This tour provides a perfect opportunity to explore the Uzbek part of The Silk Road, but also to experience the Uzbek hospitality in a different way – by spending several days with locals. The main aim of our tour is to give you a chance to be closer to the Uzbek daily life and get acquainted with the local customs in two different host families. You will immerse yourself not only in historical life of the Silk Road, but also in present day life of Uzbek people. A real amazing and unforgettable experience in modern Uzbekistan!
Highlights of this trip:
- Discover the modern capital of Uzbekistan,
- Visit charming and ancient fortress of Ichan-Kala in Khiva,
- Unforgettable amazing experience with locals by staying several days in the local communities of host families in villages,
- Discover the function system of two different villages,
- Try to cook some national dishes with your hosts.
Day 1. Arrival to Tashkent. Then, to Urgench and Khiva.
Upon arrival to Tashkent International Airport you’ll be met by our local guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. After successful check-in you’ll have free time for rest. After late breakfast you’ll leave the hotel with your luggage and start getting acquainted with the modern capital of Uzbekistan. Tashkent was founded in the 2-nd century BC, and was destroyed and rebuilt several times in its history. Today it is a city of modern multi-storied buildings, some of them constructed after the earthquake of 1966, and this gives you a perfect impression of the Soviet time constructions. You’ll enjoy walking through the Chorsu Bazaar and tasting some local fruits. After interesting visits and exploration of metro (subway) of Tashkent, you’ll reach the local airport in order to catch a domestic flight (1 hour) for Urgench. Upon arrival, transfer to Khiva and check-in to your hotel. Overnight in Khiva.
Day 2. Khiva, hidden marvel of the East !
The day will be devoted to exploration of Khiva, located between the vast Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts. Khiva is a famous city for its long and brutal history and was also one the first cities of Uzbekistan certified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city is divided into two parts: the first one is Ichan-Kala (the inner city within the wall), where you see a lot of historical buildings of Islamic architecture, and the second one is Dishan-Kala (the outer city beyond the wall) populated by local people. You’ll enjoy exploring Tash-Khauli, the new Palace of the Khans (rulers) of Khiva, constructed in 1842. Tash-Khauli means “stone palace” and it has more than 160 rooms. Following this, you’ll visit all the important sights of Khiva before you go to dinner at a local house. In the evening you’ll taste the authentic local dish ‘’ Shivit Oshi’’ prepared of dough with dills. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3. Khiva – Bukhara, the road to Bukhara the Magic, by train to the East (450 km by car).
This morning you’ll have leisure time for you to explore other exceptional ancient buildings located in Ichan-Kala. After free lunch you’ll be transferred to the railway station located in Urgench to take the local train for Bukhara. You’ll go across the Kyzyl-kum desert and observe the sandy dunes. It will remind you of Caravan travelers going across the desert during many days. You’ll enjoy your dinner-box at the restaurant in the train with the locals. Travel time – 7h. After amazing train experience you’ll arrive in Bukhara and go to your hotel. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 4. A day of sightseeing in old Bukhara!
The next exceptional day in the mysterious city of Bukhara starts with a visit to the beautiful architectural monuments. Your sightseeing tour will include the ruler’s Residence called Ark, which was damaged by the Soviet Army in 1920. Then, the functioning Friday Mosque situated just in front of the Ruler’s Residence. The ensemble Chashma-i-Ayub is a unique building with its amazing museum of history of water-supply in Bukhara. It is widely believed that Bukhara was saved of the shortage water problem by the biblical prophet Job. After the interesting visits you’ll have free time until you go to the local restaurant for a delicious dinner, where you’ll taste the local dish “Navruz”, prepared of vegetables only in Bukhara. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5. Bukhara – Vobkent , the day to get acquainted with the locals (65 km by car).
Today you’ll leave city life and drive to Vobkent village. En route, you’ll make a short stop to visit a ceramic workshop, which is famous in the country. The local master will explain to you each step of production of the beautiful ceramic dishes. Then, you’ll head towards a small village Vobkent. Upon arrival, you’ll accommodate in your shared room in a national house (rural and simple comfort). you’ll share a delicious welcome lunch with the family, a great occasion to know better the members of the host family. In the afternoon, you’ll walk through the village and watch the daily life of local people. In the evening you will participate in cooking dinner and try to get some experience. Dinner with the family and overnight.
