Our new Central Asia Educational Tours stand alone for several reasons.
- They focus on learning about the destination from knowledgeable experts.
- They offer extensive one-to-one interaction between visitors and locals.
- They include a pre-trip orientation and recommended reading list.
Most importantly, they are personally crafted by Silk Roads Treasure Tours' founder, Zulya Rajabova. Zulya is a native of Uzbekistan, former university professor in Bukhara, and former tour guide for the Tourism Ministry of Uzbekistan.
Says Zulya, "From a young age, I had an opportunity to meet travelers from around the globe, who came to the UNESCO World Heritage city where I lived. I wanted to meet them and draw them into my home and show them more. Now I do this for each and every one of my travelers."
These Educational biased trips allow travelers to feel the influence of world cultures and religions along the Silk Road. Experiences include: a foray into the lives of students at the 16th Century religious Medressah (Muslim religious school) of Kukaldash in Tashkent; a tour of the Russian Cathedral of Holy Ascension, the largest wooden church in the world located in Samarkand; a jaunt through the Jewish Quarter and synagogue of Bukhara, one of the largest Jewish communities in Central Asia; and a visit to Magoki Attari, in the historic section of Bukhara, the original site of a Zoroastrian temple.
Travelers see the best of the more than one thousand architectural monuments in the museum-like cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and Tashkent, but beyond that, they experience the cities from the inside – with meals in peoples' homes, and tea in their craft workshops, as these artisans produce silk fabrics, for example, using the same ikat dye patterning style as they have for over one thousand years.
Read more about these tours by visiting the new Silk Road Treasure Tours educational website Visit our EDU Website
One of the most significant cultural events held in Central Asia, is the Sharq Taronalari or Eastern Melodies Festival. Held every two years at the end of August, it is staged in the open-air heart of the ancient city of Samarkand in magnificent Registan Square. This year, in 2015 Sharq Taronalri will be held on August 25 and will continue till August 30 in Samarkand. Samarkand is best known for its stunning medieval architecture, and the soaring portals of Registan's three major madressas, decorated in glittering turquoise tiles surround the square, creating astonishing acoustics.
This event began in 1997 though the initiative of the President, Islam Karimov, with the intent to promote cultural liaison by bringing together gifted and talented singers, dancers, and musicians from all over the world to share their regional and ethnic musical arts. Supported by UNESCO, Sharq Taronalari is the ideal venue to promote the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan and Central Asia. The city of Samarkand's important role in history, its key position along the Silk Road and its treasure trove of architecture are showcased alongside the brilliant performances over the five-day festival.
In addition to the shows, there are various exhibitions of traditional and national musical instruments, clothes, and costumes, scholarly and academic conferences, as well as an art exhibit.
International artists are invited to judge the competitions and at the culmination of the event, there are recognition ceremonies, gala performances, and the square is lit up by a gorgeous firework display. This is truly one of the most incredible cultural events in Central Asia.
Chester, NJ, November 24, 2014 – Silk Road Treasure Tours, specialists in travel to Central Asia has just announced the launch of our luxury culinary tours and tastings in Legendary Uzbekistan. What better souvenir to bring home than the recipes and skills to re-create a treasured dining experience from your time in this land of hospitality?
Uzbekistan has stood for centuries at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road, and its cuisine is bountiful reflection of the influence of travelers and traders from all parts of the world. Uzbek hospitality is a living tradition and the bonds created over meals shared with guests become lasting friendships. This luxury culinary and tasting tour will make each meal an adventure, as you learn to source and cook some of the country’s most delightful dishes by both renowned chefs and traditional family cooks. Centuries old recipes include bread fresh from the tandur clay oven, plov; a heady mix of rice, meat, and spices usually cooked by the men, samsa; rich pastry pockets filled with herbs, lamb and even pumpkin, and savory Shashlik kebabs. Fresh fruit and vegetables abound, and for your sweet tooth, there is holvaytar; a creamy, nutty version of halvah.
Tashkent is the cultural and economic center of Uzbekistan where we'll begin our explorations. In the Old City the Hast Imam Complex, the spice markets of the 3.000 year old Chorsu Bazaar, and Independence Square are fascinating introductions to the history and culture. The highlight is our first master class at one of Tashkent’s best known traditional restaurants where expert chefs show you how to source ingredients from the market and prepare classic Uzbek dishes.
