Markets and Minarets of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

Explore the markets, mosques and minarets of oasis towns on the fringes of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts. Here, spiritual beliefs were the greatest commodities to flow along trade routes, and civilizations blossomed amidst austere natural beauty. Head overland across Uzbekistan, the heart of the Silk Road, and then fly to the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat.

13 Day Trip

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Dine at the home of an Uzbek family
    Dine at the home of a local Uzbek family and sample traditional Central Asian dishes....
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  • Visit with a sixth generation ceramics master in Tashkent
    Visit with a sixth generation ceramics master who has revived the lost art of using natural dyes, teaching these rediscovered techniques to contemporary Uzbek ceramicists....
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  • Tour the UNESCO-listed capital of the ancient Parthian Kingdom
    Visit the site of the capital of the ancient Parthian Kingdom, Nisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site....
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  • Enjoy the dazzling dances and costumes of Uzbekistan
    Visit a Bukharan madrassah to dine and enjoy a costume show and dance performance by local artists....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • The first American travel company to open an accredited office in Uzbekistan
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-7: Tashkent, Samarkand, Shahrisabz, Bukhara

In Uzbekistan’s capital, wander the Chorsu Bazaar and visit the studio of a master ceramics craftsman. Tamerlane transformed Samarkand into one of the most beautiful cities along the Silk Road. Visit his hometown, UNESCO-listed Shahrisabz, before continuing to Bukhara to admire the peaceful Lyabi-Hauz Plaza, embodying the soul of pre-Soviet Central Asia.


  • Uzbekistan’s capital and largest city, Tashkent
  • The Square of Independence, tracing Tashkent’s history
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Days 8-9: Khiva

Continue to Khiva, a living museum with its dun-colored city walls, merchants hawking their wares from each side, and distinctive minarets watching over the whole scene.


  • Ichon-Qala, or Khiva’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Kyzyl Kum Desert, covering approximately 118,000 square miles
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Days 10-13: Dashoguz, Ashgabat

In Turkmenistan, investigate Ashgabat, the Guinness World Record-holder for the highest density of white marble buildings. Explore UNESCO-listed Nisa, once a major center of the ancient Parthian Kingdom.


  • Capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, with marble and gold monuments
  • Hand-loomed carpets at the Museum of Carpets and Textiles
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 13 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $4,595
  • Plus Internal Air $100
  • Single Supplement $535

2020 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Monday

Recommended months of travel:

  • April,  
  • May,  
  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • November,  
  • FROM
  • $4,595
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located superior tourist class hotels throughout the itinerary. Call for hotel upgrade prices.
  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 9 dinners, per the itinerary. A few lunches and dinners are left independent so you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (size of vehicle depends on number of travelers).
  • Evening cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info


Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in the South Caucasus countries, Iran, Western Russia, or Eastern Europe. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations are comfortable, they will vary from superior tourist class hotels to simple and basic bed and breakfast-style small private hotels. It is important to keep in mind that the countries of Central Asia are not up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

  • Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia: Exploring the Silk Road

    Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia: Exploring the Silk Road

    Andrew Barron, MIR's Director of Scheduled Group Tours, visits the ancient Silk Road in Western China and the 'Stans with the Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia scheduled group tour. Read about his journey from Almaty to Urumqi, Kashgar and Bishkek.... Read More

  • Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova with MIR Traveler James Burch

    Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova with MIR Traveler James Burch

    An In-Depth Journey of Three Unsung Countries

    In the spring of 2017, MIR traveler James Burch set off on MIR’s Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova small group tour. It’s an in-depth tour of three countries that used to be republics in the Soviet Union: Belarus (Byelorussian SSR) between Poland and Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova (Moldovian SSR) between Ukraine and Romania. Following is the day-by-day account of his adventures in these unfamiliar countries.... Read More

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