Uzbekistan

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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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Uzbekistan Family Tour

Published in Uzbekistan

Explore the cultural treasures of Uzbekistan! Uzbekistan is the land of mosques, medressehs, monuments and minarets! In this Uzbekistan family tour you will visit everything from UNESCO World Heritage sites, magnificent forts and palaces and spectacular mountain ranges, lakes, steppe and deserts in Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. You and your travel group explore traditional bazaars, markets and villages, tag along to real neighborhoods, schools and the homes of local residents to experience the warmth of Uzbek hospitality. You will also clamber over the ruins of an ancient mud fortress in the Kizil Kum desert, ride a camel and enjoy an overnight stay in a nomadic yurt under the stars. Stop in to watch master artisans in ceramics (tiles), weaving and wood carving and find those must-have souvenirs in the myriad of workshops in the old medressehs. See the process of cooking plov (pilaf) or non (its a little different everywhere!) and learn the ritual of pouring tea here. Enjoy traditional music, joyful children dance performances, and learn to play the doira (hand drum). Learn the folk stories, superstitions and legends of Central Asia, pay homage at the statue of storyteller Hodja Nasreddin in Bukhara. Participate in community work and the celebrations and festivals. Dress up in costumes from the time of Avicenna, act with Uzbek actors or take part in a sporting event. Enjoy private peaceful sunset view in a Kizilkum desert and in legendary Khiva.

Uzbekistan family tour begins and ends in Tashkent, with 1 night in the Kizil Kum desert, a night in a Yurt Camp and one night in  Khiva, a UNESCO World Heritage site,   2 nights in Bukhara, and 3 nights in Samarkand.  Price for the private family tour is  $3, 449 per person double occupancy.  Included are  accommodations  in 4-star and boutique hotels, all domestic transportation including air, ground, and high-speed rail; transfers,  English-speaking guides throughout,  activities and entrance  fees, wine tasting and a visa invitation.  Also included are cooking classes, master classes with craftsmen,  daily breakfast, 2 lunches with local families, and dinners with ambiance.

Our guests Wendy Perrin and family enjoyed their family experience in Uzbekistan and learn https://www.wendyperrin.com/photos-from-wendys-family-trip-just-back-from-the-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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