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Explore the ancient cities frequented by nomads and conquerors, the architectural legacy left by a flourishing Islam and the great Empire of Timur. Mosques, madrassas, fortresses and unforgettable landscapes await, ranging from fertile valleys to open steppes and never-ending deserts.

Tour modern Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and the largest city in Central Asia. Visit the Fergana Valley to learn about the strong local traditions of ceramics and silk production, Termez, a historic regional center of Buddhism and well-preserved Khiva, a museum city surrounded by mud brick walls.

Spend time in the charming Old City of Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before arriving at the wonders of Samarkand. Along the way you'll meet local people and master craftsmen, who will share with you their expertise in paper making, ceramics, and silk production.

Destinations
Uzbekistan
Activity
Culture, Cities, Museums & Galleries, History, Solo Travel
Tour Type
Small group tour, Private guided tour
Physical Level
Easy

Good to know

  • Explore the fascinating culture and history of Uzbekistan
  • Fully escorted multi-lingual guide
  • Small groups (max 12)
  • Flexible rebookings: change dates at no cost

Detailed itinerary

What you'll see and do

Arrive in Tashkent

Arrival at Tashkent Airport and transfer to the hotel and rest after your flight. You will have free time until the evening when you will meet your group and the tour leader in the hotel. After the welcome briefing, we will enjoy the short walk through Independence Square and along Sayilgoh Promenade, where artists gather to showcase their works. Together we will enjoy a lively welcome dinner and celebrate the start of what will no doubt be a captivating journey through Uzbekistan.

Included meals: Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Wyndham Tashkent
Superior

Wyndham Tashkent

Visit the Margilan Yodgrolik Silk Factory

Following breakfast, we will travel by train to the Fergana Valley. Surrounded by the Tien Shan Mountains and watered by tributaries of the Syr Darya River, this is the most fertile part of Central Asia. Since the time of Alexander the Great and throughout the heyday of the Great Silk Road, it was a rich oasis. We will stop in Margilan, a famous Silk Road staging post, the economic life of which is still dominated by large-scale production of silk and other textiles. We will learn firsthand about the manufacturing process during a visit to the Margilan Yodgrolik Silk Factory.

At Yodgorlik, silkworms are raised on mulberry leaves, and the cocoons are unraveled to yield the raw material. The artisans use natural dyes and Uzbekistan’s traditional ikat technique to produce stunning pieces. Several different grades of fabric are produced, from the pure silk khon atlas to cotton and silk blends called adras. After sightseeing, we will check-in and have dinner at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Grand Fergana Hotel

Grand Fergana Hotel

Khudayar Khan’s Palace

This is our second day exploring the Fergana Valley. The region is famous in Uzbekistan not only for agriculture but also for its artisans and markets. After visiting the local market in Fergana, we will drive around one hour to Rishtan, which is celebrated as a center for ceramics. It is no coincidence that pottery became such a prominent industry here: the local red clay and pigments are of excellent quality. We will have the chance to visit the studio of a master potter, and to learn more about his job and passion, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

From Rishtan, we drive on to Kokand, another city with a rich history as a trading and religious center. In the 19th century, Kokand was the capital of the Kokand Khanate, which stretched to the southern Kazakh steppe. Our short sightseeing tour will include the remains of the Khudayar Khan’s Palace, as well as the impressive Jami Mosque.

At 5:30 PM our train will depart from Kokand to Tashkent. We will arrive in Tashkent at 9:20 PM and transfer to the hotel for a late dinner and bed.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Wyndham Tashkent
Superior

Wyndham Tashkent

Tashkent City Tour

Tashkent is the biggest city in Central Asia and one of the oldest. Unfortunately, most of its historic buildings were destroyed in a catastrophic earthquake in 1966, after which Tashkent was rebuilt as a model Soviet city.

Amongst the older buildings which did survive are those of the Khast Imom Complex, which is where we will head first on today’s city tour of Tashkent. The library contains the Quran of Caliph Uthman, which dates from the 7th century and hence is maybe the oldest Quran in the world. In the same place is the mausoleum of an Islamic saint, Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi.

