The Pearls of Uzbekistan 2017 Tashkent, Bukhara, Shakhrisabs, Samarkand, St. Petersburg, Saturday-Monday, 10 days / 9 nights

This 10-day group tour has 3 nights in Tashkent, 2 nights in Bukhara, 2 nights in Samarkand, 1 overnight on plane on return followed by 2 nights in St. Petersburg. The tour is based on 3-star superior hotels in Uzbekistan and 4-star hotel in St. Petersburg. Full day sightseeing, full board in Uzbekistan and 2 lunches in St. Petersburg. Expert English-speaking local guides in every city. Flights to Uzbekistan are operated by Rossia airline by modern Airbus aircrafts, flight Tashkent – Bukhara by local airline.

Tashkent

Your flight from St. Petersburg to Tashkent takes 4 hours 40 minutes. The difference in time is 2 hrs (GMT+5). Arrival is at 00:55. Transfer to your hotel for rest. Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan with the population of more than 3 million people. It used to be an ancient city on the Great Silk Road from China to Europe.

Little remains of the ancient city after the 1966 earthquake and earlier modernization work following the 1917 revolution. Tashkent feels more like Eastern Europe than Central Asia, with its mixture of modern new office buildings, hotels, parks and crumbling Soviet style apartment blocks. Tashkent is a very attractive and vibrant city.

The roots of the rich Uzbek culture shine through Tashkent's architecture, museums and metro stations. The Uzbek folk are very friendly. The best way to get a full taste of the culture would be to visit the local markets. It is a social place which every citizen in Tashkent is bound to visit. Your second day in Tashkent is devoted to Chimgan mountains, now the territory of the national park, north of Tashkent. Enjoy beautiful views to the mountains and return back along the shores of Charvak reservoir, the largest artificial water reservoir in Uzbekistan.

 

Bukhara and Shakhrisabs

Bukhara, one of the most famous cities on the ancient Silk Road, was historically one of the great trading cities along the Silk Road. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old part of town offers an incredible number of sights. The first or last stop of any visit should be the Lab-i-Hauz, a great place to relax, sit, drink tea and wait for the fountains to start again. Seen from the Lab-i-Hauz the Ark or Citadel is at the other end of town. Between those two are magnificent Koranic schools, impressive mosques and a big tall minaret with a history that will make you shiver... Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan with the population of more than 3 million people. It used to be an ancient city on the Great Silk Road from China to Europe.

Shakhrisabz is a small town located on the way from Bukhara to Samarkand in a valley, surrounded by the foothills of the Pamir mountains. The town is a pleasant Uzbek backwater and seems to be nothing special – until you start bumping into the ruins dotted around its backstreets, and the megalomaniac ghosts of a wholly different place materialize. This is Timur’s hometown. Among the architectural monuments of Timur's time there are the remains of the massive portal of the Aq-Saray Palace, which took 20 years to build and was destroyed by Abdulla Khan of Bukhara in the 17th century.

Samarkand

Samarkand is perhaps the most famous city of modern Uzbekistan. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Registan square, reportedly the age old intersection of the trade roads, is the reason why people come to Samarkand. It is one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture you will ever see, right up there with the Alhambra in Spain and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. But there are a lot more monuments in Samarakand and around it. Although the old center has not really survived into modern times, you can find reminders of the greatness of the rulers of Samarkand, especially Ulughbek and Tamerlane, all over town.

During your last day in Samarkand visit the historical memorial of Al Bukhariy located 25 km from the city. Enjoy you last free afternoon and do not forget to visit the famous bazaar. Return to St. Petersburg by overnight flight which takes 5 hours 10 minutes.

St. Petersburg

Arrive to St. Petersburg at 07:35. Transfer to your hotel for breakfast. St. Petersburg was the capital of Russian Empire for almost 200 years. Few cities can offer so many stunning attractions and intriguing moods as St. Petersburg – City of the Tsars. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg combines its fascinating Russian heritage with a distinctly European outlook. Considered the cultural heart of modern day Russia, St. Petersburg is rapidly regaining its reputation as one of the Great Cities of Europe. Discover St. Petersburg – a city of infinite charm with its majestic palaces, churches and cathedrals, river embankments, beautiful parks and innumerous bridges – a city of imperial proportions and romantic vistas which has been a source of inspiration for the generations of artists.

After lunch at hotel have a comprehensive tour of the famous Hermitage. The world-known Hermitage museum was the residence of the Russian Emperors in the past, nowadays it comprises 5 palaces and is one of the largest museums in the world. Enjoy the State Rooms of the Winter Palace, continue to the Small Hermitage, then proceed to the priceless masterpieces exhibited in other Hermitage buildings.
 

 

On your last day in St. Petersburg visit Catherine’s Palace and park – once the official summer residence of Russian Czars, located in small town of Pushkin, close to the airport. The Catherine’s Palace, considered to be a real pearl of Russian baroque architecture of the 18th century, was built for Russian Empress Catherine in 1752. The palace, a combination of white and gold, looks magnificent; a huge ballroom called the Grand Hall, ornately decorated drawing rooms, studies and dining rooms. The most famous room here is the Amber Room, which was looted by the Nazis during World War II. The restoration of the Amber Room was completed in 2005. Surrounding the palaces is a park covering more than 570 hectares with bridges, terraces, fountains and small galleries.

Farewell lunch is served at genuine Russian restaurant Podvorie. Enjoy delicious Russian appetizers and famous “borsch” (beet-root soup) accompanied by Cossack’s folklore singing and, of course, free flowing Russian vodka! The restaurant is a typical Russian huge wooden log-house reminding of a fortress. It is located in the picturesque countryside in the small town of Pavlovsk, close to the town of Pushkin. Transfer to airport for your flight home.

Good Bye and See You Again...

Booking / Terms and Conditions

Escape Travel Ltd., officially registered in St. Petersburg, Russia, operates this tour as individual and small group departures in September, October and November. Minimum number is 2 guests. The price is given for land services only. NOT INCLUDED: tips, airfare to/from Russia, Russian and Uzbek visas. These costs have to be covered by the client. All necessary documents for obtaining Russian and Uzbek visa will be sent upon receiving a deposit.

10% non-refundable deposit is needed in 2 weeks after the booking was made. Full payment is due 30 days prior the arrival date. If cancelled 15 days prior to arrival - 50% of the tour cost is refunded. Cancellations made later than 15 days prior to arrival or no-show are not refunded. Please ask for a detailed day-by-day itinerary and full description of the tour in PDF format.