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, it 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 medressas 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 medressas, viewed from twisting alleyways, work their magic.

Day trips from the city can be arranging taking in some of the local historic sites including a few of the historic buildings in Ichon-Qala, mainly mosques or shrines, but most are 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.

Holiday Ideas in Uzbekistan

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom