Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva – Bukhara – Nurata - Yangikazgan – Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Tashkent
Day 1 Tashkent (D)
Arrive in Tashkent, meet in airport and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon Tashkent orientation tour with guide. Much of the city was destroyed by the earthquake in 1966 and the architecture of massive squares and wide avenues hide much of the city's 2000 year history as a crossroad on trade routes, but Tashkent recent history is powerfully portrayed. Evening ballet performance (subject to availability) at Alisher Navoi Opera & Ballet Theatre built by Japanese prisoners in 1947. Beyond the marble lobby are 6 foyers dedicated to Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Termez, Khiva & Ferghana all thickly dressed in stucco carving, theme motives & murals from Navoi’s poetry. Dinner in local restaurant.
Day 2 Tashkent - Urgench – Khiva (B, D)
Morning visit to the old part of the city including Barak Khan Madrassa situated on the Khast Imam Square and founded in the 16th century by the descendents of Tamerlane. The ornate facade of blue tiled mosaic & Koran inscription conceals a rose garden courtyard with 35 hudjras (student rooms). Kukeldash Madrassa built in the middle of the 16th century by the ruler vizier Kukeldash. The inner courtyard of 38 student cells (hudjra) used to accommodate over 2000 young men & women on 5 year courses of Islamic studies. Late afternoon transfer to airport for flight to Urgench (registration 2 hours before flight). On arrival transfer to Khiva (30 km), the fairy-tale like oriental town. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3 Khiva (B, D)
Khiva is known as the Pearl of the Khorezm oasis for a great number of spiritual and cultural vestiges can be found here. Because of its many architectural monuments, Khiva is known as the museum city. Today’s Khiva consist of the architecture of Khiva khanate as it was at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 20th centuries, although excavations of one of the fortresses discovered medieval walls dating back to the 3rd century BC. Full day visit to Ichan Qala, a place which gathers all the most beautiful medieval architectural monuments: Kunya-Ark citadel, Tosh-Khovli Palace with its elegant ornamental gates, followed by Kalta Minor minaret, Juma Mosque with its 218 carved wooden columns, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum. The silhouettes of the towering minarets surrounded by powerful clay built walls and flat roof houses will clearly show you the picture of a typical Central Asian feudal city. Dinner in Toza Bog Palace; the summer residence of Mohammed Rakhim Khan II.
Day 4 Bukhara (B, D)
Drive between the Kara-Kum (black sands) and the Kyzyl-Kum (red sands) deserts to Bukhara, en route stop to see the Amudarya River, known to many western explorers as the Oxus. Arrive in Bukhara & check-in to the hotel. Dinner in Lyabi Hauz restaurant.
Day 5 Bukhara (B, D)
The Russian influence on Bukhara was much less powerful and the city carries far less of their legacy: Bukhara truly remains an Eastern city. Madressah of Abdulazizkhan is glittering in mercifully un-restored 17th century glory. Inside the main courtyard there is a two level hujra cell. The Ark or Citadel - old fortress of the Emirs of Bukhara includes the monumental gate-house. The majestic Kalian Minaret tops the city skyline with it towers measuring 46 meters high. Afternoon more visits in Bukhara including Ulugbek Madrassah: one of Central Asian architectural highlights, built by Ulugbek. Astral elements predominate in its ornamentation and the inscription sums up Ulugbek's life philosophy: "Pursuit of knowledge is the duty of each followers of Islam, man and woman". Dinner in local restaurant.
Day 6 Bukhara (B, D)
Drive to Bukhara outskirt to visit the famous Bahhaudin Naqshband Mausoleum and Chor-Bakr Necropolis, the city of dead with streets, courtyards, gates and family dahmas with numerous gravestones, Sitoria Mokhi Khosa, the summer palace of Bukhara rulers - a new palace was built in 1912-1913 and boasts exceptional artistic value. The hall is decorated with exquisite ornamental paintings and the walls are all covered with mirrors -. Chor Minor, a four-arch dome structure and the unforgettable masterpiece of Mausoleum of Samanids dated back to the 9th and 10th centuries and built from individually made baked bricks, the intricate brickwork looks like lace. Rest of the day is to stroll in the three trade domes and visit to caravanserais. Dinner with folk show.
