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7 Day Archaeology Tour in Uzbekistan

offered by supplier M20364 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 5 - 15 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 30 people
Destination(s): Uzbekistan  
Specialty Categories: Archeology/History   Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 700 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1200 US Dollar (USD)

Oxiana, Tartary, Turkestan, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand: names to produce a frisson. They evoke alluring images of shimmering turquoise domes and exquisite glazed wall tiles, of lost libraries and renowned scholars, of the delicious decadence of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, of gardens, poetry and wine, of the fabulous riches of the Silk Road between China and Christendom.
Less agreeable images are also induced: of Ghengis Khan and Timur (Tamerlane), the most far-reaching conquerors in history; of the tyranny and cruelty of the khans, perpetuating the last redoubts of mediaeval misrule; of the Great Game, the nineteenth-century Cold War between Britain and Russia; of terrain as hostile as the tribesmen and petty tyrants who inhabited its desert and mountain fastnesses; and of a post-Soviet penumbra of Stans of suspect politics and allegiances.

The four cities of the subtitle lie now in Uzbekistan, independent since 1991 but an entity which has its origins in late nineteenth-century Russian imperialism, which agglomerated a number of independent khanates, and whose borders were settled in the 1920s. It lies at the very centre of Central Asia. One of only two double land-locked nations in the world, it has a capital which is a thousand miles north of the Indian Ocean (Afghanistan and Pakistan intervene), 1,400 miles east of the Black Sea and 400 miles from Xinjiang, China’s largely Islamic western province. This is as the crow flies; extremes of topography and climate as well as banditry slowed or terminated the progress of many travellers.

A slave-trading oasis khanate, Khiva was, and remains, the smallest of the three cities. It is perhaps the most intact and homogenous urban ensemble in the Islamic world, with biscuit-coloured brick and blue and turquoise maiolica. In Bukhara, gorgeously adorned architecture spanning a thousand years still rises above a streetscape of indeterminate age. Samarkand has the largest and most resplendently caparisoned historic buildings of all. There are also visits to Shakhrisabz, which has breathtaking remains of Timur’s palace, and to Tashkent, the spacious modern capital with good museums and galleries.

Space is not at a premium in this part of the world. Broad tree-lined boulevards encircle the historic town centres and no expanding girdle of high-rise apartments disfigures the approach. Modernity has made relatively unobtrusive inroads: in one of the few nations on earth which has escaped the countryside scourge of ferroconcrete and breeze block, the whitewashed villages and farmsteads with their awnings of vines would hold few surprises for Tolstoy. Nearly all the women are to some extent in traditional dress, brightly coloured ankle-length dresses, and so are some of the older men. In the wake of economic liberalisation since independence, streets and courtyards are draped with the dazzling hues of carpets and textiles; the glories of the Silk Road in its heyday are not hard to imagine.

Itinerary:
Arrive to Uzbekistan and spend the next day exploring the sprawling city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s 2,000-year-old capital.

Our next stage is Samarkand, which survived the arrival of Islam, the havoc of the Mongolian hordes and then flowered under the rule of Tamerlane. You will get there from Tashkent by Afrosiyob speed train with the journey taking only 2,5 hours. You will spend 2 days exploring Uzbekistan’s most glorious city. Its long history is most famously linked to the legacy of the great 14th century ruler Tamerlane whose aim was to create the richest city on earth.

The journey then moves to Bukhara. It was the beauty of the Kalyan minaret that saved it from being destroyed by Ghengis Khan in 1220 when the rest of the city was razed to the ground. The magical city of Bukhara is over 2,000 years old and is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. Touring here includes the important religious attractions of the city including the Bolo Hauz Mosque and Ismail Samani mausoleum which dates from the 10th century, Kalyan Square and the summer palace of the Emir.

Our last leg of the journey is to visit the evocative city of Khiva, one of the most complete and best-preserved cities on the ancient Silk Road. This time you will be transferred by vehicle through the famed Kyzyl Kum Desert. The Great Silk Road once routed through Bukhara and Khiva ran through the Kyzyl Kum Desert, as the present road does nowadays. Stop en-route to enjoy views of the desert and Amu Darya River. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Old Khiva in Kunya-Ark. Try yourself at climbing Islam-Khoja minaret, the highest minaret in Uzbekistan. In the evening you will be transferred to Urgench airport for flight to Tashkent (1 h. 40 min.).

We are pretty sure to say that this trip and all those impressions you will get will stay with you for a long. All those impressive mosques, mausoleums and madrassas, a feast for the eyes. Uzbekistan takes you on an amazing journey to the past with its rich architectural heritage and it never fails to impress any visitor. Whether it’s Samarkand with remarkable Registan and Shah-i-Zinda, the old towns of Khiva and Bukhara, or Sovjet-style Tashkent, you will love this impressive country that has so much to offer.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: Uzbekistan
Joined InfoHub: Jun 2010

Tashkent based travel agency specializing on incoming tourism to Uzbekistan & Central Asia. Our main clientele is foreign tourists. We offer various tours across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, provide visa support services, hotel bookings, guides, etc. Officially licensed by...

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