We offer to visit the most popular sights of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in one tour. The tour starts end ends in Tashkent which is comfortable for flight connection.
Route: Tashkent – Khiva – Koneurgench – Darwaza – Ashgabat – Mary – Bukhara – Samarkand – Tashkent
Day 1. Tashkent, arrival
Arrive in Tashkent, welcome at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in at 12:00 – 14:00. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. Start the guided tour in Tashkent – 2200 years old capital city of Uzbekistan.
We will start from the Old City: Khast Imam Ensemble – a religious center of the city consisting of Barakkhan Madrasah, Tillya Shaykh Mosque, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum and the library of Islamic Literature with original Uthman’s Quran of the VIII century. Explore traditional Chor-Su Bazaar – oldest in Tashkent where you can buy souvenirs, watch Uzbek bread baking process in a traditional oven, taste some local food.
Visiting modern part of Tashkent: Applied Arts Museum where one can see Uzbek fabrics, Bukhara and Khiva carpets, “Suzani” embroidery, metal and wooden items adorned with ornate Arabic lettering, oriental jewellery, and ceramics. Continue to Mustakillik Square – a symbol of Uzbek capital and a popular place for people. We will use Tashkent subway to get to Amir Temur Square – the heart of the city, established on the intersection of two ancient trade roads, with many modern buildings. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3. Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Urgench. Arrive in Urgench, transfer to Khiva. Leaving luggage at the hotel and starting city tour. Today we will explore ancient inner town Ichan Kala (UNESCO World Heritage site, XIV-XX CC) – big open air museum consisting of Muhammad Amin Khan Madrassah, Kalta Minor Minaret, Kunya Ark, Muhamad Rahim Khan Madrassah, Juma Mosque and Minaret, Tash Hauli Palace, Islam Khodja Minaret and Madrassah, Shirgazi Khan Madrassah, Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4. Khiva – Dashoguz – Koneurgench – Darwaza
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Uzbek-Turkmen border. Crossing formalities, meeting with Turkmen guide on Turkmenistan side.
Drive to Kunya Urgench, sightseeing: Portal of Caravansaray, Mamun Minaret, II Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret, Turabek Hanum Mausoleum.
Drive to Darwaza burning Gas Crater (3.5 h). The Crater is also called “The Door to Hell”. The area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 60 m and 20 m deep. To avoid poisonous gas discharge, it was decided to burn it off. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today. In the evening, watch the spectacular and fascinating view of the gas crater. BBQ dinner & overnight at Gas Crater.
Day 5. Darwaza – Ashgabat
Breakfast at the camp. Morning drive to Ashgabat (3.5 h). En-route we cross Karakum desert, will stop in a small village.
Arrival in Ashgabat and transfer to the hotel. Free time.
Drive to visit Nissa fortress – the Sanctuary of Parthian Kings. UNESCO declared fortress a World Heritage Site in 2007. Nissa described as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC – 211BC), and reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian Kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nissa was a royal residence or a mausoleum.
Then you will have Ashgabat city tour: Presidential Palace, Ruhyyet Palace, Wedding Palace, modern “Yildyz” Hotel, Ferries Wheel, Constitution Monument, Arch of Neutrality, Monument and park of Independence, Ertogrul Gazy Mosque, Ashgabat 2017 Sports and Housing facilities. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6. Ashgabat – Kowata – Gokdepe – Ashgabat
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Kowata underground lake located 107 km from Ashgabat. The Turkmen name Kow-Ata means “father of caves”. This underground area looks like a magnificent auditorium: the overall length of the cave is 230 m, its height reaches 20 m, and its width is at some points 57 m. The bottom of the cave is covered with lumps of dissolved limestone (stalagmites), and its warm and gushing water is clear and emerald colored. The water has a constant temperature of 33-37°C (you can swim).
Then drive to Gokdepe fortress attacked in December 1880 by Russian Empire Army. The siege of Gokdepe lasted 23 days, after which the city was taken by storm. Visit Geokdepe Mosque (Saparmyrat Hajy) that was built in 1995 to commemorate the defeat and is noted for its mint-turquoise blue colored roof and white marble structure.
Later drive to Horse Farm to see a national proud of Turkmen people – Akhalteke horses. 5000 years ago, Turkmens began to breed Akhalteke horses. This unique breed was never mixed with others. There are over 35 beautiful horses in the farm. Per superstition, every sick person who touches an Ahalteke horse will get well soon.
On the way back we will visit Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque in Kipchak (the largest mosque in Central Asia). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7. Ashgabat – Mary – Merv – Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Ashgabat domestic airport for morning flight to Mary. Arrival in Mary and drive to Merv to explore ancient settlement – “Queen of the world”, one of the most important capitals of Islam along with Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. Sightseeing of ancient Merv includes Greater Kyz Gala & Lesser Kyz Gala (VI-VII), Complex of Askhabs (VIII-XIV), Erk Gala (VI BC), Gyaur Gala (IV BC), Hoja Yusup Hamadani complex, Sultan Sanjar mausoleum, Muhamed Ibn Zeid mausoleum. After sightseeing, drive to Turkmen-Uzbek border “Farap”. Crossing formalities.
Meeting with Uzbek driver on Uzbekistan side, transfer to Bukhara. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8. Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will see Ark Fortress – residence of Bukhara khans, Bolo Hauz Mosque, Samanids Mausoleum – Shrine of Ismail Samani and other members of the Samanid Dynasty, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum – Saint Job’s well.
Continue to Poi-Kalyan complex with Kalyan Minaret through orient bazaars with trade domes, Ulugbek Madrassah, Abdulazizkhan Madrassah. Visiting Lyabi Hauz complex consisting of Kukeldash Madrassah, Magoki Attori Mosque now used as a carpet museum, Nadir Divan-begi Madrassah and Nadir Divan-begi Khanaka. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9. Bukhara – Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive outside Bukhara for sightseeing: Sitorai Mokhi Khosa – summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, Chor Bakr Necropolis – city of the dead, Baghautdin Nakhshbandi Mausoleum – center of Sufism and most important pilgrimage site.
Transfer to the railway station for Bukhara-Samarkand train at 15:48. Pick up in Samarkand at 17:25, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10. Samarkand
Breakfast at the hotel. We will start sightseeing from Gur Emir Mausoleum (tomb of Tamerlane), continue with iconic Registan Square (which means “desert” in Persian) and three madrassahs (religious study centers) surrounding the square: Ulughbek Madrassah, Sher-Dor Madrassah, and Tillya-Kari Madrassah – covered with gold.
Visit to Shakhi Zinda Necropolis – ensemble including mausoleums and other ritual buildings of IX-XIV and XIX CC, Ulughbek Observatory, built in XV century by Timurid ruler and astronomer, Bibi Khanym Mosque – built by Amir Timur for his favorite wife in XV century. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11. Samarkand – Tashkent
Breakfast at the hotel. Continue sightseeing in Samarkand: ancient settlement and museum of Afrosiab, and Tombstone of Saint Daniyar. The prophet Daniyar (Daniel) is revered by three world religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and mausoleum is still a pilgrimage place for the followers of all three Abrahamic religions. Drive to Konigil village to visit Samarkand Paper Mill “Meros”, where you can see the process of making famous Samarkand paper by ancient technology.
Transfer to the railway station for evening Samarkand-Tashkent train or drive by car. Pick up in Tashkent, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12. Departure
Check out by 12:00. Transfer to the airport. End of services.
We reserve the right to change itinerary if flight/train timetable changes or no available tickets.
Price per person:
- 1 person – 3340 USD
- 2 ppl – 2050 USD
- 3 ppl – 2030 USD
- 4 ppl – 1740 USD
- Single supplement – 180 USD
- Visa support
- Transport services
- Accommodation (double rooms) with breakfast
- Air tickets Tashkent-Urgench, Ashgabat-Mary (economy class)
- Train tickets Bukhara-Samarkand, Samarkand-Tashkent (economy class)
- Local English speaking guides for city tours in UZ
- Escorting English speaking guide in TM
- Sightseeing tours as per program
- Entrance fees for the sights
- Visa fees
- Early check-ins / late check-outs
- Photo/video fees
- Fees for extra services not specified in the program
- Travel insurance
- Lunches and dinners, except Darwaza
- Travel tax in Turkmenistan (2 USD per person daily, cash at hotels)
- Single supplement
- Gratuities (recommended)