Highlights of this 15-day tour in Uzbekistan:
– visits to the three legendary cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand
– the Buddhist heritage of Termez
– the luxury resort of Chorvak near Tashkent
– traditional handicraft factories and workshops in the Fergana valley
– you get a pretty complete picture of life in Uzbekistan
Although we cannot claim that you will see “everything” that Uzbekistan has to offer in 15 days, this program will go a long way. You will visit the cities of Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Termez, Fergana and Kokand, as well as towns with workshops in the Fergana valley and a mountain resort near Tashkent.
You will have lunch at people’s homes, admire the handicrafts of the Uzbeks, swim (depending on the time of year and the water temperature) in a lake and visit various colorful bazaars and relaxed tea houses throughout the country.
Our customers have appreciated and written about this program (and other programs) under Testimonials on this website.
You can read more about travelling in Uzbekistan and in Central Asia here. Including much practical advise.
Flight to Tashkent
Upon arrival in Tashkent you will be met by a driver with your name card and then taken to your hotel in the city. Most international flights arrive in the night or early morning. Start of your tour in Uzbekistan!
You will have time to rest after breakfast. Then your journey in Uzbekistan starts with an excursion in Tashkent, the fourth largest city in the former Soviet Union.
Scheduled to visit are: Khastimam Complex: Barak khan Madrassah, Kaffal ash-Shashi Mausoleum, Library with the world-known Uthman Qur”an, Friday Mosque; Kukeldash Madrasah, Chorsu bazaar.
New part of the city – Independence square, Navoi theater square, etc
Your guide will advise you about restaurants, just ask him or her! Exchanging money is no problem anymore from 2018, including Euro & USD cash, Visa Cards.
Day distance: 700 kms
You get up early, have breakfast and will be taken to Tashkent airport for the early flight to Urgench in north-western Uzbekistan. Upon arrival you will be met by a driver and taken to nearby Khiva, a half-hour drive away.
After you have checked in at your hotel you will have all day to enjoy the old city of Khiva, a kind of open-air museum. Because the distances between the sights are small, it is easy to walk.
These days Khiva is like an open air museum. Today you have a guided excursion, on foot and visit the oldest part of the city. That includes the Kunya-Ark fortress, including Kurinish Khana (17c); Mohammed-Amin-Khan(19c) Madrassah, Kalta Minor Minaret; Mohammed Rakim Khan (19 c) Madrassah, Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleu, Allakuli khan Madrassah (19c), Ak Mosque, Tash Havli Fortress and much more.
Afterwards, leisure time. Accommodation in the same hotel or guesthouse.
A long drive through the Kyzyl Kum desert takes you from Khiva to Bukhara. You may also choose to take the train, let us know in that case.
Along the way you make a photo stop at the Amu Darya, the lifeblood of the area, and have lunch in an oasis. In this part of Uzbekistan, especially near Khiva, the effects of the drying up of the Aral Sea cannot be ignored; the landscape is covered with a thin layer of salt blown away from the bottom of the lake.
In Bukhara you will be accommodated in a guesthouse in the old town and have free time to het acquainted with it.
While Khiva is basically a (marvellous) open air museum, the old city of Bukhara is bustling and will give you a flavour of what life during the Silk Road times must have looked like.
You have the whole day for exploring Bukhara. The program today includes visits to: Ismael Samani mausoleum (9th-10th century), Chor-Minor, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleums (14th century), Bukhara local bazar, Jewish synagogue etc.
And after lunch of course the famous Lyab-i-Hauz (17th century), Nadir Divanbegi (17th century), Magoki Attari (16th century), Ulug Beg (15th century)and much more.
Accommodation once more in a cosy guesthouse in Bukhara.
day distance 270 kms
In the morning transfer by car or minibus to Samarkand; you will notice less desert than the previous route, and more agriculture. Uzbekistan produces an enormous amount of cotton and if you are traveling in the right season, you can work witness people labouring in the fields, perhaps lend them a hand, as well as visiting a cotton factory.
You will also visit en route the Summer Palace of the last Emir and an old Karavansarai, from Rabat Malik.
Arrival in Samarkand around 14:00, accommodation and time for lunch. Leisure time in the afternoon.
A day in Samarkand, with lots of blue after the brown of Bukhara. Samarkand is not only a legendary Silk Road city, is also a city with more Soviet influences, and much bigger than Bukhara. Also, unlike Bukhara’s relatively small old town, in Samarkand the distances between the great buildings are significant.
During a visit in May 2018 we found out ourselves how much the buildings in Samarkand are being renovated beautifully and facilities are improving. Also the number of tourists is increasing quickly, better visit sooner than later!
You will visit today, if you keep up with it:
– Guri-Emir mausoleum where legendary Amir Temur and his family are buried.
