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Casket Of Oriental Adventures

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 - 15 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 25 people
Destination(s): Uzbekistan  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Sightseeing  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1465 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2220 US Dollar (USD)

The Orient is a delicate thing: fine pattern, delicate silk, fine art, graceful and charming dances… There are a few people in the world who are indifferent to the beautiful. That’s why the East as a whole and Central Asia in particular has always attracted rapt attention of military leaders, invaders and ordinary wonderers.

The tour across Uzbekistan called “The Casket of Oriental Adventures” will guide you through the most interesting places of this wonderful country. We understand that you wish to manage seeing the most impressive, eye-catching, important and unique things during your short vacation in order to be able to estimate true worth of magnificent monuments of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, in order to be able to enjoy surrounding nature and its generous gifts!

-Country: Uzbekistan
-Season: April - October
-Tour duration: 15 days/14 nights
-Category: individual tour

Day 1. Tashkent. Arrival.
Day 2. Tashkent - Nukus (morning air flight) - Mizdakhan - Nukus.
Day 3.Nukus - Khiva (180 km, 3 hours).
Day 4. Khiva.
Day 5. Khiva - Bukhara (480 km, 9 hours).
Day 6. Bukhara.
Day 7. Bukhara.
Day 8. Bukhara - Shakhrisabz (280 km, 3,5 hours) - Samarkand (150 km, 2,5 hours).
Day 9. Samarkand.
Day 10. Samarkand - Urgut (50 km, 1 hour) - Samarkand.
Day 11. Samarkand - Tashkent (330 km, 5 hours).
Day 12. Tashkent - Kokand (230 km, 3-4 hours) - Rishtan (35 km, 30 min) - Fergana (50 km, 45 min).
Day 13. Fergana - Margilan - Fergana - Tashkent (evening air flight).
Day 14. Tashkent - Chimgan mountains - Charvak lake - Tashkent.
Day 15. Tashkent. Departure.

Detailed tour description

Day 1. Tashkent. Arrival.

Sightseeing: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan madrassah, Kafal-al Shashi Mazar, Kukeldash madrassah, Chor-su bazaar, Applied arts museum, Independence Square, Istiklol Square, Tashkent metro. On arrival to Tashkent you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. After accommodation and rest there will be an excursion program about Tashkent.

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, fourth in size city of CIS and has population of 2,3 million people. In general it's a good attempting to tell you that Tashkent divides in two parts for convenience- The Old and New city. This names are tell by themselves – in Old city you will meet with mausoleums, madrassah and real oriental bazaar, that are monuments of days gone by, in New - you will see public gardens, parks, monuments and constructions of modern times. These two original measurements exist simultaneously, don’t in the way to each other and moreover- complement each other. This feature expresses also general feature of Uzbekistan – harmonically mix of ancient traditions and modern technologies! We will start our excursion from Old City. Barakhan Madrassah is amazing monument of 16-th century, located in the “heart” of Old City at Hast-Imam square, surrounded with antique wattle and daub houses.

Day 2. Tashkent - Nukus (morning air flight) - Mizdakhan - Nukus.

Sightseeing: historic-architectural complex Mizdakhan.

After having breakfast at the hotel in Tashkent you are to fly to Nukus - the capital of the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan. On arrival you will have a transfer to the hotel and then will have an opportunity to visit the historic-architectural complex Mizdakhan. This city-cemetery with tombs of different epochs is probably the only place where several different religions, immortalized in various sepulchral edifices, are presented in a peaceful neighborhood on the same reverently silent land. The territory of the cemetery is quite huge. It is spread over three hills, which served previously as Zoroastrian funeral towers called “dakhma”.

Day 3. Nukus - Khiva (180 km, 3 hours). Sightseeing: ancient sites of Toprak Kala, Ayaz Kala and Kavat Kala.

Having said good-bye to Nukus you will head for the world famous Khiva. However, en route you will have a unique opportunity to walk in the mazes left from ancient settlements. Those are the remains of the ancient empire of Khwarezmia, which means the “Country of the Sun”. You will visit the ruins of Toprak Kala, Ayaz Kala and Kavat Kala. In the past there were more settlements, however, three above-mentioned are the best preserved ones. Here you will see the ruins of once great walls, branches and bays, the remains of hand-made irrigation systems and tumbled down but still impressive defensive walls of the bygone cities. Arrival to Khiva. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 4. Khiva. Sightseeing: Ichan-Kala, Islam-Khoja minaret, Juma mosque, Kalta-Minor minaret, “Avesta” museum.

