With much of its ancient and medieval past still proudly on show, Uzbekistan is a bewitching blend of desert forts and oasis cities, mosques, madrassas and breathtaking mosaics. Its ethos of hospitality is as old as the courtyards of its caravanserais.
To tour Uzbekistan is to travel through bygone times and the Silk Road city exchange points of crafts and cultures; to be beguiled by beautiful Bukhara, stunned by the sumptuous squares of Samarkand, and awe-struck by the artistry of intricate façades and azure-blue domes.
Jules Verne offers two journeys in Uzbekistan, revealing its ancient roots, architectural icons, ethnic and cultural fusion, and everyday life. A seven-day tour of the country’s highlights is focused on three major cities, and maximises your time in them by taking the high-speed train from east to west. Ten days of touring combine air, road, and rail travel, allowing additional destinations and intriguing interludes.
Each begins in the contemporary capital, Tashkent, encapsulating the character of the whole country with urban parks, a revered religious complex, a smart Downtown, and a combination of farmers’ market and modern commercial centre.
Both spend time in Bukhara, a medieval masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Complete with caravanserai courtyards, the Ark Fortress bastions, onion domes, labyrinthine lanes, and the mulberry-tree-shaded Lyabi-Khauz pond, it tells the tale of its two millennia of religion, academia, and art.
And the two tours conclude in Tamerlane’s capital, Samarkand. An oasis at the crossroads of trade routes, the striking city reflects adopted exotic styles of art and architecture, and lives up to its legends of romance with exquisite mosaics, majestic monuments, and stalls of silks and spices.
The longer tour takes ‘the golden road’ to Samarkand for unforgettable experiences, visiting Khiva’s ‘old town’, where hundreds of houses huddle within the fortress walls; stepping off the treadmill of modern life to cross the timeless landscape of the Kyzylkum Desert; and touring to the palaces of Tamerlane’s birthplace, Shakhrisabz.
The country’s climate is comfortably cool-to-warm in spring and autumn, when temperatures range between 16 and 22 degrees; averaging 28° across the summer, sometimes rising to highs of 35°.
Our Highlights of Uzbekistan tour dates avoid the hottest months, but The Golden Road to Samarkand runs right through from March to November, so travellers who love the sun can soak it up in summer, and others can opt for more temperate climes to match their own ideals.
Intertwining a feast of art and architecture, a mystical history, and a colourful culture unique to itself, Uzbekistan will enthral and perhaps surprise its visitors. Its mosques, magnificent mausoleums, and cities like living museums are equally appreciated by the cognoscenti and the novice.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne visits iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Our journeys in Uzbekistan cover all four of the country’s UNESCO cultural sites, the Samarkand Crossroads of Cultures, and the historic hearts of Khiva, Bukhara and Shakhrisabz; and take off at tangents for an insight of local life, enjoying dinner in the home of a Samarkand family, and visiting Gijduvon’s ceramic centre for a demonstration of the craft.
All our guided tours to Uzbekistan are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.