Day 1: Tashkent. Upon arrival at Tashkent International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, then welcomed with a ceremonial dinner.
Day 2: Tashkent - Urgench. Tashkent city tour. We fly from Tashkent to Urgench that evening.
Day 3: Urgench. Transfer to Khiva, the fairy-tale city of the Silk Road. Uzbekistan’s “Living Museum” was the former capital of the Khanate. Dinner with panoramic view of Khiva in moonlight. Transfer back to the hotel.
Day 4: Urgench - Dashoguz. After some further exploration of Urgench, we will travel to the border crossing point at Dashoguz between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Upon completion of border formalities, we will drive to the famous city of Konye-Urgench. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 5: Dashovuz - Darvaza. Morning sightseeing drive tour to Darvaza located in center of desert Kara Kum (Black Sand). Dinner. Overnight at camp.
Day 6: Ashgabat. Leaving Darvaza, we will travel next to Ashgabat (city of love in Arabic). The capital city of Turkmenistan since its independence in 1991, it is undergoing dramatic changes with development and urbanization. One of the highlights in Ashgabat will be a visit to the Tolkuchka Bazaar – camels and carpets, silver jewelry and mouth-watering cooking scents, every imaginable good is spread out on acres of land in the desert. Overnight in Nissa Hotel.
Day 7: Ashgabat. Today will be spent touring some of the sites in this ever-changing city.
Day 8: Ashgabat - Gokdepe. Today we will take a side trip to visit the unique Kow-Ata (father of caves) underground lake. We will return to Ashgabat for a visit to the Carpet Museum, rich with the history of Turkmen carpet weaving; and the "Spiritual Temple of Turkmen Nation” mosque in Kiptchak.
Day 9: Mary. This morning we will take an early flight from Ashgabat to Mary, the third-largest city in Turkmenistan. On arrival, we will travel to Gonur Depe, the largest archaeological excavation in the Near East which experts have confirmed to be the site of the fifth great center of civilization (along with Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and India).
Day 10: Mary. Today we will explore one of Turkmenistan's greatest attractions, the historic city of Merv. We will visit the remains of Alexandria, Antiokhia, Sultan Kala, the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, Ibn Zaid, and the medieval castle “Keshk”.
Day 11: Mary - Bukhara. We will cross the border today at Farab, traveling through the Kara Kum desert and crossing the Amu Darya River. After customs and border formalities, we will continue on to Bukhara. We will be met with the sound of music (from the karnay, a local musical instrument) and the local precious drink chay.
Day 12: Bukhara. We will begin our sightseeing tour with the Labi Khaus Complex. The sightseeing continues with the trade domes (XVI c) of money changers, hat sellers, silk, carpets, puppets and jewelry, the Magoki Attari site which was originally a Zoroastrian temple, and the Poi-Kalon Ensemble with the greatest minaret of Central Asia. Lunch. Visit the Ark (winter residence of local rulers from the first century), Bolo Khaus Complex. Folklore show featuring local dancers, singers and fashion.
Day 13: Bukhara - Samarkand. We drive to Samarkand (300 km), the city is more than 2500 years old.
Day 14: Samarkand. Discover the beauty of Samarkand city by visiting Registan Square, the Shahi Zinda Ensemble – ancient necropolis (IX,XIV,XIX c.) and the Bibi Khanum Complex. Evening laser show in Registan Square.
Day 15: Samarkand - Tashkent. On the way to Tashkent we will stop near the "gate" of Amur Temur - where two mountain ranges meet. Here is an opportunity to photograph the two great mountain ranges of Uzbekistan. Accommodation in hotel.
Day 16: Tashkent - New York. Early breakfast. Transfer to an international airport of Tashkent. Departure.
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Asia Uzbekistan Turkmenistan Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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