In the heart of central Asia, lies Uzbekistan. The former Soviet nation has an ancient culture which has thrived for years, being a primary hub on the Silk Road, however, it is only just emerging as a travel destination for international travellers. Given this, you might not know where to start when it comes to planning a holiday in Uzbekistan.
From dramatic, vast desert landscapes to vibrant and intricate architecture in the cities, this nation is filled with astonishing experiences to enjoy. Here are five things you must see and do in Uzbekistan:
Wander the desert
Did you know that there are more than 115,000 square miles of desert in Uzbekistan? During your holiday, one bucket list activity to experience is a day trip through the vast, stunning red sands of Kyzyl Kum. This desert is located between two major Central Asian rivers and was previously where caravans and camels crossed during their Silk Road journey.
Make a stop at the ancient city of Bukhara, where you can marvel at the Ark, a walled city that was once a fortress to the country’s high-ranking officials, and wander the Dome Bazaars, medieval marketplaces where you can find an array of local jewellers, silk weavers and craftmakers.
Spend a weekend in Tashkent
On your Uzbekistan holiday, you can’t miss the capital city. Tashkent is an unforgettable labyrinth of marketplaces, museums, religious structures, and culture. The Khast-Imam complex is a perfect place to visit, including the Tellya-Sheykh Mosque, which houses the most ancient surviving Quran in the world
Tashkent is also home to a number of fascinating museums, including the History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan, where you can view some incredible artefacts that provide fascinating context to the country and its capital. Before you leave the capital, pick up some unique souvenirs to bring to your loved ones at the Chorsu Bazaar.
Feast on the local cuisine
Food in Uzbekistan might not have the international presence that its neighbouring countries have, but the country has a lot to offer the hungry traveller. During your stay, be sure to try plov, Uzbekistan’s national dish. This hearty meal is made up of rice, meat, onions, carrots, and raisins, and is cooked over an open fire. It’s comparable to a tasty biryani and pilaf.
Those with a craving for noodles will love visiting Uzbekistan. The nation can be trusted with its incredible fresh noodles, hand-pulled and served with soup, lamb, and vegetables.
Marvel at the Chimgan Mountains
While the nation might be known primarily for its desert landscape, it also is home to incredible peaks. The Chimgan Mountains - located 52.8 miles from Tashkent - are a region popular with skiers and hikers, offering panoramic views and fresh air. The highest peak in this region towers over the rest, Greater Chimgan, which soars to 10,856 feet high.
Visit the city of Khiva
If you’re looking for a city smaller than Tashkent, Khiva is where you will want to spend some time. The wonderfully preserved city boasts ochre mud walls, and azure blue domes and minarets and was a former trading city along the Silk Road.
Visit Uzbekistan with Newmarket Holidays and discover the Silk Road on an unforgettable journey through a nation steeped in history and tradition.