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View of Islamic buildings through blue mosaic archway.

Uzbekistan holidays

Uzbekistan possesses the cream of Central Asian architecture, epitomised by the magnificent Registan Square in Samarkand.

Back in the early ’90s, Steppes Travel was the only company in the UK to be offering trips to Uzbekistan. As such, our expertise in this region is unrivalled and we would recommend a trip to Uzbekistan for anyone who wants to get to the heart of Central Asia. 

Recent investment has produced some excellent hotels and small guesthouses that are brimming with character; plus, there are direct flights from London and some excellent high-speed train routes. It is now also a visa-free destination. Despite the modernisation, the traditional chapan (or coat) and long afternoon battles of chess and backgammon are still very much a common sight.

Ulug Beg Observatory, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Ulug Beg Observatory, Samarkand

What to expect on your Uzbekistan Holiday

Today, much of Uzbekistan is a shadow of its former glory, however, the buildings and architecture which remain, much dating from the 13th and 15th centuries, are truly magnificent and one can only wonder at the skills of the craftsmen who laboured with such primitive tools. The markets are a delight and a photographic paradise; while outside the cities, the dusty, isolated villages with their flocks of woolly, fat-tailed sheep have changed little over the years.

Explore Uzbekistan

  • Bukhara
  • Khiva
  • Samarkand
  • Tashkent
  • Fergana Valley
Fergana Valley Pass, Uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan
Kyrgyz nomad by yurt, Bulunkul, Tajikistan
Kyrgyz nomad in Tajikistan
Decorating Bread, Damla, Turkmenistan
Decorating bread in Turkmenistan

Beyond the Ordinary

In Eastern Uzbekistan, lies the fertile valley of Fergana. Shielded by mountains, this conservative region is an ethnic melting pot where mosques and bazaars are alive with activity. The centre for silk production, it was a crucial link on the fabled silk route. From the Fergana Valley, it is a short drive to cross the border into Kyrgyzstan which combines beautifully with Uzbekistan, showcasing mountainous landscapes and nomadic culture.

Tajikistan and Turkmenistan also combine well and offer diverse scenery, ranging from mountains to deserts and lakes; as well as a thriving felt-making industry and fascinating archaeological sites.

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Experiences

Choose from our collection of curated experiences that will help us to create a bespoke and memorable journey for you.

Hike in the Chimgan Mountains

Embark on a day trek or a more challenging multi day hike in the Chimgan Mountains.

Kyzylkum Desert

Visit Aydarkul Lake in the Kyzylkum Desert – camp out in yurts and ride a camel.

Khiva

Explore the UNESCO city of Khiva, possibly the best preserved of all the Silk Road cities.

Discover Bukhara

Stroll through the atmospheric streets of Bukhara, home to bazaars, minarets and madrasas.

Fergana Valley

Visit the fertile silk producing region of the Fergana Valley.

Samarkand’s Registan Square

Wander around the restored madrasas flanking the edges of Registan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the countries most iconic images.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz. Later, my father’s postings took us to Nepal where we had to transit Delhi and Kathmandu where we were sometimes stranded for days and Hong Kong from where I travelled in 1983 through China for two months.
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Deborah Brock-Doyle

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …
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  • 01285 601 784

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Very efficient, knowledgeable and personal service from Paul. The whole holiday exceeded my expectations and the guides were soviet style superb.

Uzbekistan

Very satisfied with all aspects of Steppes service and especially pleased with our guide whose deep knowledge of the country gave us a far better trip than we had even expected. We were inspired to keep learning more, both during the trip and afterwards.

Uzbekistan

Deborah, our main contact was quick to respond and thoughtful. We requested a guide who was excellent in the history and lore of the region and she secured us the best guide we have ever encountered. Great team, great trip!

Uzbekistan

Deborah was the best, getting back to us in a timely manner, always answering questions and being patient as we changed our plans. Our drivers were skilled and we always felt safe and our guide was the best ever. He was knowledgeable, willing to answer all questions, positive about his country but realistic, fun to talk with, courteous, full of energy and flexible. We could not have had a better person to introduce us to Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan

Frequently asked questions about Uzbekistan

Do I need a visa to travel to Uzbekistan?

British passport holders travelling to Uzbekistan for tourism, for duration’s of up to 30 days do not require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Uzbekistan.

Other nationals would need to check with the respective embassy or contact us for assistance.

How long is the flight to Uzbekistan?

Flying direct from London to the capital of Tashkent takes around seven hours.

What type of food should I expect in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan is not known as a culinary destination and food here merges influences from Russia, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Turkey.Popular dishes include ‘Plov’, a rice dish traditionally made with meat, vegetables and infused with herbs and spices, cooked together all at once.

When is the best time of year to visit Uzbekistan?

It is best to visit Uzbekistan in the spring, between April and early June when days are dry and temperatures warm, and similarly in the autumn between September and early November. Winters can be bitterly cold and summers dry and extremely hot.

Can I drink alcohol in Uzbekistan?

Alcohol can be consumed, though is not always available due to Uzbekistan being a Muslim country. However, it does produce its own wine thanks to the perfect climate and terrain, and with around 14 Vineyards to choose from you will be spoilt for choice.

Can I travel by train in Uzbekistan?

More and more train routes are appearing and it is now possible to connect all the way from Tashkent to Khiva by high speed train.

What is the time zone in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan is five hours ahead of GMT.

Can I use my mobile phone in Uzbekistan?

Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies, although the coverage is average and charges are high. Pre paid SIM cards are available, and can be topped up during your trip.
Phones are available at most hotels, though making a call from your hotel room can be very expensive. Enquire at the reception.

What is the international dialling code for Uzbekistan?

998

Is Uzbekistan safe to travel around?

As the country is only now opening up to tourism, crime and being hassled is basically non-existent in Uzbekistan, especially due to the harsh penalties for committing any offences.

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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