We will then join traders at the vibrant Chorsu Bazaar before taking a ride on the stunningly decorated Tashkent Metro. Our city tour will end with a visit to the Applied Arts Museum, after which we will go to the railway station and board the night train to the southernmost city of Uzbekistan, Termez.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Termez

We will arrive in Termez early in the morning and immediately begin exploring the city. Few tourists ever venture as far south as Termez. It is a pity, as it is a place of exceptional historic importance and with a wealth of intriguing archaeological sites from pre-Islamic times. In the 6th century BC, Termez was already known to the Achaemenids, and it was later conquered by Alexander the Great. The city’s medieval fortifications ran for 10 miles, and the famous Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta wrote of its lively bazaar, fine buildings, canals, and gardens.

It is still possible to see the ruins of Kara Tepe and Fayaz Tepe, two important ancient Buddhist monasteries; plus the Kyrk-Kyz Fortress. Termez’s archaeological museum is one of the best in Central Asia, and we will visit it to learn about the millennia of Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and Islamic history in the region. This will provide the context for our subsequent visit to the archeological sites of Fayaz Tepa and Kampir Tepa.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Meridian
Classic

Hotel Meridian

Derbent Village

After breakfast, we will drive north to the village of Derbent. Derbent translates as “Dead End Valley” in the local language. It sits amidst the huge Hissar Mountain Range, a place steeped in nature and history. Historically, trading caravans traveling between the famous Silk Road cities of Kabul, Samarkand, and Bukhara would pass through this village. Derbent had a favourable strategic location: it was lush, populous, and situated on one of the main passes through the mountains. This pass was also a major crossing point between the ancient kingdoms of Bactria and Sogdia.

It is not by accident that both Alexander of Macedonia and Timur used this pass to move their armies through the area. The famous Iron Gate of Timur, a natural, narrow gorge through the rocky mountains, probably its name from the occasion when Timur led his soldiers through here en route from Samarkand to Balkh.

On arrival, we will have a short walk in the village. We will enjoy lunch with a local family and then go for an easy hike through the mountain foothills, perhaps also visiting the sacred spring which is a lifeline for the village. Dinner will be together with the villagers, so you can once again experience authentic rural hospitality.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Explore Shakhrisabz

Today is the day we journey to Samarkand! On the way, we will stop in the hometown of Emperor Timur, Shakhrisabz. Shakhrisabz is one of Uzbekistan’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will arrive in time for lunch, then visit the Ak Saray, which was built as a summer palace for Timur. Next, we will explore the Dorut Tilovat memorial complex and the Kok-Gumbaz Mosque before continuing on our way and reaching Samarkand in the early evening.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

Samarkand City Tour

Sublime Samarkand evokes an almost mythical past full of romance and intrigue. This was the domain of Emperor Timur, one of history’s greatest conquerors. His vast empire rivaled any, stretching across the Eurasian steppe. Timur ruled his kingdom with an iron fist, whilst at the same time patronizing the arts and literature. Much of Samarkand’s Timurid-era architectural heritage has been preserved, allowing us to see how the city might have looked at the peak of Timur’s power.

Today is devoted to exploring Samarkand. We will start the day at the Gur-e-Amir, the gilded mausoleum where Timur is buried. We will hear stories from his life and how he began the construction of Samarkand. Then, we will go on to the Registan, the most famous (and arguably most impressive) landmark in Uzbekistan. The square is the historic focal point of Samarkand, and it is framed by three beautiful madrassas, Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tillya Kori. We’ll stroll from here through the spacious courtyard of the Bibi-Khanum Mosque, a structure which legend says was gifted to Timur by one of his wives. After lunch, we’ll have time to explore the Siyob Bazaar, where fruit and vegetables grown in the rich soils of the Zarafshan Valley are sold in a colourful market. You may explore the city on your own during your free time this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

Visit the Shah-i Zinda

After breakfast, we will visit Konigil Paper Mill to see the same process of paper production from mulberry tree bark which was used in 8th century Samarkand. We then go to the Shah-i Zinda, the magnificent royal necropolis decorated with turquoise and blue mosaics and domes.

