Historical Spots of Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Khorezm

Uzbekistan remains the most-visited country in Central Asia for one key reason: the history of this land remains vibrant and tangible through its numerous palaces, madrasahs, fortresses, mausoleums and monuments. It’s here that history comes alive through world-renowned sites that have maintained the delicate balance of historical preservation and needed renovations, a country that welcomes tourists to its ancient ruins without being overcrowded or showy.
The Historical Spots of Uzbekistan Tour is a weeklong excursion to the greatest historical attractions of Uzbekistan’s most famous cities – Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent – ensuring that your trip will be infused with hands-on discovery, cultural immersion, historical knowledge and unforgettable memories. Best of all, this tour includes individualized options that allow you to truly customize the trip to meet your budget and traveling preferences.

Arrive in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital. Transfer to the hotel, where check-in begins at noon, and have a rest after your flight.
Your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel to begin your Tashkent city tour. Your private tour will include:
  • Excursion to the Old City, including the Khazret-Imam Architectural Complex, which holds the oldest known Quran in the world. Also on site are the Madrasah of Barak-Khan (16th century), Tillya-Sheykh Mosque, Juma Mosque and Mausoleum of Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi (15th century);
  • Visit to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent’s most well-established bazaar that includes a large selection of traditional Uzbek ceramics, jewelry, handbags, garments and more;
  • Ride on the Tashkent Metro, an immaculate subway system with each station decorated in colored mosaics and ceramics to depict a specific theme;
  • Walk through Amir Timur Square, with a massive statue of none other than Tamerlane himself at the center;
  • Independence Square, including the moving Mourning Mother Monument and the Eternal Flame, burning continuously in memory of more than half a million Uzbek soldiers who died during World War II;
  • Drive to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, a 20th-century Roman Catholic Church with beautiful stained-glass windows and Gothic-style architecture;
  • Tour of the Applied Arts Museum, an informative collection of Uzbekistan’s finest handicrafts housed in an ornately decorated villa.
Overnight in Tashkent.
Tour duration: 4.5 - 5 hours
After breakfast, transfer to the train station to take Tashkent - Samarkand train (330 km). Pick-up from Samarkand train station and transfer to hotel. Check-in to the hotel at noon and begin your tour of Samarkand, a city at the crossroads of the world’s cultures. The private city tour, led by an experienced, local guide, will include the following:
  • Gur Emir, the imposing burial site of Tamerlane and Mirzo Ulugbek;
  • Registan Square, the commercial center of Samarkand for centuries and Samarkand’s most famous site today. The square includes three madrasahs: Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century), Sher-Dor Madrasah (17th century) and Tilla-Kori Madrasah (17th century);
  • A boulevard lined with workshops, souvenir stores and ice cream stands;
  • Bibi Khanum Mosque, built by Tamerlane for his favorite wife;
  • Siab Bazaar, a multi-level complex where you can shop for souvenirs and sample sweets, fruits and Samarkand’s famous bread;
  • Shakhi-Zinda, a burial complex built between the 9th-14th centuries. Climb the blue-domed path and explore more than 20 small mausoleums that line the broad alleyway;
  • Ulugbek Observatory, where you can see the remains of a 14th-15th century sextant and tour the Ulugbek Museum.
Overnight in Samarkand.
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out from the hotel and take the morning train to Bukhara (280 km). Arrive in Bukhara, one of the most esteemed cities of Islamic civilization, and transfer to your hotel in the Old City.
Explore Bukhara on a walking tour with your local guide. Enjoy your private tour of the Old City’s most impressive sights:
  • The Lyabi-Hauz ensemble holds the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara (14th-17th centuries). This ensemble includes some of the largest madrasahs in Bukhara: the Khanaka Madrasah, Kukeldash Madrasah and Nadir Divan Beghi Madrasah (all 16th century);
  • The Magoki-Attori Mosque is the oldest mosque in Bukhara (12th century);
  • Walk through the four Trade Domes (15th-16th centuries);
  • Continue your city tour of Bukhara to the Poi Kalyan Ensemble (12th-16th centuries), consisting of the Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque, Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah and Miri-Arab Madrasah;
  • Explore the relatively untouched Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century) and Abdulazizkhan Madrasah (17th century);
  • Head to the Ark Fortress (4th century), the ancient center of Bukharin statehood and currently home to a small museum;
  • Stop by the Bolo-Khauz Complex, consisting of an artfully decorated 18th century mosque, a minaret and reservoirs that once provided water for the entire city;
  • Complete your city tour of Bukhara at the Samanids Mausoleum (9th-10th centuries), the most ancient brick building in Central Asia, and the Chashma Ayub Mausoleum.
Overnight in Bukhara.
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Breakfast at the hotel before checkout. Drive from Bukhara to Khiva through the Kyzylkum Desert (480 km, 7hrs). Caravans who traversed the Great Silk Road, carrying good of porcelain and spices, used this same route for hundreds of years*.
Arrive in Khiva in the afternoon and check in to your hotel for a rest. You’ll be staying near “Ichan Kala” (Ichan-Qala) the historical center of Khiva that’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight in Khiva.
*Since there is only one cafe on the way, you might want to consider preparing a packed lunch before this trip.
After breakfast begin your walking tour of Khiva, also known as the "Museum Under the Open Sky", a city that has been almost entirely preserved in its original state for the past 1500 years. You’ll take a walking tour around the architectural complex Ichan Kala with a knowledgeable local guide.
After beginning your excursion at Kunya-Ark Fortress, the inner citadel of Ichan Kala, 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 madrasah and educational institution in Khiva;
  • Muhammad Rahim-Khan Madrasah, a sprawling complex that once stood as one of the largest in all Central Asia;
  • 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 garrisoned gates;
  • Necropolis of Pahlavan Mahmud, the ancient religious center of Ichan Kala;
  • Residence of Islam Khodja, the vizier of the last khan. The complex consists of a madrasah and a minaret whose top platform has a height of 45m, the highest observation point in town. Climb the minaret yourself to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view!
Overnight in Khiva.
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Have breakfast and check out at the hotel before your guide picks you up to begin your day trip to ancient Khorezm in the Kyzylkum Desert (2-hour drive one-way, 140 km).
You’ll visit each of the archaeological monuments of the Desert Castles of Ancient Khorezm in the Ellik Kala (Fifty Fortresses) region:
  • Kyzyl-Kala (Red Fortress), a remnant of antique history from the Kushan dynasty;
  • Toprak-Kala (Earthen Fortress), one of the most unique monuments in all Khorezm due to its size and architecture. You’ll have the chance to explore this ancient settlement, which served as the capital of Khorezm in the 3rd century AD;
  • Kirk-Kyz Kala (Fortress of Forty Virgins) - a fortress dating back to the 1st-6th centuries AD and believed to be part of ancient Khorezm’s border defense system;
  • Ayaz-Kala - one of the largest fortresses in Khorezm, this complex dates back to the height of the Kushan Empire in the 2nd century AD. Here you can also visit a yurt camp and go for a camel ride.
In late afternoon transfer to Urgench Airport (35 km, 45 min) for an evening flight to Tashkent (1093 km, 1h 40 min).
Upon arrival to Tashkent, transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Tashkent.
Tour duration: approximately 7 hours
Free morning to pack up and prepare for your return flight home. Check out from the hotel by noon. Transfer to the airport. End of Tour of Historical Spots of Uzbekistan.

Prices in US$

Travellers 1234
Transfers 420280310270
Hotels standard 480300300300
Hotels budget 380250250250
City tour 660375325265
Single supplement for Standard: US$ 170 | for Budget: US$ 130
  • Transfers:

    Airport and train station transfers (1-2 ppl in sedan; 3-8 in minivan);
    Transfer from Bukhara to Khiva;
    Economy class airline tickets from Urgench to Tashkent (flight times subject to change based upon availability);
    Economy class train tickets for the Tashkent to Samarkand, Samarkand to Bukhara routes (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace it with a reservation on the regular train).

  • Accommodation:

    Accommodation based on double/twin room at hotel (6 nights, with breakfast).

  • City tour

    Private, local English-speaking guide and entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary on days 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6;
    Transportation during the city tour on day 1, 2 and 6 (1-2 ppl in sedan; 3-8 in minivan).

  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Consular fees for Uzbekistan tourist visa and Letter of invitation;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Tips are not included (driver, guide, porter);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Travel insurance;
  • All other charges and services not mentioned under “Inclusion”.

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