Uzbekistan holidays, tailor made

“Uzbekistan provides an unforgettable melange of Silk Road and Soviet history, timeless desert castles plus rich rural culture.”

Highlights

Tashkent | Nukus | Aral Sea | Ayaz Kala | Desert castles | Yurt and characterful village accommodation | Khiva | Bukhara | Nurata Nature Reserve | Samarkand

Description of Uzbekistan holidays, tailor made

This journey through Uzbekistan reveals a stunning melange of history, culture and natural majesty in one of Central Asia's most fascinating countries. Beginning in Tashkent, you’ll discover Silk Road cities and desert castles, see the transformation of the Aral Sea, and experience wilderness and village life in the beautiful Nurata Mountains. Delve one of the world’s finest collections of Soviet avant-garde art one day, sleep in a desert yurt camp another.

After exploring Tashkent's mosques, madrassahs, grand squares and museums (don't miss the world's oldest Koran at the Muyie Mubarak library), travel north to the fascinating town of Nukus, home to a superb collection of rare Soviet avant-garde art at the Igor Savitsky Museum.

If art provokes thought, so can ecology. Visiting the fast disappearing Aral Sea, see how a one-time place of marine bounty has become a dust bowl graveyard of ships and abandoned ports such as Moynak. Then lift your spirits with the wonders of natural rather than man-made desert around Ayaz Kala. This is a land of remarkable mud brick desert castles dating back to 2300BC, whose ruins you'll visit before bedding down in a yurt camp by one of the finest.

Heading to Khiva, discover a 1500-year-old walled city studded with palaces, mosques, madrassahs and medieval lanes, in whose ancient houses you'll see traditional weaving and silk making. Khiva's Silk Road cousin Bukhara, meanwhile, offers over 150 monuments dotted around alleys enlivened by colourful bazaars. Don't miss the Bolo-Khauz Mosque with its beautiful carved wooden pillars, Kalyan Square with its great minaret, and the delightful 10th century Ismael Samani Mausoleum.

The Nurata Nature Reserve provides a green break from the Silk Road city trail, offering a mountain kingdom whose villages and wildlife you'll explore over a couple of days. Experience village life at first hand by having a go at local handicrafts or helping bake bread in traditional ovens, or go trekking to Lake Aydur to birdwatch or swim.

The Silk Road draws you back for the grandest of its cities, Samarkand. This wide avenued wonder mixes striking 20th century architecture with buildings linked to a storied past back to the times of illustrious ruler Amir Timur – you'll visit his nearby birthplace Shakrisabz. As well as the majestic Registan Square, the epic mosque of Bibi Khanum, the ancient Ulug Beg observatory or the wonderful Afrosiyab Museum.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip is tailor made and departs year round, every Tuesday
Pricing:
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the fragile eco-structure of the desert is not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our guides are trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to all trips in all regions, and as tour operators is something we are careful to promote. In each area we employ and develop close relationships with drivers and guides. We feel the interaction between our friends and our clients offers both parties a valuable understanding between cultures.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

In Uzbekistan we use local ground handlers who in turn book locally run hotels, providing employment for a number of members of staff and support families. The ground handlers also use local drivers and local guides at the sites – our clients are taken to local family run restaurants. This means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy. For example in Samarkand we take our clients to a paper making factory that is reviving the traditional form of paper manufacture that only died out in the early part of the 20th century. This is reviving an ancient art and providing local employment.

Climate

5 Reviews of Uzbekistan holidays, tailor made

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Reviewed on 22 Apr 2019 by

The most memorable parts of our holiday were the cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand as expected, but the petroglyphs at Sarmish Say gorge were also outstanding. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2017 by

There are a few! But I think for me the stay in yurt camps and remoteness of Kyrgyzstan, as well as the contrast of history and architecture in Uzbekistan will stay with me the most. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 May 2014 by

Very well organised, fascinating, memorable and packed with thought-provoking information. Feel I've been on a rollercoaster history lesson from 500 BC to the 21st century. Highly recommended. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2013 by

Most memorable was the flight in the Russian helicopter to base camp, the cycling & horse riding through amazing scenery, Emma's cooking and great travelling companions. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2012 by

The buildings and culture are out of this world but don't go for the cuisine....It was a totally different experience, challenging on occassions (the roads) but absolutely well worth it. Read full review

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