Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan in 12 Days
Central Asian Cities & Silk Road
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.
12 days trip including flights*
10 days and 9 nights in destination
LON - NQZ
LON - NQZ
TAS - LON
TAS - LON
* It may change depending of your departure city, departure date and arrival date.
The calendar does not display internal flights, trains or other transportation included in the itinerary.
Arrive at your UK/Ireland departure airport, ready to board a flight to Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. Night on board.*
* 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.
Arrive in the early hours, transfer to the hotel and overnight stay in Nur-Sultan.* Breakfast at the hotel. Today, embark on a city tour to get to know this modern city, recently renamed Nur-Sultan after the former Kazakh president. Visit the Bayterek Tower, a true symbol of the country, the Independence Monument and the impressive President's Cultural Centre. Next, stop at the National Museum of Kazakhstan, home to amazing relics of the country's fascinating history before discovering the Astana Mosque, an Orthodox Church and the open-air Atameken Ethno Memorial Complex. Having gained a valuable insight into the sights and history of Nur-Sultan, end the tour at the Alzhir Memorial Complex, 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.
* Early-check-in included.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start the day with a transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Almaty, 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 city tour of Almaty. Visit the highlights of the city including the huge Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, the Cathedral of the Ascension, built entirely from wood, and the charming Museum of Musical Instruments. Next, visit the Green Bazaar 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 Shymbulak, approximately 2500 metres above sea level. As night falls, transfer to Kok Tobe, 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.
Please note: The itinerary of today's tour is subject to alterations depending on changes that the airlines can make to their schedules.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Arrive in Tashkent, 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. Overnight stay in Tashkent.
* Optional Midday Tashkent Tour: 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.
* Optional Afternoon Tashkent Tour: 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.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, set off to visit Tashkent Old Town. Admire Kukeldash Madrasa, the largest in the city. From the Madrasa's towers, the melodic call of prayer is announced. Take a stroll through the exotic Chorsu Bazaar, a covered market whose main building has an elegant turquoise dome. Next, explore the modern part of the city and discover the amazing contrasts as you visit Independence Square, Eternity Square, the amazing Romanov Palace and Amir Temur Square. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to board a flight to Urgench.* Arrive and transfer to Khiva. Check in to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure. Overnight stay in Khiva.
* Please note: in 2021 the flight from Tashkent to Urgench will be on the morning of day 3 of your trip, therefore you will have 2 nights in Tashkent instead of 1, and 1 in Khiva instead of 2.
Breakfast at the hotel. Set off to visit the Itchan-Kala architectural complex, protected by high brick walls and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Khiva was part of the Silk Road Triangle, 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, visit Tash Hovli Palace, built of stone and blue coloured ceramics brought from China. End the visit at the Juma 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.
* Optional Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud Excursion: Discover the Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud, a philosopher, poet, fighter, tanner craftsman and founder of a branch of Sufism. Afterwards, enjoy the sunset from the Oq-Sheykh Bobo viewpoint.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave by road to Bukhara, southeast of Khiva. During the 8-9 hour journey, cross the Kizil-Kum Desert which means 'red sands' in Arabic and see the historic Amudarya River, which marks the border with Kazakhstan. Arrive in Bukhara in the afternoon, transfer to the hotel and spend any free time exploring this atmospheric city at your leisure. Overnight stay in Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the city of Samarkand, located 290 kilometres east of Bukhara. Arrive in Samarkand and, in the afternoon, take a guided city tour. See the legendary Registan Square, where you can admire spectacular madrasas, dating back to between the 4th and 7th-centuries, such as Ulughbek, Shir-Dor and Tilla-Kori. Next, visit the Guri Emir Mausoleum, to explore the tomb of Tamerlane, built in the 15th-century and a precursor and for many later Mughal tombs around the world. Overnight stay in Samarkand.
Breakfast at the hotel. Begin the day with a visit to Bibi-Khanum Mosque and the charming Siab Bazaar, where locals sell their artisan wares, the perfect place to shop for souvenirs. You also have the option to book an optional tour of the beautiful Shakhi Zinda architectural complex.* In the afternoon, transfer to the station to board a train back to Tashkent. Arrive in the capital of Uzbekistan and transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in Tashkent.
* Optional Shakhi Zinda Architectural Complex Tour: Discover the mind-blowing mosaics of the Shaki Zinda Architectural Complex, home to an ensemble of ancient mausoleums dating back to around the 6th-century. Afterwards, see the beautiful Ulughbek Observatory to trace Uzbekistan's astronomical heritage.
