Navruz (also called Noruz, Nowruz, Nowrooz, and Nawruz) is celebrated on March 21, the spring equinox, and symbolises the beginning of a new year, the rebirth of nature, and the start of a new planting season. This Navruz Small Group Tour of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will immerse you in the festive atmosphere in ancient cities where you can enjoy small, improvised street shows and traditional songs and dances. Make sure to try sumalyak, a special dish made from germinated wheat grains that is only made for Navruz, or sit down for a shared Navruz meal at a dastarkhan, a table richly laid with foods (tradition says that the coming year will be as rich as your Navruz dastarkhan). Share this exciting time of year with us and the hospitable people of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as you participate in the Navruz festivities while discovering the history and architecture of fascinating Silk Road cities.
Meet with the group in the lobby of the hotel at 13:00. Lunch.
After lunch visit the Tajikistan National Museum of Antiquities, which hosts the famous statue of Buddha in Nirvana, and the National Museum of Tajikistan. End the afternoon by exploring a local bazaar, where you’ll be able to feel the real Tajik spirit, witness the eastern art of trading, and see locals shopping for the Navruz holiday. Overnight at the hotel.
Spend the ancient Persian holiday of Navruz in traditional Tajik style with the local people in and around Dushanbe.
Visit Botanical Garden, one of Dushanbe residents’ favourite leisure venues, to enjoy the spring flowers.
A highlight will be seeing how the famous Navruz dish, sumalyak, is made from germinated wheat grains put in a large pot and stirred for a whole day by the women. Enjoy a traditional Navruz lunch in a local “house-restaurant”, with the chance to try dishes such as sambusa (puff-pastry stuffed with meat or greens) and sabzi (vegetables). Continue to the Hissar Fortress (30 km from Dushanbe), where you can see the Kukhna Madrassah. Return to Dushanbe and visit Rudaki Park and the Kokhi Navruz Centre (also called the “Navruz Palace”, this is an opulent building decorated with intricate wood carvings, painted ceilings, mosaics, and mirrors, and a large garden with fountains and summer pavilions). Finish the tour by visiting the mosque of Hoji Yakub, the Statue of Ismail Samani with your guide. In the public areas of the city, you may get to see other Navruz festivities like traditional dance performances, music, and art and craft displays, as well as locals dressed in their traditional clothes. End the day with dinner at the home of a Tajik family. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4 hours
In the afternoon drive to Istaravshan through Shakhristan tunnel. Visit a local bazaar, Hazrat Shah architectural complex, which consists of Hazrat Shah Mausoleum, the grave of brother of Kusam ibn Abbas, Khudayar Valami Mausoleum, and Namazgah Mosque dating back to 19th century. Continue to Mug Teppe, one of the ancient settlements in Istaravshan. The city is believed to be founded by King Cyrus in the North-East boundary of his empire. Continue driving to Khuhand.
Arrival in Khujand. Overnight at the hotel.
Late in the afternoon drive to the border point Oybek, customs and passport control, continue to Uzbekistan.
Meet Uzbekistan guide and driver and drive to Tashkent (100 km, 1 h). Transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Then drive to Konigil village to discover the traditional way of making Samarkand paper from the bark of the mulberry tree. At 20:00 transfer to the railway station. Take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing at 21:00 and arriving in Bukhara at 22:35 (270 km, 1 h 35 min). Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
At 14:50 transfer to Bukhara train station. Fast going train “Afrosiyob” departs at 15:50. Scheduled arrival is at 19:40. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
- All transfers, including airport/train station pick-ups and drop-offs: 3-7 pax by minivan/van, 8-14 pax by 20-seat bus;
- Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
- Full board (lunches and dinners) in Tajikistan;
- Sightseeing tour programme with local, English-speaking guides;
- Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
- Economy-class ticket for train Tashkent-Samarkand-Bukhara-Tashkent;
- Bottled mineral water (500ml per person per day);
- English-speaking tour leader to accompany group of 8 or more travellers.
- Tour leader for the whole duration of the tour (unless there are 8 or more travellers);
- Full board (lunches and dinners) in Uzbekistan;
- Hotel charges for additional services;
- Fees for e-visas (if required);
- Camera fees charged separately by museums;
- Personal travel insurance;
- International flight tickets before and after the tour.
|Dushanbe - 2 nights|
|Khujand - 1 night|
|Khujand Deluxe or similar|
|Samarkand - 2 nights|
|City, Meros or similar|
|Bukhara - 2 nights|
|As-Salom, Fatima, Volida or similar|
|Tashkent - 2 nights|
|Navruz, Grand Capital, Praga or similar|