Along the road of ancient caravans
Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan tour 2024
|15 days / 14 nights
|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 tour goes along one of the sections of the Great Silk Road (Route), across the two Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. You will take course through the route, which in ancient times was passed 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!
Services & Cost
- Useful Information
|Arrival in Bishkek.
Arrival in Bishkek early in the morning. Meet our driver and further transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation at the hotel and rest.
Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan, a cozy green city with a population of about 1 million people which is located in the middle of the Chuy valley, at an altitude of 750 meters, and right at the foot of Kyrgyz part of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range.
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. Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.
|Bishkek – Burana Tower – Karakol by road (405 km)
Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 Meet the guide and driver and transfer to Karakol which is located at the foot of the most picturesque mountains of Tian Shan. En route we will visit Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok city and a collection of Balbals, the Turkic ancient tombs.
Burana Tower (minaret of the Burana settlement, 10th-11th centuries) – is an archaeological and architectural monument located in the depth of the ruins of Buraninsky settlement. It is an outstanding ancient building and plays a very important part in the Kyrgyz cultural heritage. Its height today is 21.7 meters, but initially the tower was at least 40 meters tall, however, its upper part was subsequently destroyed by an earthquake.
Further transfer to Karakol along the North shore of Issyk Kul lake. Visit Cholpon-Ata Petroglyphs site on the way. There, in an area of roughly 42 hectares, you can see more than 1000 stones with drawings, ancient burials, stone circles, and ruins of walls.
Upon arrival in Karakol accommodation and rest at the hotel. Meals: breakfast.
|Karakol – Djety Oguz gorge – Kochkor by road (250 km).
After breakfast city tour in Karakol: visit Dungan mosque, a vivid example of Chinese culture on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. It was built with wood in 1910 in the style of a Chinese pagoda without a single nail – all parts of the building are connected by cuttings and grooves. Then visit Orthodox Cathedral (Holy Trinity Cathedral, 19th century), the only functioning Orthodox church in Karakol, whose elegant wooden walls with intricate ornaments are crowned with five golden domes.
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. Huge dark green woods spread over red sandstone mountain slopes and create an incredible color contrast.
Easy hiking in the gorge along the winding Djety Oguz mountain river and further transfer to Kochkor village.
Arrival in Kochkor village and dinner at the hotel. Meals: breakfast, dinner.
|Kochkor – Skazka Canyon – Son-Kul Lake by road (130 km).
After breakfast transfer to Son-Kul lake along the southern shore of the Issyk Kul Lake.
On the way short hiking in Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyons, which consists of sand and red clay has been forming for millions of years under the influence of geological processes, water, and wind. You can wander for hours between fabulous castles and towers through a winding labyrinth, the bottom of which is strewn with ephedra bushes. There is even an unusual canyon that looks kind of like the Great Wall of China.
Upon arrival at Son-Kul lake accommodation at the yurt camp. Lake Son-Kul is a stunning high-altitude lake and is the largest natural freshwater body of water in Kyrgyzstan. The lake has a depth of up to 22 m, it is located at an altitude of 3016 m above sea level, surrounded by meadows (Jailoo) that have been used as pastures for animals since ancient times. Shepherds bring their cattle to the lake for the summer, and families live in yurts.
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. Meals: breakfast, dinner.
|Son Kul lake – Kyzyl-Oy village – Bishkek by road (320 km).
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 in Bishkek accommodation at the hotel and rest. Meals: breakfast.
|Bishkek – Osh by morning flight.
After breakfast transfer to the airport to take flight to Osh.
Osh is the “southern capital” of Kyrgyzstan. The city is located on the east side of the Fergana valley, at an altitude of roughly 1000 meters, and is surrounded by low rocky spurs of the Alai Range on three sides.
On arrival start sightseeing tour in Osh: visit the Central bazaar and Central Square. After lunch we will visit Suleiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. The national historical and archaeological museum complex Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain is the main attraction of Osh and the only site located entirely on the territory of Kyrgyzstan that has been included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO. 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.
