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Main / Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Tadjikistan

It is an exclusive journey through Central Asia, the land of magical steppes and deserts, fertile valleys, magnificent waterfalls and highest mountains, a place of cultural exchange of different nations and peoples, a world of unexplored routes full of legends and mystery.
 
DURATION: 17 days / 6 nights

PROGRAM:

DAY 1:  ASHGABAT
Arrive in Ashgabat. Meet at airport. Transfer to hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.


DAY 2: ASHGABAT
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit to Tolkuchka-Bazaar, one of the biggest and colourful markets of Ashgabat.
(Open on Wed, Thu, Sat & Sun).
Drive westward to Nisa (15 km), UNESCO cultural heritage site with diggings have revealed a grandiose architectural complex consisting of ceremonial hall, treasure house and residences. Then visit Turkmenbashi mausoleum.
After lunch, we visit the National Museum of Turkmenistan (Closed on Tue), consists of seven galleries, keeping the history of modern culture and ethnography of Turkmenistan.   
Continue on, to the Independence Square, Rukhnama, Palace Square, the Arch of Neutrality and the biggest mosque in whole Central Asia – Ertugrul Gazi Mosque, which has been constructed as a present to the Turkmen nation from the republic of Turkey; Earthquake monument; Lenin Square.
Overnight at the hotel.


DAY 3: ASHGABAT – DARVAZA GAS CRATER (250 km/ 4 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit the National Carpet museum (Closed on Sat, Sun), where you will see the largest hand-made carpet in world (size 14x20 meters).
Then we drive to the local horse stable and see the Turkmen Ahalteke horses, a very old breed of horses which is about 5,000 years, which is part of the sovereign Turkmenistan's national emblem.
Depart for Darvaza Gas Crater, one of the most extraordinary sites in Turkmenistan and is one of the most apocalyptic landscapes in the world. It is about 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep and it is not of a natural origin, but actually man-made.
From the highway we drive app 7 km drive further and deeper into the Karakum desert to get to the crater blazing hundreds of tongues. On our way we also see the so called “water” crater (at the bottom of which one can see a kind of mass of amazing turquoise shade) and “clay” crater (with bubbling dirt of light grey color) – located 5 km away from each other and 9 km away from the blazing gas crater.

Arrive to the tent camp site. Dinner and overnight in tents.

DAY 4: DARVAZA GAS CRATER – TASHAUZ (280 km /4 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Depart for Tashauz. Arrival, accommodation. Free time.


Karakum desert to get to the crater blazing Karakum desert to get to the crater blazing Karakum desert to get to the crater blazing

Overnight at the hotel. 

DAY 5: TASHAUZ – KUNYA-URGENCH – KHODJEILI BORDER – NUKUS (110 km /1.5 hr + 35 km + 40 km)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion to Kunya-Urgench one of the most ancient cities located on the territory of Turkmenistan and the whole Central Asia: Turabek-Khanym mausoleum (XII-XIV cc.), the mausoleum of the Mongol princess; Kutlug Temir minaret (XII-XIV cc.), the tallest minaret in Central Asia; Sultan Tekesh mausoleum, one of a few survived monuments of pre-Mongol Urgench. The people call it Sherepbaba and Gyok-Gumbez. Together with the mausoleum of Il'-Arslan they constitute the necropolis of one of the ruling Khoresm clans; Mamum academy; Fakhr At Din Razi mausoleum; Tash Kala caravanserai; Najmeddin Kubra mausoleum (XII-XIV cc.), the mausoleum of the founder of Sufi sect.
Transfer to border point “Khodjeili”. Going through visa and customs formalities. Meet at the border by Uzbek driver. Proceed to Nukus. Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.


