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Steppes and Desert - Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

16 days from £3980 per person

A crossroads of cultures and civilisations, this tour introduces the vast nature of this part of the world - a region of scenic views, steppes, deserts, monuments, ancient cities and people. Travel through the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan and Issyk-Kul Lake to the historic Uzbekistan home of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. From here cross into the little visited land-locked country of Turkmenistan ending in its fascinating capital city, Ashgabat.

Route: Bishkek – Cholpon-Ata – Tashkent – Samarkand – Nurata – Bukhara – Khiva – Ashgabat

Itinerary Highlights

Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan is a cultural hub filled with wide avenues, attractive buildings and soviet heritage offering ample places of interest to explore.

Samarkand is an ancient city with a modern twist, complete with beautiful tiled monuments, high-profile attractions and is a hub for artists and poets.

For thousands of years a city of trade, scholarship, culture and religion, the historic centre of exotic Bukhara contains hundreds of well-preserved, architectural monuments.

Itinerary: Steppes and Desert - Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

Fly with Turkish Airlines to Bishkek via Istanbul. (N)
The capital and industrial centre of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. The gesturing statue of Lenin can still be seen in the city’s vast central square, yet it is the permanently snow-capped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range which towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop. Later today enjoy an afternoon sightseeing in and around the city. Places of particular interest include the blue-steepled Orthodox Church on Jibek Jolu, a well preserved Russian wooden house and the Frunze House-Museum – the place of birth of the Russian revolutionary who was a major player in the October revolution. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Bishkek: Silk Road Lodge Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Hyatt Regency Hotel (or similar)
In the morning drive for one hour to Burana Tower (an old minaret) near Tokmok city. The minaret was constructed in Balasagun town; one of the capitals of the Karakhanid State in the 11th Century. Explore the ruins of this important trading point on the Great Silk Road and visit a local museum explaining more about the civilization. Also view a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs. Lunch will be served in a family house in Tokmok, where you can learn about the lives of the local people. In the afternoon drive to Issyk-Kul Lake. Extremely deep and warmed by thermal activity, over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia most remarkable locations. (B/D)
Accommodation in Cholpon-Ata: Karven Four Seasons Hotel (or similar)
Today you are at leisure to relax and enjoy Issyk-Kul. (B/D)
Accommodation in Cholpon-Ata: Karven Four Seasons Hotel (or similar)
This morning transfer to Bishkek Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Tashkent (Monday only). (B)
Accommodation in Tashkent: International Hotel (or similar)
Today enjoy a sightseeing tour of Tashkent. Places of interest include the 16th Century Kukeldash Madrassah which is being restored as a museum and the Kaffali-Shash Mausoleum. Tashkent also houses many museums of Uzbek and pre-Uzbek culture. These include the State Art Museum, which houses a collection of paintings and ceramics as well as the Bukharian royal robes. The Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts exhibits embroidered wall hangings and reproduction antique jewellery. (B)
Accommodation in Tashkent: International Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave Tashkent and continue onto Samarkand. (B)
Accommodation in Samarkand: Samarkand Plaza Hotel (or similar)
Today commence your sightseeing of this famous city. Samarkand is situated in the valley of the River Zarafshan and is the second largest city of Uzbekistan roughly the same age as the city of Babylon or Rome. The history of Samarkand is about 2,500 years old and has witnessed the times of Alexander the Great, the Arabic Conquest, Genghis-Khan and Tamerlane. Majestic and beautiful Samarkand has attracted poets and historians and to this day is known as the ‘Rome of the East’. (B)
Accommodation in Samarkand: Samarkand Plaza Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast, leave Samarkand for Nurata. Once known as Nur this town dates back to the period before Alexander the Great. Later visit the famous Sacred Fish pond, Shrine of a Local Saint before continuing on to your accommodation. (B)
Accommodation in Nurata: Yurt Camp Aidar (or similar)
Today leave Nurata and continue by car to Bukhara where you will stay for two nights. The settlement of Bukhara in Uzbekistan dates back to the 8th Century when it was, for 200 years, the centre of an expanding Islamic kingdom prospering as the trade and intellectual centre for Central Asia. (B)
Accommodation in Bukhara: Asia Hotel (or similar)
This morning commence your sightseeing tour of Bukhara. One of the most ancient cities of Uzbekistan Bukhara is believed to have been founded in the 13th Century BC during the reign of Siyavushids who came to power 980 years before Alexander the Great. There are more than 350 mosques and 100 religious colleges in the city and sights such as the Poi-Kalon, Kos Madras, Ismail Samani Mausoleum and Kalian Minaret are not to be missed. (B)
Accommodation in Bukhara: Asia Hotel (or similar)
Today leave Bukhara and drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Khiva. (B)
Accommodation in Khiva: Sheherezada Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Asia Hotel (or similar)
This morning start your tour of Khiva at Ichon-Qala, the area where the majority of the architectural monuments are located. Places of interest are the Kunya-Ark citadel and the Tosh-Khovli Palace, residence of the Khan, which had been preserved intact along with its ornate gates. This area prominently displays the simplicity and monumentality of medieval architectural forms, the delicateness of woodcarvings, and skilled interweaving of ornamentation. The silhouettes of its towering minarets, hemmed in by clay built houses with their flat roofs and surrounded by the fortress's powerful clay built walls, give a clear idea of a typical Central Asian feudal city. (B)
Accommodation in Khiva: Sheherezada Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Asia Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave Khiva for Dashogus. En-route visit the archaeological site of Kunya Urgench which is famed for its Putlog Timur Minaret, Aslam II Mausoleum and Traubel Khanum Mausoleum, all of which date from the middle of the 14th Century. In the afternoon continue to the airport for the onward flight to Ashgabat. (B)
Accommodation in Ashgabat: Sofitel Ashgabat Oguzkent (or similar)
Today explore the capital of Turkmenistan. Places of interest include the Arch of Neutrality, Lenin Square, the Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky and the Ertogrulgazi Mosque. In the afternoon visit the archaeological site of Nissa which is rich in history. (B)
Accommodation in Ashgabat: Sofitel Ashgabat Oguzkent (or similar)
Early morning fly with Turkish Airlines to the UK via Istanbul. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Uzbekistan Holiday Review

I just want to thank you for another beautiful tour. Uzbekistan exceeded all our expectations regarding cultural heritage, nature, orderliness, food… and Dilya Amanova was just a perfect guide and company. I would have only one suggestion – you should definitely put on your list of hotels in Tashkent Ichan Qal’a which was really the best and the most beautiful hotel on our tour. The rooms are more than excellent (special Royal Suite in which we were upgraded).

DD - Uzbekistan - April 2017

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