Along the road of ancient caravans

A tour of Central Asia including the cities on the Great Silk Road (Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan section)

 

Countries: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan. View the route map »»
Tour duration: 15 days / 14 nights.
Best time to travel: March - June, August - October.
Itinerary: Bishkek - Karakol - Djety Oguz - Tamga - Kochkor - Son Kul lake - Kyzyl Oy village - Bishkek - Osh -
- Fergana - Margilan - Rishtan - Kokand - Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Khiva - Urgench - Tashkent.

The itinerary of this informative tour goes along a section of one the branches of the Great Silk Road (Route), across two Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. You will trip along a route travelled in ancient times by numerous caravans - across the Tien Shan Mountains, past the cities of the fertile Fergana Valley, to Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara and further to Khorezm, to the fabulous medieval Khiva. On your way you will admire picturesque and unexpectedly contrasting landscapes in the cool mountains and colorful cities, look into the crystal clear water of Lake Issyk Kul, stay in national Kyrgyz yurts and contemplate the masterpieces of ancient cities that once sprang up along the Great Silk Road. And the cuisine. An incredibly wonderful cuisine that has taken in the best local cooking traditions!

The Great Silk Road was not a mere branching trans-Eurasian system of caravan routes used to transfer expensive silk, aromatic spices, rare minerals and other valuable goods from China and India to Europe and the Arab countries. It was a unique communication highway, on which knowledge, recipes, religions, ideas and innovations travelled between the East and West.

Different parts of this transcontinental route used to change and shift in the course of time, the system of caravan roads constantly growing and branching. However, the road we are going to take in this tour was one of the basic strategic courses in the complex network of the Great Silk Road. Alongside knowledge and interesting souvenirs, you will bring home a lot of indelible impressions!

  • Itinerary
    Services & Cost

  • FAQ
  • Useful Information
    Route Map

 

