Uzbekistan Tour in 2 Weeks

Uzbekistan in Depth

Guided tour to explore Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Termez and Fergana Valley

Days

14

Price

€2590

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Uzbekistan

Route:

  • Tashkent
  • Fergana
  • Termez
  • Samarkand
  • Bukhara
  • Khiva

Themes: Cultural Tours

Explore 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

  • The tour is scheduled to fit with direct flights from New York (JFK) to Tashkent.
  • Modern Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan and largest city of Central Asia
  • Visit Fergana valley and learn about ancient traditions of ceramics and silk production
  • Remarkably well preserved Khiva, surrounded by city walls of plastered mud
  • Charming old city of Bukhara, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Spectacular Registan Square and other architectural wonders of ancient Samarkand
  • Learn about ancient traditions of papermaking, ceramics and silk production
  • Termez with the most important archaeological sites of the pre-Islamic period
  • Shakhrisabz – the birthplace of Timur and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Authentic Uzbek village life

ITINERARY & MAP

Tashkent Amir Timur statue on the main square

Arrival at Tashkent Airport (for example arrival at 9:55 AM on Uzbekistan Airways flight HY102 from New York, JFK or arrival at 7:40 AM or 1:55 AM on Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul). Transfer to the hotel. Have rest and enjoy your free time. In the evening, meet with your group and the tour leader in the hotel. After the welcome briefing, enjoy the short walk through Independence Square, and Sayilgoh promenade where the artists gather to showcase their works. Enjoy a festive welcome dinner and celebrate the start of the captivating journey through Uzbekistan.

Meals: Dinner
Hotel Wyndham 4* or similar

Silk maker in Fergana, Margilan silk factory

Following the breakfast, we embark on the train to go to Fergana Valley. Surrounded by the Tien Shan mountain range and watered by tributaries of the Syr Darya River, this is the most fertile part of Central Asia. Since the time of Alexander the Great and throughout the time of the Great Silk Road it was a rich oasis. We stop in Margilan – the famous Silk Road stop. The economic life of the town is still dominated by enormous Silk Textile production. To get to know the town better, we will visit the Margilan Yodgrolik Silk Factory. Yodgorlik uses natural dyes to produce stunning pieces using traditional Uzbek ikat designs. Silkworms are raised here on mulberry leaves and the cocoons are unraveled to yield the raw material. Several different classes of fabric are produced, from the pure silk “khon atlas” to cotton/silk blends called “adras”. We can see the process of production. After sightseeing, check-in and dinner at the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Asia 3* or similar

Kokand city tour of the palace of Khudoyar khan in Fergana, Uzbekistan

We have one more day to explore the Fergana valley. The region is famous in Uzbekistan not only for agriculture but also for its artisans and markets. After visiting the local market in Fergana we will drive ca. one hour to Rishtan. The town is famous all over Uzbekistan for its ceramics. It is no coincidence that pottery became so prominent exactly at this place because the red clay and pigments available here are of excellent quality. We have the chance to visit the studio of a pottery master and learn more about his job and passion that has been passed down from generation to generation. From Rishtan we then drive further to Kokand, another town with a rich history as a trading and religious center. In the 19th century, it was the capital of the Kokand Khanate, that stretched until the southern Kazakh steppe. We will have a short sightseeing tour, which includes the remains of Khudayar Khan’s Palace as well as the impressive Jami Mosque.

