Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Uzbekistan

Explore the silk road cities of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara & Khiva

11 days

from £1,680pp (excluding flights)

For a thousand years, the Silk Route, the greatest land based trading highway the world has seen, wound its way from China, through Central Asia to Europe. Today, it is the independent state of Uzbekistan that contains some of the most interesting sites and this holiday to Uzbekistan includes the great cities that survive from this legendary era.

  • Wander through Tashkent's bazaar for a wonderful insight into daily life
  • Visit the awe-inspiring restored madrasas standing on three sides of Registan Square in Samarkand
  • Take tea adjacent to the beautiful pool of Lyab-i-Khauz in Bukhara
  • Explore the city of Khiva, a UNESCO protected site and perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all the Silk Road cities


Uzbekistan’s capital city, Tashkent is a jumbled mixture of gleaming modern buildings, crumbling soviet era blocks and bustling bazaars where time almost stands still. Arrive into Tashkent and spend time exploring the old towns maze of narrow streets.


Arrive by train into the evocative city of Samarkand, which survived the arrival of Islam, the havoc of the Mongolian hordes and then flowered under the rule of Tamerlane. Inextricably linked with the silk route it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to one of Uzbekistan’s most iconic sites; Registan Square.


Journey onwards to Bukhara, the atmospheric old centre of which is full of madrasas and minarets. It was the beauty of the Kalyan minaret that saved it from being destroyed by Ghengis Khan in 1220 when the rest of the city was razed to the ground. Take two full days to explore the plethora of architectural monuments in this museum city.


Destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, Khiva is now a protected city and one of the most complete and best-preserved on the ancient Silk Road.

Fergana Valley

A wonderful addition is to extend your trip and travel into the Fergana Valley. This inland basin is fed from streams and rivers from the surrounding mountains making it an extremely fertile region and home to some exceptional crafts. Far less visited than the rest of the country, it is famed for its silk production and was a pivotal area on the ancient silk route.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 1680 £ 525
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
  • All sightseeing with a private English speaking guide
  • Internal train travel
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Any visa requirements
  • Gratuities
  • International flights as detailed
  • Travel Insurance


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Tashkent overnight

Day 2

Half day city tour
Visit the Museum of Applied Art, Revolution Square, Navoi Street, the People’s Friendship Palace, the old City and bazaar, Kukeldash and Baran Khan Madrasas.

Although often referred to as a Silk Road city, little remains of Tashkent's old town. A 1966 earthquake and earlier modernisation work did irreparable damage to the city's architectural heritage.

Despite this, some treasures remain and modern Tashkent is a pleasant, green and open place. Dotted with monuments, parks and retaining an impressive feel, the city has undergone a successful reinvention.

You will be staying at Hotel Bek, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Explore Tashkent
In April 1966, a major earthquake struck Tashkent virtually destroying it, however, a small section, known as the ’old town’, still survives. Visits will include the Abdul-Khasim madrasa, home to many fine artisans, and the History Museum for an overview of the history of the Silk Route. Tashkent’s bazaar is one of the most interesting in the country and a wander through it provides a good insight into daily life. Stroll through Friendship Square.

You will be staying at Hotel Bek, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Travel from Tashkent to Samarkand by train, a journey time of just over 2 hours.

Samarkand is one of the world's most ancient and fabled cities. Inextricably linked with the great Silk Road, Samarkand was a famous trading city and has at various times been the capital of many a kingdom. Since 2001, it has been designated by UNESCO as one of their World Heritage Sites, and labelled 'Samarkand - Crossroads of Cultures'.

Half Day Tour of Registan Square
Wander the vast Registan Square, arguably the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia. Surrounded by three beautifully restored Madrasas, it was built by the famous 15th century astronomer and Timurid ruler, Ulugh Beg. The square was originally used for public gatherings, which ranged from public executions to royal decrees.

You will be staying at Grand Samarkand Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Half a Day Visiting Ulugh Beg Observatory, Shah-i Zindah and Afrasiyab Museum
Visit Ulugh Beg's Observatory, built by Ulugh Beg (Tamerlane’s grandson) in the 15th century and the Shah-I-Zinda Ensemble which is a narrow street containing many mausolea including, it is believed, the tomb of Kazi Zade Rumi who was Ulug Beg’s teacher. Nearby is the Afrosiab museum which has the famous 7th century Sogdian frescoes of a bridal procession.

Half Day Visit to the Bibi Khanum Mosque and Bazaar
Head to the Bibi Khanum Mosque, another Timurid architectural masterpiece. Following Timur's successful India campaign in the 14th century, this gigantic mosque was constructed using the help of elephants.

An architectural feat for its time, it slowly crumbled to ruins during the subsequent centuries. Eventually, it was reconstructed in 1974 and has been returned to its original glory.

