Route: Tashkent– Samarkand – Shahrisabs – Gijduvan – Bukhara - Tashkent
Duration: 6 Days
Gastronomy trip through Uzbekistan is a bright palette of colors with the help of which you will draw your own impression of Central Asia. Combine visiting main touristic gems of the Great Silk Road with gaining the acquaintance with one of the authentic cultural elements of Uzbekistan - our unique cuisine. Enjoy our traditions of hospitality and culture of cooking, local recipes which for centuries absorbed traditions of the Great Silk Road so it became a unique blend of cuisines, cultures, heritage and history. Plunge into the enchanting atmosphere of the oriental bazaar with its bright colors and spice aromas. You will reveal the special spirit of nomad and settled people of Central Asia; it’s true, unchanging character with the help of our cuisine.
Day 1 Tashkent.
Arrive to Tashkent. Meeting at the airport by your guide. City Tour of Tashkent.
Tashkent which is the capital of Uzbekistan is a city on border of agricultural oases of Central Asia and boundless Eurasian steppes. It exists already more than two thousand years. It is the city with the West and the Orient meet. Many hills guessed under city buildings are the remains of ancient settlements.
Sightseeing in Tashkent to include the religious center of modern Tashkent – Hast-i-Imam Square, the oldest manuscript of Uzbekistan – Koran Of Osman (7th cent).
Lunch in the “Milliy Taomlar” chayhana (café) to experience the atmosphere of a real old city chayhana. Taste a variety of local traditional cuisines, such as sausages made from horse meat – kazi, gumma – fried pie with lamb meat, and as a main course we recommend you naryn - a special festive dish revered by oriental merchants, the thinly hand-sliced boiled jerked meat and dough served with minced onions and black pepper. All the dishes are cooked right in front of you by skillful oshpaz – man-cooks. All the food served in this chayhana is halal - allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines.
Continue City Tour. Visit madrassa (medieval university) Kukeldash (16th cent). Students study here in our days also. Visit Chorsu bazaar to plunge into the atmosphere of a two thousand year old oriental bazaar with its abundance of merchandise, various colors and spicy aromas.
Dinner in the restaurant “Sharshara” (“Waterfall”). It is also located in the old part of Tashkent city in a picturesque and chilly spot along Kechkuruk channel. Here you will taste bedana shurpa. This fragrant uzbek soup is based on quail and fresh vegetables. In ancient times, this dish was considered a fare for sultans. For the second we will serve you Besh Panzha (“Five fingers”) if everything goes well in life, they say in the orient: "things are five". Life will seem even more beautiful when this superb lamb meat arranged on five skewers will be served.
Day 2 Tashkent – Samarkand
Early in the morning drive to Samarkand (280 km).
On the way visit a fish bazaar in the village of Chinaz (except the spawning season). Chinaz is located in a place where two rivers - Chirchik and Syr-Dariya - join together and is widely known as a city of fishermen.
You have a wonderful opportunity to make a stop in the city of Djizak and have a try of sunny melons of Uzbekistan. 59 sorts of melon are grown in Uzbekistan. The most popular sort is “torpedo”.
We will also make a brief stop on the honey and apple bazaar in Bahmal.
Arrive in Samarkand. Lunch in a house of local people to try home-made food and experience Uzbek hospitality.
For the first you will try nohut shurpa. This traditional meat soup is made from fresh vegetables, yellow peas and meat of a young lamb. The shurpa’s incredible taste will boost your appetite and give you energy for the entire day. For the second course- khanum steamed thin sheets of dough filled with diced potatoes and onions served with fried tomato sauce. It is still a mystery as to how this dish got its intriguing name that translates as "mistress". Several types of traditional salads will be served. You will also try spring pies – bichak (spring pies stuffed with
special greenery) baked in tandoor. And for dessert, of course, – fruits: apples, grapes and pies – all from the family garden!
The mistress of the house will teach us the tradition of brewing and serving the tea. This tradition goes back to the times of zoroastrism in Central Asia. All kinds of meals in Uzbekistan start and end with tea.
City Tour of Samarkand.
Samarkand – “The city of Blue Domes and Blue Sky”, “Shine on the Face of Earth», city with history of more than 2500 years, capital of the state of the famous conqueror - Amir Temur with the most beautiful mausoleums, madrasahs and mosques in Central Asia. And finally you have a chance to stay on world famous Registan Square.
Visit Gur-i-Emir- Legendary mausoleum where Amir Temur and all his family is buried.
Registan square- World famous complex of madrasahs of Sher- Dor and Ulugbek and Golden Dome mosque - Tillya - Kori.
Our next stop is chayhana “Oriental Sweets” which is located in an old caravan-saray (hotel). This chayhana specializes on producing oriental sweets such as pahlava - best known among oriental desserts, contains walnut, cinnamon and honey; pashmak - cotton candy which resembles sheep's wool; halva - confection made from semolina or flour, butter, sugar and nuts; and many others. You will see the demonstration of cooking sweets and of course will take part in the process.
Dinner in the same chayhana. The main course of the evening is lagman. The first part of lagman is the dough, spun by cooks as a silk thread. The second is vadja – sauce made from meat, vegetables and greenery.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 3 Samarkand
Breakfast in the hotel.
Continue city tour of Samarkand.
Bibi-Khanum Mosque 15th century the biggest mosque of Central Asia in the times of Amir Temur.
Ensemble Shahi-Zinda - mausoleums of the 11th-19th centuries, the necropolis of Samarkand rulers and nobles. The genesis of the Shahi-Zinda necropolis on the slope of Afrasiab hill is connected with Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. According to legend, Kusam was mortally wounded on the walls of Samarkand and escaped to the underground well where the paradise is. He continues to live there, hence the name of the necropolis, Shahi-Zinda - "living king".
Observatory of Ulugbek(15th century)
Mausoleum of Saint Daniel– a unique sacred place worshipped by people of three religions – Christian, Jewish and Muslim.
Cooking session will introduce you to the Uzbek traditional culinary culture where we cook wedding plov «Toy Oshi" - traditional wedding dish with rice, tender lamb, carrots, raisins and nohut (big yellow peas), quail eggs and red pepper. The session will be followed by lunch. Achik-Chuchuk - a thinly sliced salad of tomatoes and onions seasoned with spices; chakka - strained clotted milk similar to the taste of cottage cheese and pickled anzur – a special kind of mountain onion, - are served with plov.
After lunch visit the village of Koni-Gil with its crafts center which inherited the traditions of producing Samarkand’s silk paper from 751 A.D., soon after the Arabs defeated the Chinese Tang Dynasty forces in a battle of Talas which is now Kyrgyzstan. Koni-Gil is shaded by Sycamore and with the sound of running water it is called “a mini-paradise” 8 km from Samarkand. Paper is made from the inner bark of mulberry branches. You may see the whole process of producing paper and even take part in it.
Visit Samarkand winery named after Hovrenko, which was established at the end of the 19th century. Enjoy wine and cognac tasting of the best from the Zerafshan Valley of Samarkand Province.
Dinner in “Samarkand” restaurant. Main course will be shashlik (shish kebab) - a principal dish in the orient. A good shish kebab becomes a feast of taste and a true delight. Shashlik owes its inimitable taste of fire and splendid quality of fresh meat.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 4 Samarkand – Shahrisabs – Bukhara
In the morning leave for Shahrisabs (90 km). The road to Shahrisabs goes through picturesque Tahtakaracha Pass (highest place 2100). Photo stop at Shaitan Djiga – The Platau of Devils - an extensive plateau of granite slabs stretching from the creeks of Mirankul. Its rocks look like sculptures - demons frozen in eternal dance, ancient monsters turned to stone.
Lunch in the Ming Chinor Resort – a picturesque spot in the mountains with one thousand platanas. Here they cook a real tandoor-kebab. Big pieces of lamb marinated with onion, coriander and other orient spices, steweked and hanged above the coal and juniper branches in tandoor - a clay oven. Meat is left for several hours so it absorbs juniper smoke.
City Tour of Shahrisabs.
The ancient city of Shahrisabs (Green City) is indeed surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Architectural landmarks of the city are at least 500 years old with the famous Ak-Saray Palace and the Jahongir mausoleum.
Visit Ak Saray Palace (14th cent) - White Palace. Much was written about this palace, especially by Rue Gonzales de Klavikho, the Spanish Ambassador to Amir Temur, who was an important figure in the history of Shahrisabs. Time had no mercy on this marvelous building and by the end of the 16th century this grandiose monument had been destroyed. Parts of the portal that remained are evidence of the scale of its construction; Ak-Saray is still unsurpassed in its intricate mosaic and other decorations that showed off the arts of traditional craftsmen. Above the portal of the Ak-Saray are huge letters saying: "If you challenge our power - look at our buildings!"),Doru-Siadat and Doru-Tillovat (The house of contemplation) consisting of two mausoleums - Hazreti sheih (Shamsiddin Kulyal) and Gumbazi Seyidon with the Kok-Gumbaz (Blue dome) mosque.
Shahrisabs would not be as famous if on April 9th 1346, in the village of Hodja-Ilgar, Taragai, Temur was not born to the family of a noble landlord Amir Temur - the future statesman and great commander.
Drive to Bukhara. (220 km) Arrive to Bukhara.
Dinner with folklore show in Nodir Divan Begi madrasah.
Day 5 Bukhara.
Ancient and fairy-tale city of Bukhara - the land of magic lamps and Eastern beauties. In ancient times Great Silk Road caravans never missed this town - the only oasis around. Bukhara was included on the UNESCO list of the world's most impressive scientific and cultural treasures. "Bukhoro-i-Sharif" or "Noble Bukhara" is the name given to Bukhara in the Muslim East.
Nowadays Bukhara is famous not only for its magnificent historical monuments, but for its lively trade. ...every traveler finds something unique in this town.
Full day city tour of Bukhara.
Visit to Ismail Samani mausoleum (9-10c)-vault of Bukhara rulers' dynasty, Chor-Minor, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleums (14 c), Bukhara local bazaar. Jewish Synagogue. Kukeldash Madrasah (16c).
Ark Fortress(2nd cent.B.C.-19th cent) is the heart of the city. Whoever wanted to attack Bukhara, whether they were Mongol Khan, Alexander the Great or Bolsheviks, they attacked the Ark first. The Ark was a city in itself and comprised closely spaced courtyards, offices and homes for the counties. From high walls of citadel the interesting skyline of the city is made up of a mixture of modern buildings and monuments of the past.
Lunch in the Restaurant Minzifa located in the center of the historical part (the Old City) of Bukhara, very close to the medieval trade domes and the Lyabi-Hauz ensemble. Dimlyama - meat and large cuts of layered vegetables braised in their own juice.
Continue City Tour.Poi-Kalyan ensemble including Kalyan Minaret (12c), Mosque (15c), functioning Madrasah Mir-i-Arab (16 c), Amir- Alim-Khan Madrasah (14c), Taki (trading domes).
Farewell dinner on the third floor open area in the restaurant “Dolon”. Enjoy traditional mash-hurda - simple, but quite irresistible soup with light fried meat made of mash, small Central Asian beans, and rice. It is served with greens and sour milk. For the second - Bukhara wedding dish – Nauruz – thin round slices of meat, potato, tomato, onion and butter seasoned with cinnamon and other spices and braised in tandoor.
Breathtaking panorama of sunset over Bukhara is attached to the menu!!!
YoqimliIshtaha! Bon appetite!
We promise to provide excellent service for you. Our programs are tailor-made. All the excursions, hotels and other services are subject to be changed upon request according to your special wishes. We are always open for your suggestions and improvements to your individual itinerary. For more information, please, feel free to contact our tour operator.
Prices on demand.
- Visa Support
- Accommodation at mentioned hotels on DOUBLE/TWIN sharing basis
- Breakfasts in the hotels
- Transfers (Airport-Hotel-Airport)
- A/C comfortable transport with professional driver per itinerary
- English Speaking Guide service
- Full board (special menu is organized especially for this gastronomy tour)
- Entrance fees to all visiting places
- Domestic flight ticket Bukhara -Tashkent
- 1 bottle of 1L mineral water per person per day
PROGRAM DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Strong drinks (vodka, beer, etc.)
- Photo and Camera fees
- Tips for guide and driver
- Any services not included in the above itinerary