At 17:30 PM departure by train from Kokand to Tashkent. We arrive in the Uzbek capital at 21:20. Transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Wyndham 4* or similar

 

Khast imom complex in Tashkent

Tashkent is the biggest city in Central Asia and one of the oldest. Unfortunately, in an earthquake in 1966, most of its historic buildings were destroyed. Nevertheless, a few buildings notably at the Khast Imom Complex have survived and this is where we are heading first on today’s city tour of Tashkent. The complex contains the ancient Quran book of Caliph Uthman (from 7th century!) and the mausoleum of the Islamic saint, Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi. We then join traders at Chorsu Bazaar before taking a ride on the Tashkent Metro. We complete the city tour of Tashkent with a visit to the Museum of History. Today we will embark on a night train journey to the southernmost city of Uzbekistan – Termez.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight train (2 people per compartment)

Termez

We arrive in the city early in the morning and following the train journey, we embark on exploring the city. Few tourists ever venture as far south as Termez. It’s a pity as it is a place of exceptional historic importance and with a wealth of intriguing archaeological sites from pre-Islamic times. In the 6th century BC, Termez was already known to the Achaemenids, and it was later conquered by Alexander the Great. The city’s medieval fortifications ran for 10 miles, and the famous Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta wrote of its lively bazaar, fine buildings, canals, and gardens. It is still possible to see the ruins of Kara Tepe and Fayaz Tepe, two important ancient Buddhist monasteries, plus the Kyrk-Kyz Fortress, and the archaeological museum is one of the best in Central Asia. We visit the famous Termez Archaeological Museum where we learn about the millennia of history, where religions of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Islam developed. Following the museum, we visit the archeological sites such as Fayaz Tepa and Kampir Tepa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Meridian 3* or similar

Derbent in Surkhan Darya, Uzbekistan

After breakfast, we drive to the north. Our next stop is Derbent Village. Derbent – translates as Dead End Valley from the local language. It sits in between the huge Hissar mountain range and provides the special experience of nature and history. Historically, the caravans of the trading routes between famous Silk Road cities of Kabul and Samarkand or Bukhara would pass through this village. Darband’s strategic location was favorable as it stood as a lush and populous village on one of the main passes through the mountains. It also served as the crossing point between the ancient kingdoms of Bactria and Sogdia.

It is not by accident that both Alexander of Macedonia and Tamerlane used the pass to move their armies through the area. The famous Iron Gate of Tamerlane – naturally narrow rocky mountain defile – might have taken its name from the historic event when Tamerlane used the defile to move his soldier from Samarkand to Balkh.

After arriving we will have a short walk into the village. Enjoy the lunch with the family and then go for an easy hike through the hilly mountain foothills, we could also visit the famous spring that is also a lifeline for the village. Enjoy the dinner with the locals.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Guesthouse (Shared bathroom)

Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Timur

After breakfast, embark on the journey to Samarkand. On the way, we stop in the hometown of legendary Tamerlane – Shahrisabz. We arrive in Shahrisabz in time to have lunch. Shakhrisabz is one of the UNESCO enlisted cities of Uzbekistan. It is an important city because this was the land that Tamerlane was born. We visit Ak Saray, a UNESCO listed site that was built as a summer palace for Tamerlane. Next, visit the memorial complex Dorut Tilovat and the mosque Kok-Gumbaz. In the evening we arrive in Samarkand.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, 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 Timur, one of history’s greatest conquerors. His vast empire rivaled 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 is devoted to exploring Samarkand. We start the day with the visit of Gur-Emir mausoleum, where Timur is buried. We will hear the stories from his life and how did he start the construction of Samarkand. Then, we go to Registan Square – Samarkand’s and arguably Uzbekistan’s most famous landmark. The focal point of ancient Samarkand is framed by three beautiful madrassas – Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tillya Kori. And we’ll stroll through the spacious courtyard of the Bibi-Khanum Mosque—a structure that legend says was a gift to Tamerlane by one of his wives. After lunch, we’ll have time to explore the Siyob Bazaar, where fruit and vegetables grown from the rich soil of the Zarafshan Valley are sold in a colorful market. You may explore the city on your own during your free time this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Shahizinda full of tourists in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

After breakfast, we visit Konigil Paper Mill. At the paper mill, you may see the process of paper production from mulberry tree bark – just like in 8th century Samarkand. We then go to Shahi Zinda, to the tile-rich street of turquoise and blue domes. After lunch you can have free time or visit Ulugbek’s Observatory and Afrasiyab Museum. At the museum you can learn more about the ancient city of Samarkand – then known as Afrasiyab – that was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century. Dinner in the city center. After dinner, transfer to the train station to catch Afrosiyob high-speed train to Bukhara, departing 9:00 PM and arriving 10:40 PM in Bukhara. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Safiya 3* or similar

