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Central Asia 4 STAN tour - 3

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Tour itinerary: Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan - Tajikistan -Turkmenistan
Season: April - October
Days: 18Nights: 17
Price: by request
Tour description:

Visit Central Asia for 2 weeks and leave it with a feeling of pleasure and widened worldview. This Central Asia tour starting in Kazakhstan, Almaty and ends by a city tour in Tashkent.

Day 1
Almaty

Flight to Almaty. Arrival in the late afternoon. 

Leave the terminal and meet with your driver holding the sign 'ANUR TOUR' in the meeting zone.

Transfer to hotel.
You will have time to discuss the tour details with  company representative.
Leisure in the afternoon.

Overnight.

Day 2
Almaty
Breakfast at the hotel.
09:00 Start of Almaty city tour.
- Visit to Panfilov's Park with Zenkov's Orthodox Cathedral, Great Patriotic War Memorial and National Musical Instruments Museum;
- Visit Central Mosque and Green Bazaar;
- Drive to Medeo world skating rink. There will be an opportunity for a short hiking tour upstairs to the top of the dam to enjoy the beautiful view of surroundings;
- Take a cable car to Chimbulak ski resort;
Return to Almaty.
Overnight.
Day 3
Almaty - Tashkent
Breakfast. 
Transfer to the airport.
Departure from Almaty by morning flight of Air Astana.
Arrival in Tashkent. Leave the terminal and meet with your driver holding the sign 'ANUR TOUR' in the meeting zone.
Transfer to hotel. Resting time.
Overnight.
Day 4
Tashkent

Breakfast.

09:00 Meet the guide at the hotel lobby.

Start sightseeing tour of Tashkent (5-6 hrs) visiting old and new parts of it:

 Earthquake Memorialthe composition is devoted to the tragic date of earthquake in Tashkent on April 26, 1966, and is erected in the approximate place of the earthquake epicenter. Residents still come to the monument to honor those people who took a part in the reconstruction of Tashkent - the main square of Uzbekistan reflects the past, present, and future of the country; 

– Khast Imam Square – a religious center of the city consisting of the Barakkhan madrasah;

– Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum and the library of Islamic Literature with the Holy Koran Book of the VII century. 

– Visiting Chorsu marketplace and drive back to the new city by metro. 

Continue excursion with visiting Independence Square. There are fountains standing for life energy of Uzbek people, the “Eternal flame" in honor of soldiers who died during the World War II,  the arch " Good and noble aspiration" crowned with birds of happiness and prosperity, a road "Ok Yul" (“Good way”) leading to Independence Monument and monument to Happy Mother that symbolize the hope for a great future.

One can often see the newly-weds who start a family and independent life walking through the arch of “Good and noble aspirations”, laying flowers at the monument of Happy Mother and Eternal flame.

– Amir Temur Square

 Theatre Square with the Opera House

Back to the hotel. 

Overnight

Day 5
Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva

Transfer to the airport.

Departure to Urgench by plane. 

Arrival. Meet your guide & driver in the terminal. Transfer to Khiva's hotel, drop off the bags. Start your walking excursion from the old part of the city:

 – Ichan Kala known as “Inner town”. Ichan Kala which is the biggest open-air museum in Central Asia consists of the following architectural monuments:  Ata Darbaza (West Gate), Kunya ArkMuhammad Rakhim-Khan Madrasah, Muhammad Aminkhan Madrasah, Kalta Minor Minaret, Jome Mosque and Minaret, Islam Khodja Madrasah and Minaret, Said Alauddin Mausoleum, Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, the last Khiva Khan Allakulikhan’s Madrasah and Tosh Hovli Palace where was the harem with 40 concubines, Caravanserai and Tim Allakulikhan.

Finish your excursion. Back to the hotel. Free time.

Overnight.

Day 6
Khiva - Kunya Urgench - Darvaza
Morning arrival at border post 'Shavat'.
Drive to Kunya Urgench (UNESCO), take a sightseeing tour. (2-2.5 hours)

Transfer by car to gas crater Darwaza (260 km to the north from Ashgabad, 5 hours). In 1971, geologists accidentally found an underground cavern filled with natural gas.

The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of about 50-100 meters. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, they decided to burn the gas. Geologists had hoped the fire would go out in a few days but it has been burning ever since. Locals have named the cavern The Gate to Hell, and the sight of the crater at night indeed awakens mysterious feelings. 

