EN15C3 – Ancient Heritage of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – Combo Tour 15 days, 14 nights via Turkish Airlines

Discover the unique nature of the lands of Kazakhstan and ancient heritage of the cities of Uzbekistan, where the complete history of the Central Asia was created during centuries, by the legendary dynasties of the past.

Recommended period for visit in 2017: 31/03/2017 – 28/10/2017

Recommended period for visit in 2018: 30/03/2018 – 27/10/2018

Days Description
Route: Istanbul – Astana – Borovoe – Almaty – Shymkent – Otrar – Turkistan – Shymkent – Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva – Bukhara – Samarkand – Tashkent – Istanbul
Day 0

Friday

Istanbul – Astana

Flight to Astana from Istanbul via Turkish Airlines flight TK354, departure at 06:45pm, arrival at 02:30am (next day).

TK354 FRI ISTTSE 1845 0230+1 / Non-stop Flight, Boeing 737 (73J), 4h45m

Day 1

Saturday

Astana

Arrival in Astana at 02:30am. Meeting with the guide in airport. Transfer to the hotel, rest.

10.00 – City tour:

City tour starting from old part of the city on the right side of Ishim river. Constitution Square, Museum of the First President, Congress Hall will be starting points of excursion. You will walk along the riverside of Ishim and see the city in dynamics, and how it is developing. And continue tour with the most important architectural buildings and monuments of the modern capital (Independence Square, Water-Green Boulevard, Round Square), as well as its history and development plans.

Please visit our Kazakhstan Travel Guide for the Destination overview.

Visit National Museum. At the museum, you will see the Golden man, well known not only in the Kazakh steppe but also in all Central Asia.

Visit  “Astana-Baiterek” monument of the young capital truly has become an architectural symbol of renewal, a symbol of Astana, a symbol of Kazakhstan.

Visit Temple of Peace and Accord – pyramidal building of the Palace of peace and Accord built by the project of a prominent British architect, Norman Foster, became the genuine decoration of the new capital of Kazakhstan.

Excursions to Atameken (miniature map of Kazakhstan).

Welcome dinner in Alasha restaurant with show and wine.

Transfer to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Sunday

Astana – Borovoe – Astana

Breakfast in the hotel.

Drive to Borovoe (Burabay) – 260 km (3.5 hours).

In the Northern Kazakhstan, between Astana and Kokchetav there is a wonderful region, real oasis – Borovoe. Geographically this place is named Kokchetav elevation, but the local guides call it “Kazakh Switzerland”. Forested hills occupy an area of about 30 kilometers. There is the endless Kazakh steppe around. The special microclimate of this land, its treatment air, which is full of resinous odors, peloids allow to consider Borovoe as one of the leading resorts in the world. It is no accident that in 1938 this land got the second name “Kazakh Switzerland”.

Drive back to city.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3

Monday

Astana – Almaty

Early breakfast in the hotel, then, transfer to airport for the flight to Almaty via Air Astana flight KC622, departure at 07:00am, arrival at 08:40am.

KC622 MON TSEALA 0700 0840 / Non-stop Flight, Boeing 737 (767), 1h40m

Arrival and meeting with guide, transfer to the city for the panoramic city tour.

City tour passing the modern highlights of the city: futuristic and busy Al Farabey street, the presidential palace.

Check-in to hotel at 12.00 and short rest.

Continue to Central Historical Museum (Here the invaluable art fund being national property of the state is concentrated. In a museum of the Kazakh national tools the big collection of magnificent exhibits is collected.); 28 Panfilovtzev Park – The park was constructed on May 8, 1975 on the eve of the 30 anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War; Zenkov Cathedral – monument of cult architecture of Christians in Kazakhstan and the most well-known squares; Central Mosque (excursion); Shop Rahat- where made Kazakhstan chocolates and other sweets; Zelenyi bazar – shopping center; Medeo Gorge- where you will have a brief stop on the huge Medeo dam, which protects the city from destructive mudflows formed on the tops of the western Tien Shan.

Overnight.

Day 4

Tuesday

Almaty – Big Almaty Lake – Falcon show – Shymkent

Breakfast

Drive to Big Almaty Lake. This lake is located in the gorge of river Big Almatinka, at height of 2511 m above sea level, in 28,5 km to the south from Almaty.

Transfer to Falconry farm “Sunkar” for excursion in falconry farm and falcon show. You will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks – hunting with them is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh way of life. Viewers get information about the history of falconry, the biological features and the way of life of hunting birds. “Sunkar” also keeps hunting dogs and caged wolves and is worth a look any time, but the real attraction is the entertaining display of trained raptors in flight.

