The Silk Road Three magic words that represent a world of mystery and fascination. The Silk Road has been thought of through the years as an intriguing journey taken only by brave merchants and missionaries who dared to travel it. Many dangers stood in the paths of the caravans and great preparations were required before setting out. One had to be prepared to defend oneself from robbers and from severe weather conditions, to learn to deal with legends of monsters and ghosts, and to carry a large amount of equipment. This tour travels through Uzbekistan, the most majestic and dramatic area of the Silk Road.
Uzbekistan – A young state that arose with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her glorious heritage is much older than her actual age as a state. Here was the Silk Road, where China’s treasures were transported to Europe. During the conquests of Genghis Khan, Uzbekistan became an important center for the Turco-Mongol peoples. Another leader – Timur (Known as Amir Timur and Tamerlane) created in the fourteenth century a mighty empire with its capital Samarkand. Uzbekistan combines the heritage of the Turkish and Mongolian tribes and the culture of Islam, India and Persia. In the cities of Uzbekistan, we can see the impressive buildings built in previous centuries – the mosques, the madrasas, the bathhouses, the city walls, the minarets and observe the local residents who keep the tradition of their ancestors. A kosher Uzbek culinary experience awaits you!
TOUR ITINERARY IN ASSOCIATION WITH ASIA TRAVEL
Day 1 (Tue) Departure for Uzbekistan/Tashkent….
Day 2 (Wed) – Tashkent
Upon landing in Tashkent, transfer to your hotel. After breakfast, we shall go for a tour of the city of Tashkent (Stone City), a green city with millions of trees. Since the mid-19th century, the city has a Russian character and many of its inhabitants speak Russian. During our tour we will visit: the Hazrat-Imam Complex which includes the Barak Khan Madrassah formed in the 15-16th century, Tellya Sheikh Mosque (16th Century); Kaffak Shashi Mausoleum (Late Middle Ages), the Earthquake Memorial, Independence Square, and the Museum of Applied Art, which is used to display decorative objects and design of the beginning of the century. The building itself (1930) is built in an interesting Uzbek style. We will take the Tashkent subway, one of the most ornate and beautiful in the world. We will return to the hotel for dinner and a folklore Show.
Day 3 (Thu) - Tashkent - Samarkand
After breakfast, we will complete our tour of Tashkent. We shall visit The synagogue and the Bazaar; Towards noon we will drive to Samarkand; On our way we will stop at Sangzor, where we will be greeted by the drums and dances of a local folklore band and where we will have our dinner- barbecue. We will then travel through the “Gates of Timur "(a narrow defile between rock outcrops made by the Sangzor River) to Samarkand, the beautiful capital of Tamerlane. Late evening arrival and check-in at our hotel in Samarkand.
Day 4 (Fri) Samarkand
After breakfast, we will take a full day tour of this picturesque city, a city of domes and turquoise-colored ceramic minarets. We will visit Gur E Amir (Or Guri Amir) Mausoleum where Tamerlane and his successors (15th century) are buried. We will visit the remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque the largest in Central Asia; not far from it, there is one of the most mysterious and unique architectural monuments of Samarkand, the Necropolis 'Shakhi Zinda' (14-15 C.) - the “Living King” - whose ceramics are of interest to the entire world. We will see one of the most unusual sights of Samarkand, the 15th-century three-story observatory which was built for ruler and astronomer Ulugbek, from there we will reach the prophet Daniel’ s attributed Mausoleum.We will return to the hotel and prepare for Shabbat. Shabbat Eve Dinner and accommodation in Samarkand.
Day 5 (Shabbat) Samarkand
In the morning, after coffee and cake at the hotel, we will walk to the synagogue located in one of the alleys of the Jewish quarter (Mahalla.), for prayers. At the end of the religious service, we will return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, we will stroll in the immediate surroundings and after Dinner, we will enjoy an unusual ethno-cultural performance staged by the El-Merosi Theatre.
Day 6 (Sunday) Samarkand Bukhara
After breakfast, we will complete our tour of Samarkand: We will see the majestic Registan square, the Madrasa Ulugbek, the Lions Madrasa and the Golden Madrasa & Mosque, and the Museum of Abram Kalantarov. We will then depart for Bukhara.(300km/5h drive); Arrival, Dinner & Accommodation in Bukhara.
