Uzbek Cities and Tajik Mountains & Lakes
This program, travelling in Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan is a combination of visiting cities in Uzbekistan, and a trekking in Tajikistan. We would like to point out that this trek, which goes up to almost 4,000 meters, requires a good physical condition.
In addition, it is possible to organize a walking tour of a few days instead of the trek during the Tajik part, in the same area but considerably less demanding. You will not stay in tents but in homestays and your luggage will be transported by car. Also suitable for families. Register us for the exact conditions. Or ask for the reference of a Dutch family who completed this program in 2018, including the walking tour in Tajikistan.
Highlights of this 14-day trip in travelling in Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan:
– visits to the three legendary cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand
– atmospheric accommodations in the Uzbek cities
– beautiful and rugged nature in Tajikistan
– the hospitality in Tajikistan during the trek or hiking
– excellent local services during the challenging trek
In 2020, a visa is still necessary for a visit to Tajikistan. However, you can request this yourself online, using. information provided by us about your travel program, and will then receive the visa within a few hours or a maximum of one to two days.
An Uzbek visa is not needed for most countries.
You can read more about travelling in Tajikistan, 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. Here you will start your travelling in Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan.
That is why 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 yourr 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 – Kunya-Ark fortress, including Kurinish Khana (17c); Mohammed-Amin-Khan(19c) Madrassah, Kalta Minor Minaret; Mohammed Rakim Khan (19 c) Madrassah, Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum, Mazary Sharif Madrassah, Islam Khodja Madrassah and Minaret, Jami Mosque(18c), Kutluq-Murad Inaq (19c) Madrassah, Allakuli khan Madrassah (19c), Ak Mosque, Tash Havli Fortress.Afterwards, leisure time. Accommodation in the same hotel or guesthouse.
A long drive through the Kyzyl Kum desert takes you from Khiva to Bukhara. 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. Poli-Kalon ensemble with a minaret (12th century), mosque (15th century), functioning Miri-Arab Madrassah (16th century), Amir-Alim-Khan Madrassah (14c), Taqi (trading houses) Kukeldash Madrassah (16c).
And after lunch: Lyab-i-Hauz (17th century), Nadir Divanbegi (17th century), Magoki Attari (16th century), Ulug Beg (15th century), Abdul Aziz (17th century) Madrassahs. And visits to: the Registan Ensemble, Ark Fortress (16th century) and Bolo-Hauz complex (18th century).
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: 90 kms
Meeting with Tajik guide & driver and transfer to Penjikent city for lunch. Continue to the Zeravshan Valley, to Artuch.
The Zeravshan Valley is famous for its unique mountain landscapes and beautiful lakes. Arrival at a Tajik host family in the village of Artuch, where we will meet our hiking guide, cook and porters. Overnight stay in the homestay. All meals are included today.
12 kms of trekking in about 4 hours, highest point 2,800 meters
Via a well-trodden path we reach the valley of the Urjam river, walking through a mix of juniper bushes and deciduous forests that cover two gigantic steep dams on the right side of the narrow gorge. The dams serve as a natural filter for water that flows into the river. The trail becomes flatter once we are above the upper dam. A turquoise chain surrounds the Kulikalon lakes, which contrast beautifully with the whimsical peaks of the Pamir Fann mountains, including Maria (4970 m) Mirali (5120 m), Rudaki (4900 m) and Adamtash (4700 m), which are together known As the “Kulikalon wall”.
After a picnic lunch we continue through the juniper forest and head to the eastern shore of Lake Bibidjanat where we will camp. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset over Mirali Peak. Overnight at the camp, meals are included today.
12-14 kms trekking in about 5 hours, highest point 3,550 meters
After a hearty breakfast we pack up camp and head steeply uphill out of the juniper forest and alpine meadows to the Adauddin Pass (3860m). Here we will be able to see the entire Kulikalon Lakes system. The snowcapped peaks of Chapdara (5050m), Bodhona (5138m) and Zamok (5070m) can also be seen.
15-17 kms trekking in about 6-7 hours, highest point 3,830 meters
10 kms trekking in about 4-5 hours, highest point 3,550 meters
Day distance: 250 kms
After breakfast you will be driven to the capital Dushanbe, with lunch on the way.
On arrival you check in at the hotel and then enjoy an excursion in the city. First we visit Rudake Park, the national library, the White House, “the seal of the nation” and the parliament building.
After this we will walk through the national park to take pictures of the largest national flag in the world: a 165 meter high pole, 30 meters wide and 60 meters long! Then you will visit the Gurminj Museum of Traditional Musical Instruments.
Accommodation in a hotel. Meals are included today.
day distance: 20 kmsIn the night or early morning, when most international flights depart, transfer to Dushanbe Airport for your flight back home.
The costs of this program, travelling in Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan, are €1,595 per person at four people and €1,935 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
– ticket for the domestic flight Tashkent-Urgench in Uzbekistan
– services from a driver & English-speaking guide during the excursions in Uzbekistan and in Dushanbe, and during the trekking or hikes
– services of porters (one for each participant), a cook and mules during the trekking
– all camping equipment during the trekking
– entrance tickets for museums and monuments according to the program
– unlimited mineral water on the way
Single supplement is €120, available only in Uzbekistan and in Dushanb.
Not included are international flight tickets, lunches and dinners and all other services not mentioned. Finally, we withhold € 15 per booking for the Dutch GGTO Guarantee Fund.