Tour #4

Discover khorezm and karakalpakstan

Itinerary:  Bukhara – Urgench – Khiva – Karakalpakstan (Ancient fortresses) – Khiva – Tashkent

Duration:  6 days /5 nights

This itinerary is designed to give you a sort of possibilities:
–        We can tailor this itinerary to suit your specific requirements;
–        Any aspects of the itinerary can be changed; 

Description: A historical and architectural tour of the fabulously beautiful Khiva and ancient fortresses.


Day 1: Bukhara - Khiva
After breakfast, travel by bus from Bukhara across the Kyzylkum desert via Urgench to Khiva (420km, 8-hour s).

- Lunch at a roadside restaurant in the desert. Settle at your hotel located in the immediate vicinity of the inner city, Ichan Qal’a.

- Dinner at a restaurant in Khiva.

Day 2: Khiva     
- Breakfast at the hotel.

- Сity tour. Discover the ancient city of Khiva. After flying over the endless Kyzylkum desert you will be able to imagine what important role this oasis city played during the times of caravan trade. Apart from its importance as trade metropolis it used to be a religious, cultural and science centre. The well preserved old city, Ichan Qal’a, inside the inner fortification walls, with its numerous mosques, mausoleums, minarets and its four gates has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The guided tour of "Ichan Qal'a" will start at the West Gate (Ota Darvoza, 17th-18th AD). It leads you past the huge Muhammad Amin-Khan Medressa (19th AD) used today as a hotel, to the unfinished, stout minaret Kalta Minor (1851 AD). You will visit the khan’s residence, the citadel Kunya-Ark (12th -19th AD) that includes a mosque, reception hall,

harem, mint, arsenal and a dungeon.

- Lunch at a restaurant in the old town.

- Continuation of the city tour at the Muhammed Rahim Khan Medressa (19th AD), which was used until 1873, when the khan surrendered to the Russian invader General Kaufmann and moved out of Ichan Qal’a. The Medressa contains a small museum of the khan who published several poems under the pen name Feruz. The huge fortress like palace, Tosh Hovli (Stone Courtyard), built by Allah Kuli Khan (1832-1841) is one of Khiva’s highlights. The palace had over 100 rooms, beautifully decorated with blue tiles and painted wooden ceilings.

- The next site is Juma Mosque with more than 200 beautifully carved wooden columns and a

minaret (10th-18th AD).

- Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum (1810th-1913th AD), a well-known active Muslim pilgrimage site with stunning tiling. Pahlavon Mahmud (14th AD), whose tomb stone is found there, was a famous wrestler, poet and philosopher.

- The next site is the Islam Hodja Medressa and the adjacent minaret (18th AD), which is the highest observation point in town (57m). The medressa houses the Museum of Applied Arts that exhibits ancient Khorezm handicrafts. Islam Hodja, the vizier of the khan, was a reformer. He introduced the telegraph as means of communication and built the first European style school and a hospital. Inside the Abdulla Khan Medressa, is a small nature museum with the adjacent small Oq Mosque (White Mosque, 1657 AD), located near the Palvan-Darvoza (1838-1842).

- Tea break at Allakuli Khan Medressa, including a performance of a traditional Khorezm dancing group.

- Dinner in a restaurant in the old town of Khiva.

Day 3: Karakalpakstan (Ancient fortresses) - Khiva   
- Full day excursion to the ancient fortresses in neighbouring Karakalpakstan.

- Already 2000 years ago, people who lived in the fertile Amu-Darya delta built many fortresses to defend themselves against the invasions of nomadic tribes, who lived with their herds in the Kyzylkum desert. Most of the fortresses are located at the edge of the Sultan Uiz Dag mountain range.

- From Khiva you will travel 100km passing the towns of Urgench, Beruni and Boston to reach Toprak-Qal’a. The rectangular for tress dates back to the 2nd and 3r d century AD and was built on a 9m high platform. The city included a temple, a residential area and gardens. You will pass the nearby Kizil Qal’a, a small but well preserved fortresses that might have been an army base.

