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8-Day Uzbekistan Heritage and Cuisine Tour

Uzbekistan Discovery Tour

Uzbekistan has a rich history and is home to many ancient cities such as Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Its various stunning monuments and wonders of Islamic architecture never fail to impress visitors from around the world. In this eight-day tour, you will explore the heritage sites at the four major ancient cities and discover the mouth-watering local cuisine of Uzbekistan.

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Highlights

  • Explore the ancient city of Samarkand and learn about the history of the unvanquished commander, Timur, and the Timurid Empire.
  • Admire the magnificent monuments in Bukhara.
  • Walk around the historic center of Khiva and learn why it is called an open-air museum.
  • Discover the authentic food of Uzbekistan and learn to cook Uzbek dishes from a local family.
  • Visit two local bazaars that will give you a taste of the local life.

Suggested Route

uzbekistan tour map

Itinerary in Detail

This sample itinerary is designed to inspire you to visit this gorgeous country. Following are our tailor-made guidelines to create your own ideal Uzbekistan tour.

Day1
Arrival in Samarkand
Alexander Hotel (4-star)

Arrive in Samarkand. Meet your local guide and driver and transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day2
Samarkand Tour
breakfast and lunch

As an ancient capital city with a long history of over 2,500 years, Samarkand is a cultural crossroads, full of magnificent architectural monuments. After partaking of breakfast at the hotel, your heritage tour starts with a visit to Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum, the resting place of Timur (the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty). It is an architectural masterpiece with a majestic blue dome.

Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum
Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum is the resting place of Timur

Drive to the well-known Registan, a public square that is surrounded by three madrasahs. The square was the city's cultural center in olden times.

Afterwards, head to a nice local restaurant and have Samarkand plov for lunch. You can also try the local dairy products, shashlik (kebab), and different soups.

Samarkand plov and soup
Samarkand plov and soup

After lunch, visit the Islamic world's largest mosque in ancient Central Asia, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, built as a tribute to Amir Timur's (Tamerlane's) wife. Visit Siab Bazaar nearby, which is the largest bazaar in Samarkand. It is a food market, where you will find dried fruit, bread, spices, sweetmeats, and more. Uzbekistan is known for its dried fruit, and this is one of the best places to buy some.

The last sightseeing place for the day is Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, famous for the beauty of its mausoleums that are tiled with turquoise and blue mosaic.

Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque

Samarkand is also known for its wine. As an aperitif before your dinner (which will be your own arrangement), you may ask your local guide to take you to a local winery with wine and cognac tastings.

You will return to the Registan and take some pictures of buildings decorated with resplendent lights.

Day3
Samarkand to Bukhara on the Afrosiyob Train
Amelia Boutique Hotel (4-star)
 
breakfast and lunch

Transfer to the railway station after an early breakfast and catch the high-speed Afrosiyob train (09:50-11:19) to Bukhara. Upon arrival, start your city exploration of Bukhara, said to capture the beauty of the spirit.

Take a walking tour and start at Lyab-i-Hauz Square. The Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrasah, Divan-Beghi Khanaka, and Kukeldash Madrasah are located here. Listen to your guide tell an interesting story about Nadir Divan-Beghi, uncle of the Emir, Imam Quli Khan, and these three monuments.

Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrasah
Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrasah

Enjoy your lunch at a restaurant serving local dishes like steamed manty (dumpling), Bukharan plov, roasted lamb, etc.

Manty and roasted lamb
Manty and roasted lamb

Continue on your tour to Magok-i-Attori Mosque, with a history dating back to Zoroastrian times. It is now a museum of carpets. You will also have a chance to visit the Trading Domes if you are interested in reliving the medieval atmosphere of flourishing trading markets in ancient times.

The last stop of the day's walking tour is Poi-Kalyan complex, where you will see the city's landmarks, Mir-i-Arab Madrasa and the Kalyan minaret.

Poi-Kalyan complex
Poi-Kalyan Complex
Day4
Bukhara City Tour and Cooking Local Cuisine
breakfast and lunch

Continue your Bukhara city tour with a visit to the Ark of Bukhara, the most ancient archeological complex of Bukhara. It was a former governmental center, and now houses a collection of museums and mosques.

