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Uzbekistan: The Golden Road to Samarkand

Group Tour | Arts & Culture 12 Days & 10 Nights Lead-in price: £3295

Visit the most magnificent cities of the ancient Silk Road with Islamic expert Diana Driscoll or William Taylor. 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 jadegreen city of Khiva; and Nukus, which once protected the Russian avant-garde art collection of archaeologist and artist, Igor Savitsky from the Soviets.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Private tour of the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art in Nukus with a local specialist
  • See traditional silk weavers at work
  • Full-day tours of Bukhara & Khiva
  • Discover the intricacies of Samarkand’s Islamic architecture
  • Visit ceramicist workshops
  • No single supplement on selected departure dates (limited availability)
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Standard Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Tashkent

Board the overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Tashkent with Uzbekistan Airways. (N)

Day 2: Tashkent - Fly to Nukus

Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to the Lumiere Hotel & SPA Tashkent (or similar) for a rest. After an introductory lecture and welcome lunch, take a city tour to see the highlights of Tashkent, including Kukeldash mosque, the Museum of Applied Arts, Muyie Mubarak library and Tillya Sheikh mosque. In the afternoon, fly to Nukus and overnight at Hotel Jipek Joli (or similar). (B, L)

Day 3: Chilpak - Khiva

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 local specialist. En route to Khiva, stop at Chilpak to see the fourth-century Zoroastrian Tower of Silence. Stay for 2 nights at Orient Star Khiva (or similar). (B, D)

Day 4: Khiva

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 beautifully decorated Tash Hauli (stone palace); the Friday Mosque; and madrasas (theological colleges), which now house museum collections. Also visit a UNESCO-listed silk carpet workshop. (B)

Day 5: Drive to Bukhara

Full-day drive to Bukhara (7-8 hours), through the Kyzylkum desert stopping at the Amu Darya river, known as the Oxus river in the ancient world. Stay at Emir Hotel (or similar) for 4 nights. (B, L)

Day 6: Bukhara

Take a full-day walking tour of Bukhara, visiting the Persian Samanid brick mausoleum, the Chashmai Ayub, known as Job’s Well, and the Bolo Hauz mosque. Visit the trade domes, madrasas and traditional Bukharan bazaars. Continue to the Poi-Kalyan complex, which includes the towering Kalyan minaret and the twin-domed Miri-Arab madrasa. (B)

Day 7: Bukhara

Visit the architectural ensemble around the Lyab i-Hauz pool, fed by the waters of the royal canal. Continue to the Chor Minor, a curious four-towered gatehouse, and the Sitora-i Mokhi-Khosa, the summer palace of the last emir of Bukhara. Then visit the Fayzulla Khodjaev Museum, set in the house of a wealthy Bukhara merchant showing aspects of life in the early 20th century. Continue to the Balyand neighbourhood mosque, a jewel of 16th-century architecture, and the imposing ark fortress of the Bukhara emirs. Walk down the narrow streets of historic 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 approximately 600 years. (B)

Day 8: Rabat i-Malik - Gijduvan - Vabkent

Drive along the royal road to the 11th-century Rabat i-Malik caravanserai (a trading route stop-off). Continue to Gijduvan, renowned for its traditional ceramics, and see Abd-al-Khalyk Gijduvani mazar. Return to Bukhara via Vabkent to see the minaret commissioned in the 12th century by one of the rulers of Bukhara. (B, L)

Day 9: Shahrisabz - Samarkand

Drive to Shahrisabz, birthplace of Tamerlane, where he built an enormous palace, of which part of the beautifully ornamented audience chamber remains. Drive alongside the Zerafshan mountains to Samarkand for a 2-night stay at the Dilimah Premium or Malika Diyora (or similar). (B)

Day 10: Afrosiyob - Samarkand

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 Ulugbek, Tamerlane’s astronomer grandson, and see the 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)

Day 11: Samarkand - Tashkent

Visit Registan Square, framed by three brilliantly ornamented madrasas, and see the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis. Visit the Amir Timur gate in Djizak . Drive to Tashkent. After a farewell dinner, overnight at the Lumiere Hotel & SPA Tashkent (or similar). (B, D)

Day 12: Tashkent - Fly to London

Transfer to the airport for a flight to London. (B)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.


