Best of Uzbekistan Tour

Highlights of Uzbekistan

Take a guided tour to explore Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, the gems of the ancient Silk Road.

Days

8

Price

€1590

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Uzbekistan

Route:

  • Tashkent
  • Khiva
  • Bukhara
  • Samarkand
  • Tashkent

Themes: Cultural Tours

Experience the best of Silk Road cities during classic Uzbekistan Tour: the ancient cities frequented by nomads and conquerors, the architectural legacy left by a flourishing Islam and the great Empire of Timur. Mosques, madrassas, fortresses and unforgettable landscapes await, ranging from fertile valleys to open steppes and never-ending deserts…

highlights

  • Modern Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan and largest city of Central Asia
  • Remarkably well preserved Khiva, surrounded by city walls of plastered mud
  • Folklore show featuring traditional music and dances of Khorezm
  • Charming old city of Bukhara, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit a Gijduvan pottery and create your own souvenir
  • Spectacular Registan Square and other architectural wonders of ancient Samarkand
  • Experience hustle and bustle of Uzbek bazaars
  • Learn about ancient traditions like making Samarkand paper from mulberry
  • Visit silk production & carpet factory

 

ITINERARY & MAP

Transfer to hotel Ichan Qala.  Many flights arrive early in the morning, so you’ll have time to take a shower and rest before meeting with your group and the tour leader in the hotel.  After introductions and breakfast, it’s time to begin your journey through fascinating Uzbekistan.

Where better to start than a tour of Tashkent? The largest city in Central Asia is a curious blend of Islamic and Soviet influences.  Visit the Old City area of Tashkent where you will find the Khast Imom Complex which contains ancient holy Quran of Caliph Uthman, Tilla Sheikh Mosque and the Mausoleum of Saint Abu Bakr.  Experience the bustling crowds of traders at Chor-Su Bazaar before taking a ride on the city’s famous Soviet-era metro system which like Moscow’s features some of the most ornately decorated stations in the world.  Exit at Amir Temur Square Station to view the statue of the great conqueror and next to it, the grand Independence Square. We complete the city tour of Tashkent with a visit to the State History Museum.

Transfer to the airport for domestic flight to Urgench. Upon arrival transfer to Khiva (40 min) for overnight.

Hotel Asia Khiva or similar

Uzbekistan tour, Khiva

After breakfast starts 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 section of Khiva called Ichan-Kala. This old section of town preserves more than fifty historic monuments and hundreds of old houses dating back hundreds of years. The entire citadel is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you walk through the enormous city gates, you are confronted by the glistening Islamic beacon, the Kalta-minor Minaret. Delve deep into the town on a guided tour that embraces all of the city sites, and includes an ascent of the Islam Khodja Minaret, the highest minaret in Khiva. Enjoy broad views of Old Khiva atop the Kunya-Ark Citadel. During early dinner we will get the chance to watch exotic folklore show of local musicians and dancers from Khorezm region.

Transfer to Urgench to take flight back to Tashkent, departing 21:00. Upon arrival at 22:45 at Tashkent airport, transfer to hotel.

Hotel Ichan Qala or similar

Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan tour, Khiva

After early breakfast transfer to train station to catch high-speed Afrosiyob train to Bukhara. The modern and comfortable train departs at 07:30 and arrives in Bukhara at 11:20. Check in at hotel in Bukhara and lunch in the Old Town. In the afternoon we start the sightseeing tour of the Old Town of Bukhara.

The second of our UNESCO World Heritage stops – even the very name Bukhara conjures up images of the exotic Orient.  Today, as for centuries, it is an important trading post and you have numerous opportunities to see traditional Uzbek products being bought and sold.  The Old Town 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, an oasis shaded by mulberry trees at the heart of the city. Your guide will show you the city’s unmissable sights and you can soak up the atmosphere wandering through Bukhara’s labyrinthine alleyways.

Hotel Komil Boutique or similar

Best of Central Asia Tour- Bukhara city tour

After breakfast we depart to the village Gijduvan, just 50km outside of Bukhara to visit a famous pottery workshop of Narzullaev family. Uzbek ceramics are rich and diverse. Different regions in Uzbekistan have their own schools and traditions – the most interesting ceramics is produced in Gijduvan. From all around Uzbekistan masters come here to study the art of pottery. You will not become a master today, but you will learn from a master about his passion and the meaning of the different patterns depicted. You will get the chance to make your own masterpiece. It will then be burnt and at the end of the tour it will be ready for you to take home. Gijduvan is also the birthplace of one of the brightest representatives of Sufism – Abdulkhalik Gijduvani – who lived and worked in the 12th century. We visit the madrasah built on his burial place. Some people claim Gijduvan also has the best shashlyk shish kebabs. We will try them for lunch and you can tell us if you agree.

Upon arrival back in Bukhara we will see a few more sights we missed yesterday and then we make sure you have some free time to explore the city on your own or go shopping in the trading domes, just like the ancient merchants on the silk road.

