Termez is an oft-overlooked town in the Surkhandariya region of Uzbekistan, nestled in a cradle of civilization on the arid steppes of Central Asia. Not surprisingly, Termez is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and still holds replicas of its diverse past – ancient Buddhist temples, sacred Sufi holy sites, coins and pottery from dynasties long vanished from the earth. The city is a must-see for history buffs, modern-day mystics and adventure seekers who enjoy getting off the beaten path.
On the two-day Termez Tour you’ll delve into the mysterious and diverse past of Termez, an historical adventure that won’t be soon forgotten. The area is less accessible than tourist-friendly Samarkand or Bukhara, but with our experienced local guides and well-planned itinerary, you can be assured that your time in Termez will be spent touring the most significant sights and increasing your understanding of this region’s fascinating history, rather than stressing over taxi rides, language barriers and the confusing maze of attractions scattered throughout the countryside.
Day 1: Tashkent – Termez
Transfer to Tashkent’s domestic airport to catch the morning flight to Termez (1 hour 20 minutes). Your guide/driver will be waiting for you upon arrival to begin your tour in Termez. Your adventurous historical expedition will take you to the following:
- Kokildor-Ota Khanaka (16th century) – retreat center for Sufi dervishes, the Kokildor-Ota Khanaka’s architecture reflects a strong Afghan influence;
- Kyrk-Kyz Fortress (9th-10th century) – this mysterious structure will impress with its complex archeological designs;
- Sultan Saodat Ensemble (12-15th century) – a memorial complex of mausoleums and mosques built over a long period of time, Sultan Saodat holds the graves of the great Sayyid dynasty of Termez;
- The Archaeology Museum of Termez, containing over 27,000 artefacts, including busts of Macedonian warriors, Buddhist replicas and artefacts unique to Termez dating back to the Kushan and Greco-Roman cultures.
Leave your luggage at your hotel and continue your excursion to:
- Kara-Tepe – 2nd-3rd century Buddhist shrine and current archeological site;
- Fayaz-Tepe – Buddhist temple;
- Al-Hakim at-Termezi – burial vault of the Sufi religious leader Hakim at-Termezi and holy site for religious pilgrims.
You’ll have free time in the evening to unwind and relax from your busy day.
Tour duration: approximately 5-6 hours
Day 2: Termez – Jarkurgan – Kumkurgan – Shurchi – Boysun – Derbent – Samarkand
Check out from your hotel in the morning and continue your tour of Termez region. While driving back to Samarkand (470 km), you’ll stop en route to see the significant sites of the outer reaches of Termez:
- View the Surkhan Oasis and Friendship Bridge, which connects Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, and enjoy the view of Aghan’s rugged mountains;
- Continue to Jarkurgan Minaret (12th century), standing in its architectural glory in seemingly the middle of nowhere;
- Visit Iskander Bridge (16th century) in Kumkurgan, an aqueduct situated on the region’s ancient trading route;
- Tour the Dalvarzintepa Archeological Complex (1st century), the capital of the ancient Kushan Empire in Shurchi;
- Stop in Boysun village for lunch;
- Visit Derbent Canyon, a gorge with an ancient underground prison near the entrance;
- Continue on to Samarkand while enjoying gorgeous countryside views of southern Uzbekistan.
Your tour guide/driver will drop you off at your hotel in Samarkand.
Tour duration: approximately 7-8 hours
- Private, local guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
- Overnight accommodation in Termez and breakfast;
- Economy class ticket for flight from Tashkent to Termez (if the morning flight is not available, it will be replaced with tickets for the night train, Luxury-class compartment, which departs Tashkent a night earlier);
- Transport throughout the city tour.