To the heart of Tamerlane`s empire

Heritage Tour of Uzbekistan

 

Country: Uzbekistan View the route map »»
Itinerary: Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent
Tour duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Best time to travel: March - June, August - November

This exciting and informative tour will enlighten you on the history and culture of Uzbekistan and its world-famous ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, which still keep traces and legacies of the trade Silk Road cultural exchange and once-great empires of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and especially Timur, better known as Tamerlane in the West, who made Samarkand his capital.

A military genius whose conquests shook the world in the 14th century, Timur was also a great patron of the arts. Samarkand still boasts a number of magnificent architectural monuments built during the reign of his dynasty, including his mausoleum Gur-e Amir, a gem of medieval Islamic architecture, where he lies under a huge jade slab.

Central Asia Travel invites you to see them all - as well as many more fascinating Uzbekistan’s monuments dating from different times - and hear most interesting stories about them. During the tour you will also visit exotic Uzbek bazaars, taste delicious dishes of Uzbek cuisine, travel across impressive landscapes, meet hospitable and charming locals, and enjoy many more other traveler’s tidbits.

  • Itinerary
    Services & Cost

  • Itinerary in Detail

  • FAQ
  • Useful Information
    Route Map

 

Itinerary
Day 1.
Sat
Arrival in Tashkent
Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Rest after a long flight. At 12:30 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 rest in hotel.
Day 2.
Sun
Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport. Flight HY-1051 Tashkent - Urgench (departure at 07:00, arrival at 08:40). Meeting at Urgench airport. Transfer to Khiva. Hotel check-in. Guided sightseeing tour around Khiva (Ichan-Kala ‘inner city’ historic old city): Pakhlavan Mahmoud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Kalta Minor Minaret, Islam Khoja Minaret and Madrasah, Tash Khauli-Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Amin-Khan Minaret and Madrasah, Avesta Museum. Overnight rest in hotel.

Additional sites this day (not included into the cost of the trip):
  •    National show of rope-dancers in Madrasah Rahim-Khan;
  •    Folklore show in Medrese Alakuli-Khan.

Day 3.
Mon
Khiva - Bukhara
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Bukhara. Lunch en route. Arrival in Bukhara. Leisure time. Souvenir shops / workshops. Overnight rest in hotel.
Day 4.
Tue
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 rest in hotel.

Additional sites this day (not included into the cost of the trip):
  •    Visiting the "Silk Road Spices" tea house - 5 USD per pax;
  •    Visiting the old Bukhara’s bathhouse Hammam Bozori Kord - 50 USD per pax;
  •    Folklore show in Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah - 10 USD per pax.

Day 5.
Wed
Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to Samarkand through Shakhrisabz, birthplace of Tamerlane. Guided sightseeing tour around Shakhrisabz: Ak Saray Palace, Dorus Saodat Complex, Dorut Tillavat Madrasah, Kok Gumbaz Mosque. Arrival in Samarkand. Overnight rest in hotel.
Day 6.
Thu
Samarkand
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Rukhabad Mausoleum; after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. Overnight rest in hotel.

Additional sites this day (not included into the cost of the trip):
  •    Wine testing in old winery named after Hovrenko - 20 USD per pax;
  •    Visiting Samarkand Paper Mill - 10 USD per pax;
  •    Visiting the theatre of historical costume El Merosi - 10 USD per pax.

Day 7.
Fri
Samarkand - Tashkent
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: St. Daniel Mausoleum, Khazrat-Khizr Mosque. Leisure time: Siab Bazaar recommended. After lunch transfer to Tashkent, visiting Samarkand Paper Mill when leaving. Arrival in Tashkent. Leisure time. Overnight rest in hotel.
Day 8.
Sat
Tashkent
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport. Departure from Uzbekistan.

Cost in USD per pax

Group 2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10-15 SGL supplement
Hotels 2-3* 825 755 665 615 600 110
Hotels 3-4* 940 870 785 735 720 190

Cost includes:

Early check-in at the hotel in Tashkent on day 1 (on arrival) is included into the tour cost. Check-in/out of all other hotel is at 12:00;
Guided sightseeing tours;
Sites entrance fees;
English-speaking local guides during excursions time (separate guide in each city);
Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation throughout tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
Tashkent-Urgench domestic flight airfare;
Bottle of mineral water per day/per pax;
Souvenirs.

