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Nurata & Aydarkul Lake

The capital of Navoi province, Nurata is an ancient city in the north west of Uzbekistan. It is surrounded by diverse and dramatic natural beauty from the the red sands of the Kyzyl Kum desert to the wild and barren expanse of the Uzbek steppe and the rugged peaks of the Nuratau mountains. The city is of historical and spiritual significance: founded by Alexander the Great in 327 BC, it's still possible to visit the ruins of the mighty fortress he built here; meanwhile, pilgrims visit its holy graves, Djuma mosque and natural spring.

Around 30 miles from the city lie the crystal blue waters of Lake Aydarkul, a miracle of nature that occurred in the flood of 1969 when the Syr Darya River burst its banks. Its 1,864 square miles is a haven to countless species of fish and birds and plant life. Visitors flock to the banks of the Aydarkul for a myriad of activities and pleasant days spent in stunning natural surroundings.

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Jay Tindall was amazed by Uzbekistan's cultural diversity, its 2700-year old history and its mosques, markets and friendly people.
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