Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara
In brief: This itinerary is perfect for businessmen, transit travelers, or anybody who has just enough time to visit to see the gems of Uzbekistan. This tour provides a great chance to see Samarkand and Bukhara, two of the most popular cities to visit in Central Asia. We will make sure you make the most of your time while still getting a good taste of the local culture!
As soon as you arrive at the Tashkent International Airport, our outstanding support staff will meet you and whose duty is to help you with all border formalities, assistance in collecting your baggage, and filling out the proper declaration forms. They are very helpful, especially if you are traveling with your family or with a big group since airports and formalities can be a challenge.
Once you have cleared customs, you will be met by a representative of our company who will welcome you to Uzbekistan and escort you to your hotel. Of course, they are there to assist you with your hotel accommodations and answer any questions you have.
After you have rested from your long journey, we will start your tour in the capital of Uzbekistan – the biggest city in Central Asia. While many parts of the old city were destroyed by a terrible earthquake in 1966, it was rebuilt in a very short period through the help of people throughout the.
However, some parts of the old city survived the earthquake and were able to flourish as before. This part of the city is called Chorsu (i.e. Old City) and will include visiting such sites of historic importance as the Barak Khan Madrasa with its gorgeous turquoise domes and intricate tile work; Jami Mosque (Friday Mosque); the Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum ― the poet and scholar; the library of the Institute Al Bukhari, which houses a sacred Koran dating from the seventh century, the only 4th preserved Koran of Osman.
Afterwards, you will enjoy your time in the newer part of the city with its wide boulevards, green, spacious parks, Independence Square, Alisher Navoi Theater, Amir Temur Square, and the Monument of Courage, which is dedicated to the victims of the earthquake in 1966
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for flight to Bukhara; the flight time is about 1 hour.
The driver will meet you at the Bukhara Airport and take you to the hotel which is located in the center of the ancient city.
Your personal guide will meet you at the hotel and you can immediately begin exploring the fabulous caravan city of Bukhara. UNESCO, in naming Bukhara a World Heritage site, states: “It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact.” You will have an active day by visiting: Lyab-i-Hauz – a cozy pound where all local people get together for a cup of tea; Madrassahs, to learn about ancient Islamic schools; Nadir Divanbegi – Madrassah of 17c; Magoki Attari (16c); Ulug Beg (15c); Abdul Aziz (17c);
Registan Ensemble; Ark Fortress (16c); and Bolo-Hauz complex (18 c). There is plenty to see after lunch: Visit to Ismael Samani Mausoleum (9-10c) – vault of Bukhara rulers' dynasty; Chor-Minor; Chashma-Ayub Mausoleums (14 c); Bukhara’s local bazaar.
Visit to Old Bukhara: Poli-Kalon ensemble including Minaret (12c); Mosque (15c); functioning Madrassah Miri-Arab (16 c); Amir- Alim-Khan Madrassah (14c); Taqi (trading domes); Kukeldash Madrassah (16c); a short drive outside of the city for to visit the Sitorai Makhi Khosa, popularly known as the last Emir’s Summer Palace.
In the evening, you will enjoy concert of Central Asian music and dancing, and a demonstration of national clothes.
After the show, you will visit a local family to get a chance to learn the Uzbek lifestyle and participate in master class of making plov – the Uzbek national dish made from rice. (Should be re-confirmed by your local guide).
Enjoy your morning at leisure in Bukhara; it will be an opportune time for shopping or just to relax among the ancient monuments or strolling through old narrow streets.
After lunch, we will drive to another beautiful city of Central Asia, Samarkand. On the road we will have several stops: Village of Gijduvan, famous for its traditional pottery. You will see master craftsmen make traditional bowls, dishes, handicrafts, and handmade textile-suzanes. This is a great place to find the perfect souvenirs. Rabat Mallik Caravan Sarai, a motel for traders along the Silk Road, 10 C.
Upon your arrival in Samarkand, you will be driven directly to your hotel for rest and relaxation.
We head out to explore this remarkable city, one of the most romantic in the world. This was the center of Tamerlane’s empire, and immortalized in the words of Edgar Allen Poe: “Look ‘round thee now on Samarkand! Is not she queen of Earth?” Tamerlane (Timur, 1336-1405) was a descendent of Genghis Khan, but Turkic-speaking and steeped in Persian and Islamic culture. He is credited with dismantling the Mongolian Empire and establishing the great Mughal Empire that stretched to India, where it would last for centuries. We will be visiting: Guri Emir- Legendary mausoleum where Amir Temur and all his family buried.
Registan Square- World famous complex of 3 madrasahs and golden dome mosque.
Mosque Bibi Khanum – The biggest mosque ever built in Central Asia as gift to Tamerlame from his wife.
Siyab local bazaar – unique and colorful place where you can get acquainted with the life of Samarkand people. Shahi - Zinda necropolises, a holy place and cemetery with graves of from the Timured Dynasty, and a grave of cousin of Prophet Mohamed.
Observatory of Ulugbek – incredible, ancient construction from the 15th century for studying astronomy.
If you are interested in visiting winery and carpet factory, please do not hesitate to ask your guide/driver.
Your dinner can be organized at Nigina’s family house, a national treasure recognized by UNESCO. (Re-confirm to your guide or driver)
You are free this morning to stroll the streets of Samarkand. Your driver is always at your disposal and can take you anywhere you wish during your spare time. We recommend going to the Registan Square or a local bazaar.
Transfer to Tashkent
Have your cameras handy! While on road, enjoy a small picnic to view the mountain pass near the legendary gate of Tamerlane’s ancient state. Other stops include the second largest river in Central Asia, the Sirdarya, a local fish market, and road side bazaars where the best melons in the region are sold. Depending on the season, there will be another stop at one of the many cotton fields.
Arrival in Tashkent and transfer to the airport to begin your journey home. If you would prefer to extend your stay, we can arrange an additional itinerary based upon your interests.
Services included in main tour price:
- Double / Single accommodation with breakfast
- English speaking guide in each city
- Transport service all over tour by luxury air conditioned car
- Portages charge at airports and hotels Tips at the airports and hotels
- Picnic and coffee stops
- Unlimited supply of mineral water
- Unlimited entrance fees to all sightseeing
- Folklore shows in Bukhara city
- Visa support documents
- Farewell dinner with all beverages (Only for groups starting from 6 people)
Services excluded in main tour price:
- Airfare due to the program (international and local)
- All optional deviations from the main itinerary
- Photo-and video charges
- All personal expenses (extra luggage fee, room service, Medical expenses/insurance, etc.)
We work hard to prepare an itinerary that highlights the most interesting and fascinating sites in Uzbekistan. However, if you are interested to visit a certain place or places which you find on any of our other tours, let us know and we will make sure you visit it at no extra charge.
Moreover, you can also choose one of our free-of-charge activities:
1) Tashkent: Tickets to see performances at the Alisher Navoi Theatre,
Visiting Christian churches,
Cup of tea at Tashkent TV tower restaurant
Subway – you will be amazed by the architecture and artwork in the stations
Tashkent zoo and botanical garden.
Any of the numerous museums in Tashkent
2) Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Ferghana: Decussating of local wines of local factories, all museums, and theatres. Taking part in national holidays, parties, customs, and traditions. Visiting Uzbek families, schools, medical institutions, bazaars, archives of ancient books, and libraries.
3) Lunches/Dinners. We usually do not include meals on our tours as you might want to have flexibility on your evenings. Just tell your driver the time and your preferences and he will find you a great place. You can have a really good meal between $5 - $10 (USD).