Watch the process of producing ceramics in Gijduvan. Explore the ancient sights from the time of Alexander Great in Nurata city. Stay in the desert Yurt camp, walk around the dunes and ride on the camels. Get to know the livelihood and land use activities of local people and hike around different Nuratau mountain villages while you stay with the local farmers in a remote mountain village.
- See the ceramics production process.
- Sights in Nurata city
- Stay in a Yurt camp and ride on the camel
- Swim or stroll along the shores of the Lake Aydar
- Hike around ancient and picturesque Nuratau mountain villages
- Get to know the daily livelihood activities of rural people
- Learn the preparation of Central Asian main dish Plov
Day 1 – Bukhara- Gijduvan – Nurata- Yurt Camp
See the ceramics workshop in Gijduvan and visit Alexander the Great’s fortress in Nurata. Ride on the camel, admire the desert landscape and stay overnight in the Yurt Camp.
Day 2 – Yurt Camp – lake Aydar – Sentyab village
Swim or stroll along the shores of the lake Aydarkul. Arrive in Sentyab village and wander around the village to learn about the life of the mountain dwellers.
Day 3 – Sentyab village
Hiking to Kadvan valley. Visit the ruins of ancient fortress, watermill and medieval Arabic scripts on the rock. Admire the diverse flora and fauna and rich birdlife of the valley.
Day 4 Sentyab – Samarkand
After breakfast, leave for the next destination
Day 1 Bukhara- Gijduvan – Nurata- Yurt Camp
9:00 Leave Bukhara for Yurt Camp. On the way to Yurt stop at Gijduvan and Nurata cities. A small town of Gijduvan is situated in 46 km northeast from Bukhara. From the ancient times till the present, Gijduvan has been important trading town and crafts centre. Visit the ceramics workshop of Narzullayev’s family where you will be able:
- – to see the process of producing ceramics;
- – to visit the ceramics museum;
- – to buy manufactured articles of Gijduvan craftsmen;
Continue to Nurata (160km). Arrive in Nurata and have lunch in national house. After lunch, start sightseeing in Nurata. There are many legends related with the origin of the city and its name. People refer the origin of the city to the fortress Nur, founded there in the 3rd century BC by Alexander the Great. However, according to archaeological excavations the cultural layer in this area reaches the age of 40 thousand years. Supposedly, the main reason to choose this place as a settlement was holly “Chashma” (spring).
Visit the 9th century mausoleum, mosque and the remains of the Alexander the Great’s fortress. Continue to the Yurt camp (65 km / 1 hour) Arrive and settle in the yurt camp. In the evening, ride on the camel or just walk around the dunes. You might be lucky to spot steppe tortoises, hares and desert agamas depending on the season. From the Yurt Camp you may also take a short walk to explore the nearby Kazakh village of Dungalak. Dinner and overnight stay in the Yurt camp.
Day 2 – Sentyab village
After breakfast, drive via Lake Aydar to Nuratau Mountains. Depending on the season, you can have a swim or just stroll along the lakeshore watching the rich aquatic birdlife (cranes, pelicans, many duck and goose species and numerous waders etc.) Arrive in the homestay in Sentyab village. Your host welcomes you and shows the homestay facilities. Almost all the houses in Sentyab village have large gardens with the river passing through. Settle in a homestay. Lunch with the local family
After lunch, wander around the village to see the mosque, local school, village shop and building style of the local houses. Sentyab is one of the few villages where almost all the houses are built in traditional way using local rocks. Wandering through the village is a fantastic way to see villagers doing their traditional livelihood activities. You will meet many friendly and curious locals willing to talk to you. In the afternoon, you have a free time to chat with your host family. You may also watch or participate in traditional cooking practices. Dinner with your hosts. Overnight stay in a local homestay
Day 3 – Sentyab village
Breakfast with the family. Today your local escort guide well familiar with all hiking trails around will take you to a whole day’s hiking tour to Kadvan valley (7,5-8 hours/ 15km return trip). Start hiking up Sentyab valley, pass an old watermill, ruins of a ancient fortress and an Arabic scripts on a rock. The hike leads you along a crystal clear mountain stream with small water-falls, lush vegetation and natural swimming pools. Have a picnic on the way.
The valley is great for bird watching and has a very diverse flora. Those who are interested in birds can spot following bird species: Spotted Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Mistle Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Persian Nuthatch, Blue Rock-Thrush, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Common Nightingale, Eurasian Magpie, Chukar, and occasionally one of the owl species.
Return to Sentyab the same way. Dinner with the host family. Overnight stay in a local homestay
Day 4 – Sentyab – Samarkand
Breakfast. Say goodbye to your host family and leave for Samarkand. End of program.
1 person – 355 USD per person
2 people – 232 USD per person
3 people – 190 USD per person
4 people and more – upon request
2 nights homestay, 1 night Yurt Camp
3 Breakfast, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
1 days escort guide (with elementary English) service
Sealed mineral water during the hikes
Camel riding around the Yurt camp (20 min)
Entrance tickets in Nurata city
Transport: Bukhara-> Gijduvan-> Nurata -> Yurt Camp -> Sentyab village -> Samarkand
What’s not Included
Additional tours or activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Items of personal nature
Additional fees charged on top of entrance tickets for photo/video cameras