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Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Iran (23 Days)

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran Combined Tour 23 days

yazd at night

Day 01, (SAT ) Arrive Tashkent from London by HY 202 at 08:05

Upon arrival in Tashkent Airport you are met and transferred to your hotel. Morning spend at your leisure.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Tashkent:

To visit old town: we start by visiting the 12th century  Masusoleum of Kaffal-Shashi , theIslamic scholar, poet and mystic who was born in Shash region (Tashkent today). His tomb with its 12 meters high entrance decorated with beautiful lattice and a quotation from Koran is a popular place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

Next visit the 16th century Barak Khan Madrassah, with medieval Islamic architectural. Tilla Sheih Mosque, the former main mosque in Uzbekistan was built in 1856-57 and Chorsu ( 4 ways)Bazaar located on the Silk route for many centuries, have been one of the busiest bazaars in Central Asia.

Overnight Stay at the Hotel Tashkent Palace 4* or Similar

www.tashkent-palace.com

Day 02, (SUN) Tashkent

Full day sightseeing tour in Tashkent:

Visit 19th century Abdul Kassim Madrassah  –  famous for his ability to recite Koran by heart. Now is center of traditional craftsmen using hujra (small room) as workshop for metal carving, wood carving, silk paper painting, and ceramics, artists will be presenting their own work.

Visit Museum of Applied Arts, with impressive traditional architectural exhibits objects from ancient until recent times such as glass, porcelain, ceramic, carpet, miniatures and jewellery.

Visit Mustakillik Maydoni (Independence Square) the largest city square in the former Soviet Union in the heart of Tashkent, then we visit famous Tashkent Metro (underground) beautifully decorated with local marble and granite with hanging Chandelier which Uzbek are proud of and call it underground palace.

Overnight Stay at the Hotel Tashkent Palace 4* Hotel Grand Orzu 3*

Day 03, (MON ) Tashkent – Samarkand (330 km)

After breakfast drive to Samarkand, the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and UNESCO world heritage listed city. On arrival check in your hotel.

Afternoon half day city tour of Samarkand to visit: Registan Square with its three beautiful Madrassahs (Islamic center for scholarly study), the Ulugh Beg Madrasah (1417–1420), the Tilya-Kori Madrasah (1646–1660) and the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619–1636). Visit Gur Emir – the mausoleum of the Great 14th century ruler Tamerlane.

Overnight Stay at the Hotel Malika Prime 

www.malikahotels.com

Day 04, (TUE) Samarkand

Full day sightseeing in Samarkand:

Visit: Bibi Khanum mosque, a famous historical Friday mosque names after Timurlane’s wife.   After visiting Silk Road bazaar, will be visiting Shahi Zinda necropolis. Theensemble includes mausoleums and other ritual buildings of 9-14th and 19th centuries. Shah Zina means living king which connected with the legend that Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad who is buried there

Afternoon visit Afrosiab museum, the Museum of history of Samarkand named after the legendary king of Turan,  Afrasiab and  Ulugh Bek’s observatory once was center of astronomical study built in the 1420s by the Timurid astronomer Ulugh Beg.

Overnight Stay at the Hotel Malika Prime 

Day 05, (WED) Samarkand – Shakhrisabz – Bukhara (Drive – 368 km)

Morning drive to Bukhara en route excursion to Shakhrisabz – This ancient city is the birthplace of the Great Amir Temur.  Alexander the Great met his wife Roxanna in the area in 328-327 BC. Visit Ak Saroy palace ruins, Timur summer palace. Tilavat seminary, the Memorial complexwas first constructed in 13th by Islamic scholar  Shams ud-Din Kulal, one of his follower was Turghai  Amir Timur’s father who studies in this madarassah so did his son Timur.

 Kok Gumbaz mosque, the largest Friday mosque in Shakhrisabz built 1435-1436crowned by a huge dome covered with blue ceramic tiles which gave the name to the mosque Kok Gumbaz that means “Blue Dome’. The mausoleum of Dorus Saidat,  built by Timur to house the tomb of his favourite son Jehangir who was killed in 1375, the Friday mosque build 1904 with a large brick dome

Late afternoon proceed to Bukhara

Upon arrival in Bukhara check in at your Hotel

Overnight at Boutique Hotel Minzifa

Day 06, (THU) Bukhara

Full day sightseeing tour:

Visit – Lab-i-khauz, a pool fed directly from the city’s canal, the characteristic of Bukhara and the best survivor on its own kind almost unchanged since 17th century when it was built. The pool is centerpiece of a magnificent architectural ensemble, shaded by ancient mulberry trees.

Madrassah Nadirkhon Devanbegi and Khanaga, a place for Sufis gathering and a part of the architectural Lab-i-khuaz complex

Lyabi- Magaki Attari mosque: the oldest mosque in central Asia with interesting history. The remains of heathen shrines, Zoroastrian temple, Buddhist temple has been found on this site.

Kalon minaret is one of the defining symbols of Bukhara. Towering over the city over 48 meters high, this javelin thrust into heart of the oasis town has dominated to Bukhara skyline for over eight and a half centuries, the initial augur to exhausted caravans that they had, at last arrived at a truly great city. The minaret was tallest free-standing tower in the world at that time which was built to provide the call to prayer. Poi Kalon mosque, one of the most ancient mosque in central Asia  it is also the second biggest with a stadium like open air capacity of 10-12000 people. The original mosque build in 795 and the present structure was finished 1541.

Visit the 17th century Madrassah Abdul Aziz Khan with stunning interior decoration and courtyard. Visit 15th century Ulugbek Madrassah commissioned by Timurid ruler Ulug Bak , its star motifs reflect Ulug’s fascination with astronomy.

Afternoon visit: Ark Fortress the massive fortress initially built and occupied around the 5th century AD perhaps as old as Bukhara itself. According to the legend, this fortress was built by the famous mythical prince Siyavush of Iran.,

The 17th century Bolo-Hauz Mosque was a place of prayer for the Emirs and their entourage with elegant wooden pillars, carved and painted decoration, multi-column Iwan, domed mosque, minaret and a pool.

The Mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, resting place of Ismail Samani- The oldest best preserved, and most breathtakingly original building in Bukhara and without doubt one of the highlights of any visit to Uzbekistan

Chashma Ayub (spring of Job). Job came to Zerafshan valley and witnessed a terrible drought he struck the dusty earth and a spring water appeared at this spot.

Overnight at Boutique Hotel Minzifa 

Day 07, (FRI) Bukhara

Full day sightseeing in Bukhara

Morning half day excursion to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, The summer residence of the former emir of Bukhara with unique mixture of traditional Russian architecture harmoniously mixed with the local oriental traditions.

In the afternoon excursion to Bahauddin Naqshbandi Mausoleum, the rest place of famous 14th century spiritual Sufi leader.

Return to Bukhara and enjoy walking among streets of the old town.

Overnight at Boutique Hotel Minzifa

Day 08, (SAT ) Bukhara – “Farab” – Mary – 100 km

Morning drive to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border point “Farab”

Meet your guide at Farab border. Complete border formalities. Drive to Turkmenabat for lunch. After lunch drive to Mary. On arrival in Mary, transfer to Margush or Yrsgal hotel 3* (subject to availability).

Overnight at hotel Margush/Yrsgal.

Day 09: (SUN ) Mary  

In the morning, we towards the glorious Ancient city of Merv (UNSCO World Heritage Site). Merv played an important part in the development of the Silk Road for more than 2 000 years. The ruins of Merv are comprised of five walled cities dating from the 6th century BC to the 18th century, known as Erk Kala the oldest of the five Merv cities an Achaemenid city thought to date from the 6th century bc, Gyaur Kala constructed during 3rd century by the Sassanians, the fortress walls are still solid with three gaps where once were the gates. Sultan Kala, 11th -12th centuries, was the capital of the Seljuk Empire the best remaining testimony of Seljuk power of Merv,  Abdullah Khan Kala, the new city  was erected by Shah Rukh (1408-1471). He instituted a major building program, rebuilt the irrigation system and a dam, Bairam Ali Khan Kala, Merv 5th wall city built in the 18th c.

