Experience the contrasts of Central Asia in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Discover ultra-modern Nur-Sultan and the Soviet architecture of vibrant Almaty. Next, travel to the country of blue domes, full of madrasas, bazaars, mosques, deserts and palaces. Discover the fortified heart of Khiva, unspoilt Bukhara and legendary Samarkand, in the triangle of the Silk Road. Fall in love with Tashkent.
Location: UK/Ireland - Night on board
<p>Arrive at your UK/Ireland departure airport, ready to board a flight to <strong>Nur-Sultan,</strong> the capital of Kazakhstan. Night on board.*</p> <p>* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.</p>
Accommodation Name: Monaco
<p>Arrive in the early hours, transfer to the hotel and overnight stay in Nur-Sultan.* <strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Today, embark on a <strong>city tour</strong> to get to know this modern city, recently renamed Nur-Sultan after the former Kazakh president. Visit the<strong> Bayterek Tower,</strong> a true symbol of the country, the <strong>Independence Monument</strong> and the impressive <strong>President's Cultural Centre</strong>. Next, stop at the <strong>National Museum of Kazakhstan</strong>, home to amazing relics of the country's fascinating history before discovering the <strong>Astana Mosque</strong>, an<strong> Orthodox Church</strong> and the open-air <strong>Atameken Ethno Memorial Complex</strong>. Having gained a valuable insight into the sights and history of Nur-Sultan, end the tour at the <strong>Alzhir Memorial Complex</strong>, in memory of the victims of political repression in Kazakhstan. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore or relax at your leisure. We recommend wandering around one of the huge shopping malls which this city, dubbed the 'Dubai of Central Asia', is known for. Overnight stay in Nur-Sultan.</p> <p>* Early-check-in included. </p>
Accommodation Name: The Plaza Hotel
Location: Nur-Sultan - Almaty
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Start the day with a transfer to the airport to catch a flight to <strong>Almaty,</strong> the former capital of Kazakhstan, and the true heart of the country and it's culture. Arrive, transfer to the hotel and, in the afternoon, embark on an informative <strong>city tour of Almaty</strong>. Visit the highlights of the city including the huge <strong>Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, </strong>the <strong>Cathedral of the Ascension</strong>, built entirely from wood, and the charming <strong>Museum of Musical Instruments.</strong> Next, visit the <strong>Green Bazaar</strong> where you can enjoy soaking up the authentic culture and the hustle and bustle of this traditional Asian market. Almaty is surrounded by mountains, so after exploring the market take a cable car up to the popular ski resort of <strong>Shymbulak</strong>, approximately 2500 metres above sea level. As night falls, transfer to <strong>Kok Tobe, </strong>an impressive observatory from where you can contemplate the sheer beauty of the city and its surroundings. Return to the city, transfer to the hotel and overnight stay in Almaty.</p> <p>Please note: The itinerary of today's tour is subject to alterations depending on changes that the airlines can make to their schedules.</p>
Accommodation Name: Rakat Plaza
Location: Almaty - Tashkent
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to <strong>Tashkent,</strong> the capital of Uzbekistan. Arrive in <strong>Tashkent</strong>, the capital of Uzbekistan, and transfer to the hotel. Spend the day at your leisure, exploring the city as you wish. You can also discover the city by booking an optional Tashkent tour* at noon and in the afternoon.<strong> </strong>Overnight stay in Tashkent.</p> <p><strong>* Optional Midday Tashkent Tour: </strong>Take a noon tour to see the Hasti Imam complex: Barak Kan Madrasa, Kafal Shohi Madrasa, Tilla Seykh mosque and the Museum of Usman Coran. Also, visit Victory Park.</p> <p><strong>* Optional Afternoon Tashkent Tour</strong>: Take an afternoon tour of the highlights of the city and visit the History Museum of Uzbekistan, the White Mosque and explore the Metro system.</p>
Accommodation Name: Malika Khiva