Ark of Bukhara
Ark of Bukhara

At lunchtime, drive to a local family home where you will get a local cuisine cooking class. You will learn to cook the traditional Bukharan plov, steamed manty, or the fried noodle dish lagman, which you may have had for lunch the previous day. You can eat the dishes you cook for lunch.

Then, you will visit Bolo Hauz Mosque, famous for its wood carvings and ceiling paintings; Samanid Mausoleum, a typical brickwork building; and finally, the Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum to learn about the irrigation system of the region. Legend has it that the Prophet Job struck the ground and healing water emerged, giving the mausoleum its name.

On the way back to your hotel, stop at Chor Minor for pictures. Unlike the other madrasahs you've seen, this unique architectural construction has four minarets.

Chor Minor
Chor Minor with its four minarets.
Day5
Bukhara - Khiva
Arkanchi Hotel (4-star)
breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, you will take a private transfer to Khiva (450KM) through the Kyzylkum Desert (Red Sand Desert). Prepare for the day's long drive of around seven hours. The Afrosiyob between Bukhara and Khiva might be available by the end of 2020, with the train ride being shortened to around four hours.

En route, you will visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, the Sitorai Mokhi Khosa Palace. It is a mixture of both Russian and Uzbek-style architecture. There are three museums there where you can learn about the local applied arts, the national costume of the Uzbeks, needlework, etc.

Khiva is a small ancient town and used to be a major trading and commercial center along the ancient Silk Road. After your hotel check-in at Khiva, take an evening walk around Itchan Kala (the inner city of Khiva), which is sure to take you back in time.

Day6
Khiva
breakfast and lunch

Khiva is a World Heritage Site, with over 54 historical and architectural monuments. It was divided into two parts in the 19th century. The inner city, with a 10-meter-high wall, is called Itchan Kala. It was were the Khan's palace was located and high officials, clergy, and rich merchants lived; the ordinary people lived in Dishan Kala, the outer city.

Slow down your pace and follow your local guide to discover the best of this walled city. You will visit the incredible blue-tiled Muhammad Amin-Khan Madrasah and Kalta Minor Minaret; the ancient fortress of Kuhna Ark, which is a citadel within a citadel; Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrasah, the last major construction of the independent Khanate of Khiva; the Tomb of Sayid Allauddin, a well-known Sufi, for its age and historical significance; Juma Mosque with its 212 beautiful carved wooden pillars designed to let in sunlight; Tash Khauli (Stone Palace), which is the second residence of Khiva's Khans; Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, which honors the famous poet, craftsman, and fighter, and has a series of tombs inside; and the tallest building in Khiva, the Islam Khodja complex.

Itchan Kala
Itchan Kala

For lunch, you will have the opportunity to try the local dishes of Khiva, shivit oshi or green pasta and egg-filled ravioli, tuhum barak.

Day7
Khiva - Urgench - Tashkent
Wyndham Tashkent (4-star)
breakfast and lunch

After an early breakfast, you will transfer to Urgench (35KM) and catch your flight (09:35-10:55) to Tashkent.

Your last stop in Uzbekistan is the capital city, Tashkent. Drive to the city center and visit the Amir Timur Square and Independence Square. Tashkent boasts a mixture of modern and Soviet-era architecture. Do not miss the opportunity to ride on the Soviet-era Tashkent Metro, which was the seventh metro in the former Soviet Union, and visit the subway stations with their unique decorations.

Tashkent City
Tashkent City

One of the highlights of the day will be you to visit Chorsu Bazaar - the biggest market in Tashkent - much bigger than the Central Bazaar you visited in Samarkand. A building with a blue dome, you will find all daily necessities sold here: clothing, household items, vegetables and fruit, breads and meats, souvenirs and handicrafts, etc. Enjoy bargaining in this crowded, noisy, and bustling place.

Spend some free time exploring this hospitable city at your own pace. You can buy souvenirs for family and friends or stroll down the narrow streets and meet locals.

Day8
Departure
breakfast

Drive to the airport to catch your flight back home and say goodbye to Uzbekistan.

Hand-Picked Hotels

We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.

Alexander Hotel Samarkand
Samarkand
Alexander Hotel
Amelia Boutique Hotel
Bukhara
Amelia Boutique Hotel

Our Service Includes:

8 days from
US$ 1,799
per person (Based on 2 persons & 4-star hotels)
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-cn-5

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