Uzbekistan tour, Road to Samarkand

“Take one of the oldest journeys in the world. This 12-day trip through Uzbekistan gives you ample time to take in the fascinating history of the Silk Road, a route that has passed through the country since the 2nd Century BCE.”

Highlights

Tashkent | Urgench | Khiva | The Silk Route | Bokhara | Yangikasgan desert camp | Samarkand | Overnight Yurt stay | Optional activities include a camel ride

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03 Apr 2020
US $2110
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06 Apr 2020
US $2020
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10 Apr 2020
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22 May 2020
US $1990
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29 May 2020
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05 Jun 2020
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07 Aug 2020
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14 Aug 2020
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11 Sep 2020
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18 Sep 2020
US $2110
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25 Sep 2020
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02 Oct 2020
US $2110
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09 Oct 2020
US $1990
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Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Uzbekistan tour, Road to Samarkand

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

Uzbekistan has seen recent dramatic improvements to its infrastructure, meaning it’s now possible to travel several legs of our journey on the new ‘Afrosiyob’ bullet train. It’s a great experience traveling on this modern train, with the chance to mix with the local people and watch the scenery roll past the window. Traveling by public transport of course has another benefit too; it’s better for the environment as it reduces our reliance on specially chartered vehicles. When coaches are being used, we keep the size of the coach to a minimum, so rather than using gas guzzling 40-50 seaters we opt for more environmental friendly 15-25 seat coaches that use less fuel and therefore admit less carbon.

In Yangikasgan we stay in a yurt at a desert camp. Yurts are circular dwellings made from felt and insulated with sheepskins and are the typical accommodation of the nomadic people of Central Asia. They are completely sustainable and portable so they can be moved from camp to camp.

There are plenty of opportunities to experience local cuisine and some of the highlights are a lunch in a local house in Nurata and stopping at a local tea house in Samarkand for a traditional Kokchai tea.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

Community

Uzbekistan is known for its bustling bazaars, they are a haven for anybody interested in local quality handicrafts and seeing artisan’s at work. We visit several on this trip, and with the help of our expert local guide we promote responsible bartering for the handicrafts, intricate woodworks and souvenirs on display. This responsible approach ensures striking a balance between tourists not paying over the odds, and allowing for a decent and fair price to be reached for the products purchased, meaning both parties walk away happy.

One reason we use local tour leaders is so they can help bridge any cultural gaps between us and the local people. As well as helping to unlock many aspects of the destination; employing a local tour leader, local guides, drivers, and cameleers all contributes in supporting the local community through employment and training.

Our supplier is a small locally owned company and over the past 25 years we have built a long standing, mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

2 Reviews of Uzbekistan tour, Road to Samarkand

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 19 Apr 2019 by

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


Loved beautiful buildings and people friendly and welcoming

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


Take water filter bottle to help reduce use of plastic bottles. May need soft pillow as bedding and pillows was hard in some hotels.

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


Yes country needs tourism and is developing fast. But now unspoilt and very safe and welcoming. People proud of their country which has well maintained buildings and is clean and culturally really interesting.

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


10/10

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2019 by

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


Registan Square in Samarkand. Stunning

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


Be prepared for a basic lack of hygiene, with inevitable results! Public (toilets) are often poor and quite unsavoury. Seek out the best restaurants you can - they won’t be expensive and will offer something more exciting than the standard tourist menus of shashlik, plot or dumplings. Never drink the local tap water (including ice).

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


Not really - other than providing them with the tourist dollar.

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


Guide was very good, group was a good mix and a manageable size. Overall very enjoyable.

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