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A Travel into History
Uzbekistan tour. Holidays in Uzbekistan with OrexCA.com

A Travel into History Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
Kind of route: airway and motor coach tour
Season: March - October
Accommodation: Single/Double in hotels, overnight in yurts
Tour itinerary: Tashkent - Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara - Khiva - Ayazkala (Republic of Karakalpakistan) - Urgench - Tashkent

Uzbekistan! It is very different - close and distant, hot and tender, windy and chilly, ancient and young...

Located in the center of Central Asia between the Amu Darya (Oxus) and Syr Darya (Jaxartes) Rivers, Uzbekistan has a long and interesting history and a great cultural heritage.

The fabled Silk Road wound its way from China to the Mediterranean and, all along the route, fabulous cities sprang up. Names like Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva have a mystical quality but, as we'll discover on this journey through the heart of Central Asia, their treasures are tangible.

This Uzbekistan holiday takes in the best sites & off-the-beaten-track places along the Great Silk Road, from modern Tashkent with its nightlife to the seemingly endless desert and ruins of old fortresses of the ancient Khorezm - the territory of present Republic of Karakalpakistan.

After visiting several historical cities you will spend a wonderful time in the Ayazkala campsite that is situated in the southern territory of Karakalpakistan at a 30 km distance from the town center of the Ellikkala district. Next door, 500 meters distant, are the fortresses of Big and Small Ayazkalas. Ayazkul Lake lies to the west of the campsite and is about a 1 km distance from it. Its length is 20 km, and in width is 3-5 km. The campsite is surrounded with sands that are convenient for organizing excursions on foot around the Ayazkala Forts, riding camels, resting in the open air under the starry skies, fishing, swimming, and boating along Ayazkul Lake as well.

The tour-package consists of a combination of historical, architectural, cultural and natural components. We also advise you to look through the variety of additions that you can add to the main tour program during your free time based upon your wishes and preferences.

Tour itinerary: Tashkent - Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara - Khiva - Ayazkala (Republic of Karakalpakistan) - Urgench - Tashkent

Day 1:

Evening arrival in Tashkent - the capital of Uzbekistan. Transfer to the hotel and accommodation. Rest after a long flight.

Day 2:

Breakfast. Transfer to Samarkand (315 km, 5 hrs) and hotel accommodation. City tour: Gur Emir Mausoleum - Tamerlan's tomb (14-15th c.) that was built for Temur's grandson Muhammad-Sultan and the tombs of three other Temurids - sons of Temur - Miranshah and Shahruh and his grandson Ulugbek, Ruhabad Mausoleum ("House of Spirit") - the legend says that under the dome there is a box with seven hairs of Prophet Muhammad (14th c.), Registan Square ("A sandy place") - the major square of Samarkand: Ulugbeg Madrassah - Sheikh Khodja Akhrar and poet Djami were among outstanding graduates of the Madrassah (15th c.), Sher-Dor Madrassah ("Having tigers") (17th c.), Tillya-Kari Madrassah ("Coated by gold") - the rich gilding on the dome, walls and mihrab surpassed all other famous buildings in Central Asia (17th c.). The mosque named after Hazret-Hyzr - an Islamic saint and eternal wanderer. He was esteemed as giving richness and good luck in far voyages and trade (19th c.), cathedral mosque Bibi-Khanym that was named after the oldest wife of Tamerlan (14th c.), the architectural complex Shahi-Zinda (Alive king) - necropolis on the slope of the Afrosiab hill is connected with Kusam ibn Abbas - the cousin of Prophet Muhammad (11-15th c). Overnight in the capital of Tamerlane's Empire.

Day 3:

Breakfast. This day you will visit the Siab bazaar, taste the best Samarkand bread and fruits, excavations and museum of the ancient city of Afrosiab, mausoleum of Khodja Daniyar - the legend associates him with Koran' and Biblical prophet Daniyar (Daniel) whose remains were brought here by Tamerlane, the memorial complex of outstanding Sunni theologian Imam Mukhammad al-Bukhari (died in 870) and the biggest observatory of the 15th c. built by Ulugbeg. Free time to spend at leisure. Overnight in one of the most ancient cities in the world.

Day 4:

Breakfast. Transfer to Shakhrisabz - a unique monument of town-planning and architecture (90 km, 1.5 hrs). Shakhrisabz tour: ruins of "Ak-Saray Palace" - Tamerlane's summer residence that shocked the imagination of his contemporaries (14-15th c.), "Jahongir Mausoleum" - the mausoleum of Tamerlane's eldest and favourite son (14th c.), complex "Dor-ut Saodat": "Khazratiy Imam Mosque" - a multi-stage mosque with domical hall with decorated ayvans (14th c.), "Gumbazi-Seiidan" - mausoleum of possible offspring of Temur, "Kok Gumbaz Mosque" ("Blue dome") - which was built by Ulugbek on behalf of his father Shahruh (15th c.). Drive to Bukhara (270 km, 3.5 hrs). Late afternoon arrival in Bukhara and hotel accommodation. Overnight in Bukhara.

