A city tour of Khiva will take you through an ancient, mysterious city founded more than 1500 years ago. Throughout the centuries it slowly transformed from an insignificant desert outpost to a major stopping point along the Silk Road, a prestigious khanate capital, and an infamous center for centuries of regional slave trade. Today Khiva is a sleepy city in the Khorezm region of Western Uzbekistan.
This two-day tour package will ensure that you see the very best that Khiva has to offer. Your first day will be spent within the city walls, where your private guide will explain the history and significance of each site you visit. On the second day you’ll explore the lesser-visited outer city. Your guide will drive you between locations and help you haggle for fair prices at the bazaar.
Begin your city tour of Khiva, a.k.a. the "Museum Under the Open Sky", a city that has been almost completely preserved from the past 1500 years up to the present day. You’ll take a walking tour around the architectural complex Ichan-Qala, the historical center of Khiva and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with one of our knowledgeable local guides.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel, and after beginning your excursion at Kunya-Ark fortress, the inner citadel of Ichan-Qala, you’ll continue on to some of Khiva’s most famous sites:
- Kalta Minor Tower, once destined to be one of the tallest minarets in Central Asia;
- Muhammad Amin-Khan, the biggest medieval madrasa (educational institution) in Khiva;
- Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasa;
- Juma Mosque, built with 212 wooden columns and a minaret 32.5 m high;
- Tash-Hauli Palace (Stone Courtyard Palace), which resembles a fortress with high battlements, towers and fortified gates;
- Necropolis of Pahlavan Mahmud, ancient religious center of Ichan-Qala;
- Residence of Islam Khodja, personal advisor of the last khan. The complex consists of a madrasa and a minaret whose top platform has a height of 45 m, the highest observation point in town. Climb the minaret yourself to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view!
(Tour duration: approximately 6 hours)
On day two of your Khiva City Tour you’ll get to explore Dishan-Qala and the surrounding area. Your guide and driver will pick you up from your regional hotel to start day two of your Khiva tour:
- Nurullaboy Palace, an ancient banquet hall, built with a blend of Oriental and European architecture;
- Excursion to the Khorezm Mamum Academy Museum, holding 20,000 historic books and 200 manuscript copies;
- Visit to the Khiva Ice-House (Muzxona), near the Bol-Hauz water reservoir;
- Drive to the Toza-Bog Palace, the summer residence of Muhammad Rakhim Khan II;
- Continue to Kharrot Tourist Complex, situated at the shore of Eshonkul Lake in the Karakum Desert;
- Complete your city tour of Khiva at the colorful Oriental Farmer’s Bazaar near Palvon Darvoza. Sample the nuts, fresh or dried fruits and bakery products offered there.
(Tour duration: approximately 5 hours)
- Private, local guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights listed on the itinerary;
- Transport throughout the city (second day.