Small Group Uzbekistan Tours 2018-2019

Small Group Tour: Essentials of the Silk Road 2018-201920 Days | Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Tour map

Group size: 1 - 16 persons

Please note that itinerary and price on 2019 tour are subject to change due to airline and train schedule changes, currency fluctuations and other unforeseeable events.

A shorter itinerary doesn’t mean that this tour isn’t full of the most interesting and important sights of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In just 20 days, you’ll go from medieval metropolises to vast desert, rich flavors to richer decorations. Uzbekistan is all about the great cities of the Silk Road: Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The grandest monuments of these cities have been preserved, allowing you to walk through the same streets that traders and caravans would have crossed thousands of years ago. Turkmenistan is a land of desert, with oasis cities that flourished as refuges from the intense heat and helped those on long journeys. Kunya-Urgench and Mary, once powerful cities, have long since become ruins, while Ashgabat has risen to become the grand capital of Turkmenistan. Head to Baku next, to immerse yourself in the charm and character of the Caucasus. Enjoy the prehistoric petroglyphs and royal palaces of Azerbaijan, and the mountain churches and warm flavors of Georgia. Both countries are full of multicultural traditions and stunning landscapes, sure to leave you with vivid memories. The Essentials of the Silk Road Tour does more than just take you to these places - you’ll get to taste regional dishes, meet with locals, and share your experiences with like-minded travelers from around the world in your group.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, Fr: Tashkent – arrival (UZB)
 
Arrive in Tashkent. You will be met by our driver and transferred to the hotel. Check in to the hotel at 14:00. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2, Sa: Tashkent (UZB)
 
After breakfast at 09:00 start Tashkent city tour. You will visit Old City part of Tashkent that includes Khast-Imam Complex and Chorsu Bazaar. After, continue to the city center to walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and explore Applied Arts Museum. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 3, Su: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva (UZB)
 
Early breakfast. At 05:40 transfer to the local airport for flight HY055 to Urgench at 07:40 (1093 km, 1 h 40 min). Arrival in Urgench at 09:20, transfer to the hotel in Khiva to leave your luggage (30 km, 35 min). Later proceed for a guided walking sightseeing tour. Spend a day in Ichan-Qala fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islom-Khoja. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5 hours
Day 4, Mo: Khiva – Kunya-Urgench – Darvaza (UZB/ TUR)
 
Breakfast. At 08:00 drive to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border point Shavat-Dashoguz (60 km, 1 h). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your Turkmenistan guide and drive to Kunya Urgench (100 km, 1 h 30 min). Visit mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla hill. In the afternoon drive to Darvaza gas crater located in the middle of Karakum desert (270 km, 4 h). Set up the camp. Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. Overnight in tents.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2 hours
Day 5, Tu: Darvaza – Ashgabat (TUR)
 
After camp style early breakfast depart to Ashgabat at 08:00 (280 km, 3h 30 min). On the way stop at Erbent village to witness the life of locals surrounded by desert. Arrive in Ashgabat at 11:30. Start sightseeing tour in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan that has recently been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble buildings than any other city in the world. During the city tour you will explore an archeological site of Old Nissa (included in UNESCO World Heritage list) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. You will visit the National Carpet Museum, the Monument of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Ertugrul Gazy Mosque and newly built Independence Park. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6 hours
Day 6, We: Ashgabat – Mary – Merv – Bukhara (TUR/ UZB)
 
Early breakfast. Transfer to the Airport to take a morning flight to Mary at 06:15 (370 km, 40 min). Upon arrival, drive to Merv (40 km, 30 min), an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts on the Silk Road. Discover historical park: Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortress and others. In the afternoon drive to Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point “Farap-Alat” (290 km, 5 h 30 min). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your driver and continue to Bukhara (100 km, 1 h 30 min). Arrival in Bukhara, check in to the hotel for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 7, Th: Bukhara (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in 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. Visit a national show at Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 8, Fr: Bukhara – Samarkand (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Continue sightseeing tour with a guide. Drive out of the city to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa – summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir. Head to the Mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi. At 15:00 transfer to the railway station to take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Samarkand at 15:50. Arrive in Samarkand at 17:25. Transfer to the hotel. Free time. 
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2-3 hours
Day 9, Sa: Samarkand (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Start city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, Gur Emir Mausoleum – the mausoleum of Amir Timur, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar and Ulugbek Observatory. Then drive to Konigil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 10, Su: Samarkand – Tashkent (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Continue sightseeing: visit Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, Afrosiyob Museum, the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Free time. At 16:30 transfer to the railway station. Take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent at 17:30 (300 km). You will arrive at 19:40. Transfer to the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 11, Mo: Tashkent – Baku (UZB/ AZE)
 
Transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Departure to Baku on HY 755 (07:00 – 08:55). Arrival in Baku. Transfer to your hotel for luggage drop off. Check-in at 14:00. Free day in Baku.
At 19:30, meet your guide and the group members at the hotel lobby. Enjoy dinner at a national restaurant.
Day 12, Tu: Baku (AZE)
 
At 09:00, start sightseeing tour in Baku. Visit Martyrs’ Lane called ‘Shehidler Khiyabany’ among locals. When you walk through the Martyrs’ Lane, you will find a beautiful view overlooking Baku’s coastline. Continue touring new Baku and exploring architecture of 19-20th centuries: Nizami Street, Fountain Square, Nizami Ganjavi monument. Pay a visit to Azerbaijan History National Museum and move to Icheri Sheher, the old part of the city. Visit Maiden Tower, Shirvanshahs’ Palace, Caravanserai, and market square with numerous art studios and souvenir stalls. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 13, We: Baku – Gobustan – Absheron Peninsula – Baku (AZE)
 
Meet your guide at 09:00. Today you will visit the area of the Greater Baku and Absheron Peninsula. Start with Gobustan National Park. Pay a visit to the Petroglyphs Museum and explore petroglyphs dating back to 10,000 BC. If the weather allows, continue to mud volcanoes in Gobustan Reserve (change of vehicle to smaller cars). Gobustan is home to almost half of world’s mud volcanoes. Later drive to Ateshgah – temple of fire worshippers located in Surakhany village. Zoroastrians from India travelled thousands of kilometers to Ateshgah to worship fire coming out of the earth. Drive to Yanardag Mountain with natural gas burning for several thousands of years. Return to Baku. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 7-8 hours
Day 14, Th: Baku – Shamakhi – Lahich – Sheki (AZE)
 
At 08:30, depart Baku and drive to Sheki. On the way, stop at Diri Baba Mausoleum in Maraza village. Continue to Shamakhi and have a sightseeing of historical Juma Mosque. If the weather allows, drive through Girdimanchay River canyon to visit Lahich, the 5th century quaint corner high in Caucasus mountains rich in its historic and architectural values. Lahich is an ancient village with charming cobbled sidewalks. It is famous for its medieval water supply and sewage systems, as well as traditional jewelry, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools workshops. Continue driving to Sheki. Arrival in Sheki at 18:00-19:00 for overnight at the hotel.
Day 15, Fr: Sheki – border Lagodekhi – Kvareli – Gremi – Telavi (AZE/ GEO)
 
At 10:00, start sightseeing tour. Visit Sheki Khans Palace, handicrafts workshop, caravanserai, and local bazaar. Depart Sheki and head towards border with Georgia (115 km, apx. 2 h). Cross the border, meet your Georgian guide and start exploring the eastern part of Georgia, famous for its viticulture and winemaking traditions. On the way to Winery Khareba you will enjoy beautiful landscapes of vineyards and wine-producing villages. The unique wine cellar is located in the tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Kakheti’s finest wines. Wine tour and wine tasting. Continue to Gremi architectural complex, 16th century royal residence and the capital of Kakheti Kingdom. Reach your hotel at 18:30-19:30.
Day 16, Sa: Telavi – Tsinandali – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi (GEO)
 
Continue exploring Kakheti; you will visit Tsinandali, residence of dukes of Georgia, with beautiful English garden, museum, and wine cellar which belonged to prince Chavchavadze, public figure and poet of the 19th century. Continue to Bodbe Convent and Sighnaghi Royal Town, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. In the afternoon, head to Tbilisi for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 17, Su: Tbilisi (GEO)
 
In the morning, start a sightseeing tour in Tbilisi. Start at Metekhi church and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Visit Narikala Fortress to enjoy breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of Sulphur bath houses passing by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, souvenir shops, and breathe in the living past. Visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, the clock tower of famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre, and Bridge of Peace leading to the Rike Park.
At 19:30, visit a local restaurant to taste dishes of traditional Georgian cuisine. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 18, Mo: Tbilisi – Jvari – Ananuri – Kazbegi – Gudauri (GEO)
 
Today you will explore the north of Georgia. First stop will be at Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period built on the hilltop. You will enjoy the views of the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Continue to Ananuri complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes. The complex features churches and towers dating back to the 16-17th centuries, beautifully overlooking the Jinvali reservoir. Drive further to see the conjunction of two small mountain rivers famous for keeping different colors even after they merge. Then, drive over the Cross Pass and make a short stop at the Soviet-era “People’s Friendship” mountain view point. In Kazbegi, you will change the vehicle to a four-wheel drive car to reach Gergeti Holy Trinity Church located at an altitude of 2170 m and enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Kazbegi. Reach Gudauri at around 19:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 19, Tu: Gudauri – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Mtskheta – Tbilisi (GEO)
 
After breakfast, drive to Gori and visit the Stalin Museum. The museum includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and impressive bulletproof train Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Explore the cave town Uplistsikhe dating back to Hellenistic Period and notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Continue to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centre of Georgia. Mtskheta was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the third century BC. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral which may be translated as "The Life-giving pillar". Svetitskhoveli is the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Reach Tbilisi for overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 9-10 hours
Day 20, We: Tbilisi – departure (GEO)
 
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Free time till transfer to Tbilisi International Airport. End of the tour.

Accommodation:

City

Hotels

Nights

Tashkent

Bek, Sharq

4

Khiva

Malika Kheivak, Orient Star, Qosha Darvoza

1

Darvaza

Camping

1

Ashgabat

Ak-Altyn, Grand Turkmen

1

Bukhara

Fatima, Amulet, Minzifa, K.Komil

2

Samarkand

Sultan, City, Platan, Malika Prime

2

Baku
Holiday Inn, Shah Palace
3
Sheki
Sheki Saray, Sheki Palace, Marxal
1
Telavi
Chateau Mere
1
Tbilisi
River Side, Ibis, Citrus, Coral Boutique
3

 

  • All transfers;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each country with local English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Tashkent-Urgench, Ashgabat-Mary, Tashkent-Baku;
  • Economy-class tickets for trains: Bukhara-Samarkand-Tashkent;
  • Visa support letter for Uzbekistan double entry visa;
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
  • Dinners in Darvaza gas crater (day 4), Bukhara (day 7), Baku (day 12), Tbilisi (day 17);
  • Two wine tastings in Kakheti region, Georgia.
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • A tax of 2 USD per night in Turkmenistan, paid to the hotel upon check out;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Consular fees for tourist visas and Turkmenistan migration tax ($12);
  • E-visas to Azerbaijan, Georgia;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour.

 

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