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13 DAY DISCOVER UZBEKISTAN
From AUD$3599Land Only  , AUD$5799* Air & Land

 

Dates

 

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip flights Sydney-Tashkent, Tashkent-Sydney
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-flights: Tashkent-Urgench, Urgench-Bukhara
  • 10 nights accommodations
    • 3 nights Tashkent
    • 2 nights Khiva
    • 3 nights Bukhara
    • 2 nights Samarkand
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • High-speed train from Samarkand-Tashkent
  • 26 meals: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners with wine (including welcome and farewell dinners)
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of English-speaking local guides
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • In Tashkent, tour Khast Imam Square, home to exquisite mosques, monuments and madrasas
  • A ride on the Tashkent Metro reveals its lavish decorations, a legacy of the former Soviet Union
  • At Tashkent’s Muyi Muborak Madrasa, view the oldest copy of the Koran in the world
  • Tour the walled city of Khiva, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy a traditional lunch at the storied House of Rashid dating back to the Rashidi dynasty
  • Visit the revered Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum in Khiva, built in honor of the legendary poet
  • Travel to Ayaz Kala, an archaeological site built on the edge of the Kyzylkum Desert
  • At a desert yurt camp, gather for a meal and perhaps even ride a camel!
  • Discover the beauty of Bukhara, one of the most important ancient cities in Uzbekistan
  • Tour the cultural heritage monument of Chor Minor, part of Bukhara’s World Heritage Center
  • Visit splendid Nadir Divan-Begi, part of a huge architectural complex on the Lyab-i Hauz ponds
  • A special visit, lunch and conversation with a skilled ceramicist in the town of Gijduvan
  • Travel through the mountainous Tahtakaracha pass to the 2700 year old city of Shakhrisabz
  • Tour Samarkand, brimming with history, the most romantic of the Silk Road cities
  • Walk to iconic Registan Square with its colorful mosaics, blue domes and lofty arches
  • Visit the Ulugbek Observatory, once the finest and most advanced in the Islamic world
  • Dinner with a local family - learn the secrets of how to prepare Pilav, a traditional rice dish
  • Visit Shah-i-Zinda, a necropolis of sparkling blue mausoleums grouped along medieval streets
  • Walk through the energetic Siab Market - feel the dynamic atmosphere of ancient Samarkand

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Note: Gratuities for tour manager and coach driver are included.

 

