Expert-Led Group Tour

Uzbekistan group tour - Carpet ride to Khiva

Departing 25th April - 5th May and 5th - 15th September 2020

11 days

from £3,295pp
  • Visit Samarkand's Registan Square, the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia
  • Take in the exceptional art and craft works of Bukhara's artisans
  • 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.


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.

"Chris was a wonderful Tour Expert. Hugely knowledgeable and easy to get on with. A highlight of the trip was dinner with his host family in Khiva." T O'Grady, Uzbekistan Group Tour.


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.


Tourism is still relatively new to Uzbekistan, and this is reflected in the accommodation standards. Therefore, the hotels we have chosen for the group are traditional and decorated in a typical style, all with private bathrooms.

Location is key for our group tour accommodation. In Khiva and Bukhara, accommodation is located centrally, as these are smaller towns and therefore during free time you will be able to wander at your own leisure from the hotel. For Samarkand and Tashkent, the accommodation is located close to one of the key sites, but as these are larger cities, it is harder to find somewhere central to all the key sites.


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.


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

Departing on:
  • 25th April 2020
  • 5th September 2020

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

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
25th Apr 2020 5th May 2020 £ 3,295 £ 600 £ 350 Chris Aslan Alexander Limited
5th Sep 2020 15th Sep 2020 £ 3,295 £ 600 £ 350 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
  • 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 in Bukhara
  • Three nights accommodation in Samarkand
  • Train tickets from Tashkent – Samarkand
  • Transportation service as per the itinerary
  • Two nights accommodation in Khiva
  • Two nights accommodation in Tashkent
  • Visit a ceramic workshop of Rakhimov family in Tashkent
  • Wine testing in Samarkand

what is excluded

  • Drinks with meals
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Visit to Applied Arts Museum and Tashkent sites
The Museum of Applied Art dates back to 1927, when the first exhibition of artworks by artists of Uzbekistan was held here. Initially, the museum was called the Museum of Handicrafts, and in 1997 it was granted the state status and acquired its present name. The Museum lists over 7,000 samples of applied arts: handmade embroidery, skull-caps (tyubeteyka), jewellery, carpets and other examples of craftsmanship from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day.

Afterwards, head to Amir Temur Square, the true centre of the city, where stands a famous monument to Amir Temur. Take a ride on 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, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Fly Tashkent to Nukus

You will have breakfast on arrival in Nukus.

Savitsky Museum
On arrival in Nukus visit Savitsky Museum. The Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art named after I.V. Savitsky - also known, simply, as the Nukus Museum - hosts the world's second largest collection of Russian avant garde art (after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg). It is also home to one of the largest collections of archeological objects and folk, applied and contemporary art originating from Central Asia.

Drive from Nukus to Khojayli (Road Journey)

Mizdarkhan complex
Half an hour outside Nukus is the complex of Mizdarkhan, historical monuments located on three hills rising out of the surrounding steppe. The flat top of the west hill is crowned with the ruins of Gyaur-Kala Fortress, built in the 4th century BC. This fortress was used to defend a large town that occupied the eastern hill. Scholars identify Mizdarkhan with the town Mazda, built in honour of Akhura-Mazda - the main fire-worshippers' deity who was mentioned in the holy Zoroastrian book Avesta. Today the eastern hill hosts the oldest Central Asian necropolis.

Drive from Khojayli to Khiva (Road Journey)

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.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

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

Day 3

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.

Visit Chris Alexander's Workshops and Host Family
Visit the silk carpet and suzani workshops founded by Chris. Watch a demonstration of silk dying, weaving and embroidery.

Chris lived with an Uzbek family for seven years. He will take you to meet them to experience the region's traditional hospitality and learn about Uzbek culture.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

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

Day 4

Nurullbay' Palace and the Summer Palace of Tozabog
The palace was built in 1906-1912 by Muhammad Rahim Khan II for his son, whose name was Asfendiyar. The architecture of the palace is typical mix of European and National styles, because of modern trends of urban planning of that time.

The palace includes the reception hall of Asfendiyar-Khan, courtyard, living quarters and madrassah. German colonists participated in the decoration of the ceilings, windows and parquet. Decorative ceramic tiles were manufactured in Saint Petersburg. The decoration of the Khan's reception is of particular interest the interior of the Khan's reception room is decorated with carved ganch, gilding and multi-colored paintings.

Afterwards, continue to Summer Palace Tozabog. The complex is an amazing combination of traditional Khiva architecture that took shape in the Middle Ages, and new Europeanised architectural techniques.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

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

Day 5

Drive from Khiva to Bukhara (Road 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, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Full Day Sightseeing in Bukhara
Visit - Lab-i-khauz ensemble, the pool and chaikhana, madrassah Nadirkhon Devanbegi, Khanaga, Mogaki Attari mosque, Poi Kalon minaret and mosque. Also see madrassahs Aziz Khan and Ulugbek, where the rich merchants of the city lived. Later visit the Ark Fortress, Balakhauz mosque, mausoleum of Ismail Samanid and Chashma Ayub, known for its ornate work.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Salom Inn, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Travel from Bukhara to Samarkand (Rail Journey)

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, bed and breakfast

Day 8

A day in Shakhrisabz
Spend the day at Shakhr-i-sabz, the birthplace and home town of Central Asia's foremost conqueror, the Great Amir Temur. Visit Ak Saroy Palace, built by Tamerlane and similar in structure to Samarkand's Bibi Khanum Mosque, but unparalleled in size and decor. The inscriptions 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 before returning to Samarkand.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Sultan Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 9

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.

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.

Afterwards head to the 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, bed and breakfast

Day 10

City Tour including the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, Registan Square and Bibi Khanum Mosque
Begin the day exploring the stunning interior of Emir Temur's tomb (known in the West as Tamerlane). From there, continue 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, Ulugh 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.

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.

You will be transferred to the train station.

Travel from Samarkand to Tashkent (Rail Journey)

You will be transferred from the train station to your hotel.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Miran International Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Museum of Fine Arts, Metro and Market
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. See the Chorsu, the oldest market in Tashkent. Hundreds of years ago it was one of the busiest bazaars in Central Asia.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Uzbekistan

Deborah Brock-Doyle, Travel Expert

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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."

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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.

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:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Chris Aslan Alexander

Departure Date (S):

  • 25th April 2020 - Guaranteed to run
  • 5th September 2020 - Guaranteed to run

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