Arts & Culture tours: A collection of expert accompanied tours focusing on creativity in its many forms. All tours are open to everyone.

Expert-led tour: This tour is fully escorted throughout by the lecturer, as well as an experienced local guide.

Standard tour: This tour is based in 4-star accommodation.

Accessibility: The tour involves some long drives and requires a good level of fitness as there is walking over rough terrain and up some high, uneven steps. There are also some long road journeys.

Private visits: Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Mosques, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be rearranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.

Standard group tour accommodation

  • Hotel Jipek Joli
    Hotel Jipek Joli

    The Jipek Joli Hotel is located in the centre of Nukus, across the road from the Savitskiy Art Museum. The hotel features Karakalpak art and furnishings combined with modern amenities. The restaurant offers a variety of national and European dishes. Features: 15 rooms, restaurant, bar, open-air cafe, safe, internet. Room amenities: Air conditioning, satellite television, bath or shower, hairdryer,

  • Orient Star Hotel Khiva
    Orient Star Hotel Khiva

    The Orient Star hotel is located within the walled city of Khiva. Built in the 19th century, it was originally the madrasa of Moukhammed Amin Khan. Due to the traditional architecture and design of the building the rooms have low doorframes, uneven floors and some rooms are interior facing, lacking windows. Features: 73 rooms, restaurant. Room amenities: Air conditioning.

  • Hotel Emir
    Hotel Emir

    The Emir Hotel is situated in the old Jewish quarter, only 50 yards from the historic complex around the Lyab i-Hauz pool and with good transport links across Bukhara. Converted from a historic merchant's house, the Emir retains many original features, with intricately carved covered walkways overlooking a courtyard. Rooms are simply furnished with colourful local textiles and decorative ceramic wall panels.

  • The Dilimah Premium Luxury Hotel
    The Dilimah Premium Luxury Hotel

    The Dilimah Premium Luxury hotel is located in Samarkand, a short drive from Registan Square. Guestrooms are fully equipped and feature warm decor and soft furnishings, and some have balconies. Features: 41 rooms, restaurant, bar, seasonal outdoor & indoor swimming pools, garden, terrace, lounge, gym, spa. Room amenities: Air conditioning, television, tea & coffee facilities, minibar, safe, hairdryer, Wi-Fi.

  • Lumiere Hotel & SPA Tashkent
    Lumiere Hotel & SPA Tashkent

    Set in the heart of the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, Lumiere Hotel & Spa offers contemporary accommodation within walking distance of such sites as the Museum of Fine Art and the National Theatre. Rooms are spacious and well lit, with of all the facilities you'd expect for this standard of accommodation. The hotel restaurant offers modern Uzbek cuisine as well as international dishes and wine. The on-site gym and spa is considered one of the best in the city with high-end equipment and a broad range of treatments. Features: Restaurant, bar, gym, spa, indoor swimming pool, Wi-Fi-, hot tub & sauna. Room amenities: Air-conditioning, room service during restaurant hours, safe, mini bar.

Standard group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs
Departure-Return date Original Price Saving Single Supplement Guaranteed Departures Click to Book
23 Sep 2022 - 4 Oct 2022 £3,295 £0 £0 Yes Reserve
14 Oct 2022 - 25 Oct 2022 £2,995 £0 £325 Yes Reserve

Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • * International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
  • * UK departure and overseas airport taxes
  • * Accommodation, itinerary & meal basis as described
  • * Local Transfers in a private chauffeur-driven vehicle
  • * The support (if required) of an English speaking local representative
  • * Local excursions where applicable

Destinations on this tour

  • Khiva

    The ancient city of Khiva lies around 450km north-west of Bukhara, and only around 40k...

    Read more >
  • Khiva

    The ancient city of Khiva lies around 450km north-west of Bukhara, and only around 40k...

    Read more >
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...

    Read more >
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...

    Read more >
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...

    Read more >
  • Bukhara

    Bukhara is largely built of brown mud-brick, and as a result is perhaps visually less...

    Read more >
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand is one of the world's oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan...

    Read more >
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand is one of the world's oldest cities, located in the very centre of Uzbekistan...

    Read more >
  • Tashkent

    Although little remains of Tashkent’s history, there has been a settlement on this site,...

    Read more >
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