Heart of the Silk Route

Overview

Heart of the Silk Route

Uzbekistan

Embark on an eastern adventure to the exotic cities of Uzbekistan, an historic crossroads on the Great Silk Route's path across Central Asia. Explore the ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent where towering minarets, glazed arches and gleaming turquoise domes etch the skyline, and travel across deserts little changed since the days of Genghis Khan, the mighty khanate states and the Soviet Union.

What's Included:

  • VIP door-to-door travel service
  • 9 nights in hotels and 1 in flight
  • 23 meals: 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 9 dinners
  • Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch and additional cancellation rights on overseas holidays for over 50s, or a price reduction if not required (cover is subject to medical questions)
  • Return flights and transfers
  • Saga tour manager
  • Welcome drink reception
  • Porterage at all hotels
  • Tourist visa

Full Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Tashkent

After taking Saga’s included UK VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Tashkent.

Day 2: Tashkent-Urgench-Khiva

Enjoy a late breakfast at a local restaurant before flying to Urgench and transferring to Khiva for two nights at the Asia Khiva (3Q) or a similar hotel. B,D

Day 3: Khiva

Today's included morning walking tour will reveal Khiva's inner fortress, Itchan Kala, an architectural treasure trove of carefully restored mud-walled monuments. Highlights include the Ismail Khodja Mausoleum, the 16th-century Kunya-Ark Castle and 19th-century Muhammed Amin Khan Madrassah. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and dinner with a folk show at the 19th-century Kibla Tozabog, the summer residence of the Khiva Khans, or at an alternative venue between November and March. B, L, D

Day 4: Khiva to Bukhara

A long day's journey will take you across the Kyzyl-Kum or Red Desert, a route that once took camel caravans laden down with silk, spices and other exotic goods a month to make. You'll pause en route for a packed lunch before continuing to Bukhara, where you stay three nights at the Asia Bukhara (3Q) or a similar hotel. B, L, D

Day 5: Bukhara

A centre of trade and education for more than 2,000 years, Bukhara is the best example of a medieval city in Central Asia. Seek out its key sights on an included three-quarter day walking tour of its old town, including the 10th-century Samanids Mausoleum. Later this afternoon, perhaps visit the 15th to 16th-century domed bazaars where merchants still ply their trade. Look forward to an included dinner at a local guest house, including a class on Bukharian cuisine. B, D

Day 6: Bukhara

Journey beyond the heart of the city today to the magnificent 16th to 19th-century Naqshbandi Mausoleum, built for the founder of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, on an included morning tour. Beautiful blue-glazed tiles adorn the facade of this domed, multi-arched masterpiece. Also visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, Sitorai-Mokhi-Hossa, a reminder of Uzbekistan's era of Russian rule. After an embroidery masterclass, enjoy lunch in a guest house, then this evening stroll through the atmospheric streets of Bukhara to a local restaurant for an included dinner and a folk and fashion show. B, L, D

Day 7: Bukhara to Samarkand

After breakfast, relax on a morning coach journey to Samarkand where you stay two nights at the Grand Samarkand (4Q) or a similar hotel. This afternoon, join an included visit to the Afrosiyab Museum before dinner at a local restaurant. B, D

Day 8: Samarkand

Admire the colourful mosaics, blue domes and lofty arches of Registan Square on today's included tour. This grand plaza is bordered on three sides by a group of splendid structures spanning the 14th to 16th centuries, built by the Timurid dynasty. Afterwards enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. B, D

Day 9: Shakhrisabz and Samarkand to Tashkent

This morning, travel through the Tahta-karacha Pass to Shakhrisabz to discover 14th to 15th-century Timurid mosques, mausoleums and the ruined gateway of Ak-Saray Palace. Enjoy a taste of local cuisine during an included lunch at a guest house before returning to Samarkand for the two-hour Afrosiab high-speed train journey to Tashkent. Stay two nights at Lotte City Palace (4Q) or a similar hotel. B, L, D

Day 10: Tashkent

Explore modern Tashkent on an included sightseeing tour, and visit the Museum of History, the Museum of Applied Art and the Khast-Imam complex. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B, D

Day 11: Tashkent-UK

Enjoy the morning at leisure before your return flight to the UK and your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B

Hand Picked By

Margaret Moulton

Saga are so popular with our clients, with all those little details taken care of, like complimentary VIP door-to-door transfers on all long haul holidays and selected escorted tours and also optional included travel insurance. This makes Saga such great value for money.

Margaret Moulton

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departure dates from September - November 2019
  • Board Basis: Mixed Meal Plan
  • Duration: 10 nights
  • Departure Airport: London Heathrow
  • Guide Price: £1,749pp
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