Plunge into the world of Eastern exotics, by visiting 5 ancient cities on the eventful 10-Day Cultural Uzbekistan Tour to Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Nurata, Samarkand. Uncover the centuries - old history, rich of traditions and local picturesque way of life. As part of the tour, you will familiarize with the architectural varieties of these cities, which saw the rise and fall of powerful empires. The program includes a camel riding in a baking-hot desert, supper by the fire listening to a Kazakh akyn (folk singer), participation in a pottery master-class, interesting excursions and of course, a taste of local cuisine the Uzbeks are proud of.
Day 1 : Arrival in Tashkent
Arrival in Tashkent - Meet your guide and start sightseeing in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia. Visit the Old City of Tashkent at Khast-Imam Complex where the world's famous Quran of Caliph Uthman – Ottoman has been preserved. In Khast-Imam, visit Madrasah of Barak-Khan, Tillya-Sheykh Mosque, Mausoleum of the Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari. Explore Chorsu Bazaar then take a ride on the Tashkent Metro to city center of Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and Applied Arts Museum. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 : Tashkent - Gulkam canyon
Transfer to Chimgan for a hike at 1600 m. on an intensive hour-long ascent (+220 m) to Gulkam pass (1820
m) through wild trees and shrubs. From the top, you can see the other side of the pass and get a bird's eye view of the Gulkam mountain river. Descent from the pass to the canyon through the road that passes through a small birch grove, where you will stop to have a rest and lunch. After lunch, walk through the gorges and over small waterfalls, between rocky shores and enjoy the unique views of the steep canyon walls. There are three picturesque waterfalls located here which you will pass through and will be the highlight of this hike. At the end from the hike, return to Tashkent with a brief stop at Charvak water reservoir for a photo opportunities. *Note: In case of bad weather guides reserve a right to change the route.
Day 3 : Tashkent – Urgench - Khiva
Early morning transfer to the local airport for your flight to Urgench. Transfer to the hotel in Khiva followed by a guided walking tour. Spend the day in UNESCO World Heritage site Itchan-Kala Fortress, visit Mukhammad Aminkhan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta-Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Tash-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islam-Khoja. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 : Bukhara - The Great Silk Road
In the morning, depart Khiva for Bukhara. The Great Silk Road once routed through Bukhara and Khiva ran through the Kyzylkum Desert. Stop en-route to enjoy views of Amu Darya River and the desert. Arrive in Bukhara and check in to the hotel.
Day 5 : Bukhara - City tour
Enjoy a walking tour with a guide in the Old City. Visit Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan Madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6 : Bukhara – Nurata and Safari Yurt Camp
Venture on a rural tour in Nurata mountains and Aydarkul lake. The rural tour to Nurata Mountains is a unique opportunity to see the life of an ordinary Uzbek village with all its joys and difficulties. There, away from the daily hustle and bustle of civilization you will be introduced to the unique Uzbek culture, centuries-long traditions and unhasting lifestyle of locals amidst the wild mountain landscape almost untouched by human development.
In the morning, depart Bukhara for a Safari yurt camp located in Kyzyl Kum desert. On the way, stop by Gijduvan pottery Masters workshop and Nurata town to visit a local mosque. In the afternoon, continue driving to the Safari yurt camp in Kyzyl Kum desert and stop by the Nurata pass to see petroglyphs. Arrive in Safari Yurt Camp followed by camel riding and free time. In the evening, have dinner near the camp fire with Kazakh akin singing folk songs. Overnight in the yurt.
Day 7 : Safari Yurt Camp – Village in Nurata Mountains
In the morning, visit Aydarkul Lake where you will have some free time. You can choose to rise a camel to Aydarkul Lake through the desert (not included in package). Enjoy your time on the lake and have lunch. In the afternoon, depart the yurt camp and drive to Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village. All villages are located away from roads and cities in a picturesque mountain area with fresh air, green orchards, singing birds, sky full of stars, and friendly locals. Have a tour around the village and explore life of the locals. Overnight in the guesthouse.
Day 8 : Samarkand - Explore the village
Spend the day exploring the village. You can opt for a paid guided hike to a waterfall. Have look at petroglyphs on the way before returning to the guesthouse. Cost of the guide is not included in the package. In the afternoon, depart the village for Samarkand. Overnight in Samarkand.
Day 9 : Samarkand - City tour
Meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby to start the city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur-Emir Mausoleum – an authentic shrine of Tamerlane. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 : Departure from Tashkent
Check-out from the hotel and continue sightseeing - visit the Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Konigil village to explore the traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Enjoy free time with car and driver at your disposal after the sightseeing tour. After the free time, transfer to the railway station to take the fast-speed Afrosiyob train departing for Tashkent. Transfer to Tashkent International Airport for departure from Tashkent.