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Riviera Travel The Silk Road

Riviera Travel The Silk Road

Call free – 0800 707 6229 – for Huge Extra Savings on Riviera Travel The Silk Road tour

Explore the legendary Silk Road’s heart in Uzbekistan, home to the pivotal cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. This region, once known as the land of the Scythians, witnessed conquerors like Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane, who left behind awe-inspiring monuments. In the 19th century, the ‘Great Game’ saw British and Russian rivalry, ultimately won by the Russians. Uzbekistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, now celebrates Timur as a national hero. Discover its rich history, art, and architecture, from striking ceramic tiles to intricate woodcarvings. Explore bustling bazaars, savor authentic cuisine with mutton dishes and plov (pilaf), and immerse yourself in the Silk Road’s cultural tapestry. As interest in this historical and modern trade route grows, seize the opportunity to uncover Uzbekistan, a captivating destination with no visa requirements and easy access.

  • Explore Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand, three extraordinary Central Asian cities.
  • Visit historical sites of the ‘Great Game’ between Britain and Russia.
  • Uncover the region’s transformation under Russian Tsars and the Soviet state.
  • Enjoy guided tours of vibrant local markets, including the largest, Chorsu bazaar.
  • Journey across vast plains, deserts, and the legendary River Oxus.
  • Discover the 20th-century summer palace of Bukhara’s last Emir.
  • Explore ancient mosques, covered markets, fortresses, and minarets.
  • Admire the intricate, vibrant blue tiles in ancient mosques.
  • Meet master potters in Gijduvan, carrying on a seven-generation craft.
  • Marvel at the beauty of Samarkand’s Registan Square and Tamerlane’s mausoleum.
  • Travel on Uzbekistan’s new high-speed trains to Tashkent.
  • Explore Tashkent’s captivating underground stations with a local guide.
  • Immerse yourself in Khiva’s history, including its walled town, ruins, palaces, and Djuma Mosque.
  • Enjoy a lively performance of traditional Uzbekistan dancing and songs.
  • Return flights & transfers
  • 9 nights in three to four-star accommodation
  • Selected Meals: daily breakfast & 9 meals
  • Programme of daily tours & visits
  • Expert Tour Manager
  • Checked luggage

Day 1 – Departure

Arrive at the airport for your overnight direct flight to Uzbekistan

Day 2 – Arrival in Tashkent

After your morning arrival in Tashkent, check into the excellent four-star superior Lotte City Palace Hotel and enjoy breakfast. Next, explore Uzbekistan with a visit to Amir Temur Square, home to the iconic Soviet-era Uzbekistan Hotel. Tashkent underwent post-earthquake reconstruction in the 1960s, resulting in modern apartment blocks and wide avenues, with only a small part of the old city remaining, which we’ll explore.

In the afternoon, embark on a guided tour of the vast Chorsu bazaar, the country’s largest, offering a delightful introduction to Uzbekistan’s culinary delights and exotic goods. Beneath the surface, uncover Tashkent’s hidden treasures, exploring Central Asia’s oldest underground system with a local expert. The underground stations captivate with a blend of 1960s architecture, stunning mosaics, vaulted mosque-like ceilings, and shimmering panels, making for an exceptional journey.

Day 3 – Fly to Urgench & Ayaz Qala Desert Fortress

After breakfast, take a short flight to Urgench in the far west. From there, drive to the vast Khorezm desert, offering a glimpse of the challenging terrain Silk Road caravans navigated. Ayaz Qala is one of the castles built to protect these routes until the 12th-century Mongol invasions. Explore Khiva’s ancient walled town, Itchan Kala, with its atmospheric ruins, palaces, mausoleums, and madrasas, steeped in two millennia of history. Imagine the vibrant past of this oasis on the desert trail to Iran, marveling at Djuma Mosque and towering walls, some reaching ten meters high.

