Feel the tour to exotics by the two-week tour to Uzbekistan ancient cities and natural sights. You will have enough time to explore in full such pearls of oriental architecture as Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. The tour to exocits program also includes visiting the famous Savitsky Museum in Nukus and Muynak settlement, where you will see The Cemetery of Ships, as well as acquaintance with the original way of life of the mountain settlements in Nurata mountains and so on.
Tour to Exocits 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 (except for city tour in Nukus and trip to fortresses of Ancient Khorezm); Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary; Economy class ticket for flight Tashkent-Nukus; Full board (lunches and dinners); Business/Economy-class ticket for train Samarkand-Tashkent as per option (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace this 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.
Nukus (population 230,000) is a grim, spiritless city of bitter pleasures whose gridded avenues of socialism support a centreless town, only to peter out around fading fringes into an endless wasteland of cotton fields punctuated by the random, surreal exotica of wild camels loitering in neglected apartment blocks. It is the capital of Karakalpakstan, an ill-defined autonomous republic inside Uzbekistan and thus the regional centre and transport hub of the republic.
Nukus is the provincial capital and therefore also the transport hub of Karakalpakstan. It is a grim and impoverished city of Soviet concrete and desperation, visited by few foreigners save NGO workers and environmental campaigners. Oh, and art lovers. For hidden in what is otherwise a desolate cultural wasteland is the world’s finest collection of early 20th century Russian avant-garde art: the Igor Savitsky Museum. Otherwise, if you are not an art-lover, Nukus is best used as a base for visits to the Aral Sea and Kunya Urgench.
Konya Urgench, the historical city, now lies out of reach across the border in Turkmenistan, but its newer incarnation, the Soviet city of Urgench, dismal and concrete though it is, remains significant as the gateway to Khorezm Province and things you’d actually want to see.
Uzbek Urgench is a flat, grey Soviet city with all of Tashkent’s faults and few of its saving graces. It is however the entry point and the home of most group travelling to visit Khorezm. For those with time to kill the city offers a bustling modern market and mushrooming modern statuary, where Soviet giants once held sway. Lenin disappeared overnight in 1992, replaced in the huge central square by Abu Mohammed Ibn Musa Al Khorezmi (783-840).
Khorezmi’s mathematical genius is today recognised in the word algorithm, taken from his name and referring to a ‘constant calculating process’ that buttresses his status as the father of algebra. Born near Khiva to descendants of Zoroastrian exorcists, Al Khorezmi later moved with the Caliph to Baghdad and authored several important astronomical works that may have later helped Columbus find the New World.
Arrive in Tashkent. Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Tashkent – Nukus – Muynak – Nukus
Morning flight to Nukus (1255 km, 2 h 45 min). Arrive in Nukus and drive to former fishermen’s town Muynak (220 km, 3 h), which used to be situated on the shores of Aral Sea. On the way stop at archaeological complex Mizdakhan. In Muynak have a look at a former port with abandoned ships in the sand also known as the "Cemetery of Ships”. Then visit Local History Museum with art exhibits of the Aral Sea history. In the afternoon return to Nukus. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Nukus – Khiva
Visit the Savitsky Karakalpakstan Art Museum. The museum hosts the world's second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art and exposition of Karakalpak applied arts items. Have a short drive around center of Nukus: see statue of Karakalpak poet Berdakh, Nukus City Hall, and Drama Theatre. In the afternoon depart to Khiva (200 km, 4-5 h). On the way visit archaeological monuments of Ancient Khorezm: Chilpyk, a Zoroastrian dakhma (funerary tower), and Toprak-Kala, the capital of Khorezm dating back to the 3rd century A.D. Arrive in Khiva, check in to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
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 toSitorai 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 8: Bukhara – Nurata Mountains (Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village)
In the morning depart Bukhara and drive to a village located inNurata Mountains(330 km, 5-6 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 Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village, accommodation in the guesthouse. All villages are located far away from roads and cities in a picturesque mountain area with fresh air, green orchards, singing birds, sky full of stars, and friendly people. Have a tour around the village and explore life of locals. Overnight in the guesthouse. Meals: dinner *The drive on vans and buses is on average an hour longer.
Day 9: Village
People have been living in Nurata Mountains since the times of Alexander the Great. Villagers keep house and farm as it was done centuries ago. Women cook on the open fire, weave, spin yarn, bake their own bread, milk the cows. Men farm, shepherd, built houses of stone, rocks and clay. Stay in a village, watching birds, hiking, riding donkey, and participating in cooking traditional food gives an excellent opportunity to witness life of local peasants.
Extras to do in the area:
Option 1. Take a guided hike to a waterfall. Have look at petroglyphs on the way. (6-7 km, 2-3 h one way). Return to the guesthouse. Cost: $30 for the service of a guide. (Available from Sentyab village only)
Option 2. Take a ride on a donkey. Cost: $20 for the service of a guide.
Day 10: Village – Samarkand
Depart the village and drive to Samarkand (220 km, 4 h). Arrive in Samarkand, check in to the hotel. Free time. Meals: breakfast, lunch
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Continue sightseeing: visit Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive toKonigil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Enjoy free time with car and driver at your disposal after sightseeing tour. 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