Central Asia

Luxury Culinary Tour to Uzbekistan

Published in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan will inspire and amaze you, from its traditional 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. Everything here is local, fresh and flavorful. Explore the markets and food bazaars and participate in fabulous cooking classes with outstanding Uzbek chefs Bahriddin Chustiy, Zulfiya, and Shirin. New luxury brand hotels offer even more comfort and service in Tashkent, while fabulous boutique hotels offer hidden hideaways and brilliant traditional dining. Dine at home with a local family, learning recipes passed down for generations 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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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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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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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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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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Cultural & Adventure Tour to Turkmenistan

Published in Turkmenistan

From the songs of the mystic Bakhshy troubadours come the treasures of mysterious Turkmenistan. A warm, Turkmen welcome is waiting for you here. Shop the markets and bazaars; redolent with silk, spices and tradition. Find one of the Telpek fur hats or a gorgeous bracelet of silver and carnelian. Enjoy the rich pilaf rice dishes, herb-filled pastries, chorek bread and hearty soups. Visit skilled artisans in their workshops and see the production of luxurious keteni silks and gorgeous, hand-woven carpets. Tour the best of Turkmenistan sightseeing through the romantic Karakum desert. Visit the ancient sites at Gonur Depe, and the UNESCO sites of Merv and Konya Urgench, witnesses to thousands of years of history from the Achaemenid Empire to Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. Stop at the "Gates of Hell" in early evening when the Darvaza gas crater is at its most dramatic. Explore the archaeological fortress site of Nisa, the ancient Parthian capital and with luck, you'll see a red moon, a phenomenon of the desert. From the Yangyqala Canyons, the shores of the clear Caspian Sea welcome you to the resort at Awaza to see the other side of this incredible country. Arriving back in the capital of Turkmenistan; the "marble city" of Ashgabat, you'll experience this gold-accented, purpose-built creation of the former president Turkmenbashi and visit the hippodrome to see the legendary Akhal Teke horses. Turkmenistan astonishes and entertains with its almost surreal mix of ancient and modern. 

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Treasures of Kazakhstan

Published in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan stunning landscapes and ancient architecture conjure images of nomads and warriors, falconry and poetry, silk-robed equestrians and exotic beauty. Thrill to displays of traditional horsemanship or immerse yourself in opulent ornamentation created by skilled artisans. The city of Almaty is situated at the foot of the Zaili Alatau Mountain Range. Its gardens, parks, and remarkable promenades are perfect for daydreams and evening strolls. Turkestan features other Central Asian wonders that hearken back to the Muslim and Russian influences in the area: mosques, Russian Orthodox churches, and the architectural complex Appak-lshan.

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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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Family Adventure To The “Stans’ Of Central Asia

Published in Central Asia

Add your family history to the great legends of the Silk Road! Our world is changing and travel enhances our global vision and offers our children the gift of experience and knowledge. Geo-literacy and global thinking are important to the future's world citizens and Central Asia is a fabulous destination filled with history, adventure, and the warmest hospitality in the world! Tour this amazing region with your own intrepid travelers and Silk Road Treasure Tours will help you experience all the excitement of a new destination. The "stans" of Central Asia are the five nations of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan; long hidden from the west under Soviet rule, these countries are topping the list of the newest, must-see destinations.

Whether in the modern cities, behind medieval sun-baked walls, or in a rural village in the mountains, this region is steeped in traditional, family oriented culture. Criss-crossed by the Great Silk Road routes and set amid vast stretches of desert, and steppe surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world, the pristine landscapes of Central Asia are waiting to be discovered. Ride a camel in the Kyzyl-Kum desert of Uzbekistan, stay in a traditional yurt by a lake in Kyrgyzstan, visit with an Uzbek family and share a meal, watch craftsmen and artisans at work or Turkmen nomads haggling for livestock in the bazaars, and enjoy lively music and dance performances in ancient caravansarays. We make the fabled UNESCO World Heritage cities of the Silk Road come alive!

Places like Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Khodjand, and Ashgabad offer thousands of years of history, culture, and traditions in an incredible post-Soviet mix. Our knowledgeable guides weave history and legend together, to inform and entertain. They know all the right places for family members of all ages to enjoy, and our detailed advance planning ensures that there are no unwanted surprises and that tours are paced appropriately. The food in Central Asia reflects the variety of Silk Road cultures and menus are fresh and local. We're happy to try and accommodate special requests and can arrange school visits or trips to special niche interest areas like bio-reserves. Want a more focused cultural experience? We're happy to customize family tours to any country or region. Experience the treasures of the Silk Road with us - where the world is more interesting. 

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