Fergana Valley Budget Tour

3
Days
Kokand, Rishtan, Fergana, Margilan, Kuva, Aksikent

Uzbekistan’s Fergana Valley has been called the Pearl of Central Asia, and indeed its fertile green pastures and resplendent landscapes, tucked in the heart of Central Asia between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, deserve such a noble title. Beyond the scenery, however, the culture and craftsmanship of the region –Rishtan’s ceramics, Kokand’s palace of the fearsome Khudoyar-Khan, Margilan’s colorful Yodgorlik Silk Factory – continue to shape the rich heritage of the entire nation.
Fergana Valley Budget Tour is a 3-day tour devoted exclusively to exploration of the Fergana Valley, a region too often overlooked by tourists headed for the streets of Samarkand. Travel gorgeous mountain passes and shop at lively Kumtepa Bazaar, learn pottery and silk embroidery techniques from the masters themselves, visit Buddhist remains in Kuva and roam the deserted ruins of once-grand Aksikent. This tour provides transportation to and from Tashkent and can easily be accommodated into other travel plans.

In the morning, your driver will meet you at your Tashkent hotel to begin the tour. Drive to the Fergana Valley via the Kamchik Pass (375km, 5hrs), which stuns with panoramic views at heights up to 2267 meters above sea level.
Arrive in Kokand, former capital of the entire Kokand Khanate. The Kokand tour includes:
  • Excursion to the Palace of Khudoyar-Khan (19th century), home of the last and greatest Kokand emir. Completed just three years before Russian conquest, the palace includes a stunning throne room ceiling and a small museum;
  • Jami Mosque (19th century), with a portico upheld by 98 gold-engraved columns and a minaret that visitors can climb for a great view of Kokand;
  • Norbutabiy Madrasah (late 18th century), displaying a stunningly beautiful exterior and architecture unique to the region. The site includes a mosque, verandah and classrooms where students are taught even today.
Continue driving to Rishtan (45km, 50min), famous for producing the finest pottery in all Central Asia. You’ll visit the home of well-known ceramic masters Rustam Usmanov and Alisher Nazirov, whose works are on display in world exhibitions. Your visit at the pottery master’s home will include:
  • Tour of the pottery workshop;
  • Explanation of the pottery process;
  • Browsing the collection of local ceramics.
After the workshop, continue to the city of Fergana (50km, 50min). Arrive in Fergana and check in to the hotel.
Overnight in Fergana.
Begin your day with breakfast at the hotel before continuing your Fergana Valley tour:
  • Shop at Kumtepa Bazaar, the largest market in Fergana Valley (Thursdays or Sundays only);
  • Drive to Kuva (35km, 40min), where you’ll see the remains of a Buddhist temple for which Kuva is famous and visit the Al-Ferghani Memorial Complex, dedicated to the medieval astronomer and mathematician who was born in the valley;
  • Continue to the ruins of Aksikent (85km, 1.5hrs), located west of Namangan on the banks of the Syr-Darya River and dating back to the 2nd-1st centuries BC. Aksikent was once the capital and largest city in the Fergana Valley before final destruction by an earthquake in 1620.
Return to the hotel. Overnight in Fergana.
After breakfast, drive to Margilan (18km, 30min), where you can visit the following:
  • Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah (19th century), housing skilled craftsmen under its colorfully painted ceilings. Wander through each room to admire or purchase the top-quality carpets and silk products;
  • Yodgorlik Silk Factory and Workshop, where you can watch the art of silk production from start to finish and buy scarves, clothing and other products in the famous ikat and khan-atlas patterns. (Factory is closed on Sundays).
Return to Tashkent (320 km, 4-5 hours) again by way of Kamchik Mountain Pass.
Arrive in Tashkent for drop-off at your hotel. End of Fergana Valley Budget Tour.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation and breakfast (2 nights);
  • Transportation throughout the tour (1-2 ppl in sedan; 3-8 in minivan).

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