The Great Silk Road Tour - Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

Join this 11 day escorted small group tour through Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as we discover the ancient Silk Road

The Great Silk Road Tour – Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan


Embark on a journey through the enchanting lands of the Great Silk Road, where cultures from various countries intermingle to create a truly captivating atmosphere. Since ancient times, nomadic tribes have traversed these lands, bringing with them unique traditions and ways of life to Central Asia. Now, you too can experience a small but distinctive part of this fabled route, immersing yourself in the past and discovering both similarities and differences. Along the way, marvel at the grandeur of historical landmarks, gaze upon towering mountain ranges, delve into the fascinating cultures of the local peoples, and savour the wonderful cuisine of both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

This 11 day escorted tour is operated on set dates and runs with as few as two people booked on. Places are limited to just 8 so don’t delay if you want to get a place on this tour.

Day 1 – Arrival in Uzbekistan
Today you will arrive in Uzbekistan. Having completed customs and immigration you will be met by a local driver and transferred to your hotel for the evening. There are no activities planned for today so you can either relax at the hotel or explore the local area.
Overnight at Hotel Art Deluxe or similar

Day 2 - Tashkent
This morning you will meet with the rest of the group at an allocated time. Our first outing is a sightseeing tour in Tashkent. You will visit the Old City part of Tashkent with the Khast-Imam complex where the world famous Qoran of Caliph Uthman has been preserved. Then we will explore Chorsu Bazaar and have our lunch in a local restaurant (payable locally). Our journey continues with a ride on the Tashkent Metro to the city centre. Here we will take a walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and visit the Historical Museum. This afternoon is free time to relax before we head out later for an evening meal in a local restaurant.
Overnight at Hotel Art Deluxe or similar (BD)

Day 3 - Tashkent to Bukhara
We have breakfast in the hotel before we leave for the railway station early in the morning. We meet with a local guide and driver at the railway station in Bukhara and have lunch in a local restaurant (payable locally). Bukhara has been described as a fairy tale city as it seems magical, beautiful and oriental. Bukhara is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Among the many sites that you will visit are Lyabi-Khauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, ChorMinor Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, as well as the legendary Ark Fortress. We hope to have our evening meal in a local restaurant with the local Uzbek folk.
Overnight at Hotel Old Bukhara or similar (BD)

Day 4 - Bukhara to Samarkand
Breakfast in the hotel and we will meet with our local guide and driver to continue the sightseeing tour in Bukhara. This morning we visit the summer residence of the last Bukhara emir – Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa. This is a unique building, the architecture of which combines oriental and Russian elements of décor. Our trip continues with the mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi, the founder of the Sufi and the Necropolis of Chor-Bakr, known as “the city of dead”. We then transfer to the railway station for high-speed train to Samarkand. On arrival we will transfer to the hotel and have our dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight at Hotel Zilol Baxt or similar (BD)

Day 5 - Samarkand
We meet with a local guide and driver at hotel lobby to start a city tour. The Registan Square (“Sandy Place”), the ensemble of three madrasahs (the Ulughbek Madrasah, the Sher Dor Madrasah and the Tillya Kori Madrasah are visited today. We continue with the Gur-Amir Mausoleum –a world known masterpiece of Central Asian architecture and the family crypt of the great dynasty of Tamerlane, with a fine ribbed dome and decorated with paper-maché inside. In the afternoon, you will discover other miracles of the city including the Pearl of Samarkand – Bibi Khanum Mosque. Constructed in 1399 by the best architects and artisans of Khorossan, Azerbaijan, Persia and India, the mosque was compared with the beauty and shining of the Milky Way. We also visit the Siyab Bazaar, the most ancient and the largest in Samarkand. Dinner is at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Hotel Zilol Baxt or similar (BD)

Day 6 - Samarkand to Tashkent
To start the day we will visit the Shakhi-Zinda ensemble with more than 20 buildings, built from early XI up to XIVcc. We then visit the Observatory of Ulugbek, one of the famous observatories of the Middle Ages, built in 1428-1429. Our time in Samarkand ends as we transfer to the railway station and take the high speed train to Tashkent and transfer directly to a restaurant (or to the hotel to drop off luggage). Dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight at Hotel Art Deluxe or similar (BD)

Day 7 - Kochkor
An early start takes us to the airport for our flight to Bishkek, arriving at about 0915. We are then met and have the 280km drive (approx. 4-5hours) to Kochkor, formerly known as Stolypin and Kochkorka. On the way, we will stop not far from Tokmok (after 60 km) and have an excursion to Burana Tower, a place on the Great Silk Road dated to 11th century. Though experts say that the tower was originally a minaret that stood twice as tall as it does today, Kyrgyz legends have another version of the story. We will visit the tower and the museum before we continue our trip to Kochkor. Kochkor is home to artisans who specialise in traditional Kyrgyz art, and who keep alive the traditions of the region by making sustainable souvenirs. Kochkor has become famous for its shyrdaks and felt carpets, which are made in workshops around the city. Before dinner, we will visit a women’s cooperative producing typical Kyrgyz felt carpets. You can even have a go at making your own small carpet.
Overnight at Nomad Lodge Hotel or similar (BD)

Day 8 - Issyk Kul, Skazka Canyon and Tamga
Our journey today takes us to the southern shores of Issyk Kul. Issyk Kul is the second largest mountain lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. Issyk Kul means warm lake and was given this name as it does not freeze in the winter due to its high salt content. This is a vast body of water stretching to a length of 200km and being 60km wide at points. The deepest part of the lake reaches down 730m. We will visit Kyzyl Tuu village, where you can see how the wooden parts of the yurts (dwelling house of nomad people) are made. On the way, we will also stop in ‘Fairy Tale’ Canyon. After driving for about 4km, yuo will notice how mountains part, and immediately and as if by the wave of a magic stick, we find ourselves in the valley of fairy tales. In Russian, the word Skazka means “Fairy Tale” and the place is certainly a magical place, full of mystery and mysticism, sufficient to stimulate the imagination of those with the inclination to stand, and stare, and wonder. We will take some time to enjoy the scenery and stretch our legs here. We end the day when we will reach the yurt camp near the shore of the lake, here dinner will be served and you spend your first night in a yurt, feeling just like a real nomad. Todays driving is about 250km and takes 4-5 hours.
Overnight at the Nomad Lodge Yurt camp or similar (BD)
Please note: Yurts accommodate 4 people, and the shower and toilet are shared. Contact us for private yurt upgrades, which are subject to availability.

Day 9 - Jety-Oguz and Karakol
Travel today to Jety-Oguz gorge. This place is famous for its red rock formations in the form of the Broken Heart and Seven Bulls. (the name translates as Seven Bulls). Learn about some of the legends that local people have about the place and enjoy the beautiful mountain views and fresh air. We will continue the drive to Karakol. Upon arrival, a city tour of Karakol where we will visit a Russian Orthodox Church made of wood, a Muslim Mosque in Chinese Style, and the Museum of Prjevalsky, the Russian explorer of Central Asia. We will have dinner with a local Uigur family (Uigurs are Chinese Muslims). Overnight at the Mir Hotel or similar (BD)

Day 10 - Karakol to Bishkek
It is along the northern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake that we travel today (full days travelling of 420 km, about 6-7 hours) On the way we will visit the Open Air Museum of Petroglyphs. The open-air Museum, sometimes referred as a Stone Garden, covers some 42 hectares and contains a number of prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall and Petroglyphs (dating from the II millennium BC up to the Middle Ages). Upon arrival in Bishkek, we take a tour which includes Victory Square, a memorial for the fallen in WWII, and the Statue of Kurmandshan Datka, the legendary fighter against the Russian occupation of 1862 - 1876. We explore Alatoo Square, where on official holidays, parades are held in front of government buildings and visit Panfilov Park where under shady trees children will be found playing. For those wanting souvenirs, a trip to Osch-bazaar offers not only decorative goods of all kinds, but also great photo opportunities.
Overnight in Bishkek Hotel (BD)

Day 11 – Depart Kyrgyzstan
At a suitable time you will be met at the hotel and transfer to the airport. This should take about 40 minutes. End of services.

Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Great Silk Road Tour - Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan 

Departure Dates

2024 Dates coming soon

Price - £1945 per person (based on two people sharing)

Single Supplement - £225

Included in the Great Silk Road Tour - Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Transportation as described with A/C and driver
  • Economy class flight from Tashkent to Bishkek on Day 7
  • All accommodation as shown or of a similar quality - Four-person accommodation in the yurts (double and single upgrade available - contact us)
  • Daily breakfast (B), plus lunch (L) and dinner (D) as shown in the itinerary
  • English speaking guides in each city in Uzbekistan in Days 3,4,5,6,7 and escorting guide in Days 7-10 in Kyrgyzstan
  • Train tickets in Uzbekistan: Tashkent – Bukhara, Bukhara – Samarkand, Samarkand – Tashkent
  • Entree fees to cultural places and nature parks
  • Yurt Production Show
  • Felt show in Kochkor

Not Included in the Great Silk Road Tour - Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

  • International travel to the start and end point - contact us for information and flight options
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any visa requirements
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips for drivers and guides
Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. 

Uzbekistan -

Kyrgyzstan -

Visa and Passport Information

Passport validity

If you are visiting Uzbekistan, your passport should be valid for three months from the date you arrive. If you are visiting Kyrgyzstan, your passport should be valid for six months from the date you arrive.

Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.


If you have a British citizen passport you can enter Uzbekistan as a visitor for stays of up to 30 days without a visa. If you’re travelling on a different type of British passport, are travelling for a purpose other than tourism or business, or intending to stay longer than 30 days, you should check entry requirements with the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in London. If you’re entering Uzbekistan on an Uzbek visa make sure that you check it once issued and carefully note the date of expiry and the number of entries permitted.