– Registan Square-famous complex of three Madrasahs and the golden dome mosque.
– Bibi Khanum Mosque – the largest mosque ever building over in Central Asia, as a gift from Tamerlame’s wife to her husband!
– Siyab local bazaar – a unique chance to experience present life in Samarkand
– Shahi – Zinda necropolis, a sacred place and cemetery with the graves of Temured’s dynasty and the grave of a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad.
– The Observatory of Ulugbek – an incredible (really!) structure from the 15th century to study astronomy.
In the early evening transfer by a modern and fast train (3 hours) to the capital Tashkent. Transfer to a hotel and accommodation.
day distance: 300 kms
A completely different landscape on this long drive from Samarkand to the far south of Uzbekistan. The road to Termez, from where the Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in 1979, is adventurous and interesting.
Along the way, you will be able to enjoy the panorama during a small picnic at wonderful place. Also you will pass the birthplace of Tamerlane, Shahrisabz, and have a brief tour. In the city you will visit: the Ak-Palace of Amir Temur, the Kuk Gumbaz Mosque, the local Bazaar, the Mausoleum of Jahangir, the empty Mausoleum of Amir Temur.
The arrival in Termez is at the end of the afternoon, accommodation in a hotel.
day distance: 10 kms
Termez has a very eventful history. It has belonged to the realms of Alexander the Great, Gengiz Khan, Timur Lenk and others. That is why Termez is a perfect place for those interested in the mysteries of ancient Buddhist culture.
Today’s program includes the following visits: at the Zurmala Buddhist stupa, the Fayaztepa Buddhist monastery, the Al-Khakim al-Termiziy mausoleum.
And after lunch: the Kirk-Kiz palace, the Sulton-Saodat Cult-Memorial complex, the Kampirtepa Citadel of the Greek-Bactrians, the Termez archaeological museum.
Accommodation in a hotel in Termez.
day distance: 500 kms (by plane)
Today you fly from Termez to Tashkent. In this way we win a day compared with a transfer by car and train, and we avoid duplicating the road between Termez and Samarkand.
Upon arrival in Tashkent you will be brought to your hotel. The precise flight times depend on the day of the week and the flight schedule of Uzbekistan Airways.
In Tashkent a half-day excursion is on the program, you also have free time.
Day distance: 100 kms
In the morning you can optionally enjoy an extra excursion in Tashkent. Then you leave for a trip of a completely different nature. Namely, an hour’s drive north-east of Tashkent, there is a modern resort in an area of mountains and a reservoir.
Depending on the period of the year you have the option to swim in the lake, while walking is of course always possible. Horse riding is also possible (optional).
Accommodation in a hotel nearby the lake.
day distance: 50 kms
A leisure day in Chorvak and surroundings. You may hike, ride a horse, swim or take an authentic chairlift into the mountains (a new wintersport resort with modern facilities is being built – 2019!).
Accommodation in the resort.
Day distance: 380 kms
Today you continue your journey by car, crossing the mountain pass to the Fergana valley, the most fertile and densely populated part of Uzbekistan. The first stop is the Hudayarhan Palace in Kokand with a relatively recent and amazing history.
Then further towards the city of Fergana, on the way visiting a ceramics workshop in the specialist town of Rishtan. After lunch you continue to city of Fergana, the final station for today.
Accommodation in a hotel in Fergana.
Day distance: 300 kms (by train)
The start is in the city of Fergana, where you will explore the city including the local bazaar and the historical museum.
After lunch you will visit the nearby town of Margilan, conservative stronghold even by Fergana standard! (As the Fergana Valley is considered a more more conservative part of the country). Apart from a remarkable number of cyclists, you will find a very hospitable population and visit factories where silk is still woven in the traditional way, even with machines that were used to make parachutes during the Second World War!
The fast train leaves for Tashkent at 3 pm where you will arrive at 8 pm. Transfer to your hotel.
day distance: 20 kms
In the night or early morning, when most international flights depart, transfer to Tashkent Airport for your flight back home.
The costs of this tour in Uzbekistan are €1,395 per person at four people and €1,575 per person at two people.
Included in the full offer are:
– all overnight stays in 3 * hotels and guest houses, i.e. stay in double rooms incl. breakfast (upgrading to 4-5 * for an additional charge is possible)
– all transfers by car / minibus, incl. airport-hotel and hotel-airport
– tickets for domestic flights
– train tickets
– services from a driver & English-speaking guide during the excursions
– entrance tickets for museums and monuments according to the program
– unlimited mineral water on the way
Single supplement is €290.
Not included are international flight tickets, lunches and dinners, early check-in on day two, and all other services not mentioned. Finally, we withhold € 15 per booking for the Dutch GGTO Guarantee Fund.