Breakfast* 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.
* 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.
Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.
*In case the advertised hotels are not available they will be replaced by one of these alternative hotels with the same quality: Hilton Garden Inn Astana.
Included activity for day 2 in Nur-Sultan
Duration 05:30h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
City Tour of Nursultan
Visit Bayterek Tower, the Independence Monument and the impressive President's Cultural Centre. Explore the National Museum of Kazakhstan, Astana Mosque and the open-air Atameken Ethno Memorial Complex. End the tour at the Alzhir Memorial Complex.
Included activity for day 3 in Almaty
Duration 03:30h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
City Tour of Almaty
Visit the highlights of the city including the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, the Cathedral of the Ascension, the charming Museum of Musical Instruments and the Green Bazaar. Finally, take a cable car up to Shymbulak ski resort.
Included activity for day 3
Duration 02:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
Kok Tobe Mountain Visit
As night falls, transfer to Kok Tobe, an impressive observatory from where you can contemplate the sheer beauty of the city and its surroundings.
Included activity for day 5 in Tashkent
Duration 04:00h Approx. Pick up time: 08:00 Approx
Half-Day Tashkent Old & New Tour
Discover the highlights of Tashkent Old Town including the enormous Kukeldash Madrasa and the exotic Chorsu Bazaar. Next, explore the modern part of the city and discover contrasts as you visit the city's spacious squares and see the Romanov Palace.
What's included: Transfer & guide
If you have reduced mobility you can request assistance for these activities by speaking to one of our experts
Suggested activity for day 4 in Tashkent
Duration 03:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
Afternoon City Tour in Tashkent
2-3 hour city tour of Tashkent. Visit the History Museum of Uzbekistan and the White Mosque and explore the city's metro system.
Suggested activity for day 4
Duration 02:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
Midday City Tour in Tashkent
2-hour tour of Tashkent to see the Hasti Imam complex: Barak Kan Madrasa, Kafal Shohi Madrasa, Tilla Seykh mosque and the Museum of Usman Coran. Finally, visit Victory Park.
Suggested activity for day 6 in Khiva
Duration 00:30h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud Excursion in Khiva
Discover the Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmud, a philosopher, poet, fighter, tanner craftsman and founder of a branch of Sufism. Afterwards, enjoy the sunset from the Oq-Sheykh Bobo viewpoint.
Suggested activity for day 8
Duration 01:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination
Ark Citadel & Chor Minor Excursion in Bukhara
Visit the amazing Ark citadel, an imposing fortress dating back to the 5th-century and see the impressive Chor Minor, a historic gatehouse for a now-destroyed madrasa.
The price includes
- Included in all our trips. more information
- Departures from the main UK/Ireland airports.
- International flights: UK/Ireland - Nur-Sultan, Tashkent - UK/Ireland.
- Internal flights: Nur-Sultan - Almaty, Almaty - Tashkent, Tashkent - Urgench. *more information
- Train ticket from Samarkand - Tashkent.
- 9 nights accommodation + 1 Early check-in in Nur-Sultan in Charm and Superior category hotels. **more informationSee hotels included
- 9 Breakfasts. ***more information
- Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles.
- Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary with an English-speaking guide.See itinerary
- All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
- ATOL Protection.
Entrances, drinks, tips and any other services not mentioned in what's included.
* Documentation of the internal flights will either be available in the "My bookings" section in your "Customer Area" 14 days before your trip or delivered to you on arrival at your destination. It is essential to fill in the passport information correctly for each passenger in the given boxes at the end of the reservations process.
** If you arrive in the early hours, early check-in at the hotel will be included so you will have access to your room immediately.
*** Possibility to add daily lunch in the next step of the booking process.
- Entry requirementsPassport with a minimum of 6 months validity.
- VisaVisa not required for stays of up to 30 days.
- CurrencyKazakhstani Tenge.
- ElectricityType C & F, 220V 50Hz
- HealthVaccines recommended. Check with your doctor before travel.
- Time zoneUTC + 6
- Other useful informationThe capital of Kazakhstan was renamed from Astana to Nur-Sultan in March 2019.
- Tourist Office websitehttps://visitkazakhstan.kz/en/
Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline’s website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.
Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same, or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.
Exoticca Travel Stories
Creating unforgettable memories, one traveller at a time
Wonderful trip to Uzbekistan
This is the third time we have travelled with Exoticca and each holiday has been well organised, with great guides and itineraries. All the arrangements and included excursions were well run. Would definitely use Exoticca again, particularly for multi-centre holidays.