You do not need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan if staying in Kyrgyzstan for 60 days or less on  a British passport.

Travelling with medication

If you enter Uzbekistan with medicines, whether prescription or non-prescription, you should check in advance the list of prohibited medicines and the legal quantities of medicines that are allowed to be imported. You can find information on the website of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan


You should carry a doctor’s prescription if you intend to travel with prescription medicines and declare the items on your customs declaration form. Some non-prescription medicines in the UK cause problems on entry into Uzbekistan, including codeine. Possession of these items can lead to administrative or criminal proceedings if you don’t have a prescription, or if you’re carrying more than you need for the visit and don’t declare them on arrival. Issues have most frequently been reported at land borders.

Most UK prescriptions are accepted in Kyrgyzstan but you should check in advance with individual pharmacies. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines.

General Health

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website


If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 103 (non-English speaking) and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. The quality of medical care in Uzbekistan is generally poor. Most hospitals are badly-equipped and unhygienic, with a limited supply of drugs. There is no guarantee that equipment will have been properly sterilised, especially in rural hospitals. You should avoid all but basic or essential treatment in the event of an emergency. Medical insurance companies usually refer complaints of a more serious nature to hospitals in Europe or New Delhi. 

Medical facilities in Kyrgyzstan are not as developed as those in the UK. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 103 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.  


What to bring on the Great Silk Road Tour - Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan


Lightweight clothing which can be layered is adviseable as well as general warm clothing. A light rain coat is also important There is a laundry available in most hotels.


Lightweight comfortable shoes/trainers and/or walking boots. 

Luggage while on your tour

Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.


We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a waterbottle. A solar charger for your phone and other electronics is a good idea. 


The national currency of Uzbekistan is sum (also som, soum) and tiyin. This currency has been put into circulation in Uzbekistan since 1994 and today is the only means of payment. In circulation there are banknotes of the following value: 100,200,500, 1000 and 5000 sum. Credit cards are not widely accepted beyond Tashkent and the main tourist areas of Samarkand and Bukhara. Travellers’ cheques are not normally accepted. There are very few cash dispensers. US dollars are the most widely accepted foreign currency. Only change money through official exchange booths. It is illegal to change money on the black market, and harsh penalties will be imposed on those caught doing so. Damaged or marked bank notes will not be accepted at official exchange locations. 


You will need to complete a foreign currency declaration form when you arrive, and keep a copy yourself. You cannot leave with more foreign currency than you arrive with. 

The currency in Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyzstani som. This is different from the Uzbekistan Sum and they are not interchangeable. Aside from the Kyrgyzstani som, no other currency is officially accepted in Kyrgyzstan. Major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and Amex are accepted in Kyrgyzstan, especially at shops and restaurants. Having some Kyrgyzstani som banknotes could help for small purchases and tipping. You can typically exchange currency at a bank or exchange bureau. 

Use of electronic devices

For Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Uzbekistan operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Local Laws and Customs

Uzbekistan has a secular constitution. Most Uzbek people are Muslims. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

You should carry your passport with you at all times as this is a legal requirement in Uzbekistan. The police often carry out checks.

Possession of drugs is illegal. There is a ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco to those under 20. Prison sentences can be lengthy. While prison conditions have reportedly improved, reports of widespread hepatitis and tuberculosis and allegations of mistreatment of some prisoners by officials remain a concern.

Homosexuality is illegal under Uzbek law and is still very much frowned upon socially. You should take care over public displays of affection.

Any form of photography can upset the authorities, particularly photographs of government buildings including the Palace of Forums in Tashkent and sometimes in local bazaars not normally visited by tourists. While restrictions have been relaxed recently, you should check before using a camera, especially near airports, border checkpoints, military barracks, bridges, police stations and metro stations.

Kyrgyzstan has a secular constitution. Most Kyrgyz people are Muslims. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. Lack of cultural sensitivity has caused trouble for some unaware foreign nationals.

Possession and use of drugs are illegal. If you’re found guilty, you could face a lengthy prison sentence in basic conditions.

Taking photos of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with the authorities. You must carry your passport, or a notarised copy of it, at all times. The police can arrest you if you do not carry ID. Homosexuality is legal, but not often discussed or recognised publicly. You should take care over public displays of affection.

Time Zone 

Time zone in Uzbekistan (GMT+5)

Time zone in Kyrgyzstan (GMT+6)

Internet Availability

Internet access for travelers in Uzbekistan leaves much to be desired. Slow speeds, limited availability and a small coverage area are common. Most hotels in Uzbekistan do offer free Wi-Fi, but the best quality connection is only found in 4-5-star hotels. In some budget hotels, Wi-Fi may not work at all or be of very poor quality, suitable only for messenger apps.

In Kyrgyzstan, mobile internet is inexpensive and fast enough to do research and stay in touch with people. 3G is available in the major towns. Bishkek has plenty of coffee places with wi-fi and your accommodation should have decent wi-fi too.

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