Central Asia

The Hidden Riches Of Central Asia

Published in Central Asia

This trip is from our Condé Nast Traveler Collection

Central Asia is fast becoming the must-see frontier on travel itineraries. The nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the ultimate destinations for those seeking the trip of a lifetime. Visitors to Central Asia are finding a world that stands between times. Closed to the west for decades under Soviet rule, the cities are rushing to catch up with the modern world yet most of the land remains as it has for centuries. It is a land of contrast with changing urban skylines and pristine landscapes, Silk Road culture and cuisine, thousands of years of history, some of the last unexplored territories, filled with adventure and opportunity and a tradition of hospitality unmatched anywhere in the world. This is our back yard, our knowledge and experience mean we offer the best tours to Central Asia.
Experience everything you have ever dreamed of...soaring minarets and azure skies, opulent silk and silver, intricate designs on ancient mosaics and carpets, sunbaked medieval walls, the majesty of mountains and glitter of an alpine lake, traditional music at a desert campfire and the inviting scents of warm bread and exotic spices. An exploration of the legendary "Stans" of Central Asia is the stuff of dreams. Silk Road Treasure Tours can make yours a reality.

Whether you are in the vibrant capital city of Ashgabad behind its sun-warmed adobe walls or in a village nestled in a lush valley sitting in a nomadic Kyrgyz yurt under a sky of blazing stars, or next to a spectacular giant glowing desert crater, our guests are presented with both the highest comfort and most authentic experience. You will witness classic Soviet architecture amidst soaring minarets, brilliant blue cupolas, lace-like ornamentation and ceramics of the medieval mausoleums and mosques. You will experience the excitement of the bustling bazaars, still as busy now as they were hundreds of years ago. These are places where anything is available, and everything is on display.

Hungry? our guests are tempted by the aroma of fresh bread from clay tandur ovens, and the robust smell of Silk Road spices, that unforgettable fragrance of faraway lands. Traveling with us you will enjoy fine food and wine with tailored menus. This is real luxury culinary immersion because we have exclusive access to private venues. We have the experience to select the best local food and exclusively offer the chance to sample food from local homes, private Kazakhstan estates and from caravan-serais.

These tours travel arrangements include first-class train cars on the high-speed railway, luxury automobiles. Our guests stay in the Silk Road Treasure Tours’ exclusive collection of international luxury branded hotels or local boutique hotels. International hotels include Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, Inter-Continental, and Serena properties. Boutique hotels include: Minzifa, Sasha and Son, and Komil hotels in Bukhara; Orient Star Hotel in Khiva; and Bibi Khanum or Grand Samarkand Superior in Samarkand.

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Uzbekistan Cultural Discovery Tour

Published in Uzbekistan

The Golden Road to Samarkand!

Welcome to Uzbekistan - the crossroads of civilization and the heart of Central Asia. Experience 3000 years of history, from the earliest settlements to the eras of Alexander the Great, Tamerlane, the Khans, Soviet rule and now Independence. Uzbekistan is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, medieval palaces, fortresses and monuments, Its cities were created around mercantilism, academia and international exchange making it the true center of the Silk Road routes. Explore the bustling bazaars, old caravanserays, blue and green tiled minarets, the lace-like ornamentation and brilliant ceramics of mausoleums and mosques and fabulous museums of history, art and culture.  Steep yourself in thousands of years of culture and tradition as you travel the routes of history and legend. With the most experience in Central Asia and 25 years in Uzbekistan travel, Silk Road Treasure Tours offers the best selection of tours to Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

 

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Luxury Culinary Tour to Uzbekistan

Published in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan will inspire and amaze you, from its spice bazaars to its beautiful landscapes and ancient cities. At the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road, the cuisine of Uzbekistan is as diverse as the travelers and traders who passed through here... Traditional plov, savory meat and vegetable filled pastries, sizzling kebabs, sweet fresh melons, and melt in your mouth halvah. Explore the spice markets and food bazaars, and participate in fabulous cooking classes with outstanding Uzbek chefs Bahriddin Chustiy, Zulfiya and Shirin,  in  dine at home with a local family, learn family recipes and make fresh bread in a clay tandur oven. Enjoy every moment of your Uzbekistan luxury vacation with the finest in accommodation, dining and transportation.

