Adventures of the Silk Road
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Places to visit: Tashkent - Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara - Khiva - Ayaz Qala - Tuprak Qala - Tashkent
Day 1: Tashkent
Your local guide will welcome you at the airport and bring to capital city of Uzbekistan. Entire day will be full of amazing sightseeing in Tashkent. We will start excursion from massive Independent Square, constructed for the glory of the victory over fascist Germany in World War II. Then local Braodway will provide a good walking area to Amir Timur square. Later you will have an opportunity to ride on the Beautiful Tashkent subway. The first line started in 1977. The old part of the city will charm you most: famous Chorsu Bazaar, Kukaldash Madrasah and Hast Imam complex. Hast Imam includes several madrasahs, mosques and mausoleums. The high spot of the day will be Othman Quran, where the most ancient copy of the Quran. Believed to be dated back to 8th century. Othman Inb Affan, who was one of the four Caliphs won prophet Muhammad, was an owner of this book. Nowadays you can see his blood spread over the book, while the enemy murdered him. Overnight will be at a hotel.
Day 2: Tashkent - Samarkand
In the morning, you will get on your train to continue your tour mysterious city Samarkand. Samarkand is one of the oldest city, coeval with Babylon and Rome and the second biggest city in whole Uzbekistan. The most fascinating places of Samarkand are Registan square, Shakhi-Zindeh, Mausoleum Guri Emir and Bibi Khanum Mosque. First visit will be to Registan square, which attracts millions of people with its three mesmerizing Madrasahs. This highlight of the complex is making visitors stop the time and admire the unique beauty of these masterpieces of 15-17th centuries. Another outstanding architectural complex is Shakhi-Zindeh, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes the largest number of mausoleums going back to 11-15th centuries. Next site is Bibi Khanum Mosque, which was constructed for the glory of Tamerlane's wife, following his prosperous fight to India. Night is in a hotel.
Day 3: Samarkand - Gijduvan - Bukhara
Today you will start your way to travel to old city Bukhara, one of the most beautiful cities in Uzbekistan. En route you will have an opportunity to see outstanding pottery workshop at Gijduvan village. Ceramic school of this village is one of the oldest. The tradition of making comes from ancestors, passing from father to son. Continuing this valuable skill is very appreciated by the local community. Nowadays there are sex generation of potters from Narzullayevs family. The family makes famous Gijduvan school of ceramic worldwide. The uniqueness of the ceramic in Gijduvan is in unusual ornaments and patterns. The main paints are green and blue, which gives elegance to the products. Night in a hotel.
Day 4: Bukhara
In the morning, exciting city tours will start from visiting the oldest citadel, which is called Citadel Ark dating from 4th century. It was a palace during the many dynasties of Bukhara Emirate. Next is going to be the pure masterpiece of 9th-10th century art in Uzbekistan -Samanids mausoleum. Then authentic atmosphere of the town will take you to travel to the peculiar Chashma Ayub(Spring od Job), also famous as a mosque of forty columns constructed for the glory of Abu-Fayud Khan, the city's governor. Further, you will feel happy to find yourself in the shopping domes and other most outstanding madrasahs like Nodir Divan Begi under the Lyabi House Ensemble, the must be site of Bukhara. By the end of the tour, you will enjoy the magical view of the Poi Kalon complex consist of three constructions, the unusual examples of artwork dating back to 12th-16th centuries. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 5: Bukhara
Today will be devoted to explore the area around Bukhara during your amazing tour in Uzbekistan. After breakfast, you will travel 12km to reach Bahauddin Naqshbandi complex. This is one of the popular place of pilgrimage for Muslim community all over the world since it is the memorial complex of the outstanding Sufi Leader and Philosopher Bahauddin Naqshbandi. He also was one of the Amir Timur's spiritual supervisors. Nowadays, this complex includes mosques of Kushbegi and Muzafarohana, garden with pool, madrasah, and burial places of Bukhara rulers and Dakhma upon the tomb of Saint Bakhauddin Nakshbandi. Later visit Sitorai Mohi Hosa complex, the residence of Bukhara Emirs. Here you come across the different styles of architecture. The name remind the wife of the Emir who died young "Star - like and moon- like Palace". The last stop will be Sumiton village, here we will see complex of old dead town Chor Bakr memorial. The construction of the complex reminds 4 sides of the Universe and means equality of human beings. The history of the foundation goes back to 16th century, when Samanids reign was started. Overnight in a city hotel.
Day 6: Bukhara - Khiva
Your journey will continue to the oldest Uzbek city Khiva, the most ancient in Uzbekistan. The city is rich in both culture and history. The story of Khiva closely related with the Khorezmshah's State, whose capital was Urgench not for from Khiva. Compare to other cities in Uzbekistan, Khiva was the most flourished town along the Great Silk Road. According to the 10th century resources, almost all traders from East to West stopped over Khiva. Every time city opened its doors to the long string of caravans and house them in a friendly environment. Nowadays there many efforts done to protect cultural and historical heritage of ancestor to new coming generation. While going to Khiva from Bukhara, you will drive within Kyzylkum Desert. You will also enjoy the view of the deepest river Amu Darya. It formed by the joint of Panj and Vakhsh in Tajikistan and leads into Aral Sea. After arrival, you can enjoy the free time and night will be at hotel.
Day 7: Khiva
After your morning flight to Urgench , you will travel to Khiva and start for your amusing excursion in the most ancient city of Uzbek history. Oldest part of Khiva is Ichan-Qala, located in the center and protected by walls. It includes old city remains like sound buildings, palaces, mosques, Madrasahs, Mausoleums, Minarets, Caravan-Sarais and Bathhouses. There are more then 400 traditional houses and over historical monuments in Ichan-Qala. Recently in 1969, Ichan Qala was renovated as historical and architectural preserved area. The most valuable monument of architecture is Kunya-Ark fortress. The history of the fortress goes back to 17th century, the founder was Muhammad Arang Khan. Charming Kalta Minor minaret and Tash Khouvli palace are the amazing forms of Khorezm architecture dating back to 1830s. Overnight on a hotel.
Day 8: Khiva - Ayaz Qala - Tuprak Qala - Khiva - Tashkent
In the morning you will go on your journey to Ayaz Qala and Turpak Qala fortresses. Ayaz Qala is an ancient fortress. According to old folklore, it was named for the honor of brave slave warrior Ayaz. The foundation of the castle goes back to II century AD. Another fortress Tuprak Qala was established in I or II century AD and stand until 6th century. The name Tuprak means clay fort, in ancient time Khorezmian leader Artav used it as a palace. Continues conquering and wars over centuries destroyed the forts. Later we will drive to Urgench to take an evening flight to Tashkent and overnight in a hotel.
Day 9: Flight
After breakfast, drive to the airport.