Expert-Led Group Tour

Uzbekistan group tour - Beyond the Oxus

Explore Uzbekistan with Siddiq Wahid

12 days

from £2,495pp
  • Visit Samarkand's Registan Square, the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia
  • Wander the bustling market of Bukhara; taking in the exotic aromas
  • Explore the perfectly preserved streets of Khiva's citadel, an oasis town on the famous Silk Road
  • Visit the authentic rural market of Urgut just outside Samarkand

This group tour to Uzbekistan is a wonderful cultural overview of the country, taking in the arts, crafts, architecture and historical sites, accompanied by experts who will help bring the region to life. With its dazzling array of mosques, madrasahs, tombs, and tales of Tamerlane reflecting the depth of its history; Uzbekistan is the perfect introduction to the Central Asian Plateau.

Escorted by tour leader Siddiq Wahid, discover the art, architecture and culture of the fabled Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Explore the wealth of living textile and craft traditions that these cities play host to.

Roam the winding medieval streets of Khiva's old city, journey across the vast Kizilkum Desert, experience the thriving food markets of Bukhara, marvel at the intricate tile work of Samarkand's Registan and explore the vibrant soviet-influenced city of Tashkent.

WHY SHOULD I JOIN THIS GROUP TOUR?

Because Uzbekistan is a remarkable country made even more fascinating by the insight of Siddiq Wahid. Group tours can be a fun and fulfilling way to travel in the company of like minded people, especially in a country like Uzbekistan.

IS THIS GROUP TOUR SUITABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Lecturer.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?

You will be staying in small local hotels decorated in a typical style and all have private bathrooms.

HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE TO ENJOY THIS TOUR?

You do not need to be particularly fit and there are no long distance walks involved. However, walking can be on uneven ground so do let us know if you feel you are not particularly steady on your feet.

WHY HAS STEPPES CHOSEN TO WORK WITH SIDDIQ WAHID?

Siddiq Wahid brings a fresh perspective to the country of Uzbekistan. By being accompanied by Siddiq, as a non-national, he will give a different view of the country. He will also will bring an academic quality to your experience and will endeavour to explain the complexities of the region and its position in the ‘Great Game’; the fight for the control of Central Asia between Russia and Great Britain. 

IS THERE A DRESS CODE?

Yes, it is important that you cover shoulders, midriffs and legs. Knee length skirts are fine, but no shorts.



Departing on:
  • 1st September 2017

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

DEPART UKARRIVE UKPrice Excluding Flights (£)Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
1st Sep 2017 12th Sep 2017 £ 2,495 £ 650 £ 200 Siddiq Wahid Limited
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 1 Night accommodation at Malika Kheivak Hotel
  • 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 2 nights Accommodation at Hotel Minzifa
  • 2 nights accommodation at Malika Kheivak Hotel
  • 3 Nights accommodation at Sultan Hotel
  • Accompanied by a Siddiq Wahid from arrival in Tashkent
  • Accompanied by a tour lecturer
  • All activities as detailed in the itinerary
  • Domestic flights in economy
  • Gratuities for the local guide, driver and porters
  • Local english speaking guide throughout
  • Train journeys in 2nd class
  • Transportation throughout

what is excluded

  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • All items of a personal nature
  • International flights
  • Meals other than those indicated
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory)
  • Visas (where applicable)

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Tashkent

Day 2

Half Day Tour of the Museum of Fine Art and Tashkent's Sites
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest museums in Central Asia. It houses an excellent collection of traditional Uzbek textiles, as well as an extensive range of art from the wider region.

Afterwards, head to Mustakillik (Independence) Square, which is the centre of modern Tashkent and the largest square in Uzbekistan.

From there, take the famous Tashkent Metro with its ostentatious marble and granite architecture. One of only two operating subway systems in Central Asia, its stations are considered some of the most ornate in the world.

Although often referred to as a Silk Road city, little remains of Tashkent's old town. A 1966 earthquake and earlier modernisation work did irreparable damage to the city's architectural heritage.

Despite this, some treasures remain and modern Tashkent is a pleasant, green and open place. Dotted with monuments, parks and retaining an impressive feel, the city has undergone a successful reinvention.


Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Miran International Hotel

Day 3

Travel from Tashkent to Samarkand by Train


Depart Tashkent and travel by train to Samarkand, a journey time of just over 2 hours.


Urgut Sunday Market
Take an hour's drive to visit the bazaar at the country village of Urgut where wonderful embroideries and local crafts can be bought. This bustling bazaar is the meeting place of nomadic traders. Amongst the goods are gold-embroidered wedding hats, men’s hand quilted satin coats and soft leather boots. You will then visit the Chor Chinar mosque before returning to Samarkand.