DAY 6: NUKUS – KHIVA (220 km/ app. 4 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts by Savitsky (open daily, from 09h00 to 17h00 on Mon-Tue-Wed-Thu-Fri, from 10h00 to 16h00 on Sat-Sun) – a treasure of art, a rich collection of paintings of the epoch of Soviet Avant-Guard and Post Avant-Guard, collected by Igor Savitsky. Despite the risk to be announced anticommunist, he managed to save more than 50 000 works of art, which were taken out during the Stalin period. After lunch depart for Khiva. Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 7: KHIVA 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Spend the day exploring Khiva. Visit to Ichan Kala, architectural complex of the inner city, surrounded by the large fortress wall with four gates. There are more than sixty architectural monuments: palaces, mosques, madrassahs, minarets and mausoleums inside the inner town: Muhammed Aminkhan Madrassah and its minaret; Kalta Minor minaret (XIX c.), Kunya Ark and Juma Mosque with 218 pillars (one of the most ancient structures in Central Asia; Allakuli-khan madrassah; Tash Khauli palace (the Harem of Khiva Khans); Mukhammad Rakhim khan madrassah; Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud; Islam Khodja complex. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 8: KHIVA – BUKHARA (450 km/app.7-8 hrs) 
Breakfast at hotel.
Take in the undulating landscape of Central Asia and drive to Bukhara across the Kyzylkum desert. This journey presents an unprecedented opportunity to view this arid landscape, and glimpse the sheep farmers or hunters roaming across it.
We arrive in Bukhara in the early evening. Perhaps, take a stroll in the old town to stretch your legs.
Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 9: BUKHARA 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Start the day with a visit to the central complex Lyabi Hauz built around the pool with a fountain. The square was founded in the 16th - 17th centuries. The square of Lyabi Hauz is surrounded by several madrassahs, the most important of which are those of Nodir Divan-Begi, Khanaka and that of Kukeldash.  We take a walk under the three ancient trading domes: Tok-i-Sarrafon – Moneychangers Bazaar, Tok-i-Tilpak Furushon – Cap makers Bazaar, Taqi Zargaron - Jeweler’s Bazaar. Enjoy bazaars full of various traditional articles and souvenirs.
We visit Poi Kalyan complex, one of the highlights of Bukhara. The complex consists of the Kalyan minaret (XII c.), the lighthouse for caravans for centuries; Friday mosque (XV c.) and the Miri-Arab madrassah, active Koran teaching center (outside visit only).
Visit to the Samanids Mausoleum, the most precious Bukhara monument dated back to the 9th century. Mausoleum is considered as the treasure of Islamic architecture in Central Asia; Chashma-Ayub shrine (XIV-XVI cc.) known for its curative source.
This evening enjoy folklore and fashion performance at Nodir Divan Begi madrassah (depending on weather conditions).
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 10: BUKHARA – SAMARKAND (300 km/ 4,5 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
A.M.: In the morning we continue on: Fortress Ark (citadel), a fortified residence of Emirs of Bukhara; Chor Minor, a colorful madrassah (1807) with four peculiar looking towers, which was used as a library for students.
P.M.: Drive to Samarkand. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 11: SAMARKAND
Breakfast at the hotel.
Samarkand has witnessed a lot of upheavals during the times of Alexander the Great (Macedonian), the Arabic Conquest, Ghengis-Khan Conquest and lastly Tamerlane’s. Hence, Samarkand’s culture was developed and mixed together with the Iranian, Indian, Mongolian and a bit of the Western and Eastern cultures.
A full day exploring the marvelous sites of Samarkand: the Reqistan square surrounded by the three splendid madrassahs, was intersected by six main trade routes in the time of Timur. The oldest Ulugbek madrassah with its blue tilled facade was built in XV c. Two centuries later the Sher-Dor madrassah was built with the similar blue tilled facade. When in XVII c. the Tillya-Kari madrassah was finished the square was harmoniously completed. Today Registan square is considered to be the most beautiful square in Central Asia; the Bibi Khanym Mosque, named after one of Timur’s beloved wives, is a little further on. Enjoy a brief stroll through the colourful Siab bazaar. We visit the necropolis of Shakhi Zinda IX–XIV and XIX c. – one of the holiest pilgrimage places in Uzbekistan. The huge gate and 70 m long staircase leads us to the alley between nearly 20 mausoleums. Here we have the finest works in glazed ceramic of Central Asian and Islamic art. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 12: SAMARKAND
