Big caravan cities
This trip will take you to the discovery of the three great caravan cities in the heart of the Silk Roads.
These cities fascinate with their beautiful mosques, majestic mausoleums, and sumptuous madrasas.
Arrival in Ourguentch. Reception by your driver at Urguench airport. Transfer to Khiva and installation at the hotel. Breakfast. Visit through the entrance gate of the fortress «Ata darvaza», the truncated minaret Kalta Minar, the Medersa Mohamed Aminkhan, the king’s seat and the ancient palace Kounya Ark, of the city by the Medersa of Mohamed Rahimkhan, the mosque of Friday, the mausoleum of Saïd Alouddin, the mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud, the minaret of Islamkhodja. Lunch. Continuation of visits by the palace of Tochhovli and the Harem of Khan. Dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Road to Bukhara through the Kizil Kum desert (red sand). With a couple of stops for photos and food. Arrival at the end of the afternoon. Accomodation at the hotel. Bukhara is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia, the numerous monuments among which stand out the madrasa Ulugh Begh, built by the grandson of Tamerlane in 1417, set Liab-i-Hauz, gathering the madrasas Koukeldash (1568) and Nadir Divanbegi (1622). Walk through the old city. Dinner. Accommodation at the hotel.
Bukhara, one of the oldest cities of Central Asia, made famous by its former carpet market, city museum in the middle of the sands. Bukhara will delight you with the atmosphere of its old streets and its remarkable monuments that take us back to the medieval period and well before: mausoleum Ismail Samani (ninth-tenth centuries), Chashma Ayub mausoleum (XII-XIV century), the famous bazaar of Bukhara, together Bola Hauz (eighteenth century), Citadel Ark (I. -IVème centuries.). Lunch at a local restaurant in the modern city. Following the discovery; all Poi-Kalian (XV-XVI centuries) which consists of the Kalon mosque, Kalon minaret and madrasah Miri Arab.
Breakfast. Drive to Gijduvan, famous for its school of ceramists. Visit the "workshop of ceramists", the ruins of Caravanserai Raboti Malik, and the Sardoba water cistern. Road to Samarkand, arrival in the city. Breakfast. Visit the Afrociabe museum with its frescoes dating from the VII and VIII centuries, the Ulugbeg observatory, one of the greatest astronomers of his time, and the Samarkand parchment workshop made according to the ancestral methods of mulberry bark. Show of the historical and traditional costumes of the theater "El Merosi". Dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Discovery of Gur Emir mausoleum - the tomb of the ruler and the famous square "Registan" with 3 medarsas, monuments; medarsa of Ulugbek (XV c); medarsas of Cher Dor and Tilla Kori (XVII c).
After, the excursion of the city. Visit the necropolis Shakhi Zinda, the mosque of Bibi Khanum, the largest mosque in Central Asia, with its huge blue dome, the bazaar of Samarkand allows everyone to find something among the colorful stalls. Afternoon the discovery of the remains of the observatory of Ulugbek, Museum of Afrosiab. Train "Talgo" Uzbek to 17h 30. Arrival in Tashkent at 19: 40. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast. Visit of the ancient city with the large Chorsu market, the Khasti Imam complex, the Barak Khan madrasa where the Osman Koran is kept (VII century), and the Tellia Sheikh mosque, the Kafal Shashi mausoleum, the new Minor mosque. Lunch. Walk to Amir Timur Square, Independence Square, Uzbek metro. Dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Depending on your flight schedule, the guide will accompany you to the airport and help you check in for your flight. We hope you enjoyed your trip and invite you back to explore other Central Asian countries with us.
Dear Nomad's Land - especially Alex Johnson. You have helped us during preparation of our trip, arranging border zone permits, transportation to mountains, advise in arranging maps and also being a contact person in case of emergency. We had arranged most stuff over internet beforehand. It was generally very helpful and I would recommend to our friends Nomad's Land for tracking in Kyrgistan. And there is so much to see in that country yet. It would be great to visit Kyrgistan again. Thank you.