After lunch together, you can choose to have free time or to visit Ulugbek’s Observatory and Afrasiyab Museum with our guide. The museum explores the ancient history of Afrasiyab – Samarkand’s precursor – which was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century. Dinner will be in the city centre, and once we’ve eaten we will transfer to the train station to catch the Afrosiyob high-speed train to Bukhara at 9:00 PM. We’ll arrive at 10:40 PM and transfer to the hotel to check-in.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

Bukhara City Tour

After breakfast, we will start our walking tour of Bukhara. Even the name, Bukhara, conjures up images of the exotic Orient. For centuries, it was an important trading hub and a centre of scholarship and religion. The Old City – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – has been well preserved and is crammed full of minarets, mosques, and madrassas. Its once-notorious canals and pools, the source of many an epidemic, have now been drained, but the most famous, Lyabi-Hauz, is still there, and today it is an oasis shaded by mulberry trees in the heart of the city.

Your guide will show you Bukhara’s unmissable sights, and you can soak up the atmosphere wandering through the city’s labyrinthine alleyways. Key sights on today’s walking tour include the Samanid Mausoleum, Poi Kalon, Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, and the historic trading domes still used for handicrafts markets. Dinner will be served in the city centre.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

Train to Khiva

This morning is free for you to relax, shop for souvenirs, or sip tea in the famous Lyabi Hauz square. Before mid-day, we will transfer to the railway station, and our journey through the Kyzylkum Desert to the walled city of Khiva will take approximately six hours on the train. Enjoy the scenery of the desert along the way. We will reach Khiva – the heart of which is an open-air museum – in the evening and have our dinner next to the minaret.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Khiva City Tour

A jewel of desert architecture, Khiva is one of the most important centres of ancient Khorezm. Locals believe that Shem, son of Noah, founded the city when he discovered a freshwater spring in the middle of this vast desert. Archaeologists believe the city was founded some 2,500 years ago. Today, Khiva is the most architecturally intact Silk Road city in Uzbekistan. Its intense green and blue tilework ranks as some of the most spectacular in Central Asia, and the entirety of the Ichan-Kala – the inner city – is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Khiva is full of incredible architecture, and today we will get the chance to see it all. The focus of our tour is the walled Ichan-Kala, within which are preserved more than 60 historic monuments and hundreds of centuries-old houses. As you walk through the massive city gates, you’ll be met by the dazzlingly patterned tiles of the Kalta-Minor, a minaret that is a masterpiece of Islamic design. The walking tour will be complemented by panoramic views of Old Khiva from the top of the Ak Sheikh Baba observatory platform.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Khiva to Tashkent

After breakfast we will transfer to Urgench Airport for the flight to Tashkent, which arrives in the capital around noon. We will check-in at the hotel and you will then have free time to do as you wish, before rejoining your fellow travellers and guide for a final goodbye dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Wyndham Tashkent
Superior

Wyndham Tashkent

Depart from Tashkent

We will arrange a complimentary transfer to Tashkent International Airport.

Included meals: Breakfast

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning    
11 Oct 2021 24 Oct 2021 Enquire
28 Mar 2022 10 Apr 2022 Enquire
11 Apr 2022 24 Apr 2022 Enquire
26 Sep 2022 9 Oct 2022 Enquire
10 Oct 2022 23 Oct 2022 Enquire
More dates available   Enquire

Looking for a different date?

Not sure when you're travelling yet? Looking for a different date? Contact Kalpak Travel for more information.

Enquire

Good to know

  • Explore the fascinating culture and history of Uzbekistan
  • Fully escorted multi-lingual guide
  • Small groups (max 12)
  • Flexible rebookings: change dates at no cost

Where to stay

Some of our sample accommodation.

Carefully-selected, quality assured hotels ranging from three or four stars and one night on an overnight train.

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Grand Fergana Hotel

Grand Fergana Hotel

3...

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Wyndham Tashkent
Superior

Wyndham Tashkent

A modern, 4* hotel with comfortable rooms, excellent service and convenient location...

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Hotel Safiya
Classic

Hotel Safiya

A modern hotel conveniently located in central Bukhara...

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Hotel Rabat
Classic

Hotel Rabat

A cosy, comfortable hotel close to central Samarkand...

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Hotel Meridian
Classic

Hotel Meridian

A modern hotel offering simple, comfortable rooms and a good nights sleep...

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Ground transfers

All road transport, rail tickets and airport/hotel transfers.

Included Internal flights

Internal/domestic flights are included in the price.