Transfer to the hotel and rest. Meals: breakfast.
|Osh – “Dustlik” border point – Margilan – Fergana by road (130 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, passing through checkpoint. Meet at Uzbek side of the border.
Further transfer to Margilan and visit Margilan silk factory which is famous for handmade khan-atlas.
Margilan is a traditional silk production centre, the ‘silk heart’ of Uzbekistan. Generations of artisans skilled in making most beautiful silk fabrics (adras, khan atlas referred to as royal silk and others) by hand, following ancient technologies, have been inhabiting the area since long ago. As it was at the time of the 'Great Silk Road’s peak activity, the indescribably beautiful silk from Margilan is exported today to a number of countries around the world. The world’s leading fashion designers use successfully Margilan silk to produce their clothes.
Transfer to Fergana. Accommodation at the hotel and rest. Meals: breakfast.
|Fergana – Rishtan – Kokand by road (90 km).
Kokand – Tashkent by train (4 hours)
Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to Rishtan, the main ceramics center of Uzbekistan. The city is famous for its incredible glazed ceramics which are popular among tourists as souvenirs. Pottery has been the main craft in this area for more than a thousand years
Upon arrival we will enter the village of Rishtan ceramists where the generations of ceramic masters live and work. Here we will visit one particular house of the Nazirovs’ family that practices and forwards its skills from generation to generation. We will meet the master and his works and the technologies of production and enjoy watching the process of ceramic dishes production. You can dive deep into the mystery of creating the finest lace Rishtan ceramics in all its oriental charm, painted in all shades of blue and aquamarine.
Transfer to Kokand, the former capital of Kokand khanate (18th-19th centuries). This city, which is located right at the entrance to the fruitful Fergana valley, used to be an important stop point of the Great Silk Road and used to be a part of the ancient state of Davan. Its flourishing happened in the 18th century when it became the capital of Kokand khanate and the religious center of the region – in the past, there were 40 madrasas and 300 mosques in Kokand.
Sightseeing tour around Kokand: Palace of Khudayar Khan, Mausoleum of Modari Khan, Juma Mosque. Further visit of the unique for Uzbekistan botanical garden “Mehrigiyo” with unique plants and lavender fields.
Arrival to the railway station in Kokand and further transfer to Tashkent by train (17:33-21:45).
Meet in Tashkent on arrival. Accommodation at the hotel and rest. Meals: breakfast.
Tashkent is the multifaceted capital of the modern country of Uzbekistan and the republic’s center of cultural and political life. Tashkent’s architecture is striking in its diversity and variety: archaeological monuments from the Zoroastrianism era that are more than 2200 years old, architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages, monumental buildings of the late 19th century, the most beautiful underground subway in the world, and of course, the numerous contemporary buildings.
After breakfast guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: we will visit today Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square. Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.
|Tashkent – Samarkand by morning train (2 hours).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Samarkand in premium service high-speed train «Afrosiab» (07:28-09:36).
Samarkand is as old as Rome, it is one of the most ancient cities in the world and former capital of the great Timur empire. It is a museum city, a city which was once the heart of the caravan trade in the midst of the Great Silk Road. Samarkand conserved its unique aura of the Oriental medieval age until this very day.
Guided sightseeing tour of Samarkand on arrival: Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Rukhabad Mausoleum (from the outside), 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.
|Samarkand – Bukhara by morning train (1.5 hours).
After breakfast transfer to Bukhara by a high-speed train «Afrosiab» (09:44-11:17).
Bukhara is another ancient city in Uzbekistan which also was part of the Great Silk Road. Medieval Bukhara used to be one of the main political, cultural, and religious hubs of the Middle East. Over 140 architectural monuments have been preserved here. The historical center of Bukhara is included in the list of World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO.
On arrival – start the sightseeing tour in 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. Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Continue exploring the region.
Today we will visit the out-of-town sites on arrival, located in 4 km from Bukhara: Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace (late 19 th – early 20 th centuries) – ‘Moon and Star Palace’, an amazing mix of Russian, Oriental and European architecture; Baha-ud-din Naqshband Complex (16h century) – Mecca of Central Asia, pilgrimage place for Muslims around the world. Then visit memorial complex of the Islamic saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Baha-ud-Din Naqshband was Tamerlan’s spiritual mentor and founder of the Sufi Nakshbandi order, which is one of the most famous oriental orders. Then we'll proceed to Chor-Bakr Memorial Complex, the final resting place of the Juybar Seyyids' sheikhs. This necropolis is a magnificent architectural complex that has been listed in the UNESCO catalogue. It is also known as the 'City of the Dead'.
Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Rest and overnight. Meals: breakfast.
|Bukhara – Khiva by road (440 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Khiva. We will travel along the same road that countless Silk Road caravans once followed. The name 'Kyzylkum' means 'Red Sands' in Turkic, and the sand here is indeed reddish in colour. We will stop at several points and walk along the picturesque dunes. Additionally, we will admire the boundless panorama from the viewing point overlooking one of the two largest rivers in the region, the Amu Darya. Lunch en route.
Arrival in Khiva. Leisure time. Visiting traditional workshops and souvenir shops. Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.
|Khiva – Urgench by road (30 km).
Urgench – Tashkent by evening flight (1 hour)
Breakfast in hotel.
Khiva is one of the main cities of the ancient Khorezm and the only city in Uzbekistan nowadays where a its shakhristan (inner city), Ichan-Kala, has been preserved almost entirely in its untouched state.
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. Evening flight to Tashkent.
Meeting at airport, transfer to hotel, check-in and rest. Meals: breakfast.
Breakfast at the hotel (or lunch-box). Early morning transfer to the airport. Departure. Meals: breakfast.
Tour price includes:
Tour price does not include:
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.
- Standard - inexpensive yet 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;
- Comfort - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.
This tour comes with the following accommodation:
|Olive 3* or similar
|Plaza 4* or similar
|Green Yard 3* or similar
|Karagat 4* or similar
|Nomad Lodge Hotel or similar
|Nomad Lodge Hotel or similar
|Son Kul lake
|Sunrise 3* or similar
|Classic 4* or similar
|Asia Fergana 4* or similar
|Asia Fergana 4* or similar
|Rangrez 3* or similar
|Paradise Plaza Hotel 4* or similar
|Arba Hotel 3* or similar
|Zarafshon Parkside Hotel 4* or similar
|Reikartz Residence 3* or similar
|Asia Khiva Hotel 4*or similar
Information on the vehicles
|Uzbekistan and other countries
|Group 1–2 pax
|"Chevrolet Lacetti" or similar
|Group of 4 pax
|Hyundai Starex minivan or similar
|Group 6–8 pax
|"King Long minivan" or similar
|Group 9–15 pax
|"Eurise minivan" or similar
Visa to Uzbekistan:
Visa-free regime for up to 60 days has been established for citizens of countries below:
Visa-free regime for up to 30 days has been established for citizens of countries below:
A great number of other countries can obtain an e-visa to Uzbekistan by simply visiting the governmental portal e-visa.gov.uz.
Visa to Kyrgyzstan
Under current rules visa-free stay within unlimited period on the territory of Kyrgyzstan is granted for the nationals of the following countries:
List of states granted visa-free stay up to 90 days: Mongolia, Ukraine
List of states granted visa-free stay up to 60 days
Visa-free access to Kyrgyzstan up to 30 days: Malaysia.
Useful Information on Traveling in Kyrgyzstan:
Useful Information on Traveling in Uzbekistan:
Photos of the tour:
Our video gallery:
|Kyrgyzstan painted with sand
In an off-road vehicle
|Uzbek fruit and vegetables
|Lively Kyzylkum desert
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