Example Itinerary

Ancient Wonders of Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

Duration
14 days / 13 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Architecture
Destinations
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

On this unforgettable 14-day tour, you’ll be enchanted and charmed by the wonders of two neighboring countries. Take a journey from the world’s Islamic capital of Tashkent in Uzbekistan, through the historic inner-city at Khiva to cross the border and camp near burning gas craters and see the ancient Turkmenistani sites of Merv and Ashghabat. Visit the metallic coated horses of Akhal Teke and make your way back to the Uzbek cities of Bukhara and Samarkand with their stunning mosques, madrassas and mausoleums. Explore Tamerlane's summer palace and return to Tashkent via a cotton honey farm.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

• Dinner Round the Campfire: Setting up camp next to blazing craters of natural gas means travelers will get the best views of the Door to Hell as it illuminates the landscape at night.

• Ancient Ruins: The Parthian settlement of Nisa has a history extending back 2,000 years and its fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Architecture: Uzbek architecture is unique in the region, featuring intricately-decorated mosques, azure-tiled mausoleums, and some of the world's best-preserved Islamic monuments.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Tashkent

What better way to get your bearings in Central Asia than by starting in the ancient Uzbek capital of Tashkent. After checking in to your comfortable hotel, take a walk to the Khast Imam Mosque, whose library contains the world’s oldest Quran, see traditional artists and sculptors at work in the Barak-Khan Madrassah and browse the bustling bazaar.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

History: The brand new Hyatt Regency Tashkent is exemplary of the quality for which the Hyatt name has gained its international reputation.

Location: On Navoi street, the hotel is near to numerous sites of interest in the Uzbek capital.

Service: The concierge desk and e-concierge service is on hand 24 hours a day for guests’ every need.

Read More
Hyatt Regency Tashkent Preferred Hotel

Day 2

Map

Khiva

From your hotel, your driver will whisk you to the airport for your flight to Urgench and from there it’s a beautiful drive to historic Khiva. Explore the ancient inner city, Itchan Kala, surrounded by crumbling crenellated walls and discover more than fifty architectural wonders including 10th century Djuma Mosque, with its great hall supported by 112 columns. In the evening relax for dinner at Toza Bog, the last Khan’s summer palace.

Hotel Options
About

This comfortable hotel, although relatively modern, is built and decorated tastefully in the authentic Uzbek style so that guests enjoy all the conveniences in an environment of intricate wood carvings, elaborate Khiva carpets and traditional design. Located within the crenellated walls of the Itchan Kala fortress, it sports stunning views of the skyscraping Islam Khoja Minaret and is a short walk from the mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

Since 2004, the Malika Khiva hotel has been charming and enchanting its guests with its blend of old world authenticity, modern convenience and colorful, quirky decor. Situated at the very entrance of Itchan Kala at Ata Darvaza and built to look like a madrasah, it serves as a perfect doorway into the old town of ancient Khiva and boasts the very best views in the city.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Khiva
Khiva

Day 3

Map

Darvaza (Door To Hell)

Enjoy the scenery as you cross the border into Turkmenistan and head for the medieval monuments of UNESCO-protected Kunya-Urgench, including its pearl, the intricately decorated Turabek-Hanum mausoleum and the towering Kutlug Timur minaret. Finally, head into the sands of Karakum (around 4 hours' drive) to bed down in traditional tents next to the blazing gas crater of Darvaza.

Hotel Options
About

With only 350 inhabitants and not a hotel in sight, the only way to stay in the tiny Turkmen village of Darvaza is to camp, spending the night under the stars in a tent and sleeping bag. Located in the middle of the Karakum Desert, this tiny settlement is famous for its ‘Door to Hell’, a natural field of gas that has burnt bright ever since it was lit by Soviet petroleum engineers in 1971.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 4

Map

Ashgabat

Enjoy breakfast in the camp before packing up your tent and taking a drive through the Turkmenistan desert to marvel at the dramatic scenery. Stop off to see two more active gas craters, where the water boils and the mud bubbles naturally. Continue your drive to fascinating Ashgabat (around 4 hours) where you check in to your cosy accommodation and relax for the night.

Hotel Options
About

Yyldyz Hotel, built in 2013, is located in the foothills of Kopetdag, which offers sprawling views of the city.  The hotel has 155 guest rooms and is a 20 minute drive from the airport.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 5

Map

Ashgabat

A short drive out of the city is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nissa, with its stunning ancient fortress and royal necropolis dating back to 250 BC. Continue your drive along the stunning gorge of Ushelye for a picnic with a view. On the way back to Ashgabat, you’ll visit a farm of Akhal Teke horses with their distinctive metallic coats and spend the afternoon discovering ancient artifacts of Turkmenistan at the National Museum of History and Ethnography.

Ashgabat
Ashgabat

Day 6

Map

Mary & Merv

After a short drive and quick flight to Mary, travel to the string of ancient, medieval and post-medieval cities that make up Merv. Explore the ruins of this mini empire that dominated the Central Asian Silk Road including the 6th-century Kyz-Kalas forts. Marvel at the elaborate Seljuk decoration of the mausoleums of the 12th century, before returning to Mary.

