Join our Silk Road Tour through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Tajikistan - Heart of the Silk Road

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 15 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


Day 1 – Tashkent

Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to the hotel accommodation. In the afternoon there will be a city tour of some of the sites of Tashkent including the Chorsu Bazaar, Hast Imam Square and Kukeldahs Madrassa, with a ride on the metro system. Overnight at Shodlik Palace or similar. No meals are included today.

Day 2 - Tashkent to Khiva (Approximate journey time: one hour)

This morning we return to the airport and fly to Urgench, driving from there to Khiva. The ancient khanate is a stunning city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, possessing a wealth of remarkable monuments. The afternoon is spent exploring its sights, including mosques and madrassas, and mausoleums of former khans. Overnight Malika Khiva Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 3 – Khiva

Today we continue to visit the city’s sights. After lunch there’ll be time to explore independently on foot. Overnight Malika Khiva Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 4 – Khiva - Konye-Urgench – Dashogus - Ashgabat (Approximate journey time: four hours)

Leaving Khiva, we cross the border into little-known Turkmenistan, heading for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Konye-Urgench, an ancient capital of the land of Khorezm known for its beautiful mausoleums. Afterwards we drive to the airport at Dashogus for a flight to Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat. Overnight Ak Altyn Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note that the procedure for crossing borders can be lengthy even at quieter times. The border guards (especially those on the Uzbekistan side) carry out thorough searches of luggage and will pay close attention to any medicines and reading materials.

Day 5 – Ashgabat - Mary

Today we discover the sights of Ashgabat, a modern city characterised by extensive and some would say eccentric building projects. Later we return to the airport and fly to Mary, an oasis town close to the ancient city of Merv. Overnight Mary Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 6 –Mary - Merv - Bukhara (Approximate driving time: five hours)

This morning we visit the array of mosques, citadels and Buddhist stupas found at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Merv, the most important ancient site in Turkmenistan, dating back 2,500 years. Afterwards we cross the border back into Uzbekistan and head to Bukhara, Central Asia’s holiest city. Overnight Caravan Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 7 – Bukhara

We spend today exploring Bukhara, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and where a superbly preserved old quarter makes it one of the region’s most spectacular cities. Overnight Caravan Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 8 –Bukhara - Gijduvan – Samarkand (Approximate driving time: five hours)

After breakfast we drive to the legendary city of Samarkand, stopping en route at Gijduvan, locally renowned as a centre for ceramics. Upon arrival in Samarkand we begin to explore. Overnight Malika Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 9 - Samarkand

Today is dedicated to discovering Samarkand’s remarkable ancient heritage. The city is most famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site of Registan which contains perhaps the most breath-taking architecture in the whole region. It’s easy to spend hours among the square’s mosques and madrassas, all elaborately decorated in blue ceramic tiles and traditional Islamic art. Overnight at Malika Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 10 –Smarkand - Panjikent (Approximate driving time: one to two hours)

After breakfast we cross the border into Tajikistan, driving towards Panjikent and stopping at the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Sarazm, dating from 3,500 BC. Panjikent itself has a remarkably well-preserved old town, a vestige of its past significance as a Silk Road trading city. On arrival there’s time to explore the city. Overnight Sughd Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 11 – Panjikent - Dushanbe (Approximate driving time: three-and-a-half-hours)

Leaving Panjikent, we drive to Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, over the 2,900m Anzob Pass. On arrival there’s time to see some of the sights and soak up the atmosphere of a little-visited Central Asian city. Overnight Hotel Vatan or similar. (BLD)

Day 12 -Dushanbe - Iskanderkul (Approximate driving time: four hours)

It’s a stunning drive today, for the most part on surprisingly good roads, through the lofty Fann Mountains to Iskanderkul. On arrival there’s time to hike around the lake shore, exploring nearby waterfalls, springs and villages. Overnight Tourist Cottages. (BLD)

Day 13 –Istravshan- Khudjand (Approximate driving time: three-and-a-half-hours)

After breakfast we drive over Shahristan Pass, through the Azob Tunnel to Khujand, the capital of northern Tajikistan. En route we will stop in Istravshan and visit the Mugh Fortress, Kok-Gumbaz Madrassa, Chor-Gumbaz mosque, and a local bazaar. On arrival we have time for a city tour. Highlights include Pushkin Square, Kamoli Khujandi Square, the fortress of Timur Malik and the city’s central market, one of the oldest in Tajikistan. Overnight Khujand Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 14 –Tashkent (Approximate driving time: four hours)

Today we cross back into Uzbekistan and drive to Tashkent for our final night. Overnight Shodlik Palace or similar. (B)

Day 15 – Tashkent

The tour ends today after breakfast with airport transfers departing to meet onward flights. (B)

Optional  Extension- Fergana Valley

Day 1- Tashkent - Fergana (Approximate driving time: five hours)

After a leisurely breakfast we drive to Fergana, stopping at Kamchik Pass for photos. If we arrive in good time there may be an opportunity to look around. Overnight Hotel Asia Fergana or similar. (B).

Day 2- Rishtan – Margilan

Today we visit Rishtan, famous for its traditional cobalt pottery techniques, Margilon to witness traditional silk production, and later call in at a local bazaar. Overnight Hotel Asia Fergana or similar. (B).

Day 3- Kokand – Tashkent

After breakfast drive back to Tashkent via Kokand visiting Khudoyar Khan’s Palace, the Norbuta Museum- Bia Madrassah, and the Modarikhon Mausoleum. Overnight at Shodlik Palace Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 4- Tour ends.

The tour ends today after breakfast with airport transfers departing to meet onward flights. (B)



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