Cost does not include:

International airfares;
Uzbekistan visa invitation (if necessary);
Travel health insurance;
Photo and video shooting charges at museums and monuments.

Additional Services:

Uzbekistan visa invitation - 45 USD per person;
Supplement for the services of English-speaking escort guide - 325 USD/for the group/for the whole tour;
Meals:
  - Half board (evening meals) - 85 USD per pax;
  - Full board - 165 USD per pax.

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 3-4* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.

This tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 3* Hotels 3-4*
Tashkent Samir Hotel 3*+ or similar Ramada 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar Emir Han 4* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* or similar Asia Bukhara 3*+ or similar
Khiva Old 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


Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon

"Hyundai Grand Starex" (6 seats)

Hyundai Grand Starex


Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon

"Mitsubishi Rosa" (15 seats)

Mitsubishi Rosa


Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Fridge

 

Itinerary in Detail

Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent
Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Rest after a long flight. At 12:30 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 rest in hotel.

As you arrive in Tashkent (‘a stone sity’; also spelled Toshkent), the capital of Uzbekistan, your escort guide meets you at the airport and drives you to your hotel to check in.

Tashkent was just a small settlement in Tamerlane’s times but it was known widely, since trade caravans traveling from Europe and western Asian kingdoms to China used to stop in it. Tashkent became part of Tamerlane’s realm in 1370 when the local military leaders of Mawarannahr his empire began to grow from swore an oath of loyalty to him. (Mawarannahr, also Transoxiana or Transoxania in Ancient Greek, is the historical name of the area between the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers; it is today’s Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and southwest Kazakhstan.)

Present-day Tashkent is in all respects a regional hub; it is the fourth largest CIS city with a population of around 3 million. Although Tashkent is over 2,000 years old, it does not have many historic sites. Tashkent grew to its present size mainly during the Soviet times, especially after the destructive earthquake in 1966. Today it has all the features of a modern metropolis, with a lot of Central Asian-style newly-built structures and Soviet-era buildings.

Tashkent’s Old City features a large traditional Central Asian bazaar, several Islamic architectural monuments and quaint adobe mahalla neighborhoods, which are quite worth visiting for their charm.

After you have relaxed and freshened up after your flight, you set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. First you go to Old City to see Khazrati Imam Architectural Complex (also Hast Imam; 16th c. - 19th c.), consisting of Barak-Khan Madrasah (also spelled Baraq Khan), Tilla Sheikh Mosque (also spelled Tillya Sheikh), Muyi Muborak Madrasah, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum (also spelled Kaffal Ash-Shashi, Qaffal Ash-Shashi), Namazgoh Mosque and the new Khazrati Imam Mosque. Then you visit the large traditional Central Asian bazaar Chorsu. After lunch you see the modern part of the city - the Independence Square and the Amir Timur Square - and visit Museum of Applied Arts with an abundance of fascinating exhibits.

Day 2. Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport. Flight HY-1051 Tashkent - Urgench (departure at 07:00, arrival at 08:40). Meeting at Urgench airport. Transfer to Khiva. Hotel check-in. Guided sightseeing tour around Khiva (Ichan-Kala ‘inner city’ historic old city): Pakhlavan Mahmoud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Kalta Minor Minaret, Islam Khoja Minaret and Madrasah, Tash Khauli-Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Amin-Khan Minaret and Madrasah, Avesta Museum. Overnight rest in hotel.

After an early breakfast in the hotel you are taken to the airport to fly to Urgench, the administrative center of Khorezm Province, Uzbekistan (flight HY-1051: departure at 07:00, arrival at 08:40). As you arrive, you proceed to Khiva (35 km; approx 30 min), an amazing historic city called ‘a museum under the open sky’. Khiva’s Ichan-Kala ‘inner city’ historic part (also spelled Itchan-Kala), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a walled medieval Central Asian town being preserved as it was in the past - an artifact town. Although protected by the state and having the status of a museum reserve, Ichan-Kala is populated with real people, mainly artisans.

