Heart of Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan
Fixed Departure Tour
Countries: Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan
Tour duration: 14 days
Travel season: April - November
This tour is developed to see traces of the Great Silk Road and get acquainted with the history and modern life of Central Asian states. You will be impressed by magnificent mountains and primeval nature of Kyrgyzstan with wild landscapes of Tien-Shan Mountain Range: densely planted forests of conifers, wide valleys and raging rivers, unique mountain lakes with transparent water, magic glaciers, herds of horses, sheep and yaks, magnificent Canyons and feel a charm of ancient cities of Uzbekistan
Dates of group departures 2023:
02.05.2023 - 15.05.2023
30.05.2023 - 12.06.2023
11.09.2023 - 24.09.2023
Maximum number of participants per departure: 10
Price per person person:
4-6 pax: 2316 USD (minimum number of participants - 4)
6-8 pax: 1998 USD
8-10 pax: 1889 USD
Single room supplement: 472 USD
Carbon level per person
* based on 8 pax
60 kg CO2
290 kg CO2
Services included :
All transfers and excursions according to the program;
Transport: air-conditioned minivan or tourist bus;
Domestic flights: Bishkek - Osh and Tashkent - Urgench (Khiva);
Tickets for domestic trains: Tashkent - Samarkand and Bukhara - Khiva;
Accommodation in DBL/TWN rooms;
Entrance and environmental fees;
Russian or English speaking guide.
Services not included:
Photo and video fees in museums;
Lunches and dinners;
Single room supplement;
Additional overnight stays in cases of early arrival or late departure
Medical expenses and insurance;
1. Arrival in Bishkek
Arrival in Bishkek. Transfer to the hotel for a rest. Bishkek is a capital and the largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located at the foothill of magnificent Kyrgyz Ala-Tau mountain range. Bishkek is a city of many green parks and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks and thousands of smaller privately built houses. It is laid out on a grid pattern, with most streets flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels that water the innumerable trees which provide shade in the hot summers. The city is believed to be the greenest in Central Asia with more trees per head of population than any other. Our sightseeing tour includes: blooming Osh Bazaar, Historical Museum, Museum of Applied Arts and Ala-Too square, the main square of the country. The square serves as a place for state events and celebrations and includes many monuments, open-air picture gallery, famous Oak Park, marble government buildings and theaters.
2. Chon-Kemin Gorge
On the way to Chon-Kemin Gorge we make a stop at Karakhanid’s minaret of the 12 century - Burana tower. Nowadays it is a museum complex which includes the tower itself, reconstructions of mausoleums found on the site, remains of a citadel, collection of balbals (grave stones used by nomadic Turkic peoples), petroglyphs (stone carvings) and a small museum.
Chon Kemin is quiet valley with several small villages and farmers’ lands surrounded by magnificent mountains and fir forest. It is just a wonderful place to be, to sit on the doorstep and watch time pass by with a pot of tea.
In Cholpon-Ata we visit the petroglyphs ‐ a large open-air collection of rock carvings sometimes referred to as a Stone Garden, which covers some 42 hectares and contains a number of prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall, balbals) and petroglyphs (dating from the II millennium BC thru the Middle Ages and up to the VI century AD).
Also visit Cholpon‐Alta Museum of History. It exhibits a wide collection of national embroidery. Transfer to Karakol along beautiful landscapes of the lake and mountains. The atmosphere of Karakol town will bring you hundred years back and give you an impression of Tsarist Russia. Karakol in previous times had another name – Prjevalsk, in honor of the famous Russian explorer of Asia – Nikolai Prjevalski, whose grave is situated at the shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. Visiting of Prjevalsk Museum. The town was founded in 1869 and constructed in an old Russian style with many buildings from Tsar time.
In the morning we visit Holy Trinity Cathedral (1872) and Dungan Mosque (1910).
On the way we visit Jety-Oguz gorge with famous “7 bulls” and “Broken Heart” rocks and canyon "Skazka" (Fairy tale).
Then we head towards the center of Kyrgyz national felt handicrafts – Bokonbaevo.
