|11 Sep - 21 Sep|
The ancient cities of Uzbekistan are some of the brightest jewels in Central Asia's crown, and linking them is the Orient Silk Road Express. This private train (in our top 5 rail journeys) travels in a grand loop from the capital, Tashkent and into the Kyzyl-Kum desert, before stopping in Samarkand and the museum-city of Khiva. Along the way you will get to admire some of the Silk Road’s most impressive architecture and most famous sights, including the Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde and the Samanid Mausoleum.
Fly from the UK to Tashkent.
Arrive in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, in the early hours of the morning. You will be met and transferred to your hotel in the city centre to check in, and then have the rest of the day to relax, recuperate after the flight and stroll around the city. (B)
Explore the cosmopolitan capital of Tashkent and learn how its Silk Road history has influenced its present. Look past the Soviet-era architecture and discover ancient mausoleums and imposing madrassahs as well as the large squares and modern monuments. In the evening enjoy a traditional folk music performance before transferring to the station to board your train and enjoying dinner on board. (B,L,D)
Wake up in rural Uzbekistan as your train bears you into the mountains to stop and take an hour's drive to visit some Uzbek villages and learn a little of their ways and traditions. In the afternoon your train brings you to Shakrisabz, birthplace of Amir Timur and home to some impressive architecture. Back aboard enjoy a tasting of Uzbek wines as the train carries you towards Bukhara. (B,L,D)
Located in the middle of the Kyzylkum Desert, Bukhara has some one thousand architectural monuments recalling the golden age of the Great Silk Route. Your tour will take in the UNESCO-listed Old City, where you see the almost fifty-metre tall Poi Kalon Minaret and the Lyabi Hauz Ensemble of incredible madrassahs. Later head for the courtyard of one of the madrassahs where you can enjoy a performance of local dances and a presentation of colourful national costumes with musical accompaniment. Overnight in a hotel. (B,L,D)
In Bukhara today, visit an incredible collection of architectural wonders that demonstrate exactly how the city earned its moniker of Sherif, "The Noble One", from the 9th century. In the morning, we drive you to the splendid Mir-e-Arab Madrassah and the Samanid Mausoleum. Afterwards, tour the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city that was once the seat of government of Bukhara’s former rulers. There you view the Throne Room, after which you visit the last emir’s Summer Residence. Return to the train in the evening to press onwards towards Khiva. (B,L,D)
Today you will visit the stunning museum-city of Khiva. Standing at the mighty walls of this oasis town with their towering gates and bastions of mud brick, you will feel transported into another world. On the sightseeing tour take in Khiva's exotic atmosphere. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums, and madrassahs represent one of the best-preserved ensembles of medieval oriental urban architecture in the world. This afternoon, visit the Konya Ark Citadel and the Islam Hodha Minaret. It's back aboard the train in the evening to head for Samarkand. (B,L,D)
Arrive into Samarkand and spend the day exploring this stunning city. During the time of Tamerlane, Samarkand was known as one of the most beautiful and prestigious cities anywhere in the world. Visit the Necropolis of Shah-e-Zinde, where tombs and mausoleums line a narrow street, then move on to the excavation site of ancient Afrosiab. Your last stop is Registan Square, one of the most notable architectural ensembles in Central Asia. Overnight in a hotel. (B,L,D)
Today, visit the Ulug Beg Observatory to see the marvellous instruments created centuries ago for plotting the stars. Afterwards, head to the Bibi Khanum Mosque, a building of staggering size that now lies partly in ruins after suffering through multiple earthquakes. Later in the day, meet some of the city’s craftsmen, take a tour of a silk carpet manufactory, and enjoy a visit to an Uzbek family to see paper being made from mulberry bark. Your day will also include a visit to the tomb of Amir Timur himself, which lies beneath a large turquoise dome. Overnight in a hotel. (B,L,D)
Have the morning free to explore Samarkand and perhaps pick up some last-minute souvenirs before getting the train back to Tashkent. When you arrive in the afternoon, you will be transferred to the hotel for your final night. (B,L,D)
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
11 Sep 2020
21 Sep 2020