Uzbekistan local time  

Photo expedition through Uzbekistan

Accompanied by Vladimir Schlossberg - the winner of 5th international photo contest "TashkentALE-2010"

16 days / 15 nights

This photo expedition will show you how rewarding it is to get off the beaten path in order to get to know the profound secret soul of Uzbekistan, that has always inspired photographers in search of pictures that convey stories. Both professional photographers and amateurs will appreciate this carefully researched itinerary passing through the regions where the most striking scenes are to be found, such as dramatic "lunar–martian" landscape of the Aral Sea area revealing slumberous mood, loneliness and melancholy of its destiny; the real life scenes of mysterious Baysun area where history and tradition run deep and where time seems to go slowly. Here you will meet ordinary people with generous heart such as a famous Baysun artist who features scenes of his beloved homeland in Paul Gauguin painting style...


Tashkent – Sukok village – Tashkent – Baysun – Katta Langar – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand – Bukhara – Khiva – Nukus – Urga village – Aral Sea – Muynak – Nukus – Tashkent

Day 1. Tashkent.

Arrival in Tashkent international airport.
Transfer to the hotel and accommodation.
Welcome dinner.
Overnight in Tashkent.

Day 2. Tashkent – Sukok village – Tashkent.

Early breakfast at 06:30.
Transfer to Sukok village located at 900 m above sea level (60 km from Tashkent).
Visit the picturesque village with its friendly inhabitants and thousand houses that have preserved their peculiar look.
Picnic lunch.
Proceed with excursion through gorgeous pine forest.
Transfer back to Tashkent.
Dinner at local restaurant in Tashkent.
At 20: 00 transfer to the railway station to take train Tashkent – Termez № 380f at 21:00.
The train operates on even days.
Overnight on board the train.

Day 3. Tаshkent – Derbend settlement – Baysun.

Weaving its way through the picturesque Baysuntau mountains at 1800 m above sea level and offering scenic views of the area, the train will take you to Baysun region.
Breakfast on board the train.
Arrival at Darband settlement at 08:20.
Visit ancient settlements of Darband.
Lunch at local cafe nestled in the picturesque Maykhana gorge. Here you can taste local delights such as lamb prepared with spruce branches in traditional clay stove.
Transfer to Baysun (40 km).
Visit Baysun villages.
Dinner at local family.
Overnight in guesthouse in Baysun.

Day 4. Baysun.

Early breakfast.
During the excursion through Baysun villages you will be guided by local painter Tura Shamursaev.
Visit to workshop of Tura Shamursaev.
Lunch and dinner at local family.
Overnight in guesthouse in Baysun.

Day 5. Baysun – Katta - Langar village – Shakhrisabz.

Transfer to Katta-Langar village (120 km).
Full day dedicated to the exploration of this picturesque village.
Visit the local highlight – the old mosque in which one of the most ancient copies of Holy Koran was kept for many years.
Encounter with the Imam of the mosque.
Lunch will be organized outdoors next to the mosque.
Proceed with the visits.
Transfer to Shakhrisabz (65 km.).
Short sightseeing tour in Shakhrisabz.
Dinner at local family.
Overnight in Shakhrisabz.

Day 6. Shakhrisabz – Samarkand.

Early breakfast.
Transfer to Samarkand (75 km) at 07:30.
Arrival in Samarkand at 09:00.
Full day dedicated to the sightseeing in Samarkand.
Lunch in local restaurant.
Accommodation in hotel.
Proceed with sightseeing tour in Samarkand.
Overnight in Samarkand.

Day 7. Samarkand – Bukhara.

Transfer to Bukhara.
En route visit Deggaron mosque (11th century) in Khazara village.
En route visit Narzullaev’s ceramic studio in famous pottery center Gijduvan (45 km off Bukhara).
Lunch in Narzullaev’s family.
After lunch you will participate in pottery master class and learn how to make decorative ceramic toys.
Arrival in Bukhara.
Accommodation. Time at leisure.
Overnight in Bukhara.

Day 8. Bukhara.

Full day dedicated to the sightseeing tour in Bukhara.
Overnight in Bukhara.

Day 9. Bukhara – Khiva.

Transfer to Khiva at 07:00.
Today you will take long trip through the Kyzyl Kum desert (470 km).
During the trip you can communicate with a family of local shepherds, who have installed their yurt (nomads' tent) close to the highway, and admire Amu Darya River, as one third of the road runs along the course of this great Central Asian river.
En route lunch at Chayhana (local cafe) in the middle of the dessert.
Arrival in Khiva at 16:00.
Accommodation in hotel.
Evening at leisure to roam around Khiva historical centre.
Overnight in Khiva.

Day 10. Khiva.

Full day sightseeing tour of Khiva.
Overnight in Khiva.

Day 11. Khiva – Nukus.

Transfer to Nukus (197 км). En route visit Chilpak – Zoroastrian tower of silence (3rd century). Upon arrival to Nukus visit Karakalpak State Museum of Arts named after Igor Savitskiy.
After lunch transfer to Mizdakhkan - an ancient trade town of the Great Silk Road (19 km west from Nukus).
Visit the remains of Gyaur-kala fortress (4th-2nd century BC) and Muslum Sulu Mausoleum (14th century).
Dinner in local restaurant in Nukus.
Overnight in Nukus.

Day 12. Nukus – Urga village.

Transfer to plateau Usturt via Khojeily and Kungrad towns.
Then, following the highway Nukus – Biyneu (Kazakhstan) we will get to the salt mine "Barsa Kelmes" (190 km). The mine was formed on the site of the lake of the same name. After having taken photographs we will drive 140 km across rough terrain to the northern part of Usturt to the former shores of the Aral Sea, present day Lake Sudochiye. The lake is a wide area of reed marshlands in the Amu Darya delta land. The Sudochiye wetlands support a wide variety of fauna, including fish, and serve as a stopping point for flocks of migratory birds.
Here we can see an abandoned fishermen village, known as Urga, founded at the end of the 19th century. Besides, from the plateau there opens dramatic views of the lake and the village.
Overnight stay in tents.
(Optional accommodation in fisherman's shack.)

Day 13. Urga – Aral sea.

Early in the morning, at 06:00, you will have the opportunity to take pictures of a breathtaking sunrise.
After breakfast transfer to the shore of the Aral Sea (170 km). The road goes through plateau Usturt.
En route visit burial place of Sarmat tribes (4th-2nd century BC), and those of nomads dating back to the 11th -16th century AD, as well as scenic canyons at the abrupt edge of Usturt.
Pitch a camp by the shores of the Aral sea.
Lunch and dinner – field kitchen by the romantic camp fire.
Overnight stay in tents.

Day 14. Аral sea – Мuynak – Nukus.

At 06:00 we will photograph the sunrise above Aral Sea. After breakfast we will drive first through plateau Usturt and then through the former bottom of the Aral Sea toward Muynak (150 km).
Upon arrival in Muynak we will photograph the cemetery of vessels (rusting hulks of ships) and the delta of Amu Darya river.
Visit the Museum of the Aral Sea.
Transfer to Nukus.
Overnight in Nukus.

Day 15. Nukus – Tashkent.

Transfer to the airport to take domestic flight to Tashkent.
On arrival to Tashkent - sightseeing tour in the Uzbek capital.
Visit ceramic studio of Akbar and Alisher Rakhimovs, famous dynasty of Tashkent's pottery makers and House Museum of Yunus Rajabiy – the well known Uzbek composer and the founder of world famous ensemble "Maquomchilar".
Farewell dinner with outstanding folklore show.
Overnight in Tashkent.

Day 16. Tashkent.

Transfer to the airport to take international flight back home.

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