Samarkand

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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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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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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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 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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Silk Road Tour to Uzbekistan and China

Published in Silk Road

Marvel at the wonders of ancient Silk Road destinations of Uzbekistan and China! Explore legendary cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Kashgar, Turpan and Xian and enjoy the natural beauty of Tiyanshan Mountains and Kizilkum deserts! You will also visit the families of local people for cultural interaction, to share the authentic meals and to learn embroidery. 

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The Hidden Riches Of Central Asia

Published in Central Asia

This trip is part of our Condé Nast Traveler Collection

Central Asia is fast becoming the must-see region on travel itineraries. The nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the ultimate destinations for those seeking the trip of a lifetime on the road less traveled. Tourism is just finding its feet here, and visitors to Central Asia find 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 with monumental parks and glass-fronted businesses, galleries and museums, yet most of the land remains as it has for centuries. It is a world of contrast with changing urban skylines and pristine landscapes, Silk Road culture and cuisine, thousands of years of history, and some of the last unexplored territories, filled with adventure and opportunity and a tradition of hospitality unmatched anywhere in the world. This is our backyard and our knowledge and experience mean we offer expert, unforgettable, bespoke tours to Central Asia.

The experience is everything you imagine of the Silk Road... soaring minarets and azure skies, opulent silk and silver, bazaars full of inviting spices and fresh tandur baked breads, and intricate designs of blue and green tilework and bold, hand-woven carpets. Museums and mosques appear around the corner from classic Soviet architecture. The the majesty of mountains and glitter of an alpine lake give way to sweeping steppes and verdant valleys dotted with nomadic yurts and traditional music at a desert campfire. Traditional bazaars are still as busy now as they were hundreds of years ago, where anything is available and everything is on display. Whether in the white-marbled city of Ashgabad, behind the sun-warmed adobe walls of Khiva, at an artisan workshop nestled in a lush valley, a nomadic Kyrgyz yurt under a sky of blazing stars, or beside a spectacular glowing desert crater, our guests are treated to superb comfort and service and truly authentic experiences. 

Hungry? Travelers here are tempted by the aroma of fresh bread from clay tandur ovens, and the heady scent of Silk Road spices; that unforgettable fragrance of faraway lands. Cuisine in Central Asia is local, fresh and flavorful. Traveling with us you'll enjoy fine food and wine and personalized menus. Our extensive network of contacts in this part of the world gives us access to private venues, estates, chefs and restaurants and little known sources for the best of everything. 

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

An exploration of the legendary "Stans" of Central Asia is the stuff of dreams. Silk Road Treasure Tours can make yours a reality.

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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 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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