Khorezm (also spelled Khwarezmia, Khwarizm, Khwarazm, Khwarezm, Khoresm, Khorasam, Harezm, Horezm, and Chorezm), with Khiva as its center, had managed to repel five Tamerlane’s attacks before he could annex it in 1388. He wanted the region so much because Khiva was an important economic oasis on the way of Silk Road caravans heading for Iran and the Mediterranean.

After checking in at your hotel and resting for a while you go on a sightseeing tour of Ichan-Kala, visiting Pakhlavan Mahmoud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Kalta Minor Minaret, Islam Khodja Minaret and Madrasah, Tash Khauli-Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Amin-Khan Minaret and Madrasah, and Avesta Museum.

When you are in Ichan-Kala, you will be given a lot of interesting information on what you are seeing around. The large blue tower in the central Ichan-Kala square, for example, is an unfinished minaret Kalta Minor. The khan who was building it died, and the succeeding khan did not complete it because he thought that the minaret would overlook his harem and the muezzin would be able to see his wives. Juma Mosque, which was built in the 10th century and rebuilt in 1788 - 1789, is famed for its hypostyle hall, which still has 112 wooden pillars of the 10th-century mosque. Among the buildings stand out Kunya-Ark Fortress with its most interesting exhibits and the complex of Pakhlavan Mahmud, the famous Khiva’s poet and powerful knight who became a local saint after death. Avesta Museum deals with the history of Zoroastrianism; Khorezm is believed to be its cradle.

We recommend that you visit Khiva’s bazaar after the tour, where traditional Khorezm carpets, suzani tapestries, robes, embroidered scull-caps and an abundance of other souvenirs are offered.

Day 3. Khiva - Bukhara
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Bukhara. Lunch en route. Arrival in Bukhara. Leisure time. Souvenir shops / workshops. Overnight rest in hotel.

You set out on a long and exciting journey to Bukhara (440 km, 7-8 hours) across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River (also spelled Amu Darya; known as the Oxus from its Ancient Greek name in historical sources).

Bukhara (‘a lucky place’; also spelled Bukhoro, Buxoro, Buchara, Bokhara, Buhara) is one of the world’s oldest cities. It is over 2,500 years old, and seems to be emanating the breath of history. The city was a large political and religious center in the Middle Ages; it is one of the seven holy cities of Islam. Bukhara boasts a large number of old mosques of different architectural styles, as well as a lot of madrasahs, minarets and mausoleums. The historic center of Bukhara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After you have checked in at your hotel, you still have some leisure time to spend before your overnight rest. We recommend that you stroll about the surroundings, feeling the charm of the city in the evening, and visit souvenir shops.

Day 4. 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 rest in hotel.

After breakfast you go on a very interesting guided sightseeing city tour of Bukhara.

First you visit Ismail Samani Mausoleum (9th c. - 10th c.), one of the most esteemed Central Asian architectural monuments. It was built as the sepulcher of Ismail Samani, the founder of the last Persian dynasty ruling in Central Asia. The mausoleum features fascinating brickwork patterns that look different as the light changes during the day… The building survived thanks to the wit of the local people: threatened by Genghis Khan hordes, which destroyed everything on their way, they buried the mausoleum in a huge heap of soil... The mausoleum of Pakistan"s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah-Mazar-e-Quaid, is modeled on Samani Mausoleum.

The next sight is Chashma Ayub Mausoleum. Chashma Ayub is translated as ‘Job’s spring’ in Persian. According to a legend, the biblical saint Job (Ayub) once visited the place during a severe drought in the area and opened a spring with a blow of his staff. This spring water is still there, fresh and pure, and is considered to be healing. The mausoleum was built in the 15th century by master builders Tamerlane had brought from Khorezm after capturing Khiva, so the building features a Khorezm-style conical dome, uncommon in Bukhara.

