Uzbekistan vacation

“Uzbekistan provides an unforgettable melange of Silk Road and Soviet history, timeless desert castles plus rich rural culture.”

Highlights

Tashkent | Nukus | Aral Sea | Ayaz Kala | Desert castles | Yurt and characterful village accommodation | Khiva | Bukhara | Nurata Nature Reserve | Samarkand

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip is tailor made and departs year round, every Tuesday
Pricing:
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Responsible tourism

Uzbekistan vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the fragile eco-structure of the desert is not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our guides are trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to all trips in all regions, and as tour operators is something we are careful to promote. In each area we employ and develop close relationships with drivers and guides. We feel the interaction between our friends and our clients offers both parties a valuable understanding between cultures.

Community

In Uzbekistan we use local ground handlers who in turn book locally run hotels, providing employment for a number of members of staff and support families. The ground handlers also use local drivers and local guides at the sites – our clients are taken to local family run restaurants. This means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy. For example in Samarkand we take our clients to a paper making factory that is reviving the traditional form of paper manufacture that only died out in the early part of the 20th century. This is reviving an ancient art and providing local employment.

5 Reviews of Uzbekistan vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 22 Apr 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand as expected, but the petroglyphs at Sarmish Say gorge were also outstanding.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Consider including a trip to Sarmish Say gorge (not on the standard recommended route). The associated yurt camp/hotel is very comfortable with yurts with integrated bathrooms (and they were installing satellite TV!) and excellent food. It is adjacent to the gorge with >4,000 petroglyphs, and is much more impressive that the small number of petroglyphs included on other trips. Try to make sure you stay in the Orient Star in Khiva (very atmospheric converted madrassah). Some walking in the Nurata mountains is highly recommended, even though we had to cut short because of rain. Bring a torch in case of power cuts. Very relaxed Muslims - no need to wear head scarfs, even in mosques, and alcohol is easy to obtain.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, certainly in the Nurata mountains, and otherwise mostly stayed in small hotels.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent, easy country to visit, though roads around Nukus/Khiva/Bukhara are challenging in parts.

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


There are a few! But I think for me the stay in yurt camps and remoteness of Kyrgyzstan, as well as the contrast of history and architecture in Uzbekistan will stay with me the most.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Check you are happy with the itinerary! There is a lot of travel by road which takes a long time. Also the age/demographic of fellow travelers: I was the youngest by 20 years and whilst we got on well, others might feel limited or like they have less in common with each other.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think the trip tried to benefit local people as we toured workshops and we're able to buy souvenirs directly from the makers.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a good and very interesting trip, full of contrasts. I would have liked more free time to explore more independently.

Reviewed on 28 May 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The magnificent Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand... meeting local people both in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (both adults and children wanting to practise their English with us); hearing authentic traditional music; wonderful mountain scenery in north Tajikistan and the warm welcomes we received everywhere.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It was a very full schedule and we made a conscious decision not to try and do everything, especially as we experienced travel delays in Tajikistan due to very poor roads (and road closures). Be prepared for possible stomach upsets and basic plumbing. If that doesn't worry you, then you will have one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking trips of your life and you should go!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


With one possible exception (in Tashkent) we stayed in locally owned/managed hotels and homestays, and our meals/shopping will have benefitted local people. Tajikistan in particular is very keen to build tourism after its civil war, and we felt the fact we'd travelled there had a positive effect on the people we met.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very well organised, fascinating, memorable and packed with thought-provoking information. Feel I've been on a rollercoaster history lesson from 500 BC to the 21st century. Highly recommended.

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The flight in the Russian helicopter to base camp, the cycling & horse riding through amazing scenery, Emma's cooking and great traveling companions.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The first week is fairly relaxed but the second week is full on - 75km is the first day's bike ride after an 8 hour trek over the pass (which we didn't do because of bad weather). Take padded shorts for cycling & horse riding. You don't need to pack snacks as they are always on the table and lots in the shops.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we used local homestays, yurts and camps. We bought items in local shops in villages and towns. When 'wild' camping everything was taken in and taken away.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a great trip with such varied scenery and activities. The tour leader and guide were very knowledgeable and made every effort to make sure that all went well.

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


How wonderful the people were.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The buildings and culture are out of this world but don't go for the cuisine.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Most certainly because we only dealt with local people and that was so important.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a totally different experience, challenging on occassions (the roads) but absolutely well worth it.

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