Explore authentic Nuratau Mountain villages on easy to medium difficulty hikes and experience the stay with overwhelmingly hospitable local people in traditional homestay with this 4 days hiking tour to Nuratau Mountains. You will also have opportunity to visit the breeding enclosure of highly endangered Severtzov’s wild sheep in the Nuratau Nature Reserve during this tour.
- Visit the breeding enclosure highly endangered Severtzov’s wild sheep
- Explore four remote mountain villages
- Experience a stay with the village families and try different traditional meals
- Get to know the local customs and traditions
- Easy to medium difficulty hikes along the Nuratau Nature Reserve
Day 1 – Samarkand or Bukhara – Hayat village
Pick up from your hotel in Samarkand or Bukhara at 9:00 and be transferred to Hayat village (4 hours of drive). Arrive at Shiringul’s homestay in Hayat village by lunch time. Your host welcomes you and shows the homestay facilities. The homestay has six separate guestrooms, furnished with carpets, kupacha mattresses and pillows. The owner of the homestay Parda Musaev works as warden in the Nature Reserve.
Have a lunch with the family.
Start your excursion through the village by visiting the nearby breeding enclosure of highly endangered Severtsov’s wild sheep. According to official statistics, approximately 2000 wild sheep are outside the enclosure in the Nuratau Mountain valleys. From the enclosure, continue walking up to the ruins of local fortress Shaxi Korgon situated on the hill opposite the enclosure. From the top of the hill you will see many abandoned houses that belonged to the families who were forced to resettle in 1950s by Soviet Government to cotton growing areas. Continue hiking up Hayat valley, particularly in spring, you can see the diverse flora and fauna of the region and admire lush green landscape.
Return to the homestay and take a rest in the huge shady garden along the mountain brook on tapchans or benches. Dinner with the host family.
Overnight stay in Shiringul’s homestay.
Day 2 – Hayat - Uhum
Today we hike to the village of Upper Ukhum (12km). Start guided hike through Guzar and the Sari Bedak passes to Upper Ukhum village (5,4km /3,5 hours – one way). The luggage will be transported by donkeys to next homestay. From the pass, you will have a beautiful view of peak Karaul and Hayat village. Hiking up through Uhum valley, you will see local woman baking bread in the tandir oven and doing other household chores. Women in the village are still spinning, weaving carpets or making kurpacha mattresses. Many people will welcome you to enter their yards and watch what they are doing. In Upper Ukhum village, see the ancient irrigation channels still used by the local farmers and visit the petroglyph site that is an indicator of the ancient settlement history of the area. A picnic lunch will be provided for you en route. In the afternoon, arrive and settle in Ulugbek’s homestay in Uhum village. Dinner with the family.
Overnight stay in Ulugbek’s homestay.
Day 3 – Uhum - Asraf
After breakfast, prepare for hiking to your next homestay in Asraf village. Our escort guide will accompany you and the donkey will transport your luggage.
Start hiking through Ukhum valley to Asraf village (11 km-4,5 hours). Once you reach the school turn left, continue walking down through the valley (about 1 km) and stop at the old community watermill. The old watermill is still in operation and three you will see a hydro pump that lifts water up to a local house without using electricity. The owner, Bakhrom Kasimov, will be proudly demonstrate the use of these old devices to you. Continue walking down Mushibirion valley and turn right at the ruins of the old Mongol fortress “Qorgoni Honkeldi”. To get to Asraf village you still have to hike another 3,5 km to the east.
Arrive in Yashigul’s homestay in Asraf village and be welcomed by your host. Lunch with the family.
After lunch relax on the tapchans under huge walnut trees and get to know your host family. In the evening, you may wander around the village watching people doing their daily chores or help the family to prepare traditional dish Plov from home grown vegetables and mountain spices. Dinner with the family.
Overnight stay in Yahshigul’s homestay.
Day 4 – Asraf – Bukhara/Samarkand
Breakfast with the family.
Today’s half day hike takes us along the buffer zone of Nuratau Nature Reserve to the next Nuratau Mountain village - Eski Forish (return trip 11 km/5 hours). You have a great view of Lake Aydar and the vast plains of the Kyzylkum steppe during this easy hike. On the way, see ancient petroglyphs and visit the ruins of a medieval look-out point in Eski Forish which was used to observe the Kyzyl-Kum plains to avoid the sudden attacks of the steppe nomads.
Return to Asraf village and have lunch with the family
Say goodbye to your hosts and leave for Bukhara or Samarkand (4 hours of drive).
END OF SERVICE
1 person - 275 USD
2 persons - 230 USD per person
3 persons - 190 USD per person