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Wanderlust Journeys: Discover Uzbekistan with Lyn Hughes

Group Tour

10 Days From £1,950

Overview

Trade along the Silk Road no doubt helped shape the globalised world we live in today, and you can journey through the historic destination with this exclusive Wanderlust tour. One of the key destinations of Silk Road, Uzbekistan has lain at the crossroads of cultures, customs and commerce for over two millennia. Boasting some of the finest Islamic architecture in the region, its rich history is told through its striking mosques and grand mausoleums. 


Arriving in Tashkent, ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

9 x Breakfasts
9 x Lunches
9 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses, high-speed train and domestic flights.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 16

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

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

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

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. On this particular trip we will be in good quality hotels and where possible, characterful accommodation. 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.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

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.

VERY 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.

Map & Itinerary

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

Wanderlust Journeys: Discover Uzbekistan with Lyn Hughes
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TASHKENT

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TASHKENT

We will meet for lunch in Uzbekistan’s sprawling capital, Tashkent, 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 will provide us with an opportunity to discover a little more about 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. During the tour we’ll make use of the country’s only metro system, stopping off at some of the elaborately designed metro stations for an explanation into their history.

City Palace Hotel or similar
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: TASHKENT – SAMARKAND

DAY 2: TASHKENT – SAMARKAND

After breakfast we will catch the high-speed train to Samarkand, travelling through four of the country’s provinces in approximately two hours. After checking into the hotel, our first exploration of this remarkable city begins in the afternoon with some sightseeing and sunset at the Registan. There may also be time for a quick drink before dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Malika Prime Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: SAMARKAND

DAY 3: SAMARKAND

Largely considered Uzbekistan’s highlight, today we will enjoy a full day guided tour of the city and a second opportunity to visit to the impressive Registan Square. Surrounded by the iconic blue tiled madrassahs on three sides, our guide will explain the history and intricacies of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The oldest of the three structures is the Ulukbek Madrassah, built around 1420. The grand front portal, flanked by two minarets, is decorated with marble panels and blue, green, turquoise and yellow mosaic tiles. We will then continue on to Ulukbek's Observatory; the Shahi-Zinda necropolis; the 15th century Bibi Khanum Mosque, built in honour of Tamerlane’s wife; and the Gur Emir Mausoleum, the final resting place of Tamerlane, the founder of the Timurid Empire. There will also be the opportunity to head out to the small village of Khoni Ghil for a silk paper making workshop which has revived ancient techniques.

Malika Prime Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: SAMARKAND – YANGIKISHLAK

DAY 4: SAMARKAND – YANGIKISHLAK

Departing Samarkand this morning the next stop will be the village of Yangikishlak, located between Lake Aydarkul and the Nurafshan Mountains. Occupying a fertile valley that forms part of the NurataKyzyikum 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.

Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: NURATAU RESERVE

DAY 5: NURATAU RESERVE

A day in and around the village provides an opportunity to discover something of the natural beauty of this area, enjoying the views of the mountain scenery and of Lake Aydar in a distance. We will visit the 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. Today will afford us a unique glimpse into the traditions and customs of local life.

Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: YANGIKISHLAK – BUKHARA

DAY 6: YANGIKISHLAK – BUKHARA

Departing Yangikishlak this morning, we’ll continue down the old Silk Road to Bukhara. More than 2,000 years old and home to some 140 monuments, Bukhara’s historic centre has been described by UNESCO as “the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia”. Hopefully arriving in the city later this afternoon will afford us time for a late stroll around the beautifully preserved old city before dinner.

Devon Begi Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: BUKHARA

DAY 7: 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, the city became a major intellectual centre of the Islamic world under the Samanids. 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 largest 16th century Kukeldash Madrasah in the city. Enjoy an interactive plov masterclass with a local family this afternoon before sitting down to our freshly made lunch. Also organised throughout the day’s activities will be a visit to the city’s premier tea house, owned by a spice master whose family have been involved in the spice trade for more than 600 years. Here we’ll learn about different blends to make food tastier and healthier.

Devon Begi Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: BUKHARA – KHIVA

DAY 8: BUKHARA – KHIVA

Today we follow the northerly course of the Amu Darya (Oxus River), crossing the red sands of the Kyzylkum Desert to the legendary city of Khiva, a journey which will take the majority of the day but will allow for an evening stroll through the labyrinthine streets.

Orient Star Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: KHIVA – TASHKENT

DAY 9: KHIVA – TASHKENT

Ancient Khiva was one of the most important trading cities along the old Silk Road and became capital of the Khanate of Khiva, home of the Uzbek nomadic tribes. In spite of Russian domination in the 19th century and later, much of its ancient heritage has survived; today Khiva boasts some 50 historic monuments and beautifully preserved 18th and 19th century houses. Sheltered behind thick fortress walls, its palaces and harems still evoke something of its powerful past. We have a full day here to take in some of Khiva’s numerous highlights, before catching our flight to Tashkent late this evening.

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 in the Uzbek capital.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Superior

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Superior

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.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

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 Nurata 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 two nights in the heart of the Nurata 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!

Supplementary Information

Lyn Hughes, Founding Editor of Wanderlust

In 1992, Lyn Hughes and her late husband were bored on a flight to South America and so schemed out their dream travel magazine on the back of a sickbag. The idea stuck and, returning to the UK a few months later, they launched Wanderlust magazine from their spare bedroom. All these years later, she’s founding editor at Wanderlust. She has been named one of the “50 Most Influential People in Travel”. In 2020 she was given an Outstanding Achievement Award with presenter John Humphreys saying "She is a legend in travel."  Lyn loves meeting and travelling with like-minded people and can’t wait to explore Uzbekistan.

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.

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
TK 1986 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:30 Istanbul (IST) 22:20
TK 368 Istanbul (IST) 00:55 Tashkent Airport (TAS) 07:10
TK 369 Tashkent Airport (TAS) 08:50 Istanbul (IST) 12:05
TK 1971 Istanbul (IST) 14:35 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:40

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 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Uzbekistan.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

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.

Uzbekistan in depth

See more of Uzbekistan with possible extensions out to the Aral Sea, the Fergana Valley, or experience a homestay option in the beautiful Yangikishlok region. Allow 3-6 days.

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 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. In the Nuratau Mountains the walks will be optional and can be opted out if you would prefer to focus your attention on village life. Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for, but the selection and variety may be 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. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. 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.

INSPIRATION

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