Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan Silk Road Cultural Discovery Tour

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!

12 Days

From: $5,995

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!

Highlights


  • 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

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Silk Road Cultural Discovery

Start: Tashkent, Uzbekistan  End: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

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 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
    Accommodation: Movenpick Samarkand

    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
    Accommodation: Movenpick Samarkand

    Activity: City touring

    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: Lyabi House
    Accommodation: Omar Khayyam Hotel

    Activity: City touring

    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: Lyabi House
    Accommodation: Omar Khayyam Hotel

    Activity: City touring

    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

    Activity: City touring

    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
    Accommodation: Yyldyz Hotel-Ashgabat

    Activity: City touring

    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
    Accommodation: Yyldyz Hotel-Ashgabat

    Activity: City touring

    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: Orient Star Hotel
    Accommodation: Farovon Khiva

    Activity: City touring

    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 Tashkent

    Activity: City touring

    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 Tashkent

    Activity: City touring

    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

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Go Private

Go Private


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

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:


2023 Pricing

2 guests from $7,995 per person double occupancy

3 guests from $6,795 per person double occupancy

4 to 5 guests from $6,195 per person double occupancy

6 to 10 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:


Internal Airfare: $325

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


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.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

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.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

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. 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.

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 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 travels with. 

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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.

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

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Activity Level


This trip is rated 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 about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 3

City touring

Day 4

City touring

Day 5

City touring

Day 6

City touring

Day 7

City touring

Day 8

City touring

Day 9

City touring

Day 10

City touring

Day 11

City touring

Accommodations


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

Grand Samarkand Superior-Samarkand
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.

Grand Turkmen Hotel-Ashgabat
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.

Mary Hotel-Mary
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.

Yyldyz Hotel-Ashgabat
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.

Lyabi House
Lyabi House

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.

Orient Star Hotel
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.

Hyatt Regency Hotel Tashkent
Hyatt Regency Hotel Tashkent

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.

Omar Khayyam Hotel
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.

Movenpick Samarkand
Movenpick Samarkand

The Movenpick Samarkand Hotel has spacious rooms that are stylishly decorated and feature modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and tea & coffee stations. Guests can indulge in the hotel's many on-site amenities including a refreshing swim in their pool, a workout in their gym, and a meal at Le Boulevard, where guests can enjoy European, Uzbek & Turkish cuisine.

Farovon Khiva
Farovon Khiva

Experience luxury and comfort at Khiva's Farovon Hotel. The hotel features 106 rooms and suites with Wi-Fi, a 55" flat-screen TV, a minibar, a work place, complimentary slippers, and a bathrobe. The hotel also offers an indoor pool, a bar and three on-site restaurants that serve Mediterranean, National and Central Asian cuisine.

Weather


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.

 
May
Sep
Oct
Ashgabat 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Ashgabat
87
62
89
61
75
50
Bukhara 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Bukhara
89
61
86
56
72
45
Tashkent 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Tashkent
82
57
84
56
71
46

FAQs


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.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


"In Central Asia you really need to have guides and MT Sobek works with excellent country guides, which makes a huge difference."

Irina & Andrei S.
MT Sobek Guest, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Silk Road Cultural Discovery

"This trip was so interesting, absorbing, and well-paced that I returned home feeling rested and fulfilled."

Jane O.
MT Sobek Guest, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Silk Road Cultural Discovery