EN07NZ – Navruz 2018 – Spring Fest Celebrations in Uzbekistan – 7 days / 6 nights

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What is Navruz?

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Navruz is a traditional national festival celebrated by Turkic and Iranian nations, who feast New Year by Iranian calendar. March 21, the day of spring equinox, is the first day of the Spring, celebrated in Central Asia over 3000 years as one of the biggest event in the region. This festival came from the ages and connected by its rituals and traditions to Zoroastrianism.

Read more about Central Asian Navruz Celebrations in 2017 in our Travel Blog Article – Navruz 2017 – It’s 1396, According to the Persian Calendar.

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Is there will be something spectacular?

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Definitely Yes! Buzkashi or Kokpari, which literally means ‘goat fetching,’ is a traditional horse game of the steppe nomads in Central Asia. It has been played since the epoch of Genghis Khan, the 12th-century ruler of the Mongol Empire, and variations of the game are popular in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, northern northern Pakistan and Kazakhstan, as well as in Uzbekistan, where, having first found followers in rural villages, it is today a celebrated national sport.

Buzkashi competition is fierce. It’s the kind of sport that requires dexterity, courage and force from the athletes, while also presenting a fantastic and fascinating show for spectators. Traditionally, games could last for several days, but in its more regulated tournament version also has a limited match time.

Read more about Buzkashi in our Travel Blog Article – Buzkashi: One Against All on Horseback in Uzbekistan.

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Explore our new spring tour to Uzbekistan, with fixed dates – EN07NZ – Navruz Spring Fest Celebrations in Uzbekistan 2018 (7 days / 6 nights), where you could discover traditional Horse Game Buzkashi, national sport Kurash fight, Ropewalkers’ Show, Dance Festival,  and amazing spring dishes cooking and tasting. 

Please note:  Departure for the place of the festival “Navruz” with the spectacular fair in the city and eventually the equestrian games Buzkachi will be defined closer to the dates of the festival.

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Fixed dates in 2018: 17/03/2018 – 24/03/2018

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Days Itinerary
Route: Istanbul – Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva – Bukhara – Samarkand – Tashkent – Istanbul
Day 0

17/03/2018

Saturday

Istanbul – Tashkent

Flight to Tashkent from Istanbul via Turkish Airlines flight TK370, departure at 07:50pm, arrival at 02:30am (the flight arrives 1 day after departure).

TK370 SAT ISTTAS 1950 0230+1 / Non-stop Flight, Airbus A330-300 (333), 4h15m

Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 1

18/03/2018

Sunday

Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva

Arrival in Tashkent at 02:30am.

Transfer to the hotel. Breakfast and rest.

Tashkent is one of the most ancient cities in Central Asia. Archaeological finds of artifacts and old city remains dated as far back as IV-III B.C., have been acknowledged. During its history, Tashkent had been named Djadj, Chachkent, Shashkent and Binkent. The name Tashkent was first mentioned in historical transcripts in the IX century.

Please visit our Tashkent Travel Guide for the city overview.

Walking tour to Alisher Navoi Ballet and Opera House, Independence square, The Subway.

Lunch in local restaurant.

Visits of Friday Mosque and Kaffol Shoshi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah, Museum of Decorative Arts.

Transfer to the airport for evening flight HY057 from Tashkent to Urgench, departure at 07:00pm, arrival at 09:20pm. (Uzbekistan Local Time refers to GMT+5).

Arrival and transfer to Khiva (35 km).

Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 2

19/03/2018

Monday

Khiva

Breakfast in the hotel.

Civilization has existed in this oasis area for at least four millennium. The historic center of Khiva has been preserved in its authenticity, and for that reason it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. To enter Khiva is to traverse into medieval times. This walled city dates from the Xth century and is in essence an outdoor historical, architectural and cultural museum. This was the capital for the khans of Khiva, and the major monuments from the Xth to the XIXth centuries are intact. These include the Ichan-Qala gates and the wall, as well as the Khuna Ark. It is worth noting that the great IXth-century mathematician al-Khwarizmi (Latinized as Algoritmi) was born in Khiva. He is as famous in the Middle East as Euclid is in the West. We owe algorithms to Algoritmi (the mathematical foundation of Internet search) and to some degree algebra, from his book Al-Jebr.

Please visit our Khiva Travel Guide for the city overview.

Sightseeing in Khiva: Mukhammad Amin Khan and Kalta Minor, Kunya-Ark (ancient fortress), Mukhammad Rakhim Khan Madrasa, Said Allaoutdin Mausoleum, Jami Mosque with 212 wooden columns, Tash Khauli – the second residence of khans of Khiva, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Islam-Khodja ensemble, local bazaar, wood carvers workshops.

Lunch in local tea house.

Dinner with show.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 3

20/03/2018

Tuesday

Khiva – Bukhara

Breakfast in the hotel.

This morning, after breakfast in the hotel, we will drive from Khiva across the Kyzyl Kum desert to the great city of Bukhara. Kyzyl Kum, meaning “Red Sand,” is the eleventh largest desert in the world. Our drive will follow along the banks of the Amu Darya River.

Lunch in teahouse on route.

Transfer to the hotel upon arrival.

Dinner in local restaurant.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 4

21/03/2018

Wednesday

Bukhara

Breakfast in the hotel.

UNESCO, in naming Bukhara a World Heritage site, states: “It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact.” In a bit of one-upmanship locals like to say, “Samarkand is the beauty of the earth, but Bukhara is the beauty of the spirit.” It exudes a beguiling, old-world atmosphere.

Please visit our Bukhara Travel Guide for the city overview.

Walk around the old city which was a teeming commercial centre during the heyday of the Silk Road. Visit the Ark Citadel; Then visit the Poi Kalyan complex. The minaret is one of the rare monuments that survived the destructive wrath of Ghengis Khan who destroyed most of the monuments of Central Asia. Then, visit the Magok-Attor Mosque; Trade Dome Toki-Sarafon (Dome of the Moneychangers) and Toki-Tilpak Furushon (Dome of the headgear Sellers); Toki-Zargaron (Dome of the jewellers) Madrassah of Ulugbek and Madrassah of Abdulazizkhan. Visit to the miniature painter Davron’s workshop.

Lunch in traditional house in old Bukharian Jewish quarter.

Afternoon visit to Lyabi-Khauz ensemble including Nadir-Divan-Beghi Madrasah, Kukeldash Madrasah and Nadir-Divan-Beghi khanaka.

The one and only engagement in traditional “Sumalak” preparation in one of the local Uzbek neighborhoods.

Option: Tea pause at «Silk Road Spices» tea house.

Dinner in traditional house.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 5

22/03/2018

Thursday

Bukhara – Samarkand

Breakfast in the hotel.

Departure to Samarkand by road (265 km, aprox. 3.5 hours) via Gijduvan, famous for traditional pottery.

Option: Transfer to the railway station and departure from Bukhara to Tashkent by high-speed train #761 Afrosiyob, departure at 03:52pm, arrival at 05:25pm.

Upon arrival to Samarkand lunch in local restaurant, accommodation in the hotel after 02:00pm and rest.

The title “the heart of the Great Silk Road” is rightly attached to Samarkand. It is included in a special list of UNESCO – The World legacy. The significance of its material and spiritual values are so great. Unique monuments of ancient architecture, the legacy of scientific and artistic schools, centers of traditional national crafts of Samarkand are praised and glorified today throughout the world. Samarkand has a unique combination of styles and art schools that gave birth to distinctive looks of this ancient city as described by historians, poets and diplomats of the past.

Please visit our Samarkand Travel Guide for the city overview.

Then visit of the Gur Amir Mausoleum, the beautifully tiled resting place of Tamerlane and his sons, the tomb of Tamerlane, great conqueror and the main architect of Samarkand.

Dinner in local Uzbek house with the traditional dishes of Navruz (sumalak, somsa, sorrel soup, salads, vegetables in abundance, etc. Menu comprises mainly vegan ingredients).

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 6

23/03/2018

Friday

Samarkand – Tashkent

Breakfast in the hotel.

Morning sightseeing tour in Samarkand begins with visit of the legendary Registan Square. Excursion to Bibi Khanym, ones the biggest Mosque in Central Asia, it was erected by Tamerlane after his victorious Indian campaign in 1399.

Lunch in local restaurant.

After, the walk to orient bazaar Siab, nearby to Bibi Khanym. Continue to the Shakhi Zinda Necropolis, whereas believes, the cousin of the Prophet Mohammed, Qusamibn Abbas, is entombed. Visit of the Ulugh Beg Observatory, named for one of the world’s greatest astronomers.

Transfer to the railway station and departure from Samarkand to Tashkent by evening high-speed train #761 Afrosiyob, departure at 05:00pm, arrival at 07:10pm.

Upon arrival to Tashkent dinner in local restaurant.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 7

24/03/2018

Saturday

Tashkent – Istanbul

Early breakfast in the hotel.

Transfer to the airport for international flight from Tashkent to Istanbul, via Turkish Airlines flight TK369, departure at 08:15am, arrival at 11:35am.

TK369 SUN TASIST 0815 1135 / Non-stop Flight, Airbus A330-300 (333), 5h20m

* Please, note, that all flights, indicated in this travel program, are subjects to change, and will be confirmed during tour booking process.

Tour ID: EN07NZ

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