Expert-Led Group Tour

Uzbekistan Group tour - Beyond the Oxus

Travel to Uzbekistan with Chris Aslan Alexander

11 days

from £2,715pp
  • Visit Samarkand's Registan Square, the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia
  • Wander the bustling market of Bukhara; taking in the exotic aromas
  • Explore the perfectly preserved streets of Khiva's citadel, an oasis town on the famous Silk Road
  • Visit the authentic rural market of Urgut just outside Samarkand

This group tour to Uzbekistan is a wonderful cultural overview of the country, taking in the arts, crafts, architecture and historical sites, accompanied by experts who will help bring the region to life. With its dazzling array of mosques, madrasahs, tombs, and tales of Tamerlane reflecting the depth of its history; Uzbekistan is the perfect introduction to the Central Asian Plateau.

Escorted by tour expert Chris Aslan Alexander., discover the art, architecture and culture of the fabled Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Explore the wealth of living textile and craft traditions that these cities play host to.

Roam the winding medieval streets of Khiva's old city, journey across the vast Kizilkum Desert, experience the thriving food markets of Bukhara, marvel at the intricate tile work of Samarkand's Registan and explore the vibrant soviet-influenced city of Tashkent.

Why should I join this group tour to Uzbekistan?

Because Uzbekistan is a remarkable country made even more fascinating by the insight of Chris Aslan Alexander. Group tours can be a fun and fulfilling way to travel in the company of like-minded people, especially in a country like Uzbekistan.

Is this group tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide 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.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

What is the accomodation like in Uzbekistan?

You will be staying in small local hotels decorated in a typical style and all have private bathrooms.

How fit do I need to be to enjoy this tour?

You do not need to be particularly fit and there are no long distance walks involved. However, walking can be on uneven ground so do let us know if you feel you are not particularly steady on your feet.

Is there a dress code in Uzbekistan?

Yes, it is important that you cover shoulders, midriffs and legs. Knee length skirts are fine, but no shorts.

Departing on:
  • 28th April 2018

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
28th Apr 2018 8th May 2018 £ 2,715 £ 675 £ 265 Chris Aslan Alexander Limited
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accompanied by an English speaking guide in Uzbekistan
  • Accompanied by Chris Aslan Alexander throughout Uzbekistan
  • Airfare in economy class from Urgench to Tashkent
  • Business class train tickets from Tashkent – Samarkand
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Folk show in Bukhara
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and hotel porters
  • Meals on full board basis
  • Three nights accommodation at the Hotel Boutique Minzifa in Bukhara
  • Three nights accommodation at the Sultan Hotel in Samarkand
  • Transportation service as per the itinerary
  • Two nights accommodation at the Hotel Malika Khiva in Khiva
  • Two nights accommodation at the Hotel Miran International in Tashkent
  • Visit a ceramic workshop of Rakhimov family in Tashkent
  • Wine testing in Samarkand

what is excluded

  • International flight
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Suggested group flights
The suggested group outbound flight for this tour is:

Uzbekistan Airways HY202, scheduled to depart London Heathrow at 21:35 on Friday 27th April, arriving into Tashkent airport at 08:25 on Saturday 28th April.

An arrival transfer will be provided to connect with this flight. You will be met at the arrivals hall by a member of our local team and transferred to the Miran International Hotel in Tashkent where you will have the morning at leisure.

For those making their own way to Tashkent and not taking the suggested group flight, the starting point for the group is the Miran International Hotel in Tashkent. Please speak to one of our team should you need help organising an arrival transfer. You will meet with the rest of the group for a short briefing at the arrival hotel - meeting time to be confirmed in your final documentation.

Half Day Tour of the Museum of Fine Art and Tashkent's Sites
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest museums in Central Asia. It houses an excellent collection of traditional Uzbek textiles, as well as an extensive range of art from the wider region.

Afterwards, head to Mustakillik (Independence) Square, which is the centre of modern Tashkent and the largest square in Uzbekistan.

From there, take the famous Tashkent Metro with its ostentatious marble and granite architecture. One of only two operating subway systems in Central Asia, its stations are considered some of the most ornate in the world.

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.

lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Miran International Hotel, As specified

Day 2

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

Urgut Sunday Market
Take an hour's drive to visit the bazaar at the country village of Urgut where wonderful embroideries and local crafts can be bought. This bustling bazaar is the meeting place of nomadic traders. Amongst the goods are gold-embroidered wedding hats, men’s hand quilted satin coats and soft leather boots. You will then visit the Chor Chinar mosque before returning to Samarkand.

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'.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Sultan Hotel, As specified

Day 3

City Tour including the Gur-i-Amir Mausoleum, Registan Square and Bibi Khanum Mosque
Begin the day exploring the stunning interior of Amir Temur's tomb (known in the West as Tamerlane). From there, walk to the stunning Registan square, arguably the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia.

Surrounded by three beautifully restored madrassas, it was built by the famous 15th-century astronomer and Temurid ruler, Ulug Beg. The square was originally used for public gatherings, which ranged from public executions to royal decrees.

After lunch, head to the Silk Road Bazaar and on to Bibi Khanum Mosque, another Temurid architectural masterpiece. Following Temur'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.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Sultan Hotel, As specified

Day 4

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 Timur's relatives.

Spend Half a Day Visiting the Ulug Beg Observatory and the Afrosiab Museum
Travel a little further outside the city to visit to the observatory of Ulug 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 Ulug 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 Prophet Daniel. The Biblical Prophet Daniel, known in the East as Hoja Daniyar, lived in 4-5th century BC. 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.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Sultan Hotel, As specified

Day 5

Travel from Samarkand to Bukhara, a journey of approximately four hours.

