • Tour modern Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital and the largest city in Central Asia
  • Explore the remarkably well-preserved city of Khiva, an open-air museum surrounded by mud-brick walls
  • Visit the charming Old City of Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover ancient Khorezm, including the ruined fortresses of Ayaz Kala and Toprak Kala
  • Be wowed by the spectacular Registan and the other architectural wonders of Samarkand
  • Shop in authentic oriental bazaars for everything from hand-woven silks to spices
  • Visit the ancient ruins of Sarazm, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover Iskander Kul, an idyllic mountain lake named after Alexander the Great
  • Sightsee amongst the parks, museums, and monuments of Dushanbe
  • Tour vibrant Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city and cultural heart
  • Explore Kyrgyzstan’s green, modern capital, Bishkek

ITINERARY & MAP

Silk road tour

Welcome to Uzbekistan! Transfer to the hotel and early check-in at the hotel. You can have a rest after your long flight, take a shower, and have breakfast before meeting your group and guide in the late morning in the hotel lobby. Today, you will begin an authentic journey deep into the remarkable history of Uzbekistan.

Please note: If you arrive a day early, we can book an extra night for you.

Where better to start than a tour of Tashkent? The largest city in Central Asia exhibits a curious blend of Islamic and Soviet influences. We will visit the Old City to find the Khast Imom complex, which houses the historic holy Quran of Caliph Osman. At Chor-Su Bazaar, you will mingle with the bustling crowds of traders. You will visit Amir Timur Square to view the statue of the great conqueror and, nearby, grand Independence Square.

Hotel Wyndham 4* or similar

Khiva is a classic silk road city in Uzbekistan

Today we will need to get up very early to catch the domestic flight to Urgench, which departs from Tashkent at 7:15 AM. Arriving at Urgench Airport at 8:55 AM, we will then transfer to Khiva (c. 40 min). We will have breakfast in Khiva before starting our walking tour of the city.

Khiva is bursting with historical sites, and today you will get a chance to see them all. We will visit the walled inner-city called the Ichan-Kala. There are more than 50 historic monuments, plus hundreds of old houses dating back centuries. The entire citadel is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you walk through the enormous city gates, you will be confronted by a glistening beacon of Islam, the Kalta Minor, a dazzlingly tiled minaret. This tour will enable you to delve deep into the past and discover all the city sites, including a bird’s eye view from the top of the Islam Khodja Minaret (the highest minaret in Khiva) and a panorama of the Ichan-Kala from atop the Kunya-Ark citadel.

Hotel Zarafshan 3* or similar

Ayaz kala - Uzbekistan

Today you are free to spend a day on your own in Khiva or to join the half-day trip to the Ayaz Kala and Toprak Kala ruins in the Kyzylkum Desert. If you choose this option, it will require some steep ascents on foot.

First, we will drive two hours to Toprak Kala, which was the capital of Khorezm around the 2nd century AD. From there, it is another shaky one-hour drive to Ayaz Kala. According to archeological excavations, the oldest parts of the Ayaz Kala fortress date from the 2nd century BC. It was one of a chain of border fortresses which stretched from east to west and defended the Khiva oasis from attack.

Return to Khiva where we will have lunch and free time in the afternoon. Late check-out from the hotel. After dinner, we take the flight to Bukhara, departing at 9:00 PM. Upon arrival at 10:00 PM at Bukhara airport, transfer to the hotel.

Hotel Safiya 3* or similar

Bukhara domes seen on Uzbekistan tour

Bukhara is the second of our UNESCO World Heritage Site stops. The city’s very name -Bukhara – conjures up images of the exotic Orient. For centuries, it was an important trading post and center of scholarship. The Old City has been well preserved and is crammed full of minarets, mosques, and madrassas. Its once notorious canals and pools, the source of many an epidemic, have now been drained, but the most famous, Lyabi-Hauz, is still there. Today it’s an oasis shaded by mulberry trees in the heart of the city.

Your guide will show you the Bukhara’s unmissable sights, and you can soak up the atmosphere wandering through the labyrinthine alleyways. Highlights of today’s walking tour in Bukhara include the Poi Kalon complex, the Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, the Ayub Mausoleum and spring, the bazaars inside Bukhara’s unique trading domes, and the Samanid Mausoleum.

The guided tour will end in the early afternoon and you will then have some free time before dinner, which will be in the city.

Hotel Safiya 3* or similar

Chor minor building with four towers in Bukhara

Today morning you can choose to spend some free time in the city or to visit a couple more sights near Bukhara.

