On the road in desert countries
Combined tour: 16 days/15 nights
Itinary: Ashgabat – Nissa – Mary – Merv – Dashoguz – Khiva – Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand – Kokand – Fergana – Margilan – Tashkent
This combined tour is dedicated to the oil-rich Turkmenistan and culturally rich Uzbekistan. Countries are both desert states. In one country the Kyzylkum desert prevails and the other the Karakum. The two countries are the largest rivers in Central Asia – separately – the Amu Darya. First you visit the medieval cities in Turkmenistan. Then the journey continues with breathtaking cities of Uzbekistan, which are rich in the majestic monuments and beautiful oriental architecture. You will feel like in the land of a thousand and one tales. It’s a good unique opportunity for you to get to know an interesting way, the local culture, cuisine and lifestyle of these desert lands.
Day 1. Arrival in Ashgabat
Meet at the international airport of Turkmenistan. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2. Ashgabat
The full day sightseeing in the capital with the neutrality monument erected in 1998 in honor of the political neutrality of Turkmenistan, the top of the structure is achieved by glass elevator, from there you have a great view over the city. Then the Independence Square, surrounded by many palaces, extravagant ministries. Next we visit the National Museum and the carpet museum. Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 3. Ashgabat – Nissa – Ashgabat
Day trip to other attractions in the vicinity of Ashgabat with a visit to the excavation site of the ancient city of Nissa (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Continue in the Kopetdag mountains to picturesque gorge Firuza, for Geok Depe memorial mosque and the village Nokhur in the mountains with a interesting cemetery. On the way back to Ashgabat visit the Turkmenbashi mosque containing the mausoleum of the president’s family. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4. Ashgabat – Mary – Merv – Ashgabat
Morning flight to Mary, east of Ashgabat. Arrival and transfer (30 km) in the ancient city of Merv, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Discovery of the imposing site of Erk Kala (VI.Jh.), 20 hectares, surrounded by a wall and ditches, with their only entrance a bridge overlooking the city. Then visit Sultan Kala, cited again on Jerusalem and Damascus gigantic size, consisting of a citadel (Shakhristan) and suburbs (flaps). We then visit the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar. The building with a central dome with no portal is typical of the architectural style of the Khorezm oasis. Another monument: the Shahriar Ark (citadel in the Citadel), the complex of Hodja Yusuf Hamadani Mausoleum, as large and small Kyz Kala (VI-VII century.), The mausoleum of Mohamed Ibn Zaid, the mausoleum of Aschkabs. A few kilometers south lies a post-medieval town called Abdulla Kala. At the time of Timur built, it is surrounded by imposing ramparts. Back to Mary for our return flight in the evening. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5. Ashgabat – Dashoguz
After breakfast, we fly with the domestic flight from Ashgabat after Dashoguz. At noon trip from Dashoguz to the archaeological park of Konya Urgench (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and visit to Turabeg- Khanum mausoleum, minaret Kutlug Timur and other mausoleums in the grounds of this once very important center on the Silk Road. Back to the hotel in Dashoguz.
Day 6. Dashoguz – Khiva
In the morning drive from Dashoguz to the border to Uzbekistan. After crossing the border continue to oasis town of Khiva and transfer to the hotel in Khiva. In the afternoon free time and opportunity for a first, casual stroll through the old town of Khiva.
Day 7. Khiva – « The Eighth Wonder of the World »
Explore one of the best preserved cities on the Silk Road. The former capital of Chiwa- khanates in the 17th century has preserved the magical atmosphere of an ancient, oriental city until today. You visit the old town Chiwa- Juma mosque, madrasa Muhammad Amin Khan, Citadel Kochna Ark, Pachlovon Makhmud Mausoleum, Alakuli Chan Madrassah and Others Overnight in Khiva.
Day 8. Khiva – Bukhara
While driving through the Kyzylkum desert, you will discover that the apparent wasteland has much to offer. You drive along the Amu Darya River, the life-giving power in Central Asia. In addition, your guide will take the time to tell you interesting things about the country and people. You can look forward to a varied journey, therefore. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 9 & 10. Bukhara
Visit Samaniden- Mausoleum, Friday Mosque Bolo House, Ark Fortress, Kalon Mosque and Minaret, madrasa Mir Arab, madrasas Ulugbek and Abdul Aziz- Khan, among others domed bazaars The perfect finishing touch to a perfect day is the dance performance at a madrassah.Near Bukhara there are other attractions that should not remain hidden from them. Your guide will introduce you to the secrets of the summer palace of the last Emir of Bukhara – Sitorai Mohi Khosa – and shows you the mausoleum Chor Bakr and the Bakhauddin-Nakhshbandi ensemble. This tomb is visited by pilgrims and gives you an insight into the living Islam. Finally, you will return to Bukhara. The rest of the day, you can customize to your liking. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 11. Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand
Morning departure to Samarkand via Schakrisabs. The city is the birthplace of Timur. Visit Ak Saray (White Palace) and Kuk Gumbaz (Blue Dome). In the afternoon arrival in Samarkand. Free time. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12. Samarkand
Today your tour of the breathtaking Samarkand goes away. Visit Gur-e Amir, the final resting place of the famous ruler Tamerlane. After a short walk from the heart of Samarkand, the beautiful Registan Square with its three magnificent madrasahs: Ulugbek, Shir Dor and Tillya-Kari, observatory Ulugbek.
Day 13. Samarkand – Tashkent
Continuation of the tour. You see Bibikhanum mosque, a famous Seidenpapiermanifaktur of Samarkand. They also have time on the oriental bazaar to stroll. In the evening, take the train back to Tashkent. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 14. Tashkent – Kokand – Rishtan – Fergana
In the morning pick up from your hotel. Today we will make an extraordinary journey (340 km ca. 5 hrs.) On the 2.650m high mountain pass Kamtchik towards Fergana. On this route you will experience a panoramic mountain. On the way you visit in the palace of Kokand Chudojar Khan who Norbutabey Madrassah, the imposing Juma Mosque. Drive to Rishtan and visit a ceramics workshop, because the Fergana Valley is famous for its ceramics. Overnight in Fergana.
Jour 15. Ferghana – Marghilan – Ferghana
In the morning goes your trip to Margilan, city of silk. In Margilan visit a silk workshop and learn all about the production process of silk. Afternoon trip to Fergana and sightseeing. Overnight in Fergana.
Day 16. Fergana – Tashkent
In the morning we drive to Tashkent. Arrival in hotel. In the afternoon free time. Transfer to the international airport and departure.