Travel from Samarkand to Shakhrisabz, a journey of approximately two hours.

Samarkand to Bukhara via Shakhrisabz
Morning drive to Shakhrisabz, the birthplace and home town of Central Asia's foremost conqueror, the Great Amir Temur. Visit Ak Saroy Palace, built by Tamerlan and similar in structure to Samarkand's Bibi Khanum Mosque, but unparalleled in size and decor. The inscription survived only in part, yet the ruined entrance towers stand in testimony to a powerful age. See Dorus Tilavat seminary, Kok Gumbaz mosque, Dorus Saidat and the Friday mosque.

Continue on to Bukhara.

Drive from Shakrizabs to Bukhara (Road Journey)

Travel from Shakhrisabz, to Bukhara, a journey of approximately five hours.

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 Hotel Minzifa, As specified

Day 6

Half Day Walking Tour from Maguk-i Attari to Lyab-i Hauz
Begin at the Maguk-i Attari mosque. Now the oldest surviving mosque in Central Asia, it was formerly a Zoroastrian temple, and later, a Buddhist monastery.

Continue on foot and explore the bustling streets of Bukhara. Take in the stunning Kalon (Great) Minaret, reportedly built by a despotic Khan on the grave of an Imam whom he had murdered. Even more bizarrely, the tower was used to throw criminals to their death until the early 1900s.

Walk past the beautifully tiled Ulugh Beg and Abd al-Aziz madrassas and continue to Lyab-i Hauz, which is flanked by two magnificent buildings, the Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah and Khanaga, both completed around 1620. You then have a chance to view the process of silk weaving at the Tim Abdullahan Madrassah.

Visit the Samanid Mausoleum, Chashmah Ayyub and Chor Minor
Head to the Chashmah Ayyub a traditional shrine that was restored by Timur the Lame in the 14th century. See the Ismael Samani Mausoleum, considered a brilliant example of early Islamic architecture with its ornate and complex brick-work construction. Continue from here to the Chor Minor (Four Minarets) Madrassa, which is famous for its unique turret-like minarets and was built by a rich Turkmen in the early 19th century.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa, As specified

Day 7

Morning excursion to visit Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer residence of the former Emir of Bukhara. Here you'll see a unique mixt of traditional Russian and a more local style of architecture. Later travel to Baha-ud-Din Naqshbandi Mausoleum, burial place for Sufi spiritual leader of this region in 14th century. Return to Bukhara and time at leisure for your own exploration.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 8

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.

Bukhara to Khiva
Morning drive to Khiva via the famous Kizil Kum desert (Red Sands) to see desert flora and fauna including unique saksaul trees and other desert vegetation. Stop at Amudarya river bank.

Later proceed to Khiva.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Malika Kheivak Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

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, madrasas, 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 for weaving, carving and metalwork. Their workshops are dotted throughout the old town.

There will be some time during the day to explore the city further at your own pace.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Malika Kheivak Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Drive from Khiva to Urgench

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

This morning, visit the desert fortress of Ayaz Kala (100 kilometres from Khiva). The site is located on the western side of the Sultan-Uiz-Dagh Mountains and consists of three fortresses, which were built from the 4th century BC to the 7th century AD. You will then continue on to Toprakkala fortress - the dynastic centre of Khorezmian Kings of the late 2nd-3rd centuries AD, built simultaneously and according to a single pre-determined plan.

Continue onwards to Urgench airport to take your flight to Tashkent.

Fly Urgench to Tashkent

breakfast, lunch and dinner included

You will be staying at Miran International Hotel, As specified

Day 11

Half Day Trip to Khast Imam Square and a Ceramics Studio
Begin in the old town and visit the Khast Imam Complex, the religious centre of Tashkent. Made up of colourful mosques, mausoleums and madrassas; the complex contains a rich library of oriental manuscripts.

Suggested group flights
The suggested group inbound flight for this tour is:

Uzbekistan Airways HY201, scheduled to depart Tashkent airport at 16:20 on Tuesday 8th May, arriving into London Heathrow at 20:00 on the same day.

A departure transfer will be provided to connect with this flight.

For those not taking the suggested group flight, please speak to one of our team should you need help organising a departure transfer.

breakfast included

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Uzbekistan

Paul Craven, Travel Expert

" I spoke to five different companies, but Paul was by far the most knowledgeable and empathetic."

"The service which I received from your Travel Expert Paul Craven was excellent, he was able to answer any queries I put to him."

"Paul must be congratulated on his expertise and great patience in dealing with all my programme changes. He must dread my phone calls!! A big thank-you from both of us to Paul and Carol."

Read More

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

Tour expert

Chris Aslan Alexander

Chris Aslan Alexander
Chris was born in Turkey (hence the Turkish middle name) and grew up in Ankara and war torn Beirut. In 1998 he moved to Uzbekistan to work on a guidebook. He was adopted by a local family, fell in love with the place and people, and stayed. His book 'A Carpet Ride to Khiva – Seven years on the Silk Road' tells this story. After his time in Uzbekistan, Chris then went on to live in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. A total of fifteen years in the region means Chris has travelled extensively, speaks fluent Uzbek and passable Kyrgyz, Tajik and Pamiri, and has also immersed himself in the history, culture and traditions of the region.
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:
Speak to an Uzbekistan holiday expert:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Chris Aslan Alexander

Departure Date (S):

  • 28th April 2018 - Guaranteed to run

  • Active – The tour may involve daily walks and will have a faster pace in certain areas. Walks will be no longer than 6 hours. The pace of this tour will be quite busy, expect long travel days and very little time at leisure.

Holiday Ideas in Uzbekistan

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