Art, Craft and Culture tour of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

Overview

Tour operates:  April until September
No of days: 21 nights 20 days
Tour cost from: 2230 US Dollar
Route: Tashkent-Khiva-Bukhara-Samarkand-Tashkent-Ferghana valley-Osh-Chyckan-Bishkek-Chong Kemin-Issyk Kul Lake-Karakol- Altyn Arshan valley-Djety Oguz-Bishkek

Transport: Air conditioned transport, economy class domestic flight
Accommodations: All comfortable class accommodation with private facilities 1 night in Yurt with basic communal facilities

Guide: Fully Escorted by our English speaking guides in each country
Tour starting point: Tashkent
Tour Ending point: Bishkek

Guaranteed departure: Daily- Minimum 2 people required

Itinerary


Day by Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Upon arrival at Tashkent International Airport, you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.

Overnight in hotel (D)

Day 02: Tashkent – Nukus

In the morning we fly to Nukus, the capital of the Autonomous Karakalpak Republic within Uzbekistan, home of a Turkic people more closely related to Kazakhs than to Uzbeks. The city is the gateway to the fast-disappearing Aral Sea; the surrounding cotton fields testify to the monoculture that stole the water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, the rivers that fed the Aral Sea. Nukus is also home to the remarkable Savitsky Art Museum, founded by Igor Savitsky. Thanks to him, many of the early 20th century Russian paintings that were banned by Moscow found protection here. The story of this collection has been told in the award-winning documentary, Desert of Forbidden Art. We will see the collection – the second-largest gathering of Russian avant-garde art after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 03: Nukus – Khiva

Today we drive through a barren desert area littered with the ruins of ancient fortresses and cities long abandoned. En route, we stop at Ayaz Kala, a fortress dating as far back as the 4th century BC. Later, we continue driving to Khiva City before taking an afternoon walking tour of the old city.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 04: Khiva City Tour

Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well here. The town certainly existed by the 8th century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch to the Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and the pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with the area’s fierce tribesmen. Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past. It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates. We will spend the morning wandering its maze of ruins and great mosques. Later, we’ll take a tour of this living museum, including the Ichon-Qala gates, Muhammad Amin and Rakhim Khan’s medressas (Islamic schools), Tosh-Khovli Palace, Islom-Huja Medressa, a woodcarving workshop, a UNESCO workshop, and the applied arts museum.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 05: Bukhara Drive

Our drive to Bukhara is through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert. Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this unforgiving landscape. With buildings spanning 1,000 years of history and a thoroughly lived-in city centre that hasn’t changed much in two centuries, Bukhara is one of the best places in Central Asia to catch a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. Most of the city centre is an architectural preserve and includes a massive royal fortress, plenty of former Madrassas, a number of ancient public baths and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. There are over 140 protected buildings in the city.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 06: Bukhara City Tour

Today we explore the old quarter on foot. Bukhara is an ancient city with its bustling “trade domes,” active mosques, and the Kalyan Minaret (“tower of death”), one of Central Asia’s tallest. We’ll stroll around the streets and visit the old town centre where old men with long white beards gossip for hours while drinking tea. Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, have been restored and appear as if they were built yesterday. There are even some structures still standing that date back to Zoroastrian times 2,500 years ago. We also visit the massive fortress, The Ark, with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved. Our tour of the Uzbek capital includes the Barak Khan Seminary, Kukeldash and Abul Khassim Medressas, and the Uzbek Museum of Applied Arts. We’ll also venture to the outskirts of Bukhara and visit the summer palace of the last emir, built by a Russian Czar, with grand halls and a harem. We will also see Char Minar, the gate of a long-gone madrassa. It was built in 1809 and has more in common with Indian art styles than local. Its name comes from Tajik, although the towers you can see are not actually minarets but simply decorative towers.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 07: Bukhara

Bukhara is the centre for local artisans, and we will be able to watch many at work on a variety of handicrafts at the Bukhara Artisan Development Centre. We will spend the day visiting some colorful local markets, where the Karavan Saray (trade domes) and former madrassahs offer splendid, colorful handmade `Suzani’ production and gold embroidery, as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, jewellery, carpets and costumes. Suzani means “needlework” in the Tajik language. You will also have some time at leisure to explore the town and its rich, colorful shops on your own. In the evening we’ll have the pleasure of dining in a former caravanserai and be entertained by Bukhara’s local musicians and dancers in local costumes.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 08: Bukhara – Gijduvan – Samarkand

We take a morning drive to Samarkand via Gijduvan, where we will visit the most important ceramic center of Bukhara region. If we’re lucky we’ll have the opportunity to see the centuries-old tradition of using a donkey for spinning the millstones during the process of grinding natural dyes. We’ll lunch at the local potter’s home before proceeding to Samarkand; on the way, we’ll visit the remains of old Caravan Sarai Rabbat Malik.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 09: Samarkand: City Tour

Samarkand, sometimes called the ‘Rome of the Orient,’ was already flourishing when Rome and Babylon were founded. During the course of our full-day tour we visit the famous Registan Square, Gur-Emir Mausoleum of Tamerlane, and the massive mosque of Bibi Khanym. We’ll stop at the ancient colorful market, “Siab,” where you can purchase the famous Samarkand bread that Alexander the Great unsuccessfully tried to have duplicated back home in Greece, or try some of the region’s local produce, from grapes to the world’s tastiest melons of multiple varieties. Our afternoon tour covers the regal mausoleums of Shah-I Zinda, site of Central Asia’s most sacred Islamic shrine, the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient Afrosiab and finally, the Observatory of Ulughbek, the site where Uleg Bek, grandson of Tamerlane, made some of the greatest achievements of pre-telescope-era astronomy in the 15th century.

Overnight in Samarkand at hotel (BD)

Day 10: Samarkand

Today we will visit the Samarkand-Bukhara Silk Carpet factory, opened to revive the culture of weaving silk carpets with old Central Asian patterns, and we’ll also visit an old silk paper workshop where you will get acquainted with the production of silk paper. In the afternoon, enjoy free time for leisure.

Overnight in hotel (BD) 

Day 11: Samarkand – Tashkent

In the morning we drive along the scenic road as it winds along the eastern spurs of the Pamir Ranges to Tashkent. We continue on a city tour of Tashkent, visiting mosques and madrassas housing craft workshops and dating from the 14th century. We visit the Kukeldash Medressa, a grand 16th-century academy undergoing restoration, as well as the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 12: Tashkent – Kokand – Rishtan – Margilan

We depart in the morning depart by road to Fergana and en route, visit Kokand, capital of the Kokand Khanate in the 18th and 19th centuries. We’ll visit the Khan’s Palace Museum and Rishtan, one of the most important ceramic centers in Central Asia. We’ll also visit a potter’s home: Rustam Usmanov and his family make the traditional Uzbekistan ceramics of the region. At the studio, you’ll watch as skilled craftsmen make and decorate plates, bowls, pitchers.

Overnight in Hotel (BD)

Day 13: Margilan – Osh (Kyrgyzstan)

After breakfast, we drive to Margilan, visit the silk ikat weaving centre and Margilan craft centre, supported by UNESCO and housed in a historic madrassa. Of special interest here is the velvet ikat weaving workshop of Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov (some years ago Oscar de la Renta made a collection of Rasuljon’s fabrics). Next,we visit the Yodgorlik silk weaving factory in Margilan. This factory produces silk and cotton/silk ikat using traditional hand techniques and processes. We will get to see every aspect of the process, including reeling the silk from the cocoons, winding skeins and warps, natural dyeing, loom preparation and weaving. There is a lovely small shop here where you can purchase many exquisite examples of traditional Central Asian ikat. After the silk factory, transfer to the Dostlik border.

Upon arrival we are met by our Kyrgyz guide for our transfer to Osh town. We’ll enjoy an afternoon city tour of Osh including a visit to Suleyman Mountain, Babur’s house, the history museum, Rabat Abdullah Khan Mosque and Mausoleum, and Osh Bazaar. Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 14: Osh – Chyckan

In the morning drive to Chyckan, stopping along the way at the Ozgen minarets. Our journey takes us through the hydro-power stations, Toktogul Water Reservoir, Marble Pyramid and the Chychkan Canyon.

Overnight in hotel (BD)

Day 15: Chyckan – Chong Kemin Valley
In the morning, we drive to Chong Kemin Valley via Ala-Bel Pass, Susamyr Valley and Teo-Ashu.

Chon-Kemin Valley, which lies within the Tian Shan mountain range separating Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan with lush green valleys and snow-capped peaks.

Exploring around the valley, hiking up to the forest to see the panoramic view of Kalmak-Ashuu Valley.

We spend a night in one of the local guesthouses, fully decorated with antique embroidery, handicrafts and felts, with modern facilities.

Overnight at Hotel (BD)

Day 16: Chong Kemin – Kochkor village – Cholpon-Ata Issyk Kul Lake
Today we drive to Kochkor village where you will visit the Altyn Kol Women’s Handicraft Co-operative Centre.

Here, you will learn how nomadic Kyrgyz women made Shyrdak, and Ala-Kiyiz – a floor covering made by pressing felt of various naturally dyed colors. You will see the process of felt carpet-making and wool-dying. Kochkor is famous for farming and felt-makers.

Later, we continue driving to Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul. Visit Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs Saimalu-Tash, which covers 42 hectares and contains prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall) and petroglyphs dating from 500 BC up to 600 AD.

Overnight at Hotel(BD)

Day 17:  Karakol
Drive to Karakol, one of the first towns of the Russian Cossak settlements in the late 19th century. En route we visit Przevalski’s Memorial Museum, named for a great Russian explorer from the late 19th century. After lunch, we sightsee in Karakol. We visit the museum, Dungan (a pagoda type of mosque) and an Orthodox wooden whurch. You will enjoy walking along streets with blue-framed windows and gingerbread-style houses. Later, we have dinner at Uighur family house while enjoying an interesting Kyrgyz folk concert.

Overnight at Hotel (BD)

 Day 18: Day trip to Altyn Arshan Valley

If today is Sunday, at 7:30 a.m. we will go to the Sunday Animal Market of Karakol. Later, we take a full-day exploration of Altyn-Arashan valley on a Russian 4×4 Truck with bumpy road, where you can have a nice warm bath at one of the hot springs or hike around the area. Later, we return to Karakul.

Overnight at Hotel (BD)

 Day 19: Karakol – Djety Oguz – Bokonbaeva village
In the morning, we drive to Jety Oguz Canyon, a lush green valley with striking red sandstone rock formations – the ‘Seven Bulls’ from which the valley takes its name. Here you have chance for some short hiking or an optional horseback ride through the beautiful scenery before a picnic lunch. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Bokonbaeva village where you will have chance to watch eagles hunting rabbits. Later, visit the Women’s Craft Centre which makes shyrdaks (felt rugs) and other colored felt products.

Overnight in typical Kyrgz yurt in Bokonbaeva village (BD)

Day 20: Bishkek
In the morning we drive to Kyzyl-Tuu village where a member of a Kyrgyz family will show you how to make traditional yurt tents.

Continue driving to Bishkek en route we will stop in Burana Tower of 11th century.

Upon arrival in Bishkek, a city tour which includes Central Square Alatoo, White House, Parliament House, Manas on Horse Statue, Lenin Statue, and Oak Park.

We will also visit some handicraft studios of Aidai, a leading and well-known young felt-maker and designer based in Kyrgyzstan. She is an owner of Kyal Handicraft and Yurt Maker’s Non-Profitable Organizations.http://www.christensenfund.org/2013/04/26/looking-at-the-world-through-felt-eye-glasses/

Overnight at Hotel in Bishkek (BD)

Day 21: Onward Flight

Trip will end with airport transfer (B)

Notes


coming soon

Map



Coming soon

Dates/Prices


Tour costs and Dates

We guarantee all tour departures for a minimum of 2 passengers. In order to confirm your booking we will need a non-refundable deposit of 400 USD per person. The final invoice will be sent to you 4 weeks before the tour departure, the final cost dependent on the final group size. If the following dates or the described itinerary does not meet your travel needs, please write to us, we can arrange a customized tour for you.

Tour cost comfort class

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10-14 Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $4300 $3800 $3075 $2800 $550

Tour cost tourists class

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10-14 Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $3650 $3230 $2500 $2230 $300

Hotels

Places Comfort class hotels Tourist Class hotels
Tashkent Radisson blue hotel or Dedeman Silk Road Hotel Uzbekistan hotel
Khiva Asia hotel or Malika Khivek Malika classic
Bukhara Zaragron Plaza or Asia Zargaron Hotel or Malika Classic
Samarkand Asia Malika Prime
Ferghana Valley Asia Hotel Club 777
Osh Hotel Silk Way CBT Guest House
Chychkan Gorge Osn Hotel Oson
Chong Kemin Ashuu Guest House Ashuu Guest House
Issyk Kul Lake Three Karona Deluxe  Three Karona
Karakol Green Yard Hotel Green Yard Hotel
Djety Oguz Local Kyrgyz Yurt Local Kyrgz Yurt
Bishkek Jannat Hotel Or Hotel Holiday Asia Mountain 2

*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange
alternative hotels of a similar standard.

Tour departures 2017 – 2018

Starting Date Ending Date Availability  
1-April 2018 21-April 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-April 2018 5-May 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
5- May 2018 25-May 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
18-May 2018 7- June 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-June 2018 21-June 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-June 2018 5-July 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
23-June 2018 13-July 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-July 2018 21-July 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
14-July 2018 05-Aug 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
22-July 2018 11- August 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-August 2018 21-August 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
18-August 2018 7-Sep 2018 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
28-Aug 2017 17-Sep 2017 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
8-Sep 2017 28-Sep 2017 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-Sep 2017 05-Oct 2017 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
01-Oct 2017 21-Oct 2017 AVAILABLE Enquire Now
 

Tour cost includes

• All domestic transportation and transfers, domestic flights mentioned in the itinerary.
• Twin sharing accommodation at hotel mentioned above
• Meals Breakfast and Dinners Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinners
• All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
• Fully escorted by our experienced English speaking local guides in each country
• Visa support letter if required

TOUR COST EXCLUDES

• Visa Fees.
• Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
• Optional activities
• Meals Lunches
• Personal expanses
• Single supplements
• Tips for Guides and drivers

If you would like to customize your trip please write to us we are more than happy to arrange your trip according to your request. 

About Tour operators Silk Road and Himalayas

We are a small, highly experienced “boutique” travel company operating unique tours thoughout Central Asia, Far East, and Indian Subcontinent.