Visit the most magnificent cities of the
ancient Silk Road with Islamic expert
Diana Driscoll. These include Uzbekistan’s
second largest city, Samarkand, built
by the infamous 14th-century Emperor
Tamerlane; the medieval city of Bukhara,
with its dazzling blue mosaic domes;
the jade-green city of Khiva; and
Nukus, which once protected Savitsky’s
collection of Russian avant-garde art
from the Soviets.
View more climate information & imperial units
Board the overnight flight from London Heathrow
to Tashkent with Uzbekistan Airways. (N)
Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to Hotel Grand
Mir (or similar) for a rest. After an introductory
lecture and welcome lunch, visit the house of
Ural Tansykbaev who studied with Russian
painters in 1920s Tashkent. In the afternoon,
fly to Nukus and overnight at Hotel Jipek Joli (or
similar). (B, L)
Morning tour of the Karakalpakstan State
Museum of Art, which houses the collection of
Igor Savitsky, who secreted away thousands
of Russian avant-garde and post avant-garde
paintings during the Stalinist Soviet period.
Besides this rare and extensive collection of art
(second only to St Petersburg), he also collected
thousands of Uzbek artefacts, textiles and
jewellery. Tour the museum with a director (subject to availability).
En route to Khiva, stop at Chilpak to see the
fourth-century Zoroastrian Tower of Silence and
the medieval Mizdakhkan necropolis, which sits
on the ruins of a Zoroastrian citadel. Stay for 2
nights at Hotel Asia Khiva (or similar). (B)
Full-day tour of the old walled city of Khiva,
capital of Khorezm between the 16th and
20th centuries, and one of the most remote
of the Silk Road cities. Visits include the Kunya
Ark (old fortress), the original residence of the
Khiva khans; the beautiful decorated Tash Hauli
(stone palace); the Friday mosque; and several
madrasas (theological colleges), which now
house museum collections. (B)
Transfer to Urgench airport and take a flight to
Bukhara. Upon arrival visit the Persian Samanid
brick mausoleum and the imposing Ark (fortress)
of the Bukhara Emirs. Afternoon at leisure. Stay at
Hotel Omar Khayam (or similar) for 4 nights. (B)
Take a full-day walking tour of Bukhara,
visiting the Kalon mosque and minaret, several
madrasas, traditional Bukharan bazaars and
the architectural ensemble around the Lyab
i-Hauz pool, fed by the waters of the royal
canal. Continue down the narrow streets of old
Bukhara to the old Jewish quarter. See one of
the city’s hidden gems, the Jewish synagogue,
which houses a collection of ancient torahs
dating back about 600 years. (B)
Morning visits to the Chor Minor, a curious four-towered
gatehouse; the Balyand neighbourhood
mosque, a jewel of 16th-century architecture;
and Sitora-i Mokhi-Khosa, the summer palace
of the last Emir of Bukhara. Continue to the
Fayzulla Khodjaev Museum, where you can see
the daily life of a Bukhara merchant in the early-20th century. Afternoon at leisure. (B)
Drive along the royal road to the imposing 11th-century
Rabat i-Malik caravanserai (a trading
route stop-off). Continue to Gidjuvan, renowned
for its traditional ceramics. Return to Bukhara
via Vabkent to see the decorated minaret
commissioned in the 12th century by one of the
rulers of Bukhara. (B)
Drive to Shahrisabz, birthplace of Tamerlane,
where he built an enormous palace, of which
part of the beautifully ornamented audience
chamber remains. See Tamerlane’s family
burial ground. Drive alongside the Zerafshan
mountains to Samarkand for a 2-night stay at
the Mallika Diyora Hotel (or similar). (B)
Drive to the ancient deserted site of Afrosiyob
on the outskirts of Samarkand, where a
settlement once thrived until it was destroyed
by Tamerlane. Archaeological finds are housed
in the Afrosiyob History Museum. Continue
to the observatory of Ulug Beg, Tamerlane’s
astronomer grandson, and see Bibi Khanum
mosque, built by Tamerlane for his favourite
wife. End the day at the magnificent Gur Emir
mausoleum where Tamerlane is buried beneath
the Timurid fluted blue domes. (B)
Visit Registan Square, framed by three brilliantly ornamented madrasas, and see the Shah-i-
Zinda necropolis, an extraordinary collection
of mausoleums, which feature exquisitely
decorated majolica facades. In the afternoon,
transfer to the train station for the Afrosiyob
train to Tashkent. After a farewell dinner,
overnight at Grand Mir Hotel (or similar). (B, D)
This morning, take a city tour to see the
highlights of Tashkent, including Kukeldash
Mosque, Muyie Mubarak Library and Tillya
Sheikh Mosque. In the afternoon, transfer to the
airport for a flight to London Heathrow. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
collection of expert-accompanied tours focusing
on creativity in its many forms. All RA tours
are open to everyone and can be viewed at
This tour is fully escorted
throughout by the lecturer, as well as an
experienced local guide.