5. Return to Bishkek
In the morning we will demonstrate you a traditional form of falconry found throughout Central Asia – hunting with eagles. Eagle hunting plays a key role in nomadic lifestyle and is widely used not only during national competitions and shows but also throughout routine life of local people.
Continue to Bishkek.
6. Flight to Osh
Take a morning flight to Osh.
Osh is the oldest city in Kyrgyzstan (estimated to be over 3000 years old) and the second largest in the country. The town is situated at a crossroad of ancient trading routes that became known as the Silk Road. The age of the city can be judged by the rock drawings and inscriptions found on the northern slope of the four-headed Suleiman Mountain. This mountain is located in the center of Osh and is a unique historical and architectural monument. The mountain is also known as Salomon’s throne. The site is still a popular place for local Muslims, with stairs leading up to the highest peak with a small mosque originally built in 1510. The mountain is included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO. Excursion to the bright Osh Bazaar and Historical Museum.
Today we cross a border between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and head towards Margilan to see the process of handmade production of Han-Atlas silk fabric at the Yodgorlik Factory. Located in the southeast of Fergana Valley, Margilan is considered to be one of the ancient cities in Uzbekistan and Central Asia, as well as a big center of international trade. The caravan routes connected Europe with East Asia via Margilan. From time immemorial, the people of Margilan have been busy manufacturing beautiful silk fabrics, making Margilan city well-known all over the world. Overnight in Fergana.
Transfer to Tashkent. Our first stop is Rishtan – center of unique ceramic production in Uzbkekistan. Rishtan is known today as one of the largest centers in Central Asia of manufacture of unique glazed ceramic.
Tashkent is among the five largest cities in Central Asia. Among tall modern buildings, historical buildings, ancient mosques are hiding here, and modern shopping centers alternate with traditional oriental bazaars and markets.
Our city tour also includes a richly decorated Museum of Applied Art. Exhibits include national carpets, gold embroidery, ceramics, porcelain, jewelry, small furniture and musical instruments. We will also visit the Independence Square, a favorite resting place for local people with beautiful fountains of the city, Alisher Navoi Theatre Square – one of the largest and unique theatre on the territory of Central and Southeast Asia.
In the morning we take a train to Samarkand (08:00 – 10:00). Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded 8 centuries before the beginning of our era. Once this city was the most important point connecting East and West, and the Great Silk Road passed through Samarkand.
Today you will explore the fabled city of Samarkand, one of the most important sites of the Silk Road. Visit of Registan Square which was for many centuries the heart of Samarkand. Some buildings, which are located at the square, have been preserved here in their original form since the time of their construction. We will see three beautiful madrasahs: the Ulug-Bek Madrasah built in the 15th century; the Tilya-Kori Madrasah built in the 17th century; the Sher-Dor Madrasah, also built in the 17th century. Visiting of Gur Emir - mausoleum of the Great Tamerlane.
10. Shakhrisabz & Bukhara
On the way we visit Shakhrisabz - one of most ancient cities in Central Asia. Outstanding architectural monuments and entire ancient quarters are located in the historical center of Shakhrisabz, bearing evidence of the centuries-old history of this city. These monuments and quarters belong to the heyday of the city during the time of Timur and Timurids in the XIV-XV centuries.
Arrival to Bukhara - a real city-museum: every building is a real exhibit. Ancient mosques, citadels, mausoleums, madrassas, monuments - all this can be visited, selflessly strolling around the city, because here every corner of the earth keeps its memory. Once upon a time, the Great Silk Road ran through Bukhara, which is purposefully reviving today.
In the morning we visit an oriental bazaar full of traditional colors and oriental smells. Your guide will accompany you to local craft workshops, among them Bukhara’s famous puppet workshop.
