TRIP OVERWIEWThe journey starts with the famous old cities of Tashkent, Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Samarkand.
For a long time these cities belonged to Amir Temur (in Europe known as Tamerlane). Memorable part of the journey trip to Muynak (“Mo’ynoq” in Uzbek, was once the largest port on the Aral Sea and nowadays it is the harbor without a sea. The Aral Sea till 1960s was the fourth-largest lake in the world), Igor Savitskiy Museum (holds the world’s second-largest collection of Russian avant-garde paintings after the Russian Museum in St Paterburg), high minarets, blue domes, madrassahs, mosques, mausoleums, eastern markets, legends, the hospitality of the population and their tradition.
ITINERARY & DETAILS
Day 1: Tashkent
Arrival in Tashkent. Met in front of the arrival building of the airport by an English speaking guide from “Samaria Travel”and transfer to the hotel in Tashkent city.
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and has approximately 3 million inhabitants. The city is located in the north eastern part of the republic, in the valley where the river Chirchik is located. In the North of Tashkent the snow-covered tops of Big and Small Chimgan mountain can be seen. The sightseeing in Tashkent starts with the Khazrati Imom Complex (XVI-XX centuries) the historical spiritual heart of the city, the market Chorsu (“four roads” in Uzbek, the commercial heart of the city and has been for hundreds of years), and metro riding (the only Central Asian Underground, built in 1977).
Day 2: Tashkent—Nukus—Muynak—Nukus
Transfer to the airport of Tashkent and flight to Nukus (takes 1 hour, 20 minutes). Nukus is the center of Karakalpakstan an autonomous republic, which is located in the north-western part of Uzbekistan. Start to drive to Muynak 210 km (takes more than 2 hours and 30 minutes). Muynak (“Mo’ynoq” in Uzbek, used to be harbor town. In just 60 years it has gone from being a wealthy fishing port to a small town where skeleton ships lie broken in the desert). After sightseeing in Muynak transfer back to Nukus and check in to the hotel.
Day 3: Nukus—Toptak Qala—Ayaz Qala—Khiva
After breakfast check out from the hotel and visit Igor Savitskiy Museum (Nukus Museum) which holds the world’s second-largest collection of Russian avant-garde paintings after the Russian Museum in St Petersburg. It also has one of the largest exhibitions of archeological finds and folk art anywhere in central Asia. After lunch transfer to the Qala trip (“Fortress” in Uzbek) total drive 210 km. The ruins of over a dozen walled towns, palaces and forts, some well over 2000 years old, stand half-forgotten in the semi-desert east and north of Urgench in southern Karakalpakstan. The area’s traditionally name, Ellik Qala (the 50 fortresses) gives a stark indication of what lies beneath the desert sands. There are about 20 forts and you will visit two of the most impressive forts: Toprak Qala and Ayaz Qala. Toprak Qala (“Sand” in Uzbek) used to be the region’s biggest city (350 meters by 500 meters) until the destruction canals left it marooned in the desert sands. The Russian archaeologist Tolstov excavated the palace friezes in 1938 dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD. Ayaz Qala is a “must see” fort in the desert. The external walls, built upon a flat hilltop, have survived since at least the 4th century BC, the guests can clearly see the scale of the site and even today sections of wall survive that are 10 meters high. After forts sightseeing transfer to the Khiva and check in to the hotel.
Day 4: Khiva
Khiva is the city of Khorazm province, located in the north-western part of Uzbekistan. 1990 the historical part known as a Ichan Qala (“inner city” in Uzbek) was included into UNESCO World Heritage site. Full-day tour in Ichan Kala. Khiva is divided into two distinct sections; one being the older, museum-like Ichan-Qala where striking examples of Islamic architecture were built over the span of 600 years; and the modern Dichon-Qala (“outside city” in Uzbek) where both the majority of the population live and where all of the modern buildings exist, but glimpses of Khiva’s greatness as a center of Islamic power still linger. Today, the entire city is home to about 90,000 people. The city is 35 km from the regional capital of Urgench and a mere 5 km from the border of Turkmenistan.
After the breakfast full day sightseeing in Ichan Qala. The feeling in Inner Fortress transfers people into the past in a city with narrow lanes, low houses, mosques, mausoleums and madrassahs.
Day 5: Xiva—Bukhara
After breakfast check out from the hotel in Khiva and transfer to Bukhara crossing the river Amu Darya and the desert Kyzylkum. Uzbekistan is located in between two large rivers and they are Amu Darya (known to the ancient Greeks as the Oxus) and the Syr Darya (the Arabs called it Jaxartes). Total drive is 470 km, takes more than 7 hours.
Day 6: Bukhara
Bukhara is one of the most ancient cities in Uzbekistan with over 2500 years old.
Excursion starts with Ismail Samaniy mausoleum (IX-X centuries), the mausoleum of Chashmai Ayub (“Prophet Job”), functioning mosque Bolo Hauz (XVII century), the Citadel Ark (I-XX centuries) and Poi Kalon complex (“The foot of tall” in Uzbek) from XII-XVI centuries.
Day 7: Bukhara—Shakhrisabz—Samarkand
Transfer to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz (280 km+160 km, first part of journey from Bukhara till Shakhrisabz takes more than 4 hours and the second part from Shakhrisabz till Samarkand takes 2 hours 30 minutes), birthplace of Amir Temur (“the green city” in Uzbek). The old part of Shakhrisabz city has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site and contains an exceptional collection of monuments, including Ak Saray Palace (“a white palace” in Uzbek) built in 1380-1404, the complex of Dor-us Siyadat (“place of sadness” in Uzbek) from XIV century and Dor-ut Tilavat (“place of praying” In Uzbek) from XIV-XV centuries.
After sightseeing in Shakhrisabz continue to drive to Samarkand.
Day 8: Samarkand
Samarkand is one of the world’s oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan.
Excurtion in the city starts with famous Registan square (“sandy place” in Uzbek) from XV-XVII centuries, Bibi Hanim mosque XV century and local Siab market (“black river” in Uzbek).
Day 9: Samarkand
Continue the tour in Samarkand. Visit Konigil paper factory, the Ulugbek Observatory (XV century), the museum of Afrasiab (the history museum of Samarkand and the highlight of this place is the original frescos of Turk Khanate “Turk kingdom” from VII century). The complex Shahi Zinda (“alive king” in Uzbek) from XII-XX centuries, visit a silk carpet factory and the Gur-Amir mausoleum (“the tomb of the king” in Uzbek) from XV century.
Day 10: Samarkand—Tashkent
After breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to Tashkent by bus (290 km, takes 5 hours). Arrival in Tashkent and check in at the hotel. Walking and enjoying the Tashkent squares and streets. Dinner in local restaurant and the rest at the hotel.
Day 11: Tashkent
Morning at leisure. Afternoon transfer to the airport.