What you get
Uzbekistan - From Alexander the Great to our days
From emirs and khans who conquered India, to a short stay in the USSR. We will explore the entire amazing history of one of the oldest civilisations on Earth. And, yes, you will learn the secrets of the famouse Uzbek pilaf!
- Walk in the narrow wattle and daub streets in Bukhara, which seemed to come out of the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights"
- Feel the greatness of the largest ancient empire on Registan square in Samarkand
- Visit the artisan workshops and watch unique traditional ceramics, majolica glaze and hand-made knives being made
- Relax in a traditional sauna that has been open since the 16th century
- Stand on top of the fortress, which is more than 2 thousand years old, and feel the serenity of the vast Kyzylkum desert around you.
We arrive in Tashkent, check into a hotel and begin our group trip to Uzbekistan. Let`s begin with a walk in the central square and visit to the madrassah (Islamic school) Kukeldash - one of the largest in Central Asia, built in the 16th century. The history of this building is unique - built as a school, it soon became a caravanserai (hotel), later it was used as a fortress. Russian conquerors of Tashkent used it in 1860, shooting rebels on the square from its walls. It was even a place for execution - until 1865, women accused of adultery were dumped on the stone floor from the height of this building...
We head to the Hast-Imam square - the center of old Tashkent. Previously, there were areas of wattle and daub houses, and now it is an island of history among asphalt, concrete and glass. Among the unique exhibits of the museum on the square is a collection of Korans, collected throughout Asia in the 16th century. The oldest Koran is of a huge size and dates back to the 13th century.
We dine at the Chorsu bazaar, which is known since the Middle Ages. They still make the most delicious pilaf, kebabs, and chobra here. Refreshed, we walk along a huge bazaar, studying bright goods and brisk sellers. Particular attention is immediately attracted to ceramics - colorful teapots, dishes and tea cups hand-painted in various regions of Uzbekistan. Try to find the symbol of the country - cotton boll on these ornaments. By the end of the journey, you will understand the meaning of all these patterns and even identify the regions where this ceramics was made.
Day 2 - 3
In the morning we fly to Urgench (2 hours), and then take a taxi to Khiva (40 minutes) where we will continue our guided tour to Uzbekistan. Khiva is an ancient city in the Khorezm state, which existed from the 16th century until 1920, until the Russian army overthrew the last khan. We will stay in a traditional hotel in the old town of Ichan-kala and see the minaret of Kalta-Minor - the only minaret completely covered with glazed tiles and majolica.
We will also see the second-highest minaret in all of Central Asia - Islom-Khoja. Its height is 44.6 meters, and it is named after the chief vizier of the beginning of the XX century - a well-known reformer in the country, killed by the secret order of the khan. We leave to the Kyzylkum desert, which surrounds the city. Here, in the endless sands, stand two fortresses - Ayaz-kala and Toprak-kala. They remember the times when this land was part of the ancient Kushan kingdom and the local people were not Muslims, but Buddhists and Zoroastrians.
Climb to the top of the fortress to feel like a warrior of ancient times. Look closely at these endless sands - somewhere on the horizon, where the sand merges with the blue of the sky is India. Only 1700 years ago, India and Uzbekistan were one country! We drive to Bukhara through the desert (5-6 hours on the way) and check into a traditional hotel in the old town.
Day 4 - 5
Bukhara was considered one of the centers of Islamic science and culture of Asia. It also preserved its old cozy districts. We will be lost and found on narrow streets between wattle and daub houses, between the arches of the old bazaar, small mosques and madrassas. Pay attention to the doors - they are all hand-carved and each is a unique work of art.
We learn more about the history of this city and the tragic fate of the last Bukharian emir during a walk through the huge citadel Ark, which was built in the 5th century. In the mausoleum of Bahauddin Naqshband - the founder of one of the main orders of Sufism - we learn more about Sufis and Dervishes. We will see a tree, which local pilgrims believe has grown in the place where the saint stuck his staff into the ground.
