Uzbekistan: The Heart of the Silk Road

14 Days, from AU $5,479

Bukhara

Samarkand

This remarkable journey through the development and history of the old trading routes that once traversed the vast distances between the East and the West begins in Tashkent. Here, you have an opportunity to explore some of the main sights of the old city before moving on to the beautifully preserved medieval city of Khiva.

Then a long drive through the haunting Kyzylkum Desert brings you to Bukhara, Samarkand and Shakrisabz, where you’ll explore the winding alleyways, tiled madrassahs and beautiful palaces of some of the most iconic and enthralling cities ever to grace the historic Silk Road.

Moving on we explore the most exotic markets in all of Central Asia in the Fergana Valley towns of Margilon and Andijon, visit a pottery factory in Rishton and see silk being woven at the Yodgorlik silk making centre.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Tashkent

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Tashkent, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Tashkent is Uzbekistan’s capital city and home to three million people. This old Soviet city is a perfect place to encounter the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Central Asia.

Day 2: Tashkent

This afternoon see Tashkent's main sights including the central square Amir Timur or Tamerlane's Square, the Alisher Navoi Opera Theatre, the Chorsu Bazaar and the old town's mosques and madrassahs.

The old part of the city is the center of traditional local cuisine. Between Kukeldash Madrassah and the Chorsu Bazaar you will find a great number of chaikhanas cafes and eating houses where you can snack on a kebab, shawrma or an Uzbek somsa.

Day 3: Khiva

This morning flight we fly from Tashkent to the North Western Uzbek city of Urgench.

Upon arrival we take the short drive out into the Kyzyl-Kum Desert to visit the desert citadels of Toprak Kala and Ayaz Kala. The drive takes you through rural Uzbekistan showing you the farms and villages. A few hours later we arrive in the ancient city of Khiva.

Khiva is one of the most iconic and enthralling towns ever to grace the historic Silk Road. You’ll be captivated by Khiva’s winding alleyways, tiled madrassa's and beautiful palaces.

Day 4: Khiva

Today enjoy a full days excursion to medieval Khiva. With your guide you will be able to wander through the maze of twisting alleyways and visit the Kunya Ark or old citadel, the Emir's Palace and the magnificent Juma Mosque with its 200 individually carved wooden pillars.

Day 5: Bukhara

A long drive through the haunting Kyzylkum Desert, skirting the Turkmen border brings you to Bukhara.

A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, Bukhara is widely regarded as Central Asia’s holiest city. With more than one hundred officially preserved monuments, there is a lot to see and you have an extensive sightseeing program here spread over two days to make the most of your time. With many monuments dating from the 8th to the 18th century AD, there is a vast span of history and architecture to uncover and the meticulous restoration of many of the mosaic and majolica decorations give you a true sense of how these buildings looked in their original glory.

Day 6: Bukhara

Today we enjoy a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area. With its narrow alleyways and bustling bazaars, Bukhara is the quintessential Silk Road city. Today enjoy a full day tour through the old streets of Bukhara, some of the highlights include the Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison, Ark Fortress, Kalyan Square with its great minaret and the Ismael Samani Mausoleum dating from the 10th century.

Our two night stay here is in a former merchants home from the 1850s - now a traditional boutique hotel.

Day 7: Samarkand

After breakfast with our gracious hosts, we depart in a private vehicle to Samarkand. No city is as evocative of the Silk Road as the golden Samarkand. Registan Square is the most spectacular architectural ensemble in all of Central Asia. Made up of three madrasas (places of learning) and a mosque, this beautiful square is simply inspiring.

Day 8: Samarkand

On day 8 we will have a guided tour of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including The Registan, Ulugbek Medressa, Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda.

Day 9: Samarkand

Our drive into the Zerafshan Mountains provides us with magnificent views as we travel to Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane and where the ruined entrance towers of his Ak-Serai Palace still stand.

Shakrisabz is a pretty market town with winding mud lanes of traditional homes. The town has a relaxed atmosphere among its many mosques and teahouses and is a great place to unwind for a few hours.

Return to Samarkand where you will have more time to explore the city. Our stay here is in a traditional boutique hotel.

Day 10: Nuratau Mountains Homestay

Today we depart Samarkand and travel to an off-the-beaten-track location for a taste of rural life in Uzbekistan.

Here, we discover the spectacular Nuratau Mountains with its authentic villages and friendly people. Tonight we stay in a rustic mountain homestay owned by friends of the Get About Asia team, relax under a walnut tree while dining on home-cooked traditional fare.

Day 11: Fergana Valley

Early in the morning we transfer from the Nuratau Mountains, via Tashkent to the most traditional part of Uzbekistan – the Fergana Valley.

Our first stop is the magnificent Khan's Palace in Kokand where we’ll enjoy a guided tour learning about the history of the Khanates in Central Asia. In the late afternoon we arrive in the pleasant city of Fergana.

Day 12: Fergana Valley

Today we visit one of the most exotic Sunday markets in all of Central Asia in the nearby city of Margilon. After a few hours in Margilon we travel to Andijon, only a 45 minute drive away. The Sunday market here is just as fascinating.

After lunch we visit a pottery factory in Rishton and the Yodgorlik silk making centre in Margilon. After a long day we return to Fergana where we’ll have dinner with a local family.

Day 13: Fergana Valley – Tashkent

This morning is free for you to explore Fergana city before transferring back to Tashkent.

Day 14: Tashkent

Today is departure day. There are no activities planned and you may depart at any time. Hotel check out is at 11am.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $5,479

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
  • All airport transfers.
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
  • Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
  • Lunch and dinner as indicated on trip notes. We do not include lunch or dinner where it is practical for you to make your own choices, as we find that GetAboutAsia customers prefer the freedom of eating what they want, which is one the of joys of travelling.
Notes:

Set group departures for 2015: May 6 to 19 & September 10 to 22. Maximum group size: 12 persons. Private trips can be operated on any day of the year.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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"Uzbekistan is very interesting with lots of very well preserved old cities and buildings. Khiva was wonderful. A real Silk Road flavour still. The guide said they are going to reconstruct the outer wall as it was originally and build more hotels for tourists. They are also building a fast train to connect the major cities. The driving distances are long at present. A 20th century mosque and a more modern one in Khiva. " — Mr and Mrs Martin, Sydney, October 2017

"Bukhara, Kiva, Samarkand (Uzbekistan) were our favourites, impressive sightseeing, colourful historical buildings and friendly people, we had a great time! Hotels and guides were good." — Family Froidevaux & Berton, Victoria, July 2015

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