Adventures in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
- Tour route: Tashkent – Khiva – Bukhara – Aydarkul – Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – Termez – Dushanbe – Iskandarkul – Khudjand – Kokand – Fergana – Tashkent
- Transport: land transport (bus, minibus, car), flight
- Days: 15 Nights: 14
Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia surrounded by Uzbekistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. It’s known for rugged mountains, popular for hiking and climbing. The Fan Mountains, near the Dushanbe, have snow-capped peaks that rise over 5,000 meters. The range encompasses the Iskanderkulsky Nature Refuge, a notable bird habitat named for Iskanderkul, a turquoise lake formed by glaciers. The marvels of the Wakhan Valley, the starkly beautiful 'Roof of the World' Pamirs and the breathtaking lakes and pinnacles of the Fan Mountains all contribute to making Tajikistan arguably Central Asia's most exciting destination.
Day 1. Tashkent
Arrival in Tashkent, according flight schedule. Transfer and check in at the hotel. Frees time. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 2. Tashkent – Khiva
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning flight to Urgench and drive to the nearby oasis town of Khiva. Arrival and check in at the hotel. City tour in Khiva – visit Madrassa "Itchan Kala" (the inner citadel), the Minaret Kalta Minor, the Feruzkhan and Islam Khodja Madrassahs, 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 Madrassah Allakulikhan. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Khiva.
Day 3. Khiva – Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. Previously, caravans traversed the red desert Kyzyl Kum to travel to Bukhara ─ we choose the more comfortable way by plane. Free time for rest after long drive. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 4. Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Bukhara. We discover the fortress Ark. The typical Uzbek architecture is omnipresent: whether the Magoki mosque or the Poikalon and Labi-Hauz complex ─ the blue domes rise everywhere. Distant traders who crossed the Silk Road also shaped the cityscape as well as the rich merchants who resided here. Thus, the chorus Minor mosque was built in Indian style. The Samanid mausoleum is still impressive today with its unique architecture, but it was built by rich merchant Samani for his family. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 5. Bukhara – Yangigazgan – yurt camp
Breakfast at the hotel. In the footsteps of old caravans, we visit a pottery workshop and find out how long this tradition has this tradition. With the old Caravanserai Rabat Malik, we are witnessing another testimony of the Silk Road. We camped in the Yurts camp and learned how the nomads were living. In the starry skies we enjoy a wonderful dinner at the camp fire. Overnight in yurt camp.
Day 6. Yangigazgan – Aydar Kul – Samarkand
Breakfast at the yurt camp. Drive to Samarkand via Aydar Kul Lake. After reaching the 250 kilometer long lake, we will have a picnic before we reach Samarkand. Arrival and check in at the hotel. Free time for rest after long drive. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Samarkand.
Day 7. Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Samarkand – visit the Gur-Emir Mausoleum – the burial 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 8. Samarkand – Shahrisabz – Termez
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Termez via Shakhrisabz (510 km, 6 hrs.). On the way to Shahrisabz we cross the pass road with a magnificent panorama. Arrived in the birthplace of Timur, we visit the overwhelming ruins of his "White Castle" Ak Saray. The Gok-Gumbaz Mosque and the mausoleum Dorus Saodat also tell us interesting stories of the time. Finally, we continue to Termez, a further junction of the great Silk Route, which is a monument to Buddhist monuments. Arrival and check in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Termez.
Day 9. Termez
Breakfast at the hotel. The archaeological museum looks back on the 2,500-year-old history of Termez. Afterwards we visit the fabled Kirk Kiz fortress from early Islamic times. Even today, the beauty of the monumental summer residence can be seen. In the Sultan Saodat complex and the Mausoleum of Hakim at Termizi, we admire well-preserved decorations. A completely different architecture awaits us in Fayaz Tepe, a Buddhist monastery complex. Drive back to the hotel and dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Termez.
Day 10. Termez – Dushanbe
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to borderline for crossing border and go to Tajikistan. Drive to Dushanbe, the green capital of Tajikistan. Arrival and check in at the hotel. Free time after long drive. Lunch at the local restaurant. Convince ourselves by a walk through the Rudaki Park itself. We then admire the largest ancient Buddhist cave in Central Asia. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Dushanbe.
Day 11. Dushanbe – Iskandarkul
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Iskandarkul (140 km, 2 hrs.). We head north to the "Land of Mountains". On the varied ride we see green, sometimes barren rocks, rushing mountain streams and steep rock faces. Arrived at the Iskandarkul, we will have a picnic at the most beautiful lake in the Fan Mountains. We learn more about legends about Alexander the Great, who had to leave his beloved horse here. Later we visit the "Niagarafall" of Tajikistan. On a vibrating viewing platform, we watch the water fall 40 meters deep. At Bergdorf Saritag, we are talking about a walk with local people. Drive back to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Dushanbe.
Day 12. Dushanbe – Istaravshan – Khodjand
Breakfast at the hotel. We continue on the old Silk Road: An intermediate stop in Istaravshan shows the great importance of the trade route for this city. The "City of Craft" was once a flourishing oasis, the Sultan Abdulife's meditation with its impressive wooden portal and the blue dome still bear witness to this day. In Khodjand, founded by Alexander the Great, history and the present are close together: the venerable mausoleum of the Sheikh Massaleddin and the mosque vis-à-vis with the massive monuments of modernity. Arrival in Khodjand and check in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Khudjand.
Day 13. Khodjand – Kokand – Fergana
Breakfast at the hotel. Before we leave for Uzbekistan, we learn about the extensive history of Tajikistan from the Bronze Age through Alexander the Great to the conflicts of Timur and Genghis Khan. On the way to the border crossing, we stop at the Palace of Arbob, which with its well-kept garden reminds you of the St. Petersburg gardens. Arrival in the green Fergana Valley, we take a city tour in Kokand. Before we end the evening in a real Fergana teahouse, we get an insight into the art of silk and ceramic production. Drive back to the Fergana and check in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight in Fergana.
Day 14. Fergana – Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. We leave the Fergana Valley and drive back to Tashkent (350km, 5hrs.) via the 2.260-meter-high Kamchik Pass. Arrival in Tashkent and check in at the hotel. Free time for rest after long drive. Half-day city tour in Tashkent. We visit the Barak khan Madrassa as well as the large library. The Museum for applied art also brings us back to the mystical time of the Silk Road with its colorful and ornamental exhibits. The metro of the city, with which we drive a bit, is as artistically designed, but still very modern. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent.