DURATION: 13 days / 12 nights
DAY 1/2: TASHKENT
Arrival in Tashkent. Meet at airport by the guide. Transfer to hotel for accommodation.
Breakfast at hotel. Full day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
FD day SS tour in Tashkent including: Khast Imam Square – the holy heart of Tashkent and the least Russified or Sovietized part of the city – consisting of Barak Khan Madrassah (was founded in the 16th century by a descendant of Tamerlane who ruled Tashkent for the Shaybanid dynasty, Tillya Sheykh Mosque (built in the same time as Barak Khan Madrassah, now serves as the district’s Friday Mosque and Kafal Shashi mausoleum (The grave of a local doctor, philosopher and poet of Islam who lived from 904 to 979; visit to Kukeldash madrassah (functioning madrassah – XVI c.) ; visit to Museum of Applied Arts (built at the end of the 19th c. by the local craftsman, is located in the former residence of Russian Diplomat Polovtsev); Independence Square; Amir Temur Square and Alisher Navoi Theatre Square. Continue excursion by visiting the Ceramics workshop founded by world famous ceramic masters of fifth and sixth generation Akbar Rakhimov and his son Alisher Rakhimov. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 3: TASHKENT - SAMARKAND
This morning board a high-speed train to Samarkand (07h10/09h38 or 08h00/10h08). Upon your afternoon arrival, tour Registan Square (meaning "sandy place"). The Square is surrounded by the Ulugbek's madrassah, the Sher-Dor madrassah, Tilla-Kori madrassah; Mosque Bibi Khanyym and color local bazaar. View Samarkand's Necropolis Shakhi-Zinda, and its ensemble of mausoleums dating from the 11th to 19th centuries. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 4: SAMARKAND
Continue your tour of Samarkand with an excursion to Gur-Emir Mausoleum (graves of Tamerlane and his descendants, 15c), and the Observatory of Ulugbek (constructed in 1429). Next explore the Afrosiab archaeological site, and marvel at the museum of Samarkand's foundation. Visit to the Meros Paper Mill, the small family manufacture situated in the picturesque garden, at the bank of Siab river. Samarkand paper has been fabricated here since VIII c. from the mulberry bark. Recently the local artisans have restored the ancient process of paper production. Samarkand Meros paper is well known in the world for its quality.
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 5: SAMARKAND - BUKHARA
Transfer to railway station for high-speed train Afrosiab SKD/BHK 09h43/11h17.
Arrival and accommodation at hotel.
P.M.: Starting of SS tour in Bukhara: The Lyabi-Khaus ensemble (16th-17th cc.) (Includes the Kukeldush madrassah and Nodir-Divan-Begi as well as the Khanakas located near the pool, which gave the name to the ensemble); Mosque Magoki-Attari. Visit 3 remaining domed bazaars – Taqi Zargaron (1570), or Jeweler’s Bazaar, Taqi Telpak Furushon or Cap Makers’ Bazaar and Taqi Sarrafon, or Moneychangers’ Bazaar, which were among dozens of specialized bazaars in the town
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 6: BUKHARA
Full day SS tour in Bukhara including: Mausoleum of the Samanids (the burial place of the Samanids (9th –10th cc.) is a masterpiece of Central Asian architecture. The building boasts no colorful facades and paintings, but claims its fame as being the first Muslim mausoleums in Central Asia), Chashmai-Ayub (12th c) were witnesses to this particular period), Mosque Bolo-Khauz, citadel Ark, Ensemble Poi Kalian - Big Minaret from the 12th century is the symbol of the city. Its silhouette, with a stork’s nest on top, is visible from far, rising 47 m into the sky), Madrassah Miri-Arab (1535-36 was one of the largest educational institutions of that time), Mosque Djuma, Madrassah of Ulugbek (1417, was built during the time of Ulugbek, in spite of its modest facade it differs from the rest because of its exquisite decoration) and Madrassah of Abdoulazizkhan, Mausoleum Chor Minor (in the narrow old street, not far from the Mazar Gates, is a colorful madrassah with four peculiar looking towers – the Chor-Minor (1807) - was used as a library for students). Overnight at hotel.
DAY 7: BUKHARA
A.M.: A countryside excursion to Sitora-i-Mokhi-Khosa, a countryside summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara (4 km). Excursion to Bahautdin Nakshbandi necropolis (20 min. drive) – architectural complex of Bahautdin Nakshbandi is the burial tomb of Nakshbandi who was the leader of Sufism. It is a well known holy place in Muslim world. Pilgrims from across Uzbekistan and many foreign Countries come here to pray. This holy place is of great importance for people, it's even considered that if you come there 7 times, it will be equal to Hadj to Mekka. Return to Bukhara.
Tea pause at Silk Road Spices Tea House, to sample different teas (with cardamom, anise, cinnamon, oregano and others).
Lunch and dinner at local restaurants.
P.M.: time at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 8: BUKHARA – KHIVA
Drive to Khiva via Kyzylkum desert (450km., 6 hrs drive). Lunch en-route.
Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Rest at hotel after a long drive. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 9: KHIVA
Visit to Ichan Kala (a museum in the open under UNESCO protection), architectural complex 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.) including madrassah and minaret of Islam Khodja (XX c.), Mukhammed-Amin-Khan madrassah (XIX c.), Kalta Minor minaret (XIX c.), Pahlavan Mahmud mausoleum (XIX c.), Kunya-Ark fortress (XIX-XX c.c.), Tash-Khauli palace (XIX c.), Djuma mosque (XVIII c.) and others.
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 10: KHIVA/ SHAVAT /KUNYA-URGENCH/ ASHGABAT
Transfer to Uzbek-Turkmen border point “Shavat” (app. 100 km). Going through visa and customs formalities. Meet by local Turkmen team. Drive to Kunya-Urgench (app. 110 km), one of the most ancient cities located on the territory of Turkmenistan and the whole Central Asia. Visiting Najmeddin Kubra mausoleum (XII-XIV cc.), the mausoleum of the founder of Sufi sect; 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; Arslan II mausoleum, the oldest construction of the city, dates back to XI c. and is connected with Fakhr At Din Razi, a scientist who died in Herat in 1208. The oriental date of the construction of the mausoleum is somewhere in the 12th and 13th centuries…
Transfer to airport in Tashauz for Q flight T5-106 Tashauz ì 20h10 – Ashgabat î 21h00.
Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 11: ASHGABAT
Drive west of Ashgabat (app. 18 km – app. 40 min drive) to visit archaeological site of Old Nissa which was the capital of Parthian Empire which existed more than 2000 years ago (III x. B.C. – III c. A.D.). Further proceed to Geok Tepe (app. 50 km) to visit local private horse farm of Alisher Geldiev. Born on the Turkmen land, Ahalteke horse is a symbol of a striking harmony, beauty, gracefulness and incomparable swiftness given to it by nature and developed by the labor and mind of a man. The Akhal-Teke is the national emblem of Turkmenistan and are thought to be one of the oldest surviving horse breeds in the world. On the way back to Ashgabat, visit to Turkmenbashi mausoleum in Kipchak; visiting Turkmenbashi mosque; visit to Ashgabat’s pride – National Museum of History and Ethnography.
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 12: ASHGABAT
Continue SS tour of Ashgabat: Park of Independence, Ruhnama statue, Turkmenbashi Square, Earthquake monument, Ertogrylgazy mosque. Time at leisure.
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 13: ASHGABAT
Transfer to the airport for your next destination