Breakfast at hotel.
Continue city tour of Samarkand with a visit to the Mausoleum of Gur-Emir, the tomb of Timur himself and his descendents. The octagonal complex with marble and onyx interior and a gold ceiling was completed in 1404. Visit to mausoleum of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel, also known as Daniiel or Doniyar – a unique, calm and peace giving place, where Muslims, Christians and Jews come to pray; Observatory of Ulugbek; visit to the Silk Paper Center to watch ancient method of paper making revived by local artisans. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 13: SAMARKAND  - TASHKENT (320 km/ 4,5 - 5 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Tashkent. Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Check-in after 14:00 noon.
The history of Tashkent is almost 2000 years old, and for this period the city passed a long way from small settlement to the metropolitan center. Nowadays, Tashkent is one of the most important industrial, financial and cultural centers not only in Uzbekistan but also all over Central Asia.
Spend the day exploring Tashkent: visit to Khast Imam Square – the holy heart of Tashkent consisting of Barak Khan Madrassah, Tillya Sheykh Mosque and Kafal Shashi Mausoleum; visit Chorsu Bazaar; Independence Square; Opera House Square, Amir Timur Square; take a ride through the most beautiful stations of the Tashkent metro. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 14: TASHKENT -  OYBEK BORDER (120 km/2 hrs)  – KHUDJAND (80 km/1,5 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to “Oibek” Uzbek-Tadjik border point. Going through visa and customs formalities. Meet by local Tadjik team. Drive to Khudjand. Arrival and accommodation at hotel. SS tour of Khudjand: Museum of archeology and fortification – in the middle of northern part of the city there is fortress of 7-8th c. The territory of the fortress-300x200m. The city was surrounded with wall. It was destroyed several times during different conquers and last reconstruction was in 18th c. Vist to Shekh Muslihiddin mosque and mausoleum (XVII-XIX cc).Oriental Bazaar – the biggest bazaars of Central Asia is Payshanba bazaar, one of the interesting places in Khodjent attracting people with various sounds and tastes. 
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 15: KHUDJAND – ISKANDERKUL LAKE (280 km/5-6 hrs) – DUSHANBE (160 km/3, 5 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Iskandarkul Lake. Our trip today is to high Mountain lake – Iskanderkul (2 255 m. a. s. l.). It is situated in the famous Fann Mountains. This fabulous area is one of the best places of Central Asia. The road to the lakes goes over Anzob pass (3 372 m) with amazing panorama views. After arrival to the lake you will go for a walk along it beaches. This is an amazing place to have a rest. Also we will hike 40 minutes to see a waterfall. Tadjikistan takes the second place among the CIS countries for volume of water resources: it has the highest water reserves of all Central Asian countries with more than 1 000 rivers, 2 000 lakes and 8000 glaciers.
Drive to Dushanbe.   Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 16: DUSHANBE 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Start SS of Dushanbe: Tadjikistan United Museum includes the exhibits on history, natural history and art, Buddha in Nirvana is one of the valuable exhibits of museum. Botanical garden-very beautiful garden with many old trees is the favorite place of Tajiks. Bazaar - an oriental market is the most crowded place in the city. Hissar fortress the remains of an 18th century fortress, occupied until 1924 is located in 30 km west of Dushanbe. Beside the fortress are two plain Madrassah, one dating from the 18th century and the other 19th, and beyond them is the mausoleum of 16th century. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 17: DUSHANBE 
Transfer to airport for your International flight home. 

END OF SERVICES
 
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