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Photography Tour to Central Asia and Turkey

Published in Central Asia

Photography Tours to Central Asia give you an opportunity to enjoy its awesome landscape of towering mountains, crystal clear Lakes; interact with hospitable people; participate at cultural events and exciting festivities; to wander at the colorful bazaars and ancient neighborhoods!

Perhaps you have traveled to so many destinations of the world and you thought that there was no place left to go... Now you will go on a trip you will never forget! Central Asia Travel Central Asia is one of the world's most exotic destinations and one of the most photogenic. The rewards of travel are greater when combined with photography, an active way to capture the spirit of time, place and culture.

You can also walk in the tracks of Marco Polo, explore the routes of the camels, discover the mysterious and historical Silk Road, listen to the stories, see the ruins, and the great classical architecture.

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Uzbekistan Navruz - New Year Festival Tour With Zulya Rajabova

Published in Uzbekistan

Navruz is one of the most important holidays on the Uzbek calendar. It is the start of spring and the beginning of the New Year; an incredible mix of Persian Zoroastrian tradition and Uzbek culture. Join Zulya Rajabova to explore Uzbekistan's soaring minarets, sprawling bazaars, and majestic mosques at the height of the celebratory season, enjoying round-the-clock Navruz festivities. This is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rejoice in springtime in an incredible land of hospitality. So grab some sumulyak, don your doppi and sit down with a local Uzbek family to bring in the New Year like never before

Here in the West, we associate the New Year with winter, but the ancient Zoroastrian Persians and the Central Asians who lived within their empire felt that the New Year actually began when the earth renewed itself in the Spring. Special feasts mark this holiday, when the flowers start to bloom, and the grape arbors are in leaf. An infectious spirit of gratitude and affirmation spreads itself to all corners of Uzbekistan. 

What better time to visit and to share in these good feelings in the exotic ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, amidst stately madrassas and fascinating marketplaces. Visit with an Uzbek family, and savor the holiday treat of of sumalak, a special grain pudding whose dark sweetness comes simply from long slow cooking. Enjoy this 3000-year-old ritual, and prepare to shop, sightsee, and party, Uzbek style!

The nine-day tour starts out in Uzbekistan’s capital city 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 and end the day with a relaxed dinner on a terrace overlooking the city, where visitors can watch the sunset spread its glow over the numerous adobe rooftops, minarets, and domes. The Next stop:  Bukhara! Instead of taking a plane travelers will take an early sightseeing drive (or high speed train), stopping en route in the vast Kyzyl Kum desert, home to nomads, still living off their herds.

On arriving in Bukhara travelers visit the center of the old city, the 17th century Labi Haus Pond, and complex, with its statue of Khodja Nasriddin, who was part sage/part gadfly, and whose writing is known throughout the Muslim world. A visit to the extensive domed market is a must, where one can choose from a dizzying display of handicrafts. It is in Bukhara that the festivities for Navruz will reach its peak, and the city will become a carnival for families to have fun, with dancing, singing, games, performances and street art --and of course, feasting. Samarkand awaits next, with stops along the way to experience the smaller towns and villages en route. 