Day 6. Vobkent, experience the authentic rural hospitality.
This day will be full of new discoveries in this small village. You may wake up earlier in the morning in order to assist in milking cows and preparing delicious breakfast. After that, you’ll go to visit a hospital, where you’ll be acquainted with the medical services system of the village. Following this, you’ll enjoy visiting also a small kindergarten before you’ll go exploring a cotton field with your host and guide. The guide will explain the whole process of production of cotton. After the amazing discoveries you’ll spend the night at the home stay.
Day 7. Vobkent – Samarkand, road to the wonderful Samarkand (235 km by car) !
After your breakfast you’ll leave the home stay and head towards Samarkand. you’ll have a short stop at an ancient sardoba (water-storing reservoir) used by caravan traders. Your road will go across agricultural lands and you can take a lot of pictures. Upon arrival to Samarkand, you’ll explore the wonderful architecture of the Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis including more than twenty mausoleums. This place is also considered a holy place and you may meet a lot of locals coming to pray. Then, you’ll enjoy visiting the Siab-bazaar located not too far from the Necropolis. After checking-in at your hotel, you’ll have free time before you go to the local restaurant for dinner. This evening you’ll enjoy tasting delicious kebabs. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8. Discovering the wonders of Samarkand.
In the morning after breakfast at hotel you’ll continue to explore the impressive wonders of Samarkand. First, you’ll visit the Registan Square (Sandy Place) enclosed by three ancient madrasah. This sandy place was used as a city centre with a big daily bazaar until the Russian army arrived to Samarkand. Next to the Square is located the Bibi-Khanum mosque built in honour of the favourite wife of Timur (Tamerlane). Your lunch will be served at a chai-khana (tea- house) highly appreciated by locals. In the afternoon you’ll visit other impressive historical monuments of Samarkand before finishing the memorable day by a dinner at a local national house with a folklore performance. Dancing is possible with the dancers. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9. Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – village Zaravshan. Visiting the hometown of the great Emperor (110 km by car).
After two days of exploring Samarkand and its highlights, you’ll leave the city and go to visit hometown of Timur (Tamerlane). you’ll go across the snaking mountain pass and enjoy some beautiful views over the Zarafshan mountains. En route, you’ll have a short stop on the top of pass ( 1675m ) to discover a mountain bazaar, where you’ll have an occasion to buy some local spices. Upon arrival, you’ll visit three main historical sites built entirely by Timur and his descendants. In the afternoon, you‘ll drive to the mountain village of Zarafshan located at the bottom of a mountain range. Then, after checking-in to your shared rooms, you’ll walk through the village. In the evening, you’ll share a delicious welcome dinner with the host family. While dining, you may ask your questions related to the daily life of your hosts.
Day 10. Village Zeravshan – Samarkand, easy hiking day on the Zarafshan mountains (70 km).
Rising early with singing of birds and voices of domestic animals in the mountain village for another day of your trip, you’ll have breakfast and start your short easy hiking through the mountains. You’ll leave slowly the village and start going up to the tops of the mountains. You’ll be able to see the beautiful mountain views over the oasis and enjoy meeting some domestic animals. You’ll have a picnic around a water spring and after that start to come back to home stay. After an interesting easy hiking, you’ll leave the village and come back to Samarkand at the end of the afternoon. Check-in to your hotel and free time for you to explore the city on foot on your own. After dinner you’ll have a night tour over the city for you to see all the illuminated historical monuments. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11. Samarkand – Tashkent, road to Tashkent !
After breakfast you’ll have a short sightseeing tour to explore some highlights in Samarkand. You’ll visit Afrasiab museum built in 1976, where you’ll discover authentic wall-paintings, which date back to the 7th century AD. These wall-paintings were discovered unexpectedly while constructing an urban road. Then, you’ll drive to Konighil village to visit a small workshop producing Samarkand silk-paper of mulberry tree. Your lunch will be served at a Pilaf Centre ‘’Osh Markazi’’ and you’ll taste Samarkand pilaf for the last time. In the afternoon, time is free for your leisure walking around the Registan Square, before your transfer to the railway station. You’ll take the high speed train and arrive to Tashkent (travel time-2h 10m). You’ll have dinner and taste local wine. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12. Departure from Tashkent to home.
The transfer to the International Airport of Tashkent. We wish you a pleasant flight!
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.