Day 4 – Khiva & free afternoon

This morning,  explore Khiva, a UNESCO World Heritage city enclosed by well-preserved mud-brick walls. This living museum provides insight into its Silk Road history. Highlights include the Khan’s palace, Tosh-Hovli Palace, the Kalta minaret, and the towering Islam Hodja minaret, standing at 56m tall. Khiva was known for its slave market, officially abolished after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In the afternoon, enjoy free time for leisurely exploration. You can walk along the historic 18th-century city walls of Ichon Qala, offering impressive views from the North Gate’s preserved mile-long section. Access the viewing platform for unforgettable evening sunsets, with a small entry fee.

Day 5 – Drive to Bukhara

Today, embark on a long drive to Bukhara, a city steeped in spirituality and adorned with ancient architecture, including a magnificent royal fortress. En route, you’ll cross the legendary River Oxus, famously traversed by Alexander the Great and his army more than 2,000 years ago. Upon reaching Bukhara, you’ll check into our three-night hotel stay at the three-star superior Shakristan or Omar Khayam in the historic city. Your first stop will be the Lyab-i Khauz complex, boasting some of the city’s finest 16th-century buildings encircling a water reservoir, now surrounded by popular open-air tea houses.

Day 6 – Bukhara

Bukhara, richer and larger than Khiva, boasts numerous captivating monuments. Over two full days, explore its wealth of history with ample free time. Bukhara played a role in the ‘Great Game,’ where British officers Stoddart and Connelly met a tragic end. Visit 1308the Arc fortress, the Emir’s palace atop city walls, and the officers’ prison. The city’s most prominent landmark is the 12th-century Kalyan minaret, standing at 47 meters.

Before tonight’s dinner, enjoy a vibrant performance celebrating Uzbek tradition, featuring traditional songs, dances, and colourful costumes showcasing Uzbekistan’s cultural heritage.

Day 7 – Bukhara

Today, visit the early 20th-century old summer palace of the last Emir, located just outside the city. This palace combines Russian imperial design with local craftsmanship and houses intriguing artifacts from that era. The Emir’s harem, reportedly with 400 wives and concubines, even had its own personal zoo with a pet elephant! In the afternoon, explore local dome-roofed bazaars, where you can watch market bakers craft traditional bread to be enjoyed warm and fresh with kaymak (clotted cream).

Day 8 – Drive to Samarkand

Say farewell to Bukhara as you head to Samarkand, one of the grandest of Central Asian cities. En route, visit Gijduvan, renowned for its master potters. Here, a family has honed their craft over seven generations, creating exquisite pieces using traditional foot-powered potters’ wheels and mud-brick kilns.

Day 9 – Tashkent

Today, visit Koni Ghil to witness the revival of paper production from mulberry tree bark. You’ll also explore the Afrosiyob museum, housing remarkable ancient frescoes discovered in the vicinity. In the afternoon, transfer to the railway station to board a fast train back to Tashkent.

Day 10 – Return Home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home

Lotte City Palace, Tashkent

The Lotte City Palace hotel, a superior four-star heritage building, provides a central city stay with essential amenities. Guests can enjoy a swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, and spa. The air-conditioned guest rooms feature spacious bathrooms with robes and complimentary toiletries, along with amenities like bottled water, a safe, a private balcony, and a minibar (local charges apply). Additional services include a lounge and bar, restaurant, 24-hour front desk, lift, complimentary Wi-Fi, and laundry service for a comfortable stay.

Hotel Shahriston, Bukhara

Hotel Shahriston in Bukhara offers modern amenities, including a 24-hour front desk, an on-site restaurant, a bar, and air conditioning. The newly built hotel pays homage to traditional Uzbek architecture and style while providing complimentary Wi-Fi for guests’ convenience.

Omar Khayam, Bukhara

The hotel offers a restaurant, fitness center, swimming pool, air conditioning, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Rooms are well-appointed with a minibar, mini refrigerator, and free toiletries, and the hotel also provides exceptional concierge service and a safe.

Fact File

  • Country: Uzbekistan
  • Currency: Uzbekistani so’m
  • Language: Uzbekisanti
  • Flight Time: Approx. 6 hrs 50 mins
  • Time Zone: GMT+5

*All transfer times are approximate and dependent on traffic

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Tashkent International Airport Tashkent 15 mins Tashkent Tashkent International Airport 15 mins

Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability

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10 Days

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