Continue browsing through Bukhara with the most beautiful architectural ensembles of mosques and madrasahs, visiting the Ark Citadel, the Mausoleum of the Samanids, Chor Minor Madrasahs, Lyabi Khauz Square - one of the main squares of the city is a real treasury of Bukhara - a whole architectural ensemble consisting of a mosque, a madrasah and a monument in honor of Khoja Nasreddin - a favorite character in oriental folklore. Lyabi Khauz is a favorite venue for various mass festivals and official holidays in Bukhara. Continue to the Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Mosque. Continue to architectural complex Poi Kalon with the Kalon Minaret, Kalon Mosque and Mir-Arab Madrasah, Toki Zargaron trade-domes, Magok-i-Attori Mosque.
Train trip to Khiva. Monday, Thursday and Saturday only 12:24 – 17:51
Early start to visit Gijduvan Ceramics Museum located in 40 km from Bukhara. Gijduvan school of traditional ceramics holds a special place among others. Gijduvan became the main supplier of ceramics to Bukhara in the first decade of the 20th century. You can enjoy the process of creating pottery in a local workshop of Ibodullo Narzullaev - a famous Uzbek ceramist including a wide variety of goods full of bright colors and ornaments: painted bowls and plates, elegant jugs, neat teapots and pots.
We proceed to Khiva via Kizilkum Desert (red sands) by train - the route of invaders, nomadic hordes and armies of Persians, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan.
Another city, many centuries ago located on the Great Silk Road, is the ancient Khorezm, or Khiva, as it is called now. Khiva can be regarded as an open-air museum - included in the UNESCO list, because here, whatever the building is, it is an ancient treasure.
Sightseeing tour of Khiva.
About 60 historical monuments, including the citadel, palaces, mosques, minarets and mausoleums, have been preserved in the old part of Ichan-Kala, which, like nothing else, preserves the image of the ancient eastern city of Khiva. The findings of archaeologists suggest that Old Khiva, which existed already in the 5th century, served as a stop on the Great Silk Road.
Visit the old town of Khiva with the surrounding Kunya Ark fortress, Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasah, beautifully decorated Islamic Khodja Minaret, Palvan Kari Complex and Rafanek Madrasah. In the afternoon, continue your exploration and visit the Uch-Avliyo Mausoleum, Juma Mosque, the Tash-Hauli Palace, Arab Mohammed Khan Madrasah.
14. Return to Tashkent
Take a morning flight to Tashkent (or evening flight on Day 13 depending on schedule). Enjoy a discovery tour through the capital of Uzbekistan, which will take you to the ancient squares and buildings as well as modern part of the 2,000 year old city. Excursions in Old Town: First visit is Kukeldash Madrasah, which still serves as a Koran School. You will also see the Khast-Imam Square with the beautiful Barak Khan Madrasah, the Tillya Sheikh Mosque and the Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum made of simple brickwork. Here you can also take a look at the Koran written by the third Caliph Osman (644 - 656). We will also visit the well-known ceramic workshop of Rakhimov family. In the workshop you can see with your own eyes how unique products are made from fired clay. Moreover, you can work yourself with the material on the potter's wheel, and take part in firing, glazing and painting the works. A stroll through the huge Chorsu bazaar will let you experience the everyday life with all your senses.
In the programs of guaranteed tours, as a rule, we use 3 * level and less often 4 * Hotels, as well as proven guest houses and yurt camps, which combine modern comfort with a national atmosphere.
Accommodation in yurt camps does not imply single accommodation. As a rule, 4 clients are accommodated in one yurt. Each yurt has beds with comfortable mattresses and a heating stove or electric heater, depending on the location.
Local cafes and restaurants offer a wide variety of National, European and Russian cuisine. There is always a choice of 1-2 vegetarian dishes.
The following vehicles will be used (depending on the number of people in the group):
Kyrgyzstan: 4-9 people: minibus Mercedes Sprinter; 10 and>: Bus of Setra class;
Uzbekistan: 4-9 people: minibus Toyota Hi-Ace; 10 and>: Toyota Coaster class bus.
For each reservation, we charge a prepayment of 100 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies) to the account via SWIFT transfer or a bank card. The final invoice is paid no later than five days prior to the planned arrival via SWIFT transfer. Payment instructions will be sent after pre-booking
Cancellations up to five days prior to planned arrival are subject to full refund. Cancellations made less than five days prior to the start of the tour are non-refundable.