The Golden Road to Samarkand
Accommodation throughout is in hotels of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotels you will stay in are:
- 4-star Hotel Uzbekistan in Tashkent
- 3-star Orient Star Hotel or 3-star Malika Khiva in Khiva
- 3-star Omar Khayam in Bukhara
- 3-star Orient Star Samarkand Hotel in Samarkand
There is a restaurant and bar in each hotel. All bedrooms have en suite facilities, TV and telephone.
All hotels will be confirmed in your final documentation.
Day 1: UK/Tashkent
Depart on your scheduled flight to Tashkent today.
Day 2: Tashkent
You will arrive in Tashkent this morning. After checking in to your hotel, where you will stay overnight, join your Tour Manager and Local Guide for a sightseeing tour of this historic city.
The buildings you will see on your tour are a fascinating combination of Soviet and Muslim design. Highlights of Tashkent include Independence Square, with its fountains and statues, Opera House Square and Khast Imam Square, known as ‘the holy heart of Tashkent’ and home to the oldest Koran in the world.
Enjoy an included lunch at one of the city’s many restaurants.
Day 3: Khiva
Take a morning flight to Urgench before driving to nearby Khiva, your base for the next two nights. Take time to relax and explore Khiva at leisure this afternoon.
Day 4: Khiva
Following a leisurely breakfast, your Tour Manager and Local Guide will lead you on a full-day tour of Ichan-Kala, the walled heart of Khiva. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been fully restored and is now a fascinating open-air museum, dedicated to the history of this city. The wonderful architectural monuments here include palaces, mosques, madrassahs (schools), minarets and mausoleums. Many of the buildings you will see are decorated with the stunning blue and turquoise tiles that you will see in towns and cities all across Uzbekistan, often inscribed with Islamic verse. Lunch in a local restaurant is included in your tour.
Day 5: Bukhara
Today, you will take the long drive from Khiva to the former Silk Road city of Bukhara, one of the most ancient cities in the country. The drive lasts around 10 hours, with an included lunch stop, and takes you through the Kyzylkum desert, which translates as ‘red sands’. It may be a long day, but your final destination will be more than worth it. Enjoy a relaxing evening at your hotel in Bukhara, where you will stay for the next three nights.
Day 6: Bukhara
Said to be the holiest city in Central Asia, Bukhara is full of incredible architectural delights, many of which you’ll see on a full-day included sightseeing tour. Your day begins in the city, where you will visit the Citadel Ark, now home to a museum. You will visit many of the monuments, mosques and madrassahs of the city, including the Poi-Kalyan complex, where you’ll see the impressive 16th century Kalayan minaret. This afternoon you will head to the former country residence of Bukhara’s Emir - Mokhi-Khosa Palace. After dinner in a local restaurant this evening, you will be treated to a folklore performance at one of the ancient madrassahs (weather permitting).
Day 7: Bukhara
Your explorations of this ancient and proud city continue this morning, as you visit a selection of madrassahs, including the colourful Chor Minor, with its four quirky-looking towers, the Liabi-Khauz complex and Magoki-Attari Mosque. This afternoon is free for you to make your own discoveries before dining at a local restaurant.
Day 8: Samarkand
You’ll leave Bukhara behind today for the five-hour drive to Samarkand, where three nights’ accommodation has been arranged. En route, you will stop at Gijduvan, a town famous for its ceramics. You’ll visit a local family-run ceramic workshop, where you will be able to see the manufacturing process and possibly take the opportunity to purchase a pot or two, before continuing on your journey.
When you arrive in Samarkand, lunch will be served in a local restaurant. This afternoon a city tour will take you to the Afrosiab archaeological site and museum, the Gur Emir Mausoleum and the Ulugbek Observatory, built in 1428-9.
Day 9: Samarkand
Today we include further sightseeing in Samarkand with lunch included. This ancient city is situated at the heart of the Silk Road between China and the west. You will visit Registan Square, the official centre of Samarkand in the 14th and 15th centuries, and lined on three sides by turquoise-tiled buildings. Known as the heart of ancient Samarkand, Registan Square is an inspiring open space surrounded by shaded avenues built in the mid-20th century by the occupying Russians. You’ll also visit the impressive Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Ulugbek’s Madrassah, the Sher-Dor and Tilla-Kori madrassahs, the colourful Siab bazaar, and the Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, a series of mausoleums from the 11th to 15th centuries.
Day 10: Samarkand
Today you are free in Samarkand to make your own discoveries. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to Shakhrisabz, famous as the birthplace of 14th century ruler Timur. Your journey will take you through the picturesque Takhta-Karacha Mountain Pass. This evening, enjoy a performance at Samarkand Theatre and dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 11: Tashkent
Following a leisurely breakfast, you’ll check out of your hotel and begin the drive to Tashkent, which takes around five to six hours. You will stay overnight at Tashkent.
Day 12: Tashkent
This morning explore Tashkent - visit Tashkent subway and the Museum of Applied Arts before an included lunch. After lunch you will transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Please note: This holiday includes walking in areas of rough ground, gradients and steps.
- Touring holidays
- Holidays by air
Sep 2013 - Nov 2013 departures
12 days from £1649
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to book by phone, please call our sales team on 0844 567 9966 and quote tour code LUZ.
- Theatre performance in Samarkand
- Visit UNESCO World heritage site Ichan-Kala