Oriental Dastarkhan

Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan
Culinary Experiences, Chef's Masterclasses, Wine Tasting and Folk Craft Workshops


Country: Uzbekistan View the route map »»
Tour duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Itinerary: Tashkent - Djizzakh - Khayat village - Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara - Khiva - Urgench

No doubt, this fascinating culinary tour for foodies will become the most 'delicious' in your collection!

The Uzbek cuisine is probably one of the most diverse in Asia. Situated on the caravan routes of the Great Silk Road, Uzbekistan has for many centuries been assimilating the most interesting and original recipes of food from various countries. Each meal in Uzbekistan has its own traditional way of cooking, and one and the same dish has innumerable methods of preparation throughout the country.

Uzbek plov has become Uzbekistan’s main culinary brand, but it is far from being the only remarkable dish in the Uzbek cuisine. Juicy shashlyk shish kebab, aromatic samsa pasties, rich shourpa soup and horsemeat sausage kazy, Uighurian lagman in Tashkent, roast lamb cooked over a campfire in the Nuratau Mountains, tender manti in Samarkand, tandyr-kabob in Gijduvan, dolma with grape leaves in Bukhara, and exotic tukhum-barak and shivit-oshi in Khiva – all of them form but a small part of the list of dishes in the Uzbek cuisine! And what about the dessert, consisting of a great number of Oriental sweets, fresh fruit, dry fruit and various kinds of nuts?

Discover Uzbekistan's incredible history and cuisine!

