Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan 8-Day Tour

Tashkent, Bukhara, Gijduvan, Samarkand, Almaty, Nur-Sultan

Sweeping canyons, chaotic bazaars and regal turquoise domes that glisten in the sunset. Ornate, underground metro lines, weathered houses of worship and contemporary architectural phenomena designed by the world’s leading innovators. It’s impossible to capture the full spectrum of experiences that await you on a joint tour of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, yet you can be sure that each day holds a fresh handful of vast and varied surprises.
Explore your world on the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan 8-Day Tour, a journey which begins with the bedrock Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent and culminates in the ultra-modern Khan-Shatyr eco mall of Nur-Sultan. Weave your way through the enduring marvels of Samarkand, Bukhara and Almaty, soak up the calming beauty of Charyn Canyon and expand your horizon with private tours and daily interactions with Central Asia past and present along the way.

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 the hotel to begin the Tashkent city tour, including:
  • Excursion to the Khazret-Imam Architectural Complex in the Old City, which holds the oldest known Quran in the world.
  • Shopping at 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.
  • Visit to Independence Square, including the Mourning Mother Monument and the Eternal Flame, burning 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.

Tour duration: 4.5 - 5 hours
Overnight in Tashkent.

Breakfast at the hotel before taking the morning train to Bukhara (580km, 4hrs). Arrive in Bukhara and transfer to your hotel in the Old City, an area resembling a scene from Arabian Nights.
With your private local guide, enjoy a walking tour of the most impressive sights of Bukhara’s Old City:
  • Lyabi-Hauz Ensemble, holding the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara (14th-17th centuries). This ensemble includes some of the largest madrassahs in the city: the Khanaka Madrassah, Kukeldash Madrassah and Nadir Divan Beghi Madrassah (all 16th century).
  • Magoki-Attori Mosque, the oldest mosque in Bukhara (12th century).
  • Four Trade Domes (15th-16th centuries), which still house local handicrafts for sale.
  • Poi Kalyan Ensemble (12th-16th centuries), consisting of the Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque, Amir-Alimkhan Madrasah and Miri-Arab Madrasah.
  • Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century) and Abdulazizkhan Madrasah (17th century), relatively untouched yet impressive religious schools.
  • Ark Fortress (4th century), the ancient center of Bukharan statehood and currently home to a small museum.
  • Bolo-Khauz Complex, consisting of an artfully decorated 18th century mosque, a minaret and reservoirs that once provided water for the entire city.
  • Samanids Mausoleum (9th-10th centuries), believed to be the most ancient brick building in Central Asia, and the Chashma Ayub Mausoleum.

Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Overnight in Bukhara.

Check out of your hotel and drive to Gijduvon (50km, 1hr), a small town whose traditional crafts and ceramics have been sought after in Central Asia for centuries due to their quality and colorful, decorative style. Continue driving to Samarkand (240km, 3.5hrs). Along the way, stop by the Rabat-i-Malik Caravanserai ruins and Sardoba, an ancient reservoir.
Arrive in Samarkand, the capital of Tamerlane's Empire. Check in to the hotel and have a free evening to rest or explore your neighborhood.

Overnight in Samarkand.

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and begin your private tour of Samarkand to the following places:
  • Gur Emir, the imposing burial site of Tamerlane and Mirzo Ulugbek.
  • Registan Square, the commercial center of Samarkand for centuries and Samarkand’s most celebrated site. The Square includes the 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 Samarkand’s famous bread.
  • Shakh-i-Zinda, a burial complex built between the 9th-14th centuries. Climb the blue-domed path and explore more than twenty 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.

Tour Duration: 6-7 hours
Transfer to the train station to take the late afternoon train to Tashkent (330km, 2hrs,15min). Arrive in Tashkent and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Tashkent.

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for a flight to Almaty, Kazakhstan (820km, 1.5hrs).
Arrive in Almaty and settle into the hotel, where your guide and driver will meet you to begin a city tour of Almaty:
  • Walk through Panfilov Park and see the World War II Memorial Complex, with a gigantic monument of soldiers bravely in advance and an eternal flame blazing nearby.
  • Visit Zenkov Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral), also situated in Panfilov Park. Constructed entirely of wood without a single metal nail, this colorful five-domed wonder is one of the oldest buildings in Almaty.
  • Plunge into the atmosphere of Green Bazaar, a lively eastern market with festive colors, mouth-watering smells and lively crowds. It’s the perfect spot to purchase dried fruits and famous Kazakhstan chocolates...but don’t forget to bargain!
  • Stop by Republic Square, where the Mayor’s Office, Central State Museum and former Presidential Palace encircle the Monument of Independence, a towering statue of the Golden Man and bronze bas-reliefs depicting the country’s history.
  • Admire the Almaty Central Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Central Asia. Its gold domes and striking white marble exterior give this building a regal quality, while the interior impresses with artistic simplicity.
  • Tour the Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, containing nearly a quarter million exhibits on Kazakhstan ethnography and history, including a replica of the Golden Man.
  • Ride the 21st-century Almaty Metro, where each station has been beautifully designed to portray a specific theme. Stop at 2-3 stations to admire the colorful, intricate murals.
Tour Duration: 3-4 hours
Drive back to the hotel. Overnight in Almaty.
You will be met by your guide and driver at the Almaty hotel to begin the drive to Charyn Canyon (220km, 3-4hrs). Enjoy the view of passing Altai Mountains and villages on the way.
Upon arrival, hike to the bottom of the gorge to see the roaring Charyn River. Have a rest and a picnic lunch while your guide shares information about the area. Hike through Charyn Canyon, where steep mountain slopes reach up to 300 meters and the stunning Castles Valley runs more than 2 kilometers in length. Spend the afternoon walking about the ridges and bypaths of this fairytale land.
After the hike, drive back to your hotel. Tour duration: approximately 10 hours
Overnight in Almaty.
In the morning, transfer to the local airport to catch a flight to Nur-Sultan (1200km, 1hr, 45min). After landing in Nur-Sultan, a driver will take you to the hotel for check-in. Your guide will meet you at reception to begin the tour of Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana). The tour will include:
  • Independence Square, a marble plaza scattered with symbolic sculptures whose crowning glory is the staggering 91-meter-high Kazakh Eli Monument.
  • Excursion to Hazrat Sultan Mosque, boasting of the largest dome in Kazakhstan (51x28m) plus four minarets 77 meters in height. The premises are adorned with fountains and flowers while the interior impresses with intricate Kazakh ornamentation.
  • Continue to the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, a huge symmetrical pyramid built by architect Norman Foster. Its glass-and-granite symbol of unity holds conference halls, exhibition rooms and even an opera house.
  • Cross the Ishim River and continue sightseeing along Nurzhol Boulevard. This pedestrian walkway is lined with statues that reflect Kazakhstan’s heritage and culminates in Round Square, a busy center of shops, cafes and fountains.
  • Ride to the top of Bayterek Tower (a.k.a. the Tree of Life), the city’s most popular attraction which provides an amazing view of the city and the chance to place your palm in the famed golden imprint of President Nazarbayev’s hand.
  • Shop at Khan-Shatyr, a unique shopping mall and entertainment center housed in the largest tent in the world. Its amazing eco structure maintains warm temps inside even during the city’s frigid winters.
Tour Duration: 4-5 hours
Return to your hotel. Overnight in Nur-Sultan.
Free time in the morning. Check out of the hotel by noon for drop-off at Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport. End of Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan 8-Day Tour.

Note: The reverse itinerary for this tour is also available. Please contact us for more details.

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