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Two exotic stans and exciting destinations on The Great Silk Road
Combined Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan tour #1

Two exotic stans and exciting destinations on The Great Silk Road Duration: 11 days, 10 nights
Kind of route: airway, motor coach tour
Season: year-round
Accommodation: Double / Twin in hotels
Tour itinerary: Ashgabat - Mary - Merv - Ashgabat - Dashoguz - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

Tourism has exploded in this region during the last decade, and Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan represent the most popularly combined destination for travel to the post-Soviet part of Central Asia, especially for tourists from Europe, USA, Australia and travellers from other foreign countries. Both countries represent very similar climatic conditions (continental climate), which make combined travel to these two countries a sensible choice. At the same time, both countries offer different experiences, both in terms of historical sites as well as landscapes and culture (Turkmens being from tribal origin, while Uzbeks are of settled tribal origin), which makes for a diverse variety of tour options.

Both states have a fairly developed tourism infrastructure, are politically stable and are virtually crime-free. However, after obtaining independence in 1991 each country choose its own way of development. Tourists will witness the difference in the modern way of life in cities and towns and, at the same time, observe a lot of similarities in culture and traditions of ordinary people living in rural areas. Travellers will experience unique features of Central Asian Muslims like religious tolerance, absence of strict formality in dress, and their hospitable, foreigner-friendly attitude.

The starting and final points of the tour – the capitals Ashgabat and Tashkent - are good places to relax and spend time walking on shady and clean streets, enjoy parks and fountains, restaurants and entertainment. But along the main tour’s routes, in the boundless desert areas, during your drives between towns, you will be excited by untouched nature and impressive landscapes, big rivers and small riverine oases. In historical places you will be mesmerized by remains of ancient civilizations and well-preserved masterpieces of medieval architecture – from Old Nissa, your first historical discovery near Ashgabat - to the Blue Domes of Samarkand, a highlight of your travel. At every city you will be able to visit Oriental bazaars where you can shop for tasty fruit and fine handmade items. But the most exiting experience remains the ultimate hospitality of people living here.

This route is a comfortable and logically constructed journey, without unnecessary detours or doubled returns to already visited places. In case you wish to extend you travel it is possible to add extensions as to Mary (Merv), Darwaza gas crater, Nohur mountain settlement, Damla desert community, the Caspian Sea or the Yangikala Canyons in Turkmenistan, or to Nukus and Khoresm fortresses, Charvak-Chimgan mountains and Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan.

Tour itinerary: Ashgabat - Mary - Merv - Ashgabat - Dashoguz - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

Day 0 (Sun.): Departure to Ashgabat
Departure to Ashgabat by flight TK 322 at 21:25 or TK 324 at 23:35.

Day 1 (Mon.): Ashgabat - arrival
Arrival to Ashgabat at 04:00 or 06:10. Meeting at the Airport in Ashgabat. Transfer to the hotel. Check in and overnight at the hotel. Free time for rest after a long flight.

Day 2 (Tue.): Ashgabat
Breakfast. Ashgabat city tour.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight at the hotel.

Monument of Independence, Ashgabat Turkmen girls Ertogrul Gazi mosque

Day 3 (Wed.): Ashgabat - Mary - Merv - Ashgabat
Early breakfast. Morning Flight to Mary. Excursion to Ancient Merv. Return to Mary. Continue to airport to have domestic flight to Ashgabat. Arrival to Ashgabat.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

  • Erk Kala;
  • Gyaur Kala;
  • Sultan Kala;
  • Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar;
  • Mausoleum of Ibn Zaid;
  • The remains of Castle - fortresses "Keshk";
  • Tombs of Guifari and Bureida;
  • Museum of History.

Overnight at the hotel.

Erk & Giaur Gala.Merv Large Gyz Gala in Old Merv Soltan Sanjar mausoleum in Old Merv Ice House in Old Merv Merv

Day 4 (Thu.): Ashgabat - Dashoguz - Kunya Urgench - border point Dashoguz - Khiva
Early breakfast. Morning flight to Dashoguz. Arrival to Dashoguz, drive to Kunya Urgench. City tour. Return drive to Dashoguz. Transfer to Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point. Border formalities on both sides. On Uzbekistan side meet the driver and drive to Khiva - the only "Museum under the open sky" in Central Asia that has been completely preserved up to the present day. Arrival to Khiva, check in to the hotel, located inside or nearby Ichan-Qala - the historical center of Khiva which has been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight at the hotel.

An old Turkmen Mausoleum of Sultan Il Arslan

Day 5 (Fri.): Khiva
Breakfast in the hotel. City tour around the architectural complex Ichan-Qala (12-19th cc.). Ensemble consists of the smallest madrassah in Khiva and a minaret whose top platform has a height of 45m and is the highest observation point in town. Free time.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight in Khiva.

Ichan-Qala Kalta-Minor Minaret Islam-Khodja Madrassah and Minaret Djuma Mosque itizens of Khiva in national costumes

Day 6 (Sat.): Khiva - Bukhara
Breakfast. Coach trip to Bukhara via Kizil-Kum desert along Caravan road (480 km, 5-7 hrs). Arrival to Sacred Bukhara - one of the most esteemed cities of Islamic civilization. Hotel accommodation. Free time for rest and walking through the old streets of Bukhara. One of the "1000 and 1 nights" in Bukhara.

Day 7 (Sun.): Bukhara
Breakfast. City tour.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight in a quiet and cozy Bukhara hotel.

Ark fortress Chor-Minor Madrassah In Kalyan Mosque Bukhara travel Mausoleum of Samanids

Day 8 (Mon.): Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand
Breakfast. Transfer to Samarkand via Shakhrisabz - a unique monument of town-planning and architecture (270 km, 3.5 hrs). Shakhrisabz tour. The Golden Road to the historical town of Samarkand - a crossroad of the world's cultures, one of the most ancient cities in the world (90 km, 1.5 hrs). Hotel accommodation and free time.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight in the city that is a contemporary of ancient Rome and has a history of more than 2500-years.

Ak-Saray palace Observation deck on top of Ak-Saray palace Shakhrisabz people Kok Gumbaz Mosque Amir Temur monument

Day 9 (Tue.): Samarkand
Breakfast. City tour.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight in the capital of Tamerlane's Empire.

Gur-Emir Mausoleum Registan square Samarkand women Shahi-Zinda necropolis Electric car on the Walking street

Day 10 (Wed.): Samarkand - Tashkent
Breakfast. Drive to Tashkent (315 km, 5 hrs). Arrival to Tashkent at 11:25. City tour.
Sightseeing you explore this day:

Overnight in Tashkent.

Ulugbek Observatory Ulugbek Observatory Tashkent TV Tower and Memorial to the Victims of Repression Chorsu bazaar Tashkent people

Day 11 (Thu.): Tashkent
Early transfer to Tashkent Airport for morning flight to Istanbul (TK 371 at 04:20).
Depart Uzbekistan with sweet memories and the longing to return again!

We hope you like the program and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the complete satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements.

You can alter the duration of your tour and places of visit by adding one of our extensions. Our tour operator will work closely with you or your travel agent to carefully prepare an itinerary based on your stated interests.

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