The Soul of Uzbekistan with Alice10 Days | Tashkent, Samarkand, Nurata, Nurata mountains, Bukhara

The Soul of Uzbekistan with Alice

Besides the vibrant blue domes, millennia-old sites, kind weather, unique hospitality, and hearty flavors, there is a beating heart and lively soul at the core of the ancient Silk Road.
After years of traveling, working, and exploring my favorite country on the planet, I have put together an itinerary featuring all my favorite things about Uzbekistan! On this unique journey, we will visit mosques, museums, madrassas, and cities, but most importantly, we will meet the people of Uzbekistan. These are the individuals who make this place so unique, carry centuries-old traditions, and show with love and passion the art and beauty of a country that will take your breath away and make you dream of ancient caravanserais, spice routes, and nights in the desert.
During this tour, we will deeply immerse ourselves in traditions, art and crafts, local costumes, food, and everyday life. We will meet local people, talk to them, and get to know the country from its very heart. We will choose to stay in family-run, small guesthouses and hotels, eat in people's homes or in small cafes, as well as in well-known local restaurants.
We will travel on the road to see the country meter by meter, get lost in cities, go shopping in local bazaars, and hike in the peace of the pristine, lush nature of the mountains and valleys.
A small group will allow us to do this and much more in an easy and low-impact way for the local people and the environment. We will not try to squeeze in as much as we can, but we will allow time to slow down, immerse ourselves as much as possible in the place and its past and present, take opportunities when they come, and change plans when needed. We will go with the flow without skipping the main sightseeing places.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: 8 August, Tuesday: Tashkent – Arrival
Arrival and transfer to the hotel in Tashkent. Meet with Alice and the rest of the group before going to try some Uzbek cuisine in the evening.
Day 2: 9 August, Wednesday: Tashkent
Our first full day in Tashkent will be spent exploring the modern and lively capital of Uzbekistan. We will start the day by walking through the city center and its parks and canals, visiting the Khast Imam complex where the oldest Koran is kept. We will then explore the biggest bazaar of Central Asia, Chorsu Bazaar, and learn about the food products and inhabitants of the country by getting lost through vegetables, spices, cheese, nuts, and more. After lunch at the food court of the market, we will meet a pottery master and visit his workshop to learn more about one of the most popular art and crafts of the country, ceramics. We will have some time to rest before heading to the TV tower to enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view from the highest structure in the capital. We will conclude our first day with a glorious portion of Plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan, at the Plov center, where tons of rice are cooked in enormous Calderon every day, and the city gathers for lunch and dinners.
Inclusions: B, LG all-day, ceramist workshop, entrance to the TV tower, Khast Imam, Metro, private transport
Day 3: 10 August, Thursday: Tashkent – Samarkand
We will catch an early train to Samarkand (8:00 – 10:10). To avoid the heat, we will first immerse ourselves in the village atmosphere of Konigil, where we will relax in its beautiful, breezy gardens and learn more about the centuries-old traditions of papermaking from mulberry trees. We will have lunch there and then continue to learn more about another unique and ancient art of this land: carpets! We will visit the Afghan-Uzbek silk factory founded by the 103-year-old Haji Mohammad Ewaz Badghisi, one of the most iconic and well-known enterprises of the country even today. The factory is not only known for its incredible family history and quality of its silk carpets, but also for the treatment given to its workers, the values in which the family believes, and the humanitarian projects that the family is involved in, especially in their second home country, Afghanistan. For the evening, we will enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner by Dildora, a lady who lives close to the Amir Timur mausoleum (Gur Emir) and loves to open her house to small groups of travelers.
Inclusions: B, L, D, LG full-day, visit to Konigil area and Afghan-Uzbek carpet factory, train ticket, private transport
Day 4: 11 August, Friday: Samarkand
In the first half of the day, we will follow the Silk Road history through blue domes, dusty alleys, and Soviet, breezy boulevards. The rest of the day will be on our own, with the opportunity to visit the Bagizagan winery and take part in a wine tasting.
