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U2. The Essentials of Uzbekistan

Days: 
11
Route of program day by day: 
DAY 1. AIRPORT – TASHKENT
At 07:20 arrival at Tashkent airport, the local English-speaking guide welcomes you. Transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, breakfast in the hotel restaurant and accommodation in the rooms to refresh and rest. Discover the capital of Uzbekistan with its wide avenues and green spaces. Possibility to see the daily life of the metropolis, which has kept an exotic atmosphere with its outdoor markets and green parks. Tour in Tashkent with the following visits: the architectural ensemble Khazrat-i-Imam which includes the Abu-Bakr-al-Kaffal Shanshi Mausoleum, the madrasa Barak Khan founded in the XVI c. by a descendant of Tamerlan, the Friday mosque flanked by two minarets of 54m and the madrassa Moyie Mubarek with the ancient Koran of the XII c. reputed as the oldest in the world. Lunch in a typical Tashkent restaurant. Then we visit the Kukeldash madrassa dated from the XVI c. A walk through the Tchorsu Bazaar, Tashkent's most famous food market, topped by a huge green dome. Everything that grows and can be eaten is sold here: mountains of bright colors, huge bags of cereals, whole stalls of sweets, dairy products and bread, long rows of fruits and vegetables. Discover the Museum of Applied Arts, the former palace of the Russian diplomat Alexander Polovtsev, and then we visit the new city with the Independence Square and the Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 2. TASHKENT – URGHENCH – KHIVA
In the morning transfer to the airport and flight to Urghench. (If you choose to fly to Urghench the same day you arrive in Tashkent this will include a surcharge as we will have to book two accommodations) Arrival in Urghench, short drive to Khiva, transfer and accommodation at the hotel. Rest time to cool off and have breakfast. Discover the city of Khiva, Ichan-Kala, a real treasure of the oriental architecture that seems to come out of the tales "Arabian Nights": the madrasah Muhammad Amin Khan and the Kalta minaret, the Kukhna Ark fortress that includes the Juma Mosque, the Throne Room and the Chancellery. Then excursion to the madrasah Mohammed Rakhim of the khan poet, known under the pseudonym of Feruz. Lunch in an old madrasa of the city intramural. In the afternoon, we continue our Khiva visits with the Tach Khauli, or the "Castle of Stone" and its Harem, the madrasa and the caravan-serai Allakuli Khan, the Friday mosque with its 218 carved wooden columns. Continuation of the Khiva tour with the Islam Khodja madrasah and its highest minaret in the city, the Pakhlavon Makhmud Mausoleum, the most remarkable architectural monument and the Sayyid Alauddin Mausoleum, one of the oldest monuments in Khiva. Excursion to a woodcarving workshop to discover famous traditional items: furniture, columns, book holders, canes, etc. Typical outdoor dinner with spectacular night view on Ichan-Kala (free).
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 3. KHIVA – BUKHARA
Early morning drive towards Bukhara through the red sands of the Kizil-Kum desert, then cross the steppe with its flocks of astrakhan sheep. Picnic lunch in a road restaurant (free). In the afternoon, we continue to Bukhara. Arrival at the end of the afternoon, transfer and accommodation at the hotel.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 4. BUKHARA
Discover the old city of Bukhara, the most secret caravan city with its narrow streets and monuments that will invade the hearts of visitors. Full day devoted to the visit of the old city of Bukhara: the Po-i-Kalyan ensemble which includes the Mir-i-Arab madrasa, the 11th century Kalon mosque and minaret, the madrasa Ulug Beg and Abdulaziz Khan, excursion in the Tok-i-Zargaron or the cupolas of the jewelers. Then visit the blacksmith artisan of the city, after we continue the excursions of Tim Abdullah Khan, where is the covered market, where there are beautiful clothes, hand-woven and the mosque Magok-i-Attari, the ancient Zoroastrian temple. Lunch during visits in a traditional restaurant (free). Afternoon excursion to Liabi-Khauz Square which includes the Kukeldash Madrasah, Khanagha and Nodir-Devon Begui Caravan-Serail. Walk in an old Jewish quarter and visit the synagogue. Continuation of visits with the mausoleum of the Samanids, one of the oldest monuments of the architecture of the 9th-10th centuries in Central Asia, the Chachma Ayyub mausoleum, or the "Source of Job". Visit the Bolo-Khauz mosque with its twenty pillars, the Ark citadel, and the former residence of the emirs of Bukhara.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 5. BUKHARA
In the morning, we visit monuments outside of Bukhara: the madrasa Chor Minor, hidden in the alleys of the old districts of Bukhara, the necropolis Bahauddin Nakchbandi, the most sacred site of the city, the summer palace of the last Emir of Bukhara, or the Sitora-i-Mohi Khossa. Excursion in the necropolis of Chor-Bakr with tombs of the descendants of Muhammad. Lunch during visits in a local restaurant. In the afternoon free time for your personal discoveries in town: you can visit Shavkat BOLTAEV, a talented and professional photographer to admire his magnificent photographs. The Bukhara Synagogue on Lyabi-Khauz Square (open after 5 pm). You can visit the workshop-museum of a famous creator of puppets Iskandar KHAKIMOV and an artisan miniaturist Bukhariote Davron TOCHEVand his puppets, dolls, miniatures, watercolor, etc.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 6. BUKHARA – GUIJDUVAN – NURATA – YANGI GAZGAN (YURT CAMP)
