Nurata Mountains and Aydarkul Lake Tour3 Days | Bukhara, Nurata, Kyzyl Kum desert, Nurata mountains, Samarkand

Tour map

The rural tour to Nurata Mountains is a unique opportunity to see the life of an ordinary Uzbek village with all its joys and difficulties. There, away from the daily hustle and bustle of civilization you will understand what really has meaning in life, and what is imposed by conventionalities of the external modern world. You will be introduced to the unque Uzbek culture, centuries-long traditions and unhasting style of life of local residents on the background of the wild mountain landscape almost untouched by human development.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Bukhara – Nurata – Safari Yurt Camp
In the morning depart Bukhara and drive to yurt camp located in Kyzyl Kum desert (230 km, 4 h.*). On the way stop in Gijduvan pottery masters workshop and Nurata town to visit a local mosque with a holy spring water. In the afternoon continue driving to yurt camp in Kyzyl Kum desert. Stop on Nurata pass to see petroglyphs. Arrive in Safari Yurt Camp, accommodation in yurt. Camel riding and free time. In the evening dinner near the camp fire with Kazakh akin singing folk songs. Overnight in the yurt.
Meals: dinner
*The drive on vans and buses is on average an hour longer.
Day 2: Yurt camp – Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village in Nurata Mountains
In the morning visit Aydarkul Lake. Free time on the lake.


Extras to do in the area:

Option 1. Camel ride to Aydarkul Lake through the desert (8.5 km, 3 h.). Enjoy your time on the lake and have lunch. 
Cost: $30 per person for a camel and cameleer service.

Option 2. Take a short camel ride to a nearby village Dungalak (1.5 km, 30 min). Participate in baking traditional bread “non”. Take a short walk in the village to see life of locals and return to the camp.
Cost: $20 per person for a camel and cameleer service.

In the afternoon depart the yurt camp and drive to Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village. All 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.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Village – Samarkand
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. (Available from Sentyab village only)

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

In the afternoon depart the village and drive to Samarkand (220 km, 4 h.). Arrival in Samarkand. End of services.
Meals: breakfast, lunch

  • All transfers: 1-2 travellers by sedan type car; 3-7 travellers by minivan type car;
  • Accommodation in the yurt camp and guesthouse;
  • Full board (dinner, breakfast, lunch/picnic).
  • Accommodation in Samarkand;
  • Travel insurance.


Comfort Option
Economy Option
Aydarkul - 1 night
Safari Yurt Camp (in a shared yurt)
Nurata Mountains - 1 night
Yahshigul guesthouse at Ashraf, Shiringul guesthouse at Yangi Hayot and Rahima Guesthouse at Sentyab

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