Highlights of the Uzbekistan Silk Road: Ferghana valley, Bukhara and Samarkand. 10 days / 9 nights.
This trip, encompassing 10 days, provides a chance to explore three main regions of Uzbekistan. The tour starts with a visit to the famous Ferghana valley surrounded by high Tyan-Shan mountains. This valley is considered a paradise of delicious fruits and grapes in Uzbekistan. Leaving this wonderland, you’ll go to the city of Bukhara, once a stopping place of caravans and The Dome of Islam in the East. Then we travel into the heart of Kyzyl-Kum desert to see the nomadic life and spend a night in a yurt-camp, where you may ride a camel and listen to nomadic songs of akyn (a bard) at a camp-fire after dinner. This break allows us to forget the civilized life. Next, Royal Samarkand welcomes you with its historical sites, which are difficult to imagine. Your last destination is Shakhrisabz, a small city, the birthplace of Timur the Great (Tamerlane).
Highlights of this trip:
- Enjoy the natural beauty of the Fergana valley,
- Discover the dynamic capital Tashkent,
- Explore the colourful bazars in Bukhara and Samarkand,
- Spend a relaxing day and night near the lake Aydarkul.
Day 1. Arrival to Tashkent.
We will meet you at the Tashkent International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Tashkent city. After a late breakfast at the hotel, you’ll start visiting the Uzbek capital. The famous Chorsu bazaar, which was built around 11th century and is located in the center of the old town, where local people buy all the necessary food-stuffs. After this you’ll head to the modern part of Tashkent with its wide avenues, shady parks and houses. You’ll visit The Independence Square, Amir Timur’s Square and explore some of the metro (subway) stations of Tashkent. At the end of the day you’ll visit the museum of Applied Arts, where you’ll discover some original samples of the local handicrafts. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 2. Tashkent – Fergana. A visit to the paradise of fruits and grapes (310 km by car).
Early in the morning, after breakfast, you’ll leave Tashkent by car for a daily trip and incredible drive to Kokand and then to the city of Fergana. The majestic road is the only land connection between Fergana valley and Tashkent. There are two big tunnels allowing to reduce the time of the trip to the Fergana valley. Upon arrival to Kokand, you’ll explore the city and its historical monuments. And then you’ll go to a small town of Rishtan, where you’ll see a live demonstration of traditional pottery made on a potter’s wheel. After this, in the evening, you’ll arrive to Fergana and check-in. Your dinner will be served at your hotel. Overnight in Fergana.
Day 3. Fergana – Tashkent via Marghilan. A visit to the factory of silk products “Yodgorlik”.
This morning you’ll drive to Marghilan, where you can get acquainted with the process of silk production from the cocoon to the silk fabric. “Yodgorlik” is a silk factory preserving the ancient methods of making silk fabrics. Then you’ll walk through the town and meet a lot of bread- sellers along the street and visit a lively bazaar of fruits and vegetables. After lunch, transfer to the railway station, where you’ll take a train to Tashkent (travel time – 5 hours). Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and check-in. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 4. From modern Tashkent to medieval city of Bukhara by high speed train.
Early morning, transfer to the railway station in order to catch the high speed train from Tashkent to Bukhara (travel time – 3h 45). Upon arrival, transfer and check-in at your hotel. After lunch you’ll start exploring Bukhara the Noble by visiting its water-pools surrounded by mulberry trees, trade-domes built in 16th century, ancient Jewish quarter with its functioning synagogue and other objects of interest. In late afternoon you’ll have free time before you go to see a traditional folklore performance in the courtyard of an ancient madrasah. Your dinner will be served at a local national house. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 5. Continue discovering Bukhara on foot.
You have another day in the fantastic city of Bukhara, starting with a visit to the Ark Citadel – a city in the city. It served as a permanent Residence for Emir’s of Bukhara until its destruction by the Soviet army in 1920. In front of it there is situated the ancient Bolo-khauz mosque, still functioning. Then, you’ll walk through the local bazaar and have an occasion to meet the local people buying their daily food. In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore the town on your own and buy some local handicrafts made by craftsmen of Bukhara. You’ll all meet again for dinner at a rooftop restaurant ( weather permitting !). Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 6. Experience the nomadic life in Kyzyl-kum desert (280 km by car).
After breakfast at hotel, you drive to the Lake Aydarkul with a stop in Nuratau. The small town was founded by Alexander the Great before he invaded Samarkand. Today you’ll visit some ruins and fortifications remained after that time, and also see a holy spring, in which you’ll see fish living permanently there. In the afternoon, transfer to a yurt-camp and check in ( one yurt may accommodate 4 persons). Then, you can ride camels (for free) and walk around the camp. We recommend you to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the sandy hills of the desert. Your dinner will be served at the camp restaurant and after dinner you’ll enjoy a performance of a local akyn (a bard) with his nomadic songs near a camp-fire under the starry sky. Overnight in the yurt.
Day 7. Coming back to the civil life (270 km by car).
After breakfast at the yurt camp, you’ll drive to the lake Aydarkul and walk along its banks. Swimming is possible (weather permitting! ). Your lunch will be served as a picnic near the lake. In the afternoon, drive to Samarkand through the agricultural region. Upon arrival in Samarkand, you’ll check-in at your hotel and will have some time for relax. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in the hotel.
Day 8. Getting acquainted with Samarkand, a city on the Silk Road.
The full day will be devoted to explore this remarkable city by visiting all the wonders of Timur’s former capital. The first stop of sightseeing tour in Samarkand is the majestic Registan square, the centre of the medieval city. Then you move further to Bibi-khanum Congregational Mosque built by Timur ( Tamerlane ) in honour of his favourite wife. You‘ll enjoy your lunch at a local chai-khana (tea-house) near the Siab-bazaar. You’ll continue exploring Samarkand by visiting the bazar, Shahi-zinda Necropolis (a burial place of nobles). In the evening, you‘ll attend the performance at the theatre ‘’El Merosi‘’ (People’s Heritage). Dinner at a local restaurant and a photo tour ‘’Samarkand by night ‘’ is organized after your dinner. Overnight in your hotel.
Day 9. Samarkand – Tashkent (300 km)
This morning, you’ll continue sightseeing in Samarkand, visit Afrasiab museum with pre-Islamic wall-paintings and archeological artefacts. Then a drive to Konighil village to discover the traditional way of producing Samarkand silk-paper made of mulberry tree. After the sightseeing tour, you’ll enjoy free time and then transfer to the railway station. The high speed train will deliver you to Tashkent in 2 hours. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Delicious dinner will be organized for you before your departure from Uzbekistan.
Day 10. Departure from Tashkent.
The transfer is organized from your hotel 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.