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Home » Destinations » Middle East » Just You Uzbekistan and the Silk Road
Today we’ll fly on a direct overnight flight from the UK to Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital city.
After arriving at your first hotel and freshening up after your flight, it’ll be time to get your first glimpse of Tashkent on a panoramic tour. The city is a real melting pot of architectural influences, from bustling bazaars to imposing Soviet-era structures. We’ll pass a handful of its highlights before you get to know your fellow travellers over a traditional meal.
Today, we’ll be leaving the bright lights of Tashkent behind and taking an internal flight to Urgench. From there, it’s a short drive to Khiva, one of the Silk Road’s best-preserved cities. It’s a haven for history buffs thanks to its dozens of architectural monuments, which largely date back to the 19th century. Examples include the turquoise-tiled Kalta Minor Minaret and Tash-Khauli Palace, famed for its richly decorated interiors.
We’ll also be shown around Ichan Kala, a UNESCO open-air museum at the heart of Khiva, by a Local Guide.
Today, the group will journey from Khiva to Bukhara on the newly opened direct high-speed train service. Relax in comfortable, contemporary carriages as you travel past vast stretches of untouched countryside. We’ll arrive in Kagan, and then it’s just a short 30-minute drive to Bukhara and your next hotel.
Once a major stop on the Silk Road route and an important centre of Islamic culture, Bukhara has no shortage of incredible monuments. A full-day guided tour of the historic city will unveil many of them, from the 288 splendid domes of the Poi-Kalyan Mosque to the Lyab-i Hauz complex of madrassahs, which dates to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Today’s tour will also include a handful of unique heritage activities. Attend a puppet workshop where you’ll learn how to craft a colourful puppet from papier mâché, admire tiny works of art at the Bukhara miniature school and sip on fragrant teas at the Silk Road Spice teahouse whilst watching a performance by a local artist.
Bukhara’s treasures are too vast to experience in just one day, so we’ll continue our explorations with visits to key sites like the immense Ark of Bukhara Fortress and the sacred 9th century Samanid Mausoleum that sits just outside the city centre.
You’ll have another morning to explore Bukhara at your own pace. If you’d rather get out of the city, join our optional excursion to the Bahautdin Nakshbandi Necropolis (the burial tomb of Nakshbandi, the leader of Sufism) and the stunning Sitorai Mokhi Khosa Palace (the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara).
After lunch, we’ll begin our two-hour train journey to Samarkand from Kagan.
The ancient city of Samarkand has a pretty turbulent history, from being captured by Alexander the Great in 329BC to being ruled by Genghis Khan during the height of the Silk Road trade. As a result, it has an eclectic culture and fascinating mix of architectural styles which we’ll explore in detail.
Spend the day meandering around Samarkand’s many majestic monuments or sign up to our optional tour to Shakhrisabz. It’s where Uzbekistan’s national hero Timur was born in the 14th century and it was later developed into a thriving city by his descendants. Admire the ruins of Ak-Saray Palace that are covered in gold mosaics and the impressive Kok Gumbaz Mosque with its eye-catching blue dome.
Enjoy another morning exploring Samarkand, including a trip to the Afrasiab Museum of Samarkand that’s full of ancient archaeological artefacts, and a stop at the Meros Paper Mill to learn about the historic art of papermaking.
In the afternoon, we’ll take another high-speed train back to Tashkent and finish the day with a delicious dinner at a local restaurant near the hotel.
Today we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight to the UK.
The 3-star Orient Star hotel in Khiva is a fascinating building which was once a madrasa.Hotel facilities include a bar, tea house and a souvenir shop. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning and a minibar.
Situated directly beside Namazgokh Mosque, the 4-star Orient Star Bukhara offers complimentary WiFi and air conditioning. The city centre of Bukhara is at 3 km from the hotel and Palace of Moon can be reached within walking distance. The property is 75 km away from Navoi airport.
The hotel Diyora is one of the newest hotels in Samarkand, which was built in classic style. The hotel situated in the heart of Samarkand, in 5 minutes from Registan square and old part of city and provides an affordable and wonderful service.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 1 person in their own room. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability
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