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Navruz holiday through the legendary cities and deserts on the Silk Road

11 days | Silk Road tour
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Travel itinerary: Tashkent - Samarkand – Shakhrisabz - Bukhara – Ayaz Kala ruins - Khiva - Nukus – Muynak – Tashkent

Duration: 11 days, 10 nights 

Accommodation: Double/Twin/ accommodations in hotels.

Description: This tailor-made tour itinerary gives you the chance of attending unforgettable celebrations of Navruz holiday - The Spring Feast and beginning of the New Year in Central Asia through the legendary cities and fortresses’ ruins in the deserts. The special points of the itinerary is that, we take you to Uzbek local families in Tersak village near Samarkand where you can participate for the holiday preparations making and trying national holiday meals and having the chance to attend Ulok – Kupkari games. We specially put the Navruz holiday date for Bukhara part of the itinerary as there in Bukhara you can feel the breath of feast every corner of the city with jolly local people walking in the streets. In the desert part of the itinerary you can ride a camel and shoot photos. There you will also have lunch in the national Yurtas of Uzbek people in Ayaz Kala (fortress ruins). As well after visiting legendary ancient but alive city Khiva we lead our way to Nukus – the capital of Karakalpakistan – from where we go to Muynak to see and learn the history of abandoned ships lying on the sand in the middle of the desert. Be sure for have only fun and getting much nice experiences and memories after such a wonderful trip along amazing Uzbekistan!

  • Dates and prices
  • Departure
  • Mar 01, Mon
    Apr 30, Fri
    US$ 760
  • Photos
  • Map of Route
  • Tashkent
  • Samarkand
  • Samarkand, Chayhana
  • Kupgari game
  • Bukhara, Ark walls
  • Khiva
  • mmmm delicious...
  • Muynak
  • Bon apetit
  • Reviews
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Tour itinerary:

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Homeland - Tashkent 16 March

Arrival at the international airport of Tashkent. Meet the guide and driver (hotel check-in). Breakfast at the hotel. After having breakfast we visit to the Madrassa Kukeldash Complex Khast Imam, the religious heart of the city with the Barak Khan Madrassa, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum, Mosque Djami and Chorsu Bazaar Market - Bazaar is the heart of every oriental city, the center of public life, breadwinner of the whole city. Since the dawn of time bazaars appeared on the intersections of trade roads, on big squares of cities. On counters of this oriental Bazaar you will find fresh fruits, amber-colored dried fruits, toasted uzbek bread , fresh-killed meat, kazy (horse meat sausage), and what not. And all these things are so attractive that one can’t stand to pass by them. Lunch time. Then we continue our tour in the modern part of Tashkent with the Panoramic view: Museum of Applied Arts, Opera and Ballet theatre named after A. Navoi – the great uzbek poet, Independence Square, Amir Temur Square. The tour ends with the beautiful metro in Tashkent, where every station is decorated in various themes.
Dinner time. Free time and overnight at the hotel.
Overnight in Tashkent.

Tashkent - Samarkand 17 March

After early breakfast transfer to the railway station to catch the fast train “Afrosiyob” to Samarkand (300 km and it takes 2 hours and 20 minutes). Arrive in Samarkand at 10:30 am and transfer to the hotel and check-in the hotel.
We start our excursion with the magnificent Registan Square with the three Madrasse completely covered with tiles and mosaics of lapis lazuli is one of the most extraordinary monuments of Central Asia with the Ulugbek Madrassa, the Sher Dor Madrassa and Tilla Kari Madrassa, the giant mosque Bibi Khanum built by Timur for his favorite wife. After visiting the giant mosque of Bibi Khanum, we lead our way to the Siyob Bazaar situated right next to the main gate to the city. Today the Siab bazaar - the city’s biggest and the most ancient market. It welcomes the customers with abundance of fruit and vegetables growing in the fertile of Zarafshan valley. Red apples and sweet-scented pears lay on counters next to leathery fruits of a pomegranate. The air is fragrant with a strong smell of spices - pepper and saffron, cardamom and nutmeg, zeera (cumin) and caraway seeds. A lot of counters are occupied with a special local delicacy - salty apricot stones baked in ashes. And, of course, a flat bread row offers seventeen kinds of brown Samarkand flat bread for choice. Then visit the spectacular Shahi Zinda Necropolis "the tomb of the living king", the Mausoleum Guri Emir, the mausoleum of Timur familial with its beautifully fluted dome.
Dinner and Free time. Overnight in Samarkand.

Samarkand 18 March

After breakfast, the road that burial is the most impressive landmark in Samarkand, the Afrosiab museum with his old fresco of the seventh century, Tombstone of Saint Danyar.
And if the time will be available visit “Samarkand – Bukhara Silk Carpets” factory, where you can observe the whole process of weaving silk carpets based on “handmade” technology.the Ulugbek observatory with its astronomical instrument "sextant" that was the largest of the fifteenth century, Lunch in national restaurant with local people. After lunch continue our tour with the Museum of Wine making at Khovrenko Winery. The winery has an interesting wine museum, which familiarizes the visitors with its history as well as that of Samarkand wine making, its international awards and, of course, arranges tasting of Samarkand wines.
Dinner and free time. Overnight in Samarkand.

Samarkand 19 March

After breakfast at hotel, depart to the “Tersak” village near Samarkand to celebrate Navruz in a local family. Participation in the preparation of the feast, prepare dishes and try the Navruz meals with the local family , discover the way of life and customs of the village native people who live in the mountain region. There you can see a really amazing view of the mountains covered with snow right coming out of the house. Also on this day of our tour we’ll have the chance to attend one of the ancient Uzbek games Buzkachi (Ulak Kupkari) in the village (The main point of Ulak-Kupkari is that the rider has to raise "Ulak" – specially treated goat carcass from the ground, gallop with it a full circle, never letting it be taken away by other riders and throw it to the goal, visitors can better understand the history of these horsemen of the steppes of Central Asia who have made Genghis Khan, Attila or Tamerlane the great emperors).
At the end of the day we return back in Samarkand.
Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Samarkand.

Samarkand – Shahrisabz - Bukhara 20 March

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Bukhara via Shakhrisabz and visit the historical monuments in the city. Shakhrisabz – “Green City” is world-famous as a motherland of Tamerlane (Amir Temur) – the greatest commander and a statesman. Tamerlane made his native town the second capital of his huge medieval empire in XIV c. Survived monuments of that time convey about the past grandeur of the town. Not without reason UNESCO declared the historical center of Shakhrisabz as a masterpiece of world heritage in 2000. The Ak Sarai Palace - Ak-Saray (means from Turkish "beautiful", "clean", "white" palace) was built in the end of XIV in the beginning of XV c. according to Amir Temur’s order. Unfortunately just small fragment of east wall and tumbledown walls of intake portal of the palace outgoing to the sky for 30 meters reached up to now. Originally their height was more that 70 m. The work of the best architects and craftspeople from all conquered by Tamerlan’s countries is used in building and decorating of the palace. According to the description of eye-witnesses a swimming-pool was built in the palace at a height of 40 m. The water was given by drift to the swimming-pool from environing mountains and flew down as a water-fall, created a coolness and special microclimate in the palace. The Mausoleum of Djakhonghir with quiet mosque called Matchiti Hazrati Imam complex Darul Tilovat "house of meditation”, is a large mosque on Friday Kuk Gumbaz "blue dome" and the mausoleum of Gumbazi Saydan.
Lunch in Shakhrisabz. Continuation of the way to Bukhara.
Arrival in Bukhara and accommodation at the hotel. Free time and dinner. Overnight in Bukhara.

Bukhara 21 March

Breakfast at the hotel. All those people who happened to visit Bukhara, most likely paid attention to the strange "shaggy hats" on the top of minarets. These are storks` nests. And the white bird of hope can serve as a city's symbol, symbol of its firmness and stability. More than once throughout its history this rich city suffered the invasions of various enemies. The most devastating invasion was that of Mongols. But each time Bukhara revived; and which is more, it always revived on the same place as if keeping loyalty to its roots. Over centuries the city was a fertile oasis in the valley of the river Zerafshan on the Great Silk Road, the leading center of science and culture. And foundation of the city goes into the remote ages. In 1997 on UNESCO decision, the whole cultural world celebrated its 2500 jubilee.
Today we celebrate Navruz holiday in Bukhara (Navruz - the spring "New Year" holiday, has been celebrated for at least 2,500 years, and perhaps for as long as 5,000 years. Originating in Persia and long associated with the ancient Zoroastrian religion, its name means "new day" in Farsi because for ancient Persians it marked the first day of the New Year.) with townspeople. Today, Navruz is celebrated each year on March 21, when the sun enters the sign of Aries on the astrological calendar. In the northern hemisphere, this date frequently coincides with the spring equinox, the day on which the number of daylight hours equals the number of nighttime hours. We start our tour from the Mausoleum of the Samanids, and architectural jewel of the ninth century, the Mausoleum of Tchashma Ayoub "source of Job", Mosque Bolo Khaouz "mosque over the bath," the Citadel Ark the heart of the old town, was the official residence of the rulers of Bukhara. Lunch time.
Then we continue our tour from the Kalon Complex occupies a central part of the city of Bukhara with its impressive Kalon Minaret of the twelfth century, Poi-Kalyan Complex including: Minaret of Kalyan (XII), Medrese of Mir-Arab (XVI), Kalyan Mosque (XV), The Old Covered Market (Bazaar) belong to civil architecture of the sixteenth century Taki Zargaron (jewelers), Taki Telpakfurushon (hatters), Taki Sarrafon (currency exchange), the Jews of Bukhara. The Madrasse twins: the Madrassa of Ulugbek and that of Abdoulaziz and Madrassa N. Devon Beghi, the Madrassa Kukeldash. Demonstration of silk production and materials, Chor-Minor Medrese (1807).
Dinner at Medrese Nadir Devan Begi with folklore show and national Navruz dishes in menu: sumalak and kuk barak (small dumplings with greens) and etc. Overnight in Bukhara.

