Each country has its own decorating style - Turkmenistan architects loved to paint everything in gold, Uzbeks loved to express their love to God through blue & sky-blue colors. Tajikistan people love golden tones as well but in modest way - they decorate only several parts of holy places with it.
Shining Ashgabat, silent blue'ish Samarkand, sandy Bukhara, elder Termez and smiling Ferghana - those cities are unforgettable and remember history that happened dozens of centuries ago.
Come out of the terminal to meet the driver and guide at the meeting zone.
- Visit to Savitsky Museum exhibiting a unique collection of antiques of Khorezm and Karakalpak, Uzbek fine arts and second largest collection of Russion avant- garde works after Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg.
The founder of the museum, Igor Savitsky devoted his life to piece-by-piece collecting of finest works of modern artists of Uzbekistan and Russian avant-gardists. In 70 s it was quite risky to become anti-Soviet propagandist. During perestroika and first years since Uzbekistan independence, the museum earned the world recognition and deserved rightfully the must see sight status in Central Asia.
- Transfer to Muynak via beautiful Red Canions with beautiful and unusual Martian landscape. Arrival in Muynak city that used to be one of the richest city in the delta of Amu-darya,”the gates to Uzbekistan from the sea”. Nowadays there is only cemetery of Aral Sea ships.
08:30Transfer 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).
- 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 - Darvaza. 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 Ulughbek 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.
09:00Transfer to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz through bautiful Takhta- Karacha pass.
Pjoto stops en-route to enjoy breathtaking mountain views.
Meet the guide in Shahrisabz.
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.
Resting time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
- 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;
- Continue to the famous Registan Square – heart of Samarkand and real masterpiece of Central Asian medieval architecture, the ensemble of 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;
08:30 Transfer to border Jartepa. Border crossing (it usually takes 30 min- 1 hr).
Meet the guide and driver at Tajikistan part 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.
Start sightseeing tour in Penjikent visiting:
- 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. Today, only ruins are left owing to the fact that the main construction material was clay-bricks.
- 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.
Overview sightseeing in Istaravshan visiting:
- Mazori Sharif mausoleum;
- Kog Gumbaz madrasa (16 century);
- Kuhi Mug, the ruins of ancient fortress.
Continue to Khujand , the second largest city and one of the oldest cities in Tajikistan.
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).
- 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.
09:00 Transfer to teh border port Patar/Andarhan.Border crossing usually takes 30 min- 1 hr.
Meet the guide and driver at Uzbekistan part of the border.
Transfer to Kokand and start sightseeing tour around Fergana Valley.
Kokand(mentioned as Khavakand or Kokan derived from a tribal name) is an ancient city that due to favorable location was one of the convenient fortified points of caravan routes in the Great Silk Road.
Nowadays, Kokand is a modern town at the crossroads of Tashkent, Fergana valley to Andijan and the other route to Khujand (Tajikistan) and is considered as one of the most important pre-border points.
Start sightseeing tour around Kokand visiting:
- Khudoyar-Khan Palace of 19 century is listed in the world heritage of UNESCO, at present days houses Kokand Regional History Museum that exibits a unique collection of more than 3000 artefacts from ancient, khanate and tsarist periods of the region.
- Norbut-Biy Madrassah, the largest madrassa in Kokand. The madrassa was built in XVIII century by captured architects as well as the famous Bukharian architect Usto Muhammed Salih Kasim , so the design and construction is quite typical to some monuments of XVIII Century in Bukhara.
- Modari Khan Mausoleum (Modari-khan means “ Mother of Khan”) was built in 1825 by order of the widow of Umarkhan, famous poetess Nodira to honor the tomb of her mother-in-law. Since then the mausoleum became the family mausoleum where most of the female members of khan family were buried.
- Rishton (50 km west of Fergana) famous all over the world for its pottery that is decorated according to ancient tradition that is more than 800 years. Masters hand down their trade secrets from father to son. The unique red clay ceramic masterpieces are decorated with naturally made ultramarine, turquoise and azure ornaments known as blue glaze "ishkor",
- Workshop of the famous potter Rustam Umarov where visitors are welcome to observe the finest Rishtan ceramics in wonderful hand made and painted tea sets and lagans and beautifully decorated jugs and vases.
- Fergana is a relatively young city that was founded as a strategic fortified point in Turkestan in 1876 during tsarist period of the region. The town was initially called as New Margilan, further in soviet period renamed as Fergona in 1924. Nowadays, Fergana is a flourishing beautiful town and despite its young history became the central point of Fergana valley.
- Visit Ahmad Al-Fargoni monumental complex;
- Continue to Margilan. Margilan (“Marg” from Persian green grass, “lon”- “place“) was inhabited settlement in Fergana valley since IV-III Centuries BC, the town was well known for its crafts and finest silk fabrics from the Great Silk Road period up to now.
- Silk factory Yodgorlik where visitors are welcome to observe the process of silk manufacture with traditional decoration “ikat”.
Transfer to Tashkent via Kamchik pass, a mountain pass that is on strategically important trade route connecting Osh (Kyrgyzstan) – Andijan (Uzbekistan) and pass through Namangan region, Fergana valley to Tashkent. The beautiful views open in the mountains, take a photo stop and enjoy the fresh air.
Arrival in Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel.
Resting time in the late afternoon/evening. Overnight.
Start sightseeing tour of Tashkent (5 hrs) visiting old and new parts of the city:
- Amir Timur Squarefounded 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.