Example Itinerary

Classic Uzbekistan

Duration
10 days / 9 nights
Price Per Person
From $5,400
Destinations
Uzbekistan
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In recent years, the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan has been growing in popularity as a fascinating alternative travel destination. Once at the heart of the ancient Silk Road trade route, Uzbekistan was a frontier where cultures, religions, and ideas converged and flowed. Many are drawn in by its array of royal palaces, busy street bazaars, historic tombs, and widely-revered mosques that can be found dotted throughout the country’s ancient Islamic cities. This 10-day journey through classic Uzbekistan covers it all. After getting a taster of the capital, Tashkent, it’s on to explore the intricately decorated city of Khiva, awash with blue domes and tile art. The epic mountain journey that awaits will take you on to the equally impressive cities of Bukhara and Samarkand - two spectacular jewels in Uzbekistan’s crown.

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

  • Architectural Marvels: Home to some of the Muslim world's best display of architecture, Uzbekistan is bedecked with intricately decorated mosques, mausoleums, madrassahs and minarets. See its greatest hits including a landmark of Islamic architecture - the Registan in Samarkand.
  • Tastes of Uzbekistan: Sample the best bread and fruits at the bazaars, cotton honey straight from a farm, and internationally-acclaimed local wine in a distillery cellar. Don't forget the ubiquitous national dish, plov.
  • Ancient Paper and Traditional Arts: Delve into the traditional arts and meet renowned artisans in miniatures, sculptures, and paintings. Haggle for ceramics at the bazaars. Witness paper being made with the same methods as when it first came from China. Watch costumes and dance come alive at evening folk shows.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Tashkent »

Start your journey through Uzbekistan in its capital city of Tashkent. After your early morning arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you can rest and refresh. In the afternoon, step out with your private guide and car for a first look around the city. The widely revered Khast Imam Square, the spiritual heart of Muslims of Central Asia, is well worth a visit. Its library reportedly holds the oldest Quran of the Islamic world. Dip into Uzbeki culture and traditional arts at Barak-Khan madrassah where you will meet renowned artistans of various crafts including miniatures, paintings, and sculptures. If you are inclined, take a lesson with one of the artisans. Finally, head to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent's oldest and most famous market. Its big blue domes house acres of produce neatly organized in concentric rings. Here one can pick up horsemeat sausage, raisins and walnuts, as well as plants and cheap ceramics. As you zip around Tashkent, you will notice the Soviet Brutalist-style concrete block buildings that dominate the lanes, though the city is in the slow process of erasing them with white marble buildings meant to reflect Uzbekistan's modern Islamic image.

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Khiva »

After breakfast, it’s time to hit the road - and the sky. A morning flight to Urgench is followed by a short 19-mile drive to the spectacular city of Khiva. Situated deep into the Kyzylkum Desert, this compact Silk Road settlement boasts 52 sand-colored historical monuments dressed in bright blue mosaic tiles. Meander through the narrow lanes of UNESCO-designated Itchan Kala, the museum-like walled part of Khiva which is packed with palace buildings, mosques, madrasahs, mausoleums and other buildings that date from the 12th century. Be sure to pause and admire the swirling patterns, floral motifs, and intricate blue and white tile work that adorn each building. While in Khiva, try its signature dish, shivit oshi, a pasta infused with dill and topped with stew.

Hotel Options
Khiva

Day 3

Map

Bukhara »

Rise early to embark on a 7-hour drive to Bukhara. As you enjoy the rugged Kyzylkum Desert pass from your window, there will be ample opportunity to stop off and take in this unique scenery, including a picnic stop for lunch. Arrive in Bukhara, Uzbekistan's holiest city. Larger than Khiva, Bukhara has around 140 historical monuments which are peppered amongst the modern sprawl of the city. Upon arrival into the city, there is time to see Lyabi Hauz Place, a leafy oasis in the heart of the old town and one of the few remaining ponds. A magnifient architectural ensemble, its three sides are surrounded by the largest madrasah in the city, a khanaka, and a smaller madrasah.

