Uzbekistan Archaeological Tour13 Days | Tashkent, Fergana, Kuva, Margilan, Rishtan, Termez, Samarkand, Nurata Mountains, Bukhara, Paykent, Ayaz-Kala, Khiva, Urgench

Tour map

Uzbekistan’s long history is well represented in its many historical monuments and archaeological sites. From the ancient sites in Tashkent to the untouched rural traditions of the Nurata Mountains, this tour criss-crosses not only the territory of Uzbekistan itself, but also time periods and fields of study. Walk among the remains of Buddhist temples in Fergana and Termez, climb Zoroastrian fortresses near Khiva, and see the main archaeological sites of Uzbekistan’s biggest cities. The Uzbekistan Archaeological Tour is the best tour for getting to know this country, past and present.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Tashkent
 
Arrival in Tashkent. You will be met by Advantour driver and transferred to the hotel. Check in at the hotel at 12:00 (noon). Start the guided sightseeing city tour. Visit the archaeological excavations at Aktepa, Yunus Abad district. The hill of Aktepa, you will have magnificent panoramic view of Tashkent. The few know that the hill is the remains of the fortress, built in the 5th century. The fortress had protected Tashkent from invasions on the north up to the 7th century. The next discovery will be Ming Urik, the ancient settlement, located almost in the heart of Tashkent. Archeologists discovered the Temple of Fire there. Continue to Kanka, the ancient settlement, located in Akhangaran Valley, 70 km away from Tashkent. Archaeological excavations are still being conducted. The Kanka settlement was the oldest and largest oasis in Tashkent. It existed from the 3rd century BC till 12th century AD. Return to Tashkent. Take a ride on Tashkent Metro to the city center to walk through Independence Square. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Tashkent – Fergana – Kuva – Fergana
 
Drive to Fergana Valley (320 km till Fergana city). The mountain serpentine that connects Fergana Valley with the rest of Uzbekistan runs via the picturesque mountain pass Kamchik (2267 m. above the sea level). Arrival in Kuva, a small town located in 20 km to the north-east of Fergana region. During the excavations in this little settlement, archeologists found out the whole residential quarter. The main discovery at Kuva was Buddhist temple. Transfer back to Fergana. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Fergana – Margilan – Rishtan – Ok Yer – Tashkent
 
In the morning, drive from Fergana to Margilan and visit Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah. Today, madrasah is home to a number of craftsmen who produce handmade carpets and silk. Explore traditional eastern market and continue to Yodgorlik Silk factory to see how silk with traditional Ikat patterns produced. If it is Thursday or Sunday, visit Kumtepa Bazaar, the largest market in Fergana Valley. Drive to Rishtan to the house of a well-known ceramic master Rustam Usmanov whose works are exhibited worldwide. Enjoy pottery workshop and have a look at ceramic collection in a small museum. Continue to the house of craftsman Bakhrom-aka to visit a traditional Kyrgyz family who manufacture wool carpets. After Ok Yer village return to Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Tashkent – Termez – Kampyrtepe – Dalverzintepe – Khalchayan – Termez
 
Transfer to local airport for morning flight to Termez (661 km, 2 h.). Upon arrival you will be met by your driver and guide. Drive to Kampyrtepa, that is famous for the ruins of once majestic and invincible fortresses and castles. They reached us from the end of the 4th century BC. The site with the remnants from the Hellenic period was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Pass Jarkurgan minaret, Alexander the Great Bridge and arrive to the archaeological site of Dalverzintepa. Excavations in Dalverzintepa demonstrate the development of sculpture in Northern Bactria as well as reflect the Buddhist themes of the Kushan epoch. Continue to explore the ruins of Khalchayan city. During the excavations of Khalchayan a significant amount of unique archaeological findings like terracotta sculptures, ceramic dishes, coins, household items were discovered. Return to Termez. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Termez
 
After breakfast start guided Termez sightseeing, which is considered to be an ancient Buddhist center and one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Visit Kokildor-Ota Khanaka, Fortress Kirk Kiz – a summer residence of Samani rulers, Sultan Saodat Ensemble, and Zurmal Tower – Buddha's stupa. Continue to Buddhist archaeological sites of Karatepa* and Fayaztepa, Mausoleum of Al-Hakim at-Termezi and the Archaeological Museum. Free time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
*Visit to Karatepa is subject to approval by the State Border Committee.
Day 6: Termez – Samarkand
 
In the morning depart Termez and drive to Samarkand (380 km, 6-7 hrs.). Arrive in Samarkand. Check in at the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Samarkand – Ashraf/ Sentyab/ Yangi Hayot village in Nurata Mountains
 
Meet your guide and driver at hotel lobby to start city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, Ulugbek Observatory. Continue to the ancient settlement of Afrasiab (VII-II centuries BC) and Museum of Afrasiab , located at the same site and displays the collectin of archaeological findings, carried out on the site of this ancient city. In the afternoon, transfer to the village located in Nurata Mountains (330 km, 5-6 h.*). Arrive in Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village, accommodation in the guesthouse. Both villages are located far away from roads and cities in a picturesque mountain area with fresh air, green orchards, singing birds, sky full of stars, and friendly people. Have a tour around the village and explore life of locals. Overnight in the guesthouse.
Day 8: Mountain village – Bukhara
 
People have been living in Nurata Mountains since the times of Alexander the Great. Villagers keep house and farm as it was done centuries ago. Women cook on the open fire, weave, spin yarn, bake their own bread, milk the cows. Men farm, shepherd, built houses of stone, rocks and clay. Stay in a village, watching birds, hiking, riding donkey, and participating in cooking traditional food gives an excellent opportunity to witness life of local peasants.

