Caravan cities of the Silk Road

14 days / 13 nights



This 14-day trip lets you explore three main historical regions of Uzbekistan. This trip will begin by visiting Khiva, a beautiful open-air museum-city surrounded by walls. The next step of your trip will take you to the city of Bukhara, a key stop for caravanners heading to China and Iran. Your visit to two villages with completely different lifestyles will give you a comprehensive view of rural life in the country. After exploring the mysterious Samarkand, you will end your stay with an evening at the opera in the country’s capital, Tashkent.

The highlights of this trip:

A visit to the Savitsky Museum

Enjoying the cosy beauty of Khiva

Exploring the colorful bazaars of Bukhara and Samarkand

Discovering the vibrant capital city of Tashkent


Departure from the airport of your choice to Uzbekistan. Dinner and overnight on board.

Welcome to Uzbekistan. Our local team will meet you at Urgench international airport, then you will be transferred to a local restaurant for breakfast. Transfer to your hotel in Nukus (175 km / 109 miles) to relax for the rest of the morning.

The capital of the autonomous republic of Karakalpakistan, created in 1932 by the Soviets, was a former gateway to the Aral Sea. The afternoon will be devoted to visiting the Museum of Arts with its rich collection of paintings of the Soviet avant-garde and post-garde. Igor Savitsky managed to save more than 50,000 works of artists who were repressed during the Stalin era. Then, walk through the city and return to the hotel.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast we will visit the three famous desert castles of the ancient Khwarazm. First you will discover the Toprak-Kala fortress with its walls and palace.

The frescoes found in the twentieth century following archaeological excavations are now preserved in St. Petersburg. The visit of the two fortresses of Ayaz-Kala will give you a better idea of the historical monuments of the region. Lunch in a nomadic yurt camp before heading to Khiva by crossing the Amu Darya river on a brand-new bridge. Arrival in the evening and accommodation in a charming madrasa.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a madrasa.

The day will be dedicated to exploring the inner city of Khiva, Ichan Kala, surrounded by towering walls, it is a real open-air museum-city restored by UNESCO. The silhouettes of its minarets, dominating the terraces of the clay houses, and the mighty walls of its fortress give Khiva the exotic look of a Central Asian medieval city on the famous Silk Road.

The main activities of the day will be the visit of the main monuments of the mysterious city and the opportunity to climb the defensive fortress. Dinner in an old Koranic school with a magnificent view on one of the minarets of the city.

Night in a madrasa.

In the morning we will have the possibility to finish visiting the city of Khiva and in particular the great Tach Khaouli royal palace or the stone palace, built in the 19th century. This palace is a maze of rooms (reproductions of craftsmen’s workshops) and courtyards (harem, ceremonial, show) covered with pre-Islamic tiles which give an accurate image of the life of Khiva in the past and the rich craftsmanship of the region. After lunch, departure by train to the city of Bukhara.

The trip will take about 6 hours and will take you through the sandy desert where you can picture the life of the courageous nomads who live there all year round. Arrival in Bukhara and accommodation.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

This day is devoted to the exploration of the old city of Bukhara. Some old monuments are a must such as the old mausoleum of Ismail Samani (907) built by the founder of the first Persian Muslim dynasty in Central Asia, the Samanids. By visiting other wonders of this caravan city such as the Ark, a fortified citadel, or the Poyi Kalyan complex, you will gradually approach the center where your day will end. Time for rest before going to the house of a local craftsman.

Dinner at the craftsman’s house and overnight at the hotel.

We will explore the surroundings of Bukhara and visit the great necropolis and the summer palace. The latter dates from 1917 and has beautiful interior decorations in plaster and stucco. It was the residence of the last emir of Bukhara.

During the program, you will discover the Persian miniature painting stall, visit the court, the reception rooms, the rose gardens, the pond and the harem which is now the museum of traditional embroidery. Then back to the old city of Bukhara for lunch in a local restaurant. Free afternoon to stroll around the city as you wish.

Dinner in town and overnight at the hotel.

Early departure from Bukhara by private transport to Samarkand. On the way we will make some stops to enjoy the Uzbek plains. You will visit a ceramic workshop where you will learn the whole process of making ceramics, a famous craft in the country.

Upon arrival at the guesthouse, you will get acquainted with the family and discover the village of Gyshty. The kindergarten, the dispensary and the cotton fields will be your main visits. Back to the guest house, your host family will introduce you to the local cuisine and, for those interested, the possibility to prepare lunch with them and to exchange with them about their daily life. Then, departure for Samarkand at the end of the day. Late arrival and check-in.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

Full day of immersion in the Timurid culture in Samarkand by visiting all the wonders of this mythical city. Samarkand was the capital of the Timurid Empire for a long time and became the Queen of the world cities. The founder of this dynasty, Amir Timur (also known as Tamerlane), brought in talented architects to build gigantic and magnificent monuments.

You will discover the richness of this culture through various buildings, some of which are very famous, such as the Bibi Khanum mosque, the mausoleum of Amir Timur or the necropolis of Shakhi Zinda. Then you will share a dinner with students learning English at the Samarkand Language University.

Overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast, departure for another day of immersion and extraordinary encounters in another mountain village near Samarkand: Tersak. On the way, we will stop for pictures of the mountains and a water reservoir. At the entrance of the village, you will start your walk (easy, about 1 hour) to reach the guesthouse. It will allow you to meet local people and to talk with them. Then, you will meet your host who taught French in his village school before retiring. He will tell you about the rural way of life over a cup of tea.

You will also visit his house and his large garden. After lunch, shared with the family, you will visit the village school and meet the students. Return to Samarkand at the end of the day for dinner and a night walk to admire the illuminated monuments of the city.

Night at the hotel.

This is the last day of your adventure in the city of Samarkand with some interesting visits including the Ulughbek observatory built in the 15th century by Tamerlane’s grandson and rediscovered by a Russian archaeologist in the early 20th century. A huge sextant was built in this observatory to observe planets and stars. After the discovery of other wonders of the city, you will be transferred to Samarkand railway station to take the high-speed train to Tashkent.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

Tashkent is considered a modern city and was completely rebuilt after the 1966 earthquake. With its wide avenues, the city does not have many historical sights, but has some interesting museums. The Museum of Arts will give you a better understanding of the evolution of art in Central Asia. Don’t miss the old Chorsu market where you can buy dried fruits and spices. The Tashkent metro, famous for its beautifully decorated stations, is worth a visit. An evening at the opera will be organized to end your stay in Uzbekistan (subject to availability).

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast, departure to Chimgan mountains, located 115 km (71 miles) from Tashkent. You will first explore the Beldersay oasis and then take the chairlift to the mountain top. Once at the top, you will have the opportunity to take a short easy hike to a weather station with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Picnic and return to the station to take the chairlift back down. Then you will explore the surroundings of the Charvak reserve, which is very popular with locals during the summer. Walk around the lake and return to Tashkent.

Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel.

We will take you back to Tashkent international airport according to your flight schedule. We wish you a safe journey 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.


Caravan cities of the Silk Road

14 days / 13 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