This tour is better suited to
the hardier traveller as it includes some simple
accommodation and long road journeys.
The tour involves some long drives
and requires a good level of fitness as there is
walking over rough terrain and up high steps.
Diana Driscoll read
ancient Middle East and
Islamic studies at Soas.
Her area of expertise is
the Islamic world: religion,
history, culture and
languages. She has travelled extensively in
Central Asia, North Africa, the Middle East,
south Asia and China.
Asia Bukhara Hotel is located in the heart of the old city, within easy walking distance of the historical buildings and monuments of Old Bukhara. The hotel is constructed in the style of a traditional two-storey madrasa, with much of the furniture handmade by local craftsmen.
Hotel features: 95 rooms, restaurant, rooftop bar, outdoor swimming pool (open during high season only).
Room amenities: En-suite facilities, air conditioning, satellite television,...
The Asia Hotel in Khiva is located outside the city walls opposite the south entrance to the walled old town of Khiva. The property has 32 rooms which are fully equipped with air conditioning, mini bar, satellite television, room service, bathtub or shower and hair dryer. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar and small swimming pool. This hotel should be regarded as...
The Grand Hotel Mir is located in Tashkent’s downtown area, around 15 to 20 minutes drive from the main sights. All 126 rooms have a modern design and facilities such as fridge, flat screen television and wireless internet. The hotel offers excellent hospitality as well as a fitness centre, sauna, massages and beauty parlour. There are two restaurants, Restaurant Sultan, which is open from 7am to 11pm, and Restaurant Harem, open each evening and featuring a panoramic balcony overlooking the...
The Jipek Joli Hotel is located in the center of Nukus across the road from the Savitskiy Art Museum. All rooms are fully equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, satellite television, room service, bathtub or shower and hairdryer. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar. This hotel should be regarded as...
The Malika Diyora is a new 43-room hotel situated in the heart of Samarkand, just a few minutes' walk from Registan Square and Gum-Emir mausoleum. As well as its own restaurant, which is open for breakfast and dinner, facilities at the hotel include a fitness centre, an open-air swimming pool and a small gift...
The 3-star Omar Khayyam hotel has an excellent location in the picturesque old town quarter of Bukhara city. The hotel is situated in walking distance of all ancient monuments. All rooms are designed in a simple and contemporary style and feature satellite television, a minibar and air...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
Explore Uzbekistan’s cultural heartland with
visits to some of the major towns in the Fergana
valley. Highlights include Andijan’s vibrant
local market and the Yodgorlik silk factory in
Margilan, which still uses traditional production
methods that date back to the days of the Silk
Drive to the Fergana region of Uzbekistan.
Stay 2 nights at the Hotel Asia Fergana (or
similar). (B, D)
Full-day tour of the region, including Andijan and Fergana. (B, D)
Return to Tashkent visiting the ancient city of
Kokand en route. Overnight at City Palace Hotel
(or similar). (B)
Morning at leisure. Transfer to the airport. (B)
(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner, (N) = No Meals
Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
UZA2016: 10 Nights
There were many inspirational moments on this tour, but reaching the 40th step to the Shah-I-Zinda necropolis in Samarkand was perhaps the best moment. A street of mausoleums, burial sites for some members of Timur's family - it is a feast for the eyes - especially refreshing after the formality of the Registan. Here the patterns, drawn from different parts of Timur's empire and boldly juxtaposed, seem infinite, lively and confident; and the colours are gloriously vivid. To see the tiling for the first time was spine-tingling; and the rest of the street lived up to the initial promise. A truly memorable experience.Dr Mary McGrail
Our first evening in Khiva was magical. We walked by ourselves in the almost deserted streets of the old city and felt transported in another world, with the beautiful mosques and madrassas rising in the dying light. There were many amazing moments during the group visits but I would pick the climb to the Zoroastrian tower of silence near Nukus, looking at the great Oxus river and thinking of the flow and ebb of the ancient civilisations and cultures that were built and destroyed over the centuries in this now forgotten heart of Central Asia.Dr Mireille Levy
Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...
The ancient city of Khiva lies around 450km north-west of Bukhara, and only around 40k...
Samarkand is one of the world's oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan,...
Although little remains of Tashkent’s history, there has been a settlement on this site,...