Itinerary
Day 1. Arrival in Bishkek.
Meeting at “Manas” airport. Transfer to Bishkek (30 km), check-in at hotel not earlier than 06:00 am. Leisure time. After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Bishkek: Manas Monument, the central Ala-Too Square and watch of the Guard of Honor, Independence Monument, main governmental buildings, the Old Square with Parliament House and the only survived in Central Asia Lenin’s Monument. Transfer to the Victory Square to finish the city tour by short excursion there. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Bishkek - Burana Tower - Karakol.
Right after breakfast at 08:00 transfer to Karakol town situated at the foot of the most picturesque mountains of Tian Shan. On the way visit Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok city and a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs. Further transfer to Karakol along the North shore of Issyk Kul lake. Visit Cholpon-Ata Petroglyphs site on the way. Upon arrival in Karakol accommodation and rest in family hotel.
Day 3. Karakol - Djety Oguz - Tamga.
After breakfast city tour in Karakol: visit Dungan mosque and Orthodox Cathedral. Later visit the museum of N. M. Przhevalski, the outstanding Russian explorer of Asian continent.
Further transfer to Djety Oguz Gorge, which is translated from Kyrgyz language as “Seven Bulls”. and named so because of the red rocky sand formations covered with forests of Tien Shan spruces.
Easy hiking in the gorge along the winding Djety Oguz mountain river and further transfer to Tamga village. Arrival to Tamga and dinner in the family Guest House.
Day 4. Tamga - Kochkor - Son Kul lake.
After breakfast transfer to Kochkor village along the southern shore of the Issyk Kul Lake.
On the way short hiking in Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyons. Upon arrival to Son Kul lake accommodation in yurt camp. Enjoy horseback riding or just hiking, spend time with friendly Kyrgyz families and taste their fresh airan (yogurt) and kymys (a fermented national drink from mare’s milk). Dinner and overnight in yurts.
Day 5. Son Kul lake - Kyzyl Oy village - Bishkek.
In the morning after short hiking in the lake area and breakfast transfer to authentic Kyzyl Oy village via Kara Keche canyon and along Kekemeren river. Further drive to Bishkek via Suusamyr valley and Too Ashuu pass. Upon arrival to Bishkek accommodation and rest at the hotel.
Day 6. Bishkek - Osh (morning flight).
After breakfast transfer to the airport to take flight to Osh town. Upon arrival start sightseeing tour in Osh: visit the Central bazaar and Central Square. After lunch visit Suleiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. On the mount visit to a historical museum, located in the main cave. After that walk up the hill and watch a little mosque of Babur, The Great Mogols Dynasty founder, and take a bird eye’s view of the city.
Day 7. Osh - Dustlik border point - Fergana.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, passing through checkpoint. Transfer to Fergana, check-in at hotel.
Day 8. Fergana - Margilan - Rishtan - Kokand - Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Margilan, visiting “Yodgorlik” silk factory which is famous for handmade khan-atlas. Transfer to Rishtan, visiting pottery (hand-made ceramics). Transfer to Kokand. Sightseeing tour around Kokand: Palace of Khudayar Khan, Mausoleum of Modari Khan, Juma Mosque. Transfer to Tashkent via Kamchik Pass, check-in at hotel.
Day 9. Tashkent.
After breakfast guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10. Tashkent - Samarkand (morning railway transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Ride to Samarkand in premium service high-speed train Afrosiab. Guided sightseeing tour of Samarkand: Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Rukhabad Mausoleum, Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, and Tilla-Qori Madrasah); after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, and Ulugbek Observatory.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11. Samarkand - Bukhara (road transfer).
After breakfast transfer to Bukhara and visit the out-of-town sites on arrival, located in 4 km from Bukhara: Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, memorial complex of the Islamic saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, Chor-Bakr Memorial Complex. Arrival to Bukhara. Accommodation and overnight at the hotel.
Day 12. Bukhara.
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah; after lunch: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13. Bukhara - Khiva (road transfer).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Khiva. Lunch en route. Arrival in Khiva. Leisure time. Visiting traditional workshops and souvenir shops. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14. Khiva - Urgench - Tashkent (evening flight).
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Khiva: Ichan Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret. After lunch: Tash Khauli Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum. Transfer to Urgench (35 km, 30 min). Evening flight to Tashkent. Meeting at airport, transfer to hotel, check-in and rest.
Day 15. Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel (or lunch-box). Early morning transfer to the airport. Departure.
The cost of the tour 2017 in USD for 1 person:
Group 1 2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10-12 Single Supplement
Hotels 3* 3325 1955 1660 1545 1525 1515 +225
Hotels 4* 3720 2165 1895 1755 1730 1720 +355

Cost includes:

Hotel accommodation in twin / double rooms, with breakfasts including early check-in at the hotel of Bishkek on arrival (not earlier than at 06:00); check-in/out of other hotels is at 12:00;
Accommodation in yurts near Son-Kul lake for one night with dinner and breakfast in Kyrgyzstan;
Accommodation at the guest house in Tamga village for one night with dinner and breakfast in Kyrgyzstan;
Guided sightseeing tours;
Entrance fees to the monuments and museums, listed in the tour program;
English-speaking escort guide in Kyrgyzstan;
English-speaking local guides during excursions time for a group in 1-4 persons in Uzbekistan and escort guide for the whole tour for a group, starting from 5+ persons;
Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation throughout the tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
Bishkek - Osh domestic flight airfare;
Tashkent - Samarkand railway transfer on a high-speed train (economy class);
Urgench - Tashkent” domestic flight airfare;
Bottle of mineral water per day/per person.

Cost does not include:

International airfares;
Travel health insurance;
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan visa invitations and visas;
Photo and video shooting charges at museums and monuments.

Additional Services:

Uzbekistan visa invitation - 45 USD per person;
Kyrgyzstan visa invitation - 100 USD per person;
Meals:
  - Half board (evening meals) - 180 USD per person;
  - Full board - 360 USD per person.

