“Whoever opens my grave will unleash an invader more terrible than me.” cit. Tamerlane
Introduction: Uzbekistan, the richest state of history among all the republics of Central Asia, is a country that counts some of the oldest cities in the world, many of the main centers along the Silk Road and most of the architectural beauties of this geographical area. A journey to discover the capital Tashkent located in an irrigated oasis on the banks of the Chircik River, the ancient Khiva dating back to the eighth century, a commercial oasis along the Silk Road. Bukhara, a city that has over 140 protected historic buildings, located in an oasis of the Kizil-Kum desert, Samarkanda one of the oldest cities in the world, is the most extraordinary and magical place in all of Central Asia, with its Registan square and the countless splendid buildings built by Tamerlane.
The main attractions of the trip:
Khiva: demonstration of baking bread (sharing freshly baked bread with neighbors is a common tradition in Uzbekistan, it is an ancient custom. Evening walk on the walls of the ancient citadel to admire the wonderful panoramic view and the sunset.
Bukhara: the folklore show in the Nodir Devon Begi madrasa, traditional dinner at a family home to taste the delicious typical dish par excellence of Uzbek cuisine: the “plov”.
Samarkanda: visit to the 14th century artisan mulberry paper factory. produced with ancient techniques and evening stroll in front of the illuminated Registan square.
1 ° DAY : Tashkent, city tour
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan. Arrival in Tashkent in the morning with Turkish Airlines flight at 8:00. Meeting with our local assistant and transfer to the hotel by private means. Breakfast and start the tour of the old city of Tashkent , which looks like a tangle of narrow streets overlooked by low brick and mud houses, ancient mosques and madrasas (Islamic academies). Architectural complex called Khast Imam , where religious monuments are located, of particular interest is the eighteenth-century madrasa Mui Mubarak , in which the oldest Koran is preserved existing , marked with the blood of Caliph Osman himself, assassinated in 655, the madrasa Barak Khan , founded in the 16th century by a descendant of Tamerlane, the Kafal Shashi mausoleum , the patron saint of the 10th century. The gigantic KhastImam Friday mosque , then the visit of the Tashkent subway and the Chorsu bazaar , a huge open market, lunch and transfer in hotel. Cheek in. Time available. Dinner and overnight.
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2nd DAY : Tashkent – Flight – Urgench – Khiva
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the domestic flight to Urgench (1 hour flight) Short transfer of 35 km to Khiva, “city of a thousand and one nights”. Day dedicated to visiting the city of Khiva . One of the most fascinating cities in the region, with its Arabic-style structures with colors ranging from light blue to turquoise, it has remained virtually intact since the 16th century.
Khiva is one of the best preserved cities along the Silk Road. It was the seventeenth-century capital of the Khiva Khanate and still retains a mysterious atmosphere of an ancient eastern city. This can be seen above all in the citadel of Ichan-Kala , the old part of the city, a labyrinth where you will admire numerous historical monuments and masterpieces of local architecture, mingling with the homes of the local people. Khiva has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is the only city in the country where you can see a fascinating sunset. While visiting Khiva, you will be able to see the baking and sale of bread. Moreover, the tourist will notice the countless and nice weddings that take place every day. At the end of the visit, free time available for shopping. Check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
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3rd DAY : Khiva – The castles of Corasmia
Breakfast at the hotel and free time. Lunch and departure to the castles of Corasmia.
The Amu-Darya Delta has been inhabited for millennia and was an important oasis long before Khiva became famous. The ancient state of Corasmia (which also included parts of today’s northern Turkmenistan), located along a northern branch of the Silk Road, has been an important oasis of civilization amidst the deserts of Central Asia for thousands of years. To the north-east of Khiva, in the southern area, there are still the ruins of many Corasmian cities and fortresses, some of which date back well over 2,000 years. The traditional name of this area is ElliqQala, “Fifty Fortresses”. After breakfast, full day excursion to the ruins of Topra Kala and Ayaz Kala . The most impressive fortress is the Ayaz Kala , actually a complex of three mud-walled fortresses, which experienced its period of greatest splendor in the 6th and 7th centuries. The ToprakQala is a complex that also includes a temple, which belonged to the governors of Korasmia who in the third and fourth centuries guarded the borders.
dinner and overnight in a yurt camp.
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4th DAY : Ayaz Kala – Bukhara
After breakfast departure for the longest transfer of the journey (480 km, approximately 7-8 hours). West / northwest direction through the Kyzylkum Desert (red sands) and to the edge of the Karakum Desert (black sands), which extends beyond the nearby border with Turkmenistan. Together with Kyzylkum and Karakum form the fourth largest desert in the world. Picnic lunch along the way. Stop on the right bank of the river Amu-Darya (the ancient Oxus) which flows between the two deserts marking the border between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and finally going to die in the agonizing Lake ofAral. Arrival in Bukhara in the late afternoon. Walk in the central square Lyabi Haus. Dinner at the house of a local family, you will be able to see the cooking of plov, the famous dish typical of Uzbek cuisine . I’m going back to the hotel.
