Mountain and oasis flowers Uzbekistan tour, 13 days
Uzbekistan enjoys a very diversified fauna and flora. This walking tour gives you the opportunity to experience and admire at first hand the green valleys, the sand desert with its saxaul shrubs, the steppes with their lilac-coloured tamarisk trees and the picturesque mountains.
Stops on your tour: Tashkent ‒ Uchum ‒ Hayat ‒ Sentob ‒ SOB ‒ Aydarkul ‒ Samarkand ‒ Sankt David ‒ Ayakchi ‒ Schachrisabz ‒ Tashkent
Duration of the trip: 14 days / 13 nights
Travel time: March to mid-November
Accommodation: Hotels BB/ 3-4 *
1st day: early arrival in Tashkent
On your arrival at the International Airport in Tashkent, you will be met by your travel guide who will accompany you to your hotel. Today we visit in the old town the Hasti Imam Complex. On the square, you will see the Tillya Scheich Mosque, the Barak Khan Madrasa and the Kaffal Schaschi Mausoleum, a sign of the time when the town was at the centre of the great development of Islamic culture and religion. The oldest manuscript of the Koran, going back to the 3rd Khalif Osman, is kept in the Madrasa library.Afterwards, we will visit the Basar Tschorsu, which has stood for centuries at the intersection of the old caravan route. This is one of the largest markets of Tashkent, not far from the town center.After the lunch break, we will continue on to Hayat Village (270 km). Overnight stay in the guesthouse.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
2nd day: Hayat – Uchum
After breakfast, a walking tour through the mountainous landscape of Hayat Village. Nearby there is the wildlife sanctuary with animals such as lynxes, foxes, ibexes and wild goats. Hayat is a typical village with many flat roofs on which poppies and other beautiful flowers grow. Walnut trees and mulberry trees adorn the village. We will picnic en route in the countryside. We will continue on to Uchum, which lies on the Nurata mountain range.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
3rd day: Uchum – Sentob
The caravan moves on towards Sentob (7 km). The way of life in the mountain villages is very different from that of town life in Uzbekistan. We discover the region and arrive at the Sentob River. There are many drawings on the rocks next to the river, the oldest are over 900 years old. If we are lucky, we will see wild horses or the golden eagle and partridges.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
4th day: Sentob – Fasilman Lake
Today’s hike is through the green gardens to the Fasilman Valley (1640 m) – a green valley surrounded by mountains. On the way we will see rock drawings on the caves and abandoned stone houses. Then we will arrive at the small lake called Fasilman which is covered with water reeds. Picnic in the countryside. Leisure time in the afternoon.Overnight stay in a tent.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
5th day: Sentob – Sob – Aydarkul
We make an early start and hike (2:30 hours) to the mountain pass (2035 m) and then down to Sob Village where the bus will be waiting for us. Drive through the Kisil Kum Desert to Jangikasgan, a yurt camp where we will spend the night. Picnic on the banks of the lake. Camel ride* or trekking on part of the road to the Aydarkul Lake (4-5 km) and walk around the lake (5km). Depending on the season, we can swim in the lake or watch the animals (Central Asian tortoises, hares or desert agames).Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
6th day: Aydarkul – Nurata – Gijduvan – Buchara
We go to the ancient town of Nurata where we will visit the Nurata Mausoleum and the Ruins of Alexander the Great’s Fortress. There are various legends as to how the town got its name. One version is that Nurata stems from the name of the Nur Fortress which was founded in the 4th century BC when Alexander the Great had his garrisons there.The main reason for the settlement was the fresh water spring called Tschaschma which was here. The holy spring Tschaschma – a place of pilgrimage and one of the most important religious centers of Islam in the region.We continue via Gijduvan to Buchara where there is the gravesite of Abdukhalik Gijduvani. Buchara is also called the holyland of the 7000 peers (holy teachers). Your pilgrimage to the holy sites of Sufism starts with a visit to the graves of some of the Sufi saints outside the town. In the suburb Gijduvan we will visit the grave of Abduhalik Gijduvani (1103-1179).Gijduvan is also known all over Uzbekistan for its ceramics in particularly warm colours. We go on to Buchara, arriving late afternoon. We check in to the hotel and take our first walk around the old town.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
7th day: Buchara
Buchoroi sharif (noble Buchara) is a town with impressive medreses (Koran schools) and active mosques whose history dates back to ancient times. You start your visit at the Poi-Kalon complex. The Ark fortress was a monumental fortification which was the residence of Buchara’s emirs for many centuries before Soviet power.The oldest Muslim place of interest in Buchara and a real masterpiece of early Islam architecture is the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani. The trading arches of the old town are proof of this. Three of the still existing Trading arches were used for different purposes: Toki Saraffon (for money exchange), Toki Telpak Furushon (trade in caps and head coverings), Toki Zargaron (jewellery bazaar).Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
8th day: Buchara – Schachrisabz – Ayakchi
Drive to Schahriabs (Green Town). Excursion around Schahrisabz to view the ruins of the Summer Palace of Tamerlan «Ak Saray» (beginning of the 15th century), the Mosque Khasrati-Imam and Kok-Gumbas (15th century) and the Dar-us-Saadat Complex (15th century). Although Samarkand was the capital of Timur’s empire, he was born in Schahriabz and therefore this should demonstrate the power of the ruler. The ruins of the Summer Palace are still monumental and bear witness to the past immensity of Timur’s empire. Continue on to the village of Ayakchi.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner
9th day: Ayakchi – Alvastikul – Scholipoya
We trek through the beautiful village to Alvastikul (Devil’s Lake) about 6 hours. Then we go on to the Tschakatache Pass (1250 m) up to the top course of the Ayakchi River. The atmosphere everywhere is breathtaking. We then reach the village of Scholipoya (1200 m).Overnight stay in the yurt camp.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner
10th day: Scholipoya – Tersak
Our next stop for today will be the village of Tersak. After breakfast we start off and trek for hours. We go through the Tschimbay Pass (1750 m) in a green valley below which is the mountain village of Tersak (1245 m). Overnight stay in a guesthouse in which the owner used to be a French teacher.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
11th day: Tersak – Sankt David Höhle – Samarkand
We continue today to the best-known place in Uzbekistan – the St. David Caves – a much-visited place of pilgrimage with many pilgrims and visitors who are not only Muslims but also Christians and Jews. One has to climb up 1300 steps to reach the cave of St. David. Then on to Samarkand.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
12th day: Samarkand – Tashkent
In Samarkand you will be able to admire the following places and buildings: One of the visiting cards of Uzbekistan – the famous Registan Square with its wonderful madrasas will be a lasting memory for you of Samarkand. Palace-like mausoleum Guri-Emir of the ruler Timur.In the afternoon you will visit the Bibi-Khanim-Mosque, which was once considered to be one of the greatest sacred buildings of the Orient. One legend says that Tamerlan had the mosque built for his beloved wife. Right after visiting the mosque you will go to the Siyob-Bazaar and try the famous Samarkand bread which is known all over Uzbekistan and which owes its special aroma to the clay ovens (tandyrs) used which are heated with cotton twigs. In the late afternoon, fast train «Afrosiyob» to Tashkent.Today’s included meals are breakfast and dinner.
13th day: Tashkent – return flight
After an early breakfast, trip to Tashkent International Airport for your flight home.