Next stop: the legendary Samarkand, home of the to-die-for halva. When there is an engagement, parents of the groom bring halva to the bride’s family to ensure that their children’s married lives will be sweet! Majestic Registan Square is the heart and soul of Samarkand, and the surrounding buildings with their glittering mosaic tiles and minarets soar into the sky. The colorful Siab Bazaar provides spices from all points of the Silk Road, and a visit to one of the oldest wineries in the country and an evening cultural performance completes the picture
From the bustling riches of Samarkand, the trip takes you to the quiet of the Malikchul desert for a stop by the Zerafshan River on the way to Bukhara. Enjoy lunch at the home and atelier of one of the nation’s most important ceramists. The oasis city of Bukhara is a medieval wonder with much of the original city intact and families who have lived here for generations. The Labi Khaus Complex was built around a shaded pool. It’s the place to experience tea in Uzbekistan, reclining on a comfortable couch in an old Chaykhana tea house, admiring the pond and listening to traditional stories about the humorist Khodga Nasridden. His statue is nearby, he is the fellow riding backwards on the donkey! The Uzbek tea ceremony is a formal and graceful ritual, poured three times from the pot into a ceramic cup allowing the full flavor and aroma of the tea to develop. While green tea is the standard, there is a wide variety of black and herbal varieties. Try the chai kymoki ; green tea with milk and butter sprinkled with almonds.
As everywhere, the family comes together at the dining table. Get to the heart of the Uzbek culture by breaking bread with a local family after exploring the ancient Fortress of Bukhara. A traditional tandur oven creates soft, fluffy, heavenly flat bread and the local Green Market supplies fresh, local ingredients.
The journey to the walled city of Khiva will take you through the Kizylkum (red sands) desert, stopping at a yurt encampment, picnicking at a local tea house, and stopping for photos at the Amu Darya, the largest river in Central Asia. This city is living history and there are unique fortifications, as well as the remains of harems and caravansaries to explore. In Khiva the sun glows pink on the ancient adobe walls, and the celebrity chefs here will help us create the menu for dinner by moonlight.
Back in Tashkent the journey comes full circle at a fabulous meal with Chef Bahriddin Chiusty. Tuck your recipes in with the gifts for your loved ones, memories to share from your trip of a lifetime!
The 10-day tour costs 5,320 dollars for 4-10 people and includesVisa support, local air tickets, ground transport, a guide, hotel accommodation on a twin sharing basis and all meals excluding lunch as well as entrance fees to museums and monuments. Click for More Information
Silk Road Treasure Tours announces its photography workshop, in collaboration with Arlene Collins to spectacular Armenia and Georgia!
Chester, NJ, June 24, 2014 - Silk Road Treasure Tours, specialists in travel to Central Asia, Caucasus is proud to announce its latest tour – a photography workshop "Georgia and Armenia: Vineyards, Villages and Mountains", a collaboration with the renowned photographer Arlene Collins, (www.arlene-collins.com) who specializes in documenting remote cultures and changing civilizations around the world. You will journey through Georgia's timeless vineyards, old world rural towns, and Armenia's scenic mountain villages while honing your skills as a photographer and immersing yourself completely. Tour date is May 25-June 5, 2015. Price for a group of 10 travelers $8, 950 with a single supplement fee of $795.
The 12-day tour begins at Tbilisi, Georgia's dynamic capital that is a wonderful contrast of modern architecture and ancient Óld town charm that lends itself perfectly to photography. Learn how to perfect your street and landscape with Arlene as she guides you through its dilapidated homes and ancient bathhouses.
The tour continues onto the Kakhetic wine region, home to the one of the oldest wine cultures in the world where you will photograph ancient caves and understand how to capture light in interiors. It's not all work and study; you'll also be sampling wonderful wine at the Chateau Mere. From Tbilisi you will travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mtskheta group of churches and also learn cave photography at Uplistsikhe, the cave town that covers almost 40,000 square meters, encompassing the lower, central and upper area.
Next you travel north to the scenic and very remote Svaneti region, the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus, a region awash with snow-capped mountain peaks, alpine meadows and rich forests where you understand the semantics of landscape photography. The region is also home to the proud mountain people who maintain their traditional lifestyle and clothing with their white and black wool hats. Arlene has photographed people in over 60 countries and she will help you understand how to capture compelling images of people without being intrusive. In the process, you will gain the confidence of your subjects. Berenice Abbott once said, Photography helps people to see.' The workshop is an immersion experience and you will find yourself learning how to compose better and take pictures that tell a story rather than fragmented images. From Mestia, we head to Ushguli, filled with waterfalls and make are way back to Tbilisi.
