Uzbekistan holiday, silk road and desert

“11 day small group overland tour following a flight from Tashkent to Nukus. Wild camping as well as cultural sightseeing in Khiva, Burkara and Samarkand.”


Tashkent | Nukus | Aral Sea | Moynaq | Ayaz-Kala | Djuma Mosque | Kunya-ark Citadel | Tash-Khauli Palace | Khiva | Bukhara | Samarkand |

Description of Uzbekistan holiday, silk road and desert

This incredible 11 day small group tour takes you from Moynaq in the north of Uzbekistan to Taskkent in the southeast via a series of Silk Road and desert holiday highlights.

Welcome to a land of wonders where fleets of fishing boats lie rusting and beached on the Aral Sea whilst castles, mosques and the palatial compounds of the Khiva Khans, appear from the Kyzylkum Desert.

Follow your group leader and local guides on a journey through time as you venture overland on sections of the Silk Road and discover desert dwellings rarely glimpsed by casual travellers.

Uzbekistan shimmers with Islamic architecture and Mongolian ancestry with the cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand allowing unique insight into the lifestyles and cultural heritage of Central Asia as well as an exciting desert adventure on the fabled Silk Road.

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Holiday type

What this trip includes

Trips are on full board basis, and include transport as outlined in itinerary, twin-share accommodation, mineral water and entrance fees.

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.

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.

We also support several NGOs around the world such as the Hope Foundation, A-Cet and Adopt-A-Minefield, which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.

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.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities. Wherever possible we are happy for our clients to visit these projects to see for themselves where and how this money is being spent. This is a very exciting development for us and something we hope in time will become a major part of our organisation.


1 Reviews of Uzbekistan holiday, silk road and desert

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 29 May 2013 by

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

Experiencing a rare storm in the desert on the journey to the shores of the Aral Sea. The tracks soon turned into raging streams, there was thunder and lightning and even hail. We had been prepared for dust but the 4X4 drivers quickly adapted to floods and mud so we had an exciting off road experience.

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

The wild camping and spending a night in a yurt contrast well with sightseeing in the fabulous cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. Be adaptable and enjoy the benefits of travelling in a small group such as eating in local restaurants.

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

No not really. We did eat in some small local restaurants (and bought vodka at a wayside stall).

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

Excellent. Very memorable.

Read the operator's response here:

Delighted to hear you enjoyed your trip and found the combination of adventure and culture excited you. Most tour companies stick to visiting the commecial areas - the cities of Khiva, Burkara and Samarkand. This tour ventured away from the mainstream areas and by visiting Nukus and the area around the Aral Sea you've helped to take tourism into some of the more remote areas that don't have access to an income, thus supporting local communities and services.

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