- Ayaz Qal’a is one of the most spectacular for tr esses of the region. It consist of three fortress complexes. The view from Ayaz Qal’a to the Kyzylkum desert, the small lake Ayaz, the Sultan-Uiz range and the oasis is stunning.

- Lunch at Ayaz Qal’a yurt camp, famous for its traditional dishes.

- On the way back, we will pass the huge city walls of Guldursun Qal’a (12th century) and learn about the fascinating legend of this fortress.

- Dinner in a restaurant in Khiva.

Day 4: Khiva   
After breakfast at the hotel in Khiva we will discover very special sights in and around Khiva. Passing the new bazaar and drive towards Yangiariq village. Leaving behind the village of Oqmajid where German Mennonites lived (from 1883-1935), we reach the mosque, mausoleum, complex of Shayh Muhtor Valiy (20km from Khiva), a priest who came from the Iran to preach the Islamic religion. This famous Muslim pilgrimage site surrounded by a huge cemetery is visited by a lot of worshipers. Experience the special flair of this place when the resident imam blesses all the visitors and prays with them. Drive back and turn left after Oqmajid. On your right hand site, you pass big fish farms on your left the dunes of the Karakum. The road ends at a channel just before the Turkmen border. Walk up the dunes to enjoy the flora and fauna of the desert. Return along the irrigation channel that connects the lakes and the farmland around Khiva (1 hour).

- Lunch at the local fish restaurant at Ota Xarrat. The fish will be caught fresh as soon as you order. From you table or tapchan you can watch the birdlife on the lake. Even rare species such as Kingfishers, Black crowned night herons and beautiful birds like the Blue cheeked bee-eaters and Rollers can be spotted.

- Back in Khiva, visit Nurullaboy Palace, built in 1912 by Isfandiyar Khan for the reception of foreign guests. Nurullaboy Palace differs from the other royal residences in Khiva by its exceptional mixture of Russian and oriental building styles and its extravagant ornamentation.

- Visit of several traditional craft workshops (wood carving, silk carpet weaving, suzani embroidery centre).

- Dinner at Toza Bog’, the beautiful summer residence of the Khan located in a huge fruit and vegetable garden.

Day 5: Khiva - Karakalpakstan   
- After breakfast in the hotel in Khiva, drive via Urgench, Beruni to Nukus (210km). On the way, short stop at Chilpik, a Zoroastrian tower of silence, built between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. On top of this site, bodies of the diseased were exposed to the elements and to birds of prey until the flesh had been cleared from the bones before they could be buried.

- In Nukus, the capital of the autonomic Republic of Karakalpakstan, guided tour through the famous Savitsky Art Museum (2 hours) well-known for its huge collection of Russian avantgarde paintings and Karakalpak folk art.

- Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Nukus.

- Visit the impressive archaeological site Mizdakhan, the ruins of an ancient city located 20km west of Nukus spread over three hills. Several mausoleums are surrounded by a huge cemetery that is still in use. Return to Nukus.

- Dinner and accommodation in a hotel in Nukus.

Day 6: Karakalpakstan - Tashkent
Return flight from Nukus to Tashkent.

End of tour 


Services included in main tour price:

–        Accommodation in the hotels on double/twin sharing bases;
–        English speaking guide service (to be ordered);
–        Transport service all over the tours including transfers airport – hotel – airport;
–        Letter of invitation (if required) for Uzbekistan visa;
–        Lunches and dinners
–        Entrance fees to the museums, mausoleums and other sites;
–        Air ticket for the domestic flights;

Services excluded in main tour price:

–        Beverages and meals not included in main menu;
–        Photo and video charges at monuments and museums;
–        Cost of entrance visa;
–        Personal insurance;
–        All personal expenses (extra luggage fee, room services and etc);
–        Tips for guides and drivers;
–        Trip cancellation / accident insurance;

We hope that our suggested program you like and are willing to accept your proposals to change the program to meet your wishes and requirements. Any suggestions on the tour program are welcome. Tour price provide upon request. The tour cost depends on the services, hotel categories and number of people.