Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan: Ancient Trade Routes of Central Asia - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

The mountains and deserts of Central Asia are the backdrop for this extraordinary adventure to the heart of the ancient Silk Road.

Journey Overview

The mountains and deserts of Central Asia are the backdrop for this extraordinary adventure to the heart of the ancient Silk Road. This is one of the world’s most remote and untouched areas and was, during the Middle Ages, the epicentre of a powerful empire. On this journey, you’ll explore Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, two countries steeped in antiquity with a lasting legacy from the warriors and emperors who made their mark. Visit some of the oldest cities in the world such as the legendary Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, each boasting a glorious architectural legacy that is simply dazzling.

Journey Highlights

  • Walk in the footsteps of emperors and priests and discover the ancient civilisations of the Silk Road
  • Breathe in the dramatic landscapes of the vast Central Asian steppe
  • Marvel at some of the world’s most impressive and intricate tile work at the region’s famous mosques and minarets
  • Soak up the atmosphere in exotic markets, bazaars and caravanserais
  • Admire the elaborately designed and decorative stations of the impressive Tashkent underground
  • Appreciate the world’s second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art in remote Uzbekistan
  • Discover the rich handicraft traditions of Central Asia meeting the artisans and craftsmen in their workshops
  • Learn the culinary secrets behind the perfect plov, a classic Uzbek dish  

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Arrive into the Uzbek capital. This evening, your Resident Tour Director will deliver a briefing on the journey ahead before a welcome dinner.
Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace | Meals: D

Day 2: Tashkent | Mosques & Madrasas.

Explore 2,000 years of history in the sprawling city of Tashkent, including the Hazrat Imam Islamic complex with mosques and madrasas constructed from the 11th century to today. Stroll through Chorsu Bazaar, the fresh produce and open-air market, before visiting the Museum of Applied Arts, built at the height of the Soviet era, which showcases regional ceramics, textiles and artworks by Uzbek artists.
Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Tashkent | Heart of the City.

Your day starts at the History Museum exploring Zoroastrian and Buddhist artefacts, ethnic art and costumes from different parts of Uzbekistan. After lunch, stroll around Independence Square and take a ride on the Tashkent underground before visiting the ceramic workshop of the Rakhimov family where six generations of master potters have practiced their art.
Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace | Meals: BL

Day 4: Samarkand | Gleaming Domes of Cerulean Blue.

Journey by high-speed train to the ancient city of Samarkand, widely considered Uzbekistan’s most magnificent. Its long history is most famously linked to the legacy of the great 14th century ruler Tamerlane whose aim was to create the richest city on earth. Visit his famous mausoleum and Registan Square, arguably the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia. Visit a local home for lunch and learn the secret to making Uzbekistan’s signature dish, plov. Join in or simply enjoy lively conversation with the family before a delicious meal.
Hotel Dilimah | Meals: BL

Day 5: Samarkand | Uzbek Artistic Traditions.

A fascinating encounter with local artisans at a papermaking workshop and silk carpet factory. After lunch, visit the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis which sits on a pretty hill overlooking the city, and marvel at the impressive Bibi Khanym Mosque, one of the largest in Central Asia, before heading to the Ulugh Beg Observatory. There’s time this afternoon to visit the local bazaar where stalls are bursting with colourful handicrafts and mounds of fresh fruits, spices, nuts and freshly baked bread.
Hotel Dilimah | Meals: BL

Day 6: Bukhara | Medieval Jewel.

Today journey west by high-speed train to the magical city of Bukhara, a major centre for trade in the Middle Ages and the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. Begin your introduction to the city at the ancient trading domes and, later on, the spectacular Ark, a royal citadel dating to the 5th century.
Omar Khayyam Hotel | Meals: BL

Days 7-8: Bukhara | Design Your Day.

Over the next two days, explore the early 18th century Bolo Hauz Mosque, Ismail Samani mausoleum which dates from the 10th century and the glorious Summer Palace of the last Bukhara emirs which dates from the beginning of last century. You can plot your own course one afternoon with a choice of Design Your Day activities:

  • Meet a local ceramics artist for a private master class.
  • Discover the city’s Jewish heritage on a stroll through the old Jewish quarter.
  • Experience a traditional Bukhari hammam in the Old Town. 

Omar Khayyam Hotel | Meals: BLD (Day 7); BL (Day 8)

Day 9: Mary, Turkmenistan | Silk Road Oasis Town.

Journey southwest today to the Uzbek-Turkmen border at Farab, complete border formalities and continue on the road to Mary, an oasis city in the Karakum Desert. Enjoy an evening at leisure exploring the city or taking a stroll along the Murgab River.
Hotel Mary | Meals: BL

Day 10: Merv | One of the World’s Great Vanished Cities.

