Uzbekistan tours, small group

“Eight days in Uzbekistan, in the footsteps of people like Marco Polo and Alexander the great. No pressure on our leader guide then. A superb starter for anyone fascinated by the Silk Road.”


Tashkent | Samarkand | Bukhara | Night in traditional yurt camp | Kyzyl Kum Desert | Sleeper train journey

Description of Uzbekistan tours, small group

Step onto the ancient trails of the Silk Road when you embark on an Uzbekistan holiday, where traders over the centuries left their multi-cultural marks in here in heart of Central Asia. Travelling by private minibus and also by train, this week long trip, travelling with a small group, starts in the capital city, Tashkent. Although not the most aesthetically pleasing, this city was rebuilt by the Soviets after the 1966 earthquake with plenty of brutalism albeit beautified by tree lined boulevards, fountains and old town’s bazaar.

Taking a train journey to Samarkand, this is probably one of the most famous cities on the Silk Road trail and former kingdom of Alexander the Great. Also transformed from its ancient majestic stature by Soviet style modernism, its ‘Registan’ central square still boasts plenty of glistening and gorgeous Islamic architecture, reflecting its multi-cultural past.

Moving on to Bukhara, these influences are even more prolific, with myriad mosques and madrassas making this one of the best kept examples of a medieval city in Central Asia. Bukhara is also certainly bustling, and yet it feels timeless in many ways with a city community that goes back generations, especially given that this city is over 2000 years old.

On this trip we will spend four nights in standard hotels, all with en suite bathrooms but we also escape the cities to spend a night in a traditional Kazakh yurt in the dramatic Kyzyl Kum Desert, with an optional camel ride with your nomadic hosts.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700


Check dates

For departure dates contact us on 01273 823 700
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Uzbekistan tours, small group

Accommodation and Meals:
We will be spending 9 nights in standard hotels and 1 night in a yurt camp in Kyzyl-Kum desert. All of our accommodation is predominantly locally owned and staffed, which is beneficial to surrounding communities. The yurt camp is also run by local people and uses very little electricity and water, so this is a reduction to our overall impact on the environment. Where meals are provided, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are sourced at local farms and markets. Free meal times are a wonderful opportunity to support small bazaar vendors, cafes and authentic, local restaurants. Uzbekistan’s signature dish is a rice dish with meat, carrot and onions called ‘plov’. Also expect varied salads, fresh fruit, Middle Eastern style stews and dumplings from the Far East.

Local Craft and Culture:
We explore the many museums and mosques, mausoleums and markets of Tashkent, Khiva, Bokhara and Samarkland. By visiting these cultural and historical sites, we are supporting maintenance, restoration and research. Traditional craftsmanship is evident everywhere we go- from intricate tilework, wooden carvings and patterned textiles, to locally produced delicacies. At the bazaars we visit, Uzbek embroidered products, handmade carpets, painted ceramics and jewellery are all for sale. Not only does buying from market vendors benefit local people and celebrate traditional crafts, but it is a cultural experience in itself! (Expect to haggle). Throughout the journey there are also opportunities to eat dinner with local families in their homes which might be the most valuable cultural experience on offer. The group can sample local, home-cooked food and learn about Uzbek, culture.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator to run this trip in a way that aims to reduce impacts and to give as much back as possible to the local communities. Part of this is employing local leaders, who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area. The leaders will give a briefing on responsible tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has 4-16 participants, meaning we have a low impact on the communities and environments we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. Despite our small group size, we are still aware of related problems such as erosion on and adjacent to popular paths due to heavy footfall. Our trip leaders are very aware of this and encourage clients not to stray from the advised routes in order to minimise this. Our minimum group number ensures that during the safari part of the trip, fuel is not unnecessarily wasted on a private safari for just a couple of people.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

1 Reviews of Uzbekistan tours, small group

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Exploring Bukhara

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To appreciate that a week allows a traveller to just get the briefest snapshot of the Silk Road.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people benefitted from our custom but it is difficult to quantify the environmental impact as our group of 7 travelled around in a 20 seater bus for most of the trip.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very worthwhile given the short duration.

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