Adventure Tour By 4WD Exploring The Real Uzbekistan

16 days / 15 nights

Off Road Tours

This 4WD trip will take you out of the usual tourist routes and into the most remote areas of the country. In this adventure trip, you will explore the Aral Sea which was the fourth largest lake in the world. You will observe the ecological disasters caused by decades of drainage and walk along the Kyzylkoum and Karakoum desert tracks, which were used by caravanners in the past. You will enjoy the peace and quiet of the nature by camping.

You will finish this trip by discovering mythical cities of the Silk Road: Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand.

In short, this adventure tour will make you discover a country with many historical and natural contrasts. We prefer to arrive as soon as possible at the camp site to allow you to settle in quietly and enjoy the environment. Traditional French aperitif to welcome you!

The highlights of this trip:

Explore the most remote areas in the country

See the ecological disaster of the Aral Sea

Cross the tracks of the Kyzylkoum desert (red sand)

Discover the cities of the Silk Road.


You will take off from the airport of your choice for a flight to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Overnight on board.

You will arrive in Tashkent in the night and will be welcomed by our local team. After settling down in the hotel you will have a moment to rest. After checking out of your room around noon, you will leave to discover the modern capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. The historical center has only a few old buildings. After a pleasant stroll to the Chorsu market, you will go explore some of the metro stations, famous for their beautiful decorations. While exploring the modern part of the city, you will visit the Independence Square, the Theater Square before reaching the airport to fly to the city of Nukus, located in the northwest of the country (1 hour and 20 minutes flight).

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Early in the morning you will take the keys of your 4WD and start your adventure tour on Uzbek roads. You will first drive on the highway connecting Russia and China and then reach the city of Moynak meaning “shallow” in Kazakh language. This abandoned city was the major port of the Aral Sea, when the big fish canning factory was operating. You will visit a museum about the history of this sea and the cemetery of the stranded ships. Lunch at a local’s house, then direction to Sudochi Lake. Before the ecological disaster, this lake was an incredible oasis in the middle of the desert. It had many Urga fishing villages that made both the fish production and the fishing port prosper. You will have dinner in a fishermen’s camp and help prepare meat and vegetable kebabs.

Overnight in a tent not far from the lake.

The next part of your journey will take you to the ghost village of Kibla Ustyurt, through the steppes of the Ustyurt plateau. You will also see several active gas fields before arriving at an airfield located near the village of Kibla Ustyurt. In the past, people from the village used to fly from this airfield to the center of the region by Soviet An-2 plane (plane designed by Antonov). After talking with the villagers, you will continue your way to the Aral Sea by following dirt roads. Arrival and lunch in a yurt camp, then in the afternoon you will go for a walk around the Aral Sea, now disappearing. Swimming is possible.

Dinner and overnight in the yurt camp.

On this fifth day of your trip you will first admire the beautiful canyons that appeared after the Aral Sea dried up. This endless plateau was once inhabited by nomads and it is possible today to see some of their cemeteries. The island of Barsa Kelmes means in Turkish “the place of no return” which may sound terrifying. You will discover the biggest Salt Lake of the country. This is where salt has been extracted for years.  After a walk through the salt island, you will join the highway to have lunch in a roadside restaurant. You will return to Nukus to spend the night after an exciting three days off road adventure.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

A new day of adventure that will start early in the morning! Visit of the Nukus Museum of Arts, then departure in direction of the east of the country by 4WD. You will drive through the residential areas and arrive at the canal recently dug by the Chinese. Passing through the dunes, you will see the water reservoir located near the bridge. After exploring some interesting spots during the afternoon, you will settle in a quiet place to spend the night.

Dinner and overnight at the camp.

Waking up under a bright sun, you will take down your tent and continue your adventure trek on the dunes. You will leave for one of the ancient fortresses of the region Ayaz Kala. Composed of three fortresses, the site is located on a hill. You can climb the ruins of these fortresses and have lunch in a yurt camp not far from there. Peaceful atmosphere in the middle of the desert. In the afternoon, departure to the city of Khiva by crossing the Amu Darya river on a new bridge. Arrival in Khiva and accommodation in a charming hotel in the heart of the inner city.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

Together with your local guide you will start the tour of Khiva by entering the symbolic gate in the west of the city. Listed as a UNESCO heritage site, Khiva is divided into two parts: the outer fortress, Dichan Kala, and the inner fortress, Ichan Kala. Your day will be devoted to the discovery of the wonders of the Ichan Kala fortress and you will go from minarets to mosques, from royal residences to the craft bazaar. To close this day of visits, you will enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Khiva fortress.