The views are most impressive in the dark, and an overnight stay in a camp near the crater is a unique experience.

Barbeque dinner and overnight in the camp.

Day 7
Darvaza - Ashgabat

Breakfast at the camp.

Leave the camp and start driving to Ashgabat. (~5 hours)

Meanwhile driving, take a trip to ancient Nissa (18 km from Ashgabad) that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the ruins of the ancient city (the date of foundation of the millennium BC - I millennium BC).

Return to Ashgabad. Visit en-route Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum. It's considered the biggest in Central Asia (10 thousand people). There're beautiful garden and fountains near the mosque. 

Arrival to Ashgabat. Resting time.

Overnight.

Day 8
Ashgabat - Mary - Bukhara
Breakfast in the hotel.
Transfer to the airport.
06:15 Departure to Mary by morning flight.
06:55 Arrival in Mary.
Trip to Gonur Depe (UNESCO) that is a capital temple city of the country Margush. Necropolis of Gonur Tepe holds a lot of mysteries for historians, archaeologists and scientists. 
Upon return to Mary, visit to History museum of Merv region.  
Transfer to border pass 'Alat'. Pass the border.
Meet with a driver on Uzbek side and transfer to Bukhara.
Arrival, check-in, overnight.
Day 9
Bukhara

Breakfast.

09:00 Meet your guide at the hotel's lobby and start WALKING excursion around Bukhara:

– Ensemble Lyabi Hauz (Nadir Divanbegi Madrassa, Khanaka, Kukeldash Madrassa and the monument of Khodja Nasreddin);

– Magoki Attari Mosque is one of the oldest mosques survived in Bukhara from the time before the Mongolian invasion; 

– Abdullakhan’s Tim with numerous handicraft stores offering you souvenirs, ceramics, national clothes, and carpets; 

– Caravanserai Saifuddin (the Center of Handicraft Development of Bukhara);

– There are three trading places or so-called covered bazaars: Toki Sarrofon, Toki Telpak Furushon, and Toki Zargaron preserved from the XVI century. These bazaars were the centers for trade of silk, jewelry and even for money exchange. Today as well, one can enjoy and purchase different souvenirs of a wide range, from small souvenir magnets to the famous Bukhara carpets;

– Visit Ulughbek and Abdulazizkhan Madrassas or so-called Kosh (pare) madrassas standing in front of each other with a distinctive style of facade ornamental decoration;

– Poi Kalon Square with Kalon Minaret and Mosque, Mir Arab Madrassa – the heart of Bukhara, a monumental complex impressing the imagination of every visitor;

- Ark Fortress – the oldest citadel dating back to I century BC where one can feel the history of the great fortress covered in beautiful legends and myths.

Optionally can be added by request: a quick visit to Samanids mausoleum (IX century), a monument of early medieval architecture with a local guide.

Finish your excursion. Back to the hotel.

Overnight.

Day 10
Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Breakfast. Departure to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz by car.

Arrival. Group up with a guide and take an excursion in Shakhrisabz (3-4 hours).

The homeland of Temur the Great, his favourite town and a subject of pride - Shakhrisabz. There is not so much you could sightsee, in comparison with Samarkand, his so-called older brother. But sights of Shakhrisabz are truly unique. 

If you drive to Shakhrisabz from Bukhara - you will have to pass a mountain pass called ‘Takhtakaracha’. The road cafe up there cooking meat probably better than some restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. You can sit on ‘ayvan’, with a piece of mutton shashlik and take lunch while spectating a stunning view of Uzbek nature.

Sights of Shakhrisabz:

- Ak Saray Palace (“White Palace”), the ruins of the summer palace of Tamerlane. The palace was constructed and decorated by deported from conquered Khorezm skillful builders, masters and artisans. Some parts of the gate tower survived to the present day.

- Mausoleum of Dorus-Saodat ("The Place of Power", XIV century) contains the tomb of Eldest and favorite Tamerlane’s son Jahongir.

- Visit Kok Gumbaz, so-called “House of Meditation”

- Mausoleum Gumbazi-Seyidon of XVI century where the descendants of Ulugbek are buried. 

Finish excursion. Continue driving to Samarkand.

Arrival. Hotel check-in.

Overnight.

