Two exotic stans and exciting destinations on The Great Silk Road
Combined Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan tour #1

Two exotic stans and exciting destinations on The Great Silk Road Duration: 11 days, 10 nights
Kind of route: airway, motor coach tour
Season: year-round
Accommodation: Double / Twin in hotels
Tour itinerary: Ashgabat - Mary - Merv - Ashgabat - Dashoguz - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

Tourism has exploded in this region during the last decade, and Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan represent the most popularly combined destination for travel to the post-Soviet part of Central Asia, especially for tourists from Europe, USA, Australia and travellers from other foreign countries. Both countries represent very similar climatic conditions (continental climate), which make combined travel to these two countries a sensible choice. At the same time, both countries offer different experiences, both in terms of historical sites as well as landscapes and culture (Turkmens being from tribal origin, while Uzbeks are of settled tribal origin), which makes for a diverse variety of tour options.

Both states have a fairly developed tourism infrastructure, are politically stable and are virtually crime-free. However, after obtaining independence in 1991 each country choose its own way of development. Tourists will witness the difference in the modern way of life in cities and towns and, at the same time, observe a lot of similarities in culture and traditions of ordinary people living in rural areas. Travellers will experience unique features of Central Asian Muslims like religious tolerance, absence of strict formality in dress, and their hospitable, foreigner-friendly attitude.

The starting and final points of the tour – the capitals Ashgabat and Tashkent - are good places to relax and spend time walking on shady and clean streets, enjoy parks and fountains, restaurants and entertainment. But along the main tour’s routes, in the boundless desert areas, during your drives between towns, you will be excited by untouched nature and impressive landscapes, big rivers and small riverine oases. In historical places you will be mesmerized by remains of ancient civilizations and well-preserved masterpieces of medieval architecture – from Old Nissa, your first historical discovery near Ashgabat - to the Blue Domes of Samarkand, a highlight of your travel. At every city you will be able to visit Oriental bazaars where you can shop for tasty fruit and fine handmade items. But the most exiting experience remains the ultimate hospitality of people living here.

This route is a comfortable and logically constructed journey, without unnecessary detours or doubled returns to already visited places. In case you wish to extend you travel it is possible to add extensions as to Mary (Merv), Darwaza gas crater, Nohur mountain settlement, Damla desert community, the Caspian Sea or the Yangikala Canyons in Turkmenistan, or to Nukus and Khoresm fortresses, Charvak-Chimgan mountains and Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan.

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