Day 5:

Breakfast. City tour: mausoleum of the Samanids - the most ancient brick building in Central Asia, a masterpiece of world architecture (9-10th c.), mausoleum Chashma Ayub, that belongs to the esteemed "places of trace" left by saints (14th c.). The legend says that once the bible prophet Job (Ayub) visited this place. Visit to the museums of Imam Al Bukhari and "The Museum of Water". "Bolo-Houz Mosque" - the only monument of medieval Bukhara (beg. of 20th c.), Ark - the center of Bukhara statehood (4th c. B.C.), silk carpet shops, complex "Poi Kalon" ("Beneath the Great"): "Kalyan Minaret" - the main symbol of sacred Bukhara that symbolized the authority and power of spiritual governors. (12th c.), "Kalyan Mosque"- its area of 130 x 80 m surpasses Bibi-Khanym mosque in Samarkand, "Miri Arab Madrassah" - an active madrassah is one of the most esteemed spiritual Islamic universities (16th c.), "Taki Zargaron" - the dome of jewelers (15-16th cc.), "Ulugbeg Madrassah" - one of the 3 madrassahs constructed by the grandson of Tamerlane - Ulugbeg (15th c.), "Abdulaziz-khan Madrassah" - traditional madrassah with 2 floors of hudjras and a mosque on the central axis ( mid. of 17th c.), Tim of Abdullah-Khan madrassah (1588-1590), atlas shops, "Magoki-Attari Mosque" - the most ancient mosque of Bukhara (12th c.) is considered a masterpiece of Bukhara architecture, "Khanaka and madrassah of Nadir Divan-Beghi" - a massive rectangular structure that was a place for the refuge and meditation of Sufis (17th c.), "Kukeldash Madrassah" (16th c.) - one of the biggest Bukhara madrassah, "Lyabi-Hauz" ensemble - the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara - is very popular among travelers (14-17th cc.), "Chor Minor" ("Four minarets") is an unusual madrassah built by Caliph Niyazkul (18th c.). One of "1000 & 1 nights" in Bukhara.

Day 6:

Breakfast. Tour outside the city: Emir's Summer Residence "Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa" (19th c.), memorial necropolises "Chor Bakr" (10th c.), visit to the Bakhouddin Nakshbandi mausoleum (16-19th cc.), to the sepulchers of his mother and his preceptor (14th c.). Return to Bukhara. Free time for rest and walking through the old streets of Bukhara. Overnight in a quiet and cozy Bukhara hotel.

Day 7:

Breakfast. Transfer to Khiva via the Kizil-Kum desert along the Caravan road (480 km, 8 hrs). Arrival in Khiva - the only "Museum under the open sky" in Central Asia that has been completely preserved up to the present day. Accommodation at a hotel located inside or nearby "Ichan-Qala" - the historical center of Khiva which has been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Free time. Overnight in Khiva.

Day 8:

Breakfast. City tour around the architectural complex Ichan-Qala" - the historical center of Khiva which has been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. City tour around the architectural complex "Ichan-Qala" (12-19th cc.): Kunya-Ark khan's castle - the inner citadel of Ichan-Qala (16-17th cc.), Kalta Minor Tower (Short minaret) that would have become the biggest and tallest minaret in Central Asia (19th c.), Muhammad Amin-Khan - the biggest medieval Madrassah in Khiva (1845-1855 yy.), Djuma Mosque with 212 wooden columns and a minaret 32,5 m height (10th c.), Tash-Hauli (Stone courtyard) palace looking like a fortress with a high battlements, towers and fortified gates (19th c.), Ak-Mosque (White Mosque) - a small quarter mosque by the gates of Palvan-Darvaza (1838-1842), necropolis of Pahlavan Mahmud - the cultic center of Ichan-Qala (1810-1913 yy.), residence of Islam Khodja (1910 y.) - the vizier of the last khan. Ensemble consists of the smallest Madrassah in Khiva and a minaret whose top platform has a height of 45 m and is the highest observation point in town. Afternoon transfer to Ayazkala campsite via the Amu Daria pontoon bridge and Tuprakkala ancient fortress (2-3rd cc). Accommodation in yurts. Walking excursion on foot around the Ayazkala 1 and Ayazkala 2 forts. Dinner around the fire with folklore concert. Resting in the open air under starry skies. Overnight in the Silk Road's traditional style.

Day 9:

Breakfast. In the morning, learn how to ride camels. Excursion to Ayazkul Lake. Fishing, swimming, and boating. Lunch. Return to the yurts. Transfer to Urgench airport (80 km, 1.5 hrs) for evening flight HY 1058 to Tashkent at 21:10. Arrival to Tashkent at 23:15 and hotel accommodation. Overnight in Tashkent.

Day 10:

Breakfast. Transfer to Tashkent Airport for morning flight to next destination, good bye to the wonderful land, back to monotony with the intention of returning.

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