Ultimate Uzbekistan

A Cultural Odyssey from Samarkand to Khiva with Hashmat Singh


Join our veteran Trip Leader Hashmat Singh to discover the best of Uzbekistan’s legendary Silk Road settings. We’ll explore the famed ancient cities of Samarkand, Bhukara, and Khiva, but also take you off the beaten track to the less-known places such as Termez, with its remarkable archaeological sites, and the traditional villages of the Nurata Mountains. In these cultural jewels of Central Asia, we’ll walk in the footsteps of traders, mystics, and the great emperor Timur (Tamerlane) himself. Our explorations lead us through the majestic architectural ensemble of Samarkand’s Registan Square, the atmospheric bazaars of Bukhara, and the lost-in-time city of Khiva, a sand-colored mirage in the desert. Along the way, we’ll sip tea in Uzbekistan’s chaikhanas (teahouses), with their intricately carved and painted ceilings, meet traditional potters and other artisans, roam the bustling markets, and have an option for a soak in an authentic hammam (bathhouse). Mid-trip, we’ll get away from city life for a two-day break at a village guesthouse in the Nurata Mountains, with time to stretch our legs on hill walks and enjoy a cooking class. The mix of Uzbekistan’s Silk Road heritage, Soviet legacy, and distinctive Uzbek culture make this country so fascinating, and the welcome is heartfelt in this fabled land of turquoise domes and soaring minarets.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Tashkent / Termez

We visit Tashkent, the country’s modern metropolis, then fly to off-the-beaten-path Termez in southernmost Uzbekistan to discover its unique Buddhist archaeological treasures, including UNESCO-listed Fayaz-Tepe, an ancient rock-cut monastery.

Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Day 1 (1 night), Day 12 (1 night)
Meridian Hotel
Termez, Uzbekistan
Day 2 (1 night)
Days 3-5

The celebrated city of Samarkand has been conquered, destroyed, and rebuilt by the likes of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Our explorations here include the glorious Registan, the city’s dazzling 15th century public square, with its remarkable ensemble of tiled madrasas, and a walk down the Sha-i-Zinda, an avenue of tiled mausoleums with some of the most amazing tilework in the Muslim world.

Hotel Minor
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Days 3 to 5 (3 nights)
Days 6-7
Nurata Mountains

Heading to the Nurata Mountains, we’ll be welcomed at a village guesthouse. Hill walks bring us into a peaceful setting of farms and orchards, and we’ll have a cooking class one evening in a village home. At night under the desert sky, the stargazing is wonderful.

Elmurat's Guesthouse
Nurata Mountains, Uzbekistan
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 8-9

Ancient Bukhara stands as one of Central Asia’s most romantic and atmospheric cities, dating back 25 centuries and revealing a unique example of a medieval town. Dozens of azure domes dot the skyline. We’ll gaze up at the mighty Kalyan spire, over 100 feet tall, and visit the 19th century Chor-Minor, with its four minarets, each a different shape. At the impressive Samanid Mausoleum, we’ll see the best surviving example of 10th century architecture in the Muslim world. Along the way, we stop in at traditional chaikhanas (teahouses), and one afternoon we have an option for a soak in a hammam (bathhouse).

As-Salam Boutique Hotel
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)
Days 10-13
Khiva / Tashkent

A train ride bring us to remote Khiva, a stunning walled town in the tawny desert and Central Asia’s very first UNESCO site. Its perfect ensemble of sand-colored mosques and madrasas date from 1780–1850, when the city prospered as a trade depot and fortress along the caravan routes. Our explorations include the peaceful haven of the Juma Mosque, with its maze of 200 carved wooden columns, and the massive Kalta Minor tower, a symbol of the city. The mud-walled alleyways and spectacular blue domes of Khiva are a spectacular and atmospheric finale for our Silk Road odyssey. After a return to Tashkent, depart on Day 13.

Malika Kheivak Hotel
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)
Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Day 12 (1 night)



Explore Samarkand’s Registan Square, a masterpiece of medieval Islamic architecture
Visit the atmospheric markets and hammams of Bukhara
Walk the labyrinthine lanes of the walled city of Khiva, with its sand-colored minarets
Spend two nights in the peaceful Nurata Mountains for country walks and a taste of village life
Sip tea in historic chaikhanas (teahouses), meet artisans, hear traditional Uzbek music
Enjoy unique boutique hotels in Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, all within walking distance of the main sites


Length: 13 days
Cost From: $5695  
Arrive: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Depart: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Lodging: 9 nights comfortable hotels, 2 nights village guesthouse, 1 night in basic hotel in Termez
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Overland travel with walking tours, cultural explorations

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