Shakhi Zinda, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Minarets, Silk and Fergana Valley

A journey through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan…

Start date End date Days
Prices from
ex. flights
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
12/04/25 25/04/25 13 days £3,495 £565 Chris Alexander 15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Close up of woman's hand embroidering with gold silk. 1

Silk workshops

Visit local artisans off the main tourist trail to see ancient carpet weaving skills.

Ulug Beg Observatory, Samarkand, Uzbekistan 2

UNESCO sites

Visit the mausoleums, madrasas and mosques of UNESCO sites in Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara.

Fergana Valley Pass, Uzbekistan 3

Unsung Silk Route

Visit the Panjshanbe market in Khujand and the silk capital of Margilan in the Fergana Valley.

Chris Aslan Alexander 4

Exceptional guiding

Combination of local guides and the expert insight of Chris Aslan Alexander.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Tashkent to Kokand

  • Day 3


  • Day 4

    Kokand to Khujand (Tajikistan)

  • Day 5

    Khujand to Penjikent (Tajikistan)

  • Day 6

    Penjikent to Samarkand

  • Day 7


  • Day 8

    Samarkand to Bukhara

  • Day 9


  • Day 10

    Bukhara to Khiva

  • Day 11


  • Day 12


  • Day 13

    Khiva to Tashkent

  • Day 14


Day 1


Arrive into Tashkent and transfer to your accommodation to spend the morning at leisure. In the afternoon begin exploring the city with a visit to the Museum of Applied Arts with over 7,000 samples of art, including handmade embroidery, skull-caps, jewellery and carpets, dating from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day. Also see the Khast Imam complex, home to one of the World’s oldest Koran’s.

Day 2

Tashkent to Kokand

After breakfast discover Tashkent’s metro, Central Asia’s first underground transport system which boasts some of the most ornate stations in the world. Visit the varied market stalls of Chorsu bazaar and the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, one of the largest museums in the region. Afternoon transfer to the railway station to board the train for Kokand. On arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Day 3


Today, take an excursion to Margilan, famous for its fine silks. Chris will take you to visit three different locations (read more below).

Day 4

Kokand to Khujand (Tajikistan)

Journey overland, stopping in Rishton to visit a ceramics studio where skilled craftsmen make and decorate pottery. Cross the border into Tajikistan and arrive into Khujand by afternoon. Begin your sightseeing with a visit to the medieval citadel and Museum of Archaeology. Stroll through the central square and on into the oriental Panjshanbe Market. Travel a short distance outside the city to see the Arbob Cultural Palace – former headquarters of the local Soviet era collective farm.

Day 5

Khujand to Penjikent (Tajikistan)

Travel overland today to Penjikent, an important town on the Silk Road. On arrival visit the UNESCO site of Sarazm before seeing some of the unearthed treasures, now exhibited in the museum. Also visit the small Rudaki Museum and some of the Soviet era mosaics that survive on the ends of various apartment blocks on the main street.

Day 6

Penjikent to Samarkand

Depart Penjikent for Samarkand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and inextricably linked with the great Silk Road. On arrival take a tour of Registan Square. In addition, visit the Gur Emir and Tamerlane’s Tomb before returning to your hotel for some time at leisure. Dinner will be in a National House where you can experience local hospitality and home-cooked food.

Day 7


Visit Ulugh Beg’s Observatory, built by Ulugh Beg (Tamerlane’s grandson) in the 15th century and at the forefront of astrology at the time. Continue to the Bibi Khanum Mosque, a Timurid architectural masterpiece that was returned to its original glory in 1974. Travel outside the city for a vineyard tour and tasting at the Bagizagan Winery which produces some of the best wines and cognacs in Uzbekistan.

Day 8

Samarkand to Bukhara

Journey by train to Bukhara. In the afternoon visit the 2,000 year old fortress, the Ark. Continue to the Kalyan Mosque and Minaret whose beauty stopped Genghis Khan in tracks, as well as some of the other mosques, madrasas and mausoleums dotted throughout the old city.

Day 9


After breakfast, travel outside the city to visit the Emir’s Summer Palace. Continue to see the 16th century necropolis of Chor Bakr before returning to the city to see the Bolo Khauz mosque. Optional visit to the Hunarmand UNDP Assisted workshops to see block printing, metal chasing, suzani embroidery, carving, miniature painting and gold embroidery.

Day 10

Bukhara to Khiva

After breakfast, leave Bukhara and travel to Khiva, a journey of around eight hours, crossing the Kyzl-Kum desert. Check into your hotel on arrival.

Day 11


Take a walking tour through the Ichan Qala, Khiva’s old town; a fortified citadel packed with fascinating museums, artisan workshops and impressive architecture.

Day 12


Visit a silk carpet workshop to understand the processes and work behind these handmade items. Experience the contrasting industires of silk production, from meeting skilled locals nurturing silk worms with precision in their homes to visiting a modern silk processing factory.
There is also the opportunity for those who wish, to visit the desert castle of Ayaz Qala, located around 90 minutes from Khiva.

Day 13

Khiva to Tashkent

Transfer to the airport in Urgench for your flight to Tashkent. In the afternoon take a walk along Broadway and view some of the art for sale. If time allows, visit the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan – the diverse exhibits should provide a comprehensive overview of the sites visited throughout the trip.

Day 14


Transfer to the airport for flights home.

Cotton weaving, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan
Cotton weaving in the Fergana Valley
Coloured silk threads, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan
Colourful silk threads in the Fergana Valley
Pottery, Rishton, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan
Rishon pottery
Silk cocoons, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan
Silk cocoons

Artisans of the Fergana Valley

The Fergana Valley, known for its fertile lands, nourished by mountain streams, and its pivotal role on the ancient Silk Route, is famed for fine silk production. Margilan, nestled in its heart, is a hub for Central Asia’s ikat weaving tradition. Chris will unlock doors to explore this region’s ancient crafts, from Atlas silk and velvet production to hand weaving and dyeing techniques showcasing fabrics that were once traded as far as Baghdad, Cairo and Athens. Delve into Rishton’s ceramic heritage, witnessing artisans as they craft exquisite pottery, painted using clay, natural minerals and mountain vegetation from the surrounding landscapes.

Sarazm UNESCO, Penjikent, Tajikistan
Sarazm UNESCO site in Penjikent
Soviet era mosaics, Penjikent, Tajikistan
Soviet mosaics in Penjikent


Located close to the Silk Road city of Penjikent lies the UNESCO site of Sarazm – discovered in 1976 by a Soviet archaeologist it dates to at least 3,500 BC. As well as being one of the earliest settlements in Central Asia, it was also the largest metallurgical centre (bronze, copper and precious metals). In the museum one of the most important finds is exhibited, the “Princess of Sarazm”, who is thought to have died in 3000 BC. Discoveries in her grave, such as lapis lazuli and other precious stones, showed that there was established trade with areas such as Afghanistan and even further afield in India. Elsewhere in the city, beautiful mosaics hark back to its soviet past.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by Chris Aslan Alexander throughout
  • Accompanied by an English speaking local guide in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
  • Accommodation throughout
  • Most meals as per detailed itinerary (available on request)
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Road transportation throughout
  • Standard class train tickets (as per itinerary)
  • Internal flight

What is excluded

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and porters
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks with meals

Other available dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 880 980

Start date End date Days
Prices from
ex. flights
Tour Expert Group Size Status
12/04/25 25/04/25 13 days £3,495 Chris Alexander 15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

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