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Uzbekistan Cycling Holiday

The Silk Route

Day 1:  Arrive Tashkent

redspokes Uzbekistan tour begins in Tashkent. You will be met on arrival and transferred to the group hotel. This afternoon you have time to explore the Uzbek capital. Tashkent is Central Asia’s largest city, major sites of interest include: Kukeldash Madrassah, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum, Barak Khan Madrassah, Mosque on Khast Imam Square and Chor-Su – oriental market (handicraft bazaar). This evening we will have group introductions and a trip briefing. 

Accommodation: Hotel (D)

Day 2:  Tashkent – Jizzakh - Ortacheku Rocks

After breakfast we transfer by vehicle to Lake Tuzkan, part of the man-made Aydar-Arnasay system of brackish water lakes, which covers an area of 4,000 km². The lakes are the unintentional by-product of Soviet planning.  The area is sparsely populated, only inhabited by a few fishermen and shepherds. After lunch we begin cycling along the shore on good dirt road following the Pistalitau ridge. Over the pass we continue on to Ortacheku Rocks. We can take a walk this evening to the peak to enjoy views of the mountains.  If the weather is fine you will witness a spectacular sight from our campsite, as the Ortacheku rocks glow to a fiery orange in the sun set.

Cycling Distance: 32.8 km (20 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 685m (2,247ft)
Cycling Descent: 171m (561ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)

Day 3:  Ortacheku Rocks – Hayot Village

Today we cycle the Nuratau ridge through picturesque countryside and mountain villages with traditional stone houses. We begin cycling with a climb over 5km and ride around the Ortacheku Rocks then descend into Yangikishlak village. From here we tackle a series of climbs over the next 20km to reach our lunch stop. This afternoon we cycle 46km on sealed road to reach Hayot, a small hamlet. The last 16km of the day are uphill and the final stretch will be on dirt road to Hayot village. The Nurata mountains were considered a safe route along the ancient Silk Road hence small communities settled in the valley and foothills. Hayot means 'life'; there are legendary tales about the village being a source of water in times of drought in the area. There is a centuries old fortress: Shakhi-Kurgan. We will be welcomed into the village where we have a home stay tonight, sleeping on traditional mattresses and enjoying fresh local food prepared by our hosts.

Cycling Distance: 71.4km (44 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 706m (2,821ft)
Cycling Descent: 429m (2,811ft)
Accommodation: Homestay (B,L,D)

Day 4: Hayot Village - Sob Gorge– Fazilman Lake – Aktash Village

Today we set off from the village cycling downhill for the first 12km along the Narutau ridge, enjoying a beautiful ride along Sentabsay valley dirt road and onto Sob gorge. We have a flat stretch for the next 12km before we begin a climb on rocky path to the pass in the shadow of towering Gaukum peak before undertaking an amazing long descent through the picturesque Nuratau Mountains with views of mountain villages and far in the distance, Aydarkul Lake. There are shady walnut trees and pastures of wild grasses and flowers around us. As we cycle we pass farmers bringing fodder or firewood on donkeys from the mountains down to their villages. We stop at beautiful Fazilman Mountain Lake (1640m) for lunch.  In the summer months locals move their yurts near to the lake to grow vegetables on the fertile plateau around the water. This afternoon we continue downhill to Aktash village in the foothills of Tien Shan. The area enjoys a mild climate and lush vegetation with low dome shaped trees resembling a primeval forest. At the centre of the village are the ruins of an ancient city. The area Aktash, meaning 'white city', was once mined for the characteristic white rock. We camp tonight near Aktash village

Cycling Distance: 64.8km (40.26 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,436 (5,160ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,350m (4,039ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)

Day 5:  Aktash Village – Chuya village

Today our Uzbekistan tour continues as we set out on dirt road cycling through a landscape of huge boulders, transformed by the elements into the prehistoric sculptures; the mounds rest in green mountain pastures. Picturesque local dwellings are discreetly secluded from view and obscured by these monuments. After lunch, we cycle further along the Urganchy River as far as Saykechar village. From here we continue riding on sandy road across the valley towards Aktau  ridge and bike on to Chuya village of with a final short stretch of cycling along surfaced road (33 km).

