While traveling on that route you will find yourself in one of the mysteries of “Shakherezada’s 1001 nights”, you will enjoy the beauty of Bukhara and see the most mysterious city of the East – Khiva. You will also visit the sights of the most beautiful capital cities of Central Asia – Tashkent and acquaint with life of nomads by spending a night in real yurts in the middle of the desert…
Day 1: Tashkent
Flight / Minivan / Bus
Flight to Tashkent. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and check-in.
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, the city of flowers and fountains, today it is a modern city, but some time ago it was destroyed by hard earthquake in 1966.
After breakfast, we will start our excursion along the old part of the city where you can enjoy ancient architecture of the East: Khast Imam complex, Kukeldash madrasah (Muslims educational institution) and Chorsu bazaar. Later we will see modern part of the city: Monument of Courage – a monument dedicated to the liquidation consequences of Tashkent earthquake on April 26th, 1966. Your will also visit Independence Square (former cathedral square, later square named after Lenin) which is situated in the very center of the city. Nearby to the square there is the former residence of the governor of Turkestan Konstantin Romanov – a beautiful monument of Russian architecture of 19th century.
Day 2: Tashkent – Samarkand
Minivan / Bus (354km)
After breakfast, drive to Samarkand (4 hrs).
Samarkand is the second biggest city in Uzbekistan, a shining PEARL from ancient times. In the 14th century the great conqueror Tamerlan transformed Samarkand by making it one of the greatest capital cities of the world. The heart of Samarkand is Registan square. This is the central square in the old part of Samarkand paved with burnt bricks and cobblestones where three great middle-aged educational universities (madrasahs) are situated forming one of the main scientific centers of the East in ancient times. Not far from Registan there is Guri-Emir mausoleum where Amir Temur was buried.
Then we will visit morning bazaar Siyab, Ulugbek Observatory (15th c.) – a great astronomer of the ancient times. Besides, we can see Bibi-Khanum mosque which due to Tamerlan’s plans was constructed with special peculiarities as a result of his numerous marches.
Evening degustation of the best Uzbek wines will let you sense better the wisdom of the East.
Day 3: Samarkand – Nurata – Yurt camp
Minivan / Bus (185km)
Buying enough souvenirs and eastern sweets, we will drive to Nurata – ancient city that lies on the border between cultivated areas and Kizilkum desert. You will enjoy accomodation in yurts camp, camel riding, walking along the “live” desert – in May the area is covered with blossoming poppies. In the evening you will be introduced to the tradition of singing around the camp-fire “in eastern style”: Kazakh akin (singer) will sing for you lyrical songs of nomads under the live accompaniment.
Day 4: Yurt camp – Aydarkul – Bukhara
Minivan / Bus (210km)
Morning drive to the salt lake Aydarkul and picnic over there in the center of the Kizilkum desert where you can see typical desert landscapes.
Later we will drive to Bukhara via Gijduvan where we will also visit workshop of the famous potter. The pottery workshop of Narzullaevs family – family of potters in the fifth GENERATION – had been visited by Hillary Clinton, Madlen Albright and other famous guests.
Arrival in Bukhara. Bukhara is an ancient holy city and even today it is considered to be the richest city in the Central Asia due to the majority of architectural monuments located mostly in the old part of the city where integrity of architecture impresses – antiquity here is not mixed with modern constructions.
Day 5: Bukhara
Minivan / Bus
Excursion along Bukhara: you will visit Samanids mausoleum, Poyi-Kalon ensemble – religious “heart” of ancient Bukhara, Miri-Arab madrasah (16th c.), Coumpol bazaar – Bukharian trade domes, Kukeldash madrasah (16th c.) – the biggest madrasah in the Central Asia. We will also visit Ark Citadel, Bolo-Hauz mosque (18th c.) and local bazaar where you can feel the smell of aromatic spices, buy national jewelry and original carpets.
Later in the evening you can enjoy wonderful folk show program during the dinner at courtyard of the ancient Nodir Devanbegi madrasah (17th c.). Show program consists of the mixture of modern national FASHION show, national songs and dancing.
Day 6: Bukhara (excursion out of the city)
Minivan / Bus (12km)
The first half of the day will be dedicated to the acquaintance with summer residence of the last Bukharian emir – “Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa” (19th c.) that is situated out of the city.
Later we will drive to Bakhauddin Naqshbandy ensemble and see a burial place of one of the founders of Sufism in Islam – Khazrati Mohammad Bakha-ad-din Naqshbandiy.
Day 7: Bukhara - Khiva
Minivan / Bus (503km)
Drive to Khiva via Kizilkum desert (475 km).
In spring here you can enjoy the view of herbal grass blossoming, saxaul with its strong roots hanging on the earth, ferula trees and small holes of desert animals visible under pink bushes. We will also come across the areas of classic desert scenery with dunes and hot sand.
Arrival in Khiva. Transfer to your hotel and check-in.
Day 8: Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent
Minivan / Bus (30km) / Flight
Excursion along the city including visit to architectural complex Ichan-kala (12-19th cc.): Kunya-Ark citadel (16-17th cc.) – residence of the last Khiva khan, Ismail Khodja mausoleum, Mukhammad Aminkhan madrasah, Mukhammad-Rakhimkhan madrasah, Djuma mosque (10th c.), Shergazikhan madrasah, Said Alauddin mausoleum, Murad-tura minaret, Pakhlavan Mahmud architectural complex including: Pakhlavan Makhmud mausoleum (14-18th c.), Islam Khodja minaret, Ak mosque, Anushkhan baths, Allakulikhan caravanserai, Allakulikhan madrasah (1834-1835).
Besides, we can see Tash-Khovli palace (19th c.), Kalta-Minor minaret and other sights of Khiva.
Transfer to Urgench airport by evening time.
Flight to Tashkent.
Day 9: Tashkent
Early morning transfer to Tashkent international airport.
Flight to the next destination.