Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2022-2023

Uzbekistan and Georgia Tour ItineraryUzbekistan, Georgia


Small Group Uzbekistan and Georgia Tour 2022

Central Asia and the Caucasus is a fascinating and diverse, yet relatively unexplored, region. Rather than limit yourself to exploring a single country, discover the contrasts and similarities between two countries on this 17-day small group tour of Uzbekistan and Georgia. Experience two different religions as you journey from Uzbekistan’s Islamic mosques and madrassahs to Georgia’s Orthodox Christian monasteries and churches, and two different types of scenery as you admire Uzbekistan’s deserts and Georgia’s mountain villages and canyons. At the same time, appreciate the two countries’ shared history as part of the Soviet Union, and the common pride of the local people in their rich cultures.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, Fr: Tashkent – arrival
 
Arrival in Tashkent. Meet your driver and transfer to the hotel. Check in at noon. Free day.
Day 2, Sa: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
 
After breakfast start guided sightseeing tour in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia. You will start with exploring the Old City. Visit Khast-Imam Complex, where the world famous Quran, holy book that belonged to Caliph Uthman, has been preserved. The complex consists of Barak-Khan Madrasah, Tillya Sheykh Mosque, Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari. Continue to Chorsu Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to the city center to visit Applied Arts Museum and walk through Navoi Theater to Amir Timur Square where you will end Tashkent city tour.
Transfer to domestic airport, evening flight to Urgench departing at 20:25 (1093 km, 1 h 30 min). Arrival in Urgench at 21:55, transfer to the hotel in Khiva (30 km, 35 min).
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 3, Su: Khiva – Urgench – Bukhara
 
After breakfast sightseeing tour in Khiva. Visit Ichan-Qala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Ichan-Qala Fortress visit Sayeed Alauddin Mausoleum, Arab-Mukhamadkhan Madrasah, Oq-Masjid Mosque, Madrasah of Hodjan Berdi-biya, Shirgazikhan Madrasah, Abdullakhan Madrasah, Juma Mosque, Allakulikhan Madrasah, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islom-Khoja. At 19:00 transfer to domestic airport flight to Bukhara at 21:00 arriving in Bukhara at 22:00. Arrival in Bukhara, transfer to the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 4, Mo: Bukhara
 
After breakfast start walking sightseeing tour in Bukhara.
Visit Lyabi Hauz 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. In the evening enjoy a National Show at Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah and a delicious dinner at the National house.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 5, Tu: Bukhara – Samarkand
 
Breakfast. Start the second day with a visit to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa – the summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir, unique site combining Oriental and Russian architecture. Continue to the Mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi and Chor-Bakr Necropolis. In the afternoon take the high-speed train, Afrosiyob, 15:52-17:20 or overland transfer. Arrive in Samarkand, check in to the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 6, We: Samarkand
 
After breakfast, Samarkand sightseeing tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, Gur Emir Mausoleum – the mausoleum of Amir Timur, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory. Free time in the afternoon.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 7, Th: Samarkand – Tashkent
 
Breakfast. Continue sightseeing tour in Samarkand. You will visit Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Konigil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Farewell lunch in Samarkand.
At 16:30 transfer to the railway station to take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing at 17:30 (300 km, 2 h 10 m) and arriving in Tashkent at 19:40. Pick-up and transfer to the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 8, Fr: Tashkent – Tbilisi
 
Transfer to the Tashkent international airport at 05:30. Take flight to Tbilisi at 08:00. Arrival at 10:40. Transfer to the hotel. Check-in at noon. Free day in Tbilisi. At 19:00, meet your guide and other group members in the hotel lobby for welcome dinner at traditional Georgian restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9, Sa: Tbilisi city tour
 
Breakfast, followed by a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. Start at Metekhi Church and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Visit Narikala Fortress to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Next, walk past Tbilisi’s only mosque, down to the sulphur bath house district. Enjoy a stroll through the Sharden area, which is full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine bars, and souvenir shops, and breathe in the history of Old Tbilisi. Also visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre’s clock tower, before crossing the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Driving distance: 40 km
Day 10, Su: Tbilisi – Telavi – Tsinandali – Akhasheni
 
After breakfast, drive towards the Kakheti Region, the cradle of Georgian wine, in eastern Georgia. Take a scenic route through Gombori Pass to reach Telavi, the region’s administrative and historic centre. Visit Batonis Tsikhe, which Kakhetian Kings lived between the 17th and 18th centuries. This castle encloses two churches, the ruins of a royal bathhouse, and the Persian style Palace of King Erekle II. Continue to Shumi Winery, which is scenically located in Tsinandali, the historical centre of Georgian winemaking. Here, have a delicious lunch and wine tasting experience. After lunch, take a guided tour of the winery and learn about its history. The last stop for the day will be Tsinandali Palace, the former residence of Georgian dukes. Prince Chavchavadze, a 19th century public figure and poet, turned the Estate into what it is today, with a beautiful English-style garden, a museum, and a wine cellar. Explore the palace and take the opportunity to taste several local wines. Overnight in Akhasheni.
Duration of the sightseeing tour: 8-9 hours
Driving distance: 125 km
Day 11, Mo: Akhasheni – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi
 
