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Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan Silk Road Cultural Discovery

East Meets West Journey from Tashkent to Khiva

 

Experience the best of East and West on this extraordinary journey through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Delight in the natural beauty of the northern Silk Road route's immense deserts and rich cultural heritage. Explore some of region's most stunning ancient and modern cities, from Tashkent and Samarkand to Bukhara and Khiva. Visit bustling bazaars; explore mosques, mausoleums, and palaces; take in local folk performances; and sample traditional regional cuisine. Let MT Sobek guide you on this adventure of a lifetime along the Silk Road - part of the world where few Westerners go!

  • Travel through the heart of the northern Silk Road -- one of world's great cultural crossroads

  • Explore UNESCO-listed Bukhara's mosques, domed bazaars, and caravansaries, illustrating 1,000 years of history

  • Visit the marbled city of Ashgabat and its legendary everything-from-carpets-to-camels bazaar

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Depart:

Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Price: from $5,895

Duration:

12 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

5-15 Guests

Min Age:

13 yrs

Activity:

Level 2

On this trip, you will be touring cities and villages, exploring ancient sites, and visiting beautiful mosques and vibrant bazaars - as well as enjoying the warmth of each country\'s people. While none of the walking is particularly difficult, some days you\'ll be on your feet for much of the day.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Welcome to Uzbekistan

    Day 1

    Welcome to Tashkent! Meet your MT Sobek guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel. This evening, the group convenes for a brief orientation and a welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Hotel

    Hyatt Regency Tashkent boasts an excellent location near the prestigious National Library, as well as shopping, dining, and local attractions. The hotel offers spacious guestrooms and a plethora of amenities, including complimentary wi-fi, several restaurants, bar, 24-hour fitness center, pool and spa. A perfect base to explore the fascinating city of Tashkent.

    Meals: Dinner

  • Scenic Drive to Samarkand

    Day 2

    After breakfast, enjoy a scenic drive to Samarkand, a historic and central part of the old Silk Road. En route stop for a small picnic with beautiful mountain views near the legendary gate of the 14th-century nomadic ruler Tamerlane, for a brief photo op near the second-largest river in Central Asia, Sir Darya, and then at a famous local market where the region's best melons are sold. If melons are in season, you'll try some! On arrival in Samarkand, visit the Koni Ghil Silk Paper Center to learn the process of silk paper production and bread baking process. Visit Alexiy Cathedral, followed by a traditional dinner at a historic UNESCO-protected home. After dinner, view Registan Square from the outside and marvel at the glowing monuments.

    Accommodation: Grand Samarkand Superior-Samarkand

    The Grand Samarkand Superior is situated in the heart of the business and shopping district of Samarkand. The hotel and its comfortable rooms combine modern and traditional designs. Amenities include Wi-Fi, a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar. Enjoy an excellent breakfast before heading into Samarkand to experience the treasures of this legendary UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Legendary City of Samarkand

    Day 3

    Begin today's tour of legendary Samarkand at Guri Emir, the mausoleum and burial place for Amir Temur and his family, and regal Registan Square, with its intricately designed and vibrantly colored blue-tiled mosques and madrassas (Muslim schools). Also visit the regal mausoleums of Shah-i-Zinda, site of Central Asia's most sacred Islamic shrine, the massive mosque of Bibi Khanum, and the adjacent colorful market, where the original "spice girls" sell saffron at unbelievably low prices. This afternoon, visit the the home of Mr. Kalandarov, a wealthy Jewish man, which is now are museum of local lore. Before dinner enjoy wine tasting at Khovrenko Wine Factory.

    Accommodation: Grand Samarkand Superior-Samarkand

    The Grand Samarkand Superior is situated in the heart of the business and shopping district of Samarkand. The hotel and its comfortable rooms combine modern and traditional designs. Amenities include Wi-Fi, a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar. Enjoy an excellent breakfast before heading into Samarkand to experience the treasures of this legendary UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Take the Train to Bukhara and Visit Bukhara's UNESCO-Listed Sites

    Day 4

    Transfer to the station and take Afrosiyob train to Bukhara. Explore Bukhara, with its bustling trading domes and active mosques, including Kalyan Minaret, one of Central Asia's tallest towers, and the ancient Silk Market. Taste splendid herbal teas at Retro-Saloon Timur. Tonight enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner of plov, a local lamb and rice pilaf dish.

