sogdiana-tours
Image supplied by DMC

See your history books come to life on a 12-day tour through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.  If you’ve read a lot about ancient eastern states – Sogdiana and Bactria-  and about the invasions of Alexander the Great in this region – then now you can see it all with your own eyes. Come and experience this ancient habitat of the Saka and Massagetean tribes and valiant Spitamenes on this tour which offers you the chance to visit the territory of the ancient Sogdiana land. This getaway will guide you across two Central Asian republics – Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – where two powerful states – Bactria and Sogdiana – were located in ancestry. The ruins of ancient fortresses of Merv, Kharezm, Panjakent and Afrosiab are preserved and will remind you of the bygone might of perished empires. Old monuments such as the mausoleum of Tamerlane, the Registan Square, and the Kalyan Minaret harmoniously blend and even amplify the colour of the modern eastern cities. You will feel a legendary babel of real oriental bazaars and discover the culture, original traditions and perpetual hospitality of locals. This epic trip includes accommodation, meals as stated, transfers, a guide and sightseeing tours.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Accommodation
  • Sightseeing tour
  • Entry fees for the monuments
  • Escort-service guide during Uzbek part
  • English speaking local guides services during Turkmen part;
  • Transfers
  • Domestic air flight
  • Travel on high speed premium train “Afrosiab”
  • A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan

Itinerary:

Day 1 –  Arrival in Ashgabat
Gear up for an amazing adventure as you land at the airport and are welcomed by our friendly representative who will transfer you to your hotel. Once you have checked in, you can unpack and spend the rest of the day at leisure time – no doubt daydreaming of the adventures you will encounter over the next two weeks.

Day 2 –  Ashgabat sightseeing tour
Start the day with a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel before a guided sightseeing tour around Ashgabat. You will start at the Independence Park and Neutrality Arch,  before moving onto Parthian Fortresses of Nisa. As you explore the site, learn how excavations at Nisa have revealed substantial buildings, mausoleums and shrines, many inscribed documents, and a looted treasury. Many Hellenistic art works have also been uncovered, as well as a large number of ivory rhytons, and coins decorated with Iranian subjects. Next you will explore the tranquil Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque in the village of Kipchak, which is the largest mosque in Central Asia. Inside the mosque there is a huge praying hall with white columns and richly painted celestial blue dome. The heated floor is covered with a huge hand-made Turkmen carpet. The mosque can accommodate about 10,000 people, but visitors are usually few there.

Day 3 – Ashgabat , Mary,  Merv sightseeing tour & Ashgabat (evening domestic flight).

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before an airport transfer and fight to Mary. Once you arrive in Mary  you will be driven to the ancient Merv city for an excursion program. As night falls you will be taken to the airport again for an evening flight to Ashgabat. Once you land, you will be transferred to your  hotel to relax and unwind.

Day 4-  Ashgabat, Tashauz sightseeing tour, Turkmen-Uzbek border and Khiva
Feast on a hearty breakfast for a busy day of sightseeing. Today you will be driven to the airport for a morning flight to Tashauz. Once you land, you will be taken to the settlement of Konya-Urgench . Your sightseeing program in Konya-Urgench will include a trip to the  mausoleums of Turabek-Khanym, Sultan Tekish, Il Arslan, and Minaret of Tamerlane. Make sure your camera is fully charged to snap photos of these interesting landmarks. You will then be transferred to the checkpoint of  Shavat which is on the border between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. You will walk through customs, and cross the border, from where you will be transferred to Khiva, where you can finally check into your hotel and unwind.  Now simply put your feet up and enjoy a well earned rest.

Day 5 – Khiva
Today you will take a peek into the beauty of Khiva as you enjoy a sightseeing tour. Your adventure will start at Ichan Kala – which is the historical inner city. Next you will move onto  the Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, as well as the  Islam Hajji Madrasah and Minaret. You are bound to have worked up an appetite which is handy as you will now stop to enjoy lunch. After this pit stop you will continue to explore the Tash Khauli Alakuli Khan Palace. Pull out your camera to snap the fascinating landmark – which features a labyrinth of corridors that join the yards and buildings.This will be followed by a trip to Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret and Madrasah, and Avesta Museum. You will have the option of going on additional excursions today which include a national show of rope-dancers in Madrasah Rahim-Khan and a folklore show in Madrasah Alakuli-Khan. However, this will cost extra as it is not included in the current pacakge.

