3 Stans of Central Asia

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Uzbekistan

An Introduction to "the Stans"

The journey to Central Asia is a chance to dive into the medieval and mysterious eastern culture. Treasures of the Great Silk Road, azure mosques of Samarkand and Bukhara, ancient cities and modern capitals, national parks and amazing landscapes – this part of Asia is absolutely unique, and that is what attracts travelers from all over the world. You may choose "Only Uzbekistan" 10-day tour in the price box.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Tashkent

Arrival at Tashkent. Meet & greet at Tashkent airport. Transfer to the hotel and check-in after 14:00. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Tashkent

After breakfast at the hotel, the start of the guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent. Visit the following sites: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah. After lunch: Independence Square, Amir Timur Square, Minor Mosque. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and further flight to Urgench. Transfer to Khiva on arrival (40 min drive). Khiva is an ancient desert city in the southern region of Xorazm. Built around the time of Christ, it was a vital oasis stop on the Silk Road. The old town has more than 50 historic monuments and hundreds of houses dating to the 1600s. It’s also said that the town has been destroyed and rebuilt seven times. Full day city tour of Ichankala, inner walls of Khiva: visit Kalta Minar, Muhammad Aminkhan Medressah, Kunya Ark, Muhammad Rakhimkhan Medressah, Juma Mosque and Minaret. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Khiva - Bukhara

After breakfast continue exploring Khiva. Visit Pahlavan Mahmud Masoleum, Islamkhodja Medressah, Toshhovli Palace, the magnificent stone summer residence of the Khivan Khans with courtyards, public rooms, a harem and caravanassi. Also visit Allakulikhan Medressah which is considered the richest monument with its decoration and Ceravanserai. In the evening transfer to Urgench airport for flight to Bukhara. Upon arrival (15 min drive) meet the driver and transfer to hotel in Bukhara. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Bukhara

After breakfast, meet the guide for a city tour. Bukhara is an ancient city and an important stop on the Silk Road. It’s filled with mosques, madrasahs, bazaars and caravanserais, all dating from the 9th to the 17th centuries. Visit Samanid’s Mausoleum, ChashmaAyub, citadel Ark, Bolo-Hauz Mosque, Kalyan complex including Kalyan Mosque, Kalyan Minaret and MirarabMedressah, Trade domes, Abdulazizkhan and UlugbekMedressahs, Jewish Quarter, Nadir DevonbegiMedressah and Lyabi-Khauz complex. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Bukhara

After breakfast continue a city tour of Bukhara. Visit Bahouddin Naqshbandiy Masoleum, Chor Minor Mosque, Sitorai Mohi Hosa- summer residence of Bukhara emirs and Chor Bakr Necropolis. Return to the hotel for rest and overnight.

Day 7: Bukhara - Samarkand

After breakfast enjoy time at leisure. At the appropriate take transfer to the train station to board the afternoon Afrosiyob speedy train (15:50-17:25) to Samarkand. Upon arrival meet the driver and transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Samarkand

After breakfast, we’ll start our Samarkand city tour with a visit to the Guri-Emir Mausoleum. This is the tomb of the great Moghul conqueror Timur and the model for all great Mughal tombs that followed. Then relax and watch a traditional folk dance show in beautiful Registan Square, the cultural and historical heart of Samarkand. A trip to Registan Square isn’t complete without visiting its three beautiful monuments. The Ulug Bek Madrasah, built in the early 15th century, is one of Central Asia’s greatest architectural masterpieces. The Sher-Dor Madrasah is a reflection of the Ulug Bek Madrasa, except in its unique decoration. And the stunning Tilla-Kari Madrasah used as a college and grand mosque. After lunch, we head to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque. Built by Timur in the 15th century, it’s one of the most magnificent mosques in Islam. From there, walk to Siab bazaar, a produce market famous for local delicacies like dried fruits, sweets, speciality bread and nuts. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Samarkand - Tashkent

Your day begins with breakfast at the hotel. Then continue your acquaintance with Samarkand’s sites starting with an excursion to the Tomb of Daniel at Afrasiab. This magnificent 18- foot long tomb is said to house part of the remains of the biblical prophet Daniel. We’ll also visit nearby Shokh-i-Zinda, a complex of beautiful mosques and mausoleums. Dating to the 11th Century, this was an important site of pilgrimage in the ancient world. After lunch you’ll board the Afrosiyob bullet train from Samarkand. to Tashkent. Overnight at the hotel in Tashkent.