Then comes Bolo Hauz Complex (17th c.). It is the hauz ‘pond’ and two surviving structures of Bukhara registan central square complex - a mosque, still functioning, and a minaret. Very rich in ornaments, the mosque is called ‘a mosque of 40 pillars’ because all its 20 pillars, decorated with beautiful engravings, are reflected in the pond.

Next, you go to the Ark, the impressive Bukhara citadel (6th c. - 7th c.). It is the location the city grew from. It is hard to imagine that just 100 years ago they still beheaded criminals on the square before the citadel and its dungeons were full of inmates suffering from poisonous insects… Today’s Ark is a most interesting tourist attraction featuring reconstructions with dummies and housing a few museums.

Po-i-Kalan Complex (12th c. - 16th c.) you proceed to consists of Kalyan Mosque, Mir-i-Arab Madrasah and the famous Kalyan Minaret - a 45.6-meter-tall circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards (built in 1127). The minaret miraculously survived many wars and invasions. It was used as an observation tower and an execution tool in the past: criminals were killed by being tossed off the top of it in the past, so it is also known as Tower of Death… There are a lot of legends about this grand structure, so it is especially interesting to listen to the guide there.

You also see Ulugbek Madrasah, built in 1417 by order of Ulugbek, Tamerlan’s grandson, the famous mathematician and astronomer called ‘a scientist on the throne’, and then Lab-i Hauz Complex (1568-1622) consisting of Kukeldash Madrasah (1568-1569), a khanaka monastery and hospice for Sufi travelers (1622) and Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah (1622). All the structures of the complex stand around a large pond that is a perfect place to relax in the outdoor teahouses around it in hot summertime. You can also take a look at the statue of a man riding his donkey there. It is Nasreddin, the legendary medieval Central Asian folk character, famed for his wit and humor.

Visiting the above-mentioned Bukhara sights, you go past unique medieval domed shopping arcades you are also told about by the guide. They are still used for retail sale and offer an abundance of souvenirs and other traditional merchandise: garments, old Bukhara coins, jewelry… We recommend that you visit them during your leisure time after the tour.

Day 5. Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to Samarkand through Shakhrisabz, birthplace of Tamerlane. Guided sightseeing tour around Shakhrisabz: Ak Saray Palace, Dorus Saodat Complex, Dorut Tillavat Madrasah, Kok Gumbaz Mosque. Arrival in Samarkand. Overnight rest in hotel.

After breakfast you go to Samarkand, once the capital of Tamerlane’s Empire, via Shakhrisabz (‘green city’; also spelled Shahrisabz, Shahr-i Sabz), near which Tamerlane (Timur) was born on April 9, 1336.

At the beginning of his career Shakhrisabz was Tamerlane’s seat. After he had designated Samarkand as his capital, he kept patronizing Shakhrisabz, contributing to its development generously.

First you see the remains of the summer palace Ak Saray (‘white palace’; also spelled Aq Sarai, Aksaray, Aqsaray, Aksarai, Aqsaray) in Shakhrisabz. Its construction was launched by Tamerlane in 1380 and lasted for 25 years. Unfortunately, only two sides of its portal are surviving. They were once connected with an arch, one of the largest in Central Asia, but even without it they look very grand and give us the idea of Tamerlane’s might he wanted to express in his edifices. (Architects say the portal was as high as a modern 20-story building.)

Then you visit the memorial complex Dorus Saodat (‘seat of power and might’; 14th c. - 15th c.; also spelled Dorussaodat, Dorus Siadat, Dorussiadat, Dar al-Sayadah; also known as Hazrat-i Imam Complex), consisting of a tall mausoleum with a conical dome and an crypt at a distance of almost 40 meters from it, which were parts of an architectural ensemble in the Timurids times. Tamerlane launched the construction of the mausoleum in 1376 for his eldest son Jahangir who died at the age of 24. Eighteen years later Tamerlane’s second son Omarsheikh, who had died in battle, was buried there too. The crypt was discovered during archeological excavations in 1943; it was intended for Tamerlane, as the inscription on the stone coffin in it said. However, he was buried in Samarkand, but mysteriously, the crypt contained remains of two unidentified people…