Hotels
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at. The list of the hotels we offer is below. However, due to seasonal conditions and group size this list is subject to change.
- Hotels 3* - cozy private hotels, with traditional national interiors in many of them, providing all the necessary facilities for comfortable stays; notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere.
- Hotels 4* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.
- Guest houses - suppose the entire exposure into the originality and life style of the local residents. Tourists accommodate here by 3-4 persons in each room. Facilities are outside.
- Yurt camp near Son Kul lake suppose accommodation of 5-6 persons in each yurt - a traditional “house” of Kyrgyz nomads. The yurt camp is equipped with necessary things, such as: toilet, bathhouse, dining yurt.

The tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 2-3* Hotels 3-4*
Bishkek Discovery Hotel/
Green City Hotel 3*
or similar Jannat/ Plaza Hotel 4* or similar
Karakol Green Yard Hotel 2* or similar Amir Hotel 3* or similar
Tamga Guest House or similar Guest House or similar
Son Kul Yurt camp or similar Yurt camp or similar
Osh Sun Rise Osh Hotel 3* or similar Classic Hotel 4* or similar
Fergana Club Hotel 777 3* or similar Club Hotel 777 3* or similar
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3*  or similar Ramada 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* or similar Asia Bukhara 4* or similar
Khiva Orient Star Khiva Hotel 3* or similar Asia Khiva Hotel 3*+ or similar

Transportation
Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:

"Chevrolet Lacetti"
(3 seats)

Chevrolet Lacetti

"Hyundai Grand Starex"
(6 seats)

Hyundai Grand Starex

"Mitsubishi Rosa"
(15 seats)

Mitsubishi Rosa
Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon
Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti SsangYong Istana SsangYong Istana SsangYong Istana SsangYong Istana SsangYong Istana Внедорожник Toyota Land Cruiser Внедорожник Toyota Land Cruiser Внедорожник Toyota Land Cruiser Внедорожник Toyota Land Cruiser Внедорожник Toyota Land Cruiser

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1

What nationals need visas to enter Uzbekistan?
Citizens of any countries other than Uzbekistan and the CIS countries enjoying visa-free regime agreements with Uzbekistan need visas to enter Uzbekistan or travel through its territory. These people can obtain Uzbekistan entry visas through a Visa Invitation Letter (Visa Support) from their host parties (host tour operators). Citizens of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK can apply for Uzbek visas to embassies or consulates of Uzbekistan without getting Visa Invitation Letter, independently. Please read here for more information.

2

Is it necessary to get a stay permit (temporary registration of stay) while visiting Uzbekistan?
Any foreigner to Uzbekistan is to get a stay permit within 3 working days (consecutive or not) during his / her visit to the country. If he / she stays at an Uzbekistan hotel or a guesthouse, such a stay permit for the period of stay at it is granted automatically. (Inquire whether the hotel / guesthouse you want to stay at provides such a permit unless your accommodation is organized by a host tour operator. Also make sure you are given your stay permit certificate with the seal of your hotel / guesthouse when you check out.) If you stay at other lodging facilities during your visit, you will have to get your stay permit from a local visits registration police department.

3

What is Uzbekistan’s currency? Where can I exchange money?
The national currency of Uzbekistan is the som (UZS). There are 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 5,000-som banknotes and 25, 50, 100 and 500-som coins used currently. The banknotes are similar in size but vary in color; they depict Uzbekistan’s cultural and heritage sites.
You can exchange money at Uzbekistan’s National Bank outlets, most of the hotels and official currency exchange offices commonly located near bazaars and at shopping centers. You will need your passport and stay permit to exchange money through them.
There is also a black market of currency exchange in Uzbekistan. Although its rates are higher, we do not recommend that you exchange money through its dealers (commonly individual money changers in the street, usually near bazaars). There is a risk of falling prey to cheaters or be arrested red-handed if you go for their services.
Note that the most common foreign currency in Uzbekistan is US dollars. The US banknotes you exchange in the country should be in good condition - without defects, bad folds, worn areas and scribbles - or it will be hard to exchange them.

