Caravans of Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $6,705
  • Length: 15 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Middle East, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
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Tour Description

Travel through a part of the world older than time in search of off-the-beaten-path treasures. You’ll visit centuries-old tombs, mosques and palaces, explore the great bazaars of Central Asia, and immerse yourself in the tradition and culture of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. On your travels, don’t forget to take some time to shop for exquisite carpets, drink a cup of tea with a local and stand in awe at the layers of history that gild every surface in this ancient land.

  • Journey to the village of Margilan to tour the Yodgarlik Silk Factory and meet the silk weavers who work at the factory
  • Stroll through the colorful “Chorsu” Bazaar and visit the Fine Arts Museum in Tashkent
  • Visit Registan Square, a medieval center of trade, to see the three beautiful madrasahs built in the 13th, 15th and 16th centuries.
  • Learn about Uzbekistan’s ancient history of winemaking at the Samarkand Winery
  • See the impressive Imperial Russian collection, political gifts sent to the emir, and exhibit of traditional Suzzane embroidery and needlepoint
  • Visit the colorful and large Turabke Khanym Mausoleum, with its brilliant campanile, grape blue and opal green tile decorations

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Tashkent Ferghana, Uzbekistan

On arrival in Tashkent you will be met and taken directly to you hotel. After lunch, get an introduction to Uzbekistan and its capital city on a brief orientation tour. Later this afternoon fly east to Namangan and drive to Ferghana, a populated are of Uzbekistan’s fertile Ferghana Valley.(L,D)

Hotel Dedeman Silk Road Hotel Asia Ferghana, Ferghana

DAY 2

Ferghana

This morning travel to the village of Margilan to tour the Yodgarlik Silk Factory. Meet the silk weavers and learn about the variations of silk weaving and the dyeing processes. See carpet weaving and the traditional block printing on cloth. Explore the artisan quarters at Madrasah Syed, before proceeding to Rishtan to meet master potter Rustam Usmanov. Visit his workshop and small pottery museum, before a delightful lunch at home with his family. Return to Ferghana in the late afternoon.(B,L,D)

Hotel Asia Ferghana

DAY 3

Ferghana to Kokand Tashkent

This morning drive west toward Tashkent. Stop en route to visit the fort residence of Kokand Khanate, the last khan ruler when this region was Khan Khodoyar. After Russia annexed this area, the Tsarist troops destroyed the fortifications, but today the fort’s museum gives you a good feel for what daily life was like in the Khanate days. Continue along the Great Silk Road, over the Kamchik Pass, and enjoy a picnic lunch in this scenic area. Arrive in Tashkent late afternoon.(B,L,D)

Hotel Dedeman Silk Road, Tashkent

DAY 4

Tashkent Samarkand

This morning tour Tashkent. Dating back to the 5th century, the city grew into an important trading post on the Great Silk Road. Your tour will visit the old city to see the Tillya Sheikh Mosque, with its rich library of ancient manuscripts; the 16th century Barak Khana Madrasah (Seminary); and the Kukeldash Madrasah, now an Islamic primary school. Stroll through the colorful “Chorsu” Bazaar, before visiting the Fine Arts Museum to see the Zoroastrian artifacts and the 1000-year-old Buddhist statues. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive south to Samarkand, in the picturesque valley of the Zerafshan River.(B,L,D)

Hotel Asia Samarkand, Samarkand

DAY 5

Samarkand

Samarkand was the capital of ancient Sogdiana, and is one of the oldest cities in the world. Your full day city sightseeing begins at Registan Square, a medieval center of trade, to see the three beautiful madrasahs built in the 13th, 15th and 16th centuries. Next, visit the Bibi Khanum Mosque, and the Shakhi Zinda Necropolis, a pilgrimage site of more than 20 mausoleums built between the 11th-19th centuries, and where you can see the finest samples of majolica, mosaic and terracotta tile work. Break for lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon explore the ancient site of Samarkand and the 500-acre Afrosiab Site Museum. See its collections of pottery, weaponry and coinage, and its remarkable model of the city in the 6th century. Visit the Ulugbek Observatory, where Ulugbek and other scholars completed the famous “Tables of stars.” End the day at the Samarkand Winery for local wine tasting. Learn about the region’s ancient history of winemaking dating back to the 1st century BC.(B,L,D)

Hotel Asia Samarkand, Samarkand

DAY 6

Samarkand

This morning’s tour will explore the History Museum to see its vast collection of beautiful costume and tribal art. View the Alfiya’s Gallery’s collection of materials and old art work, and visit one of the local Samarkand artisan houses. Enjoy the unique experience of visiting an Uzbek family to see how local cuisine is prepared. If you like you can join in the cooking of traditional Uzbek pulao, baking bread and samsa.(B,L,D)

Hotel Asia Samarkand, Samarkand

DAY 7

Shakre Sabz Bukhara

Departing Samarkand, your first stop is Shakhrisabz, birthplace of the ruler Timur. The town has a relaxed atmosphere which you can see reflected in its teahouses and traditional homes. Visit the village market full of handmade embroidery and carpets. Explore the ruins of the “White” or Ak Sarai Palace, built by Khorezm artisans in the late 1300s. You will see the Dorus Tilavat seminary, Kok Gumbaz (Blue Dome) mosque, and the Timurids’ family crypt at Dorus Siodat. Relax with a local Uzbek family over lunch. Drive west to the city of Bukhara, an ancient city dating back to the 4th century BC. Tonight see a colorful and lively folkloric show.(B,L,D)

