Uzbekistan classic small group tour
Description of Uzbekistan classic small group tour
Explore fascinating Uzbekistan on this 12-day small-group tour. Travelling mainly by train and utilising small, centrally located hotels with local flavour, the tour visits key locations and discovers historic sights.
Take in the bustling capital Tashkent with its many layers of history and a fine collection of madrassahs, museums and galleries before the journey to Samarkand, a masterpiece of architectural wonders. Discover the very heart of the city at famous Registan Square and travel out to Shakrisabz, the birthplace of Timur before continuing this Silk Road adventure to Bukhara which dates back 2000 years and is regarded as the most complete example of a medieval city in central Asia. The end of your railway journey lies at Khiva, a delightful city for strolling through pedestrianised laneways to view the 5th century mid-brick city walls and the various madrassahs, minarets and mosques.
|Day 1||Fly to Tashkent on a direct overnight service.|
|Day 2||Land Tashkent. Meet the local guide and drive to the hotel for immediate check in. After breakfast and time to freshen up head out on a guided tour of this fascinating city. Take in the old town and Khast Imam Square and discover the library which is home to the world's oldest Koran. Continue to the Kukuldash Madrassah and the bustling Chorsu bazaar, a popular shopping centre for local residents. Enjoy dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)|
|Day 3||Transfer to the railway station and board a comfortable high speed train to Samarkand, a city famed for its historic position on the Silk Road and now a UNESCO world heritage site. Explore the city on a guided tour with visits to the Tomb of Timur and Bibi Khanum Mosque which is one of the largest mosques. End the day at Registan Square which is home to three madrassah's which showcase some of the finest architecture of medieval times. (B/L/D)|
|Day 4||Spend a further day discovering the sights of Samarkand. Visit Shah I Zinda Necropolis to marvel at the blue and turquoise domes lining the path before driving out to the observatory built by medieval emperor Ulug Beg. End the day at Afrosiab, the oldest part of the city and home to the Afrosiab fort, murals and archaeological finds from pre-Islamic times. (B/L/D)|
|Day 5||Drive out to Shakrisabz, once the birthplace of Timur and home to his many impressive palaces and monuments. Timur also built a collection of mausoleums for him and his family members here. Return to Samarkand and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. (B/L/D)|
|Day 6||This morning return to the railway station and board the train to Bukhara. Arrive in time for a local lunch and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore at leisure. (B)|
|Day 7||Today will be spent exploring Bukhara, a 2,000 year old Silk Road city and the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. See the tomb of Ismail Samani and numerous other madrassahs in the city. (B/L/D)|
|Day 8||Visit Sitorai Mokhi Khosa, the Summer Palace of the Bukharan Emirs, Bolo Khauz Mosque and the Bakhoutdin Nakshbandy Complex and Mausoleum located outside the city. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Bukhara further or simply relax with a refreshing drink in a traditional tea house. (B)|
|Day 9||Transfer to the railway station and board the lunchtime train to Khiva. Arrive in the city and transfer to the hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. (B/D)|
|Day 10||Enjoy a walking tour of this fascinating place. Visit the citadel, Ichan Kala, where you will see the truncated Kalta Minor Minaret, the Kunya Ark, the Madrassah Rakhimkhon, the Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud and Islam Khodja Minaret. The town is thought to date back more than 2,000 years and the ravages of modern development have been largely kept away from the citadel itself. This afternoon visit the Friday Mosque and Tashauli Palace, including the harem. (B)|
|Day 11||Drive to Urgench and board the short domestic flight back to Tashkent. Land and enjoy a final afternoon in the capital. (B)|
|Day 12||Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)|
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PlanetDirect flights from the UK to Uzbekistan aren’t daily so we have timed this tour to work to the schedules instead of taking indirect flights and generating more carbon, it’s also a nicer start and finish to your holiday for you.
Throughout the tour you will be transferred in a bus – there will be plenty of space but we keep the bus size small to reduce the emissions. We also ask drivers to turn the engine off while you are at sights instead of keeping the air conditioning running. Where possible in the cities you will have walking tours to reduce emissions too, plus you can see so much more than looking out of a window all the time.
Longer journeys will be made by train, by using the railways we reduce emissions and your journeys are quicker (and less bumpy!) you also get the chance to meet local people and we know that there are plenty of you who enjoy taking a train in a new country! We do have one flight in the itinerary, the short hop from Urgench to Tashkent at the end, we are looking at altering this to the overnight train though and are taking feedback from our clients – we will welcome yours after you return!
Few hotels in Uzbekistan have much of an environmental policy other than not washing your towels each day – so we will send out pre-departure information reminding you of how you can protect resources and keep waste to a minimum, you might also want to think about a Water to Go filter bottle, this will enable you to drink the tap water and reduce the amount of plastic bottles used, taking a cloth bag for any souvenir purchases will save on plastic bags as well.
Meat is a main part of the diet in Uzbekistan but if you let us know in advance our guides will arrange vegetarian or vegan meals. We use local restaurants in Uzbekistan which serve Uzbek cuisine, these dishes will use seasonal produce from the local area instead of importing foods from other countries and therefore keeping food miles to a minimum, you benefit from some great fresh produce too. There are a couple of wineries in Uzbekistan, trying the local wine is another way to buy local.