A trip to Uzbekistan will introduce you to the best treasures of the ancient trading Silk Road. The cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand were all popular sites for traders and have each been delicately restored.These stunning mosques and mosaics are complimented by classic Russian architecture, as the country equally pays homage to its many years ...
“A varied and inspiring (but arduous) journey through Central Asia, from the magnificent mosques and mausoleums of Uzbekistan, to the bleak but beautiful mountain and steppe landscape of Kyrgyzstan, this trip delivered what it promised.”
“There's never a dull moment in this full-on, activity packed, classic road and rail journey. Squeezing three contrasting countries into just 15 days is something of a challenge and it requires stamina, energy, good humour and an open mind to get the most out of it. With just five in the group, this felt like a private trip and the intensity and space certainly benefitted an excellent itinerary. Uzbekistan has the monuments, China provides the counterpoint and nomadic Kyrgyzstan oozes impossibly beautiful mountain and lakeland vistas. Throw-in the Russian influences and the echoes of Ginghis Khan, Tamerlane, Alexander the Great and Marco Polo and you have an intriguing concoction.”
“Overall a fantastic trip but not a relaxing one. Each country is different from the others and it feels like three holidays in one. Early starts and long journeys made for arduous travelling at times and the border crossing into China was a pain, but spectacular scenery and reasonably regular stops made it interesting and nearly every day had highlights to look forward to. The hotels were comfortable and the food was better and more varied that we were led to believe from reading previous reviews. I'd score it 9 out of 10 overall.”
“This is a full on trip across three countries and at times travelling through mountainous areas on fairly rough roads. As a result this isn't the holiday to take if your looking for relaxation but the pay off is an amazing contrast of stunning ancient buildings, breathtaking scenery and mixing with people who have had limited contact with western europeans. At times we were being photographed as much as the locals! The tour really does take you back through the centuries to the time of Tamerlane and even earlier. The soviet restoration of some sites has been done incredibly well and we felt welcome in all of the mosques and mausoleums we visited”
Beautiful Islamic art with warm, friendly, polite and helpful people.
Reviewed Tour: A Week in Uzbekistan
4 - Very Good
“Fantastic experience of viewing outstandingly beautiful Islamic buildings and art; learning about the cultural history of the region, especially Amir Temur; set against the background of a country regaining its own identity after being under the control of Russia, and the Soviet Union. The fun of staying in a yurt, and going for a camel ride. Enjoying (or not) the local delicacies and beverages. The people have great pride in their heritage and keep everywhere clean of litter, together with being friendly, polite and welcoming.”
“Uzbekistan is a fascinating country full of surprises and although longer trips are available, I felt we packed enough in to a week to get a real taste of what the country is like. Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara are all very different, but all equally interesting in their own ways. The stay at the yurt camp is really fun and offers some much needed down time in what is a very busy week. ”
“This was well planned and organised, and very satisfactory. The variety, with city explorations plus trips to the desert fortresses and into the desert to stay in yurts, was a good idea, but entailed a lot of time spent in the bus driving over indifferent roads. Hard to avoid that, but the journeys used a lot of time. The advance notes were adequate, but incremental changes had been inserted and noted, some of which conflicted with the earlier text, but the whole document had not been adjusted and edited to create a clear narrative (about the details and practicalities, such as liability for a departure airport tax). The local leadership was excellent and might be worth more emphasis - it was a 24/7 service whilst I certainly expected to be relying on my own resources much more. The hotels were generally good (even the Uzbekistan in Tashkent had no hot water on day one, and the loos in Bukhara were somewhat smelly). The airline trip was really uncomfortable in both directions - London to Tashkent direct might only be possible with Uzbekistan Airlines, which is a plus, but the seating and the service - the food - was quite dreadful.”
A trip to Uzbekistan will introduce you to the best treasures of the ancient trading Silk Road. The cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand were all popular sites for traders and have each been delicately restored.These stunning mosques and mosaics are complimented by classic Russian architecture, as the country equally pays homage to its many years under Soviet rule. With few foreign tourists, get ready for an intimate visit through Uzbekistan’s wonders.
Get a panoramic view of old Khiva from the minaret of the Islam Khodja mosque
See the colourful mosaics of the Registan plaza in Samarkand
Roam through the 114 rooms of Khan's Palace in Kokand
Explore the Ark of Bukhara, an incredible fortress built in the 5th century AD
Shop beneath the blue dome of the Chorsu Bazaar
Uzbekistan offers some great transportation links for anyone wanting to see all the country has to offer. Whether you prefer domestic flights, high-speed trains, or city metro-rides, Uzbekistan has it all.
While most of Uzbekistan's cuisine is quite flavourless (think boiled vegetables and grey meats), some dishes are worth seeking out. Try Lagman, a lamb soup with thick noodles and spices, and jiz, a stir-fry-like dish of beef, onion and eggplant.
Avoid border areas in Uzbekistan, particularly at its shared borders with Afghanistan. These areas are often riddled with landmines and have been known to incur cross-border gunfire.
Uzbekistan relies heavily on cash. Be sure to exchange your money before you visit, and carry the local currency (Uzbek Sum) rather than U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies.
Uzbekistan is a police state, so be prepared for heavy police presence across the country. Carry copies of your passport and other ID with you at all times, and think twice before taking photos (especially of important buildings). The main benefit of this is a relatively low crime rate.