The Fergana Valley is a picturesque area that lies at the junction of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, surrounded by mountains and fed by the Syr Darya River. Uzbekistan’s most populous region, the area is known for its conservative traditions and diverse cities:
- Rishtan – famed throughout Uzbekistan for its production of brightly-patterned blue and green ceramics;
- Fergana – the capital of Fergana region, it stands apart in the Valley for its Soviet-style boulevards and tree-lined streets;
- Kuva – an overlooked little city with well-kept gardens and fascinating Buddhist temple remains;
- Margilan – founded around the time of the Silk Road, it’s now home to Uzbekistan’s largest silk factory;
- Kokand – situated at the ancient crossroads of the Fergana Valley and still the main transportation hub of the region.
- Excursion to the Palace of Khudoyar-Khan, an impressive 19th century mosque and most famous attraction in Kokand;
- Visit Jami Mosque, the iconic centerpiece of Chorsu Square;
- Tour of Norbutabiy Madrasah, built in the 18th century yet serving as a functional madrasah even today.
- tour of the pottery workshop;
- instruction in the pottery process;
- seeing the collection of local ceramics.
For an additional payment, one of Rishtan’s artisans can give you a master class in ceramics making. The cost is 10 USD per person.
- Shop at Kumtepa Bazaar, the largest market in Fergana Valley (Thursday or Sunday only);
- Drive to Kuva (35 km). Visit the ancient Buddhist settlement for which Kuva is famous in the region, and see the Al-Ferghani Memorial Complex, the famous medieval astronomer and mathematician.
Continue to Margilan (30 km), where your tour will include:
- Visit to Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah, currently a home for several craftsmen producing handmade carpets and silk;
- Walk through the traditional market;
- Tour of the Yodgorlik Silk Factory and workshop, where you can observe the process of silk weaving with traditional Ikat patterns and shop for handmade khan-atlas material (closed on Sundays).
Arrive in Tashkent, where your tour will end with your guide and driver dropping you off at your hotel.
- Private, local guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
- One-night accommodation and breakfast;
- Economy-class ticket for train from Tashkent to Kokand;
- Transport throughout the city tour.