Meet the tour leader at the Malta International Airport at 17:30 hrs for check-in on your connecting flight to Uzbekistan, via Istanbul departing at 19:40 hrs
Upon arrival in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital city, your local private transfer will await you for your journey to the hotel in time for breakfast, before check-in and room allocation. Have a relaxed morning before lunch and later take the opportunity to re-join the group for an afternoon of amazing sightseeing where together with the local licensed English-speaking guide, you will enjoy the public festivities commemorating the 29th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s Independence with numerous parades and fireworks displays held along the Independence and Amir Temur Squares amongst other locations. After dinner and the late Independence Day celebrations head back to your hotel for overnight.
After breakfast, start the day at the earthquake Monument of Courage before heading to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashknet’s famous green-domed market featuring acres of spices, produce and traditional crafts are abundant. You will also have the opportunity to visit a number of Tashkent’s metro stations, which are amongst the most beautiful in the world and definitely worth visiting and also the Museum of History of People of Uzbekistan. Later head to Tashkent’s Airport for your domestic flight to Urgench, before your transfer to your 4* hotel in Khiva in time for dinner and overnight
Today, join your local guide for a full day of sightseeing in this marvelous fairy tale and open-air museum-like city of Khiva, once an integral part of the Great Silk Road and famous for its long and brutal history as a slave trading post sandwiched in between the vast Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts. Make sure to be ready with your cameras/phones to immortalise the most spectacular sunset, Khiva’s has to offer.
After your daily breakfast, join your fellow group members as you cross the desert of Kyzylkum one of the biggest deserts in Central Asia, in the direction of Bukhara. Along the way, hear amazing stories about Uzbekistan and the Uzbeki’s way of life all along tracing the Amu Darya River, which closely follows the international border with Turkmenistan for most of its length. During such trip you will stop for lunch at an exceptional tea-house along the way. Once in Bukhara, head towards your centrally located hotel for check-in before a familiarisation walk onto the backstreets of Bukhara where you will soon fall in love with the way of life of the locals. Dinner will be served in one of the many restaurants in the city before your overnight.
Today, enjoy your full day in Bukhara. Situated on the silk route, Bukhara is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. Monuments of particular interest include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th-century Muslim architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrasas. Important monuments that survive from early times include the famous Ismail Samanai tomb, the outstanding Poi-Kalyan minaret, a masterpiece of decoration in brick, along with most of the Magoki Attori mosque and the Chashma Ayub shrine.However, the real importance of Bukhara lies not in its individual buildings but rather in its overall townscape, demonstrating the high and consistent level of urban planning and architecture. End your day with dinner at the hotel before overnight.
After breakfast and checkout, drive towards the Mausoleum of Naqshband. This memorial complex is nowadays the burial place of Sayyid Baha-ud-Din, the founder of what would become one of the largest Sufi Muslim orders, the Naqshbandi. This had the greatest and longest-lasting influence and the memorial place is still well visited by pilgrims. Next, visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara: Sitorai Mokhi Hosa. On the way back to Bukhara and before lunch visit the Chor Minor building: a maze of alleys, whose four minarets and style remind you of India’s building style. Later head to Bukhara’s train station to board the high-speed train to Samarkand. On arrival, you will be served dinner before transfer to the hotel for check-in, room allocation, dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, visit the beautiful portal and trademark fluted azure dome of the Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum where the tile-work and dome are particularly beautiful. Later continue your way towards Registan Square – Samarkand’s and arguably Uzbekistan’s most famous landmark. Next, stroll through the spacious courtyard of the enormous congregational Bibi-Khanum Mosque: once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosques. After lunch, which is as always included, explore Samarkand's frenetic, colourful main market, the Siab Bazaar before return to your hotel in time for dinner and overnight.
Today, join your tour leader and visit Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand’s most moving and beloved site, containing some of the richest tilework in the Muslim world. Then proceed towards’ Ulgubek’s Observatory before a very interesting visit to the Konigil Paper Mill. After lunch you will also have the opportunity to visit the Afrosiab Museum. This was built around one of Samarkand’s more important archaeological finds. Later as a group, immerse yourself in the preparation of Central Asia’s beloved dish: the Plov. This would be then served as part of your farewell dinner, as a tribute to your good selves, on the end of this once in a lifetime journey.
After adventurous days crammed with new sights, smells and sounds, it’s time to say your goodbyes. You shall have an early transfer to the airport for you flight to Malta via Istanbul Airport, which by many is considered as a destination in itself at 05:45 hrs.
- International Flights to Tasknet and from Samarkand with Turkish Airlines
- Regional Internal Flights from Tashknet to Urgench
- High Speed Train Ride from Bukhara to Samarkand
- 20 kgs checked in luggage
- 10 kgs hand luggage
- All Transfers, Excursion and Sightseeing by Air-conditioned Private Coash
- English Speaking Guide as per itinerary
- 8 Nights at 4* Hotels as per programme (or similar) on Full Board Basis
- Entrance to Museum where applicable
- Personalised Video and Photo Pack
- Tour Leader
- Protection by the Insolvency Fund
- Travel Insurance but highly recommended
- Tips and Other Personal Expenses