Samarkand, in Uzbekistan, is one of the world's most ancient and fabled cities. Inextricably linked with the great Silk Road, Samarkand was a famous trading city and has at various times been the capital of many a kingdom. Since 2001 it has been designated by UNESCO as one of their World Heritage Sites, and labelled 'Samarkand - Crossroads of Cultures'.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Sultan Hotel

Day 4

City Tour including the Gur-i-Amir Mausoleum, Registan Square and Bibi Khanum Mosque
Begin the day exploring the stunning interior of Amir Timur’s tomb (known in the West as Tamerlane). From there you walk to the stunning Registan square, arguably the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia. Surrounded by three beautifully restored Madrassas, it was built by the famous 15th century astronomer and Timurid ruler, Ulugh Beg. The square was originally used for public gatherings, which ranged from public executions to royal decrees. After lunch head to the Silk Road Bazaar and on to Bibi Khanum Mosque, another Timurid architectural masterpiece. Following Timur's successful India campaign in the 14th century, this gigantic mosque was constructed using the help of elephants. An architectural feat for its time, it slowly crumbled to ruins during the subsequent centuries. Eventually, it was reconstructed in 1974 and has been returned to its original glory.


Afternoon is at leisure.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Sultan Hotel

Day 5

Visit Shah-i Zinda
Meaning 'The Living King', the Shah-i Zinda necropolis is a collection of mausoleums and other ritual buildings. Gradually constructed during a nine century period, it now comprises more than 20 buildings.
Explore the narrow medieval streets that wind between the sparkling blue buildings. Highlights include the sacred tomb - but not resting place - of the Prophet Muhammad's immortal cousin, as well as a number of mausoleums for Timur's relatives.


Spend Half a Day Visiting the Ulug Beg Observatory and the Afrosiab Museum
Travel a little further outside the city to visit to the observatory of Ulugh Beg. This 15th century building is reputed to have been one of the most impressive observatories in the Islamic world. It rose to prominence due to the publication of Ulugh Beg's famous Zij-i Sultani. At the time, this was the most extensive and accurate star catalogue in existence. Nearby is the Mausoleum of the Prophet Daniel. The Biblical Prophet Daniel, known in the East as Hoja Daniyar, lived in 4-5th century BC. He was a descendant of King Solomon, revered by the three world religions. It is thought that parts of Daniel’s remains, namely a hand, were brought to Samarkand by Temur.

Afterwards head to the little known Afrosiab Museum, containing artefacts from the excavated ancient city of Afrosiab.
Among the treasures found, the murals are of particular importance. Rare examples of Sogdian art, they remain intact and give an insight into Sogdian life. Examine them, along with medieval era ceramics, inside the museum.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


Optional moonlit walking tour of ancient Bukhara after dinner.


You will be staying at Sultan Hotel

Day 6

Travel from Samarkand to Bukhara


A journey time of approximately 4 hours.


The former capital and a centre of Islamic learning, Bukhara has over 300 mosques. This, along with the city's 80 madrasas, led to its reputation as the holiest city in Central Asia.

Now renowned for its architecture, it was the beauty of Bukhara's Kalon Minaret that stopped Genghis Khan in his tracks. Unfortunately, his sense of awe failed to stop him razing the rest of the city to the ground.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Bukhara again returned to prominence, as it became one of the most important pawns in 'The Great Game' being waged between Russia and Britain.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa

Day 7

Half Day Walking Tour from Maguk-i Attari to Lyab-i Hauz
Begin at the Maguk-i Attari mosque. Now the oldest surviving mosque in Central Asia, it was formerly a Zoroastrian temple, and later, a Buddhist monastery.

Continue on foot and explore the bustling streets of Bukhara. Take in the stunning Kalon (Great) Minaret, reportedly built by a despotic Khan on the grave of an Imam whom he had murdered. Even more bizarrely, the tower was used to throw criminals to their death until the early 1900s.

Walk past the beautifully tiled Ulugh Beg and Abd al-Aziz madrassas and continue to Lyab-i Hauz, which is flanked by two magnificent buildings, the Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah and Khanaga, both completed around 1620. You then have a chance to view the process of silk weaving at the Tim Abdullahan Madrassah.


Visit the Samanid Mausoleum, Chashmah Ayyub and Chor Minor
Head to the Chashmah Ayyub a traditional shrine that was restored by Timur the Lame in the 14th century. See the Ismael Samani Mausoleum, considered a brilliant example of early Islamic architecture with its ornate and complex brick-work construction. Continue from here to the Chor Minor (Four Minarets) Madrassa, which is famous for its unique turret-like minarets and was built by a rich Turkmen in the early 19th century.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa

Day 8

Full Day Sightseeing including the Arc Citadel and Bolo Hauz Mosque
Once the fortified home of the rulers of Bukhara and still imposing in its appearance, the Arc Citadel now houses a museum.