Afterwards, explore the nearby Siyob Bazaar, which remains practically unchanged in last 600 years. Find nuts, dried and fresh fruit, spices, honey and many other traditional goods within this colourful open market.

You will be staying at Grand Samarkand Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Travel from Samarkand to Bukhara via Shakr-i-sabz

Leave Samarkand and take an hours drive to the town of Shakhr-i Sabz.

The birthplace of Timur the Lame, otherwise known as Tamerlane, Shakhr-i Sabz was the second capital of the Timurid Empire. Originally the small village of Kesh, the city was renamed 'Shakhr-i Sabz', meaning 'Green City', by Timur. Visit the remains of Timur's legendary 'White Palace' and enter the 'Seat of Power and Might' complex that contains the remains of Jehangir, Timur's favourite son. Behind this mausoleum is a mysterious underground tomb that was intended for Timur, but instead contains two unidentified corpses.

Later, continue on to Bukhara, which is a four drive away.

The former capital and a centre of Islamic learning, Bukhara has over 300 mosques. This, along with the city's 80 madrasas, led to its reputation as the holiest city in Central Asia. Now renowned for its architecture, it was the beauty of Bukhara's Kalon Minaret that stopped Genghis Khan in his tracks. Unfortunately, his sense of awe failed to stop him razing the rest of the city to the ground. In the 18th and 19th centuries Bukhara again returned to prominence, as it became one of the most important pawns in 'The Great Game' being waged between Russia and Britain.

You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Full day sightseeing
At one time Bukhara was known as the holiest city in Asia and was reputed to have over 300 mosques and 80 madrasas (Koranic schools). Renowned in the 10th century as the intellectual capital of the East, the beauty of Bukhara’s Kalyan minaret stopped even Genghis Khan in his tracks but failed to stop him razing the rest of the city to the ground. In the 18th and 19th centuries Bukhara became one of the most important chess pieces in the Great Game. Today it is a collection of mosques, tea houses, carpet sellers, minarets and stalls.
Visit the 2,000 year old fortress, the Ark, the Kalyan Mosque and Minaret, and the many mosques and madrasas which are dotted throughout the old city, two of which include the Uleg Beg and Abdulaz-izkhan madrasas. Also the Khan’s Summer Palace and Harem, the Chor Minor with its four blue-domed minarets, the Ismael Samani Mausoleum and the pool of Lyab-i-Khauz, flanked by two magnificent buildings, the Nadir Divanbegi madrasa and Khanaga.

You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa, bed and breakfast

Day 8

See the Emir's Summer Palace in Half a Day
Morning excursion to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer residence of the former emir of Bukhara. See a unique mixture of traditional Russian styles of architecture, harmoniously mixed with local oriental traditions. See the famous thrown white hall decorated with carved alabaster that resembles halls in Peterhof Palace in the suburbs of St Petersburg.

Afterwards, travel to the Bahauddin Naqshbandi Mausolem a famous Sufi spiritual leader of this region in the 14th century. Bahouddin Naqshband's cult was highly venerated among people. The rulers, too, paid considerable attention to this architectural ensemble.

Visit Chor Bakr
Travel to Chor Bakr. Few people visit Chor-Bakr, a 16th century necropolis 10km west of Bukhara, which adds to its charm. Two of three massive structures survive, a Friday mosque and a Khanaka, but the site originally comprised two streets of tombs, the aforementioned buildings and a madrasa.

You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Drive from Bukhara to Khiva

Leave Bukhara and travel to Khiva, which is around eight hours away.

Founded when water was discovered in the desert, Khiva's importance as a well-placed oasis meant that it outlived the era of the Silk Road and remained powerful until the time of 'The Great Game'. It was here, in 1840, that Richmond Shakespear, a young British lieutenant, helped abolish the practice of capturing Russian slaves. In fact, due to much of the work done during Soviet times, Khiva's monuments are in outstanding condition. The most famous of these, the Ichan Qala, is preserved as an open-air museum.

You will be staying at Malika Kheivak Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Full Day Tour of Khiva
The first place in Uzbekistan to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the Ichan Qala is the jewel in Khiva's crown. Perfectly preserved and carefully restored in places, the Ichan Qala is Khiva's old town, a fortified citadel packed with impressive architecture. Explore this area on foot and visit the various museums, madrassahs, mosques and other buildings that make up the old town. Highlights include the six-metre-thick city walls, the squat Kalta Minor minaret, the palatial Kuhna Ark and the ornately carved columns of the Juma Mosque. Also watch the city's various craftsmen practice traditional techniques of weaving, carving and metalwork. Their workshops are dotted throughout the old town.

Drive from Khiva to Urgench

Leave Khiva and travel to Urgench, around 45 minutes away.

Fly Urgench to Tashkent

You will be staying at Hotel Bek, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Fly Tashkent to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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