Breakfast. At 10:00, continue exploring Kakheti by visiting Sighnaghi, the Royal Town and “City of Love”. This city, surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers, was an important trading centre on the Great Silk Road. Continue to Bodbe Convent – according to legend, this is the burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. Since 1889, following a decree by Tsar Alexander III of Russia, Bodbe Convent functions as a nunnery. Arrive in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, at 16:00–17:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 160 km
Day 12, Tu: Tbilisi – Jvari – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi
 
Breakfast. Meet your guide at the hotel. Depart Tbilisi for western Georgia. The first stop will be at Jvari Church, which is built on a hilltop and is a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. Enjoy the views of the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari Rivers, before continuing to Stalin’s home town of Gori to visit the Stalin Museum. This museum includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and an impressive bulletproof train Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Then, explore the cave town of Uplistsikhe, which dates back to the Hellenistic Period. Uplistsikhe is notable for its unique combination of various styles of rock-cut architecture, including bothpagan and Christian architecture. Finally, drive to Kutaisi, the central city of western Georgia, over the Rikoti Pass and through Georgia’s longest tunnel (1,722m). Arrive in Kutaisi by 19:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of the sightseeing: 8-9 hours
Driving distance: 290 km
Day 13, We: Kutaisi – Prometheus Cave – Dadiani Palace – Mestia
 
After breakfast, visit the Prometheus Cave and see its numerous stalactites and stalagmites. Then head to Zugdidi to visit the Dadiani Palace, before continuing through the Inguri Gorge to the mysterious Svaneti region. Svaneti is the home of a unique ethnic group – the heroic and courageous Svans – who are distinguished from other Georgians by their culture, traditions, and customs. The region is also famous for its original architecture and is called “the Country of a Thousand Towers”. These towers historically played both economic and defensive functions. Mestia still has dozens of medieval stone houses with the watchtowers and inhabited towers that were used to protect valleys and churches between the 10th and 14th centuries. Visit an original Svan house (“machubi”) and tower (“koshki”). Have dinner and stay overnight at a hotel in Mestia.
Duration of the sightseeing: 8-9 hours
Driving distance: 280 km
Day 14, Th: Mestia – Ushguli – Mestia
 
After breakfast, take a scenic drive by 4x4 vehicle to Ushguli village, one of Europe’s highest continually-inhabited settlements (2,200m). In recognition of its outstanding cultural value to humanity, the Ushguli architectural complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll along Ushguli’s old, narrow, streets and visit the Lamaria Church complex with its impressive 12th century wall frescoes. Locals believe that Queen Tamara was buried under this church. Enjoy a picturesque view of Mount Shkhara before returning to Mestia. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Driving distance: 110 km
Day 15, Fr: Mestia – Martvili Canyon – Kutaisi
 
After breakfast check out of the hotel. Head to Martvili Canyon. As we near our destination, we will pass local villages with charming yards which are unique to Georgia’s Samegrelo Region.
Upon arrival, we will take a short boat ride through Martvili Canyon to one of nature's most marvelous creations, a steep and beautiful waterfall. Afterward we will enter the gorge from the other side on foot to admire the canyon waters from special viewing platforms and bridges, watching the water change color at every turn. This is the perfect place for selfies! Reach Kutaisi for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 7-8 hours
Driving distance: 225 km
Day 16, Sa: Kutaisi – Merebashvili Marani – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
 
Check out of the hotel and head to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centre of Georgia. En-route make a stop at Merebashvili Marani to taste homemade wine and food. Reach Mtskheta, the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the third century BC. Visit Svetitskhoveli, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Have a walk in charming streets of Mtskheta. Reach Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 7-8 hours
Driving distance: 245 km
Day 17, Su: Tbilisi – departure
 
Breakfast. Check-out of the hotel by noon. Free time until your transfer to Tbilisi International Airport. Departure. End of Small Group Uzbekistan and Georgia Tour.
  • 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, Urgench-Bukhara, Tashkent-Tbilisi;
  • Economy class tickets for trains Bukhara-Samarkand (subject to availability and maybe substituted to transfer by bus/auto), Samarkand-Tashkent (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace this with the most-comfortable class of regular train);
  • Folklore show program at Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah and dinner at National house in Bukhara, farewell lunch in Samarkand, 1dinners in Tbilisi and 2 dinners in Mestia;
  • Wine tastings and lunches at Shumi and Merebashvili Winery;
  • Bottled water during the tour.
  • Other meals;
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • International air tickets before and after the tour;
  • Personal travel insurance.

Accommodation:

Tashkent - 2 nights
Ichan Qala, Sharq, Bek or similar
Khiva - 1 night
Malika Kheivak, Orient Star, Qosha Darvoza or similar
Bukhara - 2 nights
Minzifa, K.Komil, Bibikhanum, Amulet, As-Salom, Fatima, Kavsar or similar
Samarkand - 2 nights
Sultan, Platan or similar
Tbilisi - 4 nights
River Side, New Tiflis
Kutaisi - 2 nights
King David, Argo Boutique or similar
Mestia - 2 nights
Villa Mestia or similar guesthouse
Akhasheni - 1 night
Akhasheni Wine Resort

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