Uzbekistan – Pearl of East!

Itinerary: Tashkent – Nukus – Aral sea – Nukus – Ayaz-kala - Khiva –  Bukhara – Nurata – Samarkand –Tashkent.

Duration:  12 days, 11 nights

Day 1 (01/09/18) – Tashkent.

Arrival to Tashkent at 20:45. Transfer to the hotel, hotel accommodation. Overnight in Tashkent.

Day 2 (02/09/18) – Tashkent (B/D).

After breakfast sightseeing tour:
Amir Temur (Tamerlane) square - The square represents a small park in the center of the city.
Independence Square - On the largest square of the Republic of Uzbekistan sit the administrative headquarters of the Cabinet of Ministers and Senate.
Monument of Courage - The monument was built in 1976 to the 10-th anniversary of the terrible earthquake that destroyed almost half of the city.
Museum of Applied Arts.
Tashkent metro.

Visit old part of city:
Architectural complex Hazreti-Imam. Hazreti-Imam is a symbolic place not only for Tashkent but also for the world’s culture. It contains the most famous Koran in the world - the Ottoman Koran. It was the Ottoman Koran that all subsequent copies of the Holy Book of Muslims were made from.
Madrasah Kukeldash - The builder of the Madrasah was a vezir of the Tashkent khans (1551-1575), called Kukeldash ("the foster-brother of the khan"). The Madrasah has a traditional composition: an extensive court yard, built on khudjras, with darskhana and a mosque in the corners.
Chorsu bazaar - the most popular and famous national bazaar in Tashkent. Dinner at the national restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent.

Day 3 (03/09/18) – Tashkent-Nukus (by plane). (B/L/D)

Nukus-Kungrad-Usturt Plateau- Sudochie lake-Aral sea (on SUV type car - 450 km – 8 hrs).

After early breakfast transfer to the airport for morning flight to Nukus. Our special guide for Aral sea trips will meet you at the airport. The beginning of an unforgettable trip…

Departure from Nukus to discover the Usturt Plateau and Aral sea life. Pass via Kungrad district – which used to be one of the trading centers on the Silk Road. Continue to the Usturt Plateau. Stop at the Lake Sudochie, have picnic lunch. Visit the fishermen’s house. Old fish factory Urga. On the way visit the former Light House. Visit airport on Usturt Plateau. Stop to take pictures of beautiful Canyons and the collapsed land. Arrive to the Aral Sea. Have a walk (1 hour) from the yurt camp ground to the nearby Kurgancha-Kala – an old caravan sarai hidden in the hills of the Usturt. Dinner. Overnight in the yurts.

Day 4 (04/09/18) – Aral-sea-Moynak-Mizdakhan XIVc-Gaur kala-Nukus (400 km – 7 hrs). (B/L/D)

Early wake up to take pictures of sun rise. Have a breakfast. Transfer to Moynak village, which is known as "cemetery of ships” nowadays. Lunch at the Guest house in Moynak. Visit the Ships’ Graveyard, local museum, watch the short video about Moynak life at the museum. Drive to Khodjeli city to visit Mizdak-khan architectural complex of the XIV c and Gaur kala ruin that was destroyed by Shingiz-khan. Arrival in Nukus around 5-6 p.m. Hotel accommodation.  Dinner at the hotel with national Karakalpak’s folklore show.

Overnight in Nukus.

Day 5 (05/09/18) – Nukus – Ayaz-kala – Khiva (200 km/ 4hrs). (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art named after I.V. Savitsky – “Museum in the desert”. Transfer to Khiva via Toprak-kala and Ayaz-kala. On the way visit Chilpik-kala - Zoroastrian tower of silence. Coffee-break after walking.  Continue driving to Toprak-kala. Arrival to Toprak-kala -ancient settlement which was the capital of Khorezm in the III century AD. Not without reason Toprak-kala is called" - the museum of fine arts of Ancient Khorezm". Then we’ll visit one of the largest fortresses of Ancient Khorezm – Ayaz-kala, II century AD, relevant to the period of Kushan Empire prosperity. Lunch at the yurt camp. Continue driving to Khiva. Arrival and hotel accommodation.  Overnight in Khiva.

Day 6 (06/09/18) – Khiva (B/D)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Sightseeing tour in Ichan-Qala (a UNESCO World Heritage site):
Muhammad Amin-Khan Madrasah - The biggest medieval madrasah in Khiva, the Madrasah of Muhammad Amin-khan (1845-1855) is located opposite to Kunya-Ark at the gates of Ata-darvaza. Its area is 78x60 m. The Madrasah has 125 hudjras and could receive up to 260 pupils. The portal is crowned with five domes and flanked by corner towers.
Kunya-Ark fortress - Kunya-Ark ("Old fortress") is the inner citadel of Ichan-Qala. It was founded in the 17th century by Muhammad-Erenk Khan (1687-1688). Kunya-Ark had formed a "city inside a city" separated by a high wall, by the end of the 18th century.
Mausoleum of Makhmud Pakhlavan - The necropolis of Pahlavan-Makhmud is the religious center of Ichan-Qala. It formed around the tomb of Khiva's patron Pahlavan-Makhmud (1247-1326). He was a poet, philosopher and wrestler.
Friday Mosque and Minaret - The cathedral mosque of Khiva, otherwise known as Djuma-Mosque, is located in Ichan-Qala on the road leading from the gates of Palvan-darva-za to Ata-darvaza. It is a typically archaic mosque with a flat ceiling on columns which has no analogue in Central Asia.
Ak-Mosque - The Ak-Mosque ("White Mosque") was built at Anush-khan (1663-1687) in the middle of the 17th century.This is a small quarter mosque next to the gates of Palvan-darvaza. The winter building with prayer hall has a white conical dome.  Dinner at the Former Khan’s palace. Overnight in Khiva.

