Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - Fabled Silk Road Cities
- UNESCO World Heritage site of Merv
- Samarkand’s Registan Square
- Turquoise domes and bustling bazaars of the fabled Silk Road
This tour combines two of Central Asia’s most magical countries, linked by their shared importance along the legendary Silk Road. Explore the riches of Turkmenistan; the ancient capital of Nisa, the mysteries of Gonur Depe and the magnificent UNESCO sites of Merv and Kunya-Urgench. In Uzbekistan discover Khiva’s splendid palaces and mosques, the ancient domes of Bukhara, Samarkand’s spectacular Registan Square and Tashkent, the country’s 2,000 year old capital.
Day 1 London/ Ashgabat – Fly overnight to Ashgabat.
Day 2 Ashgabat – Morning at leisure. Afternoon city tour including the Carpet Museum.
Day 3 Nisa, Ashgabat, Mary - Visit UNESCO Nisa, ancient capital of the Parthian Empire. Return via Kipchak for Turkmenistan’s largest mosque. Explore Ashgabat’s colourful Russian bazaar and National Museum before evening flight to Mary.
Day 4 Gonur Depe - Drive to Gonur Depe, the centre of a great 4,000 year old fire-worshipping civilisation, the largest archaeological excavation in the Near East.
Day 5 Merv/ Ashgabat – Explore Merv, the oldest and most completely preserved oasis city on the Silk Route. Fly back to Ashgabat.
Day 6 Ashgabat/ Dashoguz, Khiva - Fly to Dashoguz and visit the UNESCO site of Kunya-Urgench. Explore the masterpieces of the former capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire before crossing the border into Uzbekistan. Overnight in Khiva.
Day 7 Khiva – Visit the recently restored site of Khiva, with its impressive palaces, mosques and houses decorated in blue and white tiles.
Day 8 Khiva, Bukhara – Cross the infamous Kizilkum Desert, with optional relaxing traditional ‘hammam’ on arrival in Bukhara (not included).
Day 9 Bukhara – The former capital, Bukhara boasts over 300 mosques. Tour the city’s impressive highlights including the Kalan Minaret, beautiful madrasahs and Toki Sarrafon Trade Dome.
Day 10 Bukhara - Visit Arc Citadel and Buyan Quli Khan Palace and harem with its collection of costumes and textiles. Discover Sitarah-i Mah-i and Khassah.
Day 11 Shahr-i Sabz, Samarkand - Depart for Shakhr-i-Sabz, the birthplace of Timur, which holds the remains of the colossal arch from the Ak Serai or
‘White’ Palace. Continue to Samarkand.
Day 12 Samarkand – See the beautiful Gur-i Amir, Timur’s cenotaph and Registan Square, the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia.
Day 13 Samarkand – Discover the remarkable Shah-i Zindah complex and Ulugh Beg’s famous observatory.
Day 14 Samarkand, Tashkent – Visit the ancient city of Afrosiab, including the museum and Mausoleum of the Prophet Daniel. Train to Tashkent.
Day 15 Tashkent – City sightseeing includingthe Khazrati Imam Complex, Fine Art Museum and Tashkent’s famous Metro.
Day 16 Tashkent/ London – Fly back to London.
Iain Shearer is an archaeologist and Research Affiliate at The Centre for Applied Archaeology, University College London. He’s worked extensively on development and conflict archaeology and has excavated in Afghanistan, The Balkans, Central Asia, Iran and the Arab Middle East.
He is currently Sackler Scholar for Iran and Afghanistan at The British Museum and is a Fellow of The Royal Asiatic Society.
"I expect there are tour guides as good as Iain Shearer, I'm sure there are none better. Consistently interesting, a master of his subject and with a strong wish to share that knowledge and ensure that everyone on the tour gains from it. Extremely competent in keeping everyone comfortable, I believe each member considered Iain a genuine personal friend for the duration of the trip. Every question was handled in appropriate depth and Iain's methods of involving the whole group in his lectures work very well." Kyrgyzstan & China Tour participant August 2014"
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