Picturesque trip to Uzbekistan!
- Tour route: Tashkent – Samarkand – Farish – Aydarkul – Bukhara – Khiva – Nukus – Aral Sea – Chimgan – Tashkent
- Transport: land transport (bus, minibus, jeep), airplane
- Days: 15 Nights: 14
Uzbekistan's natural world is very diverse. It is composed of desert areas and snowy mountains, rivers and completely dry lands. The most part of its territory lies in the Turon plain, where there are no sudden steep-drops and hills. The Turon plate and mainland, which later became the Tian Shan and Pamir -Alai Mountains, were formed in the Paleolithic period. Later, the sea covered the plate for a long time. The mountain chains are thought to have fully developed during the Alps orogenesis. The mountain ranges blocked the humidity from the Indian Ocean. It caused considerable climatic change: the weather became dry and huge desert areas appeared. As rivers and winds kept changing their directions, the upper layer of soil was continuously displaced from one place to another. It led to the formation of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts.
Day 1. Tashkent
Arrival in Tashkent. Transfer and check in at the hotel. Free time. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 2. Tashkent – Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel. Half-day city tour in Tashkent. Afternoon drive to Samarkand (320km, 4hrs.). Arrival in Samarkand. Check in at the hotel. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Samarkand.
Day 3. Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Samarkand – visit the Gur-Emir Mausoleum – the resting place of the Great Tamerlane, Registan Square with the Ensemble Ulugbek, Shir Dor, Tillya-Kari Madrassas and the Bibi Khanum Mosque. After lunch, continue of the excursion – the Necropolis Shahi-Zinda, the Observatory Ulugbek and the old settlement Afrosiab. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Samarkand.
Day 4. Samarkand – Farish
Breakfast at the hotel. Free time for shopping. Afternoon drive to Farish (210km, 3hrs.). Arrival and check in at the local guesthouse. Lunch and dinner at the local guesthouse. Overnight in Farish.
Day 5. Farish – Aydar Kul yurt camps
Breakfast at the guesthouse. Free time for enjoy the nature surrounding. Afternoon drive to Aydar Kul yurt camp (150km, 2hrs.). Arrival in yurt camps. At a tasty picnic at the almost endlessly long Aydar Kul Lake, we get into the dream of the adventures of former caravans, whose route we follow on our route. We follow them and ride on the back of camels to our yurt camp. After an enjoyable dinner with campfire romance, we overnight in traditional yurts. Overnight in yurt camps.
Day 6. Yurt camp – Gijduvan – Bukhara
Breakfast at the yurt camp. Morning drive to Bukhara (250km, 3hrs.). On the way we stop in the town of Gijduvan, known for its long tradition of ceramics production. We get familiar with a cup of tea and grow with a ceramics champion. Arrival in Bukhara. Check in at the hotel. Free time for rest. Lunch and dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 7. Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Bukhara – visit the Ark fortress, the Bolo-Hauz Mosque, Madrasah Ulugbek, the complex Poikalon. It consists of three architectural buildings, the Minaret Kalon, the Kalon Mosque and the Miri Arab Madrasah. Together, they form Bukhara’s most important building ensemble. Other sightseeing in Bukhara includes the oldest building in the city, the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, as well as the dome bazaar, where carpets, spices and handicrafts are still sold today. Dinner with folklore show in Madrasah Nadir Divan Begi. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 8. Bukhara – Kizilkum Desert – Khiva
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive to Khiva through the Kizilkum desert. On the way we will stop at the river Amu Darya, formerly known as Oxus and ending in the Aral Sea. Khiva was conquered in the middle Ages by the army of the famous Chenghis Khan. The completely preserved medieval town has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1990. Within the old city wall, all medieval buildings are well preserved. Arrival in Khiva. Check in at the hotel. Rest after long drive. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Khiva.
Day 9. Khiva
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Khiva – visit "Itchan Kala" (inner citadel), the Minaret Kalta Minor, the Madrasahs Feruzkhan and Islam Khodja, the Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud. In the afternoon, we admire the 213 wooden columns of the Jumah Mosque, the White Mosque and Ich-Hawli, a fortress-like castle that was the main palace of the Khan of Khiva. It consists of three main parts: the harem room, the room for receptions and banquets and the administrative space. Then we see the traditional center of Khoresm, the Madrasah Allakulikhan. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Khiva.
Day 10. Khiva – Nukus
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive to Nukus (250km, 3hrs.). On the way we stop at the fire temple Chilpik Kala. Already from a far, we discover the imposing structure in the middle of the wide plain. Arrival and check in at the hotel. In Nukus, the Savitsky Museum presents itself with valuable collections of arts and crafts by Central Asian painters. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Nukus.
Day 11. Nukus – Khojayli – Aral Sea
Breakfast at the hotel. With Jeeps, we set off on our next big adventure. We visit the Aral Sea (350km, 4 hrs.) threatened by increasing dehydration. Where half a century ago still fishing boats with their rich catch over the water shifted, there is now almost only desert. Near the small town of Khojayli, we visit the necropolis Mizdakhan with its numerous Zoroastrian tombs. We continue along the dry lake floor and finally reach the shore of the lake. Enjoying the stillness of the infinite expanse, we let the evening fade away and cover our night-camp in simple tents. Overnight in tents.
Day 12. Aral Sea – Muynak – Nukus
Breakfast at the tent camp. Morning drive in Jeeps, they take you to Muynak (350km, 5 hrs.). Once the largest port city in Uzbekistan, it is now surrounded by the desert. In the cemetery of the ships you can guess the importance of fishing for the place. In the evening you will reach Nukus. Check in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Nukus.
Day 13. Nukus – Tashkent – Chimgan
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning flight to Tashkent. Arrival and transfer to the mountains Chimgan. Arrival and check in at the hotel. Fresh air, powerful mountains and breathtaking views are the right thing for you after the exciting days. Free time for rest. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Chimgan.
Day 14. Chimgan – Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. Free time. Afternoon drive to Tashkent (120km, 1,5 hrs.). Arrival in Tashkent. Check in at the hotel. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 15. Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Tashkent.