An open-air museum full of archectectural gems, it contains the last Emir of Uzbekistan's fort.
Discover the desert city at Khiva's ancient heart, Itchan Kala which is surrounded by an impenetrable wall and is perfect for exploring on foot.
Explore the birthplace of the Timurid Empire and one of the largest Muslim palace of its time.
Uzbekistan's modern capital boasts large tree-lined boulevards that lend it a European air.
Tours Pace 2
Uzbekistan: Heart of the Silk Route
Uzbekistanfrom £2,049 per person 10 2 Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required
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Turquoise domes, towering minarets and more…
Embark on an eastern adventure to the exotic cities of Uzbekistan, an historic crossroads on the Great Silk Route's path across Central Asia. Explore the ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent where towering minarets, glazed arches and gleaming turquoise domes etch the skyline, and travel across deserts little changed since the days of Genghis Khan, the mighty khanate states and the Soviet Union.
23 meals: 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 9 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch and additional cancellation rights on overseas holidays for over 50s, or a price reduction if not required (cover is subject to medical questions)
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK
Excursions and visits
- Walking tour of historic Khiva
- Medieval Bukhara guided tour
- Baha-ud-Din Naqshband's mausoleum visit
- Visit Samarkand's Museum of Afrosiyab
- See Tamerlane's tomb in Samarkand
- Visit to the ancient Timurid centre of Shakhrisabz
- Sightseeing tour of Tashkent
Day 1 UK to Tashkent
After taking Saga’s included UK VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Tashkent.
Day 2 Tashkent-Urgench-Khiva
Have an late breakfast at the hotel before flying to Urgench and transferring to Khiva for two nights at the locally rated 3-star Asia Khiva or a similar hotel. B, D
Please note: some departures will stay overnight in Tashkent, with just one night in Khiva. Departures on a Friday will have an additional night in Tashkent before the tour.
Day 3 Khiva
Today's included morning walking tour will reveal Khiva's inner fortress, Itchan Kala, an architectural treasure trove of carefully restored mud-walled monuments. Highlights include the Ismail Khodja Mausoleum, the 16th-century Kunya-Ark Castle and 19th-century Muhammed Amin Khan Madrassah. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and dinner with a folk show at the 19th-century Kibla Tozabog, the summer residence of the Khiva Khans, or at an alternative venue between November and March. B, L, D
Day 4 Khiva to Bukhara
A long day's journey will take you across the Kyzyl-Kum or Red Desert, a route that once took camel caravans laden down with silk, spices and other exotic goods a month to make. You'll pause en route for a packed lunch before continuing to Bukhara, where you stay three nights at the locally rated 4-star Asia Bukhara or a similar hotel. B, L, D
Day 5 Bukhara
A centre of trade and education for more than 2,000 years, Bukhara is the best example of a medieval city in Central Asia. Seek out its key sights on an included three-quarter day walking tour of its old town, including the 10th-century Samanids Mausoleum. Later this afternoon, perhaps visit the 15th to 16th-century domed bazaars where merchants still ply their trade. Look forward to an included dinner at a local guest house, including a class on Bukharian cuisine. B, D
Day 6 Bukhara
Journey beyond the heart of the city today to the magnificent 16th to 19th-century Naqshbandi Mausoleum, built for the founder of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, on an included morning tour. Beautiful blue-glazed tiles adorn the facade of this domed, multi-arched masterpiece. Also visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, Sitorai-Mokhi-Hossa, a reminder of Uzbekistan's era of Russian rule. Enjoy an embroidery masterclass, then this evening stroll through the atmospheric streets of Bukhara to a local restaurant for an included dinner and a folk and fashion show. B, D
Day 7 Bukhara to Samarkand
After breakfast, relax on a morning coach journey to Samarkand where you stay two nights at the locally rated 4-star Grand Samarkand or a similar hotel. This afternoon, join an included visit to the Afrosiyab Museum before dinner at a local restaurant. B, D