Hotel Zargaron Plaza, Bukhara

DAY 8

Bukhara

The city of Bukhara is literally an open-air museum. With more than 400 monuments revealing its history as the Great Silk Road meeting point for various cultures including the Zoroastrians, Persians, Buddhists and Turk tribes. Today’s sightseeing starts in the heart of the city, at Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble, a showcase of Bukharan architecture and a local gathering place. Tour the Mogaki Attari Mosque, housing remnants and decorations from many regions and religions, including a Buddhist temple. Explore Tilpak Frushan, the hat sellers market. Other stops include the madrasahs of Aziz Khan and Ulugbek and Poi Kalon with its grand Kalon Minaret. This afternoon visit Arg Fortress, the Balo-Khauz Mosque, the 9th century Samanid Mausoleum and the Chasma Ayub (biblical Job’s Spring). End the day watching a traditional Puppet show. Tonight enjoy dinner at Studio Bukhara to taste the Silk Road cuisine.(B,L,D)

Hotel Zargaron Plaza, Bukhara

DAY 9

Bukhara

This morning, travel to Sitora‐I‐Makhi‐Khosa (palace of Moon and Stars), which was the summer residence of the last emir of Bukhara. See the impressive Imperial Russian collection, political gifts sent to the emir, and exhibit of traditional Suzzane embroidery and needlepoint. Continue to visit the shrine of famous Sufi Saint, known as the “palace of miracles.” This afternoon travel to Paikand, one of the Transoxiana cities dating back to the 1st century BC. Visit with local archaeologists currently engaged in research at the area sites. Then there is time to explore the covered markets. Tonight enjoy a classical music concert with dinner. (B,L,D)

Hotel Zargaron Plaza, Bukhara

DAY 10

Bukhara to Khiva

Today, drive northwest through Kizilkum and the red sands. See the wide expanse of Amudarya or Oxus River, an important water source for caravans that travelled the Great Silk Road. Arrive in Khiva in the afternoon, for a short walking tour through this ancient walled city.(B,L,D)

Hotel Asia Khiva, Khiva

DAY 11

Khiva

This morning take a walking tour through “Ichan Kala,” the heart of the city, surrounded by a mile-long wall protecting its rich architecture of tall minarets, doomed roofs, carved pillars and doors. Tour Kunya Ark, a fortified citadel and ruler residence, the Rakhim Khan Madrasah and the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud, wrestler, poet, philosopher and Khiva’s patron saint. Visit the Islam Khodja Minaret and Museum, built in 1910, it houses a wonderful display of fine Uzbek handicrafts. After lunch at a local restaurant, see Juma Mosque (the Friday mosque) and Tash Khauli Palace and Harem with its ceramic tile and carved marble decorations. Enjoy time examining the local crafts at the Caravan Bazaar.(B,L,D)

Hotel Asia Khiva, Khiva

DAY 12

Khiva to Tashauz Ashbagabat

This morning drive into Turkmenistan, a country of priceless archeological finds left by dozens of tribes and cultures. After lunch, continue to Kunya Urgench, once the Khnorezm capital which was destroyed by Genghis Khan and again by Tamerlane. Visit the colorful and large Turabke Khanym Mausoleum, with its brilliant campanile, grape blue and opal green tile decorations. Also explore the mausoleums of Arsalan II and Najmuddin Kubra, as well as Kutlug Temur Minaret, the tallest in Central Asia. Drive to Tashauz for your flight to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.(B,L,D)

Hotel Grand Turkmen, Ashgabat

DAY 13

Ashgabat Merv

Today fly to Mary, then drive to the Merv oasis for a full day excursion of this famous archaeological site. Dating back to the 6th century BC, Merv was a thriving center for culture and trade, and a very valued station on the Great Silk Road. Your tour includes visits to Sultan-Kala and the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the 6th century BC fortress of Erk-Kala and Gayur-kala, or “Castle of the Infidels,” where Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity coexisted. In the city of Mary, visit the Archaeological Museum and its display of artifacts excavated from the Merv oasis. Fly back to Ashgabat in the afternoon.(B,L,D)

Grand Turkmen, Ashgabat

DAY 14

Ashgabat

Enjoy the last day of your journey touring the highlights of Ashgabat. In the morning, visit the great Sunday Market, the Tolkuchka Bazaar. See nomadic Turkmen tribesmen including Saryks, Tekkes and Yamuds come from the local villages to sell their crafts. After lunch, visit Nissa, the archeological site of the former winter capital of Parthians. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the State Museum of History with its remarkable display of ivory and carpets. Tonight enjoy a special dinner in a local restaurant.(B,L,D)

Hotel Grand Turkmen, Ashgabat

DAY 15

Depart Ashgabat

Today you are taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.(B)

Departures

Pricing Information

December 31, 2011

From $6,705.00 per person double occupancy.

From $655.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers and fully guided daily sightseeing provided by a private deluxe A/C vehicle
  • Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing in each city
  • Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
  • Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
  • Local taxes
  • TravcoAssist (Medical Travel Assistance Plan)

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

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