Day 7 Bukhara – Yangikazgan (B, L, D)
Morning drive to Nurata with a visit on the way to Sheikh Nuri tomb and Namozgoh Mosque. After lunch in local house continue to the Kazakh village of Yangikazgan. Enjoy a camel ride in Kyzyl Kum desert. Dinner in camping site and overnight in yurts (nomadic felt tents, very basic).
Day 8 Yangikazgan - Samarkand (B, D)
After breakfast drive to Samarkand, capital of the Tamerlane's empire. Founded in the 7th century this historic town has known a huge development in the Temurids period from the 14th to 15th centuries and is now a melting point of the world’s culture. First visits of Samarkand will include the world famous Registan Square "Sandy place" built in the 15th century (there are 3 buildings - Ulugbek Madressah, Sher Dor Madressah, Tillya Kari both Madrassas and Mosque) and Ulugbeg’s Observatory, Afrosiab Museum and Uzbekistan Culture & Art Museum. Enjoy a “Light and Sound Show” in Registan Square this evening.
Day 9 Samarkand (B, D)
Full day further visits in Samarkand: Shakhi-Zinda Ensemble: The necropolis is one of the holy places of Islam. Unique memorial city complex with its streets, mausoleums, monumental tombs including more than 20 mausoleums and 44 tombs. Shakhi- Zinda means "Living king", was called after Muhammad Kusam Abbas who was buried here. Bibi Khanum Mosque: the Djuma mosque built in 1399 in honor of Amir Timur’s beautiful wife Bibi – Khanum is one of the magnificent buildings in Samarkand. Gur Emir Mausoleum constructed by order of Timur because of the death of his favorite grandson Muhammad Sultan. (Gur Emir means "The Emir’s burial vault»). Mausoleum walls, ceilings & domes are covered with beautiful ornamental paintings mostly in blue & gold. The gravestone of Timur has black & green jade facade. Dinner in local house.
Day 10 - Shakhrisabz – Samarkand (B, D)
Excursion to Shakhrisabz, hometown of Tamerlane. Drive along a beautiful mountain road and remote local villages where people use donkeys as means of transportation. Visit to the remaining Tower Gate of legendary Ak-Sarai Palace built on the 14th century, Khazrati-Imam complex (Jehangir tomb, Tamerlans vault), Kok-Gumbaz Mosque built by Tamerlane grandson Uglubek, Dorus Siadat ( Seat of Power & Might ) built by Tamerlane on the death of his eldest and favorite son killed in 1375 aged 22, Shamseddin Kulyal Mausoleum and Sayidan Mausoleum. Return to Samarkand for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 Samarkand – Tashkent (B, D)
Morning visit to Samarkand eastern bazaars. Samarkand is famous not only with its golden heritage of architecture, but there are no better sights than the Samarkand bazaars. The fertile soil and appropriate climate are favorable to agricultural products. Bazaar’s variety of food products especially fruit and all kind of dried fruit and of course, Samarkand bread (Nan) will amaze every visitor. The main feature of Uzbek people is their hospitality which can be felt as you go through the endless rows of marvelous food products. The atmosphere of old traditions and customs is simply unforgettable. Afternoon drive to Tashkent. Dinner & overnight at hotel.
Day 12 Tashkent (B)
Transfer to the airport and back flight to home.
Tashkent Hotel “Tashkent Palace” 4*
Khiva Hotel “Malika” 3*
Yangikazgan Yurt camp
Bukhara Hotel “Omar Khayyam” 3*
Samarkand Hotel “Grand Samarkand” 3*
here to inquire about this tour
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