Inclusions: B, LG half-day, entrances to Registan Square, Bibi Khanum mosque, Shah-I-Zinda complex, Gur Emir, Bagizagan winery, private transport
Day 5: 12 August, Saturday: Samarkand – Nurata
In the morning, we will drive to Nurata village (200 km, 4 h). We will drive through an arid, flat area with the mountains accompanying us on one side and the Aydar lake in the distance on the other. The road is very bumpy but probably the most scenic of our tour. We will arrive just in time to learn how to cook another popular and much-loved Uzbek dish: Manti (ravioli filled with meat or vegetables) and get settled in our guesthouse while getting familiar with the nature and the very different pace of living. It's time to detox from technology and the crowd in the village of Asrof, where only 35 families live. Our guesthouse is located in a small valley where water flows in shallow and crystal clear streams. The vegetation abounds in fruit trees, centuries-old gigantic mulberry trees, and flowers. The air is clean, and it will take us very little time to get adjusted to this paradise.
Inclusions: B, D, cooking experience, private transport
Day 6: 13 August, Sunday: Nurata mountains
Today we will explore the valley of Nurata at the border with the Kyzylkum desert, away from the buzz of the cities. We will hike from Asrof through the remains of a 200-year-old village, walking up towards the spring and through a woods of ancient mulberry trees. We have several different options for hiking today, depending on our fitness level and vibe.
Inclusions: B, L, D, hiking guide, private transport if needed
Day 7: 14 August, Monday: Nurata mountains – Bukhara
In the morning, we will depart from Nurata Mountains and drive to Bukhara (330 km, 5-6 h.*). We will arrive at around 2:30 pm. Bukhara is all to be explored by foot, getting lost through its alleys and spending time through its ancient bazaar and mosques. Today, it could be a good time to experience a local Hammam after the long drive.
Inclusions: B, public transport
Day 8: 15 August, Tuesday: Bukhara
Today, we will spend the full day in Bukhara. In the morning, we will explore the city with our local guide. At lunch, it's time to try the Sofi plov of the world-known famous miniaturist Davlat Toshev. We will spend time learning about his incredible initiative of opening a school for kids with health and family difficulties, understanding how the project works, and his creative process behind the intriguing Central Asian and Middle Eastern art of miniatures. Davlat loves cooking, and with his wife, he will show us a different version of the national dish. For those in the mood for more arts and beauty, we will walk almost next door to the Suzanne workshop of Rakhmon Toshev and his family and be driven away by the bright colors, the ability of its creators, and the stories behind this ancient embroidery technique. We will enjoy a free afternoon and meet in the evening to learn about another popular art developed in Bukhara for centuries: puppet making.
Inclusions: B, L, entrances to Samanid Mausoleum, Ark citadel, Bolohvuz mosque, Kalyan Mosque, LG Full day
Day 9: 16 August, Wednesday: Bukhara – Tashkent
We will check out from the hotel at noon and have some free time before our transfer to the train station to take the fast train to Tashkent (3:50 pm – 7:43 pm). Upon arrival in Tashkent, we will meet and transfer to the hotel.
Inclusions: B, train ticket, private transport
Day 10: 17 August, Thursday: Tashkent – End of the trip
Tashkent - End of the trip It's time to say goodbye to our group! We will check out from the hotel at noon and have some free time until our transfer to Tashkent International Airport. End of the Soul of Uzbekistan with Alice Tour.
Inclusions: B, private transport
  • All transfers: 8-14 pax by 30 seat bus;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each city with local guides (Days 2,3,4, 6 and 8);
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Tickets for trains Tashkent- Samarkand and Bukhara -Tashkent;
  • Wine tasting at Bagizagan winery;
  • Full board on Day 3 and Day 6, dinner on Day 5, lunch on Day 8.
  • Tour leader from Advantour to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Visa support for Uzbekistan tourist visa;
  • Consular fees for Uzbekistan tourist visa;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated.


Tashkent - 3 nights
Ateca, Navruz, Moderno, Praga, Milan
Samarkand - 2 nights
Gur Emir Palace, Jakhongir Premium, Silk Road Empire, Bibikhanum, City, Asia Samarkand, Usman
Bukhara - 2 nights
Minzifa, K.Komil, Bibikhanum, Amulet, As-Salom, Fatima, Kavsar or similar
Nurata Mountains - 2 nights
Yahshigul guesthouse at Ashraf, Khayot guesthouse at Yangi Hayot and Rahima Guesthouse at Sentyab

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