Day 8 Samarkand
Admire the colourful mosaics, blue domes and lofty arches of Registan Square on today's included tour. This grand plaza is bordered on three sides by a group of splendid structures spanning the 14th to 16th centuries, built by the Timurid dynasty. Afterwards enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. B, D
Day 9 Shakhrisabz and Samarkand to Tashkent
This morning, travel through the Tahta-karacha Pass to Shakhrisabz to discover 14th to 15th-century Timurid mosques, mausoleums and the ruined gateway of Ak-Saray Palace. Enjoy a taste of local cuisine during an included lunch at a guest house before returning to Samarkand for the two-hour Afrosiab high-speed train journey to Tashkent. Stay two nights at the locally rated 4-star Lotte City Palace or a similar hotel. B, L, D
Day 10 Tashkent
Explore modern Tashkent on an included sightseeing tour, and visit the Museum of History, the Museum of Applied Art and the Khast-Imam complex. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B, D
Day 11 Tashkent-UK
Enjoy the morning at leisure before your return flight to the UK and your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B
Day 1: Tashkent
At the end of your main tour stay a further night at the locally rated 4-star Lotte City Palace or similar hotel, as detailed in the main itinerary. D
Day 2: Tashkent to Fergana (approximately 375 kilometres/about five hours)
After breakfast travel by car to Fergana, enjoying the views as you make your way through the Kamchik mountain pass and into the vast plains of the valley. Arrive in Kokand where you'll be given a tour of the opulent palace of Khudayar Khan, the Juma Mosque and Necropolis of Modarikhan. Continue to Rishtan where you'll be invited into Rustam Usmanov's pottery workshop to see how the region's distinctive glazed earthenware is created, then head to Fergana city where you stay two nights at the locally rated 3-star Asia Fergana or Club 7. B D
Day 3: Fergana
Today's tour will take you to Margilan, which was once at the crossroads of trade caravans between China and the West. Since the 10th century it has been renowned for its fine silks, and you'll have the chance to see how the khan-atlas is woven and dyed by hand using ancient methods with a visit to a silk factory. B D
Day 4: Fergana to Tashkent
After breakfast make your way back to the capital where you spend a final night at the Lotte City Palace or similar. There will be time to visit the family of an esteemed ceramicist before returning to the hotel for dinner. B D
Day 5: Tashkent to the UK
Enjoy the morning at leisure before travelling to the airport early in the afternoon for your return flight home. B
Your sightseeing tours will sometimes involve a fair amount of walking and standing. There may be up to 60 steps and you will often be on uneven ground, so please remember to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
Uzbekistan is a unique and rewarding destination but you will find that the tourism infrastructure and local cuisine can sometimes be quite basic. It is advisable to carry toilet tissues and wet wipes with you on excursions. If you enjoy a cup of tea, while is plentiful here it tends to be green or black and weakly brewed and so you may wish to bring some tea bags for use at breakfast time or in your hotel room. Kettles may be provided in rooms, though they are often not put on obvious display, but hidden away in a wardrobe or drawer. If there is no kettle in your room hotels are usually very happy to send up a pot of hot water if you want to make your own tea, but don’t forget to ask for a cup too!
Due to limited accommodation during peak travel seasons, we are only able to confirm which 3Q-rated hotels you’ll be staying on arrival. Whether staying in a traditional or modern establishment, you will find that all hotels are comfortable. However, beds in Uzbekistan are not usually made with a top sheet, and so you may find it folded on top instead. Traditionally, they only provide one pillow, so you may wish to pack a travel pillow, as well as your favourite toiletries, such as shampoo and shower gel. Hotel bathrooms are pleasant and clean, but be advised that walk-in showers are few, showers tend to be placed above the bath. Wi-Fi in most hotels in Uzbekistan is normally complimentary.
Safety deposit boxes tend to be in short supply and so if you need to hide away any valuables, you may have to share a box with someone else on the trip.