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5th DAY : Bukhara, city tour
Breakfast at hotel. Departure for the visit of Bukhara, a city also called holy or blessed , which preserves unique monuments of ancient architecture. Bukhara was once one of the most important trading centers along the Silk Road, and numerous caravanserais and covered markets can still be found. Visits include the Samani Mausoleum , considered to be one of the most prized works of architecture in Central Asia, built in 905 as the resting place of Ismail Samani, a powerful and influential emir of the Samanid dynasty . But in this fabulous city there are also the fortress of Ark, the madrasa of Chor Minor which in Persian means four minarets, the complex of Po-i- kalyan , and other architectural monuments of the period. Walk in the Jewish quarter where there is also a synagogue. The visit of the covered bazaars of Toqi Telpak and Toqi Safaron , the Maghoki-Attar mosque . In the late afternoon, you can enjoy the folkloric concert accompanied by a fashion show at the courtyard of madrasa Nadir Divanbegi , it will be a pleasant way to end the day. I’m going back to the hotel. Dinner.
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6 ° DAY: Bukhara – Samarkanda by train
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast visits: the Ulugh bek madrasa , decorated with blue majolica and never restored; the sixteenth-century madrasa of Abdul Aziz khan , a real jewel, whose rooms were once intended for students of the Koranic school. The visit of a workshop of the famous blacksmiths where wonderful handmade knives are created. Lunch at a typical house.
Transfer to Bukhara station (20 km) for the train to Samarkanda and arrival in the middle of the afternoon. C heck-in at the hotel, free time, dinner and to end the evening, an unforgettable walk in front of the majestic Registan square che illuminated will remain in your heart. I’m going back to the hotel.
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7th DAY : Samarkand, city tour
Breakfast then day dedicated to the city excursion. One of the oldest cities in the world, Samarkand was founded in the late 14th century BC. near an oasis and prospered thanks to trade. It was razed to the ground by Genghis Khan and flourished again between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries thanks to Amir Temur (Tamerlane), a great leader and statesman who proclaimed Samarkand the capital of his empire.
Samarkand is wonderful and fascinating. The harmonious perfection with which mosques, madrasas and mausoleums coexist elegantly thanks to a refined play of shades that turn from blue to turquoise leaves you astonished. The pride of Samarkand is undoubtedly the majestic Registan Square , a scenic square occupied by a grandiose complex consisting of 3 madrasas: of Ulug Beg, Shir Dor and Tilya Kari , famous for the purity of the lines and the elegance of the majolica. The mosque of Bibi-Khanim (15th century) with gigantic architecture also built by order of Tamerlane after his campaign in India, to show his power, to build it he deported thousands of craftsmen to Samarkanda Indians.
Visit of the Gur-e.Amir mausoleum (15th century) which means “ the tomb of the Emir ” is located where Tamerlane and his followers are buried. The mausoleum was built by order of Tamerlane for his nephew Mukhammad Sultan, who died in 1403. Timur-e-lang (literally Timur the Lame, which we called Tamerlane) wanted to build the great Friday mosque with a style that had to make it resemble the paradise. (XVXVII century). Visit of the oriental bazaar “ Siyob ”. Dinner and return to the hotel.
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8th DAY : Samarkand-Tashkent by train
Breakfast and continuation of the visit of Samarkand. The visit of the Afrosiab Museum with the finds of the ruins of ancient Samarkanda , the Ulugh-bek Observatory , the sovereign-astronomer who between 1420 and 1430 build an observatory with a 30-meter astrolabe; the monumental complex of the Shah-i-Zinda Mausoleums , with the “tomb of the living king”, a cousin ofel Prophet Mohammed. The Shakhi-Zinda complex (14th-15th century), consisting of several mausoleums.
Finally, a fascinating experience: a visit to the wonderful paper factory located in the Ko’nigul village , an interesting demonstration of the ancient techniques of production of silk paper produced by mulberry.
Departure from Samarkanda by train, arrival in Tashkent. Dinner in a restaurant. I’m going back to the hotel.
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9th DAY : Tashkent – Italy Transfer to the airport in time for boarding the departing flight and end of our services.
|LOCALITY||Nights||Hotels standart category
||Hotels superior category
|Tashkent||2||Daniel Hill or similar||Ichan Quala or similar|
|Khiva||1||Muso tora or similar||Zarafshon boutique or similar|
|Bukhara||2||Minzifa boutique or similar||Shakxriston or similar|
|Samarcanda||2||Diyora or similar||Emirkhan or similar|
The cost of the trip includes
- Economy class airfare for the Urgench-Tashkent route
- Transfers in Bukhara-Samarkand-Tashkent trains
- Transportation in air-conditioned vehicles
- accommodation in the 3 and 4 star hotels indicated in a double room
- full board including 1 bottle of water per person per day
- entrances to monuments, museums and archaeological sites
- assistance of a local English and Italian speaking guide-escort
- folklore show in Bukhara (March to November)
The cost of the trip excludes
- airline ticket in economy class at a special rate valid for Turkish Airlines (taxes included)
- Uzbek visa which is free from 2019
- medical insurance
- single supplement 175 euros