Gentle mountain walks and cultural discovery in Uzbekistan, including visits to Central Asia's most colourful Silk Road cities
Sitting at the heart of Central Asia, the republic of Uzbekistan has a richness of history matched by few places on earth. A succession of conquering forces, from Alexander the Great to Ghengis Khan and his descendants, have left their unique mark on the region's culture and architecture. We start out exploring Khiva, before following the Oxus River to the magical Silk Road oasis of Bukhara, which flourished in the 9th and 10th centuries. We'll also travel to Samarkand, one of the undoubted wonders of the world, with its mosaic-clad and turquoise-tiled monuments. Here we'll stay in a well located guesthouse, close to the Bibi-khanym Mosque, one of the largest and most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world and commissioned by Tamerlane himself. As well as visiting Uzbekistan's most famous cities, to allow us a better understanding of Uzbekistan and it's people, we will also enjoy some easy paced mountain walks, and ride camels across the steppe, in the high valleys of Zarafshan and Nurafan mountains, where we have the opportunity to meet the Uzbek shepherds and farmers who make their livelihood in this rarely-visited part of the greater Pamir range. During this part of the holiday we stay as welcomed guests at village homestays and experience nomadic shepherd life sleeping in a traditional yurt. With a unique blend of sightseeing and straightforward mountain walks, this is a superb adventure holiday situated at the crossroads of Asia.