Best of Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

Code: GATAS13
13 DAYS - 12 NIGHTS
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Cross two ‘stans off your travel map with a 13-day tour through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. This well-rounded tour takes you through bustling bazaars and beautiful city mosques in Samarkand and Bukhara, as well as bucket-list natural landscapes like the Darvaza gas crater known affectionately as the Door to Hell.

COUNTRY Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
CITY Tashkent, Samarkand, Aydar Kul, Bukhara, Khiva, Dashoguz, Darvaza, Ashgabat
DEPARTURE Flexible Departure
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Explore the famous Amir Timur Mausoleum
Discover the Ulugbek Observatory
Visit the ancient Panjvakta mosque
Witness the “Gates of Hell”
Experience night camping
INCLUDED
Accommodation
Meals as mentioned
Sightseeing and transportation as mentioned
Entrance fees to the museums and historical places
English Speaking Guide
EXCLUDED
International Flight
Airport transfer
Travel Insurance
Tipping to tour guide and driver
Meals not mentioned
Beverage during meals
Personal Expenses
Visa (if any)

1

Day 1: Arrive Tashkent

  • Arrive at any time. Welcome to the eclectic capital of Uzbekistan, where modern skyscrapers mix with Soviet-era architecture and mosaic mausoleums. There are no activities planned until the evening welcome meeting, so get out there and explore.
  • No meals

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Day 2: Tashkent – Samarkand

  • Travel on to Samarkand, known for intricately beautiful mosques and mausoleums, situated on the Silk Road. Take an orientation walk and opt to visit the Amir Timur Mausoleum, dedicated to the famous conqueror who once hoped to rebuild the empire of Genghis Khan. Optional Activities – Day 2 Amir Timur Mausoleum Visit Samarkand 3USD per person Amir Timur, known as Tamerlane, is an important figure to the city of Samarkand. He was a conqueror in the 14th century hoping to rebuild the empire of Genghis Khan and is considered the last of the great conquerors of the Eurasian steppe. Visit his mausoleum and learn more about his life and contributions.
  • Breakfast

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Day 3: Samarkand

  • Embark on a city tour, visiting Ulugbek Observatory, Shaki Zinda complex, the bazaar, Bibi Khanum, and Registan Square. With a free afternoon, continue exploring the Samarkand sights, have a cuppa in a local tea house, or wander around the bazaar. Opt to explore the Tomb of Prophet Daniel, famous for the Biblical story of Daniel and the lions. Optional Activities – Day 3 Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel Visit Samarkand 3USD per person Enjoy a visit to the Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel, famous for the Biblical story of Daniel and the lions. A legend says that his body grows by half an inch every year!
  • Breakfast

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Day 4: Samarkand – Aydar Kul Camp

  • Travel out into the desert to visit Chashma Complex, a pilgrimage site in the territory of Nurata, dominated by ruins of Alexander the Great’s fortress, Juma mosque, a bath-house, and the ancient Panjvakta mosque. All of this, hiding a holy spring believed to heal diseases. After exploring the complex, head to Aidarkul Lake and opt for a swim before continuing on for an overnight stay in a local yurt camp. Enjoy an authentic Uzbekistan dinner and an evening Kazakh singing show. Optional Activities – Day 4 Kazakh Singing Free Sit back and enjoy some local culture with a Kazakh singing performance.
  • Breakfast & Dinner.

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Day 5: Aydar Kul Camp – Bukhara

  • Travel to Bukhara, known as one of the most charming cities in the country, and get your bearings on an orientation walk. Opt to visit the old city bazaars, enjoy a traditional dinner cooked by a local family, visit a hammam (bathhouse), or just relax in the pleasant atmosphere of this Silk Road city. Optional Activities – Day 5 Hammam (Bathhouse) Visit 20USD There are a few hammam choices in the city and they are often gender specific – Hammam Kunjak for ladies and Bozori Kord Hammam for gentlemen. Depending on the day of the week and when you want to go, your CEO can advise you on some options.
  • Breakfast