We spent this summer three weeks with family (parents and adult children) in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, with a trip to the city of Kashgar in Sinkiang (China) .Nomads' Land organized all the Kyrgyzstan and China part as well as the trips to Uzbekistan. You can work with them with your eyes closed: impeccable organization, enthusiastic and passionate guide (also speaking perfectly French), good choice of accommodation and activities. Very pleasant preparation with Fabien, who is attentive and has concocted a trip to us. All for good value for money. Allow at least 10 days for Kyrgyzstan to really enjoy it. The change of scenery is total and the way of life is authentic. Expect "average" comfort but the superb landscapes and the amazing welcome of the Kyrgyz people will give you unforgettable memories. To fully enjoy it, nothing like walking: you will go on beautiful hikes: Altyn Arashan, Song Kul, Lenin peak ... They are all doable but still require good condition, especially that of Lenin peak (base camp to camp 1), which is quite long and demanding (allow 10-12 hours round trip), but it is the most impressive. To reach the south of Kyrgyzstan, you have the choice between a few hundred km of tiring tracks or to make a detour through China and the city of Kashgar. The road is excellent and the city itself is worth the effort (with the added bonus of "Western-style" comfort which feels good). However, it was necessary to endure two days of painful police checks between Kashgar and the border, with an occupying army (Han Chinese, from the east) omnipresent. So it's up to you to decide (knowing that this "detour" is quite expensive considering the short season and the few tourists). After Kyrgyzstan, we visited the cities of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan: Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Impressive and superb monuments, a very rich history, few tourists and a very pleasant atmosphere. The historic centers are not very extensive and can easily be visited on foot. Do not forget Khiva: it is the smallest of the three but the atmosphere is peaceful and timeless, you sometimes have the impression of going back 100 years. This trip was really exceptional, thank you again to Fabien, Murat and the whole team.
On your way
Another city on the Silk Road is ancient Khorezm, or Khiva as it is now called. Khiva can be considered an open-air museum - it is not for nothing that it is included in the UNESCO list, because every building here is a monument of antiquity. In the old part of the city of Ichan-Kala, founded around the 5th century AD, about 60 historical monuments have been preserved, including the citadel, palaces, mosques, minarets and mausoleums. In addition to the old city-fortress, there is another old part Dishan-Kala, where residential buildings and shopping arcades were located.
Kalta Minor UZ
In the shade of mulberry trees, the city of Bukhara was an important stop on the Silk Road. A museum city that testifies to the rich past of Central Asia.
Bukhara- Buqaraq of the sogdienwhich would mean "fortunate place" and Vihara in Sanskrit which means a Buddhist monastery.
It is a city in Uzbekistan, located in the south-central part of the country. It is located on the lower reaches of the Zarafshan River, in the middle of an oasis, on the eastern edge of the Kyzyl Kum desert. It was connected by caravan routes to Mervet to the valleys of the rivers Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya (Naryn)
In the ninth century, the city becomes the capital of the Persian Samanid dynasty (875-999) and the appearance of the city is changed again: eleven access gates are observed, the "rabad" (suburb) extends around the inner part ("chakhristan"), the population increases significantly, professions determine the place of residence, many mausoleums and mosques are built (including the mausoleum of the Samanids)
In 999, the city was invaded by the Qarakhanids. At that time, monuments, still visible today, were built: the minaret of Arslan-Khana (Kalian minaret), the mosque of Magoki-Attari, the mosque of Namezgokh, the mausoleum of Chashma-Ayub (the source of Job)
Bukhara gave its name to the bougran, a strong canvas used in the lining of clothes, spelled boquerant by Marco Polo.
Bukhara is also the generic name given to Turkmen carpets, the main trading center of which is the Ashgabat Bazaar. These carpets are subdivided into teke andyomouth, the names of the two main Turkmen tribal families. Their very typical style can be easily recognized because the decoration of the field consists of the repetition of the same decorative motif, the goul, emblem of the weaver tribe.
The 140 monuments protected by UNESCO testify to the historical and cultural richness of this city.