  • Itinerary /
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    Route Map


Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent. Tashkent (sightseeing).
Meeting at the airport. Transfer and check-in at the hotel. Breakfast.
Sightseeing in Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah.
Lunch at the Central Asian Plov Centre, where genuine Tashkent plov is cooked in huge cauldrons. There you can see the whole process of cooking from roasting meat to laying vegetables, spices and rice.
Continuation of the sightseeing: the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”, Independence Square, Amir Temur Square.
Dinner in the Uighurian cafe, where you will taste the Uighurian lagman, a dish made of meat, vegetables and pulled long noodles.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 2. Tashkent – Jizzakh – Khayat village (340 km, 6–7 h).
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Khayat village in the Nurata Mountains. Visiting Djizzakh on the road. Lunch at a local chaykhona (traditional teahouse, café) - sampling the famous Djizzakh samsa pasties and shurpa soup.
Samosa is puff baked pastries with inimitable flavor and taste of the East. It is baked traditionally in a clay oven (tandoor) over coals. Shurpa is a rich Uzbek soup with meat, vegetables and fresh herbs, incredibly fragrant and beautiful.
Accommodation in a guest house run by local people upon arrival in Khayat village. A walk to the neighbourhoods of Upper Khayat village and along the Khayat River valley; acquaintance with the life of locals; a visit to ruins of an old village and a nursery for breeding Severtsov’s argali.
Dinner - roast lamb cooked over a campfire with oriental spices. You can taste such tender and tasty mutton only in Uzbekistan. Master class on baking Uzbek flatbread.
Overnight at the guest house.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 3. Khayat village – Samarkand (290 km, 5–6 h).
Breakfast at the guest house.
Transfer to Samarkand, probably the best-known Uzbekistan’s historic city. Over 2,750 years of age, it has a rich history and boasts world-famous masterpieces of medieval Islamic architecture, most of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Accommodation at the hotel upon arrival. Lunch in a chaykhona, tasting delicious Samarkand shish kebab. Uzbek barbecue is always very juicy and fragrant, we recommend eating it with freshly baked Uzbek bread and pickled onions.
Start of sightseeing in Samarkand Gur-e Amir Mausoleum – necropolis of the Timurids.
Visiting old winery named after Khovrenko and tasting Uzbek wines and cognacs.
Dinner at a national guest house, a culinary master class and tasting of manti (with lamb, pumpkin, potatoes) - an authentic Uzbek dish that has the form of large dumplings filled with meat and steamed in a special pot. Manti is a popular dish found in many regions from Mongolia to Turkey. Uzbekistan has been in the centre of historical events, being part of the Silk Road for many centuries. So active trade and caravans from different countries could not help but leave their mark, including in the gastronomic traditions of this region.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4. Samarkand (sightseeing).
Breakfast at the hotel
Sightseeing in Samarkand: : the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia – the Registan Square (Madrasah of Ulugbek, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah); Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Siab bazaar. Lunch at the Panjab Plov Centre and Samarkand plov tasting.
Transfer to the Bagizagan winery located in the village of Bagizagan, 25 km from Samarkand. Five generations of winemakers have been growing grapes in the valley of the Zarafshan River, and today Bagizagan produces some of the best wines and cognacs in Uzbekistan. Tour of the winery and grapevine plantations, familiarization with the wine production process. Wine degustation in a basement sampling room. Return to Samarkand.
Continuation of the sightseeing architectural ensemble Shah-i-Zinda, Ulugbek Observatory.
Dinner at a restaurant: tasting of national Uzbek dishes mastava (mastoba) and khanum. Mastava is a delicious rich rice soup with vegetables cooked in meat broth. Khanum is a steamed flour dish stuffed with minced meat or potatoes.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 5. Samarkand – Gijduvan – Bukhara (280 km; 4,5 h).
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Bukhara via Gijduvan, the craft center of Uzbekistan, which has been famous for its beautiful, original ceramics since ancient times. Visiting the pottery workshop of the Narzullaev. Master class of pottery in a ceramic workshop, creating of unique ceramic products on a potter's wheel under the guidance of an experienced craftsman.
Lunch at the workshop with tasting of Gijduvan kebabs and tandoor kabob (meat baked in tandoor oven).
Transfer to Bukhara, one of the world’s oldest cities and one of the seven holy cities of Islam. 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 with over 350 mosques and 80 madrasahs (Islamic colleges), many of which survive. The historic center of Bukhara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sightseeing in Bukhara Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah. Visit the shopping district with domed shopping arcade of the 16th century, where national arts and handicrafts workshops are presented.
Dinner at a national house, where you will taste Uzbek dish – damlama. Damlama is a dish of various vegetables and pieces of meat that are stewed for a long time in their own juice over low heat, so it turns out to be very tender and juicy.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 6. Bukhara (sightseeing).
Breakfast at the hotel.
Sightseeing in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo-Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex. Lunch at a chaykhona, where you will enjoy amazing taste of shurpa balaza (soup with peas) and dolma (minced meat wrapped in grape leaves, which is cooked in a small amount of broth).
Continuation of the sightseeing: Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Ulugbek Madrasah, Bukhara Gold Embroidery Factory.
Visiting the "Silk Road Spices" teahouse: tasting teas prepared from herbs and spices, and traditional Bukharan sweets as a dessert.
Dinner at a national house, master class on cooking Alat samsa.
Overnight at the hotel. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7. Bukhara (out-of-city sightseeing).
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit out-of-city sights of Bukhara: Sitorai Mohi Khosa -summer country residence of Bukhara last emir (ruler) and Bakhautdin Naqshbandi Complex, Chor-Bakr Necropolis.
Lunch at the Chor-Bakr chaykhona – the tenderest lamb, cooking for several hours over low heat in a wood-fired oven.
Transfer back to Bukhara.
Dinner at National house: Master-class on cooking Bukharian plov and dinner at a national house. The cooking technology of the Bukharian plov, certainly, differs from all other recipes. Almost all the components of the Bukharian plov are cooked separately, and then put in layers into a special copper cauldron, where the plov is finished. A professional oshpaz (a cook specializing in plov cooking) will reveal culinary secrets, and show how to cook authentic Bukharian plov.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 8. Bukhara – Khiva (road transfer, 440 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Khiva through the famous Kyzylkum desert along the Amu Darya River. We will pass along the road, where many Silk Road caravans once slowly followed. “Kyzylkum” translates as “Red Sands”, and the local sand really has a reddish tint. We will make several stops and walk along the picturesque dunes, admire the amazing panorama of the Amu Darya River from a viewing point. Lunch en route – lunch-boxes.
Arrival in Khiva. Leisure time. Visiting the souvenir shops and workshops.
Master class on cooking traditional Uzbek bread (Khivan flat loaves/lepeshka) at Zaynab’s national house.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Kyzyl-Kum desert