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Day 6: Bukhara

  • Explore Bukhara on a half-day guided walking tour around the beautifully restored mosques, madrassas, and covered markets, or trading domes, that make up the Old City. A centre for pottery, cloth, and carpets, Bukhara is centered around Lyabi-Hauz, a delightful pool of water surrounded by ancient mulberry trees. Wander the artisan shops and narrow twisting streets and alleyways, or sit at a café table and let the evening drift by. Opt to watch a local puppet show held in an old caravanserai, or indulge in a rejuvenating hammam bathhouse. Optional Activities – Day 6 Hammam (Bathhouse) 20USD per person There are a few hammam choices in the city and they are often gender specific – Hammam Kunjak for ladies and Bozori Kord Hammam for gentlemen. Depending on the day of the week and when you want to go, your CEO can advise you on some options. Carpet Museum 1 usd per person The Magok-i Attari Mosque (Museum of Carpets) offers information about the art of carpet making and some fine examples to boot. Perhaps more impressively, the building the museum is located in was once used for Jewish, Muslim, and Christian services, demonstrating the diversity and open-mindedness of this intriguing city. Jewish Area and Synagogue Visit Free Bukhara has a fascinating Jewish history, with Bukharan Jews speaking a Turkic-Persian dialect with a Hebrew script. The city once was home to 40,000 Jews and now has a community of about 25-30 families. The synagogue is well worth a visit (donation expected) and houses a Torah that is roughly 1,000 years old. Please note that on Friday evenings and Saturday, the Synagogue is usually closed for Shabbat. Chor-Bakr Complex This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the burial site of Abu-Bakr-Said, one of the four descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. Wander around the necropolis of family tombs and enclosed courtyards while admiring the simple, yet intricate beauty.
  • Breakfast

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Day 7: Bukhara – Khiva

  • Enjoy a scenic drive through the desert on a full day’s journey to reach UNESCO-listed Khiva, well worth the arduous drive. Get to know this peaceful, picturesque city on a late afternoon orientation walk, and pick your favourite spots to explore more in-depth tomorrow.
  • Breakfast

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Day 8: Khiva

  • Before exploring this historic town on your own, enjoy a guided tour to learn about local life here. Wander through the narrow labyrinth mudbrick alleyways of old town, bargain with locals at the bazaar, admire the madrassas, mosques, and blue mosaic domes, climb up towering minarets, and venture into the dark dungeons Khiva was infamous for back in the 10th century. Explore the inner walls of Ichon-Qala, and enjoy spectacular sunset views on the sand-coloured buildings.
  • Breakfast

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Day 9: Khiva – Dashoguz

  • Spend the morning in Khiva, enjoying your last moments here to experience anything you couldn’t squeeze in yesterday, or do some last minute shopping. After lunch, drive to the Uzbek-Turkmen border and continue to Dashoguz. Take an orientation walk and opt for dinner in local café, or explore the city and it’s Bai Market. Optional Activities – Day 9 Bai Bazaar Free Walk around and explore the Bai Bazaar. Opt to purchase fruits or pastries and sample local foods. Dashoguz Museum 10 USD Learn more about the history, culture, and art of Turkmenistan at the Dashoguz Museum. From archeological finds to ancient clothes, find the various moments of history captured and on display in this stunning landmark.
  • Breakfast

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Day 10: Dashoguz – Darvaza

  • Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kunya Urgench to visit the ancient capital of the Khorezmian Empire. After lunch, continue to the Kara-Kum desert and witness the fiery Darvaza gas crater, also known as the “Gates of Hell.” This evening, enjoy a delicious barbeque dinner and spend the night camping under the stars at a yurt camp.
  • Breakfast

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Day 11: Darvaza – Ashgabat

  • After breakfast, begin the journey to the capital of Turkmenistan – Ashgabat. On the way, stop near the community of Erbent and admire its golden sand dunes that stretch out to the horizon. On arrival in Ashgabat, spend the evening at leisure. Opt to visit the Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque, also known as Gypjak Mosque, and capture the sun setting on the symmetrical minarets and golden domes.
  • Breakfast

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Day 12: Ashgabat

  • Spend the day exploring bustling Ashgabat. Enjoy a tour of the city in the morning, visiting several city treasures such as the Monument of Independence and the National museum or Neutrality Arch. Afterward, opt to venture to the ancient ruins of Nisa, or continue exploring Ashgabat. Optional Activities – Day 12 Ashgabat Hippodrome Free The largest hippodrome in the country, attend a horse race or just explore the grounds and view the markets, facilities, and playground. Ertugrul Gazi MosqueAshgabat Free With four minarets and a central dome, this mosque honours the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I. Here, find a lavish interior and stained glass windows.
  • Breakfast

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Day 13: Depart Ashgabat

  • Depart at any time.
  • Breakfast

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