Samarkand

Luxury Travel To Uzbekistan

Published in Luxury Travel

Experience thousands years of history; from the earliest settlements through the time of the great empires of Alexander the Great and Tamerlane. Our private guides will help you explore the remains of palaces, fortresses and monuments from by-gone eras; the bazaars, caravanserais, blue cupolas, soaring minarets, lace-like ornamentation and brilliant ceramics of medieval mausoleums and mosques of Uzbekistan. As you travel the routes of history steep yourself in the rich culture of Central Asia and the warmest hospitality in the world. The best of accommodation, signature experiences and tempting cuisine are included in your custom itinerary for the ancient cites of Tashkent, Khiva, Samarkand and Bukhara. These are the lands of the Great Silk Road – of desert caravans and oases, fearless horsemen on windswept steppes and lush verdant valleys in pristine alpine peaks. Silk Road Treasure Tours offers you the luxury trip of a lifetime in Uzbekistan!

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Exploring Tashkent, Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand

Published in Educational

Silk Road Treasure Tours' best adventures; hands-on cultural experiences, local exploration, participation at seasonal and traditional festivals and travel to some of the world's most beautiful and rarely visited locations with local, experienced Silk Road experts to attend a tea ceremony, relax in a chaikhana, or enjoy a champagne picnic on the way to Samarkand. Cooking classes with master chefs and local bakers, caviar tasting from the Caspian Sea with smooth local vodkas – a legacy of the Soviet era. Wine tasting and dinners at centuries-old medresehs, where the likes of Marco Polo, Alexander the Great, and Omar Khayam visited. Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites that have inspired imagination through the ages with outstanding archaeologists and historians. Private, guided visits through Uzbekistan's finest museums, visits to local artisans and galleries. Create your own 1001 nights in the lively bazaars of Uzbekistan!

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Following Central Asia's Silk Road

Published in Educational

Central Asia offers thousands of years of cultural, historical and archaeological treasures and the warmest hospitality in the world! Silk Road Tresure Tours offers you the opportunity to explore, experience and discover these lands of the ancient Silk Road. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are the places we long to explore, cities of fable, and landscapes of legend; where the pulse of ancient civilization provides the backdrop for recently independent nations. From soaring minarets, desert sands and wind-swept steppe, opulent silk and silver, intricate designs on ancient mosaics and carpets, and colors and exotic offerings in lively bazaars. Discover the fascinating historical and cultural transformations that have taken place from the Sogdian Empire to Islamic Caliphate, from Tamerlane to the Tsars, from Soviet rule to present-day independence. Our outstanding guides will lead you to spiritual centers of Sufi, Buddhist and Zoroastrian origin, ancient petroglyphs and ruins, Islamic mehdressas and mosques, and through bazaars brimming with traditional and contemporary handicrafts and workshops. Meetings with historians, archaeologists, artisans and local families will enhance the experience, rounded out with traditional dance, music and cultural displays on our journey across Central Asia's Silk Road.

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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 signaling the start of spring and the beginning of the New Year. It's an incredible mix of Persian Zoroastrian tradition and Uzbek culture. Join Bukhara native 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 in an incredible land of hospitality. So grab some sumalak, 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 New Years with winter, but ancient civilizations in Central Asia felt that the New Year actually began with the earth's renewal in Spring, when flowers start to bloom and the grape arbors are in leaf. Special feasts mark this holiday, and an infectious spirit of gratitude and affirmation spreads itself to all corners of Uzbekistan. What better time to visit the fabulous legendary cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand? Explore gems of medieval Islamic architecture, artisan workshops and fascinating traditional marketplaces. Visit with an Uzbek family to enjoy sumalak, a special grain pudding whose dark sweetness comes from long, slow cooking. Enjoy the holiday traditions and prepare to shop, sightsee, and party - Uzbek style!

The nine-day tour begins in Uzbekistan’s cosmopolitan capital city of Tashkent. Travelers will visit historic sites in the Old City and the huge 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 while inside the dome the business of food takes precedence.

The next day, fly to the walled fairytale 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 to watch the sunset spread over adobe rooftops, soaring minarets, and turquoise domes and catch the stars in the desert sky. The next stop:  Bukhara! Take the high-speed train between destinations or a leisurely sightseeing drive, stopping en route in the vast Kyzyl Kum desert, still home to nomads and yurt encampments.

In Bukhara travelers visit the heart of the old city: the 17th century Labi Haus complex. Historic buildings, and shady mulberry trees surround the pond here. A statue of the traditional humorist Khodja Nasriddin is here. He was part sage/part gadfly, and his stories are known throughout the Muslim world. A visit to the extensive domed markets is a must, to choose from a dizzying display of handicrafts including colorful ikat fabrics, ornate embroidery, ceramics, jewelry and metal work. It's in Bukhara that the festivities for Navruz will reach its peak. The city becomes a carnival for everyone, with dancing, singing, games, performances and street art... and of course, feasting.