ITINERARY

DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Uzbekistan

Depart on your flight to Tashkent, Uzbekistan

DAY 2, Saturday - En Route
Fly to Uzbekistan

DAY 3, Sunday - Discover Tashkent
Arrive in exotic Uzbekistan with its stunning ancient cities accented by gleaming turquoise domes, desert landscape and towering minarets. Transfer to your hotel and check-in upon arrival. In the late morning, get acquainted with sprawling Tashkent, the country’s cosmopolitan capital. Walk the tree-lined streets to Independence Square dominated by the Memorial to WWII heroes with its eternal flame. Continue to the Alisher Navoi Theater built in neoclassical style, the Forum Palace and Amir Temur Square once dominated by a huge statue of Karl Marx. After lunch at a popular restaurant, visit the massive Monument of Courage Earthquake Memorial. Then, a ride on the Tashkent Metro reveals its lavish decorations, a legacy of the former Soviet Union. End the day at the Museum of Applied Arts occupying an exquisite home with bright carvings and decorative ceramics. Leisure time before tonight’s orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the extraordinary discovery of Uzbekistan that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers 
Overnight: Tashkent 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Monday - Khast Imam Square, Barak-Khan and Muyi Muborak Madrasas, Chorsu Bazaar
The cultural tour of Tashkent begins at Khast Imam Square, religious centre of the city and home to many exquisite mosques, monuments and madrasas (centers of Islamic learning) dating back to the 15th century. View the elegant blue-domed Barak-Khan Madrasa with its imposing gateway and the Muyi Muborak Madrasa housing elaborate ancient manuscripts, including the oldest copy of the Koran in the world. Passing the Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum and Tillya Sheih Mosque you arrive at the bustling Chorsu Bazaar with its bright green dome – acres of spices, sweets, fresh-baked breads and crafts await you! Afterward, return to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure 
Overnight: Tashkent 
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Tuesday - Khiva’s Open Air Museum, Kalta Minor Minaret, Kunya Ark, House of Rashid
Depart Tashkent by flight to Urgench. From here, a drive past Goybu villages with their traditional homes to medieval Khiva. Upon arrival in this once major trading post on the Silk Road, take a walking tour along the ancient streets within the walled city, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pause at the elegant Muhammad Amin Khan Madrasa with its five domes and minaret decorated with bright geometric patterns of glazed bricks and the distinctive turquoise-tiled Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva. Then to the Kunya Ark, the Khiva rulers’ own fortress and residence first built in the 12th century; remnants of the khans’ harem, stables, arsenal, barracks, mosque and jail can still be seen. Continue to Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasa, one of the largest madrasas in Central Asia. A traditional lunch today at the storied historic House of Rashid dating back to the Rashidi dynasty that existed in the 1800s. The rest of the day is on your own. Tonight, dinner is at one of Khiva’s fine restaurants 
Overnight: Khiva 
MealsBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Wednesday - Djuma Mosque, Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum, Medieval Old Town
Spend the morning at leisure. After lunch, on to the grand Djuma Mosque and the revered Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum with its sublime courtyards and magnificent tilework, built in honor of the legendary poet and philosopher who became Khiva’s patron saint. Here, in the historical complex of Ichan-Kala in the medieval Old Town, visit the Islam Khodja Mosque with its striking Minaret, one of the jewels of Khiva. Tour the sparkling blue palace of Tash Khauli, with its sumptuous interior decor including ceramic tiles, carved stone and wood; there are more than 150 rooms off nine different courtyards. Free time to wander on your own. Dinner is at a local restaurant 
Overnight: Khiva 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Thursday - Toprak Kala, Ayaz Kala, Lunch in a Yurt Camp, Holy City of Bukhara 
Departing Khiva, travel to the magnificent fortress of Toprak Kala, surrounded by a brick wall. View the King's Palace rising above the town with its three monumental towers that dominate the landscape. Next, to Ayaz Kala; view the towering mud-brick walls rising dramatically from the surrounding plains. Built on the edge of the Kyzylkum Desert between the 4th century BC and 7th century AD, these forts are the remains of regal palaces. At a nearby yurt camp, see the traditional housing of Central Asian nomads made of rope that’s easily assembled and disassembled. Gather for a meal, wash with water from copper jugs and perhaps even get to ride a camel! Afterwards, drive to Urgench. Enjoy dinner on your own before the flight to Bukhara, Central Asia’s holiest city. Overnight is in Bukhara 
Overnight: Bukhara 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Friday - Bukhara’s Treasures
Today, discover the beauty of Bukhara, one of the most important ancient cities in Uzbekistan, dating back nearly 1000 years before Alexander the Great conquered Central Asia. Begin your walking tour at the architectural complex of Poyi-Kalon that includes the Kalon Mosque, large enough to hold 10,000 people. Pass the Madrasas of Abdulaziz Khan and Kosh on your way to the oriental bazaar, offering rows of shops selling jewelry, carpets, and carved wood. After lunch on your own, visit the Lyabi Khauz Ensemble and Nadir Devon Begi Madrasa in the heart of Bukhara. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or join the optional Tea Ceremony in Bukhara 
Optional: Tea Ceremony in Bukhara (PM) 
OvernightBukhara 
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Saturday - Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Ark Fortress, Lunch in Gijduvan with a Ceramicist 
Visit splendid Ismail Samani Mausoleum, a world-famous architectural masterpiece that was built for the founder of the Samanid dynasty at the end of the 9th century. Next, visit Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum that dates from the 12th century. Legend has it that the prophet Job struck his staff on the ground here, causing a spring to appear. Continue to the spectacular 5th century Ark Fortress, former residence of the emirs of Bukhara. Tour Bolo Khauz Mosque before your drive to the delightful town of Gijduvan, center of the ancient craft of ceramics. A special visit has been arranged to the home of a skilled ceramicist. Share lunch, conversation and view some of the beautiful works displayed that reflect the culture of different regions of Uzbekistan. Return to Bukhara with leisure time to explore the artisan shops and wander the narrow twisting streets and alleyways. Relax at an outdoor café, enjoy the local coffee and just ‘people watch.’ This evening, dine on Bukharian cuisine at a popular restaurant 
Overnight: Bukhara 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Sunday - Tahtakaracha Pass to Shakhrisabz, Historic Samarkand
Departing Bukhara, travel through the mountainous Tahtakaracha Pass to the city of Shakhrisabz, almost 2700 years old. The city’s center, with its exceptional monuments, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View the gleaming white Ak-Saray Palace built for Amir Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire and the beautiful 14th to 15th century mosques and mausoleums. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Shakhrisabz. Journey to Samarkand, a city brimming with history that grew prosperous at the crossroads between East and West. Samarkand, considered the most romantic of the Silk Road cities is magnificently adorned by decorative domes and minarets and is a melting pot of many different cultures and traditions. Tonight, dinner is at a local restaurant 
Overnight: Samarkand 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, Monday - Registan Square, Guri Amir Mausoleum, Ulugbek Observatory, Cooking Lesson
The day begins at iconic Registan Square, the world-famous symbol of Central Asia with its colorful mosaics, blue domes and lofty arches. This grand plaza is surrounded by three splendid impressively-decorated madrasas of the 15th to 17th centuries; Ulugbek Madrasa, Sherdor Madrasa and Tilya Kori Madrasa. Visit the sumptuous Guri Amir Mausoleum, final resting place of Timur (Tamerlane), the Turco-Mongol conqueror; its interior is covered with elegant turquoise arabesques and inscriptions in gold. After lunch, travel along the shores of the Siab to the sacred Mausoleum of Daniel, the Old Testament biblical prophet. Pilgrims from all over the world come here to worship. On to the Ulugbek Observatory, once known as the finest and most advanced in the Islamic world. At day’s end, visit a local design studio or, enjoy free time on your own. This evening, a special dinner with a local family. Experience modern Uzbek culture, great food and learn the secrets of how to prepare Pilav, a traditional rice dish 
Overnight: Samarkand 
MealsBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Tuesday - Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Siab Market, Shah-I-Zinda, High-Speed Train to Tashkent
Start the day at the majestic Bibi-Khanym Mosque with its glistening blue domes, built as the largest mosque in the world enriched by sparkling walls, stately minarets and carved marble décor. A jewel in Tamerlane’s empire, the mosque was constructed as a tribute to his wife. Afterwards, a walk through the energetic Siab Market, a special place where you can feel the dynamic atmosphere of this ancient city. On to mysterious Shah-i-Zinda, a necropolis that includes sparkling blue mausoleums, embellished with some of the richest tile work in the Muslim world. These mausoleums, strategically grouped along the narrow medieval streets are an important place of pilgrimage. Lunch is followed by a drive to the train station where you board the Afrosiyob high-speed train to Tashkent. Upon arrival, settle in at the hotel and relax before tonight’s festive Farewell Dinner. Bid goodbye to your newfound friends and to your astonishing journey through Uzbekistan 
Overnight: Tashkent 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Wednesday - Depart Uzbekistan
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight 
Meals: Breakfast