Uzbekistan - Jewel of the Silk Road
12 days from £2,149 per person
Samarkand. Bukhara. Khiva. The names conjure up images of ‘Arabian Nights’, Eastern exoticism and caravans crossing the Red Desert to bring silks, spices and jewels to the bazaars of the Near East. Our journey through Uzbekistan follows the Silk Road route, exploring the mosques, palaces, museums and madrasahs of these crossroad cities. Our adventure also takes us through the dramatic desert scenery of remote Karakalpakstan and reveals the grand tombs of the Biblical prophet Daniel and medieval warrior-emperor Tamerlane.
Your holiday includes:
11 excursions and visits
- 2 guided tours of Tashkent (including the Khast-Imam Complex and the Museum of History of Uzbekistan)
- Visits to Chilpyk and Ayaz Kala (with lunch in a traditional yurt camp); and Bahouddin Nakshbandi Mausoleum
- City tours of Khiva, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Samarkand
- 2 folklore shows
- Traditional Bukharian cooking master class
- Afrosiyab Museum and the Mausoleum of Daniel, Samarkand
- 9 nights in hotels and 1 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International and internal flights as detailed. Prices are based on return flights with Uzbekistan Airways from London Heathrow. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 23 meals: 9 breakfasts (days 3-11) 5 lunches (days 2-5 and 9) 9 dinners (days 2-10)
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Local Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
Day 1 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your overnight flight to Tashkent.
After arriving this morning, there’s time to relax at the hotel. This afternoon we head out for a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Marvel at the remarkable Khast-Imam Complex, amble around the exhibits at the Museum of Applied Art and browse for souvenirs at the traditional Chorsu Bazaar.
Wyndham Tashkent Hotel (4-star)
Urgench - Khiva
We’ll grab an early breakfast before journeying to the airport for a flight to Urgench. On arrival, we’ll transfer by coach to the walled city of Khiva. Along the way we’ll visit Chilpyk, the ‘Tower of Silence,’ which was used in Zoroastrian funerary rituals; the ruins of the ancient settlement of Tuprak Kala; and spot Ayaz Kala, near to where we have lunch in a traditional yurt camp.
Asia Khiva Hotel (3-star)
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Khiva, a Silk Road city famed for its elegant architecture. Within the medieval Itchan Kala, the walled ‘inner town’, we’ll find the 18th-century Djuma Mosque, the Tosh-Hovli Palace, the vast Kuhna Ark fortress and the beautiful Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum. Tonight’s dinner will be accompanied by a live folk show.
We leave Khiva after breakfast, crossing the dramatic landscapes of the Kyzyl Kum, or Red Sand Desert, along the route once taken by the Silk Road caravan traders. We stop along the way, arriving in Bukhara this afternoon.
Asia Bukhara (3-star)
A guided city tour showcases the old town of Bukhara, an ancient Silk Road trading hub and important cultural centre, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amongst other highlights, we visit the 16th-century Kalyan Mosque, the multi-coloured Abdul Aziz Khan Madrasah and the turquoise-domed Mir-i-Arab Madrasah, looking like an image from the ‘Arabian Nights’.
You’re then free to explore - perhaps browse through the souvenirs in the bazaars or relax in one of the city’s tea houses. This evening we’ll enjoy a traditional Bukharian cooking class and learn about the delicious regional cuisine, a fusion of Jewish and Central Asian flavours and traditions.
We head out of the city this morning to tour the Bahouddin Nakshbandi Mausoleum, an elegant memorial to a 14th-century Sufi scholar. We’ll also visit Sitorai-Mokhi-Hossa Palace, once the summer residence of the local emirs. Early this evening we’ll stroll to the Nadir Divan Begi madrasah for a folklore show.
Shakhrisabz - Samarkand
We’ll journey to Shakhrisabz where we’ll take a city tour, including the ruins of Aqsaray Palace, Khazrati Imam Mosque, Jahangir Mausoleum and the Dorut Tilavat Complex, home to Kok Gumbaz Mosque.
Continuing on, we’ll head for Samarkand, founded in the 7th-century BC. It was once the capital of a great empire ruled by the legendary warlord Tamerlane, and one of the most important cities along the Silk Road. Today, this ‘Crossroad of Cultures’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hotel Grand Samarkand (3.5 star), Orient Star Samarkand (3.5 star) or Hotel Asia Samarkand (3.5 star)
A full-day sightseeing tour introduces us to Samarkand, ticking off the Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, the mosaic-covered Ulugh Beg Madrasah and the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, as well as the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, an imposing complex of 11 medieval mausolea. We sample some traditional Samarkand cuisine at local restaurants.
Samarkand - Tashkent
Another guided tour takes us to the fascinating 15th-century Ulugh Beg Observatory, the Afrosiyab Museum and the Mausoleum of Daniel, said to be the tomb of the Old Testament prophet. This afternoon we’ll take the train back to Tashkent.
Wyndham Tashkent Hotel (4-star)
Day 11 Tashkent - UK
Take a guided walking tour of Tashkent, visiting the History Museum, Independence Square and the richly decorated Tashkent Metro. This afternoon we transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.