Saga Holidays - Solo Holidays January-December 2020 TRADE
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The Silk Route to Samarkand

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UZBEKISTAN The Silk Route to Samarkand 10 nights from 2149 Including optional travel insurance or from 2078 without insurance. Embark on an eastern adventure to the exotic cities of Uzbekistan, an historic crossroads on the Great Silk Route's path across Central Asia. Travel across a landscape little changed since the days of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. Venture behind Khiva's historic city walls ACTIVITY LEVEL Day 1: UK-Tashkent. Fly overnight to Tashkent. Day 2: Tashkent-Urgench-Khiva. After a late breakfast fly to Urgench and transfer to Khiva for two nights. Once the last staging post for merchants preparing to tackle the desert sands en route to Persia, Khiva's inner fortress, Itchan Kala, was an important stop on the Silk Route. Look forward to a welcome drink and dinner this evening. (The number of nights spent in Tashkent and Khiva may vary.) B, D Day 3: Khiva. Today's walking tour reveals Khiva's Itchan Kala, an architectural treasure trove of restored mud-walled monuments. Highlights include the Ismail Khodja Mausoleum, the 16th-century Kunya-Ark Castle and 19th-century Muhammed Amin Khan Madrassah. Lunch is at a restaurant, with dinner and a folk show at the 19th-century Kibla Tozabog, summer residence of the Khiva Khans. (Between November and March this will be at an alternative venue.) B, L, D Day 4: Bukhara. A long day's journey takes you across the Kyzyl-Kum or Red Desert, which once took laden camel caravans a month! After a packed lunch continue to Bukhara for a three-night stay. B, L, D Day 5: Bukhara. A centre of trade and education for more than 2,000 years, Bukhara was a major city on the Great Silk Route and played a significant role in the ancient Islamic world's quest for knowledge. It is the best example of a medieval city in Central Asia. See its key sights on a walking tour of the old town, and the 10th-century Samanids Mausoleum. Later, perhaps browse the 15th to 16th-century bazaars. Dinner, with a Bukharian cookery class, is at a guest house. B, D Day 6: Bukhara. Visit the magnificent 16th to 19th-century Naqshbandi Mausoleum, built for the founder of the Naqshbandi Sufi order. Beautiful blue-glazed tiles adorn the facade of this domed, multi-arched masterpiece. Also visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, a reminder of Uzbekistan's era of Russian rule. After an embroidery masterclass, stroll through atmospheric Bukhara to a restaurant for dinner and a folk and fashion show tonight. B, D Day 7: Samarkand. Relax on a journey to Samarkand, where you stay for two nights. Visit the Afrosiyab Museum, with dinner at a restaurant. B, D Day 8: Samarkand. Admire the colourful mosaics, blue domes and lofty arches of Registan Square on today's tour. This grand plaza is bordered on three sides by splendid structures built by the Timurid dynasty. Also visit the exquisitely beautiful Shakhi-Zinda Guri Emir Mausoleum, a breathtaking street of ornate blue-tiled mausolea, the final resting place of the country's great and good for over 800 years. Look forward to your included drinks party at a wine tasting venue and dinner at a local restaurant. B, D Day 9: Shakhrisabz-Tashkent. Travel through the Tahta-karacha Pass to Shakhrisabz to discover 14th to 15th-century Timurid mosques, mausoleums and the ruined gateway of Ak-Saray Palace. After lunch, return to Samarkand for the two-hour Afrosiab high-speed train journey to Tashkent. Stay two nights. B, L, D Day 10: Tashkent. Explore modern Tashkent and visit the Museum of History, the Museum of Applied Art and the Khast-Imam complex. This evening, take a tour of the opera and ballet theatre before a farewell dinner. B, D Day 11: Tashkent-UK. After a morning at leisure take your return flight to the UK. B Accommodation... stay in the following or similar hotels: Asia Khiva (3*) Asia Bukhara (4*) Grand Samarkand (4*) Lotte City Palace (4*), Tashkent. Uzbekistan Urgench Khiva Tashkent Bukhara nights in hotel Samarkand Shakhrisabz 34 To book, please visit your Travel Agent