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Uzbekistan - the Heart of the Silk Route

From £2,574.00
Duration 11 Days
Departures from: May 2024 - Oct 2025
Book now
From £2,574.00
Duration 11 Days
Departures from: May 2024 - Oct 2025
Tour Overview

A network of roads used by traders travelling between Europe and Asia, the incredible history of the Silk Route embraces mountains, deserts and ancient cities overflowing with awe-inspiring architecture. Discover it all on this exceptional tour that shows you the very best of Uzbekistan’s rich cultural and natural highlights.

Get ready to discover blue-domed mosques and bustling bazaars in the cities of Tashkent and Samarkand, before exploring the fascinating holy city of Bukhara and the Khiva’s UNESCO-listed Old Town. Along the way, you’ll see the undulating dunes of the Kyzylkum Desert and immerse yourself in centuries-old traditions. From dining with a local family to watching a stunning performance of dance, this fascinating itinerary is packed full of memorable experiences. Plus, you’ll enjoy plenty of free time for your own exploration of this historic and beautiful land at the crossroads of Central Asia.

  • Classic Touring Icon Classic Touring
  • Flight Choices icon Flight Choices

Your Holiday Includes

  • Return flights from London
  • 9 nights in 3-star hotels, plus 1 night in flight
  • 18 meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners and welcome drink
  • Travelsphere Holiday Director and Specialist Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers, other transportation and porterage

Included Holiday Highlights

  • SIghtseeing in Tashkent and a ride through the city's beautiful metro stations
  • Discovery tour of Samarkand
  • Walking tour of Registan Square
  • Traditional breadmaking and lunch with a local family
  • Drive the Takhta Karacha Pass
  • Explore the home of national hero, Tamerlane
  • Discover the holy city of Bukhara
  • Bukhar Puppetry and Miniature School experience
  • Sample exotic teas at an historical teahouse
  • Drive through the Kyzylkum Desert
  • Walking tour of Khiva's Itchan Kala
  • Dinner with Uzbek Khorezm dances
  • Tashkent city tour including Khast Imam Square
  • Visit to a famous ceramics studio


Day 1 UK - Tashkent

Your exotic adventure begins today with an overnight flight to Uzbekistan's vibrant capital city, Tashkent.

Day 2 Tashkent

When you arrive this morning, we’ll drive you to your hotel where you’ll have plenty of free time to settle in, relax, and freshen up after your journey.

Tashkent is a modern metropolis with a fascinating history and we'll explore it together on a sightseeing tour this afternoon. One of the oldest settlements on the Great Silk Road, its ancient spirit lives on in the medieval Old City. We’ll visit Chorsu Bazaar, a bustling market with stalls selling everything from colourful spices and freshly baked bread to ceramics and hand-made souvenirs. A ride on the Tashkent metro, Central Asia's oldest tube, is also included and you’ll see mosaics, portraits and magnificent columns dazzling at every stop.

Tonight, we'll sit down to a tasty welcome meal at a local restaurant.

Meals included: D

Day 3 Tashkent - Samarkand

This morning, the high-speed Afrosiab train whisks us to one of the most prominent cities on the Great Silk Road, Samarkand. From the eras of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to the artistic legacies of the Turkic ruler Tamerlane, this ancient city has seen some history! The latest research indicates that Samarkand was founded an incredible 2,750 years ago.

On a sightseeing tour, we'll visit the magnificent, blue-domed Gur-Emir Mausoleum, home to the grave of Tamerlane, along with the impressive remnants of the vast Mosque Bibi-Khanum. You’ll also visit the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, a collection of tombs decorated with elaborate tiles. An important site for pilgrims, this is the alleged gravesite of Qusan ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad.

Meals included: B,D

Day 4 Samarkand

Your day begins with a visit to Registan Square, one of Samarkand’s most impressive sights. It is surrounded on three sides by grand madrasas, beautiful buildings adorned with mosaics and ornate minarets, that are some of the greatest works of the Islamic world. After admiring the awe-inspiring architecture, we’ll join a local family for a home-cooked meal and have a go at making our own bread.

The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure, you can spend more time uncovering the city’s incredible history or just relax with a drink at the hotel. Alternatively, join us for an optional excursion to three incredible destinations. The first, the Meros Silk Paper Factory, has revived the ancient tradition of papermaking in Samarkand, once renowned for its use in Persian and Arabic manuscripts. Second is the famous Ulugh Beg Observatory, which produced advanced astronomical discoveries before it was destroyed by religious extremists in 1449 - we'll visit the museum here. Thirdly, we'll discover the Tomb of Prophet Daniel.

Meals included: B,L

Day 5 Samarkand - Bukhara

Settle in for a scenic drive over the spectacular Takhta Karacha Pass, as we follow the Silk Route to Shakhrisabz, the hometown of Tamerlane, founder of the Timurid Empire. A traditional centre for folk art, the city is dotted with ruins and medieval buildings. We'll explore the crumbling Ak Saray Palace, Kok Gumbaz Friday Mosque and the mausoleum of Dorut Tilavat, then enjoy some free time for lunch if you wish.

After a relaxing afternoon drive, you can look forward to a traditional dinner in Central Asia's holiest city, Bukhara.

Meals included: B,D

Day 6 Bukhara

Highlighting more than 2,000 years of history, medieval Bukhara offers a visual feast of architectural wonders and photogenic streets. Our full-day tour shows you the very best of the UNESCO-listed historic centre, including the atmospheric Old Jewish Quarter, Poi-Kayalan Ensemble and Kalyan minaret.