Extras to do in the area:

Option 1. Take a guided hike to a waterfall. Have look at petroglyphs on the way. (6-7 km, 2-3 h. one way). Return to the guesthouse.
Cost: $20 for the service of a guide.

Option 2. Take a ride on a donkey.
Cost: $20 for the service of a guide.

Lunch with the local family. In the second part of the day drive to Bukhara. Arrival at Bukhara. Check in and overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Bukhara – Paykent (60 km) – Bukhara
 
In the morning trip to the ancient town Paykent, so called Asian Pompeii. There you will visit the museum of "The History of Paykent settlement" near the ruins of the fortresses that was opened in 2003. The exposition of the museum presents archaeological findings (household utensils, jewelry, pottery, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, coins and many other items. Thanks to findings one can learn 15 centuries long history of the settlement.
Return to Bukhara. Enjoy a walking tour with a guide in Old City in the second half of the day. 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. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Bukhara – Ayaz Kala Yurt Camp
 
In the morning depart from Bukhara and drive to Ayaz Kala Yurt Camp (480 km, 7-8 h.*). The contemporary highway goes through the Kyzylkum Desert duplicating the historical Great Silk Road **. On the way, you will stop to enjoy views of the desert and Amudarya River. Arrival and accommodation in a yurt. After, dinner and rest time. Overnight in the yurt.
*It is advised to take lunch-boxes for this trip.
**some parts of the road are presently being renovated.
Day 11: Ayaz Kala Yurt Camp – Ancient Fortress Ayaz Kala – Khiva
 
You will start with Ayaz-Kala, one of the largest fortresses of Ancient Khorezm that reached us from the 2nd century AD when Kushan Empire prospered. Ayaz-Kala was neither a city nor a settlement; it was a fortress complex where nearly 19 centuries ago border protecting groups of Kushan dynasty settled down. After you will be transferred to the Kyzylkum Desert (150 km 1,5-2 hours) to continue visiting the archaeological monuments of Ancient Khorezm: you will visit Kyzyl-Kala - a unique monument of Ancient Khorezm architecture relevant to Kushan-Afrigid period of antique history, Toprak-Kala - ancient settlement which was the capital of Khorezm in the 3rd century AD. Toprak-Kala is called "the museum of fine arts of Ancient Khorezm". It is the only completely dug out monument of architecture of Khorezm. Its sizes and genius architectural design wonder not only tourists, but archeologists also. There is a legend that there was a tunnel connecting Toprak-Kala and Kyzyl-Kala. Kyzyl-Kala was a means of protection. After, transfer to Khiva (150 km, 1,5-2 h). Check in to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent
 
Check-out from hotel till noon. Today you will visit Ichan-Kala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour features visits to Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Juma Mosque, Toshkhovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum. Try yourself at climbing Islom Khodja Minaret, the highest minaret in Uzbekistan. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Old Khiva in Kunya-Ark.
Free time in the afternoon. In the evening you will be transferred to Urgench airport (30 km, 35 min.) for flight to Tashkent (1093 km, 1 h. 40 min.). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Tashkent – Departure
 
Check out from the hotel till noon. Visit the History Museum of Uzbekistan. Transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Departure. End of the tour.
  • All transfers 1-2 pax by sedan type car; 3-7 pax by minivan type car; 8-13 pax by 20 seat bus, 14 pax and more by 40-50 seat bus;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each city with local guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class ticket for flight Tashkent-Termez and Urgench - Tashkent
  • Visa support letter for Uzbekistan visa;
  • Starting 8 persons English speaking tour leader from Advantour;
  • Starting 10 persons +1 person travels free of charge accommodated in single room.
  • Dinner and Lunch at the village in Nurata mountains and in Ayaz Kala Yurt Camp.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Consular fees for Uzbekistan tourist visa;
  • Travel insurance.

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Tashkent - 3 nights
Ichan Qala, Sharq or similarMiran, City Palace or similar
Fergana - 1 night
Club 777 or similarAsia Fergana or similar
Termez - 2 nights
MeridianMeridian
Samarkand - 1 night
City, Billuri Sitora or similarSultan, Platan or similar
Nurata Mountains - 1 night
Yahshigul guesthouse at Ashraf, Khayot guesthouse at Yangi Hayot and Rahima Guesthouse at Sentyab
Bukhara - 2 nights
As-Salom, K.Komil or similarOmar Khayam, Asia Bukhara or similar
Ayaz-Kala - 1 night
Ayaz-Kala yurt campAyaz-Kala yurt camp
Khiva - 1 night
Malika Kheivak, Qosha Darvoza or similarAsia Khiva, Bek Khiva or similar

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