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Uzbekistan is a country filled with the romance of the Silk Road, yet despite documentaries and books about its conquerors (Alexander the Great, Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan) and explorers (Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, and Sven Hedin to name just three), to many people, this country remains an enticing and mysterious blank on the map. This is part of its appeal. Lacking the mass tourism found in many parts of the world, a journey here offers true adventure.

Join us on an unforgettable journey to the very heart of Central Asia and the Silk Road – Uzbekistan. Together, we will explore its most remote areas and captivating cities and in doing so we will travel in the footsteps of some of the world’s most magnificent travelers, traders, conquerors, and explorers.

We start the journey in the country’s modern capital – Tashkent. As we travel through the oasis cities of Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand – we will walk in the shadows of soaring minarets, mosaic-tiled arches, and turquoise domes. We will travel across deserts, little changed since the days of Genghis Khan, and as we go along we’ll discuss the fascinating histories of the mighty khanate states and walk through their architectural legacies. We will conclude our journey in legendary Samarkand.

This tour is led by Abdu Samadov, a local of Samarkand, who lived and studied in the UK and the USA before settling down in the country he loves most – Uzbekistan. The trip is fully immersive, so you will get up close to traditional life, prepare a meal with a local family, dance with a folklore band, and climb the city walls for the best possible sunset views. On this trip, you will meet the curator of the world-famous Savistkiy collection in Nukus, and watch the famous horse game called Buzkashi in the mountains by Samarkand.

Good to know

  • Off the beaten path in Uzbekistan
  • Fully escorted multi-lingual guide
  • Small groups (max 12)
  • Flexible rebookings: change dates at no cost

What's included

  • Included Accommodation
  • Included Guided excursions
  • Included Ground transfers
  • Included All meals
  • Included Internal flights
  • Included Camping equipment
Days

11

Starting from

€2,280 pp

Contact us now for more information about this trip
Speak to Luca for expert travel advice
Enquire now
Destinations
Uzbekistan
Activity
Active, Culture, History, Solo Travel
Tour Type
Small group tour, Private guided tour

Detailed itinerary

What you'll see and do

Arrival in Tashkent

Welcome to Uzbekistan! Arrive at Tashkent International Airport and transfer to our centrally located hotel. Take some time to relax before we meet for an introduction and walk to lunch. We will enjoy our first meal of Uzbek cuisine and discuss the journey ahead of us.

Following the lunch, we set out for an introduction to the city. Starting the day at the earthquake Monument of Courage would help us to understand the city. Flattened by a devastating earthquake in 1966, the city was reinvented by the Kremlin to represent the very epitome of the socialist ideal. Then we’ll drive out to Barak Khan Madrassah, a historical monument that has become a center for local artists and craftsmen. We’ll also get to see Islam’s most holy relic, the world’s oldest Koran. After lunch, we’ll enjoy a walk to Independence Square, which represents a symbol of freedom for the Uzbekistan people who declared their independence from Russia in 1991. We also will walk in Tashkent’s artists’ corner – locally known as Broadway. We will have an introduction to the national hero – Tamerlane, in the square of Amir Temur and see the Alisher Navoi Theatre from outside.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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City Palace Hotel Tashkent

City Palace Hotel Tashkent

Explore Tashkent

After breakfast, we start the second day in the capital city with a visit to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent’s famous green-domed market featuring acres of spices, produce, and traditional crafts. Tashkent metro stations are among the most beautiful in the world. Leading Uzbek architects and artists designed the stations, and each is an original work of art, devoted to a certain theme. To see for ourselves, we ride the metro a few stops. Today, we would visit the Museum of Victims of Political Repression, which tells the history of Uzbekistan during the time of the Soviet Union, in particular, that of the people killed by the government at that time. After lunch, we drive to the craftsmen section of the city to meet the family of the Rahimovs and with the family, we have a chance of seeing the process of ceramics creating, and we will spend time designing our own plate or bowl for taking home.