Breakfast at the hotel. After it you will have a transfer to Tashkent airport and have an air flight to Urgench. On arrival you will drive to Khiva and accommodate at the hotel.

Khiva is the real Oriental city, whose air steel keeps the spirit of the Middle Ages! There are no high modern buildings, wide highways and it seems that time here has stopped just to keep all that ancient beauty which you can see at this amazing earth! You will see many historical monuments and ancient clay houses! All places of interest here are located not in the big territory, surrounded by the city walls.

Day 5. Khiva - Bukhara (480 km, 9 hours).

Today, after breakfast, you will have a transfer to Bukhara. En route you will estimate in full volume the majesty of Kyzyl-Kum desert, still keeping the footprints of walking here caravans of the Great Silk Road. “Bukhara-I-Sharif”, “noble”, “sacred”- these are some of the many epithets with which was nicknamed this ancient city. One of the legend says that it’s founder was Siyavush- the son of Iranian shah. Zoroastrians of Bukhara honored the place of his death and in Navrouz sacred holiday slaughter a rooster at the Guriyan eastern gates, where Siyavush was buried. At times of Samanid’s dynasty Bukhara, being the capital, was considered as the greatest city of Islamic world! Besides, Bukhara became the centre of trade of China with western Asia and original money-changing store of all Asian nations. Exactly that way became proverbial existed in 19 century words: “he is looking alive as Bukharan moneychanger”. We will have a rest at hotel after long road, anticipating with pleasure meeting with “God’s charm”- Bukhara.

Day 6. Bukhara.

Sightseeing: Chashma Ayub mausoleum, Poi-Kalon complex, Ulugbek madrassah, Laybi-Hauz ensemble, Kukeldash madrassah, Nadir Divanbegi madrassah, Samanid mausoleum, “Ark” fortress. First of all we will look over the Samanid’s mausoleum (IX-Xc), the family burial vault of the rulers from the local dynasty, which undoubtedly is a jam of the Central Asian art of building. This wonderful monument is a symbol of new style architecture, regenerated after Arabic conquest. According to undercovered rules in the elements of the building harmonically combined pre-Islamic culture and culture of Arabic Orient. Than we will go to Chashma Ayub Mazar (XIV-XIX c) burial vault. The monuments come one after another and next we will see Poi Kalyan (XII-XVI cc) complex, which include famous Kalyan minaret (with height of 49 meters), built in 1127 and remained whole after many wars and invasions by a miracle! At one time it was look-out station and than the place of public execution. Many legends are jointed with this majestic construction! You will find out many of them from our guide. Than we will see Ulugbek’s madrassah. Ulugbek was grandson of the Temur extraordinary commander and also mathematician and astronomer. And this madrassah was built in 1417 by his order. Than we will see Lyabi Hauze (XVI-XVII c) complex, included Kukeldash (1568 year) and Nodir Divan Begi (1622 year) madrassahs. Very harmonically and color situated here impressive citadel-Old Ark fortress (VI-VII c), from where the ancient Bukhara started.

Day 7. Bukhara. Sightseeing: Summer residence of the Amir of Bukhara (XIX C) «Sitora-i Mokh-i Khosa», Chor Bakr nekropolis and the complex of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari.

After breakfast you will have a transfer to the country. A summer residence of the Amir of Bukhara (XIX C) is called «Sitora-i Mokh-i Khosa». («The Palace of the Moon and Stars»). The palace is an amazing combination of the European, Oriental and Russian architecture, because before the construction works were started Ahad Khan (the Amir of Bukhara at that time) had send a group of his architects to Yalta and St.-Petersburg for the experience exchange.

The next monument will be the out-of-town necropolis Chor Bakr. It is located in Sumitan settlement in 5 km from Bukhara. This monument represents the “City of the dead” with its streets, yards, gates, and numerous gravestones. The central part of the memorial consists of the mosque, khanaka and madrassah.

The complex of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, which is sometimes treated as the Central Asian Mecca, will be the next site. Baha-ud-Din Naqshband was a mentor of Tamerlane and a powerful Sufi, who became the founder of the Sufi Order called Naqshbandia, which soon became one of the most famous orders. A noteworthy fact is that the order perfectly got on with the official Islam and encouraged its followers to work for the benefit of the entire society. Thus, in fact, it was based on a quite rational set of principles although it had also adsorbed various beliefs of the Sufis, Zoroastrians, and, as some sources state, even Buddhists! The complex includes many different buildings: mosques, a minaret, a mausoleum, and a khanaqah.

Day 8. Bukhara - Shakhrisabz (280 km, 3,5 hours) - Samarkand (150 km, 2,5 hours). Sightseeing: Ak-Saray palace, Dorussaidat complex, Dorut-Tilyavat madrassah, Kok-Gumbaz mosque in Shakhrisabz.

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz - the hometown of Tamerlane. Tamerlane was born on April 9, 1336 in Khoja-Ilgar village not far from Shakhrisabz. At the dawn of Tamerlane’s political career the town was his residence, and even after Samarkand was announced to be the capital Timur Lang didn’t forget his hometown. He had always been generous and invested a lot of money in building and development of the town, which was continued by his grandson Ulugbek. In Shakhrisabz first of all you will see the ruins of the summer palace Ak-Saray. Its construction was started by Tamerlane in 1380 and had been continuing for 25 years. Unfortunately, only two separate pylons of the entrance portal are preserved.

Next you will proceed to the majestic Dorus Saidat complex (the “Adobe of Power”). Now it is difficult to imagine those separated constructions in the centre of Shakhrisabz being related to each other, although they were. Those constructions are a high mausoleum with a conic dome and an underground vault, which is about 40 meters away.

The Dorut Tilavat Madrasah - its name is translated as the “House of Meditation”. Two persons important for Tamerlane are buried here: his father Taragay and Kulial The Potter, who was a teacher of the Sufi Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. As you already know, the latter founded the Dervish Order called Naqshbandia and was a personal mentor of Timur. In 1435 the Juma Mosque called Kok-Gumbaz was built at the territory of the madrasah in addition to the existing mausoleums. “Kok-Gumbaz” means an “Azure Dome”. Arrival to Samarkand. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 9. Samarkand.

Sightseeing: the Registan Ensemble, Ulugbek madrassah, Sher-Dor madrassah, Tillya-Kari madrassah, Gur-Emir mausoleum, Rukhabad necropolis, Bibi-Khanym mosque, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda ensemble, Khazrat-Hyzra mosque. This entire day will be devoted to Samarkand and who knows maybe this city, recognized as the heart of the Great Silk Road, will lift the veil of mystery from its secrets.

The Registan Square (XVII C) is situated in the centre of Samarkand. The word “Registan” means “sandy spot”. The Registan appeared as the centre of the trade and handicrafts at the crossing of six roads outstretched from the city gates. The square is encircled with three majestic buildings: the Madrasah of Ulugh Bek (1417 - 1420), the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619 - 1636), and the Tilya-Kori Madrasah (1647 - 1660). Next you are to see the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, which is the famous necropolis of the Timurids, Rukhabad necropolis, Bibi-Khanym mosque, Ulugbek Observatory and Shakhi-Zinda ensemble.

Day 10. Samarkand - Urgut (50 km, 1 hour) - Samarkand. Sightseeing: the Oriental bazaar in Urgut.

Today we will have a ride to a small town called Urgut, where there is one of the main attractions of Samarkand - large oriental bazaar. One can purchase both antiques and modern craft works here. Main working days of the bazaar are Saturday and Sunday. These days one can buy carpets, hand-made embroidery (syuzane), leather shoes, jewelry, various artworks made of metal, ceramics, wooden trunks and lots more. There are many spots right at the territory of the bazaar where such dishes of local cuisine as palaw and oriental dumplings (or manty) are prepared. Blacksmith shops, tin-smitheries and local costume shops are located close to the bazaar. Transfer back to Samarkand.

Day 11. Samarkand - Tashkent (330 km, 5 hours). Sightseeing: mausoleum of Daniel the Prophet.

Today you will have some more time to enjoy the beauty of Tamerlane’s capital before leaving for Tashkent! You’ll visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Daniyor (or Daniel the Prophet). Daniel is hallowed by the followers of three major religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. By the order of Tamerlane the mosque was built at the tomb, however, later (in 1900) the mausoleum was erected in its place. Legends tell that here in an 18-meter long grave a hand of the great prophet is lying. Well, in fact 18 meters is too much for a hand! However, national fantasy is quite dodgy: some people say that the hand is growing year by year whereas others claim that Daniel was a giant. The only statement, which is the same in all legends about Daniel, is that Tamerlane brought this hand to Samarkand. In the afternoon you will have a transfer to Tashkent. Arrival. Accommodation at the hotel.

Day 12. Tashkent - Kokand (230 km, 3-4 hours) - Rishtan (35 km, 30 min) - Fergana (50 km, 45 min). Sightseeing: the palace of Khudayar Khan, the cemetery of Kokand Khans, the Mausoleum of Modari Khan in Kokand, ceramic workshops in Rishtan.

Today you will have transfer back to Tashkent via three cities of Fergana Valley: Kokand and Rishtan. Kokand city won’t leave you indifferent as not long ago (at the end of the XIX – the beginning of the XX C) Kokand was the second largest city of the Ferghana Valley! The city itself is known since 10th century, but its prime falls on the 18th century, when it became the centre of Kokand Khanate and the spiritual centre of the region. Here you will see the palace of Khudayar Khan, the cemetery of Kokand Khans, the Mausoleum of Modari Khan.

The next place of interest on your way is a small town Rishtan, located in the south of the Fergana Valley, one of the oldest centers of creation a unique pottery in Central Asia. For 1100 years, masters broadcast the secrets of manufacture of ceramic products from generation to generation. Big dishes "lyagan", deep bowls "shokosa”, water jugs, milk vessels, decorated with ornaments from the “ishkor” glaze. Rishtan Ceramics – blue like pieces of the sky, fallen to the ground! It made Rishtan masters known around the world. In researches the primary role in the art of pottery of 19th, beginning of 20th centuries were unanimously given to Rishtan as a cradle of ceramics of Fergana valley, which was under the influence of all the ceramic centers of the region. A visit to the ceramic workshop. In the evening, having arrived to Ferghana, you can have a rest in the hotel room.

Day 13. Fergana - Margilan - Fergana - Tashkent (evening air flight). Sightseeing: “Yodgorlik” silk factory in Margilan

After breakfast you will drive to the city of Margilan, whose origin is being associated with the Great Silk Road, which undoubtedly you heard a lot about. In X C Margilan was widely known for its silk ware, and its fame spread over long distances to the East and the West. You will have a chance to see these unique items, during the excursion to the “Yodgorlik” silk factory. Certainly, in the past silk, khan-atlas, bekasam, and other oriental cloths were hand-made, but still you can find out many interesting facts at the factory. Besides, while in Margilan you will visit the oriental Bazaar, where you can also buy some Margilan silk and many other interesting things.

Transfer back to Fergana. Drive to the airport. Evening flight to Tashkent. Arrival. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel.

Day 14. Tashkent - Chimgan mountains - Charvak lake - Tashkent. Today you will have a ride to the Chimgan Mountains famous around entire Central Asia.

Besides, according to your wish you may go down to the Charvak water reserve - the gem of the Chimgan, which merrily sparkles under the bright Uzbek sun. Nowadays this is a water reserve with crystal pure water, where thousands of tourists come to enjoy the nature of this amazingly beautiful land and local mountains. Drive back to Tashkent.

Day 15. Tashkent. Departure. Free morning. Check out of the hotel at 12:00. Transfer to the airport. Departure from Tashkent.

Cost of the tour per person under accommodation at the hotels 2-3*:
-Group in 2 pax - 1845 USD/per person
-Group in 3-4 pax - 1735 USD/per person
-Group in 5-6 pax - 1610 USD/per person
-Group in 7-9 pax - 1505 USD/per person
-Group in 10-15 pax - 1465 USD/per person

Supplement for single accommodation is 265 USD/per person

Cost of the tour per person under accommodation at the hotels 3-4*:
-Group in 2 pax - 2220 USD/per person
-Group in 3-4 pax - 2105 USD/per person
-Group in 5-6 pax - 1960 USD/per person
-Group in 7-9 pax - 1875 USD/per person
-Group in 10-15 pax - 1835 USD/per person

Supplement for single accommodation is 390 USD/per person

Cost of the tour includes:
- Double accommodation at the following hotels with breakfasts:

Tashkent: Sairam Hotel**/Tashkent Palace****
Samarkand: Malika Samarkand Classic**/Asia Samarkand***
Bukhara: Amulet Hotel**/Asia Bukhara***
Khiva: Shakherezada Hotel**/Asia Khiva Hotel***
Fergana: Club Hotel 777***
Nukus: Jipek Joli Hotel**

- Excursion program in each city according to the program;
- Services of local English speaking guides in each city;
- Entrance tickets to all the monuments and museums according to the program;
- Meals: only breakfasts at the hotels;
- Air flight ”Tashkent - Nukus”;
- Air flight “Fergana - Tashkent”;
- Comfortable transportation with an air-conditioner for the whole tour, including meeting/seeing off at the airports.

Cost of the tour does not include:
- International airfare;
- Cost for the photo and video filming in museums and on the monuments.
- Visa fee.

Additional services:
- Meals (except breakfasts at the hotels):
*Supplement for full board (lunches and dinners) is 425 USD/per person/for the whole tour
*Supplement for half board (only dinners) is 210 USD/per person/for the whole tour
- Supplement for the services of an escort English speaking guide for the whole tour is 625 USD/for a group.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.