Samarkand and the Silk Road
- Discovery touring and trekking at the heart of Central Asia
- Sightseeing in Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand
- Exploration on the edge of the Pamirs
- Meet the Uzbek people in their mountain villages
- Hiking in the Nurata and Zarafshan mountains
Situated at the heart of Central Asia, the republic of Uzbekistan has a richness of history matched by few places on earth. A succession of conquering forces, from Alexander the Great to Ghengis Khan and his descendants, have left their mark on the region's culture and architecture. Starting out in Khiva and journeying on to the magical Silk Road oasis of Bukhara, which flourished in the 9th and 10th centuries, we also travel to Samarkand, one of the undoubted wonders of the world, with its mosaic-clad and turquoise-tiled monuments. To allow us a better understanding of the region, we hike and ride camels across the steppes and into the high valleys of Zarafshan, where we have the opportunity to meet the Uzbek shepherds and farmers of this rarely-visited part of the great Pamir mountain range. With a unique blend of sightseeing and moderate day-hiking, this is a superb adventure holiday at the crossroads of Asia.
Is this holiday for you?
This is principally a touring and sightseeing holiday, but we have included 4 days of relatively easy hiking to allow us to gain a more full understanding of this fascinating part of the world. Three of the walking days are relatively short (days 7, 8 and 11). There are 2 options for the walk on day 9 - either a short walk around the foothills of the Zarafshan foothills near Tepakoul or a longer walk traversing the range that will involve around 8 - 9 hours on foot. This extended day-hike is entirely optional. All of our walking is on good trails and walking times will vary between 4 - 6 hours. Altitude is not a consideration on this trip. As well as the hiking days, there are a number of full days of sightseeing, please note that the sightseeing tours in Khiva and Bukhara will be primarily on foot. There will also be some long days of travel by bus or minibus. Many of the roads in Uzbekistan remain in bad condition which can extend driving times. There are 3 nights where we will use basic 'homestay' accommodation, and 2 nights in yurts where a lightweight sleeping bag will be needed.