Today the atmosphere of a Silk Road city is once again returning to Bukhara. Narrow alleyways, sectioned by dark imposing heavy carved…
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.
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.
Our experts have created and curated these Uzbekistan tailor-made holiday ideas and group tours to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for a unique adventure.
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.
Choose from our collection of curated experiences that will help us to create a bespoke and memorable journey for you.
Explore the UNESCO city of Khiva, possibly the best preserved of all the Silk Road cities.
Stroll through the atmospheric streets of Bukhara, home to bazaars, minarets and madrasas.
Embark on a day trek or a more challenging multi day hike in the Chimgan Mountains.
Visit the fertile silk producing region of the Fergana Valley.
Wander around Samarkand exploring the restored madrasas flanking the edges of Registan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the countries most iconic images.
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 is the Conde Nast Traveler chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.
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.
Very efficient, knowledgeable and personal service from Paul. The whole holiday exceeded my expectations and the guides were soviet style superb.
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.
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!
ATM’s are not always reliable in Uzbekistan but have improved in recent years. We recommend you also bring some cash which can be exchanged at the bank with the help of your guide.
Flying direct from London to the capital of Tashkent takes around seven hours.
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. A wide variety of delicious and attractive flatbreads are also produced in Uzbekistan, some glazed and intricately patterned.
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.
British passport holders travelling to Uzbekistan for tourism, for durations 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.
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.
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.
Uzbekistan is five hours ahead of GMT.
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.
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