Day 7 (07/09/18) – Khiva- Bukhara (480 km/ 7-8 hrs). (B/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Bukhara via Kyzyl-Kum desert (480 km. 6-7 hrs.) On the way stop to see Amu-Darya river. Coffee-break near the river.  Continue driving.  Arrival to Bukhara and hotel accommodation. Free time.
Dinner at the national restaurant. Overnight in Bukhara.

Day 8 (08/09/18) – Bukhara (B/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour:
Samanids Mausoleum - This mausoleum, one of the most esteemed sights of Central Asian architecture, was built in the (9th (10th) century).
Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum (Saint Job’s Source) - Chashma-i Ayub Mausoleum, which features a Harezm-style conical dome, which is uncommon in Bukhara, appeared in the 12th century beside the spring that is associated with the biblical Prophet Job.
Ark citadel (residence of Bukhara khans) - Ark-Citadel is a residence of Bukhara khans. According to the last excavations, it was determined the citadel was on this place from 4 century BC.
Lyabi Khauz ensemble - Architectual ensemble Lyabi-Khauz is formed with three large monumental buildings: Kukeldash Madrasah in the north, khanaka and Nodir Divan-begi in the west and in the east. From the south the square was closed with Trade Street. The center of old Bukhara large ensemble became a reservoir).
Poi-Kalyan Ensemble (Madrasah and Minaret) - It is the main ensemble in Bukhara center, situated on the way to trade crossing of "four bazars" and Poi-Kalyan means “the pedestal of the Great” (it means “the pedestal of Kalyan minaret”).
Silk carpets shop and trading domes.
Dinner at the Nodir Devan Begi Madrasah with folklore show. Overnight in Bukhara.

Day 9 (09/09/18) – Bukhara (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour:
Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace (the residence of the Emir of Bukhara) - The residence of the Emir of Bukhara was built in 1912-1918.
Chor-Bakr Necropolis (10th century) - Ancient graves of Juibar sheikhs.  The Chor-Bakr Necropolis, also called the city of the dead.
Lunch at the national house with culinary master-class – cooking Uzbek Plov.
Visit the Memorial complex of Bahouddin Naqshbandi - The great theologian of the XIV century, founder of the Sufi Order "Naqshbandia" was buried 12 km from Bukhara in his native village of Kasri Orifon. Some time ago there was the pagan temple of the site of current tomb of Naqshbandi.
Free time. Overnight in Bukhara.

Day 10 (10/09/18) – Bukhara – Nurata (240 km. 4-5 hrs). (B/L/D)

After early breakfast transfer to Nurata (240 km). On the way visit a local mosque with a holy spring water. Continue driving to the yurt camp in Kyzyl Kum desert. Stop on Nurata pass to see petroglyphs. Arrive at the yurt camp. Lunch.  Camel riding. Visit Aydarkul lake. Free time.  You will enjoy a beautiful night sky full of stars near the campfire while Akin sings folk songs after the dinner. Overnight in the yurt.

Day 11 (11/09/18) – Nurata – Samarkand (250 km.4-5 hrs). (B/D)

After breakfast drive to Samarkand. Arrival and hotel accommodation.
Sightseeing tour:
The main square - Registan: Ulugbeg, Sher-Dor and Tillya-Kari madrasahs. Registan became a main square of Samarkand in the 14th century. Registan means "a sandy place".
Bibi-Khanym Mosque - The cathedral mosque was given one of the greatest portals of that era. Its arch was flanked with powerful pylons, with minarets up to 50m in height.
Siab bazaar – centre of oriental sweets. Dinner at the national restaurant.
Overnight in Samarkand.

Day 12 (12/09/18) – Samarkand - Tashkent (by high-speed train). (B/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour:
Gur-Emir Mausoleum (tomb of Amir Temur) - Gur-Emir is Persian for "Tomb of the King". This architectural complex with its azure dome contains the tombs of Tamerlane. The earliest part of the complex was built at the end of the 14th century by the orders of Muhammad Sultan.
Observatory of Ulugbeg - The largest observatory in Central Asia was built in the 1420's by Ulugbeg. Here, for three decades, scholars, including the outstanding astronomers Qazi-Zadeh Rumi, Djemsnid Giyas ad-Din Kashi and Ali Kushchi, performed measurements of celestial movements.
Shakhi Zinda necropolis - unique architectural monuments. The genesis of the Shahi-Zinda necropolis on the slope of Afrasiab hill is connected with Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. We know that he took part in the first Arab campaigns to Maverannahr. According to legend, Kusam was mortally wounded on the walls of Samarkand and escaped underground, where he continues to live, hence the name of the necropolis, Shahi-Zinda - "living king". 
Mausoleum of St. Daniel - On the shore of Siab, a small tributary of Zerafshan River, there is a sacred place, which keeps the relics of Daniel, the Old Testament Biblical Prophet. Another version says that there are the relics of Daniyol (or Danier), an associate of the Arab preacher Kussama ibn Abbas. But all versions agree that Danier is the Saint and pilgrims from all the three world religions come here to worship him.
Transfer to railway station, departure to Tashkent by high-speed train “Afrosiab”.
Arrival and transfer to restaurant. Dinner at the national restaurant with folklore show. Transfer to the airport at 01:00 a.m.