After the visits, ttransfer to railway station and departure to Shymkent at 08:57pm.

Overnight in train.

Day 5

Wednesday

Shymkent – Otrar – Turkestan

Arrival to Shymkent at 10:28 am.

Meeting with the guide on the station and drive to the Turkestan (165 km northwest from Shymkent).

Visit Sayram city on way to the Turkistan. Kozha Akhmed Yasaui was born in Sayram and this town is an important stop for many pilgrims on the route to the mausoleum at Turkistan.

Visit Arystan Bab Mausoleum, the tomb of an early mentor of Kozha Akhmed Yasaui.

Drive to excursion to Otrar Ruins. Otrar ruins – is widely known as the capital of the province, the birthplace of the great medieval philosopher Abu Nasr al-Farabi. The appearance of settlement on the former location of Otyrar refers to the first centuries of our era.

First name Otyrar and Farab appear in written sources in the IX century of our century. The period of X-XII centuries was the time of prosperity of urban life, which was broken by the Mongol invasion. In 1219 Otyrar fell under the onslaught of the army of Chinghis Khan. However Otyrar rose from the ruins and by the middle of XIII century has become a major trading hub on the way from West to East. In 1405 in one of the palaces of Otyrar dies Tamerlan. The life of Otyrar continues until the XVIII century. The appearance of the settlement as a whole is characteristic for most of the medieval monuments of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

At Turkistan stands Kazakhstan’s greatest architectural monument and the most important pilgrimage site – the mausoleum of the first great Turkic Muslim holy man, Kozha Akhmed Yasaui. Yasaui’s original small tomb was already a place of pilgrimage before Timur ordered a far grander mausoleum built here in the 1390s.

Visit Hilvet Semi-Underground Mosque. On a small hill within the Yasaui Mausoleum grounds stands the 12th- to 15th-century Hilvet semi-underground mosque, with the cell to which Kozha Akhmed Yasaui is said to have withdrawn towards the end of his life. Next to it stands the wood-pillared, 19th-century Friday Mosque.

Overnight in the hotel in Turkistan.

Day 6

Thursday

Turkistan – Shymkent – Tashkent

Breakfast in the hotel.

Visit Historical-Cultural-Ethnographic Centre with big colorful exhibits on regional history, from prehistoric petroglyphs to the obligatory Nazarbaev homage on the top floor.

After visits, day-long drive to Tashkent, Uzbekistan via Shymkent.

Please note, here you will pass the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan on Jipek Joly post, it may take from the 30 minutes to 1,5 hours.

Arrival to the Tashkent, meet by driver and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 7

Friday

Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva

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.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Walking tour to Alisher Navoi Ballet and Opera House (exterior observation). Built by Japanese prisoners of war and designed by Shusev, the same architect who built Lenin’s tomb, the architecture of this opera is a skilled mix of a number of influences that characterise Uzbekistan: Islamic art is combined with classicism, that lead to beautiful results – with a neo-classical façade, topped with stalagmites, moorish style.

After, visits of Independence Square, Tashkent Tube (Metro), exploring of the Old Part of the city with visits of Khast Imam Square, Friday Mosque and Kaffol Shoshi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah.

Visit Chorsu bazaar where craftsmen selling traditional clothes and an assortment of oriental souvenirs.

Visit the Museum of Decorative Arts –  one of the most interesting museums in Tashkent is the Museum of Decorative Arts with an extensive collection of ceramics, carved wood, textiles, carpets, metalwork and other handicrafts.

Transfer to the airport and evening flight to Urgench via Uzbekistan Airways flight HY 57, departure at 06:40pm, arrival at 09:00pm.

HY57 FRI TASUGC 1840 2100/ Non-stop Flight, Ilyuschin IL-114 (I14), 2h20m.

Arrival and transfer to Khiva.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 8

Saturday

Khiva (UNESCO city)

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.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Sightseeing in Khiva – Itchan Kala (Inner City): 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 visit and later a visit of wood carver’s workshop.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 9

Sunday

Khiva – Bukhara

This morning, after breakfast in the hotel, we will drive from Khiva across the Kyzyl Kum desert to the great city of Bukhara (by land, 450 km / 6h30m).

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.

Transfer to the hotel upon arrival.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 10

Monday

Bukhara (UNESCO city)

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.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Walk around the old city which was a teeming commercial centre during the heyday of the Silk Road.

