An ambitious journey through the Central Asian countries Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. You will explore two different cultures, their grandiose monuments of the past, burial places of great rulers who reigned and left here impressive tracks of their might and glory. You see Tashkent, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Bukhara, Bishkek, Issyk Kul Lake, Karakol, Jeti Oguz, Tamga Village.
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Archaeology, History, Culture and Traditions, Folklore and Ethnic, Handcrafts and Folk Art, Outdoor Activities, Ecotourism, Camping and Trekking, Medium Classic
October, November, March, April, May, June, August, September
Arrival in Tashkent, Flight to Khiva
After arrival in Tashkent, you take a morning flight to Urgench, then drive to ancient Khiva, the capital of the ancient Khorezmian Kingdom.
In Khiva, you visit the most prominent monument of the Mongol era, the 14th century tomb of the Sufi master Said Allauddin, Kunya Ark, Muhammad Aminkhan Madrassah and minaret, Juma Mosque and minaret with carved wooden columns, the Stone Yard (harem) of Khiva rulers, the tomb of Pakhlavan Makhmud, a famous ancient wrestler and poet, who was declared Saint. Overnight in a Khiva hotel.
Drive to Bukhara along the course of Amudarya River
On this day, you start your longest drive in this tour, to Bukhara, 480 km through the desert (5-6 hours). On the way, you make stop-overs to enjoy specatular views of the great Amudarya (Oxus) river. Overnight in a Bukhara hotel.
After breakfast, you take a full day tour of Bukhara, the city of 1001 Nights. You attend the Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz mosque, mausoleum of Ismail Samani, Chashma Ayub. Lunch at local restaurant. Kalyan minaret and mosque, Attory Maggoki, Lyabi Hauz square with the spectacular Nadir Divan Begi madrassahs. Also, you will see the Sitoran Mokhi-Khosa Palace situated a little north of Bukhara, a fanciful blend of oriental and modern architecture. Overnight in a Bukhara hotel.
You drive to Samarkand (360km, 6-7 hours) via Shakhrisabz, a city where Tamerlane was born. In Shakhrisabz you visit the famous Ak Saroy (White Palace), Kok Gumbaz, Doru Saodat and Doru Tillovat. After lunch in a local cafe, you continue your drive to Samarkand. Overnight in a Samarkand hotel.
You have a full day of sightseeing in Samarkand and observe the mausoleum of Tamerlane - Guri Amir, followed by Registan Square, Bibi Khanum Mosque and the local colorful bazaar. Then you see Shahi Zindah (Complex of Mausoleums) and are proposed by your guide to have lunch in a private Uzbek house (national cuisine) - optional. After lunch we take you to the mausoleum of Imam Al-Bukhoriy - a 24 km drive north of Samarkand. Dinner and overnight in Samarkand.
You drive to Tashkent (350km, 4.5 hours).
In Tashkent, you will be offered an excursion of the city. You will see the monuments and religious centers at the Hasti Imam Square (Barak-khan Madrassah, Mausoleum of Kafal Shashi and Friday Mosque featuring a Holy Quran of 8th century written by Khalif Osman) in the ancient heart of Tashkent. You will also visit the modern downtown, Amir Temur square, Abul Kosim Madrassah and Alisher Navoi Park. Upon completion of the excursions you will be invited to the Opera and Ballet Theater to watch the evening performance (pending availability).
Flight to Bishkek, excursion, then drive to Issyk-Kul Lake
In the morning, you take the flight Tashkent-Bishkek, then, after a short sightseeing in Bishkek, you drive to the world's second largest mountain lake, Issyk Kul. On the way, you visit Tokmok town and its main sight, the Burana Tower. Upon arrival at the Lake, you enjoy snow-capped peaks, beautiful views; based on weather conditions, you can swim, sun-tan, and relax. Overnight in one of boarding houses or sanatoria at the lake.
Drive to the city of Karakol (170 km), on the way you visit the Museum of Przhevalsky, a famous Russian scientist and explorer who devoted 21 years of his life to the study of the Issik-Kul valley and the mountains surrounding the region. He died while preparing his expedition to Tibet and the museum and the memorial to his honor were built. In Karakol, you see the wooden Russian Orthodox Church and a Dungan Mosque. Completed in 1910 it was built entirely without nails using an uncommon grey-blue brick. Instead of a minaret, the mosque has a wooden pagoda. Overnight in Karakol.
Visiting Jety Oguz Resort on the Way to Tamga Village
Driving from Karakol to Jeti Oguz, a famous health resort where you enjoy great views of Alpine nature, unique landscapes, fresh are and pristine natural settings. You have a picnic near a Nomad Yurt. Then you drive to the Tamga Village for an overnight in a local family guesthouse.