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Uzbekistan

An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983.

Tours of Uzbekistan for seniors.

Now little known to travellers, Uzbekistan was once the heart of the Great Silk Road. Today, befitting its long-held position as the meeting point between civilisations, Uzbekistan is a treasure trove of fascinating historical sites. Samarkand retains the legacy of the ruthless Timur (or Tamerlane), who sought to enter history through ornate mosques, mausoleums, and madrassas. Bukhara, also on the Silk Road, is home to the beautiful Bolo Hauz Mosque, while it’s easy to imagine goods and traders lining the labyrinthine streets of the evocative walled city of Khiva. Uzbekistan’s Soviet history also bestowed cultural legacies, including the ornate Tashkent metro, and the pioneering avant-garde art of Igor Savitsky.

Uzbekistan Tours

Tours for Mature Aged and Senior World Travellers

Silk Road specialist small group history tours for mature travellers

29 days

Aug, May

Travel on the Silk Road with Odyssey Traveller | Small Group Tour for Seniors

Visiting China, Kyrgyzstan

The Silk Road is an ancient trade route linking China and Imperial Rome through Central Asia. Few areas in the world remain as unexplored or offer such richness in terms of ancient and modern history, culture, and scenic diversity as Central Asia. Our Small group Silk road tours itinerary explores the Road through remote deserts and mountainous environments as we visit key sites between Xi'an and Bukhara.

From A$15,750 AUD

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Mizdakhan Cemetery, Nukus, Uzbekistan

27 days

May, Aug

The Stans Small Group Tour: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan

Visiting Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

This Odyssey is designed for the adventurous traveller, a couple or solo traveller on a small group tour who is prepared for a range of accommodation styles, for walking excursions and some long travel days in 3 Central Asian countries. The program combines experiences with great scenery, ancient and modern histories, family visits and lifestyles that differ dramatically.

From A$14,350 AUD

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Articles about Uzbekistan

Silk road artefacts

Silk Road Explorers - "Imperialist Villains"

The Silk Road on the most famous overland trade routes from Asia to the markets of Alexandria and onto Venice. Article for mature and senior couples and solo travelers interested joining a small group tour starting in Xian through to Uzbekistan.

14 Dec 20 · 9 mins read
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Transmongolian Transiberian

Trans-Siberian Railway: Travel advice

The Trans Siberian rail journey, often a must do for many travellers. Join a small group package tour travelling on the Trans Siberian for mature and senior travellers, couples and solo travellers. Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, St Petersburg, Irkutsk all feature on this unique rail journey.

4 Jul 20 · 9 mins read
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Samanid mausoleum, Bukhara

Highlights of Uzbekistan | Samanid Mausoleum

Highlights of Uzbekistan | Samanid Mausoleum The Samanid Mausoleum, dating from the 10th century, is the oldest Muslim monument in the city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan. This final resting place was built for Ismail Samani (or…

18 Feb 20 · 2 mins read
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registan square samarkand

Registan Square Uzbekistan

The famous Registan Square and Ulugbek Madrasah is one of the worlds most recognised Mosque, which is the main square in Samarkand .In Uzbekistan this is one of the monumental buildings in the country. For mature and senior travellers on a small group tour this ancient city is located on the Silk Road network and is part of our small group tours programs on the Silk road or as part of the Stans program.

17 Feb 20 · 3 mins read
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Bibi Khanum Mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Bibi Khanum Mosque (Bibi-Khanym Mosque)

This gigantic domed mosque, Bibi Khanum mosque is the centrepiece of the imperial capital of Uzbekistan.

24 Jan 20 · 2 mins read
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Bibi Khanum Mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Elements of Mosque Architecture

The word "mosque" often brings to mind not this simple prayer space, but the ornately decorated monuments built by powerful Islamic rulers.

28 Nov 19 · 8 mins read
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Touring Uzbekistan

The need to know

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Shared taxis Train services run between the major cities of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, and can provide a relatively comfortable option for intercity travel. Bus services however are fairly slow, and can be somewhat cramped. Shared taxis are very common in Uzbekistan and operate in majors and cities, though it is advised to settle on a rate with your driver before your start your journey.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses.

Tour Guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment, & Weather

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country covering 447,000 square kilometres. Most of the country is flat, with vast plains stretching over much of the country’s surface. The terrain is the southeast of the country is more elevated however, with foothills rising toward the Tian Shan mountains.

Uzbekistan has a continental climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Depending on the time of year you intend to travel, check the weather reports and prepare accordingly.

World Heritage sites

Uzbekistan has 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/uz). The listed sites include:

Itchan Kala, the inner town of the old Khiva oasis containing a remarkable array of ancient palaces, mosques and mausoleums
Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz, featuring stunning medieval Islamic architecture
The City of Samarkand, filled with innumerable historic buildings and monuments.

Festivals & Events

Uzbekistan celebrates its Islamic heritage and pre-Islamic traditions in several festivals and events held throughout the year. Like many Central Asian nation, Uzbekistan celebrates Navruz (or Nowruz), the Persian New Year, in late March. A lively occasion, Navruz is marked by large family gatherings and feastings throughout the country. Being a Muslim-majority country, Ramadan is observed in the middle of the year, the conclusion of which is celebrated with with Eid al-Fitr. An event of great cultural significance in Uzbekistan is Boysun Bahori, a spring festival dating back to pre-Islamic times. Held in the ountainous Boysun in Surkhandarya Province, this festival features songs, dance performances, costumes, and storytelling, as well as traditional sports such as wrestling and kupkari, a team competition played on horseback.