The road to Samarkand is dotted with stops along the way at smaller towns and villages. The city itself never disappoints, even Alexander the Great was overwhelmed. Stately Registan Square continues to be the center of life here. The turquoise dome on the tomb of Emir Timur belies the splendor within, the ornate, tile-encrusted necropolis of Shah-I-Zinda once led to the city gates and the Bibi Hanum Complex was perhaps the most ambitious piece of religious architecture in Central Asia in its day. A spree of buying and bargaining or exploration of more of the sites here (don't forget to try the Samarkand plov) before you return to Tashkent via high-speed train.

Most Navruz trips are led by our own Uzbekistan native: award winning Conde Nast Travel expert Zulya Rajabova

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Authentic Silk Road Journey of a Lifetime

Published in Silk Road

The ancient Silk Road routes connected East and West; from China to Turkey, through Central Asia to India, and Persia and the Middle East. A trade route for hundreds of years, it's been the cultural bridge linking cultures, religions, languages and traditions. Caravans took years to ply the routes that now take only days for us on our caravan to explore destinations in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and China Silk Road. This tour is the perfect combination of culture, adventure, history and natural wonders; visit UNESCO World Heritage sites and magnificent mountain ranges and deserts. Clamber over the ruins of Parthian fortresses, sleep in the desert next to a giant gas crater, enjoy the friendly hospitality of nomadic yurt camps and fabulous boutique hotels. Marvel at the shimmering beauty of medieval blue tiled domes and ride horses next to a stunning glacial Lake in Kyrgyzstan. Shop the bazaars, still as bustling as ever from Samarkand to Ashgabat and discover a world of tastes and experiences. Feel the pulse of civilization touring the treasures of the Silk Road.

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Treasures of the 5 Central Asia "Stans"

Published in Central Asia

Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo!

Our award winning tour “Treasures of Central Asia 5 Stans” uncover the cultural aspects of Central Asia crafted from fables and fantasies. This small group Silk Road tour visiting Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan was designed for guests to explore Central Asia’s ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites, discover exotic Silk Road  bazaars, and take in the spectacular scenery of mountains, deserts and lakes along the Silk Road.  The travelers will stay in centrally located comfortable hotels in the capital cities, charming boutique hotels in the ancient cities and one night stay in an nomadic yurt in Kizil kum desert.  The tours will be lead by our experienced guides, curators who have backgrounds in history and art who will share the best of our Central Asia Stan countries. The guests enjoy participating cultural festivals, and cooking classes.

The trip begins in Uzbekistan, the crossroads of civilization and the heart of Central Asia. Guests will arrive in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, to explore ancient mausoleums, mosques and the lively Chor-Su Bazaar. While in Uzbekistan, guests will visit some of the best preserved cities of the Silk Road including: Penjikent,   located not far from the border of Uzbekistan, for a day trip to one of the most ancient cities of Tajikistan; Samarkand, a city more than 2,750 years old to visit several sites including the incredible Registan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is now the main location for Uzbek’s international music festivals; and Bukhara, another World Heritage Site, to experience local hospitality with an Uzbek family, Silk and melon festivals and a folk-show in Medreseh Nodir Divan Begi. You may be lucky to attend uzbek wedding here as well.

From Bukhara guests will drive to Turkmenistan and through the Kara Kum desert from Mary to Merv. Once belonged to the Achaemenian Empire in the VI th century BC until the invasion by Alexander the Great, Merv is the oldest well-preserved heritage city of the Silk Road and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will then head to the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, a haven of museums and bazaars. Here guests will discover the ruins of the ancient Parthian state capital currently being restored by UNESCO, along with unique fortresses, the National Museum of History and Ethnography and Talkuchka Bazaar. Guests will enjoy a sightseeing drive to  Khiva, one of the three historical cities on the ancient trade route, to explore Uzbekistan’s open-air museum of unparalleled examples of architecture.  Continuing onto Kazakhstan guests will arrive in Almaty, the former capital which is situated at the foot of the Zaili Alatau Mountain Range. Guests will visit the remarkable gardens, parks and promenades at Alatau Park and enjoy spectacular views of the Chimbulak mountainous area. Across the famous Kazakh Steppe, guests will drive to one of the greenest cities in Central Asia, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. Originally a caravan rest stop from China to Europe, Bishkek is now a bustling shopper‟s delight with bazaars offering exotic foods, colorful clothes, woodcarvings, and more. The last full days will be spent enjoying the beaches of Issyk Kul (Warm Lake), one of the largest and deepest alpine lakes in the world which, although surrounded by the snowy AlaTau mountains, never freezes.  You can also enjoy the horse show and meet Eagle men of Kyrgyzstan.

