Uzbekistan on your own? 4 suggested routes!
Are you planning to go to Uzbekistan on your own? Are you considering potential routes? Understandably, everyone has their own way of selecting routes because it is probably the most enjoyable part of trip planning. However, since it’s always good to have some starting point, we want to recommend to you the most optimised routes through Uzbekistan.
Route 1. “Express Route” – 7 – 8 days
There’s no point in deceiving yourself –a week is not enough time for Uzbekistan. You need to make up your mind: either you do express sightseeing, jumping from one sight to another, or you resign from something. On the other hand, if you can’t go for longer than a week, then it’s better to go for these 7 days than not at all . In a week (provided you are well-organized) you may see the most important places and feel the atmosphere of the country. Below we present our proposition of a short route when all you have are 7 days. It’s a sort of a basis that you may tailor to your needs and (what we strongly recommend!) extend by a few days.
Tashkent – Urgench/Khiva – Bukhara – Samarkand – Tashkent
Day 1 – Tashkent
The route starts in Tashkent where we will spend only one day or one day and one night, depending on the hour of your arrival. Even though we treat the capital as a transit point, you should find the time for a quick walk around the monumental socialist-realist city centre, a visit to the Minor Mosque or Chorsu bazaar. We discuss the attractions of the capital in detail here: TASHKENT – TOP 7! After this quick visit to Tashkent we recommend that you take the plane to Urgench. It’s the longest leg of the whole route so a plane will be the most convenient means of transportation as will let you save a lot of energy and time. The flight takes an hour and a half.
Day 2-3 – Khiva
Day 3-5 – Bukhara
The best way to travel to the next wonderful city of the Silk Road, that is Samarkand, is too take the superfast Afrasiab train. It will take you just1h 29min to get there.
Day 5-7 – Samarkand
Samarkand is the next and the last stop of our trip to Uzbekistan. During a three-day stay in that fabulous city of the former Silk Road, glistening with beautiful blue mosaics, you’ll have enough time to see the most important sight. First of all, you should go and see the stunning Registan, a real gem of Samarkand, and the most beautiful Avenue of Mausolea called Shah-I Zinda. We also recommend that you visit the resting place of Amir Timur (Gur-i-Mir) and a monumental mosque called Bibi Khanum. Another must-see is the colourful and noisy Siyob bazaar renowned for its homemade sweets. If you have enough time, go to see the traditional paper factory called “Meros” where you can watch the process of manual production of paper step by step in the surroundings of lovely nature. Another treat would be taking part in a fashion show presenting oriental dresses designed by the famous Valentina Romanenko. You may read more about interesting places in Samarkand here: SAMARKAND OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Day 7 or 8
Route 2. “Classic with a pinch of adrenalin”
Tashkent – Nukus – Meynaq – The Aral Sea– Nukus – Khiva/Urgench – Bukhara –
Samarkand –Tashkent 12-13 days
Route 3. „Desert, yurts and camels”
Tashkent – Khiva/Urgench – Bukhara – Nurata – Aydarkul Lake – Samarkand –Tashkent
Route 4. “Uzbekistan from east to west”
Tashkent – Nukus – Meynaq –The Aral Sea – Nukus – Khiva/Urgench – Bukhara –
Samarkand –Tashkent – Kokand – Fergana and the surrounding area– Tashkent
A proposition for those who want to see the whole country, have time to travel the length and breadth of the country and visit all of its greatest tourist attractions. The route may be adjusted in various ways –you may for example go to the Fergana Valley right after visiting Tashkent or, alternatively, you may leave it for the end of your journey. Everything depends on your preferences. You may also first cross the southwestern part of the country and then fly a plane to cross the longest leg of the route between Nukus and Tashkent or go the other way round – first fly to Nukus, then go to the Aral Sea and return by land in the direction of Tashkent. There are countess possibilities.
This route is to a large extent identical to the proposition no. 2, that is “Classic with a pinch of adrenalin”. However, it includes a visit to the eastern part of Uzbekistan, the Fergana Valley. Accordingly, we leave Tashkent and go to Kokand, the gate leading to the Fergana Valley. We need only a day to see the sights of Kokand but the city may also serve as a good starting point for excursions in the surrounding area. Kokand offers attractions such as a monumental Khan Palace and beautiful Modari Khan Mausoleum. When you’ll have seen it, go to Margilan where you should visit a fantastic silk factory called Yodgorlik. You’ll have a unique opportunity to watch every step of the process of silk production. More details here: Silk Factory– a Gem of Fergana Valley! Another place you absolutely must visit in the Fergana Valley is a small town called Rishton located 40km south of Kokand. It is famous for its traditional ceramic production. A family-run workshop of Said Akhmedov is a great place to watch the production in detail and learn more about one of the most popular crafts in Uzbekistan. We wrote a post about one such ceramic workshop: Ceramic Capital of Uzbekistan – Rishton Town. If you have some time to spare, go to see Andijon and visit a beautiful Jami complex including a mosque and madrasah, as well as the Babur House Museum devoted to Babur –a famous ruler, patron of art and science, and author of many poetical texts.
After seeing the Fergana Valley, you’ll go back to the capital city where ends your very long and intensive route.
Yodgorlik Silk Factory in Margilan
Ceramic workshop in Rishtan near Kokand
Yodgorlik Silk Factory in Margilan
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