I'm Dawn Robbins of Unexpected Designs and I can’t get enough of the incredible beauty and fabulous old world craftsmanship in Central Asia! It’s just full of inspired design: sophisticated silk embroidery and carpet weaving, delightfully patterned ikat and atlas fabrics, intricate carved wood and metalwork, must-have ceramics...
This heartland of the ancient Silk Road offers travel like it used to be and a shopper’s paradise. This May, join me as I lead a shopping tour through the markets, bazaars, and artisan workshops of Uzbekistan. We’ll celebrate the history, culture, warm hospitality, and talented artists of this country. We will visit historical sites that provide inspiration for so many artists and craftspeople. Join me on this exciting, inspiring, journey through Uzbekistan!
Arrival at Tashkent International Airport. You will be met by your personal guide and transfer to your hotel. Our tour today will begin at 10:00 AM in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. When much of the old city was leveled in an earthquake back in 1966, broad boulevards and parks with monuments and open spaces in the European style were created. Shopping is fantastic everywhere in Uzbekistan with one of a kind local handicrafts, artisans workshops, bazaars and shops set up in old madrassas. We’ll begin in the Museum of Applied Arts, the perfect starting point for our exploration of the traditional arts. We’ll make a stop at the Chorsu Bazaar to see how residents shop for fresh food, bread and dried fruits and nuts. You’ll never go hungry here! The food in Uzbekistan is local and home made, with every destination claiming that their distinctive bread and plov is the best!
For centuries a central crossroad of the Great Silk Road, Tashkent is renowned for its museums, handicraft centers, art galleries, and monuments. We’ll visit the old section of the city at the 19th century Abul Kasim Handicraft Bazaar to see traditional artisans apply their skills. The Kulkedash Madrassa and a few other surprises round off the day.
This morning the train will take us to Margilan in the Fergana Valley; a lovely region famous for its silk production. We’ll visit the Yodgorlik Silk Factory and learn the process for making beautiful ikat fabric. We will overnight in Margilan to explore other sites and return to Tashkent that evening.
This morning we hop aboard the high-speed train to legendary Samarkand. We’ll start our sightseeing at the Gur i Emir Mausoleum with its fluted turquoise dome. Our visit to the magical UNESCO site of Registan Square will include the golden interior of the Tillya Kori, the lions of the Sher Dor and the fabulous boutique shops in the repurposed madrassa.
Shakhrisabz is the birthplace of Tamerlane. Our drive there will allow us to enjoy the landscapes of farms and villages. Ruins of the once glorious palace gates welcome you to artist’s shops and local vendors. We will return to Samarkand in time for dinner.
Depart Samarkand for Nurota. Suzani are the wonderful, hand-embroidered household pieces - tablecloths, pillow covers, wall hangings, etc. The variety, color and patterns defy description. We will visit two workshops that make and sell suzanis, both owned and operated by women. It’s a great opportunity to see the skill, detail and care that are worked into a suzani and meet these entrepreneurs. Following our visit we drive to the desert oasis of Navoi for a much needed rest.
Today we depart for Bukhara, another fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will arrive in time to celebrate and enjoy the famous Silk and Spice festival. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and celebrate with the local people. I can’t wait to share this fabulous experience with you. We also have time to explore the Summer and Winter Residences of the historic Emirs of Bukhara. On one of our evenings, we will enjoy dinner with music and dance performances. After all this shopping, celebrating, and sight seeing, we may need to just sit and enjoy a cup of spiced tea.
Morning train to Tashkent, farewell dinner and departures to our home bases.
The price of this tour will be $4048.00 per person, double occupancy. A single supplement is $511.00.
All lodging and transportation within Uzbekistan is included. Breakfast, dinners, and one lunch are included.
Each traveler is responsible for airfare to and from Uzbekistan and the cost of their Uzbekistan visa (e-Visas are now available!)
Please visit www.silkroadtreasuretours.com for more information on other exciting tours.