Then visit Merv’s important structures of Kyz-Kalas which have no analogies anywhere else. Excellent examples of the so-called corrugated Koshks . They were constructed by the Sassanians in the 7th century and were still in use by Seljuk 600 years later as function rooms.

The splendid 12th century the Mausoleums of the ruler Sultan Sanjar  (1118 – 57) at present with a simple but once with a magnificent turquoise dome said to be visible to the travellers coming from far distances.

And Muhammed ibn-Zeyd, with exquisite Seljuk brickwork and decoration. Time permit we visit other historical sites in Merv. Then return to Mary to visit local History Museum. The museum presents a wide variety of archaeological finds (dating back from the III mill. BC through the late XIX century) from both Ancient Merv and Bronze Age sites of the Margush country, as well as interesting ethnographic displays reconstructing the scenes of daily life of the Turkmen population and other minorities of the Murghab oasis.

Overnight at hotel Yrsgal hotel 3* (subject to availability)

Day 10: (MON) Mary – Ashgabat

After breakfast, we return to Ashgabat, observing en-route succession of desert, settlements and fields and encountering numerous “depe”, mounds marking and hiding remnants of former fortified strongholds, caravanserais, watch-towers or country-side estates of wealthy landlords. Having reached the modern village of Kaahka, we will make a short de-tour to the fortress of Nadir-Shah (18 c.), astonishing in its accuracy and magnificent setting, still preserving late medieval “refrigerators,” or ice-houses. Then we continue to Ashgabat. On arrival in Ashgabat, transfer to hotel for rest and overnight.

Overnight at Lachin 4* (subject to availability).

Day 11: (TUE) Ashgabat.

In the morning we drive 15 km west of Ashgabat, to the fortress of Old Nisa (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the earliest of Parthian Empire capitals one of the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world, located  at the foot of the Kopet-Dag Mountains. After visiting old Nisa we return to Ashgabat to visit the National Museum of History and Ethnography exhibiting exclusive ancient artifacts from different historical & archeological sites of Turkmenistan, such as Old Nisa, Ancient Merv, Kunya-Urgench & others. After lunch we will have orientation tour of the city.  After lunch sightseeing in Ashgabat itself, visiting the Monument and Park of Independence with white-marble tower standing in the beautiful park.  The park’s fountain-monument devoted to the 10th anniversary of independence with sculptural depiction of ten Akhal-Tekke horses placed on the top, the horse breed of Turkmenistan ant its national emblem.  Then visit the impressive Ertoghrul Ghazi mosque which built in honors of Ertugrul the father of Osman the first, the founder of the Ottaman Empire. It is a prominent landmark in Ashgabat with its four minarets and central dome and has a lavish interior decoration with fine stained glass windows. The mosque was inaugurated in 1998 and this white marbled building is reminiscent of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Overnight at  Lachine 4* (subject to availability).

Day 12:  (WED) Ashgabat – (Gaudan/Bajigiran)

After breakfast at hotel transfer to Turkmenistan-Iran border at Bajigiran (45 km). Complete border formalities. Meet your guide at Turkmenistan-Iran border. Drive to Mashad.(3-4hours).Time permit visit Imam Reza shrine at night.

Overnight in Mashad at Pardis hotel

Day 13: (THU) Mashad-Shiraz

Am sightseeing in Mashad, pm flight to Shiraz.

Overnight Shiraz Park-e- Saadi hotel. http://www.parksaadihotel.com

Day 14: (FRI) -Shiraz

we explore Shiraz itself, visiting the Eram Garden, a typical Persian garden with  a 19th century  palace. Hafez and Saadi Tombs, Shiraz is closely linked to the great poets Hafez and Saadi, and colourful Vakil  Bazaar .

Overnight Shiraz Park-e- Saadi hotel. http://www.parksaadihotel.com

Day 15: (SAT) Shiraz-Persepolis

An unforgettable excursion, to Persepolis, “Ancient Capital of the Achaemenian Kings” established by Darius I in the late 6th century BC. it is known today in Iran as Takht-e Jamshid (“Throne of Jamshid”) after a legendary king. The Greeks called it Persepolis. Naghesh-e-Rajab a site of four limestone rockface inscriptions and bas-reliefs that date to the early Sassanid era.Naghesh-e-Rostam,  the tombs of four Achaemenid kings, these three archaeological sites are UNESCO World Heritage.

Overnight Shiraz Park-e- Saadi hotel. http://www.parksaadihotel.com

Day 16: (SUN) Shiraz-Yazd

Drive to Yazd (425km 6-7 hours). Visit the tomb of the Cyrus the great in Pasargade on the way.

Overnight Yazd at Dad hotel www.hoteldadint.com

Day 17: (MON) Yazd

According to UNESCO Yazd is the Second Historic City in the World.We visit the Towers of Silence, (Zoroastrian’s commentary) – where the dead were left to be picked clean by the vultures. Friday Mosque, dates back to the 14th century and is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the central Iran, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, the fire has supposedly been burning since 470 AD. Amir Chakhmagh mosque, a treasure of the Islamic architecture.

Overnight Yazd at Dad hotel

Day 18 (TUE)

Drive to Isfahan (300km, 5-6 hours)

Overnight Isfahan Traditional hotel www.isfahanhotel.com

Day 19 (WED) Isfahan

A full day sightseeing, visiting Imam Mosques,the most stunning buildings in Iran, it was built over a period of 26 years and was eventually completed in 1638. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosques,  was built during Shah Abbas’ the mosque was once called the ladies’s Mosque, because there is apparently a tunnel between this mosque and the Ali Qapu Palace on the other side, allowing women from Haram to attend prayers without being seen in public.

The Aliqapou Palace, built in the 18th century as a functioning seat of government, and included a huge pavilion from where the Safavid rulers could watch the activities in the square below. Vanak Church, 17th century Armenian church , the Shaking Minarets, these minarets have the unusual feature of moving from side to side when shaken vigorously,  and visit the Sassnid  Fire Temple

Overnight Isfahan at Traditional hotel

Day 20: (THU) Isfahan

Sightseeing in this fascinating city continues with the Friday Mosque one of the  treasure building of Isfahan , Chehel Sotoun,  which was built as a reception hall by Shah Abbas II in 1647,the name means “The Forty Columns” and though there are only twenty columns of cypress wood, their reflections in the adjacent pool provide the other twenty.Hasht Behesht Palace, was completed in 1669 with its fine murals with spectacular roofs and Khajou Bridge was built by Shah Abbas II in 1650, it is 123 metres long with 24 arches.

Overnight Isfahan at Traditional hotel. www.isfahanhotel.com

Day 21: (FRI) Isfahan-Tehran

Drive to Tehran, (435km 6-7 hours), en-route visiting the pilgrim city of Qom.

Overnight Tehran. Asareh hotel

Day 22: (SAT) Tehran

A full day sightseeing in Tehran visiting Archaeological museum, houses one of the most important collections of objects from both the pre Islamic and Islamic periods. Golestan palace, with its peaceful garden, once the residence of the Qajar kings before being used by the Pahlavi dynasty for special ceremonies such as the coronation of the last Shah in 1967 and then Carpet Museum.

Overnight Tehran at Asareh hotel

Day 23: (SUN) Tehran -London

Transfer to the airport for the flight to London on Iran Air 711at 08:45 arrive in London at 11:45 Heathrow terminal 3

Tour name: Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan& Iran

Price and dates for 23 days tour Uzbekistan- Turkmenistan- Iran

 06 May – 28 May 2017

 14 Oct  – 05 Nov  2017

Price: £3750 per person in twin room

Single supplement: £750

 

 Tour Price includes:

– providing letter of invitation      

– Accommodation with breakfast as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes

– All sightseeing and transfers as per the itinerary

– Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary

– English speaking local guides

 

Tour Price does not include:

-International flights

– Lunches and dinners

– International airfares

– Insurance & Visa fees

– Tips/Gratitude to Drivers & Guides

– Folk shows

– Any other items not mentioned above.

 

 

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