The next stage of your journey takes you to Armenia. After stopping at the archaeological site of Dmanisi, to photograph the 1.8 million year old superb skulls of Zezva and Mzia, you will head to the Aragatsotn Province where all your skills will be tested as you aim your lens at dramatic vistas. The medieval fortress of Amberd built on the slope of Mount Aragats is the "fortress in the clouds" and is a landscape photographers dream. And finally you end your journey in the modern capital of Yerevan where you can watch people and hone your skills of being able to take pictures under diverse conditions, light and dark, modern and rustic.
Silk Road Treasure Tours specializes in custom private and group tours to the Central Asia "Stan" countries and the fascinating destinations of the Silk Road which have inspired visitor's imaginations for centuries. The Founder and President of Silk Road Treasure Tours Zulya Rajabova is a native of Uzbekistan. Conde Nast Traveller Magazine gave Zulya "Top Travel Specialist Award"for Central Asia in 2013 for the second year in a row. She personally provides expert advice to craft her acclaimed authentic and unforgettable journeys to places like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.
Contact Zulya Rajabova or call now (908) 719-7676
Witness the rebirth of nature and the joyous celebration of the New Year during this 10- day tour starting at $4,320 per person.
Chester, NJ, September 28, 2014 – Silk Road Treasure Tours, specialists in travel to Central Asia, announces a rare opportunity to witness an Uzbek cultural event that comes but once a year: the celebration of Navruz.
Here in the West, we associate the New Year with winter, but the ancient Zoroastrian Persians and the Central Asians, felt that the New Year actually began with the first day of spring. Special feasts and celebrations mark this holiday.
As a special bonus, Silk Road Treasure Tours owner, Zulya Rajabova (recently dubbed "trusted travel Expert for Uzbekistan and the Silk Road" by TripAdvisor's Wendy Perrin) will accompany this tour. Why? Because Zulya was born and raised in Bukhara, where the main celebrations will take place. As she says: " I am from there, and I want my travelers to visit MY Bukhara; the Bukhara that tourists usually do not get to see. I look forward to taking them to the big celebration of Navruz, where I have arranged front row seating."
The ten day tour starts out in Tashkent, the cosmopolitan capitol city of Uzbekistan, travelers will visit the Old City with its sites, and the huge outdoor Chorsu market where just about anything- from hand carved cradles and Koran holders to fine silks and wedding costumes --and much more-- can be found. The next day, fly to the walled city of Khiva, one of the prime stops on the Silk Road. Wander down its many side streets and soak up its history, its palaces, caravanserais and mosques. En route to Bukhara, travelers will take an early sightseeing drive, through the vast Kyzyl Kum desert, home to nomads, still living off their herds. Samarkand never disappoints, with its stately Registan Square, the magnificent tomb of Timur, and the Bibi Hanum palace. Return to Tashkent via fast train.
This group tour has 2 guaranteed departure dates from March 16-25 2015, and March 17-26, 2016. Group tours cost $4,320 per person, and $630 for single supplement.
Price includes all costs aside from consular fees, gratuity for the guides and international airline flights: Visa support; local air tickets from Tashkent to Urgench; air-conditioned ground transportation; English-speaking guides/escort; hotel accommodations in double room; breakfast and dinner; entrance fees to museums/monuments; folklore show in Bukhara; wine tasting; pre-departure travel package and Silk Road gifts; Uzbek language classes; unlimited travel counseling.
About Silk Road Treasure Tours
Silk Road Treasure Tours specializes in custom private and group tours to Central Asia Stan countries and the most fascinating destinations along the Silk Road. Zulya Rajabova, owner of Silk Road Treasure Tours and winner of Conde-Nast's award for Best Travel Specialist, 2012 and 2013 provides expert advice to craft authentic and unforgettable journeys for tourists, academics, historians, business and special interest groups. A first-rate team of talented, multi-lingual professionals in Central Asia, Silk Road Treasure Tours offers a wealth of local knowledge and provides itinerary planning, travel arrangements, and the best in accommodation and tour guides that satisfy even the most inquisitive traveler.