St Petes to Tashkent - 11 days
FROM USD $2,649
Get off the beaten track on this unique journey through Russia and Uzbekistan - the cultural heart of Central Asia, with its fascinating history, beautiful architecture, lively bazaars and rich culture. See the highlights of St Petersburg and Moscow before joining the ancient Silk Road to discover the historic cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
Tuesday. Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday! Arrival transfer from St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport to your hotel and check in. Tonight, our tip filled Welcome Meeting takes place. Rest of evening free. Your tour leader will recommend some local bars and restaurants for you to try out. Overnight - St Petersburg
Stunningly grandiose St Pete’s - founded by Peter the Great in 1703 is built around a series of bridge-connected canals and rivers. We start the day with a city tour, driving along Nevsky Prospekt, we stop to see the outside of the Church on Spilled Blood and explore Peter and Paul Fortress, giving us a solid introduction of this beautiful city. At one time a gruesome prison within the Peter and Paul Fortress compound is SS Peter and Paul Cathedral - housing the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. Later, we enjoy a guided tour of the treasure-filled Hermitage at the Winter Palace. Overnight - St Petersburg
St Petes to Tashkent - 11 days Go Guide
: :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
A free day to explore, alternatively jump on board with our optional Pukka Pass! The Pukka Pass includes entrance fees and guiding, with visits to the Church On Spilled Blood, Peterhof in summer or Catherine or Pavlovsk Palace in winter and lunch overlooking Griboyedov Canal. Later this evening we board our overnight sleeper train bound for Moscow. Overnight - Sleeper Train (B)
Moscow. The city that kept Bond busy. At Red Square, we enjoy a guided walk of the Kitay Gorod and Lubyanka area. Discover the delights of Red Square, home to St Basil’s, the GUM department store and Lenin’s Mausoleum. The rest of the day is free for you to
further explore. Overnight - Moscow
Today, we tour Russia’s powerhouse - the mighty Kremlin, with a guided walk through the grounds where we’ll see numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the tsar bell - the largest bell that never rang! Later you can visit St Basil’s Cathedral, commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the terrible) in 1555 to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan. The multi-tented cathedral with brightly coloured onion shaped domes is destinctively iconic Russia.
Afterward there is free time. If open, you can pay your respects to the grandfather of Communism at Lenin’s mausoleum. The city offers amazing galleries, museums, plenty of cafes, shops (including the GUM department store for high rollers) and bars all within walking distance. Alternatively, hop from station to station using your Metro pass. Be sure to take the circle line to fully view and absorb the opulence of Stalin’s marble clad, chandelier lit underground stations. Overnight - Moscow
Day 6: Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Moscow – Bukhara. After breakfast and hotel check out, make your way to the airport for your flight to Bukhara (flight not included). On arrival into Bukhara you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel for check in. The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy this holiest of Central Asian cities at leisure. Overnight - Bukhara (B)
Day 7: Bukhara Old Town
Bukhara. After breakfast we visit the historical highlights of Bukhara and its UNESCO listed old town, beginning with Lyabi-Hauz, a peaceful plaza built in 1620 and surrounded by madrasahs. Next visit the 16th century Kalon Mosque and the ornamental Kalon Minaret built in 1127 and reaching 47 metres, one of the few monuments in Bukhara spared by Genghis Khan and his hordes.
Later do a spot of shopping in the vast warren of market lanes in the covered bazaars of Taqi-Zargaron before visiting Maghoki-Attar, Central Asia’s oldest surviving mosque, and the madrasahs of Ulugbek, Abdul Aziz Khan and Mir-i-Arab. Tonight we enjoy dinner and a show at the Nadir Divan Begi madrasah. Overnight - Bukhara (B, D)
Day 8: Bukhara to Samarkand
Bukhara - Samarkand. This morning our first stop is the Ark, Bukhara’s oldest structure. This royal town-within-a-town was once home to the rulers of Bukhara and comprises the ruins of a 17th century mosque, royal apartments and living quarters. Continuing, we visit the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, completed in the 10th century for the founder of the Samanid Dynasty, and the richly decorated Bolo-Hauz Mosque. Outside of town we visit picturesque Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa, the summer residence of the last Bukhara emirs.
This afternoon we depart Bukhara and make our way to Samarkand, one of the oldest cities in the world. After hotel check in, the remainder of the day is free. Overnight - Samarkand (B)
Day 9: Samarkand city tour
Samarkand. Today we discover the historic town of Samarkand, visiting Guri Amir Mausoleum, the family graveyard of Amir Timur the conqueror, before heading to Registan, the centrepiece of the city. We continue to the enormous Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosques. Photo opportunities abound at Siab Bazaar, a frenetic and colourful farmers market popular for groceries and silk.
Our next stop is the Shah-i-Zinda, the lavishly decorated necropolis of the royal family and nobles of ancient Samarkand. Discover the 15th century Ulugbek Observatory before exploring ancient Samarkand, or Afrosiab as it was known, at the Afrosiab Museum, the site dates back to the 6th century.
Overnight - Samarkand (B)
Day 10: Taskent - Old and New
Samarkand - Tashkent. Departing Samarkand after breakfast we make our way to Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s eclectic capital city. After hotel check in we see the contrast between the old and new Tashkent with a city tour. Visiting the old town we visit Chorsu Bazaar, a sprawling farmers market filled to the brim with exotic spices, fruits and vegetables. We explore the Khast Imam complex featuring an ornate facade of blue-tiled mosaic concealing a rose garden courtyard and visit the Barakhon Madrasah, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Moyie Mubarek Library where you can see the holy book of Quran dating back to the 7th century, and the Hazrati Imam mosque built in 2007.
Overnight - Tashkent (B)
Day 11: Tashkent
Friday. Our tour ends after breakfast and hotel check out at 12 noon today. (B)