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Ovidiu David

Travel specialist

020 7873 5000

020 7873 5000

Lead Price
From £3395pp
Duration
12 days & 11 nights
Itinerary Type
Group Tour
Holiday Type
Specialist-led
Tour Highlights

Uzbekistan: Golden Road to Samarkand

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.
Dates and prices

Your expert lecturers

Dr William Taylor

Dr William Taylor is an Anglican priest, chairman of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, a writer, and broadcaster on the Islamic world and the Orthodox churches. He has worked and lived in Jordan, Cairo, and Turkey and travelled and lectured in the Middle East and Central Asia. William also accompanies groups on the following tours:

Diana Driscoll

Diana Driscoll read ancient Middle East and Islamic studies at SOAS. She is an independent researcher who gives regular talks at the British Museum. Her area of expertise is the Islamic world: religion, history, culture and languages. Diana also accompanies groups on the following tour:

Itinerary

YEAR:
DAY 1: Fly to Tashkent
- +

Fly to Tashkent

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

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

DAY 2: Tashkent - Fly to Nukus
- +

Tashkent - Fly to Nukus

Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to the Inspira-S Hotel (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, Muyie Mubarak library and Tillya Sheikh mosque as well as the Chorsu Bazaar and the Applied Art Museum. In the afternoon, fly to Nukus and overnight at Jipek Joli (or similar). (B, L)

Accommodation: Hotel Jipek Joli
DAY 3: Chilpak - Khiva
- +

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 / Feruzkhan Hotel (or similar). (B, D)

Accommodation: Orient Star Hotel Khiva
DAY 4: Khiva
- +

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)

Accommodation: Orient Star Hotel Khiva
DAY 5: Drive to Bukhara
- +

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)

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 6: Bukhara
- +

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 Mir-i-Arab madrasa. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 7: Bukhara
- +

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 Bukhara's last emir. Then visit the Fayzulla Khodjaev Museum, set in the house of a wealthy merchant and showing aspects of life in the early 20th century. Continue to the Balyand 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)

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 8: Rabat i-Malik - Gijduvan - Vabkent
- +

Rabat i-Malik - Gijduvan - Vabkent

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

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 9: Shahrisabz - Samarkand
- +

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 / Malika Diyora / Hotel Royal (or similar). (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Samarkand
DAY 10: Afrosiyob - Samarkand
- +

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)

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Samarkand
DAY 11: Samarkand - Tashkent
- +

Samarkand - Tashkent

Visit the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis and the Samarkand Museum of History, Culture & Art. In the afternoon, travel by rail to Tashkent. After a farewell dinner, overnight at the Inspira-S Tashkent (or similar). (B, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Inspira-S Tashkent
DAY 12: Tashkent - Fly to London
- +

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.

DAY 1: Fly to Tashkent
- +

Fly to Tashkent

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

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

DAY 2: Tashkent - Fly to Nukus
- +

Tashkent - Fly to Nukus

Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to the Inspira-S Hotel (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, Muyie Mubarak library and Tillya Sheikh mosque as well as the Chorsu Bazaar and the Applied Art Museum. In the afternoon, fly to Nukus and overnight at Jipek Joli (or similar). (B, L)

Accommodation: Hotel Jipek Joli
DAY 3: Chilpak - Khiva
- +

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 / Feruzkhan Hotel (or similar). (B, D)

Accommodation: Orient Star Hotel Khiva
DAY 4: Khiva
- +

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)

Accommodation: Orient Star Hotel Khiva
DAY 5: Drive to Bukhara
- +

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)

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 6: Bukhara
- +

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 Mir-i-Arab madrasa. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 7: Bukhara
- +

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 Bukhara's last emir. Then visit the Fayzulla Khodjaev Museum, set in the house of a wealthy merchant and showing aspects of life in the early 20th century. Continue to the Balyand 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)

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 8: Rabat i-Malik - Gijduvan - Vabkent
- +

Rabat i-Malik - Gijduvan - Vabkent

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

Accommodation: Hotel Emir
DAY 9: Shahrisabz - Samarkand
- +

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 / Malika Diyora / Hotel Royal (or similar). (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Samarkand
DAY 10: Afrosiyob - Samarkand
- +

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)

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Samarkand
DAY 11: Samarkand - Tashkent
- +

Samarkand - Tashkent

Visit the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis and the Samarkand Museum of History, Culture & Art. In the afternoon, travel by rail to Tashkent. After a farewell dinner, overnight at the Inspira-S Tashkent (or similar). (B, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Inspira-S Tashkent
DAY 12: Tashkent - Fly to London
- +

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. 

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The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Specialist-led group tour, accompanied by an expert in the history of the Silk Road and its culture
  • See traditional silk weavers at work and visit ceramicist workshops
  • Discover the intricacies of Samarkand’s Islamic architecture
  • Travel by Uzbekistan’s famous Afrosiyob train from Samarkand to Tashkent

Important information

Specialist-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 3- and 4-star accommodation. Please visit our website to see details of the hotels.
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 re-arranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Guaranteed departures
Where a tour date shows ‘Guaranteed departure’, 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.
Dates and prices
Unless otherwise stated, the tour prices and upgrade supplements are all per person in pound sterling, based on two people sharing a twin/double room. The online price is a guideline price; your final quote may differ due to flight availability, and you may be asked to pay a flight supplement.

What's included

  • 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

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Please call or submit an enquiry about late availability.

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