Highlights of Uzbekistan

Code: GTO
7 DAYS
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From big cities to small towns the tour is packed with a number of experiences that will get you closer to the culture and people. Options are available to witness cultural shows, dances, unique markets and experience a variety of local food.

Highlights:

Registan Square Samarkand, Old Walled city of Khiva, Bukhara Old Historic city, Tashkent.

Major Cities/Towns:

Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.

Variety of Transport:

bus/van/car

Activity:

Easy walks for sightseeing and a moderate walk to explore local markets and old historic city centers.

Unique Local Experiences:

From big cities to small towns the tour is packed with a number of experiences that will get you closer to the culture and people. Options are available to witness cultural shows, dances, unique markets and experience a variety of local food.
#TourMealsOvernight
Day 01Arrive – TASHKENTRamada
Day 02Fly TASHKENT – KHIVABMalika Khevak
Day 03Malika KhevakBZargarn Plaza
Day 04BUKHARABZargarn Plaza
Day 05BUKHARA – SAMARKANDBRegistan Plaza
Day 06SAMARKANDBRegistan Plaza
Day 07SAMARKAND – TASHKENT – DEPARTUREB

 

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day-01 Arrive at TASHKENT

Upon arrival at the airport, past immigration and baggage claim you will meet with our local guide, who will assist you with your transfer to your hotel in central Tashkent.

Day-02 TAHSKENT – KIHIVA

This morning we will transfer you back to the airport for your local flight to Urgench in the Khawrzam Province. Your guide will assist you with your transfers and tours from here on. From Urgench we will drive you to Khiva. After checking in at your hotel, we will proceed for a walking tour of the World Heritage city of Khiva. The walled city is believed to be over a thousand years old and was once the capital of the Khorazam Khanete.. A stroll down its narrow streets will take you back in time. There are monuments to visit all over the city and we will have to walk from one narrow street to the next to visit its many wonders. We will visit Kelte Minar, Madrassah Muhammad Amin Khan, Kunya Ark, Madrassah Muhammad Rahimkhan, Juma Masjid, Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islam Khoja Minaret and Madrassah, Tash Hovli Palace, local bazaar and Madrassah Allakuli Khan. Now if this sounds overwhelming, it surely is. But if there was one reason to visit Khiva, it should be to pay homage to this city, where the famous Mathematician – Al Kharzami laid the foundation of Algebra. He was a brilliant scientist, an astronomer, a geographer and certainly the father of modern Mathematics. He is attributed to have introduced the decimal number system and his name in Latin (Algorism) is attributed to what we know as Algorithm. Your guide will assist you to find a local restaurant where you can enjoy a sumptuous local style meal. Overnight at your hotel in Khiva.

Day-03 KHIVA – BUKHARA (480 km 7-8 hours)

After an early breakfast we will start an adventurous drive through the desert landscape to Bukhara. One interesting photo opportunity along the Amu Darya (Oxus River). This is the same river that flows down the Pamir mountain range and feeds the famous, but now almost dry Aral Sea.

Day-04 BUKHARA

Today, after breakfast, we take the time to enjoy a full day visit of the various sites of Bukhara. We start at the Ark Fortress, the entrance to the fort, that stands tall with massive wooden doors. We will tour the fortress and see its impressive bastions. The fortress is one of the oldest structures of the city and has been the seat of many Emirs. This site was also the place of execution of two of the victims of the ‘Great Game’. These were Connolly and Stoddart, the British officers who were executed under suspicion of spying. The fortress’s last scars were left by the bombing from the Red Army. We visit its various official courts and the royal sections. We continue on to the center of the city. Our next stop is the Kalyan Complex with its Kalyan Mosque, Kalyan Minaret and the Miri Arab Madrassa. The Kalyan Complex is the most dominating site and a symbol of Bukhara. It is wonderful experience to take a little tea break atop a tea shop that overlooks this complex. Sip your tea and enjoy the view. The Kalyan Minaret is about 46 meters high. If you can handle the circular staircase that leads all the way to the top, you can have excellent panoramic views of the city. The Kalyan Mosque is also a grand mosque that can hold over 10,000 people at one given time during congregational prayers. The mosque is built on the site of an older mosque that was destroyed by Genghis Khan. Mir Arab Madrassa, ascribed to the Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen, was built during the 16 th century. This is one of the few operating madrassas in Uzbekistan.ort Tamarindo.
At some point we will take a break for lunch. A good spot for lunch will be near the Labi Hauz, literally meaning “on the edge of the pond”. Here a nicely barbequed shaslik with fresh Naan and soup can be a great treat. After a short break we head out to visit the trade domes of the ancient Silk Markets. We will also visit the Madrassas of Abdul Aziz Khan and Ulug Baig. Mirza Ulug Baig, the grandson of Emir Taimur (Tamerlane) was himself a scientist and a mathematician. He was passionate about teaching these subjects in his Madrassa. He built a series of these majestic schools all across Uzbekistan, including this one in Bukhara. Our last stop is a visit to the impressive Madrassa of Chor Minar (four minarets). This uniquely photogenic structure built in the sixteenth century was recently restored by UNESCO. This evening we have an option for a dinner at an old Madrassa with folk dances. Overnight at hotel.