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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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Uzbekistan Adventure Tours

Published in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan holds some of the most beautiful unspoiled landscapes in the world! It's a land of desert, mountain and steppe, of valleys, rivers and lakes just waiting for the intrepid traveler to discover. Tour the famous sites of Uzbekistan with your family and friends and experience life in a very different part of the world. Ride a camel in the desert, stay in a yurt by a lake, visit an Uzbeki family and share a meal, shop for souvenirs in the bazaars and watch craftsmen at work. Make the fabled cities of the Silk Road come alive and enjoy thousands of years of history, tradition and the warmest hospitality of Uzbek people. Make the stuff of legends part of your family history!

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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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Legendary Central Asia Travel

Published in Central Asia

For over 3,000 years Central Asia has been a cultural and commercial crossroads of the world, luring travelers, traders, scholars and conquerors, and now modern tourists!  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 destinations for those seeking the trip of a lifetime on a road less traveled. Former Soviet Republics, independent, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the new frontiers on travel itineraries. Create magical memories in legendary 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 and modern flair with a dash of Soviet era thrown in. The cuisine in Central Asia is local, fresh and flavorful and bread is hot out of the tandur oven at every meal!  This is 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 along the ancient Silk Road routes. Tashkent wows travelers with its mix of Islamic, Soviet and modern architecture.  Medressahs, the ancient schools of Muslim theology, flourish alongside bustling bazaars, glass fronted business centers, modern monumental parks and the tombs of kings, scholars and mystics.

Our tour then crosses into Tajikistan, offering a peek into one of the less visited parts of the world. Most of the country is mountainous, the Pamirs and Alays home to some of the highest peaks in the world and famous for alpine lakes and enormous glaciers, while the ruins of Panjakent offer testimony to the ancient civilizations  that populated this region. 

Back across the border in Uzbekistan, Samarkand fiercely guards its reputation as “The Rome of the East”. It was a magnificent city so advanced in classical learning and architectural display that it rendered Alexander the Great speechless. From the 15th c. Bibi-Khanym mosque built by Tamerlane for his wife to the glittering blue dome of the Gur-Emir Mausoleum and the singular beauty of Registan Square, the hub of city life, Samarkand continues to impress today's visitors.

Bukhara blends the modern and traditional, with the city growing up around its historic core. Centered on the Lyabi Haus, a complex of buildings and shady mulberry trees surrounding a pond, it delights travelers with hearty plov dishes, folk dance, music and costume performances, and a rich cultural, scientific and commercial Silk Road heritage. Thousands of ancient scholars and theologians once called Bukhara home, The city’s landmark Kaylan Minaret even inspired Genghis Khan and his invading hordes to leave it standing.

Our excursion then proceeds to Turkmenistan, renown 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 and stunning white marble monuments. After an exploration of the Achaemenid archaeological treasures of Konya Urgench, we return to Uzbekistan. 

The desert oasis of Khiva 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 and restored towns of the Silk Road, enchanting visitors with its warm adobe brick walls and majolica inlaid buildings like the Khan’s Tash-Hauli Palace and Harem, and the distinctive 200 carved wooden pillars in the Juma Mosque, itself an oasis of shady calm.

Smooth border crossings are the hallmark of Silk Road Treasure Tours and we travel on to Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia and home to some of the most spectacular alpine landscapes and vast, windswept steppes. In the capital city of Almaty, travelers will visit the National Museum of Folk Musical Instruments as well as the historic Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral with its cheerful yellow façade, built in 1907 without nails to be earthquake proof.

Our trail will end in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan. Once a mere caravan stop on the Silk Road, the city is today a blend of Soviet, Asian and European influences. Its enticing mile-long Dordoy Bazaar is one of the greatest marketplaces in Central Asia. The Tien Shan mountains cover 80% of Kyrgyzstan earning it the moniker of "Switzerland of Central Asia" and they tower over Bishkek. Nomadic yurts still dot the rural landscapes and the warm alpine lake of Issyk-Kul is one of the largest and deepest of its kind in the world. Our final destination evokes a lasting impression of our cultural immersion in Central Asia’s rich heritage.

At Silk Road Treasure Tours, we are always scouting new places and interesting experiences to create extraordinary itineraries. Contact us to join this Central Asia tour or request your customized Central Asia adventure to Central Asia's Silk Road.

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