07:30Departure for Samarkand by tourist train “Afrosiab”/” Sharq”.
09:38Arrival in Samarkand.
Come out of the terminal and meet the guide and driver at the meeting zone.
Start sightseeing program in Samarkand (6 hours):
- 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 (imaginary grave)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;
10:00 Transfer to Samarkand, en- route visiting famous Gijduvan pottery workshop where visitors are welcome for a tour around the workshop and observe the process of ceramic making and painting.
The owners demonstrate the stages of making ceramics from turning the potter’s wheel to making paints from natural ingredients, decorating the ceramics in a distinctive style, drying and firing. Take a tour around the museum-hall of ceramic masterpieces with a unique collection of the ceramic items of Gijduvan and other regions of Uzbekistan.
By request, a master-class of painting ceramics, suzani embroidery and traditional bread baking. Continue to Bukhara.
Arrival in Bukhara in the afternoon, check in the hotel.
Resting time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
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.
09:00 Transfer to Darwaza with sightseeing en-route visiting
- Anau mosque ruins of 15 Century and Anau culture remains of the Bronze Age in the suburban area of Ashgabat;
- Ahalteke horse stables, where you will have an opportunity to see the most beautiful horses in the world. Archeologists and historians proved that horses were handled on the territory of Turkmenistan minimum five thousand years ago. The specialists note that foothill lands of Kopetdag made favorable ecological conditions for the birth of strapping and wanton horses.
- In the afternoon transfer to Darwaza crater and 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.
-Visit to Savitsky Museum ( guideless) 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 Khiva. The road will take ~ 4 hours (202 km) en- route photo stops at the ruins of fortresses of ancient Khorezm.
-Ayaz-kala and Toprak-kala, the fortresses of Kushan period of Ancient Khorezm that used to be mighty border forts protecting the residents from raids of nomadic tribes. The forts were built in ~4-7th century BCE, during the ages when Khorezm achieved its independence. The fortresses are located on the hills quite close to each other and visitors are welcome to have a short overview tour in the monumental forts that currently are drowning in sands.
Arrival in Khiva. Check-in the hotel.
Resting time in the afternoon/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 of the 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 theatre of the world performs both classical and national repertoires.
- Independence Square , the main square of Uzbekistan reflects the past, present and future of the country. There are fountains , the “Eternal flame" in honor of soldiers who died during the Second World War, arch " Good and noble aspiration" crowned with birds of happiness and prosperity, road "Ok Yul" (“Good way”) leading to Independence Monument and a monument to Happy Mother that symbolize 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.
- Chorsu bazaar – the ancient bazaar of Tashkent. “Chorsu” means “four waters”, symbolically meaning the conjunction of four major parts of old city in bazaar where people come for trades.
Tashkent Metro (the first line was launched in 1977) with beautiful train stations each decorated in thematic style with traditional ornaments and special lightning.