Day 10: Tashkent - Kokand - Margilan - Dustlik border - Osh

After breakfast take morning train (08:07-12:11) to Kokand, one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan located in the western part of Ferghana Valley. En route you will have a chance to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Kamchik mountain pass (2275 m above sea level). Kokand is considered the second largest religious center after Bukhara in Central Asia, with 35 madrasahs and hundreds of mosques, mainly built during the reign of Khudoyar Khan. Visit famous Khudoyar Khan’s Palace, Juma Mosque and DahmaiShahon (Grave of Kings). Continue your trip to Rishtan where you will visit ceramist’s family. Then visit well-known Yodgorlik Silk Factory in Margilan, then drive to Uzbek-Kyrgyz “Dustlik” border and after border formalities meet Kyrgyz team of guide and driver and further transfer to Osh (5 hours drive). Accommodation at the hotel. Rest and overnight at the hotel in Osh.

Day 11: Osh - Bishkek

After breakfast meet the guide and start the city tour in Osh. Visit Suleiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia and visit a historical museum, located in the main cave. After that walk up the hill and watch a little mosque of Babur, The Great Mughal Dynasty founder, and take a bird's eye view of the city. After lunch transfer to the airport and take a flight to Bishkek (17:25-18:05). On arrival transfer to the hotel. Check-in and overnight at the hotel in Bishkek.

Day 12: Bishkek - Burana Tower - Issyk-Kul Lake

After breakfast drive to the second largest alpine lake in the world - Issykul. On the way visit the ruins of the ancient city Balasagyn and Burana tower. Upon arrival (4 hours drive) check-in at the hotel in Cholpan Ata and rest. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Cholpan Ata - Karakol

After breakfast start driving to Karakol (2 h drive). On the route, visit the museum of Petroglyph’s in Cholpon-Ata and museum of the famous Russian explorer of Central Asia N.M. Prjevalsky. Upon arrival city tour in Karakol. Visit a Dungan mosque (19century), a unique construction built in Chinese style with no nails used. Also, see the wooden Russian Orthodox Cathedral of The Holy Trinity built at the end of the 19th century. Walk around the central bazaar to feel the real life of the city. Overnight at hotel in Karakol.

Day 14: Karakol - Tamga village, Issyk-Kul

After breakfast at the hotel start driving to south shore to Tamga village (1h 30min drive). En route short stop at Jeti Oguz Valley, a lush valley with some striking red sandstone rock formations including the “Seven Bulls” from which the valley takes its name. After we will explore the interesting rock formations of Skazka (Fairytale) Canyon. The canyon was named after its bizarre rocky landscape, which for many years has been transformed by wind into various sculptures and formations. Some structures have been named for their similarity to the well-known objects and places.  Visitors can also see the statues of the hippopotamus, snakes, dragons, sleeping giants and even entire castles. Arrival to yurt camp and check in. Dinner and overnight (2 persons/yurt).

Day 15: Tamga village - Bishkek

After breakfast departure from Issyk-Kul at 09:00. Transfer to Bishkek (5 h drive). Upon arrival guided sightseeing tour around Bishkek: the central square of Ala-Too, the flagpole (and the changing of the guard), the monuments to Lenin and Freedom, the monument to Manas. Free time - visiting trade centers of the city. Rest and overnight at the hotel in Bishkek.

