Heart of the Silk Road
A Unique Journey through Uzbekistan
Trace the footsteps of legends, heroes and ancient traders on this legendary journey through the heart of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan. Venture into the unknown in the far west autonomous republic of Karalkalpakstan, a place where few travellers have set foot, to camp on the shores of the Aral Sea, investigate the ship graveyard of Moynaq and view the enigmatic ‘Tower of Silence’ outside Chilpik – integral to the mysterious religion of Zoroastrianism. Visit the fertile Fergana region to learn about silk production, still a trade staple in this part of the world. Explore the legendary cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva and visit the birthplace of the national hero Tamerlane in Shakhrisabz. Journey into the perilous red sands of the Kyzylkum, to explore desert fortresses, visit ancient caravanserais and taste delicious food cooked on a Saksaul tree and eaten around a campfire.
As part of the adventure, stay in yurt camps both on the edge of the Aral Sea and among a population of ethnic Kazakh nomads in the Kyzylkum desert, as well as converted former mansions, and historic and unique hotels throughout on the Silk Road in Uzbekistan.
- Venture to the far west of the country to the region of Karakalpakstan to the town of Nukus and beyond to experience the unique culture of the region and see the impact of the Aral Sea disaster at the ship graveyard of Moynaq
- Journey to the ‘Fergana Valley’ a region of Uzbekistan often skipped by travellers, but one steeped in the production of the Silk Road’s name’s sake commodity
- Wander the streets of the ‘two ladies’ of Uzbekistan, Bukhara and Samarkand, ‘City of Legend’; wander the blue domed mosques and fortresses and stand on the shoulders the of giants of the ancient world
- Traverse the desert of Kyzylkum to the village of Nurata legendarily established by Alexander the Great, visit his fortress, citadel and pool of sacred fish
- Stay in a desert yurt camp, converted former mansions and unique locally owned hotels
Trip style: Unique
Max group size: 15
Duration: 22 Days
Trip style: Unique
Group size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 15
Trip code: HRTT
Cost: $6985.00 AUD twin share
Single supplement: $850.00 AUD
- 21-nights’ accommodation in historic and traditional
lyinspired hotels, converted mansions and yurt camps
- Meals as specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner)
- One-way flight from Tashkent to Nukus
- All other transport as specified in the itinerary
- Services of your Inverted Atlas trip leader and local guides
Trip price does not include
- International airfares
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Visa for Uzbekistan
- Any expenses associated with COVID-19
- Meals not included as per trip itinerary including drinks and mini bar
- Additional accommodation before or after the tour
- Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, souvenirs, porterage etc.
- Travel insurance – please note comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas
Journey Rating – Quest
This trip travels along the Silk Road in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is a country that is not overly accustomed to tourists and travelers. The friendly local people have one of the most welcoming and hospitable attitudes toward visitors in the world, however, it does mean that tourist type infrastructure and service standards may not be of the quality you expect at home. This trip does involve a lot of walking during the sightseeing, to get the most out of this trip you should be able to walk confidently across uneven surfaces and climb stairs. There is no dress code in Uzbekistan, however it is a moderate Islamic country, and you should dress conservatively to avoid causing offense culturally. Woman may be required to cover their shoulders, heads and knees while exploring religious institutions and men should wear long trousers on these days.
Trains in Uzbekistan often stop at stations where the platform is quite low and require a step or ‘scramble’ up into the train, trains also often do not stop for long periods of time giving the group very little chance to get on and get settled before departing. Good quality hospitals, pharmacies and other public amenities will be limited to big cities but should never be too far away.
A note about fitness
This trip requires a good level of physical fitness. You should be able to walk up to 4km
over at times , uneven surfaces during sightseeing, which will sometimes be at an incline. In addition, you should be able to climb up to 200 stairs unassisted and use an eastern style squat toilet (beware if you have knee issues).
You will need to be able to carry your own luggage to and from the coach and on and off the train. (Due to OH&S regulations our trip leaders are not able to assist with luggage.)
In addition, you should be in good health, with no major chronic conditions requiring frequent medical attention. This trip often travels through remote locations where the availability of a hospital or even phone reception to call an ambulance is limited. While all our trip leaders are required to have a valid first aid certificate, they are far from doctors and any assistance they are able to provide will be limited to basic first aid. For more information please see our booking conditions.
Traveling by yourself? No problem, we love single travellers and don’t believe in penalising them by charging half the trip price again for our single supplement. With us you are only paying the actual cost to have a room all to yourself. If you’re up for making a new friend, you can elect to share with another single traveller of the same sex and only pay the twin-share price. The choice is yours!
Please note that in this instance, the single supplement payable does not include the yurt camps which are in shared style accommodation.
Trip leader description
Accompanying you along your journey will be your Inverted Atlas trip leader. Your trip leader is a logistics extraordinaire, keeps the trip running smoothly and ensures you have the best time possible on your trip. It is important to know that while your trip leader has the best job in the world, they aren’t actually on holidays, but rather they are there to make sure you have the best time while you are on your holiday! Your trip leader may at times need some time out so that they can complete back of house tasks that ensure everyone continues to enjoy the trip. It is also your trip leaders’ job to handle any issues (heaven forbid!) that come up while you’re on your trip like:
- If you lose your passport or other travel documents
- If there is a problem with your room at the booked accommodation – seriously please tell your trip leader don’t wait until you leave
- If you become unwell and need to find a pharmacy
- Assisting with restaurant recommendations or additional sightseeing during free time
- Questions regarding the itinerary
Your trip leader will have some good local knowledge about the destination in which you are traveling, however they are not a ‘local guide’. You’re welcome to ask your trip leader anything about the trip and if they don’t know they will find out and get back to you. Other people you will meet along the way are ‘local guides’ who are generally available to the group in specific towns or at specific sites like national parks, temples or archaeological sites. These people are the local experts and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the history and culture of a specific site.
This itinerary is correct at the time of upload to our website and we have composed it in good faith. From time to time we may elect to make changes before departure, if we are making a big change we will of course notify you, however if it is a small change this will be reflected in the final trip notes. So, make sure you download these prior to departure. Small changes prior to departure are usually made with the groups best interests in mind and come about due to liaising with our best resources – our past travelers and of course our trip leaders! The ability to change and evolve depending on what our travelers enjoy is what makes us such a great trip operator.
While we strive to operate our trips exactly to the letter of the itinerary, sometimes we may need to make changes on the ground while the group is on the road. This is all part of the adventure of traveling and we would ask that you come on your trip with an open mind and a good sense of humour because as much as we want it to, everything doesn’t always go to plan. In fact, these impromptu situations often make the best stories that you can have a laugh with your friends about later.
Minimum Age: 18 years
Due to the shared nature of some of the accommodation and remote locations on this trip children under 18 years of age are not permitted.
There is no upper age limit for this trip, but you should consider the above fitness requirements prior to booking. If you are 65 years or over, you will be asked to complete our Health Check Form and have your medical practitioner sign it to confirm you are in good health and able to participate safely on this trip.
Please note that comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas. Insurance must include provision for medical situations, emergency medical repatriation to your home country and personal liability at a minimum. Proof of valid travel insurance will be requested by your trip leader on arrival at the pre-departure meeting. Please have this paperwork available for them. If you are unable to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance, you may not be allowed to join the trip and no refund will be payable.