First, you may visit the Mausoleum of Naqshbandi, 15 km outside the city center. There are many orders in Sufism, all of which have been represented at different times in what is now Uzbekistan. The Naqshbandiyya order has a great and long-lasting influence, and the memorial place is still a popular place of pilgrimage for Sufis. From here, we will visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara. In Persian it is called Sitorai Mokhi Hossa, “the place where the moon meets the stars”. Return to Bukhara for lunch.

In the afternoon, on the way to the train station, we will stop to see the Chor Minor Madrassa. The style of the madrassa and its four minarets (chor means “four”) is reminiscent of the Char Minar in Hyderabad, India. Our high-speed train departs from Bukhara at 3:50 PM and we arrive in Samarkand at 5:20 PM. Transfer to the hotel for check-in and dinner.

Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Uzbekistan tour

Sublime Samarkand evokes an almost mythical past full of romance and intrigue. This was the domain of Emperor Timur, one of history’s greatest (and most ruthless) conquerors. His vast empire rivaled any, stretching across the Eurasian steppe. He ruled his kingdom with an iron fist, whilst at the same time patronizing the arts and literature. Much of Samarkand’s Timurid-era architectural heritage has been preserved, allowing us to see how the city might have been at the peak of Timur’s power.

We will start the day with a visit to the Gur-e-Amir, the mausoleum where Timur is buried. Our guide will tell stories from Timur’s life and how and why he began to build in Samarkand. We will then go to the Registan, Samarkand’s central square, which is undeniably Uzbekistan’s most famous landmark. This focal point of medieval Samarkand is framed by three beautiful madrassas (religious schools): Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tillya Kori. Next, we will stroll through the spacious courtyard of the Bibi-Khanum Mosque, an impressively tiled structure that is said to have been gifted to Timur by one of his wives.

After lunch, we will have time to explore Siyob Bazaar, where fruit and vegetables grown in the rich soils of the Zarafshan Valley are sold in a colorful market. You may explore the city on your own during your free time this evening.

Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Shahizinda mausoleum photographed by tourists in Samarkand

After breakfast, we will check-out from the hotel and continue to explore the fairytale city of Samarkand. We go first to the Shah-i Zinda, a magnificent tiled necropolis; and then visit Ulgubek’s Observatory, which was once the biggest research center in Central Asia. Ulugbek was decades ahead of the West with his observations of the solar system and the Earth, and we will learn more about his story in this prestigious setting. Our next stop will be the Konigil Paper Mill. Here you will see the process of making paper from mulberry tree bark, just as it was done in 8th century Samarkand.

We will enjoy lunch together, after which those who wish to do so can visit Afrasiyab Museum to learn about the ancient city of Samarkand – then known as Afrasiyab – which was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century. Alternatively, you may choose to skip the museum and have some extra free time, which will stretch on into the evening.

Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Sarazm, UNESCO World heritage site

Today’s check-out will be at 8:30 AM as it is time to say goodbye to the marvelous cities of Uzbekistan and transfer to the border crossing with Tajikistan. We will pass through both border checkpoints on foot, completing all necessary formalities, and meet our Tajik guide and driver on the other side. On the way to Penjikent, just off the main road, we will stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm, the ruins of which date from the 4th to 2nd millennia BC. Upon arrival in Penjikent, we will then check-in at the hotel and have lunch in the city.

Penjikent translates as “the city of five villages” and is located in the verdant Zeravshan River valley. Established in the 5th century, Penjikent was a thriving regional hub on the Great Silk Road.

Together we will visit the local market, the mosque, and the local history museum, where our guide will tell us more about the region’s influential past.

Hotel Umarion 2* or similar

Silk Road heritage in Tajikistan

Today is a long but very scenic driving day through the Zarafshan Mountains to Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan.

On the way, we will visit Iskander Kul, an idyllic mountain lake 30km off the main road. The lake, named after Alexander the Great (“Iskander” is the Persian form of Alexander), is triangular in shape and considered one of the most exquisitely beautiful lakes in all of the former Soviet Union. It’s nestled in the Fann Mountains at an altitude of 2,200m.  We will have lunch on the shore of the lake. Those who want to do so can then take a short hike to a nearby waterfall. Be prepared for colder weather in the mountains.
In the afternoon, we will depart from Iskander Kul and finish driving to Dushanbe. After an ascent to the Anzob Tunnel, our route is along the Vazob River down to the Varzob Gorge, a popular weekend getaway for locals from Dushanbe.

We will reach Dushanbe in the evening, check-in at the hotel, and have dinner.