Samarkand itself never disappoints, with its stately Registan Square, the magnificent tomb of Timur, the tile encrusted necropolis of Shakhi-i-zinda and the Bibi Hanum Complex, perhaps the most ambitious piece of religious architecture in Central Asia in its day. A day of buying and bargaining follows before the return to Tashkent via high-speed train. Most of the Navruz New Year trips are led by our own Conde Nast Award winning expert, local of Uzbekistan, Zulya Rajabova

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Uzbekistan Shopper's Paradise

Published in Uzbekistan

Shop your way through the 1001 Nights in the bazaars of Uzbekistan! Our knowledgeable guides will make sure you see it all, help you hone your bargaining techniques and bring home fabulous souvenirs from your journey into Central Asia. After all, its our part of the world and we know it best. It's all part of the fun in the ancient trade domes, bazaars, and handicraft, artisan and designer workshops here in the heart of the ancient Silk Road. Uzbekistan's master craftsmen are famous for jewelry in silver, gold and semi-precious stones, for embossed silver, brass and copper; gorgeous carved wood, colorful ceramics, luxurious silks, bold ikat fabrics, intricate gold and silk embroideries; and carpets of geometric harmony and pure color. Uzbek aromatic plov and warm fresh bread from the clay tandur oven are just part of this feast of the senses - after all, you'll need to keep your strength up for shopping! The haunting traditional music of the dombra and tambur, the bustle of the markets and the swirl and dash of vibrant colors invite you to sample the traditions of Uzbekistan. Join our unforgettable shopping tour of Uzbekistan among the soaring minarets, glittering monuments, and hospitable people. Just say bozor kilamiz - going shopping!

This tour now includes the option to visit the Ferghana Valley which was the center of the ancient Great Silk Road it has 3000 years of history has amazing cultures, warm hospitality, old craftsmanship and authentic cuisine. It attracted travelers, Silk Road merchants and diplomats including Zhang Quan; a renowned Chinese diplomat from the 2nd century BC. It also played an important role as a bridge between East and West. Read more about the Ferghana Valley in our blog.

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Gems of Kyrgyzstan

Published in Kyrgyzstan

The grand, rugged Kyrgyz Republic is an adventurer's dream come true! Over eighty per cent mountainous, Kyrgyzstan boasts some of the highest altitudes and the second largest mountain lake in the world. Moreover, eighty different nationalities live here and you will never find a warmer welcome, be it in a yurt in the valleys or in a home in the capital, Bishkek. Countless historical and cultural monuments, including primitive cave-dwellings, rock petroglyphs, and the remains of ancient settlements and medieval fortresses, lie in wait for you to uncover their glory. Come explore the treasury of history and wealth of natural beauty that is Kyrgyzstan! Planning to go to the 2018 World Nomad Games in Issyk-kul? Let us know and we will customize your tour. 

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Treasures of Tajikistan

Published in Tajikistan

Tajikistan is a landscape of white peaks and lush, sub-tropical valleys, a land of contrasts and extremes – of citrus orchards and glaciers, soaring eagles and stalwart yaks, rushing rivers and silent stone ruins. The land retains the Persian culture of its ancestors, visible in language, dress, and architecture. Touch the "Roof of the World" as you climb the Pamir Mountains, famous for their glaciers and glittering alpine lakes. Follow the European-style streets of the capital Dushanbe, or stop in a chaikhana teahouse for tea, sweets, handicrafts, and gossip. Explore the ruins of Penjikent, once a thriving Silk Road center, now a rocky archaeological treasure. Every part of Tajikistan offers unparalleled opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast and the uncommon traveler, and a chance to sample some of the warmest hospitality in the world.

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Legendary Central Asia Travel

Published in Central Asia

For over 3000 years Central Asia has been a cultural and intellectual crossroads, luring travelers, traders, scholars and conquerors. Bordered by the vast Russian steppe to the north, the fairy tale beauty of the Caspian Sea to the west, soaring mountains and wilderness to the south, and forbidding deserts and snow-capped peaks to the east, the countries of Central Asia are the ultimate travel destination for anyone seeking the trip of a lifetime. Recently independent, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the new frontiers on travel itineraries. We create memories with our travelers in Bukhara, Tashkent, Samarkand, Merv, Ashgabat and Khiva; the fabled cities of Marco Polo, Tamerlane and Alexander the Great. The region is a mix of the ancient world with modern flair and a dash of Soviet era thrown in. Its home to the warmest people in the world and we can take you there.

