Explore five ancient cities of Uzbekistan on this 10-day tour of Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Nurata, and Samarkand. Learn about the history of trade along the Silk Road and about the rise and fall of powerful empires; experience the rich and fascinating Uzbek culture and traditions; and taste the delicious local cuisine. In addition to visiting many famous historical monuments and admiring impressive architecture, the itinerary includes: riding a camel through the vast Kyzylkum Desert, enjoying supper by the fire while listening to a Kazakh akyn (folk singer), staying overnight in a yurt, participating in a pottery master-class, and other activities that showcase Uzbek culture and nature.
Tour to ancient cities 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; Business/Economy-class ticket for train Samarkand-Tashkent as per option (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace it with the most-comfortable class of regular train).
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.
Nurata is located on the ancient Silk Road, 230 kilometres northwest of Samarkand and 75 kilometres northeast of the city Navoiy in the middle of the Kysylkum desert. The town is situated nearby the Nuratau Mountains at a height of 490 metres above sea level. The main attractions of Nurata are the remains of the Alexander the Great Fortress and Chashma, a complex of religious constructions, which includes the Chashma spring, the Djuma Mosque and a bathhouse which is named Khamom. The town is also famous for its Suzanis, cotton fabrics which are decorated with wool or silk embroideries and are especially produced in Central Asia.
The yurt camp Aidar is located 10 km from the western bank of the Aidarkul lake. The desert area is beautiful and secluded, beach and lake seems like a paradise, water is very clean and warm even though quite far away (15-minute car ride). The Aidarkul lake is slightly salty, very clean and is nice to swim in, very refreshing. And the fact that there is usually no one around quite impress.
The camp has 11 yurts (optimal number, not too much not too small), decorated with hand made carpets and sherdaks (felt rugs) of local craftsmen. Coloured patterns and chandeliers create unusual and festive atmosphere in yurts. Yurt camp is also equipped with fixed toilets, shower cubicles and a ‘common area’ yurt, where tourists can taste various dishes. Amenities of the camp Aidar include electricity. The toilets and showers are more than reasonable considering that you are in the desert. Yurts are set up around a large fire and the owners house and eating area.
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
Day 6: Bukhara – Nurata – Safari Yurt Camp
In the morning depart Bukhara and drive to yurt camp located in Kyzylkum desert (230 km, 4 h*). On the way we will have a few stops: Gijduvan pottery masters workshop, Nurata local mosque with a holy spring water, and Nurata pass to see petroglyphs. Arrive in Safari Yurt Camp, accommodation in yurt. Camel riding and free time. After dinner sit around the camp fire and enjoy Kazakh akin singing folk songs. Overnight in the yurt. Meals: dinner** *The drive on vans and buses is on average an hour longer. **Though meals are included, based on the experience and tips of our guests, we advise to take some food in advance, as there are no shops around yurts.
Day 7: Yurt camp – Samarkand
In the morning visit desert Aydarkul Lake. Free time on the lake.
Extras to do in the area:
Option 1. Camel ride to Aydarkul Lake through the desert (8.5 km, 3 h). Enjoy your time on the lake and have lunch. In the afternoon depart to Samarkand. Cost: $30 per person for a camel and cameleer service.
Option 2. Take a short camel ride to a nearby village Dungalak (1.5 km, 30 min). Participate in baking traditional bread “non”. Take a short walk in the village to see life of locals and return to the camp. Cost: $20 per person for a camel and cameleer service.
In the afternoon depart the yurt camp and drive to Samarkand (270 km, 5 h). Arrival in Samarkand, check in to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel. Meals: breakfast, lunch or picnic
Check-out from the hotel till noon. 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.Late in the afternoon transfer to railway station to take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent (journey time 2 h 10 min). Transfer to the hotel for overnight. Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
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.