Hotel Serena 5* or similar

Tajikistan tour

As well as being the capital, Dushanbe is the largest city in Tajikistan. It was a small village with a market every Monday. The Persian word for Monday is Dushanbe, and that’s how the settlement got its name. It was not until the Soviet period that Dushanbe grew into the political and industrial center of Tajikistan.

Our city tour will start with a visit to the National Museum of Antiquities with its famous Sleeping Buddha, excavated from the Buddhist monastery at Ajina Teppa. Our next stop is the Navruz Palace. Initially, this building was envisaged as the largest teahouse in the world. However, during construction (which involved hundreds of artisans from all over Tajikistan), the interior became so impressive that it was decided to use it as a palace instead of a teahouse. Most of the rooms are now used for official government meetings with guests from abroad, or for international conferences. Just one room is open to the public, and usually, weddings take place there. This is a unique opportunity to tour the interior of this ornate modern palace.

After lunch, we will visit the statue of Ismail Somoni whose mausoleum you saw in Bukhara. This large monument commemorates the 1,100th anniversary of the Samanid State, a Golden Age of the Tajik nation when science and arts flourished. From there, we will walk up to Rudaki Park, dedicated to the great Persian poet Rudaki, who also lived during the Samanid period, in the 10th century AD.

Hotel Serena 5* or similar

Almaty city view

Today you can have some free time in the morning before we make our way to Dushanbe International Airport to catch the Air Astana flight to Almaty. It departs at 12:50 pm and arrives in Kazakhstan at 3:45 pm local time. We will meet our Kazakh guide at the airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in. We will then go to the city center to have dinner.

Hotel Novotel 4* or similar

Almaty Zenkov Cathedral

Almaty is the largest city in Central Asia’s richest country, Kazakhstan. Until 1997, it was the capital, and it remains the country’s business and educational center. Roads here are wide and tree-lined, and there are good views of the Zailisky Ala-Too Mountains which form the backdrop to the city. The name Almaty means “the place with apples” and it is believed that this is where apples originated from. Today, we will have a whole day to spend in the city.

We will start at Almaty Museum, which is a major scientific and cultural center exploring the entire gamut of historical and cultural heritage of the Zhetysu Region. Next, we wink visit Panfilov Park to see Almaty’s most famous sigh, Zenkov Cathedral. It was built in 1904 and is one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings. The last stop will be Green Bazaar, where you will get a chance to meet local Kazakhs as you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. From the second floor, you will also be able to observe the hustle of bustle inside the market.

There will be free time in the afternoon.

Hotel Novotel 4* or similar

Almaty medeo

The flight to Bishkek is not until the evening, so there will be plenty more time to explore Almaty. In the morning, we will drive half an hour up to Medeo to see the world’s highest ice skating rink, and take a cable car to enjoy the panoramic view of the Shymbulak ski area. It will be cold and windy on top as the altitude is 3,200m, so make sure you bring a warm jacket.

Back in the city, we will have farewell lunch with our Kazakh guide before heading to the airport at 3:00 PM to catch the flight to Bishkek at 5:45 PM. The flight is just under an hour, so on arrival in Bishkek, we will head directly to the restaurant for the welcome dinner with our Kyrgyz guide, before checking in at the hotel.

Hotel Orion 5* or similar

We will begin the day with a two-hour drive to Burana Tower, 85km east of Bishkek. The minaret at Burana was built in the 11th century in the medieval city of Balasagun, the capital of the mighty Karakhanid Empire. You can climb up the winding staircase to enjoy extensive views of the Chuy Valley. There is also an open-air museum featuring a collection of ancient balbals, carved stone figures used as monuments. We will have lunch in a local family’s house in the nearby village and watch a performance of national horse games called Kok Boru or Ulak Tartysh. In the afternoon we return to Bishkek.

Bishkek, the charming capital of Kyrgyzstan, is relatively young. It started as a Russian garrison named “Pishpek” in the late 19th century, and it was only during the Soviet period that it grew into a city. It is a very green place, with tree-lined boulevards and many parks. Our sightseeing program in Bishkek includes Oak Park, the Ala Too Square, and Victory Square. Farewell dinner.

Hotel Orion 5* or similar

departure passport with stamps

Sadly the time has come to transfer to the airport for your flight back home. We hope you will have enjoyed your trip to Central Asia and will return soon to discover more places in this beautiful part of the world!