Hotel Options
Bukhara

Day 4

Map

Bukhara »

Today is all about Bukhara. The area's history stretches back a millenia, and the city itself was founded possibly as early as the 3rd or 4th century BCE. The historic center of Bukhara, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, has preserved much of its past. There are so many interesting sites in Bukhara that you’ll need all the time you can get. First, return to Lyabi Khauz Place and explore the structures. Then wander around the delicate archways and soaring minaret of the Poi Kalyan Complex. The 12th-century minaret is embellished with intricate brick patterns and served as a lighthouse for caravanneers in former times. Take a break at a tea house for a cup of local tea flavored with cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron. Just outside of Bukhara is Chor-Bakr Necropolis, a burial site for one of the four descendants of Muhammad.

Day 5

Map

Bukhara »

A second day in the intriguing city of Bukhara allows you time for a tour of the Royal Mosque Bolo Khauz, once the residence of Emir of Bukhara. The mosque features impossibly carved stalactites and elaborately decorated pillars through its large complex. You won’t want to miss the Ismail Samani Mausoleum either – this is one of the oldest buildings in the Central Asia, and perhaps the most elegant too. A trip to Bukhara’s grandest monument, the Bahauddin Naqshband Ensemble, is saved specially for last. To round out your experience in Bukhara, enjoy an evening folk show at Nodir Devon Begui Madrassah.

Day 6

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Samarkand »

Time to depart the architectural wonders of Bukhara and journey to Samarkand (3.5 hours), passing through the impressive desert city of Shakhrisabz on the way. After lunch in Shakhrisabz, a sightseeing tour will take you through this great ancient city, including a visit to the Ak-Saray Palace - a summer residence of the great former ruler. In the afternoon it’s back on the road, cutting through the mountains. Upon reaching Samarkand, unwind at your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Hotel Options
Samarkand

Day 7

Map

Samarkand »

Over the next two full days you’ll discover the historic city of Samarkand. Perhaps the most famous city in Uzbekistan, and one of the oldest in Central Asia, Samarkand has long prospered due to its close proximity to the ancient silk trade route from Asia to Europe. You’ll see the enormous Registan Square and the luxurious Bibi-Khanym Mosque, both of which offer testimony to city’s past riches. At Siyab local bazaar, taste the best traditional bread and fruits of Samarkand. Stop by Shakhi-Zinda necropolis, a mini collection of mausoleums from the 9-14th centuries. In the late afternoon, head to the oldest winery in the city and sample local wines in the cellar. Samarkand's grapes are famous for a high content of sugar which Russian entrepreneurs took advantage of and introduced a wine-making industry in the country.

Day 8

Map

Samarkand »

A second day’s sightseeing in Samarkand starts at a paper factory which still produces paper according to ancient methods brought from China in the 7th century. It’s then on to Ulugbek observatory, an ancient Islamic star-gazing site, before visiting the Afrosiab Museum which showcases a 7th-century fresco discovered in 1965. Finally, visit the mausoleum of the prophet Daniel which houses a 59-feet long sarcophagus. Local lore says that the body of Daniel continually grows at a rate of 5cm a year. Pilgrims of three faiths - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam - come to visit the mausoleum and the nearby spring which reportedly has healing powers.

Day 9

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Tashkent »

Bid farewell to Samarkand after breakfast and make your way back to Tashkent. The 4.5-hour journey back to the capital will take you through Bakhmal village, where you can discover (and taste) the art cotton honey making. Honey has long been a traditional food source in Uzbekistan and cotton honey is made by bees who feed on milk cotton buds, a crop that grows well in the desert landscape. Arrive back in Tashkent for one last look around before spending the rest of your day at leisure.

Hotel Options
Tashkent

Day 10

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Departure

Your 10-day trip through classic Uzbekistan has come to an end. After breakfast and a morning hotel check-out, private transport will take you to the international airport for your flight home or to your next exciting destination.

Terms & Conditions

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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