We will have traditional Uzbek dish Plov in the family house of a Suzani embroidery master. You can see how the Plov dish is prepared and during dinner, he will tell you a bit more about Suzanis. Rest assured, there will be no pressure at all, to buy anything.

Hotel Komil Boutique or similar

Uzbekistan tour, Bukhara city

Today morning we visit two of Bukhara’s rather unusual sights. The first is madrasah Chor-Minor, translated as “four minarets”, because of the four small minarets crowned with blue domes on each site of the rectangular building. Next, we visit the summer palace of the last Emir of Bukhara. It is a unique site combining Oriental and Russian architecture and located not far outside of the city. Back in Bukhara we will have lunch and then head to the train station to catch the high-speed train departing to Samarkand. Upon arrival in Samarkand at 15:50, transfer to hotel for check in and dinner in the city.

Hotel L’Argamak or similar

Best Uzbekistan tour, Samarkand

Sublime Samarkand evokes an almost mythical past full of romance and intrigue.  This was the domain of Timur, one of history’s great conquerors.  His vast empire rivalled any, stretching across the Eurasian steppe, who ruled his kingdom with an iron fist while at the same time patronizing the arts and literature.  Much of his architectural heritage has been preserved, allowing us to see how the city might have been at the peak of his power.

Today, you get to see Samarkand’s and arguably Uzbekistan’s most famous landmark, spectacular Registan Square. The focal point of ancient Samarkand is framed by three beautiful madrassas – Ulugbek, Sherdor and Tillya Kori. We will also visit Gur-Emir mausoleum, where Timur is buried. we then visit Ulgubek’s observatory, once the biggest research center of 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 is Shah-i-Zinda, the necropolis where family members of Timur are buried. After lunch we visit the impressive Bibi Khanum Mosque, before delving into the world of dried fruits and other local delicacies at nearby Siyob Bazaar. Just outside the city we visit the silk carpet factory of a Turkmen master from Kabul. You will learn about the production of silk and carpets.

Hotel L’Argamak or similar

Koni Ghil, Samarkand Paper Factory, Uzbekistan Tour

Today, we’ve included a second day at this incredible UNESCO-listed city as we know there’s just too much to take in during a single day.  We begin the city tour today just outside the city in the village Koni Ghil to explore the traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. After, we’ll pay a visit to the Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. In Samarkand we meet a baker, who will show us how the typical Uzbek bread is made.

In the late afternoon, we will take the high-speed train back to Tashkent. Check in at the hotel and Uzbek farewell dinner.

Hotel Ichan Qala or similar

Kalpak Travel

Check-out from the hotel before noon. Free time until transfer to Tashkent International Airport.

Inclusions

Transport
Metro, Minibus, Train, Airplane
Meals
8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (7 nights)
Included Activities
  • Tashkent – city tour
  • Khiva – walking tour
  • Khiva folklore show
  • Bukhara – walking tour
  • Samarkand – city tour
  • Samarkand – paper making from mulberry
  • Gijduvan pottery workshop
  • Silk carpet factory near Samarkand
  • Plov dinner at family house of Suzani master
  • Uzbek bakery visit in Samarkand

dates & price

Total trip price

€1590

Euro

8

Days

Single supplement available for €380

Deposit: €250

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
1 Apr 2018
8 Apr 2018
+ Available
27 May 2018
3 Jun 2018
+ Available
16 Sep 2018
23 Sep 2018
+ Available
21 Oct 2018
28 Oct 2018
+ Available
27 Dec 2018
3 Jan 2019
+ Available
Price includes
  • All transfers by mini bus according to the itinerary, pick ups and drop off
  • Accommodation based on double/ twin room sharing, incl. early check in on day 1
  • English speaking local tour guide accompanying the group
  • All entrances as per itinerary
  • Business class ticket for train Tashkent-Bukhara, Bukhara-Tashkent
  • Economy class ticket for flight Tashkent-Urgench-Tashkent
  • Full board (breakfasts, lunches, dinners)
Price does not include
  • International air fares
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Travel insurance is required
  • Personal expenses, e.g. souvenirs

Important notes

  • Travel insurance is required for this tour. Upon arrival, please provide your insurance details to the tour guide. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend this one: https://www.worldnomads.com
  • All departures are guaranteed

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 need a visa. For citizens of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom a facilitated visa regime applies, meaning if you are from one of these countries you do not need an invitation letter. Everybody else needs an invitation letter to apply for a visa. Please note: If you book a tour with us we provide invitation letter free of charge and assist you with getting your visa.
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 Uzbekistan.

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 characterises 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.
As soon as we receive your deposit, we will confirm your booking and send you additional pre-departure information. There you will find the full list of medicine that it is prohibited to import into Uzbekistan and also medicine which you can import only with doctor’s prescription.

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