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.
Embark upon a journey of wonderful revelations through the south of Uzbekistan, a treasure trove of historical, cultural and architectural gems. From the capital city of Tashkent, home to the oldest Quran in the world, travel through the ancient city of Bukhara with its world famous, poetry-inspiring minarets, to Samarkand, where you will see traditional paper-making and pottery and where lies Tamerlane and his dynasty. Experience the wonder of the Uzbek countryside, from the mountains to the canyons and the lush valleys around beautiful Darband with its musicians and shamans and then to Boysun, where you will witness the traditions of centuries, preserved today. By the time you return to bustling Tashkent, you’re sure to have fallen in love with southern Uzbekistan.
Arrive in the ancient city of Tashkent and check in to your accommodating lodgings. You won’t waste any time getting acquainted with the Uzbek capital’s charms as you are guided on a tour of the city. Wander across Khast Imam Square and discover the Uthman Quran, the oldest in the world, in its library; explore the 15th century Yunus Khan Mausoleum complex and other marvels of the old town.
In the morning, hop on a quick flight to historic Bukhara to continue your journey of discovery. A city-museum with 140 architectural monuments, Bukhara is listed as a UENSCO world heritage site. Take in the madrassas and lodging houses surrounding the Lab-i-Hauz pond, and gaze up at the towering Po-i-Kalyan Minaret. Visit Mir-i-Arab, the biggest mosque in Central Asia - covered in intricate mosaics and explore the sovereign mosque of Abdul-Azizkhan. Finally, witness the skill of the craftsmen in the domes of jewelers and hatters.
Stroll around the pool at the beautiful Bolo-Khauz Mosque in the spacious central square and experience the royal opulence of the Emirs in the royal residence of Sitorai-Mohi-Hosa. Take a short trip just outside the city to visit the memorial of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, the sacred resting place of the first Sufi Muslim and important site of pilgrimage.
Witness the stunning Uzbek scenery as you take a 3-hour cross-country drive to Gijduvan, famous for its beautiful ceramics. Visit an authentic pottery workshop, see the craftsmen in action and join them for traditional tea. From here, it’s just a short drive before lunch in Samarkand, a UNESCO-designated city. In the afternoon, take a stroll around the vast and beautiful Registan Square, framed by its three awe-inspiring madrassas.
Enjoy the views as Samarkand continues to reveal its treasures; look at the beautiful Friday mosque of Bibi Khanym, built for the wife of Timur; explore the mysterious and sacred Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum complex and the final resting place of the mighty Tamarlane. Finally, stare into the sky from the top of Ulugbek, the oldest observatory in Central Asia.
Get another dose of the wide ranging Uzbek culture; first with a visit to the old paper mill of Samarkand, where you will see the ancient paper making techniques in action; next, plunge into the mausoleum of Daniel, a sacred religious ensemble and destinations for Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims from around the world. In the evening relax and enjoy a performance of El Merosi in traditional historical costumes.
Begin a 4-hour drive through majestic mountain terrain to the lush and verdant city of Shakhrisabz where you will discover the fabulous Ak-Saray, Tamerlane's summer palace. After lunch, travel along the passage of the caravanserai to beautiful Darband, a charming town of music and culture set in the stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon. Dine and spend a peaceful night in the town’s National House.
Discover the truly authentic historical culture of Uzbekistan when you drive to isolated, UNESCO-protected Boysun where Shamans, Buddhists and Magis preserve their ancient traditions. visit the museum and the market and traditional ateliers and after lunch, meet an authentic musician-healer. In the afternoon, you will head back to Darband to board your comfortable overnight train.
After your relaxing train journey, check into your cosy accommodation and enjoy a morning to yourself in Tashkent. We recommend taking some pictures of the fabulous Russian style Palace of Prince Romanov or a little shopping in the bustling Chorsu market. In the afternoon, stroll under the decorative archway into Independence Square, see gorgeous Uzbek masterpieces at the Museum of Applied Art and the Art Deco-styled stations of Tashkent subway.