After examining the relics within, head to the Bolo Hauz mosque, which stands opposite the Arc. Famous for its intricately carved porch with its brightly painted ceiling and slender wooden columns, the mosque was originally constructed as a royal place of worship.

Next, visit the Bayan-Quli Khan and Saif ed-Din Boharsi mausoleums. Built in the 13th and 14th century, these were constructed by followers of Sufism, a form of Islamic mysticism. Inside there is an excellent collection of 18th century costumes, whilst the harem contains a superb display of hand-embroidered 'Suzanis'. In the afternoon visit Sitarah-i Mah-i Khassah and the Baha al-Din Sufi Centre. Textile and craft activities are practiced in the old town and you can observe suzani embroidery, gold embroidery, jewellery making, silk and carpet weaving. There will then be free time to continue exploring at your leisure.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Hotel Minzifa

Day 9

Drive from Bukhara to Khiva


Leave Bukhara and travel to Khiva, which is around eight hours away.


Founded when water was discovered in the desert, Khiva's importance as a well-placed oasis meant that it outlived the era of the Silk Road and remained powerful until the time of 'The Great Game'.

It was here, in 1840, that Richmond Shakespear, a young British Lieutenant, helped abolish the practice of capturing Russian slaves. This attempt to prevent the Russian conquest of Khiva proved futile, but in spite of this, Khiva's treasures still survive.

In fact, due to much of the work done during Soviet times, Khiva's monuments are in outstanding condition. The most famous of these, the Ichan Qala, is preserved as an open-air museum.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


Optional moonlit walking tour of Khivas walled city after dinner.


You will be staying at Malika Kheivak Hotel

Day 10

Full Day Tour of Khiva
The first place in Uzbekistan to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the Ichan Qala is the jewel in Khiva's crown. Perfectly preserved and carefully restored in places, the Ichan Qala is Khiva's old town; a fortified citadel packed with impressive architecture.
Explore this area on foot and visit the various museums, madrassas, mosques and other buildings that make up the old town. Highlights include the six-metre-thick city walls, the squat Kalta Minor minaret, the palatial Kuhna Ark and the ornately carved columns of the Juma Mosque.
Also watch the city's various craftsmen practice traditional techniques for weaving, carving and metalwork. Their workshops are dotted throughout the old town.


There will be some time during the day to explore the city further at your own pace.


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Malika Kheivak Hotel

Day 11

Drive from Khiva to Urgench


Leave Khiva and travel to Urgench, around 45 minutes away.

Fly Urgench to Tashkent


Breakfast, Lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Miran International Hotel

Day 12

Half Day Trip to Khast Imam Square and a Ceramics Studio
Begin in the old town and visit the Khast Imam Complex, the religious centre of Tashkent. Made up of colourful mosques, mausoleums and madrassas; the complex contains a rich library of oriental manuscripts.


Breakfast included

Fly Tashkent to London

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Uzbekistan

Charles Knights, Travel Expert

"Charles was most attentive without becoming intrusive, he changed the schedule several times to meet our changing needs."

"Charles was extremely helpful, swift in replying to emails and when he was away another consultant carried on the good work."

"Charles Knights was superb. He gave us all the information we requested, was very patient with the number of queries we had running up to our trip and was extremely helpful throughout from the start thinking about our trip to taking off. Fantastic service."

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Paul Craven, Travel Expert

" I spoke to five different companies, but Paul was by far the most knowledgeable and empathetic."

"The service which I received from your Travel Expert Paul Craven was excellent, he was able to answer any queries I put to him."

"Paul must be congratulated on his expertise and great patience in dealing with all my programme changes. He must dread my phone calls!! A big thank-you from both of us to Paul and Carol."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Lecturer

Siddiq Wahid

Siddiq Wahid
Siddiq Wahid is a historian of medieval Central Asian political history, with a focus on Buddhism and Islam. He is presently part of the Borderland Project of the India China Institute at the New School University in New York City and is a visiting lecturer at universities in South Asia, Europe and the United States.

Since 1994, he has been an academic by temperament, a historian by training and an activist by compulsion, Dr. Wahid is passionate about objectivity in understanding, the common human heritage and the lives of peoples; especially of those in the margins of society or on the periphery of the centres of power.
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 12

Tour Expert:

Siddiq Wahid

Departure Date (S):

  • 1st September 2017 - Guaranteed to run

  1. Moderate Activity - The tour may occasionally involve slightly longer walks, but nothing over 4 hours. The tour will involve visits to a variety of sites throughout the duration of the itinerary and be at a moderate pace.

Holiday Ideas in Uzbekistan

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