Departure towards Nurata, on the way stop in Guijduvan to visit the workshop of the master ceramist Abdullo NURULLAEV. Excursion to the Museum of Ceramics and the pottery workshop, then discover the traditional embroidery in silk thread practiced by the women of the family. On the road, we make a stop to visit the remains of the old caravanserai Rabat-i-Malik and Sardoba water tank. Traditional lunch in a guesthouse in Nurata. Visit of Nurata with the Chashma ensemble and the sacred spring, then the ruins of an ancient citadel of Alexander the Great. Continuation of road to Yangui Gazgan village, arrival and short trip by minivan to the yurt camp and installation in the yurts. Bactrian camel ride in the sand dunes around the camp. Accommodation in yurts (4 to 8 people / yurt). In the evening snack under the stars (vodka, local port) and then dinner around the campfire, with traditional songs and songs of the Kazakh musician Akyn.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 7. Yangi Gazgan (yurt camp) – Mitan village – Samarkand
Departure to Samarkand through the village of Mitan to spend unique moments and learn about the local people’s life in Uzbekistan. Arrival in the village around noon, warm welcome by local people. Possibility of assistance in the preparation of bichaks, small pumpkin or fine herbs with fine dough, stuffed and put in the "tandyr", large traditional clay oven. You also learn how to prepare pilaf rice, the traditional Uzbek specialty. Homestay lunch with rice pilaf, or plov (rice, carrot, beef, etc.). In the afternoon you can learn how to weave Kilims carpets on a traditional wooden loom or take a tour of the village and discover the pillars of the local economy, growing of the cotton “ white gold” from Uzbekistan or sericulture (depending on the season!).
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 8. Samarkand
First discovery of Samarkand, the pearl of the East, which evokes a magic name, an invitation to Asia as we dream: the famous place Reghistan surrounded by three madrasas, the madrasa Ulug Beg (15th century), Sher-Dor (seventeenth century) and Tillia Kori with its golden mosque (seventeenth century). Excursion to the Gur-i-Emir mausoleum with a superb ribbed dome decorated with papier maché inside. Lunch at a restaurant in Samarkand. In the afternoon, we visit the remains of the observatory Ulug Beg, the first observatory in the East where a huge sextant allowed contemplating stars and the Afrosiab Museum whose centerpiece is a fresco of the seventh century from the pre-Islamic period of the region
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 9. Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand
Breakfast. Departure to Shakhrisabz, the hometown of Tamerlane located 150 km south of Samarkand. Visit of Shakhrisabz, one of the most important cultural centers of the East in the 14th-15th centuries, with the majestic ruins of the ancient Ak-Sarai palace, then excursion to the architectural ensemble Doru-s-Tilovat and its mosque Kok Goumbaz, built by Ulug Beg, the prince-astronomer. Later we visit the Doru-s-Siadat complex and the mausoleum of Djekhanguir, Tamerlane’s oldest son. Lunch during visits in a guesthouse in Shakhrisabz. Back to Samarkand. Typical dinner in a restaurant in the city. Lodging at the hotel.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 10. Samarkand (visits)
In the morning, visit the necropolis Shakh-i-Zinda, a real pearl of the architecture of Samarkand XIV-XV, unique place, where we find all the artistic processes of decoration of Islamic buildings. Excursion to the Bibi Khanum Mosque, the largest of its time in all Central Asia. Stroll through the picturesque Siab Bazaar, the most colorful and lively place. Lunch during visits in a restaurant in Samarkand (free). In the afternoon, excursion to the factory of silk carpets, which gives the chance to observe all the stages of the manufacture of the carpets. Then free time to do the last races in Samarkand. Dinner in the restaurant "Samarkand" known for its shashliks.
Accomodation: 
Hotel
DAY 11. Samarkand - Tashkent - Airport
Departure to Tashkent through the "Hunger Steppe", largely irrigated by Syr-Darya River and where cotton is cultivated, "White Gold of Uzbekistan". Lunch in the early afternoon in a restaurant in the city (free). Transfer to Tashkent airport.
Price includes: 
  • Accommodation in a double / twin room in the mentioned or similar hotels (classification according to the norms of the country) with the breakfast:
  • Transport and transfers according to the program in an air-conditioned vehicle with a driver including gasoline, road taxes, etc. (except trips not provided for in the program);
  • Flight ticket for Tashkent - Urghench flight (eco);
  • Our assistance 24/7