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Russia & Uzbekistan in 17 Days

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Imperial Cities & Secrets of the Silk Road

Trip Highlights
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Bukhara
Khiva
Samarkand
Tashkent
Moscow
Saint Petersburg
Included
All flights
Accommodation
All transfers.
Activities
Breakfast only
Availability
Departures Available
until October 2022
available
From + £ 310
Categories available
superior
included
Included in all our trips
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  • Free Cancellation
  • Flexible Booking
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  • Exoticca is fully ABTA and ATOL protected
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Discover the imperial cities of Russia, from Moscow's spectacular Red Square to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Next, travel to Uzbekistan, a land of blue domes, madrasas and bazaars. Experience the contrasts of Tashkent and see the fortified city of Khiva. Enjoy the unspoilt charms of Bukhara and explore the legendary city of Samarkand, famous for its awe-inspiring architecture.

1st Day: UK/Ireland - Moscow

Arrive at your UK/Ireland departure airport ready to catch a flight* to Moscow. Touch down in Moscow, and transfer** to the hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure and feel free to get out and about to discover Moscow at your own pace! Overnight stay in Moscow.

* 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.

** Transfers are not included between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. You will have the possibility to add transfers between these times in the next stage of the booking process.

2nd Day: Moscow

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, head off to Gorki Leninskiye, once a retreat for Muscovite noblemen, before later being nationalized under the Soviet government and used by Lenin in his later years. Discover its history and its beautiful architecture. Return to Moscow in the afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at your leisure, exploring this iconic city at your own pace. We recommend an optional city tour to uncover Moscow's most emblematic sights.* Overnight stay in Moscow.

Optional Moscow City Tour: Enjoy a fascinating city tour, which allows you to discover the best and most interesting parts of Moscow. Explore the historical center, including Red Square and the beautiful Sofiiskaya Embankment. Then, visit the modern parts of Moscow. and enjoy a panoramic view of the hills of Vorobyevy, taking in the famous '7 Sisters', the Soviet skyscrapers built by Stalin.

 

3rd Day: Moscow

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, discover the Kremlin and its cathedrals, one of the most impressive artistic ensembles in the world. Inside you will see the majestic Arsenal, the Senate, Congress Palace, the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Czar's Canyon and the cathedrals of the Archangel Michael of the Twelve Apostles and the Assumption. In the afternoon, visit Moscow's impressive Metro stations and enjoy a walking tour through lively Arbat Street in the heart of the city. Overnight stay in Moscow.

4th Day: Moscow - St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, visit the Tretyakov Gallery, which is home to the largest and most impressive collection of Russian fine art in the world. Be amazed by the splendor of your surroundings and the beautiful works of art as you discover the vast number of priceless masterpieces. Later, transfer to the station to take the Sapsan Bullet Train, a high-speed train, from Moscow to St. Petersburg. On arrival, transfer from the station to the hotel. Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

5th Day: St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. Discover St. Petersburg at your own pace today as you enjoy the day at your leisure. Soak up the atmosphere of this cultural center or perhaps explore some of the city's fantastic museums. Alternatively, we recommend an optional city tour.* Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

* Optional St. Petersburg City Tour: Enjoy a guided city tour of St. Petersburg, whose historical center contains a great number of monuments and buildings of baroque and neo-classical architecture. Also visit the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul, the pantheon of the Russian Tsars, which dates back to the time of Peter the Great.

For departures between April and October, you will visit the Hermitage on Day 6 of the itinerary and enjoy the optional city tour and visit of Peter & Paul Fortress on Day 7 of the itinerary.

6th Day: St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, set off to the Winter Palace, former residence of the Russian Tsars. In its interior find the most famous museum in the world, the Hermitage, whose collection has more than three million works of art by legendary artists such as Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. Later, enjoy a free afternoon in which we suggest visiting the gardens of Petrodvorets to stroll among its beautiful fountains, with waterfalls decorated with dozens of golden sculptures. Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

For departures between April and October, you will visit the Hermitage on Day 6 of the itinerary and enjoy the optional city tour and visit of Peter & Paul Fortress on Day 7 of the itinerary.

7th Day: St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the hotel. Spend your final day in Russia exploring St. Petersburg at your leisure. Discover its grandiose buildings, such as Peterhof palace and experience local life along Nevsky Avenue, at the heart of the city. Overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

8th Day: St. Petersburg - Night on board

Breakfast at the hotel. Bid farewell to Russia as you transfer to the airport ready to board your flight to Tashkent. Night on board.

* Early transfers are not included for flights leaving before 10:00 a.m. You will have the possibility to add transfers in the next stage of the booking process. 

9th Day: Tashkent

Arrive in Tashkent*, the capital of Uzbekistan, and transfer to the hotel. Spend the day at your leisure, exploring the city as you wish. We recommend getting to know the capital with an optional city tour of Tashkent.* Overnight stay in Tashkent.

* Your outbound flight may arrive very late in the evening, or in the early hours of the following morning, so you have the option to book early check-in. 

** Optional Tashkent Tour (Midday) Take a 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.

** Optional Tashkent Tour (Afternoon): Take an afternoon tour of Tashkent to see the highlights of the city and visit the History Museum of Uzbekistan, the White Mosque and the Metro system.

10th Day: Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva

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.

11th Day: Khiva

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. 

12th Day: Khiva - Bukhara

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.

13th Day: Bukhara
Breakfast at the hotel. Set off on a comprehensive tour of the UNESCO-protected city of Bukhara. Visit the beautiful Mausoleum of the Samanids, known for its significance to the Islamic faith, the holy spring of Chashmai Ayub and the charming Bolo Hauz Mosque. Afterwards, explore the spectacular Lyabi Hauz Architectural Complex, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Here you can admire two madrasas, sat on the banks of a picturesque lake, as well as a number of eye-catching mosques, which showcase an array of historic architectural styles. Continue the tour of the city with a visit to the Kalyan minaret, part of the Poi Kalyan Architectural Complex. Visit one of the largest mosques in Central Asia: Kalon Mosque and the striking Miri Arab Madrasa before heading to Bukhara's atmospheric bazaar, a huge domed construction home to countless artisan workshops and stalls selling local wares. You can complete your visit by adding an optional tour to the impressive Chor Minor and the Ark Citadel.* Overnight stay in Bukhara.  
 
Optional Ark Citadel & Chor Minor Excursion: 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.
14th Day: Bukhara - Samarkand

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.

15th Day: Samarkand - Tashkent

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. 

16th Day: Tashkent - Night on board

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.

17th Day: UK/Ireland

Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.

17 days trip including flights*

16 days and 15 nights in destination

1

LON - MOW

Moscow

2

Moscow

3

Moscow

4

St. Petersburg

5

St. Petersburg

6

St. Petersburg

7

St. Petersburg

8

Tachkent

9

Khiva

10

Khiva

11

Bukhara

12

Bukhara

13

Samarkand

14

Tachkent

15

TAS - LON

16

TAS - LON

17

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.

Accommodation: 15 Nights

Select your hotel category:
Included in all our trips

Available Activities

Activities availability is subject to departure dates and itinerary selected.
See the price of optional activities after selecting the date in the next step
Optional

Moscow City Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour city tour of Moscow including Red Square and the beautiful Sofiiskaya Embankment as well as the modern parts of the city. Entrances not included.
Suggested activity for day 2
Optional

St. Petersburg City Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour guided city tour of St. Petersburg including the impressive Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul, the pantheon of the Russian Tsars.
Suggested activity for day 5
Optional

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 9
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The price includes

  • Included in all our trips. 
    more information
  • Departures from main UK/Ireland airports.
  • International flights: UK/Ireland - Moscow, Tashkent - UK/Ireland.
  • International and internal flights: St. Petersburg - Tashkent - Urgench. *
    more information
  • Train journeys from Moscow to St. Petersburg and from Samarkand to Tashkent in Economy class.
  • 14 nights accommodation in Charm and Superior category hotels.
    See hotels included
  • 14 breakfasts.
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles. **
    more information
  • Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary with an English-speaking guide.
    See itinerary
  • All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
  • Letter of invitation to process your Russian visa. ***
    more information
  • ATOL Protection.

Not included

Visa (for Russia), drinks, entrances, 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.

** Transfers are not included for flights arriving in Moscow between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. and for flights leaving St. Petersburg before 10:00 a.m. If your flights fall between these times, you have the possibility to add transfers in the next step of the booking process. 

*** Once your booking and details of your reservation are confirmed, you will receive an invitation letter from our supplier. You will receive it at least one month before your departure date. We are able to provide a visa invitation letter for the proposed duration of the original tour ONLY. If you are extending your stay in Russia you will be required to arrange any additional invitation letters/documentation independently, in order to obtain a visa for the entirety of your stay in Russia. Alternatively, for approx. 20 euros per person we can arrange for a third-party invitation letter to be issued by your chosen accommodation.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOUR PASSPORT DETAILS ARE CORRECT FOR THE LETTER OF INVITATION. The letter is necessary for making your visa application: IT IS NOT A VISA. If you have any questions please contact our customer service department on 02080683176.

British Passport holders require a visa to enter Russia. For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk/

  • Entry requirements
    Passport with a minimum of six months validity.
  • Visa
    A visa is required to enter the country. This is issued at the consulate. You will be required to travel to the consulate in person with your invitation letter. Two seperate trips to the consulate may be required.
  • Currency
    Russian Ruble.
  • Language
    Russian.
  • Electricity
    220 V. 2 pin European adapter required.
  • Health
    There are no mandatory vaccinations for travellers from EU countries.
  • Time zone
    GMT + 03:00.
  • Other useful information
    Due to its size, Russia has great climatic variation however the predominant climate is continental.
  • Tourist Office website
    https://europe.russia.travel/ 

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.

In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or canceled without prior notice.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office offer up-to-date travel advice by visiting www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.  

 

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