Open your soul towards the worldview visiting capitals and historical cities of Central Asian, have overnight near Darvaza crater and enjoy beautiful Seven lakes of Fann Mountains. If you never heard about Central Asian '-stans' countries before - there is your chance. All of them are same but different - they used to live together but conquerors, exciting region from time to time, divided people into hundreds of different ethnic groups.
Nowadays, they are separate nations, each with its their own culture, heritage and traditions.
And only ancient mausoleums remind you of a period when the whole Asia was united...
- Panfilov Park.The name of the Panfilov Park comes after the heroes of Panfilov. There is a big monument in commemoration of the heroic actions made by 28 Almaty Soldiers who died in 1941 near Moscow.
- Zenkov Cathedral. Zenkov Wooden constructed Cathedral is one of the eight unique wooden buildings in the world. It is one of the few buildings to survive the 1911 earthquake, despite the fact it is built entirely of wood and constructed without nails;
- National Musical Instruments Museum. In the Museum of Musical Instruments, one can find various national musical instruments, the oldest of is dated of XVII century.
- Medeu, the World's largest speed skating rink known as Medeo. At the end of the gorge there is a ski resort Shymbulak, situated at an altitude of 2.200 m above sea level. It is one of Central Asia's top skiing spots where one can take a cable car funicular to Shymbulak Ski resort.
08:30 Transfer to Turkmen – Uzbek Border post Shavat/Dashoguz.
Pass the border. Border passing formalities (passport and visa control might take 1 to 2 hrs depending on the customs formalities). Meet the guide and driver at Turkmen side of the border. Transfer to Kunya – Urgench.
Start sightseeing tour with visiting:
- the founder mausoleum of Sufi sects "Kubra" Nadzhimetdin Kubra (XII-XIII C);
- Mausoleum Arslan II (the oldest building in the city - date of its bookmark is roughly estimated by XI century).
-In the afternoon transfer to Darvaza craterand change from the asphalt road to the Karakum desert track, continue 10 km deep inside.
In 1971 geologists accidentally found an underground cavern filled with natural gas. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn the gas. Geologists hoped the fire would go out in a few days but it has been burning ever since. Locals have named the cavern The Gate - Darwaza. The views are impressive, especially in sunset and night when the mild sunlight and burning crater evoke incredible and ambiguous feelings.
Start WALKING sightseeing program in Bukhara(5-6 hours):
- 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 shops of souvenirs, ceramics, national clothes and carpets;
- Caravanserai Sayfuddin (the Center of Handicraft Development of Bukhara);
- There are three trading domes or so-called covered bazaars Toki Sarrofon, Toki Telpak Furushon and Toki Zargaron preserved from the XVI century and 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 Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan Madrassas or so called Kosh (pare) madrassas opposite each other with distinctive style of facade ornamental decoration;
-Poi Kalon Square with Kalon Minaret and Mosque, Mir Arab Madrassa – the heart of Bukhara, a monumental complex impresses the imagination;
- 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.
Excursion tour in Shakhrisabz includes visiting ( 2 ,5 hrs):
- 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 favourite 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.
Continue to Samarkand. Arrival in Samarkand. Hotel check in.
Gur Emir Mausoleum – a burial vault of Timur the Great and his descendants is decorated with gold ornaments and is considered as one of the most significant sights of the world;
- famous Registan Square – heart of Samarkand and 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 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) of the Muslim saint Abbas ibn- Kussam;
- Ulugbek’s Observatory – the finest astronomical centers in medieval world was built by order of Ulugbek, an outstanding scholar and astronomer;
08:00 Transfer to border Jartepa. Border crossing (it usually takes 30 min- 1 hr).
Meet the guide and driver at Tajikistan part of the border.
Start excursion to Seven lakes.
- Transfer to Marguzor, the famous seven lakes - seven wonderful water mirrors full of mountain riverside drops. Each lake looks different whenever the sun changes its position. Colors may vary from deep blue to indie color ripple. Most of them are cold to swim even in summer. These lakes belong to Fann Mountains system.
On the western edge of the Fan Mountains in the valley of the river Shing there are seven lakes, six of them are dammed origin, beside the lake Hazorchashma. Lakes are called Marguzor, but each of the lakes has its own name: Nezhigon (other references Mizhgon), Soybean, Gushor, Nofin, Hurdak, Marguzor, Hazorchashma. The difference in level between the upper and lower lake - 692 meters.
Transfer to Penjikent to visit:
- Ancient Penjikent - the ruins of the old Sogdian town founded in the 5th century and abandoned in the 8th century by Arabs. The ruins were once a citadel with a couple of Zoroastrian fire temples, foundation of the houses.
- The Sarazm Important Bird Area (UNESCO World Heritage) lies downstream of the city on the tugay-vegetated floodplain of the river.
Transfer to the hotel.
Resting time in the evening. Overnight in guesthouse near lakes.
- Located in the northern foothills of the Turkistan mountain range, 78 km southwest from Khudjand , Istaravshan is one of the most ancient cities of Tajikistan (more than 2500 years) ancient name Cyropolis founded by Cyrus the Great in 544 BC as a boarding fort of Achaemenid Empire.
During the Soviet era, the city was known as Ura-Tyube.
- Continue to Khujand, the second largest city and one of the oldest cities in Tajikistan, the furthest point Alexander the Great reached in Central Asia, so the city was named Alexandria Eschate (Alexandria the Furthest). Sightseeing tour on arrival:
- Pushkin square with Kamoli Khudjandi Square;
- Timur Malik’s fortress and Sugd museum;
- Muslihiddin memorial complex;
- Panjshanbe bazaar (the name Panjshanbe comes from Persian language meaning “Thursday”). Panjshanbe is one of the oldest markets in Tajikistan.
- Arbob palace.
Afternoon border crossing BP Oybek to Uzbekistan (takes about 30 min-1 hr), meet the driver at Uzbekistan side of the border. Transfer to Tashkent (appr. 2 hrs drive).
Resting time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Start sightseeing tour of Tashkent (5 hrs) visiting old and new parts of the city:
- Amir Timur Square founded in 1882 and originally called Konstantinovsky Square was renamed in 1994 after Amir Temur to honor the cultural and historical contribution of the great conqueror.
- Tashkent chimes, one of major symbols of Tashkent, were brought from defeated Koenisberg in 1945 as a sign of the great victory and eternal glory of patriots who fought in World War II.
- Theatre Square with the Opera House: State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Uzbekistan named after Alisher Navoi builit in 1947 is one of the best opera theatres of the world performs both classical and national repertoires.
- Independence Square, the main square of Uzbekistan. There are fountains, the “Eternal flame" in honor of soldiers of World War, arch " Good and noble aspiration" crowned with birds of happiness and prosperity, road "Ok Yul" leading to Independence Monument and a monument to Happy Mother symbolizing the hope for a great future.
- Earthquake Memorial, the composition is devoted to the tragic date of earthquake in Tashkent on April 26, 1966 and is erected in the approximate place of earthquake epicenter. Residents still come to the monument to honor those people who took a part in the reconstruction of Tashkent;
- 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 (original Quran Othman). Khast Imam is one of the most significant spiritual centers in Central Asia and attracts the pilgrims and visitors all over the world.
Transfer to the hotel.
Resting time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.