Day-05 BUKHARA – SAMARKAND

After breakfast this morning, we start our tour starts from the gardens of Ismail Samani Mausoleum, built for Ismail Saman the founder of the Samanid Dynasty. This 9 th century cubical structure is adorned with only one style of brick placed in various different angles giving it a simple yet uniquely attractive look. We walk to the other side of the gardens to visit Chashmai Ayub – the spring of the Prophet Job. According to a legend, Job started a spring with a tap of his staff. Our walk takes us through a residential neighbourhood to the Bolo Hauz Mosque. The mosque has an impressive wooden roof that is intricately painted. This afternoon we will transfer you to the local train station for an exciting train ride to Samarkand. Arrive and transfer to your hotel for a relaxing evening.

Day-06 SAMARKAND – TASHKENT

After breakfast we start our full day tour of Samarkand. There lots to see in this famous Silk Road City. We start with a visit the Afrosiab Museum. The museum is built on the excavation site of Marakanda (old Samarkand). The museum houses an interesting display of the remains from the past few millennia. We also visit the nearby Observatory of Mirza Ulug Baig. Although there is not much of the original building left, this is a place of great scientific discoveries. Here, from his observations, Ulug Baig produced the Zij-e-Sultani, the comprehensive star catalogue with astronomical tables. These measurements were later used by various other scientists, including Copernicus. To honour his work, German astronomer Johan Heinrich named the Ulug Baig crater after him on the Moon. Our next stop is a visit to a very interesting paper making factory. This little environmentally friendly traditional paper mill exists on the outskirts of Samarkand and uses no electricity whatsoever. The only power tool here is run by a watermill. The visit will provide a great insight into how silk paper was produced centuries ago. For dinner we will find a local restaurant that will give us the opportunity to savour some local flavours. Overnight at hotel. Our next stop is the visit to Samarkand’s most impressive monument – The Registan Square, one of the grandest ensembles of monuments in all of Central Asia. The intricate exteriors of these edifices are the most unique in the world.

In fact, this is also the precursor of the art and architecture of the world famous Mogul Art that created the Taj Mahal. The square’s three Madrassahs face each other with glory and pride. The Madrassa of Ulug Baig was completed in 1420. It is believed that Ulug Baig himself taught Mathematics and Astronomy here. Right across from it is the Sher Dor (lion’s door) Madrassa. Its grand entrance depicts two lions, one of the very few examples of Islamic art depicting an animal. The third Madrassa is Tilla Kari (gold covered), finished in 1660. It also houses a mosque that is intricately decorated with gold.

After a visit to this world famous site, we head on to visit Bibi Khanum’s Mosque. Bibi Khanum was Taimur’s (Tamerlane’s) prominent Chinese wife. She had an appreciation of art. She herself ordered the construction of this mosque as a surprise for her husband while he was away on a conquest. The mosque was one of the grandest of its time. The entrance alone is 35 meters high. Its massive dome is visible from miles away. As our guide will take you through the inner parts of the mosque he may (if you insist) share the story of the architect’s romance with Bibi Khanum, who dared to ask for kiss. We won’t spoil the story here, but your guide will tell you what happened to him when Taimur returned. We head on to explore the Shah-e-Zindan (living king). The name refers to the shrine of Qussm Ibne Abass who in the 7 th century is credited with bringing Islam from Mecca. There are many other shrines belonging to the close family of Ulug Baig and Emir Taimur, some of them worth the visit to this exquisite graveyard. We will take our lunch break in a local style restaurant, maybe try out some Pulau (Pilaff in Turkish), a rice dish cooked with meat and nuts. We can spend our afternoon exploring the bazaar near Bibi Khanum’s mosque A walk in this market will give a great insight into the culture of this part of the world. From fruits to cleaning brooms, everything is sold here. Try some bargain deals just for fun.
SAMARKAND – TASHKENT on local fast train – 5pm
This evening we will take you to the local train station for your train to Tashkent. Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to your hotel for overnight.

Day-07 TASHKENT – DEPARTURE

After an early breakfast this morning we will embark on a short city tour of the capital city, Tashkent.Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your international flight.

Services include:

  • Accommodation: Our unique select hotels/guest houses with clean rooms, reliable service and safe for foreign travellers.Meals: Meals as mentioned in the program outline, are included
  • Meals: As mentioned with the program.
  • All entrance fees for sites are included in the tour with the exception of those that are mentioned otherwise.
  • Air-conditioned transport throughout the tour (as per sightseeing program and hotel transfers).
  • Experienced and professional chauffeurs.
  • Sightseeing as mentioned with the tour details.
  • English speaking guide and/or trip leaders.

Services do not include:

  • Entry visas (if applicable).
  • If you book your flights yourself, you may be required to pay an additional cost for the airport transfers. Please contact our office to confirm.
  • International Airfare (except mentioned otherwise).
  • Domestic Airfare (except mentioned otherwise).
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, drinks, use of mini-bar at the hotels, laundry or personal medications.
  • Any expenses that may arise due to unforeseen natural or political situation.
  • Insurance: We strongly recommend that all clients consider buying Trip Cancellation/Interruption + Medical Travel Insurance. Contact our office for a quote.
  • Tips and gratuities to porters, guides, drivers and trip leaders.

NOTE:

  • This trip may only operate with a minimum number of participants.
  • Sudden changes in the foreign currency rates can impact the prices. We can only protect our prices as long as they do not change over 5%.

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Price:US$  999.00