Hotel Options
About

Recently opened in 2011, the comfortable and modern Dayanch Hotel is easily accessed by car from the airport in Mary, Turkmenistan. The rooms sleep two, four, and eight people and all come with private bathrooms and the usual mod-cons.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

This three-star hotel is one of the most popular places to stay in the oasis city of Mary, which is situated in the Karakum Desert, on the Murghab River. Close to the ancient and famous ‘Murgab’ site, Margush Hotel offers 28 spacious guestrooms, all of which are relatively modern with this hotel only having opened in 2004.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 7

Map

Bukhara

Drive back across the border into Uzbekistan for your destination, the seat of central Asian learning, Bukhara with its stunning architecture (around 5-6 hours' drive). Stroll around the shady pool of Lab-i-Hauz and gaze up at the towering Po-i-Kalyan minaret and explore the madrassas surrounding them. In Samani Park, venture into the oldest building in the region, the mausoleum of the Samanid Dynasty.

Hotel Options
About

Located in the heart of Bukhara, Devon Begui hotel offers air conditioning, quick access to Bukhara's main attractions, and traditional Uzbek design with wooden furnishings. All 20 rooms are simply appointed with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and ensuite bathrooms - some accommodations also have views out to the historic architecture of the capital.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

Positioned in the heart of the Old City, Lyabi Khauz Hotel provides warm Uzbek hospitality in a beautifully restored 19th-century house. All 40 rooms have been refurbished in a comfortable, modern manner with traditional Uzbek accents and mod-cons such as satellite TV, air conditioning, fridge, work desk and full bathroom.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 8

Map

Bukhara

Today you will experience a touch of sovereign opulence with a visit to the 18th century Bolo Khauz complex, built for the wife of an Emir; and Sitorai Mokhi Hosa, a royal summer residence. Join the pilgrims en route to the Baha-ud-Din Naqshband memorial, the sacred resting place of the first Sufi Muslim.

Bukhara
Bukhara

Day 9

Map

Samarkand

Take a drive through Gijduvan, known throughout the region for its gorgeous pottery. Visit a traditional ceramics workshop to see the production process and take tea with a master artisan. From here, continue to historic Samarkand (around 3.5 hours) for a traditional Uzbek lunch followed by a stroll around the vast Registan Square, surrounded by its three intricately decorated madrassas.

Hotel Options
About

Located in the heart of the city, the Dilimah offers convenience and comfort to visitors of this historic city. The 11 guest rooms are furnished with contemporary amenities and furnishings, and premium rooms feature a balcony.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

The Hilton Samarkand Regency is a 5-star hotel and top pick in Samarkand. The property offers 233 guest rooms with dressed in contemporary furnishings and smart mod-cons including tea/coffee makers and complimentary WiFi.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 10

Map

Samarkand

Continue your discovery of this ancient city, taking in the Bibi-Khanym mosque with its elaborate turquoise dome; explore the labyrinthine necropolis of Shak-i-Zinda, the burial site of the cousin of the Prophet Mohammed and Tamerlane's final resting place, the Gur Emir Mausoleum. Finally, join six centuries of astronomers and gaze at the sky from Ulugbek Observatory.

Day 11

Map

Samarkand

In the morning, take a trip to the old paper mill of Samarkand to see the ancient techniques of paper-making still employed today. Visit the mausoleum of Daniel the Prophet, a common place of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians and Muslims. The afternoon is your own to relax and explore; we recommend strolling around Sivab Bazaar to sample some traditional Uzbek delicacies.

Samarkand
Samarkand

Day 12

Map

Samarkand

Take a scenic mountain drive through the lush green Uzbek countryside to the verdant city of Shakhrisabz; Tamerlane himself grew up nearby and favored the area for his summer residence. The 14th-century Ak-Saray Palace was one of the ruler’s most grandiose homes and the ‘White Palace’ is still breathtaking in its crumbling glory. Relax on your drive back to Samarkand for the evening.

Day 13

Map

Tashkent

On your comfortable 4.5-hour drive back to the capital, enjoy the scenery and make a stop at Bakhmal village, where you will see and try the unique honey, made from cotton plants. When you arrive back in Tashkent, check in to your hotel and share some lunch. Take the afternoon to enjoy the city sights, we recommend haggling for souvenirs under the domes of the covered market, before a final farewell dinner.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

History: The brand new Hyatt Regency Tashkent is exemplary of the quality for which the Hyatt name has gained its international reputation.

Location: On Navoi street, the hotel is near to numerous sites of interest in the Uzbek capital.

Service: The concierge desk and e-concierge service is on hand 24 hours a day for guests’ every need.

Read More
Hyatt Regency Tashkent Preferred Hotel

Day 14

Map

Departure

Enjoy a final breakfast in Tashkent this morning and check out of your hotel. You’ll be driven to Tashkent International Airport for your onward journey.

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