Overview

Flight - 1 night
Tashkent - 1 night
Khiva - 2 nights
Bukhara - 3 nights
Samarkand - 3 nights
Tashkent - 1 night

THE GOLDEN ROAD TO SAMARKAND

Experience Uzbekistan’s melting-pot of culture and heritage on this tour to its Silk Road cities, from metropolitan Tashkent to Old Khiva’s towers and cupolas, across the Kyzylkum Desert to beautiful Bukhara, and into exotic Samarkand, Tamerlane’s capital city

A tour by air, road and rail, with a touch of magic, romance and mystique, starts in the nation’s capital, Tashkent, at once a multi-ethnic metropolis, commercial hub, farmers’ market town, smart downtown, and major exporter of textiles; in short, Uzbekistan in microcosm.

Khiva’s aficionados wax lyrical about the UNESCO listed ‘old town’, where 300 houses and monuments huddle within the fortress walls. Much more than just a route from A to B, to travel from Khiva to Bukhara is to step off the treadmill of modern life and into the timeless and tranquil landscape of the Kyzylkum Desert; its red sand ridges punctuated with small oasis settlements. In beguiling Bukhara, the entire medieval masterpiece that forms its core is a UNESCO World Heritage site, complete with labyrinthine lanes, onion domes in azure hues, the bastions of the Ark Fortress, and the mulberry-tree-shaded Lyabi-Khauz pond.

Set at the crossroads of cultures and trade routes, Samarkand reflects adopted exotic architectural styles and artistic crafts in its historic heart, where massive monuments hem huge squares, intricately paved alleys run between exquisitely mosaicked façades, and silks and spices spill scent and colour through the city’s bazaar.

Key Features

Cultural Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
No Single Supplement
Solo Group Departures
Local Expert Guides

Special Event

Dinner in a Local Home

Learn to cook the traditional Uzbek dish ‘Pilov’ in a local home in Samarkand. Meet with the family who live here to learn about daily life.

Day 1 Overnight flight from London Heathrow to Tashkent.

Day 2 Early morning transfer to your hotel. An afternoon city tour (by bus and on foot), with a local guide, takes in the Navoi Theatre, Chorsu market, Independence Square, and old city madrasahs. Optional ballet, opera or theatre performance at the Navoi Theatre (£18). Overnight at the 4-star Ramada Tashkent. (B, D)

Day 3 Fly to Urgench and transfer to your hotel in Khiva. A guided, afternoon walking tour of the city shows you Old Khiva’s city walls, the Kunya Ark, minarets, a mausoleum and Tash-Khauli Palace. Two nights at the 3-star Asia Khiva Hotel or similar. (B, D)

Day 4 A day at leisure to explore Khiva, perhaps linking a stroll in the atmospheric Old Town with a lunch-stop in the authentic Uzbek restaurants of the city’s modern outer circle; or take an optional tour of its ancient fortresses (bookable locally, approx. $50) (B, D)

Day 5 Travel by road to Bukhara (8 ½ hrs, including barbecue lunch stop) across the Kyzylkum (‘Red Sand’) Desert, where bare mountains and small oases punctuate the wind-whipped sand, and camels and Karakul sheep graze desert plants. Three nights at the 3-star Devon Begi Hotel or similar. (B, L)

Day 6 A day of discovery begins with a walking tour, to the madrasahs, Maghoki Arrar Mosque, and tea houses of Lyabi-Khauz Square; and through the Trading Domes to Poi Kalyan Square and the Mir-i-Arab madrasah. A short drive in the afternoon takes you to Ismail Samani Mausoleum, and to stroll to Prophet Job’s Well and Bukhara’s old citadel, the Ark Fortress. (B, D)

Day 7 Morning tour to the 19th century Emir’s Palace, continuing to Char Minar, which translates as ‘four minarets’, though these are the blue domed towers at each corner of a gatehouse. Afternoon free to explore medieval Bukhara, perhaps finding the 15th century Silk Road caravanserai courtyard. (B, D)

Day 8 Travel by road (5hrs) to Samarkand, Tamerlane’s capital. An afternoon tour takes you to the most imposing of the city’s magnificent monuments, the grandiose Bibi-Khanym Mosque, and the three madrasahs which frame Registan Square, an amazing architectural ensemble of ornately tiled arches, domes and pillars. Three nights at the 3-star Asia-Samarkand or Grand Samarkand Superior. (B, D)

Day 9 A guided morning tour to Gur Emir mausoleum (Tamerlane’s tomb), the Ulug Beg Observatory – the work of his grandson, and the Shah-i-Zinda (Living King) complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a place of pilgrimage, and an avenue of over twenty breathtakingly beautiful mausolea, adorned with tiles in brilliant blues. Afternoon free. Evening special event, dinner in a family house, including a demonstration of making the Uzbek pilov, a meat and rice dish packed with flavours and spices. (B, D)

Day 10 An intriguing introduction to local speciality products, with morning visits to see the Khujum factory’s hand-crafting of silk carpets, and the Meros workshop’s mulberry tree paper-making. Afternoon free. (B, D)

Day 11  Enjoy a leisurely morning or take an optional tour to the palaces of Shakhirsabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane (bookable locally, approx. $50). Afternoon transfer to board the high-speed Afrosiyob train to Tashkent (2hrs). Overnight at the 4-star Ramada Tashkent. (B, D)

Day 12 Return flight to London Heathrow (arriving later the same day). (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner

Notes

Lyabi-Khauz Square (Day 6) & Shah-I-Zinda (Day 9) monuments involve many steps.
Travel between the cities by road, whilst being a classic way to experience the country, involves some long journeys with only limited opportunities for comfort breaks.
The order of sightseeing tours may vary in accordance with local conditions.

Notes

Hotels in Uzbekistan are simple and unpretentious but well-located with a restaurant, bar and air-conditioned rooms with private facilities and satellite TV. From time to time, there may be water and electricity shortages and, on occasion, alternative hotels may be used. WiFi (free) is available at all hotels on the tour, although can be intermittent depending on local conditions. Food is based on fresh local produce and is nutritious but can be repetitive.

2022

Fridays
per person in a twin/double room
Uzbekistan Airways from Heathrow

Date Price
October 7 £2145
October 14 £2095
October 21 £2095
November 4 £2145

2023

Fridays
per person in a twin/double room
Uzbekistan Airways from Heathrow

Date Price
March 24 £2495
April 7 £2445
April 21 £2395
May 12 £2545
May 19 £2495
June 9 £2445
June 30 £2395
August 11 £2495
September 8 £2495
September 22 £2545
October 6 £2545
October 20 £2445
November 3 £2445
No Single Supplement

(limited dates/availability)

Solo Group Departure

4 November 2022
24 March, 30 June, 3 November 2023

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
(limited availability)
2022: Oct 14
2023: Jun 9 & Aug 11

Solo Group Departures
(No Single Supplement)
2022: Nov 4
2023: Mar 24, Jun 30, Nov 3

Single supplement £345
(2023 £425)

Optional Excursions

Optional ballet, opera or theatre performance at the Navoi Theatre £18

Extension Options

Extension - Ferghana Valley
3 nights £525 (2023 £625)
Single supplement £90

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
(limited availability)
2022: Oct 14 & 21

Extra nights – Tashkent
Ramada Tashkent Hotel
(per night) £65
Single supplement £50

Privately Guided

Add £895 per person

Tour Only

Save £550 
Arrival or departure transfer add £16

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 10 nights' accommodation, half board, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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The Golden Road to Samarkand

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