This morning explore Merv, believed at one time to be the largest city in the world. The entire ancient city has World Heritage status and its beautiful monuments bear witness to the glory of days past. The most famous is the Sultan Sanjar mausoleum, which dates to the 12th century and stands alone on the open plain. Evening flight to the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, whose bright white skyline rises starkly from the surrounding desert.
Oguzkent Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 11: Ashgabat | The White City.

A visit to the World Heritage listed fortress of Old Nisa, a beautiful landmark at the foot of the Kopet-Dag Mountains. Later on, an exclusive tour of the Arkadash stud farm, home of the famous Akhal-Tekke horse. The breed is one of the oldest in existence. Back in Ashgabat, visit the Russian Market for a vivid taste of life in the capital. Finish up at the National Carpet Museum with its rare collection of hand-made Turkmen carpets.
Oguzkent Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 12: Dashoguz | Ancient Capital of the Achaemenid Empire.

A morning flight to Dashoguz in the far north of the country, the ancient capital of Khorezm and the second city, after Bukhara, in Central Asia. Explore the old town monuments including the mosque, caravanserai gates, fortresses, mausoleums and a 60-metre-high minaret. This afternoon, cross the Uzbek border and travel on to the living museum of Khiva.
Erkin Palace | Meals: BL

Day 13: Khiva, Uzbekistan | Ancient Citadel and Caravanserais.

A full day touring this medieval gem of a town where brilliant blue tilework embellishes the rich ochre of the mudbrick architecture. Wander through the twisting alleyways of the city, visit the Kunya Ark or old citadel, the Emir’s Palace, the magnificent Juma Mosque, the caravanserai and the local bazaar. This evening, soak up the sunset and some amazing views of Khiva from the old city walls, before dining on local delicacies at Zaynab’s family home.
Erkin Palace | Meals: BD

Day 14: Nukus | Avant-garde Russian Art Collection.

Journey northwards to the ancient site of Ayaz-Kala, one of the largest surviving castle fortresses, where a short trek is rewarded with breathtaking views over the desert landscape followed by a picnic lunch. Afterwards, head to the ancient settlement of Toprak-Kala before arriving into the remote city of Nukus where the Savitsky Museum is the major highlight. Marvel at the extraordinary collection of Russian avant-garde art amassed by Igor Savitsky during the 1950s and ‘60s.
Jipek Joli Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 15: Tashkent | Sprawling Uzbek Capital.

Return by air to Tashkent with the rest of the day at leisure to explore more of the Uzbekistan capital. In the evening freshen up before a farewell dinner.
Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace | Meals: BD

Day 16: Depart Tashkent.

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Maximum Group Size: 18
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Tour Inclusions
All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; meals as specified; bottled water during transfers and touring; airport welcome; assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; services of an English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director (once for each country); economy flights and trains only if specified as included in itinerary, all entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges, all tipping.

Tour Exclusions
International flights not specified as included, visas, insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip; items of a purely personal nature such as drinks, laundry, dry cleaning, internet, fax or phone charges; transfers, sightseeing or meals not specified in itinerary; excess baggage charges    

Please Note
Accommodation used on this journey is not luxurious, from both a facility and service perspective. Hotels are a mix of 3-star and 4-star (rather than 5-star), but have air conditioned rooms, swimming pools (generally), WI-FI and buffet breakfast, and comply with key international health and safety regulations. The use of 3 and 4-star hotels is due to a genuine lack of choice and the relative under-development of the destinations and their tourism industries. We do request that guests understand in advance that the basic nature of accommodation used on this journey (which can sometimes be very atmospheric) can make for a unique, memorable stay. Please do note that at all times, A&K endeavours to use the best accommodation available.

For further information please contact A&K and speak to one of our groups specialists. 

Tailor Made Travel with A&K
If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, talk to your A&K travel specialist or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke journey for your, or a small group.

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Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace

Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan: Ancient Trade Routes of Central Asia - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace is located in the centre of the city and within close proximity to some of the major sights and attracti ... Read more

Hotel Dilimah

Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan: Ancient Trade Routes of Central Asia - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

The new Hotel Dilimah is ideally situated in the heart of Samarkand and offers accommodation in 41 comfortably furnished rooms decorated ... Read more

Omar Khayyam Hotel

Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan: Ancient Trade Routes of Central Asia - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

With a unique location in the heart of Bukhara’s Old City, Omar Khayyam Hotel is within walking distance of the most important ancient mo ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Sep 3, 2020 - Sep 18, 2020
Price AU$11,495pp Single Supplement AU$1,750 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Book
Oct 1, 2020 - Oct 16, 2020
Price AU$11,495pp Single Supplement AU$1,750 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Book

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.


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