Day 7 – (Mon) – Bukhara
Today we will go on an excursion to Bukhara (Bukhara), one of the most important trade stations on the Silk Road, and visit the famous medieval Samanids Mausoleum (10 C.), which is considered a masterpiece of architecture. Chashma Ayub Mausoleum; Its name means Job's well, due to the legend in which Job visited this place and made a well by striking the ground with his staff. The water of this well is still pure and considered as healing. We will visit the spectacular-looking Ark, a royal town-within-a-town, occupied from the 5th century right up until 1920, when the Red Army bombed it. For centuries, it was the residence of the emirs of Bukhara; Sitora-I Mokhi Khosa, the Winter Palace of the Emir, which serves as a museum. We will be impressed by the famous Poi-Kalian Minaret, which was previouslyKnown as the tallest building in the world and next to it, the Great Mosque of Bukhara where tens of thousands can converge and facing the Miri Arab Madrasa, visit the medieval trading domes and the Jewish quarter, and reach Lyab-I Hauz, the historical source of water supply in Bukhara.Dinner and accommodation in Bukhara –Evening folklore show at the Nadir-Divan-Begi Madrassa.
Day 8 Tue Bukhara – Urgench – Khiva
After breakfast, we will take a trip to one of the world’s most beautiful ancient cities; Khiva, once the most important and brutal slave trading market of Central Asia; Today a friendly and welcoming old town; Its beauty while walking through the city gates and wandering the fabled Itchon-Kala will take your breath away; We will drive about 450 km from Bukhara, and on the way will see the red desert of the Kizel Kom and cross the great river Amu Daria. Khiva is a city-museum located in the oasis of Khorezm. It was founded in the 5th.C. BCE. Preserved in its entirety. There are many legends regarding the origin of “Khiva”. According to one of them, Shem, the biblical Noah’s son, founded the city. After the Deluge, Shem wandered about the desert, lay down to rest, and dreamt seeing 300 blazing torches. He believed it was an omen and built a city in the form of a ship - as to the arrangement of the torches in the dream. Then Shem dug a well which he called Kheyvak, (meaning “Live water”), thus the origin of “Khiva”; Khiva probably existed as early as the 8th century, first as a fortress and then as a trade station on one of the Silk Road. Upon arrival, dinner and overnight in Khiva
Day 9 (Wed) Khiva - Urgench - Tashkent
After breakfast, we will embark on a fascinating day of sightseeing. Khiva The pearl of the oasis of Khorzem. In the list of sites of global importance, Khiva is has a special place, as an important source of world civilization, and one of major centers on the Silk Road. Most of the architectural masterpieces are concentrated in Itchon Kala, the inner town of the oasis protected by impressive brick walls some 10 m high. Ichon Kala was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks to the walls, architectural works were preserved for hundreds of years: palaces, fortresses, madrasas, minarets, mosques, mausoleums, caravanserais, saunas and more.We will visit the inner city with its palaces and the national cultural treasure Pahlvan Mahmud Mausoleum. We will visit sites such as the ancient Friday Mosque with its 218 carved wooden posts, Kalta Minar Tower, the Islam Khoja Complex, and Madrassah of Muhammad Amin-khan the biggest medieval madrassah in Khiva, Kunya-Ark Palace and more. We will continue and visit handicraft workshops such as woodcarvings, a factory for papier-mâché puppets and more. After Dinner, we will fly back to Tashkent. Accommodation in Tashkent.
Day 10 (Thu) Taskent – Departure - Homebound flight…
|Land Price per person||
• Orgenz - Tashkent flight.
• Hotels as stated• Half board / Kosher meals + 1 picnic lunch.
• Special evening shows.
• Transfers from the airport to the hotel and back.
• Transportation by Air-conditioned tourist bus
• Entrance Fees to all the sites when on tours
• Tips to service-providers abroad (local guides, drivers, porters and more).
• English speaking Escort from arrival day until departure day.
• An Professional Tour Manager
• Port taxes and charges
Price does not include:
International Flights / Airport Taxes
• Medical and baggage insurance*
Personal expenses (telephone, drinks, etc.).•
Tips to the Guide/Tour Leader as is customary ($5 per person, per day)
Kashrut on Tours
Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.
Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.
It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.
Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:
A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.
• 90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 60-90 days prior to departure: $300 + $100 per passenger
• 60-30 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
• 30-14 days prior to departure: $1,000 + $100 per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund
We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.