Khiva

The Jewels of 3 Central Asia "Stans"

Published in Central Asia

This immersive Central Asia journey takes you to some of the major landmarks of ancient civilization here and welcomes you with the warm hospitality of  the region. It starts in the historical capital of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with fabulous site-seeing and a unique Silk Road shopping experience.  The heart of the ancient Silk Road routes between China and the west, Uzbekistan offers centuries of history, culture and Silk Road cuisine. Tashkent reflects a storied past and eager transformation to modern urban life. From here, enjoy a leisurely drive to the ancient desert city of Khiva and bask in the late afternoon warmth of its medieval adobe walls inset with delicate majolica tiling.  Hassel-free border crossings are the hallmark of travel with Silk Road Treasure Tours as we navigate this enigmatic region into Turkmenistan. This mostly traditionally nomadic nation offers a discovery of traditional bazaars and ancient archeological sites in Konya Urgench, once capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Our expert guides then take you to Ashgabad, the largest city in Turkmenistan known for its abundance of white marble and grandiose monuments. Here you'll find one of the most beautiful carpet museums of Central Asia and experience the Altyn Asyr bazaar, whose unique architecture itself resembles a Turkmen carpet. Visit the legendary oasis city of Mary in a region known as one of the earliest seats of civilization in the world.

Cross back into Uzbekistan and prepare yourself for the fabled hospitality of Bukhara. It's a true stay in paradise in the heart of this 3,000 year old city. Have your camera ready as you head into the city of Samarkand. You'll want to capture every minute of this remarkable experience, from the local plov to the walls of intricate designs of green and blue tilework in the Shah-i-Zinda complex.  Near Samarkand, follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great along the Zeravshan River to our final destination in Tajikistan and the beauty of the wondrous ancient city of Panjakent. Tajikistan is a small, landlocked "stan" of Central Asia, offering a fascinating peek into this lesser traveled part of the world. 

This tour through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan is an opportunity of a lifetime. Silk Road Treasure Tours provides smooth Visa processing, border crossings, and superb accommodations. Our extremely experienced guides help create a special trip, perfectly crafted for your unique travel style.

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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 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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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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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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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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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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Luxury Travel To Uzbekistan

Published in Luxury Travel

Experience thousands years of history; from the earliest settlements through the great empires of Alexander the Great and Tamerlane, the remnants of Soviet influence and the transformation of independent Uzbekistan. Knowledgeable private guides help you explore the palaces, fortresses and monuments from by-gone eras, and the bazaars, caravanserais, blue cupolas, soaring minarets, and brilliant ceramics of medieval style architecture in Uzbekistan. The heart of the Silk Road still beats strongly here with luxury and boutique accommodations and shopping, signature experiences and the tempting cuisine of the rich cultures and warm hospitality of Central Asia 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 the very essence of civilization. Silk Road Treasure Tours offers you the luxury trip of a lifetime in Uzbekistan!

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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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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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