Next, you proceed to the memorial complex Dorut Tillavat (‘contemplation place’; 14th c. - 15th c.; also spelled Doruttillavat, Dorut Tillyavat, Doruttillyavat, Dar al-Tilavah). The first building of the complex, originally a madrasah, is a mausoleum of Tamarlane’s father Taragay (died in 1360 or 1361), and there is also a mausoleum of Shamseddin Kulal, the spiritual mentor of Taragay, Tamerlane, and the famous Sufi leader Baha-ud-Din Naqshband (also spelled Bakhautdin Nakshbandi). In 1437 the Friday communal prayer mosque Kok Gumbaz (‘blue dome’) was built next to them by order of Ulugbek, Tamerlane’s grandson. He also ordered to build on another mausoleum there. Thoroughly restored and reconstructed, the complex is a perfect example of Central Asian Islamic architecture of the Timurid times. The original door of the 600-year-old Ulugbek mausoleum is still in good condition and shows its artifact delicate carvings.

After completing the tour of Shakhrisabz you resume your journey to Samarkand where you arrive in the evening and check in at your hotel.

Day 6. Samarkand
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Rukhabad Mausoleum; after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. Overnight rest in hotel.

Today’s morning is special: you have finally reached the city that once was the very heart of Tamerlane’s Empire. Geographers and poets called Samarkand ‘Rome of the Orient’ and even ‘Eden of the Orient’ in the past. Samarkand (also spelled Samarqand), like Khiva and Bukhara, boasts world-famous masterpieces of medieval Islamic architecture, most of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Note that they are buildings of a capital city and so are very impressive.

After breakfast you go on a guided tour of Samarkand, visiting the Registan Square first. It is probably the most spectacular Central Asian square featuring three fascinating edifices. Though the word registan means ‘a sandy place’, you will hardly see sand there now. On the three sides of the square stand Ulugbek Madrasah (1417 - 1420), Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619 - 1636) and Tilla-Qori Madrasah (1647 - 1660). (A madrasah is a Muslim college or university.) All of them boast stunning mosaics and almost all the other types of Central Asian interior and exterior decoration at its best.

Then you certainly visit Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, the sepulcher of Tamerlane and the Timurid dynasty (1404; also spelled Gur Emir). It contains the graves of Tamerlane, his two sons, two grandsons, and his spiritual mentor. Gur-e Amir (’tomb of the king’) is the precursor of the famous Humayun"s Tomb in Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Timur"s descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of North India. During Ulugbek’s reign they placed a solid block of dark green jade over Tamerlane’s grave. Legend has it that there was a warning against opening the grave, saying ‘Anyone who breaks my peace in this life or the next will be subjected to suffering and die.’ However, Soviet archeologists did so on June 19, 1941 - and a few days later Nazi Germany attacked the USSR… Tamerlane’s remains were reburied in November 1942, at the beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad…

Near Gur-e Amir Mausoleum stands Rukhabad Mausoleum (14th c.; also spelled Rukhobod, Rukhabod, Ruhobod, Ruhabod) you go to next. This small mausoleum is said to contain seven hairs of Muhammad the Prophet.

After lunch you proceed to Bibi-Khanym Mosque (1399 - 1404; also spelled Bibi-Khanom, Bibi-Khanum), one of the largest in the Islamic world. According to Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, a Spanish ambassador to Samarkand in Tamerlane’s times, the mosque was built by order of Tamerlane in honor of his senior wife’s mother by 200 best architects and 500 workers brought from all the corners of his empire, with the use of 95 elephants. They also say that Bibi-Khanym, Tamerlane’s favorite wife, ordered to build the mosque by herself to please her husband after one of his victorious campaigns.

Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis (12th c. - 15th c.) you visit afterwards is a complex of more than 20 mausoleums with 44 tombstones; most of them are of Tamerlan’s relatives as well as military and clergy aristocracy. The main of them is the mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of Muhammad the Prophet. According to a legend, Kusam ibn Abbas came to Samarkand with Arab conquerors to preach Islam and was beheaded for faith in the city. However, he took his head and went down to a deep well where he remains alive. (Shah-i-Zinda means ‘living king’.)