You will also love Bukhara for traditional local music, unique handmade souvenirs that are not sold anywhere else - majolica and hand-painted tiles, embroidery, handmade knives, Bukhara sweets and local wines. And how about traditional sauna, which has been working since the 16th century? Let`s visit it and enjoy the spa!
In the morning we leave for Samarkand, the ancient capital of the country where we will continue our small group trip to Uzbekistan. This journey will take a whole day. On the way, we will go to the city of G'ijduvon, the center of pottery. Do you remember the ceramics you saw in the Chorsu bazaar in Tashkent? In G'ijduvon you will see the whole process of its manufacture.
Depending on the condition of the road and other local circumstances, we will choose one of two ways - either we will go through the city of Nurata, or through Shakhrisabz. In Nurata, Alexander the Great founded the Nur fortress. We will see the remains of the fortress and visit the Muslim complex of the 16th century. Next, we will stop near Aydarkul, one of the purest lakes in Asia, where you can swim and see hundreds of exotic birds.
Shakhrisabz is the birthplace of the famous conqueror Timur (Tamerlane). We will see the ruins of the grandiose Ak-Saray palace. In the evening we arrive in Samarkand and check into a hotel.
Day 7 - 8
Two days we will spend studying the most famous city of Central Asia, and one of the oldest cities in the world. Founded in the 8th century BC, it experienced a special glory in the 15th century - during the time of the conqueror Tamerlane, who built the capital of his huge state here. Just imagine a country stretching from India in the east to Turkey in the west, to Russia in the north and to Saudi Arabia in the south! Not surprisingly, all the main treasures of Samarkand are connected with Tamerlane.
For example, we will see the Bibi-khanym mosque that was built after the victorious return of the ruler from India. For the construction, elephants, driven from India, were used. Need we say that you will be amazed by a huge complex of 15th century Registan, which is rightfully considered one of the best examples of Persian architecture? None of the photos and videos convey its grandiose scope. No less interesting is the mausoleum of Tamerlane, where the great conqueror himself, his sons, grandchildren and teacher are buried. On June 16, 1941, Soviet scientists conducted excavations of the tomb and, according to legend, saw a scary inscription on the tombstone - expect war if Tamerlane is disturbed. Is it a coincidence that the USSR was attacked in just a few days? Look at the building of the tomb with its traditional blue domes - does it resemble the Taj Mahal in India? It is believed that the mausoleum served as a prototype for Taj Mahal, which was built by the descendant of Tamerlane - Shah Jahan, the ruler of northern India.
But the times of Tamerlane will seem like a very recent history comparing to the site of Afrosiab, where the capital of ancient Sogdiana was located. We will walk in the ruins of the state which fought with the armies of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. History has not retained much information about this country, except for the war with the Macedonians. But it is known, for example, that Sogdian princess Roxana became the first wife of Alexander the Great.
We will enjoy traditional Uzbek breakfast - with tea, sweets, fruits and pancakes. Bid farewell to Samarkand, take a train to Tashkent (4 hours on the way) and fly back home. Our group trip to Uzbekistan has come to an end. Thank you for traveling with us!
Подходит ли вам это путешествие?
Стоимость путешествия включает:
- Accommodation during the entire trip;
- All transportation including trains, buses, cars, taxis and public transportation of all kinds;
- Flight from Tashkent to Urgench;
- Traditional breakfasts in all hotels;
- Professional guiding services.
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Tashkent and back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals);
- Tickets to palaces, museums and other places of interest ($50);
- Food, except breakfasts ($10-12 per person per day);
- Insurance (mandatory).
Citizens of many countries need a visa to enter Uzbekistan.
Visa can be applied for in Uzbekistan embassy in the country of residence prior to the trip.
We provide free visa consulting to your clients.
3G internet in Uzbekistan
Price: + $30
Sim card of local mobile operator with 4GB internet packadge.