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. Visit to the miniature painter workshop.

The visit will include the Toki-Zargaron (Dome of the jewellers), Tim Abdoulla Khan, Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble including Nadir-Divan-Beghi Madrasah, Kukeldash Madrasah and Nadir-Divan-Beghi khanaka; Magok-Attor Mosque; Trade Dome Toki-Sarafon (Dome of the Moneychangers) and Toki-Tilpak Furushon (Dome of the headgear Sellers); Chor Minor.

Option: Hammam – oriental bath (upon request).

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 11

Tuesday

Bukhara

Breakfast in the hotel.

Sightseeing: The Ark Citadel, Bolo-Khaouz Mosque, Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum, Job source.

Later, we will take a short drive outside Bukhara to the Sitorai Makhi Khosa, popularly known as the Emir’s Summer Palace. Explore the grounds, living quarters, and three separate museums within the grounds: the Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of National Costume, and Museum of Needlework. Return to Bukhara, and stroll through the local market and the back alleys of the city.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 12

Wednesday

Bukhara – Samarkand (UNESCO city)

Breakfast in the hotel.

Morning Sharq Train to Samarkand, departure at 07:45am, arrival at 10:50am.

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.

Upon arrival transfer to hotel, leaving luggages, free time for lunch.

After lunch, you will discover a Samarkand’s unique history. We will start from the 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. The arresting inscription on his tomb reads, “Were I alive, the world would tremble.” The tomb was opened in June, 1941 by a Soviet archeologist, and persistent legend holds that a dreaded curse was unleashed – Hitler’s invasion of Russia is regarded by many locals as its synchronized fulfillment.

Then, visit of one of remarkable places in Samarkand – Registan Square. The square is a striking ensemble of three madrasahs (Arabic for “schools”) and mosques, one of which was built in the 15th century, and the other two completed in the 17th century. On seeing this square in 1899 the British diplomat Lord Curzon wrote, “I know of nothing in the East approaching it in massive simplicity and grandeur.” Adjacent is the lively Silk Road Bazaar – its colorful offerings are a visual feast.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 13

Thursday

Samarkand

Breakfast in the hotel.

Our full day in Samarkand, known as the “Mirror of the World,” begins with Excursion in Bibi Khanum Mosque which ones was the biggest Mosque in Central Asia, it was erected by Tamerlane after his victorious Indian campaign in 1399. After, the walking tour to Orient open market Siab, located next to Bibi Khanum, and later visit craftsman shops and Happy Bird gallery.

Continue to the Shakhi Zinda Necropolis where it is believed that the cousin of the Prophet Mohammed, Qusam ibn Abbas, is entombed. Many notables built magnificent tombs to be next to his, and it has long been a place of pilgrimage. Head to the centerpiece of the city and perhaps the epitome of architectural art of this journey.

Visit carpet-making  workshop. Samarkand is famous for its carpets. The carpets are woven by hand on unique looms which enable the carpet-makers to ensure high quality products. Natural yarn, the secrets of carpet-making techniques that are passed from generation to generation and devotion to the craft allow the local masters to impress both the consumers and the experts of carpet-making industry. During the visit to one of the carpet-making workshops you can immerse yourself in an amazing world of carpet-making, and probably take part in creation of a handmade masterpiece.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 14

Friday

Samarkand – Tashkent

Breakfast in the hotel.

Explore the Ulughbeg Observatory, named for one of the world’s greatest astronomers. In the 1420s, Ulughbeg, Tamerlane’s grandson, created a 30-meter-long astrolabe to chart the stars. He famously noted that, “religions dissipate like fog, kingdoms vanish, but the work of scientists remains for eternity.”

Silk paper factory visit. Samarkand was one and only paper manufacturing center at the whole Middle East during the VIII and first half part of IX century. Here you will learn the simple technologies which have been used for centuries: water power, manual labour and patience. It’s impossible to remain indifferent during the masterclass to this workshop. Moreover, unique paper made of long fibre will become an excellent souvenir for artistic people who take up calligraphy, decoration or interior designing.

Evening high-speed Afrosiyob train to Tashkent, departure at 05:00pm, arrival at 07:10pm.

Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 15

Saturday

Tashkent – Istanbul

Early breakfast in the hotel.

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

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

Notes:All flights, indicated in this travel program, are subjects to change, and will be confirmed during tour booking process.

For the rates, discounts, hotels and restaurants information, additional options and visits please contact us via contact form below.

Tour ID: EN15C3

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