In the evening, we will get together to have a chat about the Nukus trip, and then we go to have dinner.t

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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City Palace Hotel Tashkent

City Palace Hotel Tashkent

Tashkent – Nukus (flight) – Khiva

We set out the day early to catch our flight to Nukus – the capital of the autonomous Karakalpakstan Republic. Due to its secluded location near the Aral Sea, Nukus was a ‘restricted city’ throughout the Soviet era, when the Red Army researched and developed chemical warfare weapons. We drive to the famous Savitsky Museum, also known as the State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

An art curator from the museum will give us a special tour of the collection. The museum portrays the life work of Russian painter and collector Igor Savitsky, whose legacy includes thousands of ancient to modern artistic treasures, along with the world’s second-largest collection of Russian avant-garde art, which he kept hidden from the vigilant eyes of the KGB in this isolated desert location. Afterward, we will have lunch and watch the traditional Karakalpakistan folklore. Then, we drive to Khiva – that is a three-hour journey to the south on the lower reaches of the Oxus river. Upon arrival, we will have dinner and rest for the day.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Khiva City Tour

Today Khiva is the most architecturally intact and tightly packed of Central Asia’s Silk Road cities. Its intense blue-and-green tilework ranks as some of the most luxurious of Uzbekistan. It also has the feel of a movie set or open-air museum city. We explore the highlights of the inner fortress – Ichan Kala and then have time for our own to wander around this fabled town. Make sure you join the tour manager for the sunset walk where you may have the chance of going on the walls, to see the town during dusk, then we walk do dinner with the group.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Khiva – Samarkand (flight)

Spend the morning wandering the old capital of Khiva Khanate that is the biggest surviving walled city in Uzbekistan with many labyrinth-like alleyways, mosques, madrassas, and bazaars. We will spend the morning discovering this Silk Road stop and have lunch before driving to the airport in the nearby city of Urgench. Our flight to Samarkand from there takes an hour. After arriving in Samarkand, we set out on the walking tour of the fabled city and have dinner.

Sublime Samarkand was the capital of the empire of Timur, one of history’s greatest conquerors. His vast empire rivaled any, stretching across the Eurasian steppe, who ruled his kingdom with an iron fist while at the same time patronizing the arts and literature. Much of his architectural heritage has been preserved, allowing us to see how the city might have been at the peak of his power.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

Samarkand City Tour

We start the day with the visit of Gur-Emir mausoleum, where Timur is buried. We will hear the stories from his life and how did he start the construction of Samarkand. Then, we go to Registan Square – Samarkand’s and arguably Uzbekistan’s most famous landmark. The focal point of ancient Samarkand is framed by three beautiful madrassas (religious schools) – Ulugbek, Sherdor and Tillya Kori.

Next, we will stroll through the spacious courtyard of the Bibi-Khanum Mosque—a structure that legend says was a gift to Tamerlane by one of his wives, and we will have time to explore the Siab Bazaar, where fruit and vegetables grown from the rich soil of the Zarafshan Valley are sold in a colorful market. After lunch, we would explore Shahi Zinda – the necropolis where family members of Timur are buried. We finish the day with a visit to a bakery in one of the backstreets of the old town, where a family prepares bread for the local communities. You may try to make a loaf of bread after seeing the process. Tonight’s dinner is in a local restaurant not far away from our hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

Samarkand – Urgut

We drive to the rural town of Urgut – the home of the ancient merchants and very strong Kupkari players. Kupkari, also known as buzkashi, a sport originating at least 1,000 years ago with the nomadic Turkic groups who inhabited the Central Asian steppes. Today we are projecting to witness the game in the foothills of the Gissar mountain range.

We return to the city in time for lunch and continue the exploration of the city with a visit to the studio of a well-known designer – Lena Ladik. Our next stop would be Konigil Paper Mill – where you may see the process of paper production from mulberry tree bark – just like in 8th century Samarkand.