Reading List

Uzbekistan: The Golden Road to Samarkand, by Calum MacLeod
The sands of Oxus, by Sadriddin Ayn
Land Beyond the River: The Untold Story of Central Asia, by Monica Whitlock
Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR, by Adeeb Khalid.

Eating & Drinking

The national dish of Uzbekistan is palov (or plov, or pilaf), a main course consisting of rice mixed with slices of meat, carrots, onions, chickpeas and raisins, as well as other fruits. Salads feature prominently in Uzbek cuisine, including bademjan (eggplant salad), achichuk salad (a salad consisting of tomatoes, onions and spices), and tashkent salad (made from beef tongue, radishes and fresh greens, and served with yogurt dressing). Meat is an important part of the Uzbek diet, and features in dishes such as shurpa (a soup made out of mutton and vegetables), dimlama (a stew made out of meat, potatoes, onions and vegetables) and lagman soup (a meat broth filled with lamb, noodles and vegetables).
Tea is widely consumed in Uzbekistan, with green tea the national beverage and teahouses acting as social hubs in Uzbekistan’s towns and cities. Despite being a Muslim-majority country, alcohol is commonly consumed, with vodka a national favourite.

Health & Safety

As of writing, smartraveller.gov.au advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Uzbekistan. Terrorist attacks have occurred in Uzbekistan in the past, while travel to the regions bordering Tajikistan, Afghanistan and the Kyrgyz republic is not advised. Be advised that some medications containing narcotic and/or psychotropic substances are prohibited in Uzbekistan, and certain medications must be declared at the airport.

Electrical Supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Uzbekistan’s electricity supply runs at 220V and 50Hz. Uzbekistan uses both the Type C and Type F electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

Tour Reviews

The trip to the Tang valley and the Ogyencholing museum were a highlight. Beautiful scenery, wonderful people and one of the best museums I've seen. That night and all next day it snowed - what a buzz. Made everything look magical and improved the scenery for the next few days

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

The local guide, Drukpa, was exceptional value. When I was ill for a couple of days his care for me, assisted by Len, was way beyond my expectation.

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

Your chat-operator was informative and helpful. We have covered quite a few countries and seasons to travel. Full marks for that!

Philip Lee

Discovering Myanmar | Small Group Tour for Seniors

I wish to sincerely thank Len for his amazing care, good cheer and flexibility ! Len has that great combination of simultaneous organisation and flexibility, which is so very necessary on a small trip such as this. In his stride, he was able to re-design the program at short notice due to weather conditions (working closely with Drakpa) and the end result was better than the original plan in my opinion!!! It was clear from day one, that Len cared and payed attention to each and every one of us at every step of the way – going out of his way to assist those who needed it. The trust and camaraderie we developed with Len made the trip that much more special! I miss our laughs.

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

Loved: National Institute of traditional medicine hike to Wanyditse Goemba Punakha festival – definitely a highlight Hanging the prayer flags at the pass! The outdoor picnics! Archery competition! Dumtse Lhakhang – went to heaven!!! Dzong Drak Kha (mini tigers nest) amazing views and climb Sanga Choekor Shedra (Bhuddist College) Drakpa and his team (Nima and Karma) were just amazing. Drakpa was very knowledgeable, friendly, caring and cheerful. He went out of his way to provide us with information and experiences to help our understanding of the culture and religion, he was funny and entertaining and very professional under pressure.Nima was a very competent driver, and I have never felt in safer hands in the difficult driving conditions we were in.

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

The tour was fantastic and well organised and well managed. · I have travelled expensively but have not with a travel organisation that comes anywhere near Odyssey's attention to detail and the comfort of its travellers. · The tour was fantastic and well organised and well managed. The transport provided was always very good and where the seats were a little narrow, the bus was big enough for us to 'spread out' for more comfort. · Our accommodation was excellent as was our local guide.I would highly recommend a trip to this beautiful country with many treasures to explore and learn about. Discover Myanmar Nov ‘15

info@odysseytravel.com.au

Discovering Myanmar | Small Group Tour for Seniors

We did this tour in 2011. Wonderful, extraordinary experience. Loved every minute.

Rex and Maree

Journey through Mongolia and Russia small group tour

FAQs

What is the time zone?

Uzbekistan has a single time zone, Uzbekistan Time (UTC+5). Daylight savings are not observed in Uzbekistan.

Is tipping customary in Uzbekistan?

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is not expected in Uzbekistan, though a small tip is appreciated by porters, waiters, drivers and guides.

What is the internet access like in Uzbekistan?

Wifi should be freely available in many hotels, cafes and restaurants, though speeds can vary. Bear in mind that some websites, particularly politically sensitive Uzbek-language sites, are blocked in Uzbekistan, though social media websites such as Facebook should work fine.

Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Uzbekistan?

Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Uzbekistan. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.

Articles about Uzbekistan published by Odyssey Traveller:

Questions about Uzbekistan.

Explore Uzbekistan.

Travelling in Uzbekistan.

Books to Read about the Silk Road.

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Uzbekistan:

Uzbekistan: The most fascinating country you’ve never been to.

UNESCO World Heritage List: Uzbekistan.

The lost Louvre of Uzbekistan: The Museum that hid art banned by Stalin.

Responsible travel tips for Uzbekistan

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of som in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

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