The unforgettable celebration of Navruz The Spring Feast and beginning of the New Year in Central Asia. Navruz (New Day) is the most cherished public holiday, the Central Asian New Year that falls on March 21 in Uzbekistan. During this two-day festival of spring renewal, singing, dancing, the making of special dishes, wrestling by burly "Palvans" and the reciting of epic poetry by wandering "Bakshi" minstrels are highlights.While Islam has had a strong influence on The Uzbek people so do a number of older religious traditions including Zoroastrianism. Navruz has its origins in a festival celebrating the spring equinox, which Zoroaster rededicated to Asha Vahistra and fire. The Great Silk Road oases of Uzbekistan are more accessible now than ever before in their histories.You journey will begin in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. A bus will take you along the Golden Road to Samarkand where you will celebrate Navruz. Here at the junction of ancient caravan routes, the colossal blue domes of Tamerlane's imperial capital dwarf the modern Uzbek city.The drive from Samarkand to Bukhara will be broken by a visit to Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane. This is a wonderfully picturesque journey through steppe country dotted with small villages. Bukhara, reputed to be the holiest place in Central Asia, provides a gentle contrast to glittering Samarkand with the muted khakis of its mud walled, old city and its compact layout.Then it is onward to Khiva, the most complete, and most heavily restored of all the Great Silk Road cities.Taking a short flight from Urgench to Tashkent, we will return to the capital's lesser-known gems.For your second itinerary we offer an additional 2-day trip by plane to the Ferghana Valley known as the Pearl of Uzbekistan. Spring in the Ferghana Valley is the most beautiful season, and on the way you can see the blossoming apricot fields. City tour will include visits to Margilan and Kokand and the pottery shops and work shops of the famous Rishtan factory.
=== Navruz Tour 2012 ===
Day 1: Tashkent
Arrival at Tashkent International Airport in the morning. Welcome at the airport through CIP and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Time for rest. 13:00 Lunch in a restaurant. City sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Museum of Applied Arts - bright carved plaster decorations(ganch) and carved wood the building of museum itself is an attraction. There is also an exhibit of ceramics, textiles, jewellery, musical instruments and toys. Navoyi Theater Square - by 1940, Soviet planners had decided a theatre would greatly enhance an area known as the Drunken Bazaar for its wine-soaked market. Japanese prisoners of war completed construction in 1947. Amir Temur square and Broadway Barakkhan Madrassah (XVI c) - was the headquarters of the Sunni Mufti of ex-Sogdian Central Asia & Kazakhstan. It is interesting for its mosaic and Arabic calligraphy of the late 16 cent. Brick facade and the intricately carved doors made by Samarkand craftsmen Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum - which is the grave of a local doctor, philosopher and poet of Islam who lived from 904 to 979. The portal, inner dome and arcade dated 16th century, when his holy reputation attracted a cemetery. Kukeldash Madrassah (XVI c). - The grand 16th c. madrassah has domed courtyard. Now the building is returned to service as an Islamic school. Next to it is the tiny 15th c. Juma mosque. 19:00 Dinner in a restaurant. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 2 (Sat, March 19): Tashkent - Samarkand
Morning transfer Tashkent Samarkand. Accommodation in hotel. Sightseeing program: 9:00 Transfer to Samarkand (320 km. 4 hours). Samarkand - the Eden of ancient East, the most precious pearl in the Islamic world. Samarkand - called Marakanda in the 4th century BC, whoever tried to conquer it! During the centuries the city has been invaded by troops of Alexander the Great, Arabian invaders, Chenghes Khan and Tamerlane. Today romance of Samarkand still works its magic, alluring the travelers with a dreamlike quality. 13:00 Arrive to Samarkand. Lunch in a restaurant. 14:30 Check in Hotel. PM tour in Samarkand: Ulugbek’s Observatory (XV c) – 1st observatory in Orient with 30m sextant built by Ulugbek to make exact astronomical catalogue. Afrasiab Hill – is a place of hill-fort Afrasiab, named after legendary king of Turan. Behind defensive ramparts with corridors, arrow slits built of unbaked brick, waterproof reeds and anti-seismic juniper, lived Sogdians. Afrasiab Museum - each hall of the museum contains exhibits of some period of history of Afrosiab. There is also a hall with remarkable ancient wall paintings special lightening. Bibi Khanum mosque (XIVc) - Architects, craftsmen & painters re-constructed it in 5 years. 19:00 Dinner in a restaurant. Overnight in Samarkand. Participation in the Navruz celebration (Oriental New Year, which is celebrated on 21st of March) in Mahallya (local community) including preparation of the traditional foods "Sumalyak"" and "Khalisa", feast, experience local custom, traditions and celebration of Navruz with local people. Overnight in Samarkand.
Day 3 (Sun, March 20): Samarkand - Bukhara
07:00 Breakfast at the hotel. Full day city sightseeing tour around Samarkand: Gur Amir Mausoleum (XV c) - Timurids dynastic burial vault, unique monument of architecture. Pay a visit the Tomb of Tamerlane, visit the tomb of Mir Seyid Bereke, Tamerlane's spiritual tutor. Gur Emir Mausoleum - Tamerlan's tomb (14-15th c.) that was built for Temur's Ruhabad Mausoleum ("House of Spirit") - the legend says that under the dome there is a box with seven hairs of Prophet Muhammad (14th c.), Registan square (XV – XVII c) - consist of grand madrassah of Ulugbek, Sher Dor & Tillya Kari. Siyob Bazar 13:00 Lunch in a restaurant. Drive to Bukhara the City of 1000 and 1 night. Bukhara – this is one of the best places in Central Asia which was as capital of Samanid state in the 9th and 10th centuries and known in history as “Bukhoro-i Sharif” Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 4 (Mon, March 21): Bukhara
Sightseeing program in Bukhara: Poikalon (XII - XVI c) - ensemble in the center of old Bukhara - includes the cathedral mosque "Kalyan Mosque", "Miri Arab" madrassah and the Kalyan minaret (46 m). Lyabi - Hauz (XVI - XVIIc) - a complex with Nodir - Devon Begi madrassahs big pool surrounded by trees. Ulugbek Madrassah (1417) - was the earliest of three commissioned by the enlightened Timurid ruler (the other two stand in Samarakand and Gijduvan) and his secular influence dominates the exterior design of the religious college. Abdul Aziz Khan Madrassah (1652) - glittering in mercifully un-restored 17th century glory. 19:00 Dinner in a restaurant. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 5 (Tue, March 22): Bukhara
Continuation of sightseeing program. Tim Abdullah khan - was built in 1577 and was one of the most elegant trade halls in Bukhara where silk and wool was sold by Afghan trades. Trading Domes consists of three trading centers: Tok-i-Zargaron (1570) – Jeweler’s Bazaar, Tok-i-Tilpak Furushon – Cap Maker’s Bazaar, Tok-i-Sarrafon – Moneychanger’s Bazaar. 13:00 Lunch in a restaurant. Magoki Attori – in 937 the four-pillared mosque was burn the ground in a city-wide fire and in the 12th century the present mosque was erected, from which the focus of the mosque, the original southern portal remains. Dinner with folklore concert. Overnight in Bukhara.
Day 6 (Wed, March 23): Bukhara - Tashkent
Free time in Bukhara. Transfer to Bukhara airport for flight to Tashkent. (Bukhara –Tashkent) Transfer to the hotel. Tashkent City tour. visit traditional markets. Overnight in Tashkent.
Day 7 (Thu, March 24): Tashkent - Khiva - Urgench - Tashkent
At 5:30 transfer to the Airport to get the flight to Urgench. Arrival to Urgench at 20:00, transfer to the hotel in Khiva. In the morning guided sightseeing tour program in Khiva: Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site Ichan-Qala fortress. In Ichan-Qala fortress visit Kunya-Arc, Sayeed Alauddin mausoleum, medrese Arab-Mukhamadkhan, mosque Oq-Masjid, medrese Hodjan Berdi-biya, Shirgazikhan, Abdullakhan, Juma mosque, medrese Allakulikhan, Toshkhovli palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud mausoleum, minaret Islom-khodja. Free time. At 19:00 transfer to the Airport in Urgench to get the flight to Tashkent departing at 21:00. Arrival at Tashkent at 22:00. Check in to the hotel. Night in Tashkent.
Day 8 (Fri, March 25): Tashkent
Transfer to Tashkent Airport for morning flight to next destination, good bye to the wonderful land, back to monotony with the intention of returning.
Included - specific
Airplane tickets Bukhara - Tashkent, Tashkent - Urgench - Tashkent
Folklore concert Nodir Devan Begi in Bukhara
Hotel placement: 7 nights (early check-in and late check-out not included)
Check-in time after 14:00
Check-out time before 12:00
Breakfast – 7, lunches – 7, dinners – 7 included according to the program
Included - general
CIP transfer by arrival
AC Comfortable transportation for whole trip
Professional guides (available in different languages) will try to give you the best explanation of the site's history, traditions and culture
Tour operator and Group Leader will make you feel comfortable and assist you in case of problem 24/7
Entrance fees to historical places
For each transfer 0.5 L of mineral water
Single / Double / Twin hotel rooms
Luggage handling at the airports and hotels
Escort guide during the trip in Uzbekistan
Visa application fee in Uzbek embassy in your country
Fees for the use of cameras and videos in the monuments and tourist sites
Expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone, fax, internet, beverages, camera / video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, airport departure tax etc.
Local payments in domestic currency, such as tips and gratuities
Expenses for things which are not listed in the tour package
Recommended additional options upon your discretion at leisure time (at extra fee): Our additional offers are designed in order to provide more choice to our customers and achieve their total satisfaction. We guarantee that after choosing our different additional services you would feel that your enhancement of wonderful experiences. Contact our tour operator or your tour guide so that we may be able to plane great experience in advance.
Khiva: Khorezmian folklore concert US$ 45 per concert.
Bukhara: Wine tasting in the charming Caravansarai Nughai (US$ 10 p/person);
Beer tasting in the beer production factory "AZIA" (US$ 10 p/person);
A visit to an old Bozori Kord Hammam Oriental spa (Hammam) for men and women (from US$ 3 to 15 p/person);
We offer a few options for dinner:
1. Dinner in Madarihon Medressa with violin concert (US$ 10 p/person);
2. Dinner in Nodir Divan Begim Medressa with folklore show (US$ 13 p/person);
3. Traditional Uzbek dinner in Doston House (US$ 8 p/person);
Splendid herbal teas in "Silk Road Spices" tea house (US$ 3 p/person);
Fayzulla Hodjaev house-museum, where you can see the daily life of a Bukhara merchant at the beg.of the 20th c (US$ 2 p/person).
On the way from Samarkand to Bukhara: A visit to Vabkent minaret one of the highest in Uzbekistan 39 m (12th century) (free);
A visit to creative workshop of Abdullo Narzullayev in Gizhduvan Town (free);
A visit to Rabat-i-Malik an old caravanserai on Silk Road (12th century) (free).
Samarkand: An unforgettable performance in The Theatre of Historical Costume El Merosi (we need to check in advance if this performance is available on the date of your visit) (US$ 10 p/person for groups only or upon concert availability on a certain date);
There is an option to see the magical light show on "Registan" square (order should be completed beforehand) (US$ 40 for show, up to 40 persons);
Visit to an old water mill in a Samarkand suburb (US$ 15 p/person);
Interesting options to see the processing of and purchase souvenir:
1. Famous Silk carpet factory (visit free);
2. Small Silk Processing factory Aiesha (27 US$ for 2 persons, for groups more than 2 persons visit free).
Tashkent: A visit to the famous Alisher Navoi Opera & Ballet Theatre (US$ 5 p/person);
1 hour tour of the "Tashkent Metro" one of most beautiful in the world (US$ 3 p/person);
Dinner in Uzbek national house (US$ 8 p/person).
Please note that the first and the last days of above itinerary are made-up in accordance with flight schedule of Uzbekistan Airways (evening-arrival and morning-departure times) from the following cities: Almaty, Astana, Baku, Bishkek, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Kiev, Milan, Moscow, New York, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Osaka, Riga, Rome, St Petersburg, Sharjah, Tokyo and Tel-Aviv. In case of inconvenience of the flight schedule please refer to us. (early arrival or later departure will involve extra costs for accommodation and additional excursions);
We hope you like the programs and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the complete satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements.
All hotels are located close to main sightseeing places. After a long and tiring day of walking, you can relax and spend the night pleasantly in those hotels.
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