In the evening we are hosted in a local house – Farida & Olim, where we prepare the central dish of the country – Plov. Then we will enjoy dinner with the family.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

Samarkand – Bukhara (train)

After leisurely breakfast, we go to the train station to take the high-speed train to Bukhara. Upon arriving we start the touring of this ancient city.

Bukhara is an old Silk Road city with buildings dating back thousands of years. We’ll explore the old city, marveling in the ancient mosques and the baroque brick-layered Mausoleum of Ismail Somoni, who founded the powerful tenth-century Somoni dynasty. We also visit the Poikalon Complex, which has become the symbol of Bukhara. During the day our guide will take us to meet masters of different crafts, such as calligraphy, miniature, blacksmith, and perhaps a puppet maker. We will have time to freely wander on our own, or shop for spices, silk scarves, or exquisite jewelry before regrouping for the dinner in a local house.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

Bukhara City Tour

We begin this morning at Labi-Havuz Plaza, located in the heart of the old town. The plaza is at the center of Bukhara’s old town and is a place to meet friends, eat, drink, and relax in the shade for locals. Today we will explore the surroundings with a visit to Nodir Devon Begi Khonakoh – the place of abode for the Sufi dervishes. Next, we go to the famous Trading Domes of the city that once housed the best merchants of the Silk Road in them. In the afternoon you will have time for yourself to soak up the experiences and explore the city on your own. We will get together in the evening to enjoy dinner in a local house.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

Bukhara

Today we drive out of the city to visit the Mausoleum of Naqshbandiy. There are many orders in Sufism and representatives of all the orders were present at different times in what is Uzbekistan today. The Sufi order Naqshbandiyya had the greatest and longest-lasting influence and the memorial place is still well visited by pilgrims. Next, we visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara – Sitorai Mokhi Hosa. ‘The place where the moon meets the stars’ is what the name of the palace means in Persian.

We will go to a local restaurant to enjoy the great performance arts of Uzbekistan as we are hosted by the Bukhara Philharmonic band. We will have our farewell meal as a group. Then we drive to the station to take the high-speed train to Tashkent to end our ten-day trip. After many days packed with novel experiences, new sights, new smells, and new sounds, it’s time to say goodbyes.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

Tashkent Departure

Our guide and driver will meet you in the morning for your transfer to the airport or join one of the post-trip extensions we are offering.

Included meals: Breakfast

  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Khiva

    Khiva

    The walled city of Khiva is made up of mud-brick buildings and has over 50 historic monuments meaning you will need a few days to explore the city...
  • Khiva

    Khiva

    The walled city of Khiva is made up of mud-brick buildings and has over 50 historic monuments meaning you will need a few days to explore the city...
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand

    A rebuilt 14th-century city, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is a striking place to visit with mosques covered in ceramic tiles and sand coloured buildings...
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand

    A rebuilt 14th-century city, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is a striking place to visit with mosques covered in ceramic tiles and sand coloured buildings...
  • Urgut

    Urgut

    ...
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara

    Bukhara is over 2,000 years old, built on the site of a former Buddhist monastery, it has hundreds of minarets, mosques and madrassas with key sites being the Kalyan minaret, that's tower is a prominent landmark of the city, the Ismail Samani mausoleum and Bolo Haouz Mosque, one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city...
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara

    Bukhara is over 2,000 years old, built on the site of a former Buddhist monastery, it has hundreds of minarets, mosques and madrassas with key sites being the Kalyan minaret, that's tower is a prominent landmark of the city, the Ismail Samani mausoleum and Bolo Haouz Mosque, one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city...
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara

    Bukhara is over 2,000 years old, built on the site of a former Buddhist monastery, it has hundreds of minarets, mosques and madrassas with key sites being the Kalyan minaret, that's tower is a prominent landmark of the city, the Ismail Samani mausoleum and Bolo Haouz Mosque, one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city...
  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning    
More dates available   Enquire

Looking for a different date?

