• Journey to the heart of Central Asia to discover ancient history and culture
• Visit the Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand
• Experience Samarkand’s famed Registan Square, bordered by elegant madrasas in shades of gold and turquoise
Andrew Wilson, BA, BD, FSAScot
specialist in archaeology and ancient history
Depart London Heathrow 2135 on Uzbekistan Airways.
Arrive Tashkent 0915 and transfer to hotel for overnight stay. Morning tour of the city: Independence Square, Amir Temur monument, Museum of Applied Art. Afternoon: Khast-i-Imam complex (group of mosques and madrasas dating from the 16th to 20th centuries).
Morning in Tashkent: State Museum of History of Uzbekistan (archaeological and ethnographical) followed by visit to Chorsu Bazaar. Afternoon: domestic flight to Urgench and transfer to city of Khiva for two nights.
Khiva: Ichan Kala (ancient citadel surrounded by crenelated clay walls), Juma mosque, Muhammad Amin-Khan madrasa, Kalta Minor minaret, Kunya Ark fortress.
Drive through the Kyzylkum desert, occasionally sighting the River Oxus (now the Amu-Darya) crossed by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. Three nights in Bukhara.
Bukhara: Poi-Kalyan complex, Mir-i-Arab madrasa, Kalyan minaret, Ulugh Beg and Abdulaziz Khan madrasas. Afternoon: Lyabi-Hauz, madrasas and Ark Citadel.
Bukhara: Tchor Minor mosque, Sitorai Mokhi Khossa, Bolo-Hauz mosque, 10th century Samanid mausoleum, Chashma-Ayub mausoleum (‘Job’s Spring’) and Ark Fortress.
Drive to Samarkand via Gijduvan (ceramic workshop, protected by UNESCO), Rabati Malik caravanserai and Sardoba, medieval water keeper. Three nights in Samarkand.
Samarkand: famed Registan Square with 15th and 17th century madrasas, Guri Amir mausoleum (burial place of Timur), Bibi Khanum mosque and colourful Siyob Bazaar.
Whole day excursion to Shakhrisabz, hometown of Timur: portal of Ak-Saray palace, Dor-us Saodat Memorial Complex, Dor-ut Tilavat Ensemble.
Samarkand: Shakhi-Zinda tiled funerary complex, observatory built by Ulugh Beg. Afternoon at ancient site of Afrasiab (rare 7th century Sogdian fresco), before train transfer to Tashkent for overnight stay.
Free time in Tashkent. Depart Tashkent 1620, arriving London Heathrow 2000.
22 Mar — 2 Apr 2019
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return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, full board with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities, visa support documentation.
visa, travel insurance, single room supplement £245.