Islamic Buildings, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Holidays

Back in the early 90's Steppes Travel were the only company in the UK to be offering trips to Uzbekistan. As such, our expertise in this region is unrivalled and we would recommend a trip to Uzbekistan for anyone who wants to get to the heart of central Asia. 

Why we like Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan possesses the cream of Central Asian architecture, epitomised by the magnificent ensemble in Registan Square in Samarkand. Recent investment has produced some excellent hotels and small guesthouses, brimming with character, plus there are direct flights from London and some excellent high-speed train routes. It is now also a visa-free destination. Despite the modernisation, the traditional chapan or coat and the long afternoon battles of chess and backgammon are still very much a common sight.

What to expect on your Uzbekistan holiday

Today much of Uzbekistan is a shadow of its former glory, however, the buildings and architecture which remain, much dating from the 13th and 15th centuries, are truly magnificent and one can only wonder at the skills of the craftsmen who laboured with such primitive tools. The markets are a delight and a photographic paradise while outside the cities the dusty, isolated villages with their flocks of woolly, fat-tailed sheep have changed little over the years. Food can be repetitive and based around kebabs making it tricky for vegetarians, although rice is always available.

Some ideas for an Uzbekistan holiday

  • Stroll through the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara
  • Visit the Savitsky Museum, home to the finest collection of Avant-Garde art in the world
  • Stay in a yurt on the shores of Aidarkul Lake in the Kizyl-Kum Desert, one of the few places which can claim total silence
  • Travel beyond the restored UNESCO city of Khiva to the shrinking Aral Sea where ships lie stranded far from the water’s edge
  • Trek in the Chimgan Mountains
  • Spend time with a master potter learning about this ancient Uzbek craft
  • Sample local wines in Samarkand and visit a cottage industry silkworm farm

Beyond the ordinary

In Eastern Uzbekistan lies the fertile valley of Fergana. Shielded by mountains, this conservative region is an ethnic melting pot where mosques and bazaars are alive with activity. The centre for silk production, it was a crucial link on the fabled silk route. From the Fergana Valley, it is a short drive to cross the border into Kyrgyzstan which combines beautifully with Uzbekistan, showcasing mountainous landscapes and nomadic culture.

Tajikistan and Turkmenistan also combine well and offer diverse scenery ranging from mountains to deserts and lakes as well as a thriving felt making industry and fascinating archaeological sites.

Small group tours to Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan lends itself well to group travel, offering the chance to travel with likeminded people alongside an expert on the area as well as a local guide. Join one of our expert-led tours to Uzbekistan.

Our Uzbekistan Expertise

Since 1995, when Paul joined the Steppes Travel, he has travelled the length and breadth of this fascinating area and is rightly regarded as one of the top specialists for the area. He was recently named in Conde Nast as their chosen specialist for Travel to Central Asia and the Silk Route. He has crossed every border known to man and some known only to donkeys, and can use his expertise to plan your trip to Uzbekistan.

We highly recommend reading Peter Hopkirk’s book The Great Game which sets the scene for any travel in Uzbekistan and brings to life the places and scenes that you will encounter.

Uzbekistan FAQs

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Do I need a visa to travel to Uzbekistan?

British passport holders travelling to Uzbekistan for tourism, for duration's of up to 30 days do not require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Uzbekistan.

Other nationals would need to check with the respective embassy or contact us for assistance.

How long is the flight to Uzbekistan?
Flying direct from London to the capital of Tashkent takes around seven hours.
When is the best time of year to visit Uzbekistan?

It is best to visit Uzbekistan in the spring, between April and early June when days are dry and temperatures warm, and similarly in the autumn between September and early November. Winters can be bitterly cold and summers dry and extremely hot.

What type of food should I expect in Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is not known as a culinary destination and food here merges influences from Russia, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Turkey. Popular dishes include ‘Plov’, a rice dish traditionally made with meat, vegetables and infused with herbs and spices, cooked together all at once. 
Can I drink alcohol in Uzbekistan?
Alcohol can be consumed, though is not always available due to Uzbekistan being a Muslim country. However, it does produce its own wine thanks to the perfect climate and terrain, and with around 14 Vineyards to choose from you will be spoilt for choice.
Can I travel by train in Uzbekistan?
More and more train routes are appearing and it is now possible to connect all the way from Tashkent to Khiva by high speed train. 

Holidays

Uzbekistan - Carpet ride to Khiva

expert led group tour

Uzbekistan - Carpet ride to Khiva

This group tour to Uzbekistan is a wonderful cultural overview of the country, taking in the arts...

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Uzbekistan - Highlights of Uzbekistan

Highlights of Uzbekistan

For a thousand years, the Silk Route, the greatest land based trading highway the world has seen,...

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Russia - Golden Eagle Silk Route by Train

Golden Eagle Silk Route by Train

For centuries the domain of adventurers and merchants trading their wares, the ancient Silk Route...

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Central Asia - Journey through Central Asia

Journey through Central Asia

Travel through desert and across mountains, see the finest architecture in Central Asia and mingl...

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Inspiration

Museum of Applied Art of Uzbekistan ceiling, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Visa free Uzbekistan

British passport holders travelling to Uzbekistan for tourism, for duration's of up to 30 days no longer require a visa. 
Journey the fabled silk route through Uzbekistan and maybe continue across the border into Kyrgyzstan, also visa free.
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Client Reviews

Metal Worker, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
"The trip more than met my expectations, it exceeded them.
I learnt so much from our tour leader on so many topics"
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Ms Claire Dunnell

Uzbekistan
Interior of Aksaray Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
"Paul drew up an itinerary for us within a day or so and managed to incorporate our three specified places within Uzbekistan.
Very well organised and efficient service"
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Mrs Gail Walker

Uzbekistan
Carpet Shop, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Chris Aslan was a wonderful tour expert. Hugely knowledgeable and easy to get on with.
A highlight of the trip was dinner with a local family in Khiva"
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Dr Tamara O'Grady

Uzbekistan
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FLIGHT INFORMATION

7 hours from UK
(Direct)

Holiday Ideas in Uzbekistan

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