Not sure when you're travelling yet? Looking for a different date? Contact Kalpak Travel for more information.

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Good to know

Speak to a Uzbekistan specialist about this trip

Kalpak Travel

Call one of our travel experts for ideas and trip planning advice.

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Where to stay

Some of our sample accommodation.

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Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

A modern hotel conveniently located in central Bukhara...

Expand
Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

A cosy, comfortable hotel close to central Samarkand...

Expand
City Palace Hotel Tashkent

City Palace Hotel Tashkent

City Palace Hotel Tashkent features an outdoor pool, indoor pool, and free WiFi...

Reviews

What people are saying about Kalpak Travel

S
Sten-Enok, Norway
01/11/2018

I got a tip to visit the webpage for Kalpak and have not regretted since. They arrange trips to Central Asia and do it really well. They are professional, respond to inquiries instantly, are very flexible and know the region well. I was in contact with Luca for a combination of mountain biking and trekking in the Fann mountains in Tajikistan. My experience is solely positive; truly professional and passionate about the region.

Mind you, Kalpak uses local resources and is responsible tourism. I really recommend Kalpak Travel! They make astonishing trips to Central Asia and are professional, serious and responsible.

S
Spencer, Australia
01/07/2018

We had a fabulous 13-day tour of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - in May/June. Luca, the owner of Kalpak Travel, has been very reliable and committed to giving excellent service. He was constantly keeping in touch during our trip to ensure that everything was running smoothly.

The guides in each city spoke excellent English and were extremely informative on all aspects of Central Asia. In Almaty, we were invited to have dinner at our tour guide's home. The food was fabulous and we had a wonderful evening….

We were very lucky to have Kalpak Travel as our tour company which exceeded our expectations with flying colours. We highly recommend Kalpak Travel if you are planning a hassle-free tour of Central Asia.

R
Rebecca, USA
01/07/2018

We had a wonderful 3.5 week trip through the 5 Stans. I feel like I've seen the highlights in case I don't get the opportunity to return, but I most certainly DO want to return and see more. These are the warmest and most welcoming people I have every encountered.

My regret is that Kalpak does not arrange trips for other parts of the world, as I truly enjoyed every minute of working with them, and would love to do so again. SUPERLATIVE service.

How to book

Contact us now for expert advice

Price guide

This itinerary would cost from €2,280 pp.

Pricing may vary by accommodation choice, group size and time of year.

What's included

Included Accommodation

Kalpak trips visit a combination of quality hotels, traditional Yurt camps, guesthouses, and camping (all equipment provided). Get in touch for more information.

Included Guided excursions

Expert, English-speaking guides accompany you throughout the entire trip, giving you unique insights into the local culture and history.

Included Ground transfers

All airport collections, hotel transfers and rail journeys are included.

Included All meals

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included in the price. You're not obliged to eat every meal with the group, and your guide will happily direct you to recommended local restaurants and markets if you prefer.

Included Internal flights

Domestic/internal flights are included where applicable.

Included Camping equipment

All equipment for overnight stays in Yurt camps is provided.

How to book

We aim to provide absolute peace of mind when booking with us. A €500 per person deposit is required at the time of booking, and you may cancel or re-book your dates up to 15 days prior to departure.

All group departures have a maximum group size of 12 guests. All departure dates are guaranteed.

You can also opt to book the whole itinerary as a private tour. We can arrange extra nights before or after the trip, and suggest private tour extensions.

We can advise and take care of any required visas. Citizens of most countries are eligible for an e-visa for Tajikistan, and a visa on arrival for Turkmenistan, with a letter of invitation pre-arranged by us. Other countries are visa-free for most nationalities. Contact us for advice.

We are happy to advise on your international flights, please contact us for more assistance.

Learn more

Contact us now for expert advice on how to tailor this tour to your requirements and budget.

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