Uzbekistan: Land of Silk Road Treasures

Group Tour

10 Days From £1,615

Overview

Uzbekistan has been at the crossroads of cultures and customs for over two millennia. Located halfway along the Silk Road, its cities and monuments pay glorious testament to the wealth and commerce that passed through the region. Uzbekistan has a rich history from the legend of Tamerlane to the Emirate of Bukhara, and some of the finest mosques and mausoleums found anywhere in Central Asia.


This stunning adventure begins in Tashkent, where we’ll have time to explore some of the ...
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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

9 x Breakfasts
9 x Lunches
9 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

Buses, domestic flights and trains.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

2 nights x Premium
6 nights x Superior
1 night x Simple

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. At the homestay we will endeavour to have twin share accommodation spread amongst the village houses and there will be shared toilets and showers. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Uzbekistan: Land of Silk Road Treasures
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TASHKENT

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TASHKENT

The tour begins at our hotel this morning. Tashkent is Uzbekistan’s vibrant capital which sat at the heart of the old Central Asian trading routes, gaining prominence under the Mongols and the Shabanids, before finally being absorbed by the expansionist policies of the Russian empire during the 19th century. Flattened by a devastating earthquake in the mid-1960s, the city was reinvented by the Kremlin to represent the very epitome of the socialist ideal. This afternoon provides with an opportunity to discover a little more of the Uzbek capital, with a tour of some of its highlights. including the Khast Imam Complex, the stunning edifice of the Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Chorsu Bazaar, a vast open-air market that sits in the heart of the old part of the city.

City Palace Hotel or similar
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: TASHKENT - URGENCH - KHIVA

DAY 2: TASHKENT - URGENCH - KHIVA

This morning we take an early flight to Urgench, and then drive to the Kyzyl-Kum Desert, to explore Ayaz Kala and Toprak Kala. Ayaz Kala, an impressing mudwalled hilltop fortress dating from the 6th-7th centuries has magnificent views over the nearby lake. From there, we continue to Toprak Kala which flourished in the 3rd century AD as the capital of the Khoresmshah Dynasty. Later this afternoon, we'll travel by road to Khiva where we can enjoy an evening walk around the incredibly well-preserved old town.
*If Kyzyl-Kum Desert cannot safely be visited then we will instead head straight for the charming town of Khiva for lunch and a wander. No doubt some free time will also be welcome after another early start!

Orient Star Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: KHIVA

DAY 3: KHIVA

Considered a pearl of eastern architecture, Khiva is one of the oldest cities of ancient Khorezm. Legend has it that is was founded by Shem, the son of Noah, and archaeological records can trace its origins back to the 4th or 5th century BC. We will spend today exploring its madrasahs and museums, wandering the narrow streets of the Ichan Kala (inner city) and enjoying the atmosphere and sights of a city that can boast some 50 historic monuments.

Orient Star Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KHIVA - BUKHARA

DAY 4: KHIVA - BUKHARA

Continuing our journey down the old Silk Road, we plan to take a morning train to Bukhara – schedules permitting. Bukhara’s historic centre has been described by UNESCO as the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. More than 2,000 years old and home to some 140 architectural monuments. We will arrive in the city later this afternoon, affording us time hopefully for a stroll around the old city before dinner.

Sasha & Son Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: BUKHARA

DAY 5: BUKHARA

Considered to be Central Asia’s holiest city, Bukhara is liberally sprinkled with an architectural legacy that spans a thousand years of history. A centre of trade, culture and scholarship for centuries, under the Samanids the city became a major intellectual centre of the Islamic world. Today we’ll take in some of its highlights, with visits planned to the imposing Ark of Bukhara, the Kunya Ark Complex and the Samanids Mausoleum, the Friday Mosque and Lab-i Hauz, home to the 16th century Kukeldash Madrasah, the largest in the city.

Sasha & Son Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: BUKHARA - YANGIKISHLAK

DAY 6: BUKHARA - YANGIKISHLAK

Departing Bukhara this morning our next stop is the village of Yangikishlak, located between Lake Aydarkul and the Nurafshan Mountains. Occupying a fertile valley that forms part of the Nuratau-Kyzyikum Bio-Reserve, this area is home to a number of traditional villages, unique plant life and the highly endangered Severtzov wild sheep. On arrival we will have a chance to settle into our family guesthouse, before enjoying an afternoon’s introduction to the family and to village life. If we’re lucky, we may be able to enjoy some of the region’s traditional music and dance - a wonderful way to learn more about local folklore and legends. Total driving distance and time: 320km, approx. 5hrs. 