Bukhara domes seen on Uzbekistan tour

After breakfast, we start the walking tour of Bukhara. Even the very name Bukhara conjures up images of the exotic Orient. For centuries, it was an important trading post and an academic center. 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. Sights that you will see on today’s walking tour in the Old Town of Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Kalon Complex, Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque and local markets under the domes. Dinner in the city center.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner on your own
Hotel Safiya 3* or similar

Khiva city Walls in Uzebkistan

This morning is free for you to shop, or sip tea by the famous square of Labi Hauz. Before mid-day, we will transfer to the train station. Journey through the desert of Kyzyl-Kum to the next Silk Road post of Khiva will take approximately 6 hours on a train. Enjoy the scenery of the desert and the townships we pass through. Enjoy your dinner in the old town of Khiva next to the minaret.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Asia 3* or similar

Silk Road city in Uzbekistan-Khiva

Considered a gem of desert architecture, Khiva is one of the renowned capitals of old Khorezm. Locals believe that Shem the son of Noah founded the city when he discovered the sweet water spring in this middle of the vast desert. Archeologists believe the city was set up some 2,500 years ago. Today Khiva is the most architecturally intact Silk Road city in Uzbekistan. Its intense green and blue tilework rank as some of the most luxurious in Central Asia. This open-air museum is enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Khiva is full of amazing architecture – and today we will get a chance to see them all. We will visit the walled inner-city section of Khiva called Ichan-Kala. This historic town preserves more than sixty historic monuments and hundreds of old houses dating back hundreds of years. As you walk through the massive city gates, you are met by the gleaming Islamic architecture, the Kalta-Minor Minaret. Explore the town on a guided tour that covers all of the city sites. Enjoy broad views of Old Khiva on the top of the Ak Sheikh baba observatory platform.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner on your own
Hotel Asia 3* or similar

pottery Uzbekistan

After breakfast transfer to Urgench airport for the flight to Tashkent. Arrival around noon. Check-in at the hotel. Free time and early farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel Wyndham 4* or similar

Departue of Central Asia Tour

We will arrange a complimentary transfer to the Tashkent International Airport. Departure to New York (JFK): 7:05 AM on flight HY101 Departure to Istanbul: 3:25 AM or 9:10 AM on Turkish Airlines flights

Meals: Breakfast

 

Inclusions

Transport
Minibus, Train, Airplane
Meals
13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (12 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tashkent – city tour
  • Fergana valley tour
  • Termez tour
  • Samarkand – city tour
  • Bukhara – walking tour
  • Khiva – walking tour

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

€2590

Euro

14

Days

Single supplement available for €500

Deposit: €500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
28 Sep 2020
11 Oct 2020
+ Available
12 Oct 2020
25 Oct 2020
+ Available
29 Mar 2021
11 Apr 2021
+ Available
12 Apr 2021
25 Apr 2021
+ Available
27 Sep 2021
10 Oct 2021
+ Available
11 Oct 2021
24 Oct 2021
+ Available
Price includes
  • All transfers by minibus according to the itinerary, pickups 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
  • Ticket for train transfers
  • Economy class ticket for flight Urgench- Tashkent
  • Meals as per itinerary
Price does not include
  • International air fares
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, e.g. souvenirs
  • Tips for guide and drivers

Important notes

 

  • Travel insurance is required for this tour. Which insurance you choose is up to you.
  • All departures are guaranteed
  • Maximum group size is 12 people
  • The tour is scheduled to fit with direct flights from New York (JFK) to Tashkent
  • Best travel time with pleasant temperatures is Spring and Fall

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.
As soon as we receive your deposit, we will confirm your booking and send you additional pre-departure information.

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