Combined Navruz tour of Tajikistan and
Navruz (also called Noruz, Nowruz, Nowrooz, and Nawruz) is celebrated on March 21, the spring equinox, and symbolises the beginning of a new year, the rebirth of nature, and the start of a new planting season. This Navruz Small Group Tour of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will immerse you in the festive atmosphere in ancient cities where you can enjoy small, improvised street shows and traditional songs and dances. Make sure to try sumalyak, a special dish made from germinated wheat grains that is only made for Navruz, or sit down for a shared Navruz meal at a dastarkhan, a table richly laid with foods (tradition says that the coming year will be as rich as your Navruz dastarkhan(table)). Share this exciting time of year with us and the hospitable people of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as you participate in the Navruz festivities while discovering the history and architecture of fascinating Silk Road cities.
Day 1, March 20, Fr: Dushanbe – arrival (Tajikistan)
Upon arrival in Dushanbe, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel for check-in (from 12:00).
Meet with the group in the lobby of the hotel at 13:00. Lunch.
After lunch visit the Tajikistan National Museum of Antiquities, which hosts the famous statue of Buddha in Nirvana, and the National Museum of Tajikistan. End the afternoon by exploring a local bazaar, where you’ll be able to feel the real Tajik spirit, witness the eastern art of trading, and see locals shopping for the Navruz holiday. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2, March 21, Sa: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
At 09:00 meet with your guide and group in the lobby of the hotel.
Spend the ancient Persian holiday of Navruz in traditional Tajik style with the local people in and around Dushanbe.
Visit Botanical Garden, one of Dushanbe residents’ favourite leisure venues, to enjoy the spring flowers.
A highlight will be seeing how the famous Navruz dish, sumalyak, is made from germinated wheat grains put in a large pot and stirred for a whole day by the women. Enjoy a traditional Navruz lunch in a local “house-restaurant”, with the chance to try dishes such as sambusa (puff-pastry stuffed with meat or greens) and sabzi (vegetables). Continue to the Hissar Fortress (30 km from Dushanbe), where you can see the Kukhna Madrassah. Return to Dushanbe and visit Rudaki Park and the Kokhi Navruz Centre (also called the “Navruz Palace”, this is an opulent building decorated with intricate wood carvings, painted ceilings, mosaics, and mirrors, and a large garden with fountains and summer pavilions). Finish the tour by visiting the mosque of Hoji Yakub, the Statue of Ismail Samani with your guide. In the public areas of the city, you may get to see other Navruz festivities like traditional dance performances, music, and art and craft displays, as well as locals dressed in their traditional clothes. End the day with dinner at the home of a Tajik family. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4 hours
Day 3, March 22, Su: Dushanbe – Istaravshan – Khujand (Tajikistan)
In the morning depart from Dushanbe and drive to Khujand (300 km, 5-6 h). Drive through Anzob tunnel. Lunch at local Chaikhana (tearoom).
In the afternoon drive to Istaravshan through Shakhristan tunnel. Visit a local bazaar, Hazrat Shah architectural complex, which consists of Hazrat Shah Mausoleum, the grave of brother of Kusam ibn Abbas, Khudayar Valami Mausoleum, and Namazgah Mosque dating back to 19th century. Continue to Mug Teppe, one of the ancient settlements in Istaravshan. The city is believed to be founded by King Cyrus in the North-East boundary of his empire. Continue driving to Khuhand.
Arrival in Khujand. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4, March 23, Mo: Khujand – Tashkent (Tajikistan-Uzbekistan)
Breakfast. At 10:00 sightseeing in Khujand: Republican Historical-Ethnographic Museum, Timur-Malik Fortress, Archaeological Museum, Mosque and Madrasah of Shaikh Muslihiddin, Payshanba Bazaar. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Late in the afternoon drive to the border point Oybek, customs and passport control, continue to Uzbekistan.
Meet Uzbekistan guide and driver and drive to Tashkent (100 km, 1 h). Transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 5, March 24, Tu: Tashkent – Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
Breakfast. Start the Tashkent city tour at 10:00 by visiting the Old City of Tashkent. This area encompasses the Khast-Imam Complex (famous for displaying one of the earliest copies of the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam), and Chorsu Bazaar, where you can haggle for spices, dried fruit, and nuts. The tour will continue to the city center to see Amir Timur Square and Independence Square and to explore the Museum of Applied Art. The city tour will take 4-5 hours, after which you’ll have some free time. At 18:00, transfer to the railway station. The high-speed train Afrosiyob, departs at 18:50 and arrives in Samarkand at 21:00 (300 km, 2 h 10 min). Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 6, March 25, We: Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast, Samarkand sightseeing tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, Gur Emir Mausoleum – the mausoleum of Amir Timur, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 7, March 26, Th: Samarkand – Bukhara (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast, continue sightseeing in Samarkand. You will visit Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, Afrasiab Museum and the Afrasiab Museum.
Then drive to Konigil village to discover the traditional way of making Samarkand paper from the bark of the mulberry tree. At 20:00 transfer to the railway station. Take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing at 21:00 and arriving in Bukhara at 22:35 (270 km, 1 h 35 min). Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 8, March 27, Fr: Bukhara (Uzbekistan)
Breakfast. At 09:00, start exploring the Old City of Bukhara. Highlights of the walking tour will include: the Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub Mausoleums, and various trading domes. Free time from 15:00 until the National Show at Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah, which starts at 18:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9, March 28, Sa: Bukhara – Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Breakfast. Start the second day with a visit to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa – the summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir, unique site combining Oriental and Russian architecture. Continue to the Mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi and Chor-Bakr Necropolis.
At 14:50 transfer to Bukhara train station. Fast going train “Afrosiyob” departs at 15:50. Scheduled arrival is at 19:40. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 10, March 29, Su: Tashkent – departure (Uzbekistan)
Check-out from the hotel at noon. Free time until transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Departure. End of the tour
Note: Maximum number of people in a group is 30. As much as your group size increases as more the price would be lower!
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
-All transfers and transport;
-All meals (B.L.D.)
-All entrance and sightseeing fees;
-1L bottled water per day for each
-Tour leader as per group
-VAT Tax and Profit of organization;
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
-Visa, international flight;
-Photo and video charges;
-All personal expenses (extra luggage fee, room service, medical expenses/insurance, etc.)
-Fees for extra service (folklore performance, meetings);
-Tips to the guides, drivers or interpreters
-All entrance and sightseeing fees;