Cycling Distance: 49.5km (30.75 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 447m (4567ft)
Cycling Descent: 692m (2,270ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)

Day 6:  Chuya to Maidan Village via Lyangar Pass

Today we will ascend to the Lyangar pass, cycling a climb of 300 m over 5.5 km. We pause at Lyangar village to enjoy wonderful views of mountains and the valley. Back on the bikes we continue cycling along the upper part of the Aktau Range, passing a disused marble mine. From here we descend cycling down through the valley to reach Maidan village, we'll be riding alongside a tributary of Maydansay River, enjoying cool breezes. We stay tonight in a riverside camp.

Cycling Distance: 37.5km (23.3 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,201m (3,490ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,268 (4,160ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)

Day 7:  Maidan - Chinar

Today we will cycle a 40km stretch of bike trail (5-6 hrs). We begin with a ride along the southern slopes of the Aktau ridge. The trail ascends through small settlements as we bike up to the plateau. We make a steep descent cycling into the picturesque mountain village Aktepa, set in the thick forest greenery. From here we ride on following mountain river with shallow fords to reach Chinar village.

Cycling Distance: 23.8km (14.79 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 499m (1,637ft)
Cycling Descent: 573m (1,880ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B.L.D)

Day 8: Chinar - Bukhara

After breakfast, departing Chinar we cycle up to the mountain plateau towards Djunaty Peak. From here we cycle to Chash-Tapa settlement, here our cycling ends. We pack up the bikes and drive to Bukhara.

Cycling Distance 33 km (20.5 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 980m (3,215ft)
Cycling Descent: 1100m (3,608ft)
Accommodation: Cottages (B,L,D)

Day 9: Bukhara Rest Day

Today we have time to explore the ancient city of Bukhara. Built on a sacred mount it is one of Uzbekistan’s oldest urban settlements, founded in the 13th C. There is a rich array of historic buildings to visit in the old town. This afternoon you can wander here through a maze of narrow alleyways where traditional craftsmen sell their wares. After the many days of cycling and camping you could treat yourself to the luxury of a hammam (traditional spa). 

Accommodation: Hotel (B)

Day 10: Bukhara to Samarkand

We take the afternoon high speed train to Samarkand and after we've checked in to our hotel we have time for a wander around this city of ancient monuments. No visit to Samarkand would be complete without a stop at the Siab Bazaar. The oriental market buzzes with atmosphere. It was once a key strategic point on the Silk Road. 

Accommodation: Hotel (B)


Day 11: Samarkand to Tashkent 

Today there will be a guided city tour of Samarkand's key historic monuments including Registan Square, heart of the old city where you will find Tamerlane’s mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir. We take a late afternoon train to Tashkent, and stay the night here. 

Accommodation: Hotel (B)

Day 12: Tashkent to Khiva: 

We take an early morning flight to Khiva (07.10-08.55 flight) and have a full day to enjoy this mud walled fortress city. There will be a guided tour of some of the key sites of interest including the medieval walled town. Later you can haggle for a carpet or suzani in the silk workshop then kick back in a shady tea house or roof top terrace restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel (B)

Day 13:  Khiva - to Tashkent

Rest day in Tashkent. After we've checked into our hotel there is time to take a stroll around Tashkent  and pick up a few souvenirs before we gather for a final meal this evening. 

Accommodation: Hotel (B,D)

Day 14: Tashkent - Home

Today our wonderful tour in Uzbekistan ends.   We will transfer you to the airport according to your flight time.

Meals: B

If you need assistance or wish to discuss the tour, please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1463 417707.

Alternatively, you can email us on office@redspokes.co.uk for more information on this adventure holiday.