Bukhara - Khiva 22 March

After breakfast depart by vehicle to Khiva, the route crosses the desert Kyzyl Kum "red sands", the road that skirts the edge of the large bed of the river Amu Darya, whose dry offers stirring views of unusual beauty. Arrival in Khiva and check-in the hotel.
Dinner and free time. During the free time in Khiva you will have a chance to feel the charming Khiva night walking.

Khiva 23 March

Breakfast at the hotel.
The day will be dedicated to visiting Khiva. “Ichan Kala”, its old town dating from the fifth century BC was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The excursion starts from the West Gate Ata Darvaza, the statue of the great scholar Al-Khorezmi (Algorithme), founder of algebra; Complex Muhammed Aminkhan (XIX s) with the Madrassa Aiminkhan and Kalta Minor Minaret, the Fortress Kunya Ark, the residence of local rulers with the Reception Hall, the Royal Mosque, the Harem, the Old Prisons, etc., Mosque Djouma (x, s) is the most beautiful Friday Mosque of Khiva from the 213 carved wooden columns, the Palace Tash Khovli, the second residence of the rulers of Khiva with the Harem, the Reception Hall, the Hall of Justice, the Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud, poet, philosopher and legendary wrestler, patron saint of the city, one of the most sacred and beautiful of Khiva, the Complex of Islam Khodja the Madrassa and Khodja Minaret Islam, the West and the East Gate Complex Palvan Darvaza, the Ak Mosque, the Madrasse Allakuli and Kutlimurad, the Royal Caravanserai with its fascinating bazaar and just from this sight you may have a free time for walking and shopping in a Loacal Bazzar in Khiva.
Dinner. Overnight in Khiva

Khiva – Nukus 24 March

Breakfast in the hotel. After breakfast depart to Nukus (150 km). On the way to Nukus we make a photo stop at an impressive Ayaz Kala and Tuprok Kala, a complex of three forts dating from the sixth to seventh century who were part of a series of fortifications located on the edge of Kyzyl Kum desert, which served as a defense against the incursions of nomadic peoples.
Arrival in Nukus and check-in the hotel. Lunch time. After lunch we will visit Visit the Savitsky Karakalpakstan Art Museum. The museum hosts the world's second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art and exposition of Karakalpak applied arts items. Free time and dinner.
Overnight at the hotel.

Nukus – Muynak – Nukus - Tashkent 25 March

After breakfast drive to former fishermen’s town Muynak (200 km, 3 h.), which used to be situated on the shores of Aral Sea. On the way stop at archaeological complex Mizdakhan.
Lunch time in guesthouse. In Muynak have a look at a former port with abandoned ships in the sand – “Cemetery of ships”. Then visit Local History Museum with art exhibits of the Aral Sea history. In the afternoon return to Nukus.
Transfer to the domestic Airport of Nukus city for taking the flight Nukus – Tashkent. Arrival in Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner & overnight in Tashkent.

Tashkent - Homeland 26 March

Transfer to Tashkent international airport to take a flight home with a nice experiences and memories!!!

Tour price included:

  • Accommodation;
  • Entrance fees to the museums;
  • Sightseeing tours with local guides in each cities;
  • Transportation with A/C throughout the whole trip;
  • Train tickets (economy class) for high speed premium service train «Afrosiab» (Samarkand - Tashkent);
  • Domestic flight (Nukus – Tashkent, economy class);

Tour price does not include:

  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Full board;
  • Sites entrance fees;
  • Consular fees paid upon collection of the entrance Visa;
  • International airfares;
  • Personal insurance and any items not mentioned above.




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