Day 16: Bishkek - Kordai border - Almaty

After breakfast transfer to the land border with Kazakhstan via Kyrgyz-Kazakh “Kordai”. Border formalities. Further transfer to Almaty. Arrival (4h drive) in Almaty by the evening. Transfer to the hotel, check-in and overnight in Almaty.

Day 17: The Charyn Canyon

Early breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Almaty at 08:00. Transfer to the Charyn National Park which is located 215 km east of Almaty. The Canyon has been described as the Grand Canyon’s little brother. The Canyon itself is approximately 150 km long, and, in places up to 300 meters deep. One area of particular interest is an area of structures. Return in Almaty at the evening. Transfer to the hotel and overnight in Almaty.

Day 18: Almaty and Big Almaty Lake

In the morning, Almaty sightseeing full day (about 10 hours) guided tour: the Green Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame Next visit of the Kok- Tobe hill with the tallest TV tower in the world. The short ride from the top of the hill to the centre of the city by the famous Almaty cableway. After lunch transfer to the most beautiful lakes, located in the surroundings of Almaty - Big Almaty Lake. Arrival to the Lake and slight hiking in the surroundings. En route visit to “Sunkar” Falcons’ Farm to watch the show with hunting birds. Return to Almaty. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Almaty.

Day 19: Almaty - Nur-Sultan

After early breakfast transfer to the airport for further flight (07:00-08:45) to Nur-Sultan. Arrival in Nur-Sultan meet the local guide and start the half-day city tour around the city. Visit the following sites: Independence Square, where all modern sites are located (Palace of Independence, Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, National Museum, Hazret Sultan mosque). After that proceed to visit another modern masterpiece and the symbol of Nur-Sultan - the Baiterek Monument. 97-meters tower offers a panoramic view of the city from its observation desk. Transfer to the hotel in the evening. Check-in at the hotel and overnight.

Day 20: Nur-Sultan

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide and the driver. In the morning, we make a day trip to Alzhir - Memorial Museum of Victims of Political Repressions, located in 45 km to the west from Nur-Sultan. Return in Hur-Sultan in the afternoon and visit Nur Alem centre - the first scientific and hi-tech museum in Kazakhstan. In the evening, visit the shopping centre of Khan-Shatyr - one of the new symbols of the capital, the first and only lifestyle centre of Hur-Sultan. Return to the hotel. Rest and overnight.

Day 21: Nur-Sultan, departure

Transfer to the airport. Departure from Nur-Sultan.

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Day 1: Arrival at Tashkent

Arrival at Tashkent. Meet & greet at Tashkent airport. Transfer to the hotel and check-in after 14:00. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Tashkent

After breakfast at the hotel the start of the guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent. Visit the following sites: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah. After lunch: Independence Square, Amir Timur Square, Minor Mosque. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and further flight to Urgench. Transfer to Khiva on arrival (40 min drive). Khiva is an ancient desert city in the southern region of Xorazm. Built around the time of Christ, it was a vital oasis stop on the Silk Road. The old town has more than 50 historic monuments and hundreds of houses dating to the 1600s. It’s also said that the town has been destroyed and rebuilt seven times. Full day city tour of Ichankala, inner walls of Khiva: visit Kalta Minar, Muhammad Aminkhan Medressah, Kunya Ark, Muhammad Rakhimkhan Medressah, Juma Mosque and Minaret. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Khiva

After breakfast continue exploring Khiva. Visit Pahlavan Mahmud Masoleum, Islamkhodja Medressah, Toshhovli Palace, the magnificent stone summer residence of the Khivan Khans with courtyards, public rooms, a harem and caravanassi. Also visit Allakulikhan Medressah which is considered the richest monument with its decoration and Ceravanserai. In the evening transfer to Urgench airport for flight to Bukhara. Upon arrival meet the driver and transfer to hotel in Bukhara. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Khiva - Bukhara

