World Heritage Tours - World Heritage Tours - Tours in the Middle East, Tours in South America, Tours in Indochina, Tours in Africa,  African Safaris

World Heritage Tours - World Heritage Tours - Tours in the Middle East, Tours in South America, Tours in Indochina, Tours in Africa,  African Safaris

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A World Heritage Sites Tour of Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan
Central Asia's best treasures in culture and heritage are most evident in the two states of Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan. The nostalgia that one gets from just hearing names of civilization epochs like Merv, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Shakhri-sabz takes us back to the times of the Arabian Nights. Walking through the narrow lanes of these places gets us right to where it actually took place.

Tour Summary
Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
03 Ashgabat/Mary/Ashgabat
Ashgabat/Dashoguz/Kunya Urgench/Nukus (UZBEKISTAN)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Visited
This tour has been tailored to include the following World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites in Uzbekistan covered on this tour
Historic Sites of Samarkand, Uzbekistan (2001) The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures. Founded in the 7th century BC as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasahs, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory.
City of Shakhrisyabz, Uzbekistan (2000) The historic centre of Shakhrisyabz contains a collection of exceptional monuments and ancient quarters which bear witness to the centuries of its history, and particularly to the period of its apogee, under the empire of Timur, in the 15th century.
Historic Sites of Bukhara, Uzbekistan (1993) Situated on The Silk Road, Bukhara is more than two thousand years old. It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. The monuments of interest include the Ismail Samani's famous tomb, a masterpiece of 10th-century Moslem architecture, and a number of 17th-century mþdersas.
Historic Sites of Khiva (1990) Along with Samarkand and Bukhara, Khiva is an important and often overlooked historical site on what was once the Great Silk Road (Uzbek: Buyuk Ipak Yol'i). Famous for it's long and brutal history as a slave trading post sandwiched in between the vast Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts, Khiva is now a quiet, sleepy oasis that awaits busloads of tourists instead of caravans of captives. It's difficult imagine what exactly ancient Khiva was like, considering the historical areas were restored to a scrubbed and squeaky-clean look by the Soviets in the 1970s. However, the clustered array of mosques, madrassahs and tiled minarets within a area of less than 3km give you a sense of how crowded and bustling this town must have been throughout it's history.
World Heritage Sites in Turkmenistan covered on this tour
Historic sites of Kunya-Urgench (2005) Kunya-Urgench is situated in northwestern Turkmenistan, on the south side of the Amu Daria River. Urgench was the capital of the Khorezm region, part of the Achaemenid Empire. The old town contains a series of monuments mainly from the 11th to 16th centuries, including a mosque, the gates of a caravanserai, fortresses, mausoleums and a minaret. The monuments testify to outstanding achievements in architecture and craftsmanship whose influence reached Iran and Afghanistan, and later the architecture of the Mogul Empire of 16th-century India.
Parthian Fortresses of Nisa, Turkmenistan (2007) The Parthian Fortresses of Nisa consist of two tells of Old and New Nisa, indicating the site of one of the earliest and most important cities of the Parthian Empire, a major power from the mid 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. They conserve the unexcavated remains of an ancient civilization which skilfully combined its own traditional cultural elements with those of the Hellenistic and Roman west. Archaeological excavations in two parts of the site have revealed richly decorated architecture, illustrative of domestic, state and religious functions. Situated at the crossroads of important commercial and strategic axes, this powerful empire formed a barrier to Roman expansion while serving as an important communication and trading centre between east and west, north and south.
Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
This evening you are scheduled to arrive Ashgabat.  Once clearing through Customs & Immigration, you will be met by our local representative for a transfer to your hotel
Overnight: Nusay Hotel (3 nights)

Day 02: Ashgabat
Start a city tour of Ashgabat/capital of Turkmenistan, which has experienced boom of “Marble Architecture” for the past 15 years. Explore archeological site of Old Nissa (UNESCO World Heritage) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. Visit the National Museum of History, and continue to Arch of Neutrality. In the afternoon, drive to “Bedev” hippodrome stables to see Akhalteke horses/pride of Turkmen nation. Continue the tour with visits to Presidential Square, Ertogrul Ghazy Mosque, and the newly built Independence Park. (B, D)

Day 03: Ashgabat/Mary/Ashgabat
Take a morning flight to Mary (370 km, 40 min).  Arrive in Mary, drive to National Park “Ancient Merv” (40 km, 30 min). Ancient Merv was a major center of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road. Visit Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortress, and others. Merv blossomed during the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids and later under the Parthian, Sasanian, Arab, and Seljuk Turk rule. Return to Mary. Visit History Museum of Merv region. Take the return flight to Ashgabat (370 km, 40 min). Upon arrival transfer to hotel. (B, D)

Day 04: Ashgabat/Dashoguz/Kunya Urgench/Nukus (UZBEKISTAN)
Transfer to airport for flight to Dashoguz (580 km, 50 min). Drive to Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point Khojeyli. Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your driver and continue to Nukus (20 km, 30 min).
Overnight: Jipek Joli Hotel (1 night) (B, D)

Day 05: Nukus/Khiva
Visit the Savitsky Karakalpakstan Art Museum. The museum hosts the world's second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art and exposition of Karakalpak applied arts items. Have a short drive around center of Nukus: see statue of Karakalpak poet Berdakh, Nukus City Hall, and Drama Theatre.  In the afternoon, depart to Khiva (200 km, 5 hr). On the way visit archaeological monuments of ancient Khorezm: Shylpyk-Kala/a Zoroastrian dakhma, and Toprak-Kala/the capital of Khorezm dating back to the 3rd century A.D.
Overnight:Asia Khiva Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 06: Khiva
Spend a day in UNESCO World Heritage site Ichan-Kala Fortress. Visit Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Toshkhovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islom Khodja. Free time in the afternoon. (B, D)

Day 07: Khiva/Bukhara
In the morning, depart Khiva and drive to Bukhara (480 km, 8 hr). The Great Silk Road once routed through Bukhara and Khiva ran through the Kyzylkum Desert, as the present road does nowadays. Stop en-route to enjoy views of Amudarya River and the desert. Arrive in Bukhara late in the afternoon, check in to hotel. In the evening, enjoy folklore show at Kukaldash madrasa.
Overnight:  Devon Begi Hotel (2 nights) (B, BL, D)

Day 08: Bukhara
Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. Visit Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums. (B, D)

Day 09: Bukhara/Samarkand
Morning drive out of the city to Sitorai-Mokhikhosa/summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir. Head to Mausoleum of Bakhoutdin Naqshbandi and Chor Bakr Necropolis. In the afternoon, depart to Samarkand (280 km, 4 hr). Stop on the way at Caravanserai Rabat Malik dating back to 11th century. Arrive in Samarkand late in the afternoon.
Overnight: Grand Samarkand (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Samarkand
Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur Emir Mausoleum/authentic shrine of Tamerlane. (B, D)

Day 11: Samarkand/Tashkent
Continue sightseeing: visit Afrosiyob Museum and the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Then drive to Koni Ghil village to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry.   At 1600 hrs, transfer to railway station. Take the fast-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent at 1700 hrs (300 km). Scheduled arrival time is 1910 hrs. Pick-up and transfer to hotel.
Overnight: Ramada Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 12: Tashkent
Meet your guide to start sightseeing of the capital, the largest city in Central Asia. Visit Old City part of Tashkent with Khast-Imom Complex where the world famous Quran of Caliph Uthman/Ottoman has been preserved. In Khast-Imom visit Madrasah of Barak-Khan, Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Mausoleum of the Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari. Explore Chor-Su Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to city center with Amir Temur Square, Independence Square and Applied Arts Museum. (B, D)

Day 13: Tashkent/Depart
Check-out by 1100 hrs. Transfer to the International Airport for your flight out. (B)

B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

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Departure Dates

This is a suggested program for private tours. Please contact us for details

Departures Tour Price US$ Single Sup US$

This is a suggested program for private tours. Please contact us for details

Tour Price Includes Tour Price Does Not Include:

• Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
• Meal Plan as mentioned (B=Breakfast, BL=Box Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All sightseeing and transfers
• Services of local English speaking guide
• Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary

• Domestic airfares
• Invitation letters for visas purpose

• International airfares.
Insurance & Visa fees
• Drinks/Beverages with meals
• Tips/gratuities to drivers & guides

Domestic / Regional Airfare NOT INCLUDED in Tour Price

Estimated International Airfare (not included in tour price)
East Coast US $ 1800
West Coast US $ 2000
Please note: This tour operates with a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 12 participants.

Other Dates / Customized Itinerary / Languages
In addition to our set programs we are also pleased to offer customized tours.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Customized tours can be conducted in English, French, German, Spanish or Italian. Each departure is conducted in the designated language only.

Contact Information
Bestway Tours & Safaris
Fax: +1-604-264-7774
206–8678 Greenall Ave Phone: +1-604-264-7378
Burnaby B.C., Canada Toll Free (US & Canada): 1-800-663-0844
V5J 3M6 Email:
33 years in small group journeys

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photographs © Peter Langer
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