Location: Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. In the morning, set off to<strong> visit the old part of the city</strong>. Explore Khasti Imom Square, the religious center of Uzbekistan, where you can see: the Madrasa Barak Kan, an old Koranic school built in the sixteenth century, inside which the artisans sell their work; the Madrasa Kaffal Shoshi, fabulously decorated with a bright blue dome; the Moyie Mubarek Library, which houses the oldest Koran and the Kukeldash Madrasa, the largest in the city. From the Madrasa's towers, the call of prayer is announced. Also visit the Madrasa Abul Kasim, whose facade is magnificently decorated with lancet niches and corner towers. Next, <strong>discover the oriental bazaar of </strong>Chorsu<strong>,</strong> a covered market whose main building has an elegant turquoise dome Persian and Timurid in style. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to board a flight to<strong> Urgench</strong>. Arrive and transfer to <strong>Khiva. </strong>Check in to the hotel. Overnight stay in Khiva.</p>
Accommodation Name: Malika Khiva
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Head to the <strong>Itchan-Kala architectural complex</strong> of Khiva, protected by high brick walls and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Khiva was part of the triangle of the Silk Road together with Bukhara and Samarkand. Among its many wonders explore the Kunya Ark Castle, sumptuously decorated; the madrasah Mohammed Rakhmin Khan which houses an interesting museum about the city, and the minaret of Islam Khodja. Next, <strong>visit the Tash Hovli Palace</strong>, built of stone and blue coloured ceramics brought from China. End the visit at the Juma Mosque or Friday Mosque and the Allakuli Khan Madrasa. Spend the rest of the day exploring at your leisure. You also have the option to add an extra tour* to the Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud. Overnight stay in Khiva.</p> <p>* <strong>Optional tour to the Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud</strong>, who was a philosopher, poet, fighter, tanner craftsman and founder of a branch of Sufism. Enjoy the sunset from the Oq-Sheykh Bobo viewpoint. </p>
Accommodation Name: Boutique Safiya
Location: Khiva - Bukhara
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Leave by road to Bukhara, southeast of Khiva. During the journey, cross the Kizil-Kum desert which means "red sands" in Arabic and see the historic Amudaria river, which marks the border with Kazakhstan. Arrive in the afternoon, transfer to the hotel and spend any free time exploring at your leisure. Overnight stay in Bukhara.</p>
Accommodation Name: Boutique Safiya
<div><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Begin the day with a<strong> tour of the city of Bukhara.</strong> Visit the beautiful Mausoleum of the Samani, the holy spring of Chashmai Ayub and the charming Bolo Hauz Mosque. Continue the tour of the city with a visit to the Kalyan minaret, the Poi Kalyan Mosque, the Miri Arab Madrasa and the Toki Sarafon dome. You can complete your visit adding an optional tour* to the impressive Lyabi Hauz architectural complex and the Ark citadel. Overnight stay in Bukhara. </div> <div> </div> <div>* <strong>Optional tour to</strong> <strong>visit the Lyabi Hauz architectural complex</strong>: two madrasahs and a Khanaka, Chor Minor, and the amazing Ark citadel.</div>
Accommodation Name: Diyora
Location: Bukhara - Samarkand
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. Transfer to the city of Samarkand, located 290 kilometres east of Bukhara. Arrive in Samarkand and in the afternoon, take a <strong>guided visit of</strong><strong> this vibrant city</strong>. See the beautiful Registan Square, where you can admire spectacular madrasas of the XV-XVII centuries such as those of Ulughbek, Shir-Dor and Tilla-Kori. Next, visit the Guri Emir Mausoleum, to explore the tomb of Tamerlane, the Bibi-Khonum Mosque and the charming Siab Bazaar. Overnight stay in Samarkand.</p>
Accommodation Name: Rakat Plaza
Location: Samarkand - Tashkent
<p><strong>Breakfast</strong> at the hotel. The morning is at your own leisure. You have the option to book an optional tour* to the beautiful architectural complex Shakhi-Zind. In the afternoon, transfer to the station to board a train back to Tashkent. Arrive in the capital of Uzbekistan, transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in Tashkent.</p> <p><strong>* Optional Complex Shakhi-Zind tour:</strong> visit the museum of the ancient city of Afrosiab and the beautiful Ulughbek observatory which dates back to the 15th century. </p>
Location: Tashkent - Night on board
<p><strong>Breakfast*</strong> at the hotel. Spend today at your leisure.* In the afternoon/evening, transfer to the airport for a flight back to the UK/Ireland. Night on board.</p> <p>* Depending on the return flight schedule and the hotel breakfast service, you may not be able to enjoy the included breakfast on the last day.</p>
<p>Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.</p>
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