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Great Silk Road Tour

Great Silk Road Tour Packages
Country: Uzbekistan
City: Bukhara
Duration: 22 Day(s) - 21 Night(s)
Tour Category: Combined Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

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Price on Request

Package Itinerary

Day 1. Homeland – Bishkek City

Flight from Homeland to the international airport “Manas”, where you will be met by a guide. Short drive to Bishkek and accommodation in a hotel.

LUNCH.

Bishkek City Tour.

The capital and industrial center of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings, and Soviet heritage. The gesturing statue of Lenin can still be seen in the city’s vast central square, yet it is the permanently snow-capped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range that towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop.

Upon arrival to the city, we visit Manas Monument, the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people. Then excursion to the State History Museum and walking tour around main Ala-Too Square to watch the ceremony of changing of the Guard of Honor, Kurmanzhan Datka Monument, main governmental buildings, and finish at the Old Square with Parliament House. Transfer to Victory Square to finish the city tour by short excursion there.

DINNER in a local restaurant with folklore performance.

Optionally: During dinner, we take the unique opportunity to listen to the Manaschi (a singer performing the national Kyrgyz epos, Manas) and see the Kyrgyz folklore show. The musicians in traditional Kyrgyz costumes present you with a wide range of national musical instruments – starting from Komuz (a three-stringed wooden musical instrument) to Chopo Choi (wind instrument made of mountain reed). You hear the fascinating singing of young Kyrgyz ladies and men and learn more about the traditional music and poetry of Kyrgyz.

OVERNIGHT IN THE CITY.

Day 2. Bishkek city – Cholpon Ata Town via Burana Tower (280km). (B,L,D)

A.M.

After breakfast, we drive to Issyk Kul Lake which is considered to be the “pearl” of Tien Shan and one of the most beautiful lakes in the country.

Our way goes via the ruins of Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok city.

That minaret was constructed in Balasagun town, one of the capitals of Karakhanid State existed in 11-12 centuries AD. Explore ruins of that important trading point at the Great Silk Road and visit a little local museum telling about that civilization. Also watch a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs.

Optionally: In the area around the tower it is possible to organize horse riding games. Along with hunting dogs and birds, horses have always played an important role in the life of the Kyrgyz people. They were used in everyday life as true assistants in the household and as thoroughbred racers. There are festivals of Horse Games (Ulak Tartysh, Kyz Kuumai, Tyiyn Enmei, etc) held throughout the year.

LUNCH in Tokmok in a local family.

P.M.

In the late afternoon three hours drive to Issyk Kul Lake, the second-largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America.

Measuring 182 km long by 58 km wide, the lake appeared as a result of volcanic activity. It is heated from below by thermal activity and never freezes even in the depths of winter. In the summer the water temperature reaches 25-28 degrees centigrade (warmer than the air) and you can swim in the lake enclosed on all sides by the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains.

Extremely deep and nicely warm over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna, Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia's most remarkable locations.

We are going to visit the so-called “Stone garden” or Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs Site.

Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs site - a large open-air collection of rock carvings sometimes referred to as a Stone Garden, which covers some 42 hectares and contains a number of prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall, Balbals) and Petroglyphs (dating from the II millennium BC thru the Middle Ages and up to the VI century AD).

The stones have plaques giving some information (a short description and a date), and there are several routes marked with arrows around the “stone garden.” The shortest route in the Stone Garden takes 20-30 minutes. But there is a longer route to the upper side of the museum, which enables visitors to explore a collection of stone Balbals, stone inscriptions, stone circles, and … a spectacular panorama of the Cholpon Ata bay of Lake Issyk Kul.

The stones vary in size from about 30 cm to 3 meters. Many of the drawings are examples of the Saka Skythian animal style of art. There are figures of hunters and what appear to be tame snow leopards during a hunt. One appears to depict hunting leopards in motion and is the only one of this kind in Central Asia.

After the excursion, we will accommodate in a hotel.

DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN THE HOTEL

Day 3. Excursion to Karakol town and Djety Oguz gorge (360 km). (B,L,D)

A.M.

Optionally: In the morning you can go on an hour boat cruise in the lake to admire the clear water of Issyk Kul with snow-capped Tien Shan Mountains in the background!

We have breakfast and get ready for a short drive to Karakol town.

On our way we will stop to see the burial mounds of the Scythian period; we also visit the museum of N. M. Przhevalski, the outstanding Russian explorer of the Asian continent.

Karakol town is situated in the east of the lake area, at the foot of the most picturesque mountains of Tien Shan. This sleepy but very interesting Old Russian town was first erected by Cossacks in the middle of the 19th century and became an important garrison settlement.

Upon arrival to Karakol, you visit Dungan mosque, a unique construction in Chinese style, but serving as a mosque. Also, you will see an Old Russian Orthodox Church – Holy Trinity Cathedral made of wood without any nails. You can also walk around the town to see the blockhouses of the 19th century, which were built in Russian style (white houses with blue windows) and sometimes called “ginger man” or “dollhouses”.

Optionally: you can take part in the preparation of national Dungan dishes. We can find out how to make national “manty” and “Lagman”.

P.M.

After lunch transfer to Djety Oguz gorge for a short excursion.

Djety Oguz in Kyrgyz means “Seven Bulls”. This picturesque gorge is named so because of the red rocky sand formations covered with forests of Tien Shan spruces.

On this day you get acquainted with the nomadic way of life of the Kyrgyz people and enjoy beautiful views of the gorge.

Optionally: It’s possible to organize a demonstration of Golden Eagle hunting.

Transfer back to Cholpon Ata town.

Overnight and dinner in the hotel.

Day 4. Cholpon Ata town - Bishkek city (250km). (B,L,D)

A.M.

Optionally: Highly recommended for visiting the historical museums in Cholpon Ata town.

After breakfast transfer to Bishkek.

P.M.

Our way to Bishkek goes through tight Boom Gorge where boisterous Chu River, so much loved by rafters (routes up to 6th category difficulty!), cuts its way, it passes northwards and then enters the wider Chuy valley. Boom Gorge is an antecedent gorge between Chuy and Issyk Kul Province of Kyrgyzstan. The gorge cuts, in a general north-south direction, across one of Tian Shan's mountain range systems.

The range east of the gorge is known as Kyungey Ala-Too, the one to the west is the Kyrgyz Range. The Bishkek-Tokmak-Kemin-Balykchy highway (A365) passes through the gorge, as does the railway from Bishkek to Balykchy.

LUNCH ON THE WAY

Upon arrival to Bishkek city free time. Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation in a hotel.

Day 5. Bishkek city – Airport (30 km). –Osh

A.M.

After breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to the International Airport “Manas” to catch your flight to Osh.

Arrival to Osh.

Check-in and rest after the flight.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN OSH.

Day 6: Osh

Osh sightseeing tour. (B,L,D)

A.M.

In the morning sightseeing tour in Osh. We visit Sulaiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. On the mount first, you visit a historical museum, located right in the main cave. After an excursion in the museum, you follow the way of all pilgrims up to the top of the hill where you watch a little mosque of Babur, The Great Mongols Dynasty founder, and take a bird's eye’s view of the city.

After walking down from the mount you also visit a unique three-floor yurt in the central park of Osh that is now a museum of Alymbek Datka.

Lunch in a local restaurant.

P.M.

After lunch visit Osh Bazaar, the largest market in Central Asia. You walk along the colorful rows of Golden market, watch blacksmiths working and smell the aromas of spices, fruits, and vegetables of the Food market. You finish your immersing into oriental life by visiting the handicraft rows.

Dinner in a local cafe.

Overnight in a hotel.

Day 7: OSH- DUSTLIK- FERGANA

Transfer from Kirgizstan to Kyrgyz- Uzbek border. You will be met by a guide at the checkpoint of the border.

After crossing the border transfer to the city of Fergana, which is about 120 km from the checkpoint.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in a hotel in Fergana.

Day 8: FERGANA – MARGILAN - RISHTON - FERGANA

BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL. After breakfast drive to Mergilan(30 km) by car. Sightseeing tour of Mergilan:

• Yodgorlik silk factory.

• Local bazaar.

LUNCH. After lunch transfer to Rishtan by car. Visit the ceramics center in Rishtan. Transfer to Ferghana.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN FERGHANA.

Day 9: FERGANA – KOKAND- TASHKENT

BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL.

After breakfast transfer to Tashkent by car via Kokan(380 km). Arrival Kokand.

Sightseeing tour of Kokand

LUNCH.

Drive to Tashkent. Arrival in Tashkent.

Transfer to the hotel and accommodation in the hotel.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN TASHKENT.

Day 10: TASHKENT – BEKABAD - KHOJAND

Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the village Ukhum (170km). Picnic or lunch on the way. After lunch arrives at the village Ukhum. Ukhum is situated under the Nurata mountain range altitude 1000 meters. Accommodation in the guesthouse of the local people. Walking and meeting with the local people. Dinner and overnight in Ukhum. Dinner with the local family.

Day 11: UKHUM- LAKE AYDARKUL – YANGIGAZGAN (YURTS)

Breakfast. After breakfast transfer to Lake Aydarkul.