We'll delve into tradition at puppet and miniature painting workshops, and sip spicy teas flavoured with fragrant cardamom, anise, cinnamon and oregano. Then you can hunt for souvenirs at the city’s trading domes and browse market stalls piled high with handwoven carpets, silk scarves and unique jewellery.

Meals included: B,D

Day 7 Bukhara

There's so much more to discover in Bukhara and today our sightseeing begins at the Zindan, an old jail complete with a grisly torture chamber. Close by is the spectacular Fortress Ark, Bukhara’s oldest structure and former residence of the city’s emirs. We'll walk along the Old Town walls and stop at Samanids Mausoleum, a 9th-century architectural treasure. After a busy morning, we’ll have lunch together at a local restaurant and then you can take your time and explore at your own pace this afternoon. Perhaps head to Lyabi Hauz Square and relax under the shade of a tree, watching the world go by.

Another possibility is an optional, countryside excursion which starts with a visit to Bahauddin Naqshbandi, the burial tomb of the Sufism leader. You’ll then continue to the exquisite summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, Sitorai Mokhi Khosa Palace. Step back in time and learn about the lifestyle of the city’s past leaders as you explore opulent rooms, courtyards and the harem. On our return, we'll stop for a look at Chor Minor and its four quirky, turquoise-topped turrets.

Meals included: B,L

Day 8 Bukhara - Khiva

You'll get a well-deserved rest today on our drive to Khiva through spectacular desert landscapes. The Kyzylkum Desert stretches for hundreds of miles and once presented sun-scorched dangers for traders traversing the legendary red sands. Luckily for us, we'll get to experience it in comfort!

Meals included: B,D

Day 9 Khiva

A living museum, Khiva's twisting alleyways, glistening mosaics and ornate minarets are a stark contrast to its brutal history of barbaric slave trading. A walking tour of the town’s UNESCO-listed and fortified Old Town, Itchan Kala, showcases ancient Islamic structures and dwellings. We’ll see majestic mosques, madrasas and caravanserais – guesthouses where travelling merchants once rested. As Khiva is well-known for handicrafts, we’ve also allowed plenty of time here to admire and buy woodcarvings, woven carpets and fleece hats.

Tonight offers a treat for the senses, with dinner and a folklore performance. A captivating form of dance combining Arabic, Persian, Turkic, Indian and Chinese elements, Khorezm features dazzling spins, sensual undulations and lavish Oriental costumes.

Meals included: B,D

Day 10 Khiva - Tashkent

Saying goodbye to Khiva, we'll fly back to Tashkent today but don't worry, your incredible journey isn't over just yet. When we arrive, you’re going to see more of Tashkent on a city tour, that starts in Khast Iman Square. Admire the works of world-famous ceramic masters, along with the performing arts hubs of Theatre Square and Broadway, the Earthquake Memorial and Amir Temur Square.

Tonight, we'll sit down together for a delicious farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals included: B,D

Day 11 Tashkent - UK

Your adventure in Central Asia comes to an end as we drive you to the airport in good time for your flight home to the UK.

Meals included: B

Additional Information

  1. Favourite Moment

    Smell the enticing aromas of freshly baking bread and enjoy a home-cooked meal with a local family, discovering traditional Uzbek dishes such as plov - typically made with rice and meat.

Accommodation (as specified or similar)

The Elements Hotel

The Elements Hotel in Tashkent offers its guests comfortable rooms and is an ideal place for travellers who appreciate comfort, high level of service, quality standards and culture. Guests will get acquainted with the true Uzbek hospitality and cordiality by staying in one of the fabulous rooms in the hotel. The hotel is located in one of the most prestigious districts of Tashkent, not far from the famous TV Tower and Expo Centre, which is very convenient for guests wishing to see as much of the city as they can.

Orient Star Samarkand

The hotel was established in 2001 and forms a part of net of Orient Star hotels. Your stay in the ancient city of Samarkand with its rich cultural and historical legacy will undoubtedly become unforgettable event. Orient Star hotel is located in historical part of the city. Room amenities - 24 –hours room service, mini bar, hair dryer, individually controlled air conditioning, Satellite television Hotel Services available - Lobby bar, Exchange office, swimming pool, Souvenir shop, Laundry service, 24 –hours room service, Free WI-FI and Internet access in the lobby

Orient Star Bukhara

Ideally located in Bukhara, this 4 star hotel features a lovely buffet breakfast each morning in the hotels restaurant and also has its own bar. Rooms are spacious and have air conditioning, tv, fridge, kettle and a hairdryer.

Orient Star Hotel - Khiva

The Orient Star Khiva is a 4 star hotel in the central Area of the City. An historical building in this stop off on the Silk Road, this hotel now features a restaurant and bar and rooms have wi-fi, air conditioning, TV, hairdryer, toiletries and refrigerator.

The Elements Hotel

The Elements Hotel in Tashkent offers its guests comfortable rooms and is an ideal place for travellers who appreciate comfort, high level of service, quality standards and culture. Guests will get acquainted with the true Uzbek hospitality and cordiality by staying in one of the fabulous rooms in the hotel. The hotel is located in one of the most prestigious districts of Tashkent, not far from the famous TV Tower and Expo Centre, which is very convenient for guests wishing to see as much of the city as they can.

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Prices shown are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room with private facilities unless otherwise stated. Single occupancy supplements will apply. Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Accommodation, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.

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