A trip to ancient cities of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is the best tour for those who are interested in the culture and history of Central Asia. Enjoy your visit to such famous cities as Samarkand, Bukhara, Ashgabat and Kunya Urgench.
Arrival in Tashkent. Our driver will meet you holding a sign 'ANUR TOUR' with your name on it. Transfer to the hotel. Meet with our staff to discuss all the details of tour.
Resting time. Overnight.
09:00 Meet with a guide & driver in the hotel's lobby. Start excursion in Tashkent (5-6 hrs) visiting old and new parts of it:
– 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 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;
– 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.
Finish your excursion. Transfer back to the hotel.
Tashkent - Samarkand
Transfer to the railway station.
Departure to Samarkand by train 'Afrosiyob'.
Arrival. Meet your guide & driver at the station. Transfer to the old part of Samarkand and start your excursion (6-7 hours):
– 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;
Departure to Bukhara by car via Shakhrisabz.(320 km) 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 your excursion. Walk back to your driver and continue the way to Bukhara.
Arrival in Bukhara. Transfer to the hotel.
09:00 Meet your guide in the hotel's lobby. Head over to the old part of Bukhara and start your walking excursion:
– 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. Free time. Overnight.
Bukhara - Khiva
Breakfast. Free time till mid P.M.
Transfer to the railway station of Khiva.
Departure to Khiva by train or car.
Arrival. Meet with our driver and transfer to the hotel. Leisure.
Start walking excursion in the historical part of Khiva – the largest Museum in the open air in Central Asia (6-7 hours)
- Ichan-kala (translated as “Inner town”). Ichan-kala - the largest Museum in the open air in Central Asia consisting from the next monuments:
Transfer from Khiva to the airport of Urgench (~ 5 hours) via Ayaz-kala sight. Short stop-by it.
Arrival in Nukus. Transfer to the hotel.
Nukus - Aral Sea
09:00 Meet with a guide in the hotel's lobby and take a small tour around Nukus, visiting the Savitsky Museum and main sights of Nukus.
Finish your excursion. Drive to the Aral Sea coast. (~5-6 hours)
Arrival to the yurt camp.
Aral Sea - Nukus - Muynak
Breakfast in the yurt camp. Sightseeing excursion of the Aral Sea and taking photos time.
Transfer back to Nukus through Muynak. Arrival, meet with a guide and start the excursion. (~2-3 hours)
Muynak is a town that once was a seaport, a living symbol of Aral Sea catastrophe. In 1960x years it was hard to reach Muynak by car or bus. The sea was so big and citizens of Muynak had their life and work.
But the government decided otherwise. In one early morning people of Muynak found out that waterline has moved 6~ meters away. ‘Maybe, just a seasonal low tide,’ - they thought.
But the sea has never returned.
Nowadays, Muynak has lost 70% of its population. Not only because of a gone sense to evolve and work, but also because of the dust coming up from dried sea bottom. Its filled with pesticides and salt washed away from the cotton fields. Salt is everywhere. Sand & dust are everywhere.Even the sunshine is hard to see through it.
Arrival in Muynak. Meet with a guide and take the excursion to the Museum of Aral Sea, the Monument of Awaiting Mother, abandoned pier and the Cemetery of Ships.
Off-road sightseeing objects: Reunion Island, previously belonged to USSR army, soviet military base, Old Believers' cemetery with a village of repressed victims of Stalin, cafe ‘Muynak’ with very tasty yet salty dishes.
Finish your excursion.
Transfer back to Nukus, check-in the hotel. Overnight.
Nukus - Khojeyli - Darbaza
Meet with a driver in the hotel's lobby and start driving to the border pass Hojeyli between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The whole road might take up to 4 hours . Please, be aware of slow visa checking-out process on the Turkmen side.
Pass the border and meet with the Turkmen driver. Transfer to Kunya Urgench.
Arrival. Meet with a guide and start sightseeing tour in Kunya Urgench (3-4 hours) with visiting: the founder mausoleum of Sufi sects "Kubra" Nadzhimetdin Kubra (XII-XIII centuries); the mausoleum of Mongolian princess Torebeg-Hanym (XII-XIV centuries); minaret Mamun (X-XI centuries); minaret Kutlug-Timur (XII-XIV c, the highest minaret in Central Asia - 67m height); mausoleum Kyrkmolla (II in BC - III A.D.); mausoleum Arslan II (the oldest building in the city - date of its bookmark is roughly estimated by XI century).
Finish your excursion.
Transfer by car to gas craterDarwaza(260 km North from Ashgabad).
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, it was decided to burn the gas. Locals have named the cavern The Gate to Hell, and the sight of the crater at night indeed gives a somewhat spooky feel.
The views are most impressive in the dark, and an overnight stay in tents near the crater is a unique experience, especially when accompanied by a barbeque dinner.
Overnight in the tent camp.
Darbaza - Ashgabad
Breakfast at the camp.
Leave the camp and start driving to Ashgabat. (~5 hours)
Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Ashgabad - Mary
09:00 Meet with a guide & driver in the hotel's lobby and start city tour with visits to Ertogrul Gazy Mosque, Independence Park with Monument of Independence (it's a 118m column that consider the highest building in the country), Neutrality Arch - an unique composition that rotates slowly after the sun. Visiting National Museum, where you can see more than 166 unique exposition from Ancient Merv and Nissa.
A trip to ancient Nissa (18km from Ashgabad) that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the ruins of the ancient city (the date of foundation of the I millennium BC - I millennium BC). Return back to Ashgabad. Visit en-route Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum. It's considered the biggest in Central Asia (10 thousands of people). There're beautiful garden and fountains near the mosque.
Finish your excursion. Transfer to the airport.
Departure flight to Mary. (~40 mins)
Arrival. Meet with our driver and transfer to the hotel.
Mary - Ashgabad
09:00 Meet with a guide & driver in the hotel's lobby and take a 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.Excursion to Ancient Merv (UNESCO). Discover historical park with: Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Mohammed bin Said Mausoleum, medieval castles – “Kesk” fortresses (6-7 centuries) and others.
Finish excursion. Return to Mary.
Transfer to the border post 'Farab' for border crossing. Please, be aware of slow visa checking-out process on the Turkmen side.
Pass the border.
Meeting in Uzbekistan with our driver, transfer to Bukhara.
Arrival, hotel check-in.
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.
Departure flight to your home destination country.
Check-in 14.00, checkout time 11.00. No early check in, late check out are included, unless indicated.
• Please note that the drivers do not speak English or can speak only basic English.
• All the changes in the basic itinerary, timing for transfers depending the international flights departure/arrival time are to be discussed and pre-agreed with Tour Operator
• Train tickets are booked/bought as per the actual schedule and train tickets availability. Please note that the train trip/s MIGHT be replaced for transfer/s by car depending on train tickets availability and trains schedule.