Trip to the lake. Fishing, swimming, and sunburst in Aydarkul. LUNCH ON THE LAKESHORE. After lunch transfer to Yangigazgan to the Yurts (camping). Arrival in Yangigazgan. Riding on Camels.

DINNER AROUND THE FIRE. OVERNIGHT IN THE YURTS.

Day 12: -YANGIGAZGAN-NURATA – GIJDUVAN – BUKHARA

BREAKFAST. After breakfast transfer to Nurata.

Excursion around the city: Spring water(Chashma) - Fortress of Alexander the Great.

Springwater(Chashma) Chashma is a place of pilgrimage for believers and one of the most significant religious centers of Islam in the region. The complex of religious constructions “Chasma” (Tadjik word for spring) includes the spring, a well, mosque “Djuma” and khamom (bathhouse). The round Djuma mosque was constructed above the spring and has 40 columns. The dome, 16 meters in diameter is one of the largest in Central Asia.

PICNIC.

Fortress of Alexander the Great. Once known as Nur, this ancient town was founded in 327 BC by Alexander the Great. The remains of this military fortress rise up above the town and the water supply system that Alexander the Great installed is still partially used even today.

The fortress is situated on the south of modern Nurata. It represents one of the most ancient and significant archaeological monuments of the region. The fortress consisted of several parts, with Shahristan (the inner town) 500x500 meters in size, which was surrounded at that with a large wall and towers.

Drive to Gijduvan. Arrival in Gijduvan. Gijduvan always was the significant center of crafts. One of the crafts is the way of manufacture of ceramics. The schools of Gijduvan are known for the ornament and combination of geometrical figures. Owing to history, schools can show various ways of manufacture of ceramics: preparation of clay, manufacturing of various ceramic figures, and their coloring roasting in the furnace at temperature 1000oC.

Families of handicraftsmen have kept two crafts about one today: ceramics (pottery) and national embroidery. Arrival and host into the house of pottery master Abdullah. Master Narzullaev Abdullah is the son of Narzullaev Ibodullo the most famous ceramist of Uzbekistan. Ibodullo is the founder of Gijduvan School of ceramics, he participated in more than 50 international exhibitions and his works are exposed in museums of many countries of the world. For the last few years, the ceramics of Gijduvan School have been exposed in 60 exhibitions in different parts of the world: Japan, the USA, Germany, France, Italy, and Israel.

The Narzullaevs’ won many prizes in different competitions and festivals, they have received government awards. Their works have been appreciated by the specialists and distinguished guests of our country such as Mrs. Madeleine Albright, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, The Prince of Wales His Highness Charles, and Mr. Federic Mayor. Till 12.00 o’clock the introduction with the family of masters Abdullah, his work-shop, the process of making clay, ceramic, and shaping pottery(ceramic).

Transfer to Bukhara. Arrival in Bukhara. Accommodation in the hotel.

FREE TIME AROUND LYABI KHAUZ.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN BUKHARA.

Day 13: BUKHARA

BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL. Excursion of the city:

• Mausoleum Ismail Samani – the oldest building in Central Asia (IX-X c.).

• Chashmai Ayyub – according to the legends the Biblical Prophet whose name was Iov (Ayyub) has visited this place.

• Madrassah of Abdullakhan.

• Madrassah of Modarikhan.

• Bolo Khauz mosque. The only monument of the mid ages (beginnings of XX c.)

• Ark Citadel – the center of government of Bukhara (IV BC)

LUNCH. Sightseeing Tour:

• Minaret Kalian – The main symbol of Bukhara (XII c.).

• Mosque Kalian – the square of this mosque is wider than Bibi Khanim Mosque which is in Samarkand.

• Madrassah of Mir Arab – is still in use (XVI c.).

• Tim of Abdulla-Khan.

• Toki Telpak Furushon.

• Toki Sarrafon.

• Toki Zargaron – Domes of jewelers (XV-XVI c.).

• Madrassah of Ulughbek – the first of the three Madrassah which was built by the grandson of Timur (XV c.).

• Madrassah of Abdulazizkhan – (XVII c.).

• Mosque Magoki Ataru – the oldest Mosque in Bukhara (XII c.).

• Madrassah of Kukaldosh – one of the famous Madrassah in Bukhara (XVI c.).

• Hanaka and Madrassah Nadir Divan Begui – was living and meditation place for Sufis in the past (XVII c.) .

• Lyabi Khauz Ensemble – a very famous place for tourists.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN BUKHARA.

