Back to Ultimate Uzbekistan
- Arrival in Tashkent as per your own schedule and meet your incredibly friendly local guide.
- Tere's no better welcome to Uzbekistan than lunch at the Plov Centre. This gigantic hall, decorated as if for a wedding in the 1980's, is set up for large numbers of people to eat plov in. Mixed and cooked just outside by an army of Uzbek women, it is some pretty good plov, but more than that, it is an exceptionally unique experience.
- Visit Tashkent Land, Central Asia's answer to Disneyland. With it's faded welcome sign, crumbling gift shop, and creaky rides, this is definitely a step back in time. Most tourists don't make it to this gem of Soviet infrastructure, but we just can't resist it. If you're really game, you can try out the “Boomerang” roller coaster, or if you'd like something a bit more relaxing, you can take a ride on the “African tour”, a boat trip through the jungleland.
- Go to Tashkent TV Tower for fabulous views of the city.
- Our first stop will be the 'Museum of Railway Techniques'. This outdoor museum is full of all sorts of old locomotives, and they don't mind us climbing all over them. We can even take a little train ride around the train museum. You don't have to be a train lover to enjoy this charming museum.
- We'll go into the Bunyodkor Stadium, the home ground of the much loved Tashkent-based Bunyodkor FC, and the pride of the Uzbek sporting world.
- Away from the grand avenues, we'll explore the narrow lanes and mud brick houses and madrassahs of the old town, before visiting the huge Chorsu Bazaar, an incredible open-air complex which attracts people from all over Uzbekistan where we'll stop for lunch.
- Leaving Tashkent, we'll drive to Parkent district where we've been granted permission to visit the largest solar furnace in the world.
- On the way back to Tashkent, we'll make a stop at Khamkor Winery, one of the best wineries in Uzbekistan.
- Dinner in a local restaurant.
- Overnight at the Uzbekistan Hotel.
- Set off from Tashkent and drive to the Fergana Valley. Once known as the “Golden Valley”, this picturesque oasis is famous for its cotton and silk production.
- On the way, we'll visit Kokand City, Khudoyorkhan Madrassah, and the place where the famous Rishtan ceramics originated.
- Arrive in Fergana.
- Dinner and overnight in Fergana.
- Driving through the Fergana Valley, we'll visit Margilan silk weaving factory.
- Arrive at the border control between Uzbekistan and the small Tajik enclave of Sarvan. With a population of around 150 people, this 14km x 600m stretch of land, although surrounded completely by Uzbekistan, is in fact part of Tajikistan. Following the break up of the Soviet Union, the now independent Central Asian states were forced to draw borders that hadn't previously existed in such a manner, and as a result, several enclaves and exclaves appeared around the Uzbek/Tajik/Krygyz border. Going to these enclaves is generally very difficult for locals and foreigners alike, and the roads are often completely blocked off due to political tensions.
- Return to Tashkent.
- Drive to Samarqand by bus.
- Once known as the “Pearl of the Muslim World”, Samarqand is a city synonymous with the Silk Road, full of towering minarets, shimmering domes, and home to a splendid technicolour bazaar, which you will have time to wander around and discover for yourself.
- Free time in the afternoon.
- Wine tasting at the Khovrenko Winery, a small local wine factory with adjoining museum (admission not included).
- Dinner at a local restaurant (included in the tour cost).
- The highlight of your tour around Samarqand is likely to be the famous and spectacular Registan Square, which is flanked by three beautifully decorated, sparkling blue mosaic madrassas. Once the city's commercial centre, Registan Square is modern Samarkand's centre piece and a pride of the Silk Road.
- We'll also pay visits to Biki Khanum Mosque, Siyab Bazaar, and the Afrasiyab Museum – a museum dedicated to the history of Samarqand, especially since the time of Alexander the Great's Conquest.
- Visit Romanenko Fashion Show House, a place that is difficult to describe. This small suburban house has been transformed into a completely unique textile workshop where thirty men and women redesign ancient Central Asian clothing into colourful, modern designs.
- Free time in the evening.
- Drive to Bukhara, known as the “Holy City”, crossing the river Amu Darya and the Kizilkum Desert.
- Explore the main sites of Bukhara in the afternoon.
- We'll visit the Samanid Dynasty Mausoleum, Lyabi Hauz Square, Bolo-Hauz Mosque, the elegant blue-tiled Ulughbek Madrassa (Islamic school), the summer palace of Bukhara's last Emir and much more.
- On your way in and out of town, you won't be able to miss a huge structure that looks like a giant ark. Known as the Ancient Ark Fortress, this was the Palace of Bukhara's Emirs, and parts of it are still open for us to visit.
- Folklore Show in Nodir Devon Begi Madrassah in the evening.
- Drive to Khiva.
- During our tour of Khiva, we’ll visit the Kunya Ark, Kalta minor, Muhammad Aminkhan and Muhammad Rahimkhan medrassas, Juma mosque and Minaret, Islam Khodja minaret, Tash Hauli palace, and others.
- After dinner, we'll take a short walk outside the old city walls to an amusement park where you can go on some rides if you like.
- Conclusion of the tour.