Day 9. Khiva (sightseeing).
Breakfast at the hotel.
Sightseeing in Khiva (Ichan-Kala, the walled inner town of the old Khiva oasis and State Museum-Reserve protected as a World Heritage Site): Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajja Madrasah.
Lunch at Zeravshan’s national house, where guests will taste Khorezmian dish – tukhum-barak, dumplings with the filling of raw eggs with spices.
Continuation of sightseeing in Khiva: Tash Khauli Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Amin-khan Minaret & Madrasah, Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex.
Dinner at the local national house and taste the Khorezmian emirs dish – shivit oshi (green pasta).
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 10. Khiva - Urgench (Departure).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure from Urgench by Turkish Airlines.
Meals: breakfast.


Cost of the tour in USD:

Group 1 pax 2 pax 4 pax 6 pax 8 pax 10 pax SGL supplement
Hotel 3* 2750 USD 1770 USD 1410 USD 1285 USD 1170 USD 1160 USD +150 USD
Hotel 4* 2960 USD 1905 USD 1545 USD 1440 USD 1335 USD 1325 USD +205 USD

Cost includes:

  • Accommodation at the hotels, mentioned above, or in similar, but of the same category in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check in on day 1 in Tashkent; check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00.
  • Accommodation in a guesthouse in Khayat village (2-3 persons in a room, single accommodation is not possible).
  • Meals on full board basis according to the program.
  • Wine tasting in Khovrenko winery and Bagizagan winery.
  • Culinary master-classes according to the program.
  • Master-class on ceramics in Gijduvan.
  • Tea tasting in Bukhara.
  • Services of English-speaking local guides for sightseeing.
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour, including ‘airport-hotel-airport” transfers.
  • Bottled mineral water per day/per person.

Cost does not include:

  • The cost of international flights.
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and museums listed above – about 80 USD/per person (can be paid on the spot).
  • Alcohol and soft drink in menus (can be ordered and paid on the spot).
  • Medical expenses and insurance.
  • Porters at the railway stations and airports.
  • Tips and gratitudes.

Information on the hotels

City Hotel 3* Hotel 4*
Tashkent Reikartz Hon Tashkent or similar Inspira-S Hotel 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel or similar Asia Bukhara Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Devon Hotel 3* or similar Asia Bukhara Hotel 4* or similar
Khiva Arkanchi Hotel 3* or similar Asia Khiva Hotel 4* or similar

Information on the vehicles.

Uzbekistan Vehicle
Group of 1-2 pax "Chevrolet Lacetti" or similar
Group of 4 pax "Hyundai Grand Starex minivan" or similar
Group of 6-8 pax "King Long minivan" or similar
Group of 9-15 pax "Eurise minivan" or similar


Visa and Visa invitation to Uzbekistan:

Visa-free regime for up to 60 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Visa-free regime for up to 30 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Singapore
  • the Vatican
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

A great number of other countries can obtain an e-visa to Uzbekistan by simply visiting the governmental portal e-visa.gov.uz.

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»


Frequently Asked Questions

  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

  1. 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.
  2. 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, 5.000, 10.000 and 50.000-som banknotes 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 to exchange money through them.
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
    It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.
  5. Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country?
    Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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:

Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan
Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan Gastronomic Tour to Uzbekistan

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Video of the tour:

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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