Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent.
Upon arrival at Tashkent International Airport, your escort guide will drive you to your hotel. After a smooth check-in process, you’ll enjoy some time for yourself. Our city tour will then enable you to explore the Uzbek capital city by visiting Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and the Museum of Applied Arts. You’ll finish the day by strolling through Chorsu Bazaar, where you can get an overview of real local life. A restaurant serving tasty local food will greet you with a welcome dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Tashkent – Shakhrisabz by train – Zarafshan village.
After breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the railway station, you’ll get the local train for Shakhrisabz (travel time: 6 hours). Once in Shakhrisabz, which is considered as Timur’s birthplace (who is also known as Tamerlane), you’ll visit the city’s remarkable monuments, including the ancient ruins of the Ak Saray (or White Palace). In this palace which he had built, Timur welcomed the Castilian ambassador Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo. You’ll then reach a small village located at the bottom of the Zarafshan mountain range (20km), stay at a guest house overnight and discover part of the mountain lifestyle.
Day 3. Trekking on Zarafshan mountains.
Our three-day hike through the Zarafshan mountains will start in the early morning. The local support team will organize everything (luggage, dishes, etc.), and you’ll only take with you your necessary items for the day. You’ll leave the beautiful mountain village and head up to the Ayakchi peak from where you’ll enjoy a spectacular view over the Kashkadarya region. Your picnic will be organized by our local team. In the afternoon, you’ll walk across the Eagle Rocks and undoubtedly meet some shepherds. At the end of the day, you’ll reach the 1 635 m high peak and camp nearby. Dinner and overnight under the tent.
Hiking start altitude: 1 100 m, hiking end altitude: 1 300 m, hiking highest altitude: 1 635 m, hiking time: 6 to 7 hours, (+ 500 m/- 300 m).
Day 4. Trekking on Zarafshan mountains.
Your second hiking day will start after breakfast. Many types of mountain rocks, as well as herds of animals such as horses and sheep, will be seen today. You’ll be able to enjoy a great variety of mountain wonders while hiking. You’ll also reach the highest peak of the Zarafshan mountains, which is 1 718 m high. After your picnic, you’ll head down slowly to your campsite. Upon arrival, you’ll prepare the tents and dinner, together with the support local team. Dinner and overnight under the tent.
Hiking start altitude: 1 300 m, hiking end altitude: 1 500 m, hiking highest altitude: 1 731 m, hiking time:6 to 7 hours, (+ 430 m/- 230 m).
Day 5. Trekking on Zarafshan mountains – Samarkand (45km by car).
After a hearty breakfast, we will pack up, leave the campsite and start to descend steeply on a small path towards the village of Tersak, located at other bottom of the Zarafshan mountains. From there, you’ll be able to see the entire oasis of the Samarkand region and its beautiful green landscapes. The view of a small natural waterfall can be enjoyed during your walk. Once in Tersak, you’ll have lunch at a local house. In the afternoon, you’ll part from your first local support team and take a short walk through the village. Upon arrival in Samarkand, you’ll check in at the hotel and possibly opt for an easy walk through the city. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Samarkand.
Hiking start altitude: 1 500 m, hiking end altitude: 1 100 m, hiking highest altitude: 1 500 m, hiking time: 4 hours, (+ 0 m/- 400 m).
Day 6. Samarkand, unexplored marvel of the Silk Road.
The entire day will be devoted to exploring Samarkand and its impressively high and imposing historical monuments. You’ll first visit the Amir Timur Mausoleum which was built by Timur in honour of his favourite grandson, and in which Timur himself was buried after his death. You’ll then discover the breathtaking center of Samarkand, Registon Square, enclosed with three ancient madrasas. In the afternoon, you’ll also visit the Bibi-Khanym Mosque which dates back to the 15th century. Next to the mosque is Siab Bazaar, in which you can treat yourself to some delicious local fruits. Overnight in Samarkand.
Day 7. Samarkand – Uhum village (210 km by car).
Today you’ll dive a little more into historical Samarkand before you leave it and move on to the next step of your trip. You’ll first visit Ulughbek Observatory, which was built by the 15th century Timurid ruler and astronomer, then Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis which includes more than twenty beautiful mausoleums. Your last visit will consist in exploring the production of Samarkand silk paper from mulberry tree, in Konighil village. After lunch, you’ll drive to the mountain village of Uhum (travel time: 4 hours). Upon arrival, you’ll check in at the guest house, where you’ll have dinner.
