The fairy tales of Shaherezada: Uzbekistan - Kyrgyzstan

Tour “The fairy tales of Shaherizada” is a tour to the oriental fairy tale where you’ll get acquainted with an ancient history and culture of Uzbekistan. You will see world known monuments of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. These ancient cities keep memories about Alexander the Great, Chingiz-Khan and numerous trade caravans of the Great Silk Road. High and elegant minarets, grandiose madrassahs and mosques, medieval palaces and mausoleums decorated with wonderful ceramic ornaments, unique vanity and national color of oriental bazaars, amazing legends, hospitality and traditions of local people will give you wonderful memories. This program includes not just architectural monuments and noisy uzbek streets. We have combined two different countries: Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.  After several excursion days along the great cities of Uzbekistan you’ll be surprised with Kyrgyzstan, the country of mountains and virgin nature. At the beginning you’ll see ancient city of Osh, located in the Fergana valley on the border of Uzbekistan. This city was always a desired place on the Great Silk Road. Even nowadays its bazaars attract attention with variety of goods. After Osh city, our route goes along picturesque mountains with ending of the program at the lake Issyk Kul – a pearl of Tien-Shan.    

Best time: April-May
Activity: cultural-educational program
Duration: 14days

Day  1 Bishkek. Aeroport "Manas", city tour. Excursion to Ala-Archa.  Hotel B/L/D 
Day  2  Flight to Tashkent. City tour. Hotel B/L/D  
Day  3  Transfer to Samarkand. City tour Hotel B/L/D  
Day  4  Excursion in Smarkand. Hotel B/L/D  
Day  5  Transfer to Bukhara. City tour. Hotel B/L/D  
Day  6 Excursion in Bukhara. Evening flight to Tashkent. Hotel B/L/D  
Day  7 Transfer to Fergana. Guest house B/L/D  
Day  8  Transfer to Osh(Kyrgyzstan). City tour. Hotel B/L/D
Day  9 Transfer to Chichkan mountain gorge. Guest house B/L/D 
Day  10 Transfer to Bishkek. Hotel B/L/D 
Day  11 Transfer to northern shore of Issik Kul lake. Hotel B/L/D
Day  12 Transfer to Karakol. Hotel B/L/D
Day  13 Transfer to Bishkek. Hotel B/L/D
Day 14 Departure ---------  


Best time: April-May
Activity: Historical-educational, cultural program
Duration: 14 days

Day 1. Arrival to Bishkek. Stay in Hotel. If the time allows than we start the excursion from the natural park Ala-Archa, which is located 30 km from the town of Bishkek. Then after lunch we continue our excursion around town. We will definitely visit Oak Park and Ala-Too square. Also for the feeling of fairytale not to leave us we will dip into the world of huge range of souvenirs that more than ever reflect the culture and national art of Kyrgyz people.

Day 2. Fly to Tashkent. You will be heartily met at the airport of hospitable capital of Uzbekistan! Upon arrival in Tashkent you will be met by our company representative with the placard of your personal name on it. After the rest in Hotel you will start your excursion from the exploring of the old part of town: Complex Hasta Imam, that includes Madrasah of Barak-Khan, Kafal-Al-Shashi Mazar Mausoleum, Yunus-Khan Mausoleum dated by15th-16th centuries. There is a huge library of eastern Writings in the complex that includes known all around the world Koran of Osman written in the middle of 7th century. After seeing all this, the excursion is going to be continued with Keldash Madrasah that is situated not far from Chor-Su Market and dated by 16th century. This Madrasah is still working and there are students still studying the law of Koran.Then you will visit Abdulkasym Sheikh Madrasah dated by 15th century and made in honor of the great thinker of that time. Nowadays in the hujras of this Madrasah there are the workrooms for Art Academy where you have a chance not only to get the creation of national master-hand but also be the witness of souvenir making. After that the excursion to the new part of town is awaiting you with the view of Independence square being the central square of Uzbekistan and is being the promenade for national holidays that are celebrated with a breadth inherent for eastern soul. We recommend you to have a trek to the National Opera and Ballet House by the name of Alisher Navoi and take a walk along Amir Timur square – the main placeof rest for host people. This square is being the local “Arbat” for artists where you will have a chance to order your own portrait or caricature. You definitely need to see the “Courage” memorial monument built in honor of earthquake happened in 1966. At the end of your tour you will visit Crafts Museum where there are more than 4000 items of arts and crafts. The first day of your trip has ended and now you may enjoy the rest in comfortable hotel room in Tashkent.

Day 3. After Breakfast in the hotel you will be driven to the beautiful ancient town of Samarkand – the motherland of many known Eastern poets, sages and scientists. The road to Samarkand won’t take long and the town from afar will meet you with its famous blue domes! Samarkand is one of the most famous Central Asian pearl and one of the main towns on the way of Great Silk Road. You will have a little rest in the hotel and will start your fascinating trip to a real once called by philosophers and poets the “Eden of East” . The survey will start from Central Square “Registan” which means “Sand Place”. Registan Complex is an ensemble of three magnificent buildings, being the studying institutions: Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah and Tillya-Kari Madrasah the facades of which are turned to the central square and though they were built in different times and epochs they still harmoniously complement each other. You will visit the Amir-Temur shrine called "Gur-Emir" only the central construction of which has persisted till our times. Inside of the complexthe black jade tomb of Timur will rise in front of you, but the real burial is in the basement of this complex.

Day 4. Your adventure will take you to Bibi-Hanum mosque that was built in 1399-1404 by order of Timur after his Triumphal return from Indian campaign. The mosque was built in a very short period of time – 5 years in honor of his beloved wife Sarap-Mulyk-Hanym. Afterwards there is a visit of local market – Siab and Complex Shakhi-Zinda – the only Samarkand monument in which the 25 centuries’ history of ancient town is reflected. It is an ensemble of shrine rows of Samarkand nobles that as the time went by were built one nearby another like the turquoise beads of an expensive necklace put one to another. The logic end of the Samarkand excursion is going to be a visit of Ulugbek Observatory which is the most significant middle age astronomic institution.

Day 5. After breakfast you will be transferred to Bukhara – the real pearl of Central Asia, the sacred Muslim town which carefully saved its monuments, the beauty of small ancient streets and the romance of centuries-old houses and walls. On the way there is an excursion to Gizhduvan – one of the ceramic centers in Uzbekistan. Upon your arrival to Bukhara you will have some rest in the hotel. We recommend you to take a walk  around Lyabi-Haus square. The oldest part of this complex is Kulbaba-Kukeldash Madrasah which counts 160 cells and is the biggest in Bukhara. Nadira Devanbegi Madrasah was built by Nadir-Devanbegi vizier soon after the pool was constructed and logically ended the Lyabi-Haus ensemble. The ancient Magoki-Attori  mosque is there nearby the Lyabi-Haus ensemble that is built in the best traditions of figure masonry made from polished bricks and carved majolica archaic ornaments. You are going to visit the trading domes  of Bukhara market that are still there from the times of the Great Silk Road, where you will have a chance to get some presents and souvenirs made by local artisans and craftsmen using the ancient technology that is transferred from one generation to another. Then the Poi-Kalyan complex will come to your view in which there are Kalyan mosque, Mir-i-Bab Madrasah and the famous Kalyan minaret (with the height of 49 m built in 1127) – it has miraculously survived all the wars and invasions. At first Minaret was built as the place to summon up all Muslims for Friday prayer in the mosque but in the times of Bukahr emir this place was used as the place of public execution.

Day 6. Today you will enjoy the tour to the country summer residence of Bukhar Emirs – “Sitora-I-Mihisosa”. Inspite of the palace being built less than hundred years ago and the architecture being influenced by European traditions, only here you may get the idea of Bukhar palace interior, the structure and mode of life of Royal court. After the excursion you will get back to Bukhara. The close location of all the monuments will give you the chance to see all of them not using transport. Today you will see the Samanid mausoleum (IX-X centuries) – the pearl of Central Asia architecture and Family shrine for local dynasts. After that you will visit the shrine of Chashma-Ayub (XII cent.) which means “Iove spring”, after the shrine you will see Bolo-Haus complex which consists of the basin, Friday mosque and minaret. The Friday mosque of Bolo-Haus is located in front of the Ark citadel. Inside of the Ark citadel there was the whole town which included dwelling houses and administrative institutions: mosque, harem, treasury, jail, Emir residence and etc. At the end you will see a very interesting monument – Chor-Minor Madrasah built in 1807 on the money of Turkman traveler. Four minarets survived till our days that have given the complex its name not having an analogue in Central Asia. In the evening you will  be transferred to the airport for the flight to Tashkent.

Day 7. In the morning there is a transfer to Fergana, and on the way you will see Kokhand – one more ancient town of Fergana valley. The history of Kokhand counts more than 2200 years. The most famous in the town were ceramic, jewelry and silk-span crafts. After the Kokhand khanate was formed the town was restored from the ruins. You will see such monuments as: Khudoyar-Khan Palace (1871-1973), this Palace was built by Khokand, Kanibadam, Chust, Namangan, Ura-Tyube and Kashgar arts; Khokand khans’ graveyard where the dynasts were buried; Modari-Khon Mausoleum (1825), it was built for the mother of Khokand Dynast Umarkhan, that rests under the blue dome. This monument is one of the most interesting samples of Muslim architecture. Also in the days of his governing the Djuma mosque was built. In front of the mosque there is a stone minaret with the smooth annular masonry made of burnt bricks with the six-arch lantern topped with the faceted dome.  With that your trip to Kokhand comes to an end and you continue your tour to Fergana.

Day 8. Crossing Uzbek-Kyrgyz border. Transfer to Osh town and rest in the hotel. Osh town is the second biggest town in Kyrgyzstan and also called as the "South capital" of the Country. It’s located on the South of Kyrgyzstan in the Eastern part of Fergana valley, on the shores of Ak-Bura River. Same as in ancient times Osh town is situated on the way of Great Silk Road going from China to Central Asia. So to say Osh town stands on the main highway of antiquity. The town itself is more than one millennium old and the historians claim that it’s one of the most ancient towns in Central Asia. The exact date of its formation is unknown but the written history of it is more than one millennium old and its archeological findings lead it three millenniums back.We are lucky to spend one more unique day in the ancient Asian town. After lunch there will be an excursion around town: Market visit, walk along the local racy streets, and ascent to the sacred Suuleiman-Too Mountain. There is an opinion that whenever you get to the top of Suuleiman-Too three times it’s going to be equal to one trip to Mekka. If we have the desire and time we will make an excursion to local history museum located in the Cave of Suuleiman-Too Mountain.

Day 9. On our way to Bishkek, we will stop in the tract of Chichkan River. The main road of the country goes through one more ancient town called Uzgen. It crosses Fergana valley and goes into the mountains.Most of its part goes along the picturesque river Naryn that curls like a blue ribbon and flows into Toktogul reservoir. The variety of natural landscapes changes as if it was a kaleidoscope. Arrival to a cozy guest house in Chichkan gorge.

Day 10. Transfer to Bishkek. We continue our enthralling adventure going by the main highway of the country, through the alpine Suusamyr valley where in the summer Kyrgyz nomads live in their yurts. Going over Tyua-Ashuu pass from the top of which great views of Suusamyr valley are opened to your eyes, the road goes through the tonnel and then into Chu valley. This night we stay in the hotel in Bishkek.

Day 11. Today we are going to the northern shore of Issyk-Kul lake. On the way we are able to visit the Historical-Architectural complex of Burana tower (XI). Burana tower nowadays is only a part that left from a mighty Balasagun Town – the capital of Kharahanid state. After having the look on it, we continue our way to the most beautiful lake – Issyk-Kul. Not without reason it’s called the pearl of Tian-Shan. The lake is located in the center of Issyk-Kul valley and as if being curved by the skillful jeweler it’s framed by snow ridges: Kungei Ala-Too on the north and Terskei-Ala-Too on the south and south-east. The lake is located on the height of 1980m. and has a very good microclimate that favorably influences all holiday-makers. The name of the lake Issyk-Kul is translated as “Hot Lake” and it is true, as the lake never freezes even in the most severe winters. It’s connected with many hot springs on the bottom of the lake which keep the temperature of the water above the freeze level. We stay in the hotel on the lakeshore.

Day 12. Rest on the lakeshore. As an option we may offer you a boat sailing on the blue waves of Issyk-Kul lake. After lunch you will be transferred to Karakol town. This town was built by Russian settlers in the times of tsarist Russia and it still keeps the spirit and architecture of Russian Province towns. In the town there is a wooden church of 19th century built not using a single nail. The neighbor of the church is the mosque built in Chinese style by dungan master-hands. On the suburbs, on the lakeshore there is a museum by the name of the great traveler M. Prjevalskiy. His monument and his grave are there on the territory of the museum. Tonight we stay in the guest house in Karakol town.

Day 13. Going back to Bishkek by the south Issyk-Kul road. On the way we are going to visit the Jeti-Oguz mountain gorge and have some little stops on the south shore of Issyk-Kul lake. Stay in the hotel in Bishkek.

Day 14. Transfer to the airport. End of the program.