The journey begins in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent, rightly called the “Star of the Orient” for its central location which facilitated the exchange of trade. Travelers will be awed by the Islamic influence of the architecture where madrasahs, ancient schools of Muslim theology, flourish alongside bustling bazaars, modern monumental parks and the Kaffal Shashi tomb of an ancient Islamic scholar and mystic. Continuing on, the tour crosses into Tajikistan, famous for its alpine lakes and enormous glaciers, where the northern city of Khujand claims to be the birthplace of the original Silk routes.

Across the border in Uzbekistan, Samarkand, arguably one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, fiercely guards its reputation as “The Rome of the East,” a magnificent city so advanced in classical learning and architectural display that it even rendered conqueror Alexander the Great speechless. Between the famous Bibi-Khanym mosque built by Tamerlane to the stunning blue dome of the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, and the singular beauty of Registan Square, which remains the hub of city life, Samarkand continues to impress visitors today.

Bukhara, as well: blending the modern and traditional, it delights travelers with its hearty plov dishes, folk shows, and rich scholastic heritage as once the cultural, scientific, and commercial center of the Silk Road. Thousands of ancient scholars and theologians once called Bukhara home, the city’s Kaylan Minaret evidently inspired Genghis Khan with such an appreciation for its beauty that he left it standing despite its religious overtones. The tour then proceeds into Turkmenistan, particularly famous for its intricately woven, bold red carpets, where travelers can explore the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in the ancient province of Mary and Ashgabat’s own Blue Mosque.

We return back to Uzbekistan after exploring Konya Urgench of Turkmenistan. Khiva of Uzbekistan is next to explore. It is a fairy-tale city of the Silk Road. Claimed to have been founded by Shem, the son of Biblical Noah, Khiva remains one of the best-preserved towns of the Silk Road, enchanting visitors with its brick-and-majolica-tiled city walls as well as the Khan’s Tash-Hauli Palace and Harem, and the Djuma palace with its distinctive 200 wooden pillars.

Moving along, the tour enters Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia and home to some of the most spectacular alpine landscapes, which, in contrast with the vastness of the steppes below, exist if only to amplify the beauty of Kazakhstan’s hallmark geography. In the capital city of Almaty, travelers will visit the National Museum of Folk Musical Instruments as well as the magnificent Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Finally, the trail ends in Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek. Once a mere caravan stop on the Silk Road, the city is today a blend of Soviet, Asian and European influences, with its enticing mile long Dordoy Bazaar as one of the greatest marketplaces in Central Asia. Nearby, the warm alpine lake retreat of Issyk-Kul, one of the largest and deepest of its kind in the world, evokes a lasting impression of the weeks of cultural immersion in Central Asia’s rich heritage. We enjoy scouting our destinations once and again and creating new activities that are extraordinary. Contact us to join this Central Asia tour or request for your customized Central Asia adventure to Central Asia Silk Road.

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Dance Along the Silk Road

Published in Uzbekistan

“It is better to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times.”  Uzbek Proverb
Discover Uzbekistan’s Cultural Heritage with Silk Road Treasure Tour’s Dance Along the Silk Road! Led by Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray, an internationally recognized dance scholar, award-winning choreographer, performer and costume designer, this unique travel opportunity focuses on the history, art, and dance traditions of Central Asian. Guests will study dance with native artists “in context” while traveling along the ancient Silk Road to the Uzbekistan’s legendary cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Even non-dancers can enjoy the beauty of special performances and meetings with leading Uzbek artists. Dr. Gray, honored by the Uzbek Ministry of Culture for “her great contributions to the development of Uzbek culture and art,” will share her extensive insider knowledge of Uzbekistan, its people and culture.

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