Uzbekistan: Heart of the Silk Route
- Top Performer
- VIP door to door
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.
With its rich history and incredible landscape, there are plenty of reasons to choose a holiday in Uzbekistan as your next adventure.
9 nights in hotels and 1 in flight
22 meals: 10 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (B) and 9 dinners (D)
Saga tour manager
- Return flights and transfers
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Tourist visa
Included excursions and visits
- Walking tour of historic Khiva
- Khiva folklore show
- Medieval Bukhara guided tour
- Baha-ud-din Naqshband's mausoleum visit
- Bukhara folklore show
- View Registan Square in Samarkand
- Explore the Guri Emir Mausoleum
- See Tamerlane's tomb in Samarkand
- Visit to the ancient Timurid centre of Shakhrisabz
- Sightseeing tour of Tashkent
- Visit to the Museum of Applied Art in Tashkent
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
- Day 1 UK to Tashkent
- Day 2 Tashkent
- Day 3 Tashkent-Urgench-Khiva
- Day 4 Khiva to Bukhara
- Day 5 Bukhara
- Day 6 Bukhara
- Day 7 Bukhara to Samarkand
- Day 8 Samarkand
- Day 9 Shakhrisabz and Samarkand to Tashkent
- Day 10 Tashkent
- Day 11 Tashkent-UK
Day 1 UK to Tashkent
After taking your included VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Tashkent.
Day 2 Tashkent
Arrive in Tashkent early this morning, and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Stay overnight at the 4-star Wyndham Hotel Tashkent (3Q) or similar. The hotel combines Soviet Union-era and Central Asian design, and facilities include a restaurant, cafe, bar, health club with outdoor and indoor pools, fitness area, tennis court and free Wi-Fi. All the spacious rooms have a satellite television, telephone, hairdryer, safety deposit box, minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. B, D
Day 3 Tashkent-Urgench-Khiva
Take an early breakfast before your flight to Urgench, followed by a short drive to Khiva (18 miles, 50 minutes). 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.
Stay overnight at the 4-star Asia Khiva (3Q) or similar. The 127-room, modern hotel is located just outside the city walls. It has a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and a pool bar. Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. All the simply furnished rooms have air conditioning, cable television, a telephone, hairdryer and mini fridge. 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 (285 miles, seven hours).
You'll pause en route for lunch at a cafe continuing to Bukhara, where you stay three nights at the 4-star Asia Bukhara (3Q) or similar. The hotel is a centrally located and traditionally-styled with a restaurant and lobby bar, outdoor swimming pool, and beauty salon. All 95 rooms have air conditioning, cable television, a telephone, hairdryer and mini fridge. Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. 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, followed by a visit to an embroidery workshop and master class.
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, with 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.
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 (161 miles, four hours), where you stay two nights at the 4-star Grand Samarkand (4Q) or similar. Located in the modern city centre, facilities at this hotel include a restaurant and traditional-style tea room – known as a chay-hona. Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. All 39 air-conditioned rooms have a satellite television, telephone, hairdryer and mini fridge.
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 (two hours).
Stay two nights at the 4-star Wyndham Hotel Tashkent (3Q) or similar. The hotel combines Soviet Union-era and Central Asian design, and facilities include a restaurant, cafe, bar, health club with outdoor and indoor pools, fitness area, tennis court and free Wi-Fi. All the spacious rooms have a satellite television, telephone, hairdryer, safety deposit box, minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. 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, perhaps enjoy an optional tour of the opera and ballet theatre before your 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
At the end of your main tour stay a further night at the 4-star Wyndham Hotel Tashkent (3Q) then head into the Fergana Valley for a two-night stay on a half board basis at the 3-star Asia Fergana (3Q).
The hotel has a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, lounge, garden and free Wi-Fi. All rooms have a television, air conditioning, kettle, and safety deposit box.
Explore the Fergana Valley, a crucial part of the northern Silk Road historically linking China and the West, with an included visit to a silk factory.
Return to Tashkent for a further night at the 4-star Wyndham Hotel Tashkent (3Q) and visit the family of an esteemed ceramicist before flying home.
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.
Please note: Departures on a Friday will have an additional night in Khiva during the tour.