Uzbekistan is the heart and soul of the Silk Road. The Old Towns of its UNESCO-listed oasis cities – Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand – are incredible mazes of exotic architecture and gorgeous decorative art. Beyond these lie the rural Fergana Valley and the remote towns of Karakalpakstan. We would love to show you around this timeless, welcoming wellspring of Silk Road culture.
Autumn means long-awaited harvesting, for which local people have worked the whole year. Autumn is called “Velvet Season” in this area due to the abundance of almonds, walnuts, peaches, apples and many other fruits. Hosil Bayrami, the public holiday dedicated to the harvest. Weddings and Kupkaris are celebrated during this season. All this demonstrates the centuries-old culture and tradition of the local population. Guests are welcome to join all of these celebrations.
Itinerary: Istanbul – Tashkent – Fergana Valley – Khiva – Bukhara – Urgench – Bukhara – Samarkand – Tashkent – Istanbul
DAY 1. MONDAY. ISTANBUL – TASHKENT
Departure from Istanbul at 23.55, flight TK368
DAY 2. TUESDAY. TASHKENT
Morning arrival in Tashkent at 06:15.
There are not so many cities in the world, like the cities of Uzbekistan that have managed to preserve the beauty and spirit of bygone eras, and combined them with the elusive and ephemeral pace of modern life. There are the ruins of old castles, palaces, paved streets, reminding of the greatness of leaders who once lived here neighboring side by side peacefully with skyscrapers, towers, houses, buildings, offices and banks, squares and parks, built over the past decades. This is Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan - the city of bread, silk, cotton, tobacco, fruits.
Lunch at the restaurant.
Visit to the "Chorsu" market, one of the biggest markets of Uzbekistan. Kukeldash Madrasa and Shayhantur Ensemble with its three mausoleums. Hast-Imam square, which is considered the religious center of Tashkent, where the Barak-Khan Madrasa was built in the 16th century, the Tilla-Sheikh mosque, the mausoleum of the saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi, and the Islamic Institute named after Imam al-Buhari. Further tour of the new part of the city with a visit to Independence Square, which is the central square of Uzbekistan.
Dinner at the restaurant.
DAY 3. WEDNESDAY. TASHKENT – KOKAND – RISHATAN – FERGANA
Departure to Fergana Valley.
Ferghana Valley is one of the most beautiful areas of the oasis with the territory in 22,000 square. km and a population of 7 million people. Surrounded by mountains of Tien Shan and traversed the waters of the Syr Darya and Naryn, the valley represents the ideal place for agriculture and animal husbandry. The Fergana Valley is famous for such cities as Andijan, Ferghana, Margilan, Kokand, Shakhimardan, Couva, historic monuments and architecture.
Our first stop will be the city Kokand. Kokand was the capital of the Kokand Khanate in the 18-19 centuries and religious center of the valley, there are many madrassas and mosques.
Here you will visit Khudoyar-Khan’s Palace, Djami Mosque and Sarimodor necropolis.
Departure to Rishtan.
At 50 km south of Kokand, there is a village of Rishtan, whose residents are known for their pottery. From historical sources we know that even 800 years ago talented craftsmen produced pottery in Rishtan. Rishtan pottery differs with richness of decor, which is dominated by blue.
Lunch in national house.
Continue drive to Fergana.
Accommodation at the hotel upon arrival
DAY 4. THURSDAY. FERGANA – MARGILAN – TASHKENT
Departure to Margilan.
Margilan is one of most ancient cities of Uzbekistan and Central Asia. In 2007, the country widely celebrated the 2000th anniversary of Margilan.
Today Margilan considers as the silk capital of Uzbekistan. It produces the famous khan-atlas, woven and dyed by hand under the ancient technology. Amazing in beauty and originality Margilan embroidery - Suzanne and skullcaps say about the variety of beautiful Margilan atlas. You will visit visit Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah. Today, madrasah is a home to a number of craftsmen producing handmade carpets and silk. Have a walk on traditional market and continue to Yodgorlik Silk factory to see the production process of silk with traditional Ikat patterns.
Departure to Tashkent.
DAY 5. FRIDAY. TASHKENT – URGENCH (KHIVA)
Transfer to Tashkent airport to take flight HY055 to Urgench at 07.40.
Arrival to Urgench at 09.20.
Transfer to Khiva (30km)
Khiva city tour.
Khiva – unique city, claiming for the title of the seventh wonder of the world. Thanks to its unique atmosphere of “the era of the beginning of times”. Most part of the city is the open- air museum, and the core of this museum is Ichan-Kala fortress. All architectural masterpieces of the city are concentrated within the fortress. In 1990 the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Muhammad Amin-khan Madrasa (19c.) – the biggest medieval madrasa of Khiva; Kalta Minor (19c.), Juma Mosque and Minaret (19-20cc.) – the roof of the Mosque is held by 212 different columns with unique carving. Thanks to its unusual construction, it is the coolest place in Kviva, with excellent acoustics.
Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasa (19c.) – one of the biggest in Khiva. It was built by the order of Khan Mohammed Rakhim II, also known as a poet Feruzshah. Kunya-Ark citadel (19c.). Pakhalavan Mahmud Mausoleum (18-19cc.), Minaret and Mosque Islam Khodja (beginning of the 20th c.)