You also see the surviving part of Ulugbek Observatory (15th c.). It still has a section of the mural sextant, once the world’s largest, which Ulugbek used to compile his world-famous star catalogue, the best between Ptolemy’s and Brahe’s. Ulugbek’s discoveries greatly advanced knowledge in the field of astronomy and mathematics in the Middle Ages.

Day 7. Samarkand - Tashkent
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: St. Daniel Mausoleum, Khazrat-Khizr Mosque. Leisure time: Siab Bazaar recommended. After lunch transfer to Tashkent, visiting Samarkand Paper Mill when leaving. Arrival in Tashkent. Leisure time. Overnight rest in hotel.

After breakfast your guided tour of Samarkand continues. You visit Khodja Daniyar Mausoleum (also spelled Hajji Daniyar; St. Daniel Mausoleum). Saint Daniel, known as Khodja Daniyar in Central Asia, is revered by the followers of the three major religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. According to a legend, the 18-meter-long grave at the shrine contains the saint’s arm (he is believed to have been a giant by some people), and another legend says the arm grows year by year. Believe it or not, all the legends about the shrine say it was Tamerlane himself who brought the arm to Samarkand from Mecca.

You also see Khazrat-Khyzr Mosque, one of oldest Samarkand’s architectural monuments. It was destroyed by Genghis Khan’s hordes and restored in the 19th century. From the hill the mosque stands on you can have an impressive view of Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis and Siab Bazaar we strongly recommend to visit before you leave for Tashkent.

As you leave Samarkand, you visit Samarkand Paper Mill where they still use centuries-old technologies to make traditional Samarkand paper.

Day 8. Tashkent
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to airport. Departure from Uzbekistan.

 

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.

Photos of the tour:

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Our video gallery:

Traditional cuisine of Central Asia
Cuisine of Central Asia
Pilafs in Tashkent
Pilafs in Tashkent
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Uzbek fruit and vegetables
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables

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Reviews were found: 2

Федор 31.05.2016 12:55
По истечении небольшого времени после поездки хочу еще раз поблагодарить Вашу компанию за интересный тур и за профессиональную организацию моей поездки. Всё было хорошо и во-время. Наверное, мне повезло, что я обратился именно к Вам.

Кроме того, моя отдельная благодарность водителю и сопровождающему - Тоиру Шарипову. Он исключительно ответственно относится к своей работе. Его машина всегда вымыта, чистая снаружи и внутри, протёрта и заправлена (вместе с нами он ни разу не заезжал на заправку). Тоир всегда вежлив, всегда в хорошем настроении и, главное, что я почувствовал, - это надёжный человек, на которого можно положиться. Очень важное качество в путешествии. Буду признателен, если передадите ему привет от нас и нашу благодарность за поездку.

С уважением,
Федор
Ivonne Saleme 07.09.2016 13:01
En primer lugar decir que fue SORPRENDENTE el destino elegidoo, el que fue seleccionado porque era la opción más cercana a nuestra disponibilidades de tiempo para conocer alguna de las repúblicas islámicas de la ex-URSS. Así empezó todo este proyecto.

En este viaje no quisimos recabar tanta información previa del destino. Quisimos dejarnos llevar. Quizás por eso fue la vivencia de lo espectacular que exhiben su historia, cultura, tradiciones, etc. Lo bien que han recuperado su identidad a lo largo de tantos años de historia. Cómo han puesto en valor sus tradiciones.
La conclusión: EXCELENTE decisión y recomendable.

Los servicios respondieron a las consignas del contrato. No tenemos ninguna objeción en ello.
Un párrafo especial para nuestro guía: fué más que atento y complaciente a nuestras demandas. Realmente un recurso humano muy valioso que tiene la agencia.

En cuanto a la promoción del destino turístico, sería recomendable que trataran de encontrar los canales para su mayor difusión.

Bueno Alejandra. Nuevamente ha sido un gusto conocerla aunque sea por este medio. Y también debo reconocer que ha estado atenta y ha sido muy considerada con todas nuestras consultas. Así es gratificante organizar un viaje de placer.

Saludos cordiales. IVONNE

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