Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

View of mosque dome against blue sky.

Khiva

Originally built as a garrison town to house slaves in transit, Khiva, which is also known as Xiva by Uzbeks, was a prosperous city which fell into decline, was abandoned and then left to the ravages of the desert.

Today, thanks to UNESCO, Khiva has been restored to its former glory and unlike many cities in Central Asia, it has been preserved in its entirety. Although it has the air of a museum, slowly but surely, it is coming back to life. The harem, mosques, bazaar and madrassas are all there and to stay a night in one of the small private guest houses allows travellers to experience Khiva at its best, when the moonlit silhouettes of the tilting columns and madrassas, viewed from twisting alleyways, work their magic.

Itchan Kala, Khiva, Uzbekistan
Khiva, Uzbekistan

Why visit Khiva?

Day trips from the city can be arranged, taking in some of the local sites including a few of the historic buildings in Ichon-Qala; mosques, shrines and museums. Also a trip to Urgench, the capital of the Khorezm province of Uzbekistan, is recommended, providing a good launch point for the ‘Golden Ring’ of ancient fortresses in southern Karakalpakstan.

Experiences

What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

UNESCO Khiva

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Hike in the Chimgan Mountains

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

Registan Square

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kyzylkum Desert

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

Fergana Valley

Visit the fertile silk producing region of the Fergana Valley.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Discover Bukhara

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

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

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.

Talk with our experts
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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

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


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