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: YANGIKISHLAK - SAMARKAND

DAY 7: YANGIKISHLAK - SAMARKAND

This morning we will visit the Nuratau Reserve by walking through some of the local villages. Offering up a mix of natural and cultural highlights, the area is home to an array of unique plant life and some 160 species of birds. After a delicious lunch prepared by our host family, we journey east towards one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in Central Asia. Once one of the greatest cities on earth, Samarkand is a name that resonates with the commerce and colour of the old Silk Road. We will aim to arrive by evening at the Registan, a sublime combination of three magnificent madrassahs overlooking a square for which this ancient city is so famous.

Malika Classic Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: IN SAMARKAND

DAY 8: IN SAMARKAND

Our tour of the city continues today with a visit to the Gur Emir Mausoleum, the final resting place of Tamerlane, the founder of the Timurid Empire. We’ll also take in the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis and the 15th century Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once considered one of the most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world. After a chance to explore the bustling Siyob Bazaar, there will be some free time before we set out for wine-tasting at the Khovreno Winery.

Malika Classic Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: IN SAMARKAND; TRAIN TO TASHKENT

DAY 9: IN SAMARKAND; TRAIN TO TASHKENT

Today we will visit to the fascinating Konigil Meros Paper Mill to see the famous Samarkand paper production process before we bid farewell to this famed city – taking an afternoon train back to Tashkent for the last night of the tour. Full circle, we’ll reminisce about our journey through such a hospitable and vibrant country.

City Palace Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: TOUR FINISHES IN TASHKENT

DAY 10: TOUR FINISHES IN TASHKENT

The tour ends this morning after breakfast.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

With local people, culture and eco-systems in mind, responsible travel and sustainable tourism are at the core of Wild Frontiers. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our travellers but also benefits the people and places we visit.

When designing our tours, we actively seek out experiences that have a positive impact on the communities and precious environments we visit - from supporting social enterprises; resting our heads in rural homestays; and eating at locally owned restaurants; to helping fund conservation projects that protect wildlife and their habitats. 

Visit the Responsible Travel area of our website to read more, including the work of the Wild Frontiers Foundation through which we fundraise to aid community empowerment and education projects.

Staying in the Nurata Mountains

In Central Asia – and in particular Uzbekistan – we like to venture out into the more rural areas, such as the beautiful Nuratau Mountains, where we aim to develop unique relationships that will benefit both the local families and our travellers. Uzbekistan is known for its famed Silk Road cities, and whilst visitors focus on these areas there is little opportunity for those who live rurally to benefit from the country’s ever-growing tourism industry. On this trip we will spend one night in the heart of the Nuratau Valley, and by staying at small family-run guesthouses, we can put much needed funds directly into the local communities. In addition, all food is produced locally so several members of the village benefit financially, which in turn improves several families’ standard of living. The great thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially and us from the fuss they make of us!

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below. Please note that if the current flight schedule remains as below, then for anyone arriving on this flight, we will include an early check-in to the hotel on DAY 1.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
HY 202 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:20 Tashkent Airport (TAS) 03:10
HY 201 Tashkent Airport (TAS) 10:45 London Heathrow (LHR) 14:25

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

Before departure UK passport holders do not currently require visas for Uzbekistan in advance; your passport is simply stamped on arrival at the airport.

If you are travelling on a non-UK passport, please contact your nearest consulate/ embassy for up to date visa information.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

See more of Uzbekistan with possible extensions out to the Aral Sea or the Fergana Valley. Allow 2-3 days.

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is the obvious choice at this time of year. With its uniquely bizarre capital of Ashgabat, ancient ruins of Merv and stunning natural sights such as the Darvaza Crater, this is a great destination for those wanting to see more of the region. Allow around 1 week.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

The high-season in Uzbekistan is spring and autumn when days should be hot without being scorching. At this time of year also evenings are usually cool and very pleasant. Summer and winter, although offering more extreme temperatures are also viable options for Uzbekistan, especially for those who prefer fewer crowds.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. For instance, you can opt out of the walks in the Nuratau Mountains if you would prefer to focus your attention on village life.

There are some long drives on bumpy roads involved in this tour due to the distances we need to cover, but the changing scenery should make these an interesting aspect of the trip. 

Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for but the selection and variety may be more limited.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except for the homestay in Yangikishlak.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 6518 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.