Day 14: BUKHARA

BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL. Excursion to the suburbs of Bukhara:

• Sitora-i Mokhi Khosa (4 km from Bukhara) – summer palace of last emir of Bukhara Amir Alimkhan (XIX c.).

• Ensemble of Bakha-ad-Din Nakshband 12 km from Bukhara, in the village of Khasri Orifon. Mukhammad ibn Jaloliddin Khodjai Buzrug became famous under the name of Bakhouddin Nakshbandi – founder of one of the most famous branches of Sufism – branch of “Nakshbandiya”.

LUNCH. After lunch continues the sightseeing outside of Bukhara:

• Necropolis Chor Bakr (XII-XVI c.), place where buried Sheykhs of Djuybar (4 km from Bukhara).

• Chor Minor – unusual construction (XVII c.).

FREE TIME.

DINNER.OVERNIGHT IN BUKHARA.

Day 15: BUKHARA – KHIVA

EARLY BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL. Drive to Khiva by bus.

PICNIC. Arrival in Khiva.

Accommodation at hotel in Khiva.

FREE TIME IN ICHAN KALA.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN KHIVA.

Day 16: KHIVA

EARLY BREAKFAST AT 05.00 IN THE HOTEL. Sightseeing the ancient places of Khiva:

• Around architected Complex Ichan Kala (XVII-XIX c.)Kunya-Ark fortress (including Castle Khana) inside Ichan Kala. (XVI-XVII cc.)

• Tower “Kalta Minor” which means “short tower” (XIX c.)

• Madrassah Muhammad Amin Khan (1845-1855 )

• Juma Mosque with 212 trees and with Minaret which’s height is 32,5 meters (X c.)

• Tash Khauli which means “stone yard” (XIX c.)

LUNCH AT THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT NEAR ICHAN KALA. After lunch continues the sightseeing tour of Khiva:

• “The Mosque Ak” – small mosque located near the gates of Palvan-Darvaza (1838-1842)

• The Memorial of Pakhlavan Makhmud – the most cultural center of Ichan Kala (1810-1913 c).

• The Minaret of Islam Khodja (1910) – of “the main Vizir” which means “Prime Minister” during the last Khorezm Khan.

• Caravansaray of Allakhuli-Khan.

DINNER. OVERNIGHT IN KHIVA.

Day 17 Khiva - Shabat

BREAKFAST

After breakfast transfer to border point “Shabat”

Border passing & customs formalities.

Day 18 Kunya-Urgench- Darvaza

Breakfast

Visit Kunya – Urgench sites; (Capital of Ancient Khorezm). Location: 150 km to the north-west of Dashoguz.

Excursion: (Mausoleum of Soltan Tekesh XII-XIII cc.); Mausoleum of Il Arslan King (XII c) known as Khorezm Sheikh II Arslan; Mausoleum of Torebegh King (XII c), considered the most interesting and beautiful in Central Asia; Minaret Gutlugh Temir (XII c.), the tallest ancient minaret in Central Asia with the height of 64 meters

By the way: hotel accommodation

Visit museum of History & Ethnography Dashoguz

Day 19 Darvaza-Ashgabat

Breakfast at hotel

Driving to Geok-depe fortress & mosque; Memorial Monument devoted to the victims of the battle for Turkmen people’s freedom (1870 г)

On the way visit the underground lake “Kov-Ata”: Live Tale of Mountain Cave. Unique underground lake is in deep located 100 km to the west of Ashgabat. Lake water has medicinal properties. It contains hydrogen sulfide compounds having a therapeutic effect in treating skin diseases, rheumatism, central nervous system.

Visit “Spiritual mosque” in Gypjak countryside

After lunch driving to Darvaza: gas crater at night

Day 20: Ashgabat

Breakfast at hotel

Excursion to National Museum of History & Ethnography

Visit Nissa fortress: The ancient city in Turkmenistan. The ancient Nissa, the capital of Parthaunisa and a sacred city. A royal fortress built in the mid-2nd century Av. JC. The fortress at Nisa was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. Nisa is described by some as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC - 211 BC), and was reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian kings,

City-tour: National Carpet Museum, a monument of Independence, Arch of Neutrality etc

Rest & night at the hotel

The itinerary includes: lunch in Turkmen cuisine, dinner

Day 21 Ashgabat City

Breakfast

Sightseeing tour in Ashgabat:

- National Museum of History & Ethnography

- National Carpet museum and etc.

Lunch in Turkmen cuisine

Dinner. Free time

Rest & night at the hotel

Day 22 Ashgabat - Homeland

After breakfast transfer to the airport

Back to the home country via Ashgabat airport

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