Day 6 –  Khiva & Bukhara
Today you will visit the Kyzyl-Kum Desert which is the 16th largest desert in the world. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the desert fauna which includes the Russian tortoise, a large lizard known as the Transcaspian and the Saiga Antelope. You will also explore the beauty of the Amudarya River before lunch. Next you will go to Bukhara where you can spend your time as you wish. You can visit traditional workshops and souvenir shops. You will also have the option of going to a medieval Hammam bathhouse. However, this is not included in the current package and will cost extra.

Day 7 – Bukhara
See the fascinating sights of Bukhara  as you enjoy a guided sightseeing tour. Your adventure will start at Ismail Samani Mausoleum – which is one of Bukhara’s oldest monuments. It was built for the founder of the Samanid dynasty, and its delicate terracotta brickwork disguises 2m-thick walls that have never needed repair. Next you will move onto Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex, Ulugbek Madrasah, and Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah.  After a jam-packed morning you will slow down and enjoy lunch. After your feast you will head to Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, which is the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara. Next you will explore Kukeldash Madrasah, and Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, before splashing some cash at a domed shopping arcade.  You also have the option of enjoying additional activities including a folklore show in Nadir Divan-Begi Madrassah. This is not included in the current trip and will cost extra.

Day 8 – Bukhara out-of-town guided sightseeing tour
Today you will enjoy an out-of-town guided sightseeing tour from Bukhara. It will start at  Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace. Be wowed as you enter the main building which is guarded by two marble sculptures of lions made by Nurata craftsmen. See if you can spot the marble heads of dragons which decorate the spillway of the pool. Next you will move to the memorial complex of the Islamic saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, as well as Chor-Bakr Memorial Complex before returning to Bukhara. You will have time to enjoy the rest of the day as you wish – although you will have the option of going to a “Silk Road Spices” tea house and tasting teas prepared from herbs and spices. However, please note that this will cost extra.

Day 9- Bukhara & Samarkand.
Today you will head to Samarkand. Once you arrive in Samarkand, you will explore a settlement site and visit a local ‘Afrosiab’ Museum. You will then have some free time to spend at  leisure. It is recommended that you visit  Siab Bazaar and enjoy the hustle and bustle of stall sellers. It is also a great place to buy some holiday souvenirs. You will also have the option of  visiting the theatre of historical costume El Merosi, as well as  going  wine testing in an old winery named after Hovrenko. However,  please note that this will cost extra.

Day 10 – Samarkand
This morning you will go on a  guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand which boasts stunning architecture. Your adventure will start with a visit to Registan Square, before moving onto  Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah, and Gur-e Amir Mausoleum. Here, you will be wowed by the exterior decoration of the walls which boasts geometric blue and white tiles that stand out next to the building’s terracotta bricks. Next you will explore  the Rukhabad Mausoleum before feasting on a delicious lunch. After you have refuelled your energy, you will go onto explore  Bibi-Khanym Mosque, which  is one of the most important monuments of Samarkand. In the 15th century it was one of the largest and most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world. By the mid-20th century only a grandiose ruin of it still survived, but now major parts of the mosque have been restored. Make sure you have your camera ready to snap it’s stunning design. Next you will explore Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, before your final stop at Ulugbek Observatory which is the largest observatory in Central Asia. It is decorated with beautiful engravings from a 17th century Dutch artist, with the inscription over the image of Ulugbek “I have presented my case seriously”.

Day 11 – Samarkand & Tashkent
Tuck into a delicious breakfast before  a busy day exploring Samarkand. The adventure will start at Samarkand Paper Mill, where you can see its famous Samarkand paper being made by hand on ancient technologies. Next you will explore the Samarkand carpet factory “Hudzhum”. Next you  will be driven to the railway station and depart for Tashkent on the high-speed train “Afrosiab”. Once you arrive in Tashkent,  you will be taken to your hotel to relax and unwind.

Day 12 – Tashkent & departure
Relish in the final breakfast of your holiday at the hotel before heading on a guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent. The fun will start at Khast-Imam Square which is a religious center of Tashkent. It is located in the old town, within neighborhoods with the old wattle and daub houses that have experienced earthquake of 1966. Next you will move onto Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah, and the oldest bazaar of Tashkent – Chorsu. This is an ideal opportunity to do some last minute souvenir shopping.  Finally you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back. You will leave with memories full of fun and adventure.  If you would like to extend you stay or travel in a premium cabin then please speak with our travel specialist who will be happy to assist you.