DAY 6. SATURDAY. KHIVA – BUKHARA
Drive to Bukhara via Kyzyl-Kum desert. Stop en-route to enjoy views of the desert and Amudarya River.
Arrive in Bukhara in the afternoon, check in to the hotel.
First visit of Bukhara and a walk through the narrow streets of the city. A walk under ancient trading domes of Bukhara: Toki-Sarrofon, Telpak Furushon, Tim Abdullakhan and Toki-Zargaron dome, where artisans (jewelers, miniaturists and others) sell their wares.
DAY 7. SUNDAY. BUKHARA
Bukhara is a city museum in the middle of the sands with two thousand years of history became famous for its former carpet market. The appearance of the city is surrounded by many legends and tales. One of the legends says that the son of Iranian king Siyavush arrived in Bukhara married the daughter of the king Afrasiab and built there the fortress - Ark. Scythian tribes, the Persian king Darius the conqueror Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane - all they were there. World famous scientists, artist, poets and writers have lived here in different epochs. The Italian traveler Marco Polo, who visited the city in the fourteenth century, called it a city of great splendor. The famous commercial artery - the Great Silk Road, a road from China to Europe passed through Bukhara and Samarkand in those years.
The monuments in the Samanid’s park. : 12th century Mazar Chashma – Ayub and the pearl of Central Asian architecture: the Samanids mausoleum constructed in 908, the oldest shrine of the Islamic world, first building in baked bricks, classified by UNESCO among the 10 most important monuments of humanity. Pretty Bolo Hauz mosque (18c.), with a terrace 20 wooden columns.
Fortress Ark, located on the Registan of Bukhara, Central Square of the old town. It is estimated that this citadel was built in the II century, rebuilt several times, and received its current and final appearance at the sixteenth century.
Kalyan Minaret (1127 a.d.) – Symbol of Bukhara, for centuries, served as a beacon for caravans in the desert, approaching city. Poi-Kalyan Square
After lunch, tea tasting at the national house "Silk Road Spices". In the menu of this wonderful cafe you will find tea with various medicinal herbs, tea with saffron, ginger and other spices.
Lyabi Khauz Ensemble: Khonako and Madrasah Nodir Divan Begi (16th c.), Kukeldash Madrassah (15th c.), a monument to Khoja Nasreddin.
"Chor-minor" ("Four minarets") is a name of unusual Madrassah of Caliph Niyazkul, built in 1807. Madrassah has a courtyard with one-storied hudjras, column aivan of summer mosque and reservoir faced with stones.
Original is the entrance - four-arch dome structure with four corner towers under blue domes. Three towers were used as utility rooms. The fourth has a stair going to the second floor into the dome hall of library.
DAY 8. MONDAY. BUKHARA – SAMARKAND
Morning drive to Samarkand.
Samarkand is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia which is more than 2,750 years old. Uzbeks say: Samarkand is as old as the Earth. The city was conquered by the soldiers of Alexander the Great, the troops of the Arab Khalifat, the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan! But the city was rebuilt again and again... At the end of the fourteenth century Samarkand became the capital of the vast empire of Timur and the object of his particular concern. Many palaces and majestic buildings were constructed there.
Samarkand city tour – the pearl of the Orient, one the most majestic cities of Uzbekistan, beloved capital of Great Tamerlane. Gur-Emir Mausoleum (14-15cc.) – Tamerlane and his family last resort. The heart of Samarkand – Registan Square (15-17cc.): Ulugbek Madrasa, Tilla-Kori Madrasa and Sher-Dor Madrasa.
Bibi-Khanim mosque – one the most ancient mosques in the Muslim world, the largest market of Samarkand – Siyob.
Continue of the sightseeing in Samarkand.
Оne of the most beautiful ensembles of the East – Shakhi-Zinda Ensemble (12-15cc.) – so called “city of the dead”, necropolis, consisting of more than 20 unique buildings.
DAY 9. TUESDAY. SAMARKAND – TASHKENT
Continue of the city tour with two historical sites of Samarkand: famous Ulugbek’s observatory and Khodja Daniyar’s (St. Daniel’s) mausoleum - a place of pilgrimage for Hebrews, Christians and Muslim, surrounded by great number of legends.
Visit to the silk paper workshop. A welcome tea upon arrival at the location, followed by a historical overview of the workshop and exploration of the production process of the paper itself. As a souvenir for yourself you can find there paper masks, marble and silk paper.
Transfer to the station to take high speed train “Afrosiab” to Tashkent
Departure to Tashkent at 18:00.
Arrival to Tashkent at 20.10.
Transfer to the hotel.
DAY 10. WEDNESDAY. TASHKENT – ISTANBUL
Transfer to Tashkent airport. Flight TK369 at 08.15.
• Accommodation based on double room sharing
• Half-board meal
• Transportation/transfers throughout the tour
• Entrance tickets to the museums, mausoleums and other sights
• “Afrosiab” train tickets Samarkand – Tashkent
Prices do not include:
• International air tickets
• Internal flight Tashkent – Urgench
• Consular fees for Uzbekistan tourist visa
• Charges in hotels for additional service
• Single supplement
• Alcohol beverages