Inclusions

Transport
Metro, Train, Airplane, Minivan
Meals
15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (14 nights)
Included Activities

Tashkent – city tour

Khiva – walking tour

Bukhara – walking tour

Samarkand – city tour

Khujand -city tour

Dushanbe-city tour

Almaty-city tour

Bishkek-city tour

Download PDF

dates & price

You can choose to join a small group on a guaranteed departure or book a private tour on the date of your choice
*
*
*
Total trip price

€4060

Euro

15

Days

Single supplement available for €900

Deposit: €500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
11 Jul 2021
25 Jul 2021
+ Available
8 Aug 2021
22 Aug 2021
+ Available
12 Sep 2021
26 Sep 2021
+ Available
10 Oct 2021
24 Oct 2021
+ Available
10 Apr 2022
24 Apr 2022
+ Available
24 Apr 2022
8 May 2022
+ Available
8 May 2022
22 May 2022
+ Available
5 Jun 2022
19 Jun 2022
+ Available
10 Jul 2022
24 Jul 2022
+ Available
7 Aug 2022
21 Aug 2022
+ Available
11 Sep 2022
25 Sep 2022
+ Available
9 Oct 2022
23 Oct 2022
+ Available
Price includes
  • Full board (all lunches and dinners)
  • Accommodation based on two people sharing a double/twin room; breakfasts included
  • English-speaking local tour leader in each country / for groups of more than 6 people tour leader accompanying the group during the whole trip
  • Entrance fees to all sights listed in the itinerary
  • All transfers in a safe and comfortable vehicle with A/C, including pick up and drop off from the airport
  • Cultural activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Economy class flights: Tashkent-Urgench, Dushanbe-Almaty, Almaty-Bishkek
  • Train ticket from Bukhara-Samarkand
Price does not include
  • International airfares to and from Central Asia
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Consular fees for tourist visas
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. souvenirs)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips for guides and drivers (optional)

Important notes

  • All listed departures are guaranteed, starting from 1 person
  • The maximum group size is 12 people
  • The weather in Central Asia is stark continental, with cold winters and hot summers. We recommend traveling in spring (April/ May) or in fall (September/ October).
  • The Uzbekistan part of the itinerary can be booked individually (“Best of Uzbekistan Tour”), and you can also opt to book the whole itinerary as a private tour. We can also arrange extra nights before or after the trip, and suggest private tour extensions.
  • We can advise and take care of all visas for you. Citizens of most countries are eligible for an e-visa for Tajikistan. Other countries are visa free for most nationalities.
  • A €500 per person deposit is required at the time of booking, and the balance is due 15 days prior to departure. Terms & Conditions: https://kalpak-travel.com/terms-and-conditions/
  • Travel insurance is required
  • We are happy to suggest flights to get to Central Asia and back home: please contact us
  • See our books recommendation on Central Asia & the Silk Road
  • Read more about food in Central Asia

KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Kazakh currency is called the Tenge (KZT). The banking system in Kazakhstan is the most developed in Central Asia and in big cities there are many places to exchange money and to withdraw cash from ATMs using a variety of cards. We recommend bringing some cash in new USD bank notes of denominations of at least 20 USD. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible at most places, except for high-end restaurants, hotels and international stores like Zara, Mango, McDonalds or Starbucks. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic country with a long history of tolerance. Guests and locals are treated with respect and the whole country can be regarded as a very safe destination for travelers. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and take only official taxis. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Kazakh partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most Western countries do not need a visa for a stay of up to 15 days in Kazakhstan. To be sure whether you need visa or not you can check on the website of The Visa Machine. Any permits you might need for access to places that will be visited during your tour, we will provide for you free of charge.
As soon as we receive the deposit payment for your tour, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Kazakhstan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Kazakhstan is continental and dry in the majority of the country, including the largest cities. Summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius and winters extremely cold with strong winds. In the mountains, however, the weather is quite changeable. If you are planning to visit the mountains the best season is summer. Be aware, however, at high altitudes of 3000 meters or more it may even snow overnight during the summer. For cultural sightseeing tours, spring and autumn are the best seasons. Autumn is also the time when the country goes to harvest, meaning markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveller’s diarrhoea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Kazakhstan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Kazakhstan are basic at best.

KYRGYZSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Kyrgyz currency is called the Som (KGS). In the capital Bishkek there are many ATMs that you can find in shopping centers, supermarkets or on the main streets. All of them accept Visa cards and some, like Kyrgyz Kommerts Bank, Demir Bank and Uni Credit accept other cards such as MasterCard or Maestro card. Outside of Bishkek, we don’t recommend relying on ATMs as there are so few of them. We also recommend that you bring some cash in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. There are many exchange offices, some working 24/7. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible at most places, except for high-end restaurants, hotels and a small number of international stores. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Kyrgyzstan is the most liberal and democratic country in the Central Asian region. For the last seven years, the political situation in the country has been calm and there is nothing to suggest that this situation might change. Guests and locals are treated with respect and the whole country can be regarded as very safe destination for travelers. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and only use official taxis. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Kyrgyz partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most Western countries do not need a visa for a stay of up to 60 days in Kyrgyzstan. To be sure whether you need a visa or not you can check on www.thevisamachine.com. Any special permits that you might need for access to places that will be visited during your tour, we will provide to you free of charge.
As soon as we receive your deposit payment, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Kyrgyzstan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Kyrgyzstan is continental and dry in the majority of the country, including the largest cities. In the Ferghana Valley in the south and in capital Bishkek, summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius. However, most of the country is situated more than 1500 meters above the sea level, where temperatures are in the mid-20s during summer. At high altitudes of 3000 meters or more it may even snow overnight during the summer, so make sure you bring some warm clothes. The best season to visit for activity or jeep tours would be in summer and winter for skiing tours. Please note, weather in some mountain areas may be very changeable.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Kyrgyzstan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Kyrgyzstan are basic at best.

TAJIKISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Tajik currency is called the Somoni (TJS). In the capital Dushanbe there are a few ATMs that you’ll find in shopping malls, supermarkets, or on the main streets, but most of them accept only Visa cards. Outside of Dushanbe, we don’t recommend relying on ATMs as there are only a few of them and they may run out of money.
We recommend bringing cash in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. There are many exchange offices, some working 24/7. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible in most places, except for a few high-end restaurants and hotels. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

The political situation in the country has been calm in recent years and there are no indications of upcoming tensions. The border area with Afghanistan is safe as well, but we do not recommend crossing the border for a trip into Afghanistan. Guests and locals are treated with respect and Tajikistan can be regarded as a safe destination for travelers. That being said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and only take official taxi rides. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Tajik partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of almost every country can obtain an electronic visa for stays of up to 45 days in Tajikistan. All you need to do is enter the requested information then pay a fee of 50 USD by credit card and you will receive after 2-3 days the eVisa by email. You can print it out and use it just like an ordinary visa to enter the country. Please note, if you are planning to visit Pamir region, you need a GBAO permit, which you can purchase online, together with the eVisa, for an additional fee of USD 20. If you book a tour with us, we can get the visa for you.
As soon as we receive the deposit payment for your tour, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Tajikistan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Tajikistan is continental and dry across most of the country, including the largest cities. In regions situated at relatively low altitudes, such as the capital Dushanbe, the south of Tajikistan around Kulob and the Khujand region, summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius. However, most of the country is situated at high altitudes, where temperatures are in the mid-20s or less during the summer. If you visit the Fann or Pamir Mountains, make sure to bring some warm clothes, as it can get very cold at night at elevations of more than 3000 meters. The best season to visit Tajikistan is during summer when it's possible to go to the mountains.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Tajikistan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Tajikistan are basic at best. Please note: there is a small risk of malaria in the south of Tajikistan by the borders with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. None of our tours visit this region.

UZBEKISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Uzbek currency is called the Som (UZS). There are few ATMs in Uzbekistan and even then, most do not accept any card other than Visa. Stores and restaurants typically do not accept credit cards. We recommend you bring all money in cash, preferably carrying new USD bank notes of different denominations. They will be easy to exchange – for the best rates ask your guide – and you will be able to pay directly with USD for some souvenirs. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Uzbekistan is a safe country and most trips are trouble-free. There is a visible police presence and most citizens are law-abiding. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, steer clear of dark streets at night and avoid taking rides in unofficial taxis alone. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Uzbek partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most countries do no longer need a visa to visit Uzbekistan for a period of up to 30 days. A notable exception is the United States - US citizens need to apply for an electronic visa to visit Uzbekistan. You can get the visa yourself through the official government website for 20 USD per person: https://e-visa.gov.uz/. If you book a trip to Uzbekistan with us we will get the visa for you.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Uzbekistan is continental and dry. The best season to visit is during spring and autumn, from mid-March until early June and then again from September until early November. Autumn is drier than spring, but even in spring chances are high you can enjoy the bluest sky you have ever seen. Autumn is also the time when the country goes to harvest, meaning markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you don’t mind the dry heat of 40°+ Celsius, summer is the best time to go. There are few tourists and the sky is blue every single day. If you consider visiting Uzbekistan in winter, having the country all to yourself, we recommend going in December, when day temperature is still around 10° Celsius and the chill wind that characterizes January & February has not yet reared its ugly head.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered or boiled. Do not use it for brushing teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for travelers to Uzbekistan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Uzbekistan are basic at best.
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