After breakfast, meet the guide for a city tour. Bukhara is an ancient city and an important stop on the Silk Road. It’s filled with mosques, madrasahs, bazaars and caravanserais, all dating from the 9th to the 17th centuries. Stroll through the central square, explore the iconic Samanid Mausoleum. Visit ChashmaAyub, citadel Ark, Bolo-Hauz Mosque, Kalyan complex including Kalyan Mosque, Kalyan Minaret and MirarabMedressah, Trade domes, Abdulazizkhan and UlugbekMedressahs, Jewish Quarter, Nadir DevonbegiMedressah and Lyabi-Khauz complex. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Bukhara

After breakfast continue a city tour of Bukhara. Visit Bahouddin Naqshbandiy Masoleum, Chor Minor Mosque, Sitorai Mohi Hosa- summer residence of Bukhara emirs and Chor Bakr Necropolis. Overnight at Hotel. Return to the hotel for rest and overnight.

Day 7: Bukhara - Samarkand

After breakfast enjoy time at leisure. At the appropriate take transfer to the train station to board the afternoon Afrosiyob speedy train (15:50-17:25) to Samarkand. Upon arrival meet the driver and transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Samarkand

After breakfast, we’ll start our Samarkand city tour with a visit to the Guri-Emir Mausoleum. This is the tomb of the great Moghul conqueror Timur and the model for all great Mughal tombs that followed. Then relax and watch a traditional folk dance show in beautiful Registan Square, the cultural and historical heart of Samarkand. A trip to Registan Square isn’t complete without visiting its three beautiful monuments. The Ulug Bek Madrasah, built in the early 15th century, is one of Central Asia’s greatest architectural masterpieces. The Sher-Dor Madrasah is a reflection of the Ulug Bek Madrasa, except in its unique decoration. And the stunning Tilla-Kari Madrasah used as a college and grand mosque. After lunch, we head to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque. Built by Timur in the 15th century, it’s one of the most magnificent mosques in Islam. From there, walk to Siab bazaar, a produce market famous for local delicacies like dried fruits, sweets, speciality bread and nuts. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Samarkand - Tashkent

Your day begins with breakfast at the hotel. Then continue your acquaintance with Samarkand’s sites starting with an excursion to the Tomb of Daniel at Afrasiab. This magnificent 18- foot long tomb is said to house part of the remains of the biblical prophet Daniel. We’ll also visit nearby Shokh-i-Zinda, a complex of beautiful mosques and mausoleums. Dating to the 11th Century, this was an important site of pilgrimage in the ancient world. After lunch you’ll board the Afrosiyob bullet train from Samarkand. to Tashkent. Overnight at the hotel in Tashkent.

Day 10: Tashkent, departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure flight.

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Uzbekistan

No visa to Uzbekistan needed for the citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and all EU countries. Citizens of the USA have to apply for e-visa (US$ 20 online payment, issued in 3 days).

Kyrgyzstan

No visa to Kyrgyzstan needed for the citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA and all EU countries.

Kazakhstan

No visa to Kazakhstan needed for the citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA and all EU countries.

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What's included

Accommodation

Accommodation in hotels on twin/double sharing basis

Accommodation in yurt camp (2 persons/yurt, shared bathroom, outside facilities), 1 night

Meals

Full breakfast in the hotels and yurt camp

Lunch every day except Day 1 and Day 20

Welcome dinner

Dinner in the yurt camp (for 21-day tour)

A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour

Guided tours

Tashkent guided tour

Khiva guided tour

Bukhara guided tour

Guided tour around Samarkand

For 21-day tour:

Kokand guided tour

Osh guided tour

Bishkek guided tour

Issykul guided tour

Visiting the ruins of the ancient city Balasagyn and Burana tower

Visiting the museum of Petroglyph in Cholpon-Ata and museum of the famous Russian explorer of Central Asia N.M. Prjevalsky

