A Classic Uzbekistan tour
Uzbekistan has featured on many recent ‘Where to Visit now’ lists – and for good reason. This beguiling land at the heart of the ancient Silk Road is a nation of sumptuous architecture, fascinating history, dazzling arts and welcoming people.
This thoughtfully designed luxury tour gives you the chance to not only be dazzled by some of the most famous sights of the Silk Road, but also get under the skin of this intriguing post-Soviet nation – to eat with local families, meet artists, learn how to cook the national dish and hear expert tales of Timur, Genghis Khan, the Great Game and more.
Embark on a Silk Road Adventure
You’ll wander the dusty alleyways of Khiva, the UNESCO-listed desert citadel; be awed by the turquoise domes of Samarkand and Bukhara; explore the ruins of ancient desert fortresses; ride camels; haggle in bazaars; enjoy exclusive dance performances; meet famous Uzbek artists and fashion designers; eat vibrant Central Asian food and chase the shadows of Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and more.
Inspired by Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure
This classic Uzbekistan tour has been inspired by our experience of working on Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure TV series. Antonia, one of our directors, was one of the producers of the show, and spent a year researching and setting up the locations and stories featured in the show. This bespoke Uzbekistan tour takes full advantage of this; those who join us will enjoy a a truly personal experience.
After our 2019 Classic Uzbekistan tour one of our guests wrote and said it was the best travel experience they’d ever had. A month after the trip, 50 per cent of the guests had already booked to travel with us again in 2020. So we must be doing something right.
*Please note that Uzbekistan has been visa-free for UK nationals (and citizens of 44 other countries, including Australia and New Zealand) since 1 February 2019*
||The trip will depart from and end at Tashkent’s Islam Karimov International Airport
||Please ensure you arrive in good time for our scheduled departure from Tashkent
- All accommodation with NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT CHARGES
- All meals and some alcoholic drinks
- Local airport transfers
- All land travel costs (high-speed train and air-conditioned minibus)
- All museum entrance costs
- A number of bespoke, exclusive experiences
- Business Class Flight from Tashkent to Khiva (Urgench)
- A professional local guiding team with English speaking local guides.
- Fresh filtered water + a Water 2 Go water filtration bottle, in order to reduce plastic waste
- Professional route planning and logistics, backed by risk assessments, emergency procedures and satellite communications (where necessary).We don’t take risks lightly and we plan for all eventualities, believing it is better to have prepared and not require a procedure than not to plan at all.
- International Flights to and from Tashkent.
- Guide gratuities
- Personal spending money for alcohol or souvenirs
- Your personal travel insurance
- Your Uzbek visa (most nationalities no longer require a visa, but for those that do, see our visa information here)
The price includes all entrances, an expert English-speaking local guide, accommodation in high-quality, characterful hotels, all meals, one business class internal flight, business class train tickets and travel in an air-conditioned minibus, plus a number of exclusive, bespoke experiences. It does not include international flights. There are no single supplements.
Fixed Departures: see dates tab above for departures
What does the price include?
The price includes all entrance fees to museums, an expert English-speaking local guide, accommodation in high-quality hotels, all meals, one business class internal flight, business class train tickets, travel in an air-conditioned minibus and a number of exclusive, bespoke experiences (dance, talks, fashion shows, ceramics class, tea ceremony etc). It does not include international flights, alcohol or your own personal travel insurance.
Where will we be staying?
We’ll be staying in a mix of places – from four star hotels in Tashkent to stylish, boutique hotels in Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand. You will always have en-suite bathrooms and, if you are a single traveller, your own room. We choose our hotels carefully and always prefer small, characterful hotels over big identikit chains.
What size of group will it be?
Our group sizes are always small, allowing for an intimate experience of the cultures we meet along our path. On this trip we won’t have more than ten guests, plus the local guides and drivers. We usually find groups are made of like-minded people, both male and female, from a wide age range. Many of our travellers become friends for life, and return to travel with us again and again.
Who will be guiding this trip?
This trip will be guided by one of our excellent English-speaking Uzbek guides. You will also be joined at various points by historians, artists and ethnographers – each one of them adding to the in-depth, expert-led nature of this carefully designed itinerary.
What will the weather be like?
It’s autumn so Uzbekistan will still be warm – around 20 degrees during the day and a little cooler at night. But have no fear, we will supply you with a detailed packing list after you’ve signed up.
I’m a solo traveller – is this for me?
Yes. More than 85 per cent of our expedition clients travel alone as part of our group. We don’t charge single supplements to solo travellers – see below.
Do you charge single supplements – I can’t see them in your information?
No. We don’t believe that solo travellers should be penalised with extra charges except where this is unavoidable. It goes against our ethos, so the price quoted is for both single and twin-travellers.
What do I need to pack?
We will provide you with an information pack after signing up to this trip, and this will detail any particular equipment we think either necessary or useful.
What vehicles will we be travelling in?
We will be travelling in a top quality minibus.
How much are flights?
This is a moving feast! It depends on where you are travelling from and how you want to get there. If you take the direct Uzbek Airways flights from London to Tashkent, it’s about £400 return. We also use the Turkish Airlines flights which hop via Istanbul for about the same price.
What will the food be like?
Varied – the ‘stans are a region known for meaty delicacies so you can expect tasty shashlik almost anywhere if this is your thing. But it’s not all bad news for veggies as the salads in Central Asia are fantastic. Bread, plov, tomatoes, cucumbers, dill and vodka all feature heavily!
Will I have to share a room?
No, not if you are a single traveller and request a room to yourself.
How fit do I need to be?
Not very – although there is some walking in each city we visit, how much you walk is largely up to you. There is always the option to do your own thing, or relax at the hotel for a few hours instead.
Do you perform proper risk management on your expeditions?
Yes. We are members of TRIP – the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group – and perform detailed country risk assessments prior to departure, in line with the ISO 31000 international standard for risk assessment. We also maintain close contact with the relevant Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for countries we plan to visit, in addition to making use of the Australian Smart Traveller assessment tool, and the US State Department’s OSAC service. Beyond this, we have a full set of risk management and disaster contingency plans for each expedition. For final back up we also use the services of Remote Medical Support that allows us to have a UK expedition doctor on the end of a telephone line wherever we may be. We really don’t mess around when it comes to safety.
I can’t do your dates but love the sound of your expedition – can you be flexible?
Yes. We offer set group dates for many of our expeditions, but we can organise and deliver bespoke expeditions to groups and individuals to suit your itinerary and budget. More information is available on our Tailor Made tours page.
Is it a guaranteed departure?
No – we do need to reach a minimum number of guests to make this viable. For this trip, we need a minimum of 4 guests. When you express interest in this trip we will send you a deposit invoice to hold your place. This is refundable according to our terms and conditions if we do not reach the minimum numbers. We recommend that you do not book your flights or other arrangements until we have communicated that the expedition is definitely departing as planned and will aim to do this in order to give you at least 3 months prior to the scheduled departure in which to make your travel arrangements.
Is this really for me?
If you love adventure, new places, friendly people, wild landscapes, history and culture then yes! However, please remember that this is still an emerging tourist destination and sometimes things won’t be exactly as you expect them: the roads might be bumpier, the loos (at roadside stops, for example) might not be what you’re used to, and the weather can be unpredictable. Uzbekistan is wonderful, and an immensely rewarding place to travel to, but if you’re not prepared for a sprinkling of adventure, then this isn’t the place for you.