Day 11
Samarkand
Breakfast.
09:00 Meet with your guide & driver at the hotel's lobby and start excursion in Samarkand:
 – Gur Emir Mausoleum – a burial vault of Timur the Great and his descendants decorated with gold ornaments and considered as one of the most significant places in the world;
  • – Continue to the famous Registan Square – the heart of Samarkand and a real masterpiece of Central Asian medieval architecture consists of three grandiose buildings: Ulughbek Madrassa, Madrassa Sherdor, and Madrassa Tilla Kori.
  • – Bibi Khanim Mosque – the biggest medieval building in the city which was one of the most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world in 15 Century;
  • – Shahi Zinda Necropolis – unique complex of Mausoleums  formed by standing on both sides of the cenotaph (an imaginary grave) belonging to the Muslim person named Saint Abbas ibn-Kussam;
  • – Ulugbek’s Observatory – the finest astronomical centers in the medieval world was built by order of Ulugbek, an outstanding scholar and astronomer;
  • – Samarkand bazaar – Siyab.
  • Finish excursion. Transfer back to the hotel.

    Overnight.

Day 12
Samarkand - Penjikent - Khujand

Breakfast at the hotel. 

08:30 Transfer to the border post Jarteppa, border-crossing formalities: visa/passport control.

Meet the guide and driver at Tajikistan side of the border.

Transfer to Penjikent - an ancient town in Sogdiana and now it is a city in the Sughd province of Tajikistan on Zeravshan River.

  • The Sarazm Important Bird Area (UNESCO World Heritage) lies downstream of the city on the tugay-vegetated floodplain of the river.

  • The archaeological site of the ruins of old Penjikent - a walled inter-city (2500-years ago) - was once a Sogdian trading city on the Silk Road.

  • Transfer to Khujand. 

  • Hotel check-in, overnight.

Day 13
Khujand - Tashkent
Breakfast.
09:00 Meet with a guide & driver in the hotel's lobby and start city tour of Khujand with visiting: 
- Pushkin square with Kamoli Khudjandi Square;
- Timur Malik’s fortress and Sugd museum;
- Muslihiddin memorial complex;
- Panjshanbe bazaar (Khujand’s central market that has many shops offering a different kind of goods and services. The name Panjshanbe comes from Persian language meaning “Thursday”.
Panjshanbe is considered as one of the oldest markets in Tajikistan. The Silk Road which passes Khujand city had always made Panjshanbe to be crowded with traders and tourists).
Finish your excursion. Transfer to Tashkent by car.
The road will take 2.5 hours (165 km)
Arrival in Tashkent. Hotel check-in.
Overnight.
Day 14
Tashkent
Breakfast.
Transfer to the international airport. Departure.
End of the tour. 
Accommodations:

City

Standard

Comfort

Ashgabat

Ak Altyn

Khujand

Guesthouse

Guesthouse

Bukhara

Porso / Asl 

Devon Begi / Sofia / Asia Bukhara / Malika Bukhara

Samarkand

Malika Classic / Bibi Khanum

Dilimah / Grand Samarkand / Emirhan

Tashkent

Shodlik / Uzbekistan

Navruz / Aster Group Hotel / Gloriya / Praga

Almaty

Green Yard

Karagat

Bishkek

Ak Keme

Mary

 

OR OTHER HOTELS OF THE SAME LEVEL

Price of the tour:

Number of participants

Price in Standart

Price in Comfort

1 person

$

$

2-3 persons

$

$

4-5 persons

$

$

6-8 persons

$

$

Single supplement

+$

+$

Tour Price includes:
  • - Accommodation in standard twin - shared rooms;

  • - Meals: breakfast at hotels;

  • - All transfers as per program by comfortable tourist class transport including transfers to-from airport and train stations ;  

  • - English speaking professional licensed  local guides  (5 standard excursions);

  • - Single entry tickets to the sites, museums, mausoleums as per program;

  • - All the train tickets mentioned in the program;

  • - Tourist tax in the hotels per person;

Tour Price does not include:
  • - International/domestic air tickets mentioned in a program;

  • - Photo/video fees (professional camera);

  • - Transport for walking city tours like in Bukhara and Khiva, guide and transport service for free time and after the standard city tours;

  • - Meals: lunches and dinners; 

  • - Personal/travel insurance, portage, tips, personal expenses and other services not specified under “Tour Price Includes”.

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