"Silk and spices" festival
Spring is a good time to travel to Uzbekistan. At the moment there are several festivals taking place in Uzbek towns and villages. And one of these festivals is the "Silk and Spices" festival which usually takes place at the end of May. It is the most colorful and fragrant event. During this festival, you will discover Uzbek customs and traditions. Several folk troupes arriving from different regions participate, as well as the designers of the traditional clothes, present their works. This travel takes you to the oriental tales, everywhere in the alleys artisans sell thin and shiny silk scarves, and potters create products covered with exquisite ornaments...
Arrival in Tashkent in the morning. Reception at the airport, transfer to a local restaurant for breakfast.
Visit to the capital of Uzbekistan, located at the crossroads of caravan routes, connecting Europe and India.
Panoramic tour through the Independence Perspective, Place de Théâtre Navoï and Square Amir Timour.
Visit of the most beautiful metro stations, the first metro in Central Asia; each of its stations is different and has been decorated by the country's greatest artists.
The Khast-Imam ensemble in the heart of old Tashkent: the Madrasa Barakhan, a magnificent 16th century monument and seat of the Grand Mufti of Central Asia. Continue to the Moyie Mubarek Library Museum and the Juma Mosque.
Visit of the Tchorsu grand bazaar (except Monday) and the Kukeldach medersa (XVI century).
Visit of the Museum of Applied Arts, the former palace of the tsar's diplomat transformed into a museum in 1938. We will discover a fine collection of embroidery, pottery, ceramics, woodcarvings, musical instruments and traditional jewelry.
Night at the hotel.
Transfer to the station at 06:00 on the Afrosiab train which departs at 07:00 and arrives at 09:14 (300 km). We start the tour in the city. Samarkand is located in the valley of the river Zerafshan. It is the second largest city in Uzbekistan and is as old as the cities of Babylon or Rome. You will visit the Ulugh Beg Observatory, founded by Ulugh Beg in the 15th century, one of Samarkand’s most famous leaders and scientists. While working at the observatory, Ulugh Beg developed the “Ziji Guragoni” catalog in 1437, which contained information on 1018 celestial bodies. Unfortunately, he was killed at the behest of his own son. Afterwards, you can walk along the local Broadway and discover souvenir shops, tea rooms, sweets, and various workshops. You will also visit the Siab bazaar, where you can buy traditional Uzbek crafts and local sweets. Today you will also see the carpet factory, a unique hand-made carpet factory that employs over 400 women. They weave carpets by hand without using traditional methods. Overnight at the hotel.
Today you will continue your knowledge of the city of Samarkand. You will visit the most famous sites of this city, such as Registan Square, the necropolis Shakhi Zinda, the mausoleum Gour-Emir and the mosque Bibi Khanoum. Régistan Square is a collection of three medersas that fascinate by their appearance, dating from the 15th-17th centuries. It is the main attraction of Samarkand, whose beauty and grandeur never cease to admire. The architectural complex of Shakhi Zinda is a collection of mausoleums from the 11th-15th centuries, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Bibi Khanoum Mosque was built in honour of Tamerlan’s beloved wife after her successful campaign in India. Then the visit will continue in the city of Bukhara.
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.
Today we have a unique opportunity to participate in the festival «Silk and spices». Within the framework of this festival, there are presentations of folk collectives from all over the country, popular games, different master classes and fashion presentations of young creators from Uzbekistan. Participants of the festival go through a noisy procession from the gates of the Ark fortress to the complex of Lyabi Khaouz, the heart of ancient Bukhara.
Today you will have an excursion around the outskirts of Bukhara. You will first visit the Baghaoddin Naqshbandi complex, located a few kilometres from Bukhara. It is a memorial complex of the famous Sufi chief and philosopher, one of the main centres of Muslim pilgrimage. Sheikh Baghaoddin Naqshbandi was one of Amir Timur’s spiritual masters. Today, the complex includes: Kushbegi and Muzafarokhan mosques; courtyard with swimming pool; madrasa; the tomb of the rulers of Bukhara and a dakhma on the tomb of Saint Baghaoddin Naqshbandi. After the visit, we will take you to Bukhara station, from where you will go to the city of Tashkent.
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.