Exotics of the East (Uz-8)15 Days | Tashkent, Nukus, Muynak, Khiva, Bukhara, Sentyab village, Samarkand

Tour map

Feel the exotics of the East by the two-week tour to Uzbekistan ancient cities and natural sights. You will have enough time to explore in full such pearls of oriental architecture as Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. The tour program also includes visiting the famous Savitsky Museum in Nukus and Muynak settlement, where you will see The Cemetery of Ships, as well as acquaintance with the original way of life of the mountain settlements in Nurata mountains and so on.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Tashkent – arrival
 
Arrive in Tashkent. Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Tashkent – Nukus – Muynak – Nukus
 
Morning flight to Nukus (1255 km, 2 h 45 min). Arrive in Nukus and drive to former fishermen’s town Muynak (220 km, 3 h), which used to be situated on the shores of the Aral Sea. On the way stop at archaeological complex Mizdakhan. In Muynak have a look at a former port with abandoned ships in the sand also known as The Cemetery of Ships. Then visit Local History Museum with art exhibits of the Aral Sea history. In the afternoon return to Nukus. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Nukus – Khiva
 
Visit the Savitsky Karakalpakstan Art Museum. The museum hosts the world's second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art and exposition of Karakalpak applied arts items. Have a short drive around center of Nukus: see statue of Karakalpak poet Berdakh, Nukus City Hall, and Drama Theatre. In the afternoon depart to Khiva (200 km, 4-5 h). On the way visit archaeological monuments of Ancient Khorezm: Chilpyk, a Zoroastrian dakhma (funerary tower) and Toprak-Kala, the capital of Khorezm dating back to the 3rd century A.D. Arrive in Khiva, check in to the hotel.
Day 4: Khiva
 
Spend a day in Itchan-Kala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a walking sightseeing tour in Khiva with a guide, visit Kunya-Ark Citadel, Tash-Khovli Palace, Mukhammad Aminkhan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta-Minor, Juma Mosque, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islam-Khoja. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5 hours
Day 5: Khiva – Bukhara
 
In the morning depart Khiva and drive to Bukhara (480 km, 7-8 h)*. Today we will have an overland transfer from Khiva to Bukhara through Kyzylkum desert**. Caravans on the Great Silk Road carrying porcelain and spices used the same route for hundreds of years. Arrive in Bukhara late in the afternoon, check in to the hotel. Free time.
*Since there is only one cafe on the way, you might want to consider preparing a packed lunch before this trip.
**Some parts of the road are not in the best condition.
Day 6: Bukhara
 
Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. Visit Lyabi-Khauz 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.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 7: Bukhara
 
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. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 8: Bukhara – Nurata Mountains (Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village)
 
In the morning depart Bukhara and drive to a village located in Nurata Mountains (330 km, 5-6 h*). On the way we will have a few stops: Gijduvan pottery masters workshop, Nurata local mosque with a holy spring water, and Nurata pass to see petroglyphs. Arrive in Ashraf, Sentyab or Yangi Hayot village, accommodation in the guesthouse.
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: dinner
*The drive on vans and buses is on average an hour longer.
Day 9: Village
 
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: $30 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.

Day 10: Village – Samarkand
 
Depart the village and drive to Samarkand (220 km, 4 h). Arrive in Samarkand, check in to the hotel. Free time.
Meals: breakfast, lunch
Day 11: Samarkand
 
Meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby to start city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turco-Mongol emperor, Timur. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 12: Samarkand – Tashkent
 
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Continue sightseeing: visit Afrasiab Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Konigil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Enjoy free time with car and driver at your disposal after sightseeing tour.
Late in the afternoon transfer to railway station to take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent (journey time 2 h 10 min). Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 13: Tashkent
 
Today you will enjoy a guided sightseeing tour in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia. Visit Old City part of Tashkent with Khast-Imam Complex where the world famous Quran of Caliph Uthman has been preserved. Explore Chorsu Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to the city center to walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and Applied Arts Museum. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 14: Tashkent
 
Free day in Tashkent.

Optional: take a hike in mountains just outside of Tashkent (70 km):

Gulkam canyon
Beldersay's Ring

Day 15: Tashkent – departure
 
Check-out from the hotel at noon. Free time until 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 30 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 (except for city tour in Nukus and trip to fortresses of Ancient Khorezm);
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class ticket for flight Tashkent-Nukus;
  • Business/Economy-class ticket for train Samarkand-Tashkent as per option (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace this with the most-comfortable class of regular train).
  • 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;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated;
  • Travel insurance.

 

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Tashkent - 4 nights
Grand Mir, Grand Capital, Bek, Navruz, SharqMiran, Wyndham Tashkent, Grand Mir, City Palace
Nukus - 1 night
Jipek Joli or similarJipek Joli or similar
Khiva - 2 nights
Malika Kheivak, Orient Star, Malika Khiva, Qosha Darvoza, Old KhivaAsia Khiva, Bek Khiva
Bukhara - 3 nights
Amulet, Minzifa, As-Salom, K.Komil, Fatima, Bibikhanum, Basilic, KavsarOmar Khayam, Devon-Begi, Zargaron Plaza, Asia Bukhara, Minorai-Kalon
Nurata Mountains - 2 nights
Yahshigul guesthouse at Ashraf, Khayot guesthouse at Yangi Hayot and Rahima Guesthouse at SentyabYahshigul guesthouse at Ashraf, Khayot guesthouse at Yangi Hayot and Rahima Guesthouse at Sentyab
Samarkand - 2 nights
Platan, Meros, Orient, Malika Prime, Rabat, City, Billuri Sitora, Arba, Jahongir, Caravan SerailSultan, Grand Samarkand Superior A, Grand Samarkand Superior B, Platan, Malika Prime, Asia Samarkand

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