    Accommodation: Bukhara Hotel

    Tucked away in the heart of old town Bukhara - a city packed with history, the Lyabi House embodies Uzbek traditions, hospitality and generosity. The hotel offers just 40 traditionally decorated rooms, a traditional ayyan (terrace) and charming inner courtyards - all just steps away from the 16th century streets of old Bukhara, monuments, the Lyabi Khauz Complex and shops selling rugs and other handmade curios.

    Accommodation: Omar Khayyam Hotel

    Omar Khayyam is conveniently located in picturesque old Bukhara, within walking distance of all ancient monuments, including Ulugbek's mosque, Poi Kalyan complex and the Ark Citadel. The hotel offers comfortable rooms with attractive designs and balconies overlooking the hotel's courtyard. There's a fine restaurant with local and international offerings, wifi in the common areas and a beautiful courtyard typical of traditional Uzbek architecture.

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Stroll the Streets of Old Bukhara

    Day 5

    Tour Old Bukhara: stroll the old town center, where locals chat endlessly while drinking tea around a natural oasis spring. Bukhara's UNESCO recognition has resulted in restorations of some of its 11th- to 15th-century mosques, including Bolo Hauz Mosque, Chashmai Ayub and Magokki Attori Mosque. Visit Bukhara's massive fortress, the Ark, and Ismail Samani's beautiful 10th-century mausoleum. Tonight, enjoy a festive folklore and national dress show at the historic Nodir Devonbegi Madrassah.

    Accommodation: Bukhara Hotel

    Tucked away in the heart of old town Bukhara - a city packed with history, the Lyabi House embodies Uzbek traditions, hospitality and generosity. The hotel offers just 40 traditionally decorated rooms, a traditional ayyan (terrace) and charming inner courtyards - all just steps away from the 16th century streets of old Bukhara, monuments, the Lyabi Khauz Complex and shops selling rugs and other handmade curios.

    Accommodation: Omar Khayyam Hotel

    Omar Khayyam is conveniently located in picturesque old Bukhara, within walking distance of all ancient monuments, including Ulugbek's mosque, Poi Kalyan complex and the Ark Citadel. The hotel offers comfortable rooms with attractive designs and balconies overlooking the hotel's courtyard. There's a fine restaurant with local and international offerings, wifi in the common areas and a beautiful courtyard typical of traditional Uzbek architecture.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Cross into Turkmenistan & Discover Historical Mary

    Day 6

    After breakfast, drive to the Turkmenistan border and on to Mary - known as Merv in ancient times - a city on an oasis in the Karakum Desert. En route, stop for lunch in the ancient Silk Road crossroads of Turkmenabat, which once connected Bukhara with Khiva and Merv. For about 300 years, Merv was the largest city in Central Asia and the Khalifat capital for eight years. During the 12th century, it was said to be the world's biggest city. Take in Old Merv's historical sites before enjoying a hearty dinner.

    Accommodation: Mary Hotel-Mary

    Established in 2014, the Mary Hotel is located in a green park area just five minutes from the city center opposite the central bazaar. Its 175 rooms have the expected amenities and en suite bathrooms, plus there's an outdoor swimming pool, sauna, bar, restaurant, and craft shop.

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Historical Sites of Merv

    Day 7

    This morning we explore more of ancient Merv, the oldest and best-preserved of the oasis-cities along the Silk Route in Central Asia, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We explore the history museum and other sites, before transferring to the airport for an evening flight to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Its gleaming domes, monuments, minarets, and lavish palaces make it feel like an enchanted city.

    Accommodation: Grand Turkmen Hotel-Ashgabat

    The Grand Turkmen Hotel is a solid choice for a restful stay in Ashgabat, the City of White Marble. Centrally located and across from the Russian Market, there are 120 guest rooms of varying types decorated in a slightly old-school style; all have Internet access. There is also a fitness room, swimming pool, and sauna.

    Accommodation: Yyldyz Hotel-Ashgabat

    Ashbagat's Yyldyz Hotel offers elevated views of the city in an accessible location. Stylishly designed, it offers regional flair with classic design and modern comfort. The spa comprises various amenities including a Finnish sauna, Jacuzzi, snow shower, swimming pool, and massage lounge. Yyldyz Hotel continually receives positive testimonials for its relaxing dining ambiance, modern luxury, professional staff, and comfortable accommodations.

    Transportation: 40-minute flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tour Ashgabat's Tombs & Sanctuary of Parthian Kings

    Day 8

    Today browse the city's famous Sunday bazaar, a truly medieval experience! Everything from camels to auto parts to world-famous Bukhara rugs - both new and old - are sold. Later, we'll tour more of Ashgabat, including the majestic Turkmenbashy Ruhy Metjidi, one of the biggest mausoleum complexes in Central Asia, containing the tombs of Turkmenbashy (the former ruler of Turkmenistan) and his family. Visit the ruins of Nissa, the former seat of the Parthian kings and an important Silk Road trading town, then take a city tour. After dinner, drive Ashgabat's main avenues to take in its brightly lit buildings and monuments. This exquisite city is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble than any other in the world!

    Accommodation: Grand Turkmen Hotel-Ashgabat

    The Grand Turkmen Hotel is a solid choice for a restful stay in Ashgabat, the City of White Marble. Centrally located and across from the Russian Market, there are 120 guest rooms of varying types decorated in a slightly old-school style; all have Internet access. There is also a fitness room, swimming pool, and sauna.

    Accommodation: Yyldyz Hotel-Ashgabat

    Ashbagat's Yyldyz Hotel offers elevated views of the city in an accessible location. Stylishly designed, it offers regional flair with classic design and modern comfort. The spa comprises various amenities including a Finnish sauna, Jacuzzi, snow shower, swimming pool, and massage lounge. Yyldyz Hotel continually receives positive testimonials for its relaxing dining ambiance, modern luxury, professional staff, and comfortable accommodations.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Arrive in the Ancient City of Khiva

    Day 9

    This morning, transfer to Ashgabat Airport for a flight to Dashoguz. Upon arrival, take a 35-minute drive to one of the most impressive fortresses of the Middle Ages: the ruins of Yzmukshir Fortress, birthplace of famous scientist and philologist As Zamahshary. Return to Dashoguz for lunch and then drive into Uzbekistan and on to Khiva, a very ancient city said to be founded by Shem, the son of the biblical Noah. Visit a Khorezmian singer's house and enjoy traditional, ethnically Khorezmian music. There will be time to rest before dinner at the hotel, the largest in Khiva.

    Accommodation: Malika Khiva

    Constructed in 2004, the Malika Khiva is a tremendously unique accommodation and offers modern amenities with traditional style. Each room has air conditioning, satellite television, and 24 hour room service. The town of Khiva is nearly 900 years old and has an immensely interesting history. Staying at the Malika Khiva, guests can explore this magical place, once a hotbed for medicine, astronomy, and mathematics.

    Accommodation: Orient Star Hotel

    Orient Star Hotel is a most unusual hotel, due to its location in Muhammad Aminkhan madrasah (19th c), the largest madrasah in all of Central Asia. The rooms, each well-designed and including air-conditioning, previously served as rooms for students of the madrasah. The hotel courtyard has wifi and the neighboring madrasah boasts a restaurant, decorated in oriental style, which features dishes of Oriental and European cuisine.

    Transportation: 1-hour flight & 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tour Old Khiva

    Day 10

    After breakfast at the hotel, set off on a walking tour of old Khiva, visiting Kunya-Ark fortress, several mosques, madrassas, and minarets. The walled city of Khiva hosts more than 50 monuments, making it a true archaeological treasure. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own before convening for dinner tonight at a local family's restaurant for traditional regional fare.

    Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Hotel

    Hyatt Regency Tashkent boasts an excellent location near the prestigious National Library, as well as shopping, dining, and local attractions. The hotel offers spacious guestrooms and a plethora of amenities, including complimentary wi-fi, several restaurants, bar, 24-hour fitness center, pool and spa. A perfect base to explore the fascinating city of Tashkent.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • Explore the Wonders of Tashkent

    Day 11

    Enjoy an early breakfast, before transferring to the Urgench Airport for your flight back to Tashkent. On arrival, explore the bustling and cosmopolitan city of Tashkent, with its tree-lined boulevards, verdant parks, and elaborate monuments. Take in many of the city's highlights, including the Khast-Imam Complex and its architectural marvels; the world-renowned Uthman Qur'an Friday Mosque, which houses an early copy of the Quran; the Chorsu Bazaar, a traditional market set beneath a vibrant, blue dome and the Applied Arts Museum. After lunch, visit the newer part of the city: Independence Square, Amir Temur Museum, Alisher Navoi Theater. In the late afternoon, visit ceramist Akbar Rahimov's workshop and take a tea break. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner at a local Georgian restaurant.

    Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Hotel

    Hyatt Regency Tashkent boasts an excellent location near the prestigious National Library, as well as shopping, dining, and local attractions. The hotel offers spacious guestrooms and a plethora of amenities, including complimentary wi-fi, several restaurants, bar, 24-hour fitness center, pool and spa. A perfect base to explore the fascinating city of Tashkent.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Tashkent

    Day 12

    After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport, bid farewell to your travel companions, and depart on your homeward-bound flight.

    Meals: Breakfast

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Silk Road Cultural Discovery

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has led travelers on this epic Silk Road adventure for over 20 years, expertly navigating border crossings and visas.

Reason #02

Our remarkable local guides offer immense insight and expertise, and go out of their way to make you feel at home.

Reason #03

This immersive adventure takes you back in time to explore the legendary wonders of Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Khiva, and beyond.

Meet your guides

Aleksandr Kalmykov

Aleksandr Kalmykov

Alex was born in Kyrgyzstan, and successfully completed his studies in history and culturology at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in 2012. He soon found his passion in guiding and has led groups in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Alex is now a regional expert, always searching for new discoveries and achievements. Every year Aleksandr takes part in the international travel fairs in London and Berlin, representing Central Asia and the Great Silk Road. His biggest desire is to open Central Asia to the world and there is nothing but smiles from those traveling with him every time.

Alyona Strauss

Alyona Strauss

Alyona has led adventure travel tours through remote areas of Central Asia for over 10 years. Her local roots give her a deep insight into the culture and traditions, enabling travelers to experience the Central Asian culture in a profound way. Alyona has made several presentations at UNWTO forums about tourism in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. As a result, she is aware of the main trends in tourism including sustainable travel, and successfully implements it with the groups she travel with. Alyona is known for her friendly personality and ensuring a smooth travel experience.

Activities

Cultural touring of historical cities and stunning sights, including bazaars, mosques, tombs, madrassas and palaces. At night enjoy folk performances and savor regional cuisine.

Lodging

Comfortable and conveniently located Silk Road hotels with modern and traditional flair.

Climate

Temperatures will range from the low 50's F at night to the high 80's and into the 90's F during the day. It will generally be warm, dry and sunny.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Our MT Sobek representative will meet you at the Tashkent Airport.

What is the highest elevation on this trip?

Please note that this entire trip is below 6,000 feet.

Do I need a visa for this trip?

Yes, you actually need two: one for Uzbekistan, which you will get on your own, and one for Turkmenistan, which you get at the border during the trip.

Do I need to bring a prescription from my doctor for my prescription medication?

Yes, you must bring it for all prescription medications and it must match your name. Please only bring the amount of medication you need for the trip.

What days will I be in each country?

You will be in Uzbekistan from Days 1 - 6 and then Days 9 - 12 and Turkmenistan from Days 6 - 9.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • May 08 - 19, 2022
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$325 internal airfare+$700 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 04 - 15, 2022
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$325 internal airfare+$700 single supplement
    Available
  • Oct 09 - 20, 2022
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$325 internal airfare+$700 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

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Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $7,195 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $6,795 per person double occupancy

8 to 15 guests from $6,395 per person double occupancy

2022 Pricing

3 guests from $6,795 per person double occupancy

4 to 5 guests from $6,495 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

8 to 10 guests from $5,895 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One of These Dates

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.