4

Can I use credit cards in Uzbekistan?
You can use Visa and MasterCard cards mainly in Tashkent and at fewer locations in Samarkand and Bukhara for cash withdrawals through ATMs (cash machines) in their large hotels or banks. You can also make payments with these cards at some hotels, restaurants and stores in Tashkent. However, technical failures of the card handling equipment may occur, so it is advisable to always have enough cash on you.

5

What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.

6

Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country? s
Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.

7

Can I bring alcoholic beverages into Uzbekistan?
A person is permitted to bring a maximum of 2 liters of alcoholic drink(s) into the country.

8

What maximum amount of cash can I bring into Uzbekistan?
There is no limit on the amount of cash in a currency that is foreign to Uzbekistan a person can bring into the country. If you bring in over 5,000 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies), you will be given a ТС-28 certificate. If you bring in over 10,000 USD, you will have to pay a 1% duty on this sum.

9

What maximum amount of cash can I take out of Uzbekistan?
The amount of cash (in a currency foreign to Uzbekistan) you can take out of the country must not exceed the sum you brought in as per your arrival customs declaration. Taking out the amount exceeding the sum you brought in is possible if permitted by Uzbekistan’s Central Bank or another Uzbekistan’s authorized bank. Note that taking out Uzbekistan soms is not permitted unless they are several souvenir coins or banknotes.

10

Can I use a photo / video camera at the tourist sites?
Photographing and videoing at the tourist sites is allowed unless a site has a prohibition sign. They charge fees for using cameras at most tourist attractions though. Photographing and videoing is prohibited in Tashkent metro, at the airports and railway stations. Using a camera at the functioning mosques is possible if allowed by the worshippers there.

11

What kind of clothes should I wear in Uzbekistan? Are there any clothing requirements for women in the country?
Clothes made of cotton and other natural textiles will be the best choice in warm and hot weather. Both men and women will feel best in T-shirts and shorts. Your footwear must be comfortable, light and strong, since you will have to walk a lot. Have sunglasses, a light headwear and sunblock lotion.
If you travel early in spring (March to the beginning of April) or at the end of autumn (October to November), it is advisable to take a windbreaker, a sweater or a similar garment. In winter the temperature may fall to minus 10°С or so, so a raincoat, a warm coat and headwear will be necessary.
There are no strict limits on women’s clothing in the country. However, you should be considerate towards the local traditions, culture and religion. While visiting religious places women should wear loose garments covering most of their arms and legs, and of course the cleavage. Headscarves will also be advisable to put on. Note that you will have to take off your shoes while entering some of the sacred places.

12

What languages do people in Uzbekistan speak?
The official language is Uzbek; it is spoken by a majority of the population. Russian is spoken by the country’s largest Slavic minority and is still used widely in business and as a lingua franca, especially in Tashkent and other major cities. Tajik is widespread in Samarkand and Bukhara for their large Tajik ethnic minorities. Karakalpak is spoken in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan where it is an official language besides Uzbek. English is popular as a foreign language to study but there is little chance of coming across a good English speaker in the street. However, in the historic cities of Bukhara and Samarkand many young souvenir sellers dealing with foreigners speak elementary English.

 

Useful Information on Traveling in Kyrgyzstan:

Useful Information on Traveling in Uzbekistan:

Route Map

Route Map

Photos of the tour:

View all photos »»

Our video gallery:

Kyrgyzstan painted with sand Kyrgyzstan painted with sand In an off-road vehicle across Kyrgyzstan
In an off-road vehicle
across Kyrgyzstan
Uzbek fruit and vegetables Uzbek fruit and vegetables Lively Kyzylkum desert Lively Kyzylkum desert

View all videos »»

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Useful links: Similar tours:
Information about Kyrgyzstan.
Information about Uzbekistan.
Remarkable sights of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan Bazaars.
To the Heart of Tamerlane’s Empire.
Treasure Chest with Oriental Adventures.
Oriental dastarkhan (asian tablecloth).


     	

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