This is a combined tour with Turkmenistan to show ancient civilizations and commercial centers of Central Asia lost in desert.
Arrival to Tashkent and transfer to hotel. Check in at hotel. Free day of visits.
In the morning, way to Samarkandby train Afrasiab, (280 km) After lunch, half day city tour, including:
We continue exploring the city:
In the morning, way to Bukhara (4 hours) (Drive -275 km, 4 hours)
After check-in at hotel and lunch, we will explore the city:
Continue exploring the city:
In the evening, you will attend a courtesy dinner with traditional music show.
Overnight in Bukhara.
Drive to border to Turkmenistan.
Meet the guide at Farab border of Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan. Complete border formalities. Drive to Turkmenabat for lunch. After lunch drive to Mary. On arrival in Mary, transfer to hotel for overnight.
In the morning, we head 25 km to the east of Mary, towards Bayram-Ali, the contemporary re-incarnation of and humble suburb of the glorious Ancient Merv (UNSCO World Heritage Site). One of the major archaeological sites of Central Asia, Merv played an important part in the development of the Silk Road for more than 2 000 years. Within the limits of the archaeological park, which is 1200 ha, we will have a chance to observe all constituent parts of the “wandering city”. A series of adjacent cities, which can be roughly divided into the ancient (Erk Kala and Gyaur Kala), the medieval (Sultan Kala with its suburbs), and post-medieval (Abdulla-Khan Kala and Bayram-Ali-Khan Kala), appeared in the course of time as a token of the natural progress of the city from initial stages of its existence to a more advanced level. Besides remnants of the cities of Merv, we will visit the VI-IX cc. AD forts of Big and Little Kyz-Kalas, excellent examples of the so-called corrugated Koshks; the splendid XII c. mausoleums of Sultan Sanjar and Muhammedibn-Zeyd, demonstrating exquisite Seljuk period brickwork and architectural décor. If time and enthusiasm permits, it is possible to visit several more interesting spots within the site. Then we return to Mary to visit Regional History Museum. The museum presents a wide array of archaeological finds (dating back from the III mill. BC through the late XIX century) from both Ancient Merv and Bronze Age sites of the Margush country, as well as interesting ethnographic displays reconstructing the scenes of daily life of the Turkmen population and other minorities of the Murghab oasis. Evening flight to Ashgabat (40 min by Boeing 717 or 737). Transfer to hotel.
In the morning we drive 15 km west of Ashgabat, to the fortress of Old Nisa (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the earliest of Parthian Empire capitals. Located in an atmospheric area on an irregular pentagon hill, at the foot of the Kopet-Dag Mountains, Old Nisa is a beautiful landmark. 14 ha in size, the fort accommodates two semi-excavated complexes of Parthian period (III c. BC - III c. AD) structures, designated as royal residence and temple complex. Abandoned at the end of the Parthian period, Old Nisa conveyed its functions to New Nisa, another archaeological site located a couple of kilometres to the west of it, an important medieval Silk Road city. From Old Nisa we return to Ashgabat to visit theNational Museum of History and Ethnography (closed on TUE) (more than 327.000 objects on a display) exhibiting exclusive ancient artifacts from different historical & archeological sites of Turkmenistan, such as Old Nisa, Ancient Merv, Kunya-Urgench & others. After lunch we will have orientation tour of the city. We will see independence period parks and monuments, such as the Monument and Park of Independence (looking like a white-marble “Eiffel Tower” standing in a beautiful park) and a fountain-monument devoted to the 10th anniversary of independence (sculptural depiction of ten Akhal-Tekke horses placed on the top of a beautiful fountain), impressive Ertoghrul Ghazi mosque.
Early morning transfer to airport for flight to Dashoguz (50 min by Boeing 717). On arrival, we set off north-west, towards Kunya-Urgench – 100 km/1,5 hours(UNSCO World Heritage Site) – once a glorious capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire, the biggest Muslim empire of the late 12 - early 13 centuries. On arrival in Kunya-Urgench we will have a chance to take a close look at outstanding monuments of the medieval Khorezm. We will visit the 14 century mausoleum of TurabekHanum, one of the best living examples of the architecture of its period; minaret of KutlugTimur, a former highest minaret of Central Asia that used to form a part of the main cathedral mosque of the city; mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh, a beautiful 12 century mausoleum with one of the earliest portals of the east and a unique cone of a dome; Kyrk-Mollah mound, the fabled al-Mamun’s Academy of Sciences; and mausoleum of Il-Arslan, a tiny precursor of unique Khorezmian mausoleums with a pyramidal cone as its dome. Having finished sightseeing, drive back to Dashoguz – 100 km/1,5 hours and 15 km further to the border (Shavat). Complete formalities.
Guided visit to the city inside the Ichan-Kala, including:
After breakfast, drive to Urgench to take a flight to Tashkent.
In Tashkent, we will visit the Khast Imam, to visit the old VII century Koran, and buy some handicrafts.
Overnight in Tashkent.
Transfer to airport for international departure. End of our services.