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Uzbekistan: Samarkand and the Aral Sea

The wilds of Central Asia are amongst some of the most mysterious and fascinating regions anywhere on earth. These are lands that still stir the imagination, where glittering palaces of turquoise and gold emerge like shimmering mirages from the desert plains and the call to prayer transports us back to a time of merchant caravans and nomadic invaders.

This incredible journey takes us across landscapes that once thundered beneath the hooves of the Mongol hordes and where Islamic culture and learning reached the zenith of its crowning glory. From the vibrant city of Tashkent we journey into the surreal landscapes of the Aral Sea, entering a world that few have ever seen and one that fewer will ever see again. We’ll cross the sea bed, following desert tracks that take us past marooned fishing boats and blighted landscapes, to the dying waters of a once great sea. In marked contrast, the second part of our odyssey takes us back to a time when human enterprise left the desert landscapes littered with beacons of human enlightenment. We’ll visit the glittering cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, stunning reminders of a golden period of Muslim culture and home to some of the most impressive monuments to Islamic art and architecture in the world.

This is an incredible journey of discovery, where the sublime and the surreal meet across the desert plains of Central Asia.


  • A 4WD adventure out to the remote Aral Sea
  • The desert castles of Karakalpakstan
  • The well-preserved walled city of Khiva
  • Bukhara’s idyllic Labi Hauz area
  • The awe-inspiring Registan of Samarkand

Tour Includes:

  • Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • 10 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
  • All transport (buses, 4WDs and domestic flights)
  • 10 nights' accommodation (8 in hotels, 1 night in a yurt camp and 1 night wild camping)
  • All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
  • A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through WF office)


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Talk to us about Uzbekistan


Watch sunrise over Khivia from the main city walls - it's beautiful.

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