Accommodation:

Grand Turkmen Hotel 5* – This hotel is located in the heart of the city near the Presidents Palace and Square of Independence. This five-star hotel is amazingly luxurious and elegant and boasts 116 comfortable rooms. In addition to comfortable and modern furniture, each room comes with an individual air-conditioning system, mini bar and telephone.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Air-conditioning
  • Safe
  • Elevator
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Business centre
  • Internet
  • Conference hall
  • Souvenir shops
  • Fitness centre
  • Sauna
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Open tennis court
  • Karaoke bar
  • Disco club
  • Non-smoking rooms

Room facilities & amenities:

  • En suite
  • Luggage service
  • Non smoking rooms
  • Air conditioning system
  • Mini bar
  • Telephone
  • Room service 24 hours

Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4* – This hotel boasts an excellent location as it is minutes from Tashkent Galley of Modern Art and Independence Square. It is also within close proximity of Pakhtakor Markaziy Stadium and History Museum – making it ideal for holiday makers.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • 24-hour front desk
  • Air conditioning
  • ATM/banking
  • Bar/lounge
  • Billiards or pool table
  • Computer station
  • Conference centre
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Designated smoking areas
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service
  • Free breakfast
  • Free cribs/infant beds
  • Free newspaper
  • Free self parking
  • Free toiletries
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Gift shops
  • News stand
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair salon
  • Health club
  • Sauna
  • Smoke-free property
  • Spa services on site
  • Terrace

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Mini bar
  • LCD televisions
  • Complimentary wireless Internet access
  • Satellite programming
  • Private bathrooms with bathtub or shower
  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe
  • Desk
  • Housekeeping is provided daily
Price per person
Group 2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10-15 Single supplement
Hotels of 2-3* £1560.00 £1382.00 £1177.00 £1094.00 £1040.00 £200.00
Hotels of 3-4* £1695.00 £1518.00 £1307.00 £1230.00 £1180.00 £290.00

Price are net*

Cost includes:

  • Accommodation at the hotels on twin/double share with breakfast
  • Sightseeing tour in each city according to the tour program
  • Entry fees for the monuments of each city according to the tour program
  • Escort-service guide during Uzbek part
  • English speaking local guides services during Turkmen part
  • Services of the driver with comfortable transport during the tour, including airport – hotel – airport transfers
  • The cost of Ashgabat – Tashauz domestic air flight
  • The cost of Ashgabat – Mary – Ashgabat domestic air flight
  • The cost of high speed premium train “Afrosiab” Samarkand – Tashkent (economy class)
  • A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan

Cost does not include:

  • Turkmenistan tourist visa from £87 per person, when obtained at Ashgabat Airport (subject to change; nationality dependent)
  • Turkmenistan migration tax £12 per person, to be paid at Ashgabat Airport (subject to change)
  • International air flights;
  • Medical insurance;
  • Visa support for Uzbekistan;
  • Photo and video shooting at museums and monuments.

Additional Services:

  • Board supplement:
    • Half board (evening meals) – £112.00 per person/on all route
    • Full board – £220.00 per person/on all route;
  •  Visa support for Uzbekistan – £50 per person.

Additional information:

Hotels.

We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at. The list of the hotels we offer is below. However, due to seasonal conditions and group size this list is subject to change.
Hotels 2-3* – inexpensive yet cozy private hotels, with traditional national interiors in many of them, providing all the necessary facilities for comfortable stays; notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere;
Hotels 3-4* – very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.

This tour comes with the following accommodation:

Itinerary Point Hotels of 2-3* Hotels of 3-4*
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3* or similar Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* or similar Asia Bukhara Hotel 3*+ or similar
Khiva Orient Star Khiva Hotel 3* or similar Asia Khiva Hotel 3*+ or similar
Yurt camp Yurt camp Aydar Yurt camp Aydar
Ashgabat Ak-Altyn Hotel 4* or similar Grand Turkmen Hotel 5* or similar
Маry Margush Hotel 3* or similar Margush Hotel 3* or similar