Dinner in the open air with a stunning view of the city and overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast you will start a new step of your adventure tour in Uzbekistan driving your 4WD. This time you will go on a three-day adventure before reaching Bukhara. You will first drive on the highway through agricultural areas and once you reach the Kyzylkoum desert, you will take a track that will lead you far into this red sand desert. You will pass through some shepherd villages that have been settled here for years. It is very likely you will be invited to drink a bowl of tea with them and chat. After driving for a while, you will set up your camp in a beautiful setting.

Dinner and night at the camp.

On this tenth day of your 4WD tour you will leave for the Aydarkul Lake created after a natural disaster in the 1970s. Before arriving there, you will cross some shepherd villages as well as the salt mines in activity. Possible stops to discuss with workers who work there. When you arrive at the lake, you will have time to walk around and the possibility to swim if the weather allows it. Upon reaching the camp, you will settle in the yurt and have the opportunity to ride a camel or have a bowl of tea on the traditional sofa bed while watching the nature. You will enjoy a beautiful sunset followed by a dinner and a concert around the fire with a Kazakh troubadour.

Night in the yurt.

This last day of your 4WD adventure will take you through some populated areas of the country. After 1 hour of driving you will arrive to Nurata to visit the ruins of Alexander the Great’s fortress. The latter used this fortress as a strategic point before invading Samarkand. Another visit is to a ceramics workshop in the city of Gijduvan where you will discover the process of making these handicrafts. Arriving in Bukhara at the end of the day, you will hand over your 4WD to our agency before settling down in a charming hotel near the historical center.

Dinner in town and overnight at the hotel.

After a few days of adventure, you will resume the cultural visits by exploring the wonders of Bukhara. You will visit the museum of the irrigation system of the region, which will give you a better understanding of one of the reasons for the drying up of the Aral Sea. The hilltop residence of Bukhara’s emirs will prove to be an exciting visit. In the afternoon, you will stroll through the streets of this caravan city and have some free time at the end of the day.

Dinner in the courtyard of a madrasa with a traditional concert and overnight at the hotel.

In order to recover from the fatigue of the trip and to be able to enjoy your time, the morning will be free for you to do what you want. You will be able to stroll around the old city and buy souvenirs. After lunch you will meet your guide at the hotel for a transfer to Bukhara railway station, the only one built 15 km from the city center. You will take the high-speed train to Samarkand in the late afternoon. After checking in at the hotel, it will be possible to consider a walk to discover the sites that will be on the program of visits the next day.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

The name Samarkand brings to mind the mythical tales of the Arabian Nights. Your immersion in the Timurid culture will start with a visit to the Amir Timur (also known as Tamerlane) mausoleum. This family burial ground houses several tombs of the royal family members, including that of Amir Timur. Walking through the streets of Samarkand, you will go to the Reghistan Square to visit the three majestic historical sites. A night walk will be organized to see some of the illuminated monuments.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

The last day of your journey on the Silk Road will be rather calm. In the morning you will discover the sights around Samarkand, among them the Ulughbek observatory. An exciting site, especially for astronomy lovers. A large astronomical center was built here in the 15th century with a huge sextant to study the stars and planets. You will have the afternoon to wander through the streets of Samarkand before meeting in a restaurant in the heart of the old city.

Overnight at the hotel.

You will be transferred to Samarkand international airport to take your flight on Turkish Airlines. We wish you an excellent trip back home!

NB: This tailor-made tour is given as an example and can be modified or customized to your wishes. For more details and information, please contact our agency.

Off Road

Adventure Tour By 4WD Exploring The Real Uzbekistan

16 days / 15 nights

Samarkand Explore is a tailor-made travel agency based in the mythical city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. It organizes private trips with authentic circuits in several regions of Central Asia. Whether you are a couple, a family or a small group, our team will take care of making this trip YOUR trip.

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The images allow us to remember all the joyful moments of a unique trip

All these photos you see were taken by us or by our travelers who travelled with us on Silk Road