Included Some meals

Full board; thirteen breakfasts, twelve lunches and eleven dinners.

Included Accommodation

Twelve nights in carefully-selected, quality assured hotels of at least three or four star equivalent, one night in a guesthouse and one overnight train.

Included Guided excursions

Expert, English-speaking guides and fully escorted tours in Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Termez, Samarkand and Fergana Valley.

Reviews

What people are saying about Kalpak Travel

S
Sten-Enok, Norway
01/11/2018

I got a tip to visit the webpage for Kalpak and have not regretted since. They arrange trips to Central Asia and do it really well. They are professional, respond to inquiries instantly, are very flexible and know the region well. I was in contact with Luca for a combination of mountain biking and trekking in the Fann mountains in Tajikistan. My experience is solely positive; truly professional and passionate about the region.

Mind you, Kalpak uses local resources and is responsible tourism. I really recommend Kalpak Travel! They make astonishing trips to Central Asia and are professional, serious and responsible.

S
Spencer, Australia
01/07/2018

We had a fabulous 13-day tour of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - in May/June. Luca, the owner of Kalpak Travel, has been very reliable and committed to giving excellent service. He was constantly keeping in touch during our trip to ensure that everything was running smoothly.

The guides in each city spoke excellent English and were extremely informative on all aspects of Central Asia. In Almaty, we were invited to have dinner at our tour guide's home. The food was fabulous and we had a wonderful evening….

We were very lucky to have Kalpak Travel as our tour company which exceeded our expectations with flying colours. We highly recommend Kalpak Travel if you are planning a hassle-free tour of Central Asia.

R
Rebecca, USA
01/07/2018

We had a wonderful 3.5 week trip through the 5 Stans. I feel like I've seen the highlights in case I don't get the opportunity to return, but I most certainly DO want to return and see more. These are the warmest and most welcoming people I have every encountered.

My regret is that Kalpak does not arrange trips for other parts of the world, as I truly enjoyed every minute of working with them, and would love to do so again. SUPERLATIVE service.

How to book

Contact us now for expert advice

Price guide

This itinerary would cost from €2,590pp.

Pricing may vary by accommodation choice, group size and time of year.

How to book

We aim to provide absolute peace of mind when booking with us. A €500 per person deposit is required at the time of booking, and you may cancel or re-book your dates up to 15 days prior to departure.

All group departures have a maximum group size of 12 guests. All departure dates are guaranteed.

You can also opt to book the whole itinerary as a private tour. We can arrange extra nights before or after the trip, and suggest private tour extensions.

We can advise and take care of any required visas. Citizens of most countries are eligible for an e-visa for Tajikistan, and a visa on arrival for Turkmenistan, with a letter of invitation pre-arranged by us. Other countries are visa-free for most nationalities. Contact us for advice.

We are happy to advise on your international flights, please contact us for more assistance.

Learn more

Contact us now for expert advice on how to tailor this tour to your requirements and budget.

  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Fergana

    Fergana

    ...
  • Fergana

    Fergana

    ...
  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Termez

    Termez

    ...
  • Derbent

    Derbent

    ...
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand

    A rebuilt 14th-century city, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is a striking place to visit with mosques covered in ceramic tiles and sand coloured buildings...
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand

    A rebuilt 14th-century city, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is a striking place to visit with mosques covered in ceramic tiles and sand coloured buildings...
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand

    A rebuilt 14th-century city, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is a striking place to visit with mosques covered in ceramic tiles and sand coloured buildings...
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara

    Bukhara is over 2,000 years old, built on the site of a former Buddhist monastery, it has hundreds of minarets, mosques and madrassas with key sites being the Kalyan minaret, that's tower is a prominent landmark of the city, the Ismail Samani mausoleum and Bolo Haouz Mosque, one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city...
  • Khiva

    Khiva

    The walled city of Khiva is made up of mud-brick buildings and has over 50 historic monuments meaning you will need a few days to explore the city...
  • Khiva

    Khiva

    The walled city of Khiva is made up of mud-brick buildings and has over 50 historic monuments meaning you will need a few days to explore the city...
  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
Days

14

Starting from

€2,590 pp

Contact us now for more information about this trip
Speak to Aijan for expert travel advice
Enquire now

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