The Ark Citadel
The Bolo Hauz Mosque
The Magok-i-Attari Mosque
The Po-i-Kalon complex
The Koch madrasas etc
Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum UZ
Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum is located near the Samani Mausoleum, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Its name means Job's well, due to the legend in which Ayub visited this place and made a well by striking the ground with his staff. The water of this well is still pure and is considered healing.
Samarkand is famous for its surprisingly long history - it is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded 8 centuries BC. In the old days, this city was the most important point connecting East and West, and the Silk Road passed through Samarkand. Therefore, here, as nowhere else, a huge number of cultural and historical monuments have been preserved - such as mausoleums, museums, mosques, the ruins of ancient settlements and much more.
Samarkand was proclaimed in 2001 by UNESCO crossroads of cultures and world heritage site.
Gur-e Amir complex UZ
The Gur-e Amir (or Guri Amir) is a mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Tamerlane (also known as Timur) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
It occupies an important place in the history of Persian-Mongolian Architecture as the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra
Bolo Hauz mosque UZ
Medresa of Barak Khan UZ
Madrassah of Barak Khan was built in the 16th century under the leadership of the ruler of Tashkent, Navruz Ahmadkhan, grandson of Ulugbek. People considered Navruz Ahmadkhan a lucky ruler, for which they gave him the nickname "Barak Khan" or "Lucky Khan". Since then, the medersa bears the nickname of its founder. The construction of the Madrassah took place in several stages and was completed in 1532. The building of the Barak Khan Madrassah was built opposite the mahalla Khastim, which is considered the center of scientists, philosophers and experts in the 'Islam. For more than five centuries, the Barak Khan Madrasah has symbolized the greatness of the city's history. Until 2007, the Spiritual Administration of Central Asian Muslims was located here.
Mausoleum of Kaffal Chachi UZ
Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum - Mausoleum in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), built in honor of the imam Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ismail al-Al-Shashi Kaffal.
What is included
All transportation in a private vehicle
All airport transfers
Accommodation as described in the program
Meals (3 per day)
Bottled water & tea
All the activities listed in the program
Entry fees at national parks and/or border zones listed in the program
Entry fees at museums and historical sites listed in the program
Domestic flights mentioned in the program
A contribution to our sustainable development projects
Organisation of the trip & local taxes
What is not included
International banking fees (PayPal, ...)
Travel & repatriation insurance
Visas / LOI (if applicable)
Alcoholic and soft drinks
Additional costs due to unexpected personal events (health, loss of luggage, ...)
Tips for guide & driver (always optional, always appreciated)
Through various ecotourism projects and initiatives, Nomad's Land aims to increase awareness of ecotourism and responsible travel, for a sustainable development of the tourism sector.
Rural development in Nepal
The Nepalko Sathi association leads its actions in favor of the Sherpas of Khembalung in the Arun valley (Province of Koshi). Nepalko Sathi
From Tumlingtar airport we reach by jeep the small town of Kahandbari where we are greeted by Kibutie and his family. From there, we climb to the small village of Gontala, in the heart of the actions of Nepalko Sathi (three days of walking), then we go up to Saissima, where Tendi Sherpa is rehabilitating the hamlet of his childhood. From Saissima it is possible to continue and make a loop towards Makalu and the impressive surrounding peaks (under tent).
Beyond the Glacier, a short film over the water in Central Asia
Conflicts over water in Central Asia are at the heart of the short film Beyond the Glacier, directed by David Rodríguez Muñiz in 2019. An interesting documentary that takes the form of a journey, from the glaciers of Kyrgyzstan to the sea of Kyrgyzstan. Aral.
Silk Road Yurt Camp
Another yurt camp that Nomad's Land is supporting so that shepherds of Song Kul Lake can get extra income from tourists. With the family of Sagyn and Jumabek, we have prepared this camp in order to keep all the nomadic authenticity. You can participate in the daily activities of nomads. Not far from the camp, you can access the shores of the lake but also the petroglyphs hidden in the nearby mountains.