Karakol guided tour

Charyn National Park guided tour

Almaty guided tour

Big Almaty Lake guided tour

Visiting “Sunkar” Falcons’ Farm

Nur-Sultan guided tour

Guided tour to Alzhir

Visiting Nur Alem centre & shopping centre of Khan-Shatyr

Transport

Services of comfortable transport during the tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers

Local flight tickets Tashkent - Urgench (economy class, baggage allowance 20 kg)

Local flight tickets Urgench - Bukhara (economy class, baggage allowance 20 kg)

Local flight tickets Osh - Bishkek (economy class, baggage allowance 20 kg)

Local flight tickets Almaty - Nur-Sultan (economy class, baggage allowance 20 kg);

Train tickets (economy class) for high-speed premium service train «Afrosiab» (Bukhara-Samarkand), (Samarkand - Tashkent)

Train tickets (economy class) for train Tashkent - Kokand

Support

24/7 phone/WhatsApp support line

Travel tips online brochure

English-speaking guide

Meet & greet on arrival

Not Included

International flights

Insurance

Visa fees

Meals not mentioned

Optional tours and activities

Personal expenditures

Highlights

Explore rich local history and culture

Taste traditional Asian cuisine

Find out what is it like to live in a Yurt

Shop at the real eastern bazaars

A short camel ride in Kyzyl-Kum desert

UNESCO’s World Heritage List sights

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Our reviews
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Gordon Ketelbey

Australia

World of Discoveries put an excellent tour together. All well organised with lots of side events all unplanned but the focus was on fun. Pity Australia can’t score goals but the party made up for it.

Rami Selim

Egypt / Australia

Thanks you Abby and Varvara and all the other staff members of World of Discoveries for making our stay in Russia over 2 and a half weeks easy, comfortable and memorable. Thanks for the great organisation with transfers and accommodation. Thanks also for organising a phone sim card for each one in our group. It made our life much easier to stay in touch with each other and with our family and friends back home. We loved our stay in Russia and will certainly come back soon.

Steve Giannoress

Australia

Traveled to Russia for the world Cup 2018 with Angelo. Alex and myself with World of Discoveries. They were exceptional in every way, I want to thank Varya , Alex Tati and there team for there support and service during our trip there in Russia. I highly recommend anyone that wants to travel with Discovery to Russia or Balkans to use the great service of the above people, contact Varya to book you in now. Thanks again guys, well done and we all look forward to catching up again in the near future.

John Campbell

Scotland

We booked a tour for Euro 2020, in July 2021, tickets, accommodation, Hermitage and Cathedrals tour, all A++++. Great service, super support, nothing too much trouble at all, used the agency twice now. Super happy.

William Watt

Australia

I am a Sydney-based journalist who travelled to the 2018 World Cup with World of Discoveries. Following is my review of that fabulous experience ... What a trip ... the World Cup, five cities, amazing camaraderie, and great tour leadership against the background of one of the globe’s most amazing countries ... Russia. My World Cup tour with World of Discoveries was one of the great experiences of my travel life. The World of Discoveries team provided a wonderful platform with an itinerary both practical and flexible. The local tours in each of the venue cities - Moscow, Kazan, Samara, Sochi and St Petersburg were informative and, importantly, fun. Considering the accommodation pressures created by the huge influx of Cup tourists, the hotels selected by World of Discoveries were more than adequate. Special mention goes to the Grand Hotel Tchaikovsky In St Petersburg. The tour leadership provided by the company was both expert and considerate. Importantly each traveller’s individual enjoyment and safety appeared to be the paramount consideration. This World Cup holiday was meant to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience for me but I am now planning for the next Cup. Bring on 2022 in Qatar!

Alison Danesh

Iran / USA

We just returned from the World Cup in Russia where we followed Team Iran. This involved travel to three different stadiums many miles apart. Thank goodness we booked through World of Discoveries! They arranged our lodging and transport. They even set us up with local English speaking guides to take us to see the interesting and historical sights of this beautiful land. We had a blast. We met new friends, ate great food, drank great vodka and cheered our team on. It was a trip of a lifetime.