Day 8. Uhum village – Trekking on Nuratau mountains.
After breakfast at your guest house, you’ll move on to the second step of your hiking tour in the Nuratau mountains. Our new local support team will deal with the whole organization. You’ll leave the village and start hiking up the valley through the village. The valley is ideal for bird watching and has a diverse flora. After your picnic, you’ll head up to Lake Fazilman, where you can get a spectacular view over Lake Aydarkul. In the summertime, many villagers move up to their huts near Lake Fazilman in order to grow crops in fertile mountain lands. Once you reach the lake, our team will prepare the campsite. Dinner and overnight under the tent.
Hiking start altitude: 1 035 m, hiking end altitude: 1 645 m, hiking highest altitude: 1 645 m, hiking time: 6-7 hours, (+ 610 m/- 0 m).
Day 9. Trekking on Nuratau mountains – Sentab village.
In the morning you’ll leave your campsite and head for another mountain village, Sentab. The path will take you through small mountain peaks, from which you can still enjoy the beautiful view over Lake Aydarkul. You’ll descend into the valley and hike along the small river. After your picnic by the mountain river, time will have come for a nap! As you come closer to the village, you‘ll admire some Arabic writings and petroglyphs. Upon arrival, you’ll check in at the guest house, relax a little in the yard or take a walk through the village. Dinner and overnight at the guest house.
Hiking start altitude: 1 645 m, hiking end altitude: 1 180 m, hiking highest altitude: 1 645 m, hiking time: 6-7 hours, (+ 0 m/- 465 m).
Day 10. Sentab village – Yurt camp (180 km by car).
As you wake up, the beauty of the Nuratau mountains will surround you, and you can take the time to enjoy a half-day walk through the neighbouring village, Sob. You’ll drive to the village, then walk in the streets. If possible, you can visit the village school and get acquainted with the scholar system. Your lunch will be served at a local house. In the afternoon you’ll reach Lake Aydarkul located in the middle of the Kyzyl-kum desert. Swimming is permitted if the weather makes it possible; alternatively, you may observe a large variety of local birds. You’ll then head towards the yurt camp where you’ll spend the night. Upon arrival and after checking in, you may either take a free camel ride or enjoy a welcome tea. Before dinner, you can observe a spectacular sunset over the sandy hills of the desert. In the late evening, a performance with Kazakh singers will be held around the fire. A true relax experience under the stars! Overnight under the yurt.
Day 11. Yurt camp – Nurata – road to Bukhara (270 km by car).
You’ll leave the peaceful desert right after breakfast and reach the second Silk Road city of Uzbekistan, Noble Bukhara. En route, you’ll visit the city of Nuratau. According to historical writings, the small city was founded by Alexander the Great before he invaded Samarkand. This city was for him an important strategic military point. Here you’ll be able to see the ruins of a fortress that was supposedly built by the Greek army, as well as a water spring with holy fish. After lunch, your transfer to Bukhara will take you through agricultural lands. Upon arrival and after checking in, you can enjoy some individual free time before joining the group for a dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 12. Bukhara – hidden pearl of the East.
Today will be devoted to diving into the history of Bukhara, the most important Silk Road city in Uzbekistan. You’ll be immersed in an old city not only bounded with ancient mosques, madrasas and caravanserais, but also packed with impressive hand-made local products. One of the most impressive monuments in Bukhara is the Samanid Mausoleum which was built in the Middle Ages and is considered as one of the best examples of the early development of Islamic architecture. The trade domes were built both to develop trade and to facilitate the collection of taxes from caravan traders. The Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, enclosed with three main buildings, gives a majestic overview of the East. Once you’ll have seen all those wonders, you may feel like wandering freely for a while into historical Bukhara. Dinner will be organized with a local performance inside the courtyard of the Nadir Devanbegi ancient madrasah. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 13. Bukhara – Tashkent by train.
This morning is free, in order to enable you to wander through old Bukhara at your own pace. We advise you to explore the old Jewish quarter, in the heart of the old town, and Chor Minor Madrasa, which is hidden behind houses. After your free lunch, you’ll be taken to the railway station, about 15 km away from the city center. The strange reason why Bukhara’s railway station was built so far from the center is a story that your guide will be happy to share with you before you get on the train to Tashkent (travel time: 6 hours). Upon arrival, a delicious dinner will be organized before your transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 14. Departure from Tashkent.
The transfer is organized from your hotel to Tashkent International Airport. We wish you a pleasant flight back home.
NB; In the case of any emergency and weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed.