The Pearls of the East: Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

Heritage Tour: Turquoise-Domed Cities of the Silk Road


Countries: Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan View the route map »»
Tour duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Best time to travel: April - June, September - October
Itinerary: Tashkent - Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara - Mary - Merv - Ashgabat - Darwaza crater - Nukus - Khiva - Tashkent

Sogdiana, the Pearl of the East. Tour of Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

This combined Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan tour with stops at the must-see cities will guide you across two desert Central Asian republics where powerful states - Bactria, Sogdiana, Margiana and Khwarezm were located in ancestry. The ruins of ancient fortresses of Merv, Khwarezm and Afrosiab are preserved till nowadays and remind of the bygone might of perished empires. Such ancient monuments as the mausoleum of Tamerlane, the Registan Square, and the Kalyan Minaret harmoniously blend and even amplify the colour of the modern eastern cities.

Besides, this guided sightseeing tour will show you the most fascinating attraction in Karakum desert - the “Doors to Hell”, or Darwaza Gas Crater that will amaze you.

You will feel a legendary babel of real oriental bazaars and discover the culture, original traditions and hospitality of the locals.


  • Visa
    Route map


Day 1. Tashkent, arrival and city tour.
Arrival in Tashkent early in the morning. Transfer to hotel for some rest.
After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-Shashi Mausoleum; Kukeldash Madrasah, Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and Tashkent metro. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 Tashkent - Samarkand (morning train, 07:30-09:48).
Early breakfast at the hotel. Ride to Samarkand by premium service high-speed train “Afrosiab”. Guided sightseeing tour of Samarkand on arrival: Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, and Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, and Ulugbek Observatory. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3. Samarkand - Gujduvan - Bukhara (road transfer, 280 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Continuation of the sightseeing tour in Samarkand: visit Afrosiab museum and settlement. Drive to Bukhara. On the way stop in Gijduvan and visit local ceramist’s family. Gijduvan is one the centers of pottery in Uzbekistan, ceramic products in Gujduvan have its own painting style of green colors, which is not repeated in any other region of Uzbekistan.
Further transfer to Bukhara. Upon arrival accommodation at the hotel. Leisure time. Visiting the souvenir shops and workshops is recommended. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4. Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: visit Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5. Bukhara - "Farap" land border - Mary - Merv ancient city - Mary (road transfer, 385 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Uzbek-Turkmen border “Farab” (2-hours drive from Bukhara). Border formalities. Continue driving to Mary via visits of Ancient Merv (UNESCO) en route. Upon arrival in Mary city tour with visits of Juma mosque and Russian orthodox church. Transfer to the hotel, overnight.
Day 6. Mary - Ashgabat - Kov-Ata underground lake - Ashgabat (morning flight, 07:40-08:20 approx.).
Morning transfer to the airport for further flight to Ashgabat. Upon arrival day trip to Nohur village in the Kopetdag Mountains (visit tribal cemetery and pilgrim site; silk weaving homes), via visit of Turkmenbashi mosque-mausoleum and Kov-Ata underground lake on the way. Return to Ashgabat, transfer to the hotel and rest.
Day 7. Ashgabat - Darwaza gas crater (Karakum desert) (road transfer, 300 km).
After breakfast city tour with visits of National museum, Neutrality Arch, Independence park and ancient settlement of Nissa (UNESCO heritage site). After lunch drive to Darwaza in the Karakum desert, via visits of Muddy crater and Water crater.  Arrival in Darwaza before sunset (at 18:00 approx.). Enjoy barbeque dinner on the open air; discover the burning gas crater by day and nighttime. Overnight in tents (field conditions).
Day 8. Darwaza crater - "Khojeyli" land border - Nukus (road transfer, 300 km).
After camp style breakfast drive to the ancient settlement of Kunya Urgench (UNESCO heritage site), sightseeing tour. Continue driving to the land border with Uzbekistan. Cross the border before lunch break. Change driver and car on the border and further transfer to Nukus. On arrival transfer to the hotel and check in. Overnight in Nukus.
Day 9. Nukus - Khiva (road transfer, 200).
Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to Savitskiy Museum. The I.V. Savitskiy State Art Museum is famous for its great collection of modern Russian and Uzbek art of 1918-1935, collected from all over the world. Today the museum is considered to be the world’s second largest collection of Russian avant-garde paintings. Further transfer to Khiva. Upon arrival check in to the hotel. Free evening. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10. Khiva - Urgench (road transfer, 35 km) - Tashkent (evening flight).
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around KhivaIchan Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret. After lunch: Tash Khauli Alakuli Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum. Transfer to Urgench to take evening flight to Tashkent. Upon arrival check in to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11. Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to airport. Departure.

Cost includes:

  • Accommodation at the hotels (mentioned below, or in similar, but of the same category) in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check-in at the hotel of Tashkent upon arrival (after 06:00); check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00;
  • Accommodation based on shared trekking tent (including sleeping mat, sleeping bag and pillow), including dinner near Darwaza crater (day 2) and breakfast the next day;
  • Sightseeing tours in each city according to the tour program;
  • Entrance fees at museums and historical parks mentioned in the program;
  • Services of English speaking local guides:
    • In Turkmenistan - accompanying guide for the whole tour;
    • In Uzbekistan - local guides for city tours only (from 6 persons - accompanying guide will be provided);
  • Train tickets for high-speed train «Afrosiab» from Tashkent to Samarkand (economy class);
  • Internal flight ticket from Urgench toTashkent (economy class).
  • Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation throughout tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
  • Mineral water for each day of the tour;
  • Visa invitation to Turkmenistan, including Letter of Invitation, State Registration and Travel Pass (obligatory for all foreigners).

Cost does not include:

  • International flights;
  • Internal flight ticket from Mary to Ashgabat - 70 USD/per person (economy class);
  • Medical insurance;
  • Visa fees to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan;
  • Visa invitation to Uzbekistan (if necessary);
  • Photo and video shooting at museums and monuments.

Additional services:

  • Meals:
    • Half board (dinners) - 130 USD/per person;
    • Full board - 250 USD/per person;
  • Visa invitation to Uzbekistan (if necessary) - 45 USD/per person;
  • Turkmenistan tourist visa from 55+4 USD per person, when obtained at land borders (subject to change; nationality dependent);
  • Turkmenistan migration tax 10+4 USD per person, to be paid at land borders (subject to change);
  • Tourist fee per night, charged in the hotels at departure 2 USD per person per night (obligatory);

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:

City Standard Comfort
Tashkent Samir 3* or similar Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4*  or similar
Samarkand City Hotel 3* or similar Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Fatima Hotel 3* or similar Devon Begi Hotel 4* or similar
Mary Mary Hotel 4* or similar Mary Hotel 4* or similar
Ashgabat Ak Altyn 4* or similar Grand Turkmen 5* or similar
Darwaza Tents   Tents  
Khiva Zukhro Hotel 3* or similar Bek Hotel 4* or similar

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

Turkmenistan Uzbekistan
Group of 1-2 tourists "Toyota Avalon sedan car" Group of 1-2 tourists "Daewoo Lacetti sedan car"
Group of 3-4 tourists "Toyota Sienna minibus" Group of 3-5 tourists "Hyundai Grand Starex minibus"
Group of 5-9 tourists "Toyota Hiace minibus" Group of 6-9 tourists "Toyota Hiace minibus"
Group of 10+ tourists "Bus for 45 seats" Group of 10-14 tourists "Mitsubishi Rosa minibus"


Visa 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

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»

Visa to Turkmenistan:

Citizens of all foreign countries, intending to enter Turkmenistan, are obliged to have visa. Visa to Turkmenistan can issued only on the basis of preliminary issued visa invitation. The visa invitation is being issued by our company on the basis of the following documents of yours:
- filled-in application form (sample of the application form is being send beforehand);
- scanned copy of your passport of good quality;
- a photo of good quality (size 3:4).

After receiving these documents we apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan for visa invitation issuance for our tourists. The process of visa invitation issuance takes 7-10 working days. On the basis of the visa invitation a tourist can get Turkmenistan visa at the embassy of in any country, where there is Turkmenistan Embassy, in Ashgabat airport or at the consular department on the border.

Read more about visa to Turkmenistan here »»


Useful Information on Traveling to Uzbekistan

Useful Information on Traveling to Turkmenistan

Route Map

Route Map

Photos of the tour:

Bibi-Khanym Mosque (XV c). Samarkand, Uzbekistan Tomb of Ahmed Sanjar (XII с). Merv, Turkmenistan Turkmen girls Darwaza gas crater (Karakum)

view all photos »»

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