Road to Samarkand, the ten-day cultural Uzbekistan tour, is an orientally picturesque trip full of bright discoveries. You will do sights of Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara,Shakhrizabz and Samarkand, learn much interesting about Uzbek traditions and customs, for centuries, handed down from generation to generation, taste genuine Uzbek pilau, visit an oriental bazaar and so on and so forth.
Road To Samarkand descriptions
1 person – no discount 2 persons – 10% discount 3 persons – 20% discount 4 persons and up – 30% discount
All transfers 1-2 pax by sedan type car; 3-7 pax by minivan type car; 8-13 pax by 30 seat bus, 14 pax and more by 40-50 seat bus; Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included; Sightseeing tour program in each city with local guides; Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary; Full board (lunches and dinners); Economy class ticket for flight Tashkent-Urgench.
Tour leader to accompany the travelers for the whole period of the tour; Hotel charges for additional services; Consular fees for Uzbekistan tourist visa; Tips are not included, but would be appreciated; Travel insurance.
The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world’s cultures. Founded in the 7th century B.C. as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg’s Observatory.
Samarkand, also Samarqand is perhaps the most famous city of modern Uzbekistan. The site of Samarkand was settled about 2000 BC. In times of old the city was also known as Afrosiab, and also Maracanda by the Greeks. The city was the capital of Sogdiana, an ancient Persian province, and was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. It subsequently grew as a trade center on the route between China and the Mediterranean region. In the early 8th century AD, it was conquered by the Arabs and soon became an important center of Muslim culture. In 1220 Samarkand was almost completely destroyed by the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan. It flourished again when Tamerlane (known as Timur locally) ade it the capital of his empire in 1369.
As his capital Timur put Samarkand on the world map and much of the architecture visible today was built by him or his descendants. The empire declined in the 15th century, and nomadic Uzbeks (Shaybanids) took Samarkand in 1500. In 1784 the emirate of Bukhara conquered it. The city was taken by Russia in 1868 and once again began to assume importance. From 1924 to 1930, Samarqand was the capital of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR).
Located on an irrigated valley of the Zeravshan River in the center of Uzbekistan, area of present Samarkand always ensured favorable conditions for human settlements. As proof, one can freely walk through the ancient ruins of Afrosiab, which are a few hundred meters from the center of the city.
The Registan is of course the main attraction of Samarkand and is every bit as impressive as it’s reputation.
As a conqueror there are few that are Tamerlane equal, both in territory and lives taken. It is said that he made pyramids out of the skulls of his vanquished. Today one can visit his tomb in the beautifully reconstructed Gur-Emir Mausoleum (1404-1405, 15-17 centuries) and reflect on his life while looking at the largest piece of jade (greenstone) in the world.
Another point of interest is ancient necropolis Shakh-i-Zinda (9-14, 19 centuries) situated on southeastern mound of Afrosiab. This architectural complex consists of 44 tombs in more than 20 mausoleums.
The city is important for it’s industry as well as history. It produces tea, wine, textiles, fertilizer and vehicles. While it is the oldest city in Central Asia it has a large modern section. Population is about 400,000.
In the morning depart Khiva and drive to Bukhara (480 km, 7-8 h*). Today we will have an overland transfer from Khiva to Bukhara through Kyzylkum desert**. Caravans on the Great Silk Road carrying porcelain and spices used the same route for hundreds of years. Arrive in Bukhara late in the afternoon, check in to the hotel. Time for rest and overnight at the hotel. *Since there is only one cafe on the way, you might want to consider preparing a packed lunch before this trip. **Some parts of the road are not in the best condition.
Start the second day with a visit to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa – the summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir, unique site combining Oriental and Russian architecture. Continue to the Mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi and Chor-Bakr Necropolis. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel. Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Continue sightseeing: visit Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Konigil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Enjoy free time with car and driver at your disposal after sightseeing tour. Overnight at the hotel. Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 9: Samarkand - Tashkent
In the morning depart Samarkand and drive to Tashkent (300 km, 4.5 h). Arrive in Tashkent, check in to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Tashkent - departure
Check-out from the hotel at noon. Free time until transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Departure. End of the tour.
No Credit Cards required. Book With Flexibility. If your plans change, you can easily change the date or cancel the tour.