Reasons to Visit
Crumbing archaeological ruins, imposing Islamic monuments and stark Soviet buildings sit alongside one another in Uzbekistan, a constant reminder of the nation’s chequered and indeed lengthy history.
Uzbekistan is a Muslim country, but there is a distinctly Russian influence as well. Mosques and local dress contribute to the Central Asian feel, while at night the vodka flows in the local restaurants.
Uzbekistan's history is dominated by five conquerors, including Alexander the Great and the unstoppable Genghis Khan. Islam took root, slowly, and Soviet rule dominated, oppressively.
The bazaars and markets of Uzbekistan are vibrant, raucous and exciting, with the national pastime of haggling employed with great vigour. Start low and enjoy the banter!
The names of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand inspire today the same excitement and allure as they have done to Silk Road travellers for hundreds of years.
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China, Russia & Central Asia
The maze of streets and minarets make Khiva a great place to explore.
One of the holiest places of Islam, the venerable and captivating city of Bukhara was also one of the key stops along the Silk Route.
The great city of Tashkent, right in the heart of Asia, is the largest metropolis in the region, the nation’s capital and home to some excellent museums, operas and fine dining.
Khiva is a walker's town, with most of the monuments within a short distance of each other. The minaret is Khiva's highest point and, if you can climb all 118 steps, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the town and the desert beyond.
Unlike Bukhara, where walking from sight to sight is possible, Samarkand's attractions are spread right across the city. Starting in the centre, the Mosque of Bibi Khanym dominates the skyline. It was once the biggest mosque in the world and has been partially rebuilt with UNESCO help.
Not far from Samarkand, high in the hills next to the Tajik border, is the town of Urgut. It has one of the best rural markets in Uzbekistan and the people here have their own distinct culture.
This barren, landlocked country, for so long invisible to Western eyes, contains within its borders three of Central Asia’s most brilliant cities: Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.
11 Days from £2,340pp
A fascinating trip exploring three of Central Asia's most important and legendary cities putting into perspective Uzbekistan's role in the ancient Silk Route and later, the Great Game.
Our escorted small group tours are different from our tailor-made holidays in that travel is always in small groups with the services of an experienced guide throughout the trip.
7 hours (Tashkent)
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
Read first-hand tips and advice from our travel specialists.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout UzbekistanCountry Guides
Other countries in North Asia & Russia:ChinaJapanKyrgyzstanMongoliaRussiaTibetUkraine
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