Mountain bike tour on Uzbek roads
15 days / 14 nights
Mountain Biking Tour
Most people imagine Uzbekistan as a country where the main activities consist in visiting the enchanting cities of Khiva, Bukhara or Samarkand. However, there are many other activities to discover the country and its different regions. One of them is cycling, an excellent way to get closer to the culture and authenticity of the country and to explore remote lands, still preserved from the tourist crowds. Besides, cycling allows you to meet local people and to immerse yourself in the real Uzbek culture. Our cycling trip has been thought with passion to offer you a unique and unforgettable experience.
The highlights of this trip:
Access and dive into the local culture and traditions
Explore places off the beaten track
Discover the cities of the Silk Road
Hotels in the heart of old traditional districts
Flight to Samarkand on a regular Turkish Airlines flight via Istanbul. Overnight on board.
Welcome to the city of the Thousand and One Nights. You will settle down in your hotel to recover from the fatigue of the trip. After breakfast you will start to explore the capital of the Sogdian Empire. Your visits will be mainly focused on cultural, religious and historical sites. The main square of the city is the Reghistan Square, composed of three gigantic buildings of the 15th and 17th centuries. The great mosque of Bibi Khanum will also be among the other discoveries of the day. You will finish your day by strolling through the famous Siyob market to taste oriental sweets. Dinner in town and overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast you will continue to explore the city of Samarkand. The Shakhi Zinda necropolis is composed of about 20 mausoleums built mainly during the reign of Amir Timur (Tamerlane) and Ulugbek. You will be able to admire beautiful oriental decorations and will note the domination of the turquoise color. The Ulughbek observatory was a great astronomical center during the 15th century. The ruins of a huge sextant that was used to study the moon and stars can still be seen. The frescoes of the Afrosiyob museum will be your last cultural visit of the day. At the end of the afternoon, you will have free time to prepare your bikes. Samarkand wine tasting and dinner in town.
Overnight at the hotel.
It is time to leave the city of Samarkand. You will leave your hotel in the morning to reach the village of Chachtepa. On the way you will stop to visit the great traditional market of Mirbazar. This market is very popular with the locals. In the afternoon, you will cycle along a small mountain track. A large water reserve feeds the agricultural land of the region in summer. You will spend some time around the water reserve and slowly move towards the mountain oasis. After 24 km (15 miles), you will arrive at the planned camp site. Camp set up with our local team. Dinner and night in the tent.
Today’s trail is breathtaking and will cross the Aktau Mountains (White Mountains). It is a 40 km (25 miles) long route, quite difficult to cycle, but with stunning scenery. You will also pass through mountain villages where you will have the pleasure to meet the local people and get acquainted with their way of life. In the morning you will cross a river in the direction of the village of Maydan. At the end of the day, you will arrive at the camp to have dinner and spend the night in the tent near the village.
In the morning you will continue to cycle to Langar Pass and climb to the highest point of the Aktau Mountains. This winding road is quite beautiful and has many marble mines left. Since the Soviet era, several marble mining factories have been operating here. Once you arrive at Langar Pass, you will enjoy a picnic lunch and get beautiful view of the local natural environment. A short walk will take you to a beautiful waterfall. In the afternoon, you will start to descend to the Chuya village valley and perhaps meet some shepherds.
Your campsite is near the village. Dinner and night in the tent.
After an early breakfast you will leave your camp and cycle towards the Nurata Mountains. This mountain range is located between the Samarkand region and the artificial Aydarkul lake. Your journey will pass through villages on both a track and an asphalt road. On the way, you can even share a cup of tea with the locals. In the afternoon, still by bike, you will reach the village of Aktash (ghost village), hidden in a valley. The camp will be set up near the village.
Dinner and night in the tent.
Today you will reach the highest altitude of your cycling trip in the Uzbek mountains. You will first go to Fazilman Lake, located at 1,985 m (6,512 ft) above sea level, where you will meet villagers who come to explore their land in summer. This natural lake is a popular stop for many hiking enthusiasts. In the late afternoon, you will start to descend into the Sob Valley, a green inhabited oasis. You will have the opportunity to admire spectacular views of Lake Aydarkul, an artificial lake created in the 20th century. You will arrive at the village of Sentob at the end of the day through mountain trails. Check-in at a guesthouse. Free time.
Dinner and overnight in the guesthouse.
This morning will be easy enough to rest after several days of cycling. After breakfast you will cycle to the huge Aydarkul lake. You will spend the morning exploring the southern part of the lake. Back on the paved road, you will reach the camp. After settling in a Kazakh yurt, you will have time to rest. We highly recommend you to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the sandy hills of the desert. Your dinner will be served at the camp restaurant and afterwards you will enjoy an Akyn concert (a Kazakh troubadour) around a fire under the starry sky.
Night under the yurt.
After breakfast you’ll cycle about 10 km (6 miles) to the shores of Aydarkul Lake. This salt water lake stretches over many kilometers and attracts thousands of migratory birds. You will have a moment to stroll around the lake and why not swim depending on the weather. After the picnic lunch you will continue your drive for about 60 km (37 miles) through the Kyzylkoum desert (red sand desert). Then transfer to Bukhara with a late arrival. On the way you will visit the city of Nurata, the ruins of the fortress of Alexander the Great and the ceramic workshop.
Dinner in the city and overnight at the hotel in Bukhara.
This day will be devoted to the discovery of the old city of Bukhara. Some of the old monuments are not to be missed like the Mausoleum of Ismail Samanid (907), built by the founder of the first Persian Muslim dynasty in Central Asia, the Samanids. You will see other wonders of the caravan city such as the Ark, a fortified citadel, and the Poyi Kalyan complex before heading to the center of Bukhara where you will end the day. You will have a moment of rest before going to the house of a local craftsman.
Dinner at the craftsman’s house and overnight at the hotel.
Today we will explore the surroundings of Bukhara to discover the great necropolis and the summer palace, both located 5 km (3 miles) away. This palace dates from 1917 and has beautiful interior decorations in plaster and stucco. It was the residence of the last emir of Bukhara. Stop in front of the Persian miniature painting stall. Visit the courtyard, the reception rooms, the rose gardens, the pool and the harem which is now the museum of traditional embroidery. Return to the old city and lunch at the restaurant. Afternoon at leisure.
Dinner in town and overnight at the hotel.
On this thirteenth day of the trip you will leave Bukhara to reach the third historical city of the country, Khiva, passing through the Kyzylkum desert (red sand desert). The caravaneers crossed this desert for several weeks and followed the Amu Darya river to have access to water during their journey. Some stops will be planned along the way to take pictures. You will arrive in Khiva at the end of the day and you will settle in the heart of the old city. First walks in the city to have an overview of the visits of the next day. Dinner in the city and night in a madrasa.
Your whole day will be dedicated to the discovery of the inner city of Khiva, Ichan Kala, surrounded by imposing walls. Khiva is a real open-air museum-city, restored by Unesco. The silhouettes of its minarets, dominating the terraces of the clay houses, and the powerful walls of its fortress, give it an exotic image of a medieval city in the heart of Central Asia on the famous Silk Road. The program includes a visit to the landmark monuments and a climb to the defensive fortress. Dinner in an old Koranic school with a magnificent view of one of the minarets of the city. Night in a madrasa.
Early in the morning you will be transferred to Urgench international airport to take your flight with Turkish Airlines. 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.
Mountain biking on uzbek roads.
15 days / 14 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