The Disappearing Sea
|Country:||Uzbekistan.||View the route map »»|
|Tour duration:||5 days / 4 nights.|
|Best time to travel:||April-May, September-October.|
|Itinerary:||Nukus - Kungrad - Ustyurt Plateau - Sudochye Lake - Aral Sea - Muynak - Khodjeyli - Mizdakhan Complex -|
|- Nukus - Khiva - Urgench.|
The Aral Sea and the surrounding deserts and cities form a unique region in the heart of Central Asia, which, probably, has no equals anywhere in the world. Currently, the once large saltwater lake occupies one fourth of its original area, shrinking still more year after year, leaving towns and villages that once were on its shore in the centre of a white desert named after the disappearing sea, the Aralkum desert. The shrunken sea has ruined the once-robust fishing economy and left fishing trawlers stranded in sandy wastelands, leaning over as if they dropped from the air.
However, the sea is still alive and beautiful!
The jeep tour to the Aral Sea is very interesting and adventurous, revealing the wonderful world of the Central Asian nature and unique oriental culture. The extraterrestrial landscapes of the little-studied Ustyurt Plateau, the gigantic blue mirror of the Aral Sea, once an important Central Asian weather regulator, the sorrowful cemetery of dead ships - rusted ships frozen in sand, the grandiose Mizdahkan necropolis, the hot sands of the Kyzylkum desert and the inner part of Khiva, left almost untouched since the medieval times - you will see all this for five days!
Find yourself amidst an absolutely different, unusual world of the former Aral Sea, which will be so different from what you observe every day!
- Itinerary /
Services & Cost
Itinerary in Detail
- Useful Information
|Day 1.||Arrival in Nukus.
Arrival in Nukus, capital of Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Leisure time. Overnight rest in hotel.
|Day 2.||Nukus - Kungrad - Ustyurt Plateau - Sudochye Lake - Aral Sea.
Breakfast in hotel. Early departure from Nukus. Proceeding to Kungrad, then up to Ustyurt Plateau. Transfer to Sudochye Lake. Proceeding to Village of Urga, first Russian settlement in Khorezm and Aral Sea region, lunch en route. Then transfer to Aral Sea. Photographing canyons en route. Arrival at camp site; descent to shoreline. Dinner. Overnight in tents.
|Day 3.||Aral Sea - Muynak - Khodjeyli - Mizdakhan Complex - Nukus.
Landscape: steppe, desert, saline land, cliffs, bottom of gone-away sea.
Breakfast in tent camp. Proceeding to Muynak. Visiting monument to the victims of the Second World War (now a monument to the Aral Sea), which is the highest point of the town of Muynak providing a wonderful panorama of the town and the bottom of the former sea.
Visiting famous sea-craft cemetery. Next visiting a museum at the House of Culture in Muynak, where you can familiarise yourselves with the works of artists F. Madgazin and R. Matevosyan, who used to depict the Aral Sea and the Amudarya River. Lunch in traditional guest house of Muynak. Proceeding to and visiting Mizdakhan Complex: Caliph Erejep, Jumart-kassab hillock, half-underground Mazlumkhan-sulu Mausoleum, Shamun-nabi Mausoleum. Transfer to Nukus. Overnight rest in hotel.
|Day 4.||Nukus - Khiva.
Breakfast in hotel. Excursion round Savitskiy Museum and museum of local lore, history and economy. Transfer to Khiva. Excursion round Khiva, visiting Ichan Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret, Tash Khauli Alakuli Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Amin-Khan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum.
Overnight rest in hotel.
|Day 5.||Khiva - Urgench. Departure.
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport of Urgench. Departure.
|The cost of the tour in USD for 1 person:|
|Hotels 2-3*||1290||780||765||560||555||505||+ 50 USD|
|Cost includes:||Cost does not include:|
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at hotels 3* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services with notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere; mainly located in or near city centers.
The tour comes with the following accommodation:
|Nukus||Jipek Joli Hotel 3*||or similar|
|Khiva||Orient Star Khiva Hotel 3*||or similar|
Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:
|Group||From 1, 4 to 5 tour days||From 2 to 3 tour days|
|Group of 1-2 pers.||"Chevrolet Lacetti"||"Toyota Land Cruiser" - 1 car.|
|Group of 3-7 pers.||"SsangYоng Istana"||"Toyota Land Cruiser" - 2 cars.|
|Group of 8-11 pers.||"SsangYоng Istana" - 2 cars.||"Toyota Land Cruiser" - 3 cars.|
|Group of 12-14 pers.||"SsangYоng Istana" - 3 cars.||"Toyota Land Cruiser" - 4 cars.|
"Toyota Land Cruiser"
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1. Arrival in Nukus.
Welcome to the capital of the Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic - Nukus, our starting point for traveling to little-studied Ustyurt Plateau and disappearing Aral Sea.
Day 2. Nukus - Kungrad - Ustyurt Plateau - Sudochye Lake - Aral Sea.
In the morning you are going towards Ustyurt Plateau (the town Kungrad) and then, through the village Sudochye, to today’s shore of the Aral Sea, the tragic fate of which has become an enormous ecological problem the whole world is concerned about.
After seeing the lake standing right on its present-day shore and having dinner you are spending the night in a tent camp pitched beforehand.
Day 3. Aral Sea - Muynak - Khodjeyli - Mizdakhan Complex - Nukus.
Saying goodbye to once the much larger sea, you are going back to Nukus, visiting the former port city Muynak on the way.
Day 4. Nukus - Khiva.
Nukus has no architectural monuments, but it is host to a world-class museum of art, which is quite intriguing. The I.V. Savitskiy State Art Museum is famous for its collection of modern Russian and Uzbek art of 1918-1935 all over the world. Stalin tried his best to eliminate all non-Soviet art of this period, and sent most of the artists to the Gulag. But Igor Savitsky, the prominent Soviet artist, ‘Central Asian Tretiakov’, and his collection of Russian avant-garde paintings in Nukus survived because of the city's remoteness. Now it is the world’s second largest collection of Russian avant-garde paintings. During 1957-1966, Igor Savitskiy also assembled an extensive collection of Karakalpak jewelry, carpets, coins, clothing and other artifacts. He convinced the authorities of the need for a museum, and, following its establishment, was appointed its curator in 1966. After his death in 1984 Igor Savitskiy was called ‘a savior of beauty’. Francois Mitterand and Albert Gore called his museum ‘one of the best in the world’.
After visiting museums of Nukus you departure for Khiva - a unique and truly Orient-style city with the charming aura of the distant past. Khiva has no tall modern buildings and wide roads with much traffic. It seems time has stopped here to preserve what was built centuries ago. You are seeing a lot of magnificent Oriental architectural monuments and medieval adobe homes. All the sights of the city are compactly located within the historical Ichan-Kala old town walls. Ichan Kala is encircled by brick crenellated walls whose foundations are believed to have been laid in the 10th c. The walls themselves date back to the late 17th c. Behind them there are over 50 architectural monuments and 250 old houses; most of them date back to the 18th - 19th c.
Day 5. Khiva - Urgench. Departure.
You have made a trip to the dying Aral Sea. Your descendants may not see it "live" if it is not recovered. Witnessing the sea’s disaster today teaches us quite a lesson.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Useful Information on Traveling in Uzbekistan
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