Visit Shah-i Zinda
Meaning 'The Living King', the Shah-i Zinda necropolis is a collection of mausoleums and other ritual buildings. Gradually constructed during a nine-century period, it now comprises more than 20 buildings. Explore the narrow medieval streets that wind between the sparkling blue buildings. Highlights include the sacred tomb - but not resting place - of the Prophet Muhammad's immortal cousin, as well as a number of mausoleums for Temur's relatives.
Visit the Ulugh Beg Observatory and the Afrosiab Museum
Travel a little further outside the city to visit the observatory of Ulugh Beg. This 15th century building is reputed to have been one of the most impressive observatories in the Islamic world. It rose to prominence due to the publication of Ulugh Beg's famous Zij-i Sultani. At the time, this was the most extensive and accurate star catalogue in existence. Nearby is the Mausoleum of the Biblical Prophet Daniel. Known in the East as Hoja Daniyar, he was a descendant of King Solomon, revered by the three world religions. It is thought that parts of Daniel's remains, namely a hand, were brought to Samarkand by Temur.
Afterwards head to the little known Afrosiab Museum, containing artefacts from the excavated ancient city of Afrosiab. Among the treasures found, the murals are of particular importance. Rare examples of Sogdian art, they remain intact and give an insight into Sogdian life. Examine them, along with medieval era ceramics, inside the museum.
After dinner, transfer to the Train Station.
Deapart Samarkand by train, a journey of just one hour and forty minutes to Bukhara.
Travel from Samarkand to Bukhara (Rail Journey)
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.
breakfast, lunch and dinner included
You will be staying at Salom Inn, full board