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Byroads Travel

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Explore Uzbekistan and the fabled cities of the Silk Road

13 Days | 18-30 Aug 2019 | Samarkand | Bukhara | Khiva | Tashkent

Lying on the crossroads of the ancient 'Silk Road', Uzbekistan remains a mystery to the most people. For centuries the great cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva were important centres of trade, wealth, culture and learning and today they are among the most exotic cities of the Islamic world. Ancient mosques covered in shimmering tilework, crowned by stunning turquoise domes etch the skyline. Together with Tashkent, these three cities form the core of this journey through this ancient and extraordinary land. 

In Tashkent, ride the metro, visit the State Museum of Applied Arts and explore the fabulous Chorsu food bazaar.

Next  is  legendary  Samarkand,  whose  colourful  history dates back over 2,500 years. Discover its most celebrated sights including the madrassas and mosques of the magnificent Registan.

A short drive away is World Heritage‐listed Shahrisabz. Explore the ruins of the conqueror Timur’s palace and visit nearby Urgut and Konigil, known for their ceramics and  ancient paper-making workshops.

Alongside Samarkand, Bukhara is one of the great Silk Route cities of central Asia and two days allows ample time to see the principal sights and make your own discoveries.

Next, travel across the desert steppe to Khiva, once a slave‐trading Khanate, and the most intact and homogenous of these three ancient cities. Within its baked mud brick walls, visit a wonderful carpet and textile workshop and see some stunning vernacular architecture, exploring a number of mosques, madrasas and mausoleums. 

Northeast  of  Khiva, spend a night in a traditional yurt camp, which gives a glimpse into central Asian nomadic life.

Drive up to the remote town of Nukus, which  boasts  the  world’s  second  largest collection of Russian avant garde art.

Fly back to Tashkentin the evening where your tour ends the following day.

Your host

Steve Mortimer heads up Byroads Travel and will be your host on this tour. Steve has nearly 30 years in the travel industry and has travelled to well over 100 countries. He has worked with a number of well‐ known Australian adventure travel companies including 13 years as a Product Manager and Operations Director for Peregrine Adventures. Most recently he has been involved in researching and developing holidays in several different regions of the world, including Latin America and the Middle East where he has lived.

Steve likes nothing better than getting out and about with like‐minded travellers, sharing his knowledge and introducing them to some of the world’s most interesting places. A particular feature of his tours is the chance to see places that others often miss (or simply don’t know about!), such as the pueblos blancos or ‘white villages’ of Andalusia, Sri Lanka’s stunning south coast or the wonderful vernacular architecture of Iran’s Yazd Province.

With your itinerary you can be confident you'll visit all the 'must see' attractions – and much more, however there are some days when you'll have time to wander and make some of your own discoveries. Throughout the tour local guides are employed to provide a wealth of background information and share their extensive local knowledge.

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