Silk Road Textile and Fashion Tour to Uzbekistan

Duration of this Trip 16 Days Priced From $5,278 per person

Zulya Rajabova grew up as one of 11 children in the heart of the legendary city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan, once the center of the Silk Road. She and her sisters would join their grandmother in rural Sharfirkon embroidering suzani textiles for the home. Sharfikon is famous for its embroidery and suzani means needle work. The intricate embroidery here encompasses traditional motifs for joy, long life, love, prosperity and good health. The women in Zulya’s family made beautiful dresses of honatlas silk for the girls to wear for celebrations and holidays, attracting the attention of tourists eager to catch sight of local color, who in turn, attracted Zulya’s interest in visitors from around the world.

Zulya has maintained her girlhood passion for sharing her culture in her career. Her interest in crafts, textiles, jewelry and folk art has inspired her to share Uzbekistan’s fascinating history, culture and craftsmanship with others. For more than 30 years she’s been taking travelers through her homeland and to ancient destinations along the great Silk Road routes. 

Silk Road Treasure Tours takes visitors to cities like Tashkent, Bukhara, Samarkand and Margilan - places which retain echoes of the lavish trade, architectural history, and brilliant culture that flourished here centuries ago. Zulya specializes in unique experiences for small groups and individuals looking for local, authentic and niche travel. Textile, designer and embroidery masters’ workshops, fashion shows and insider shopping combine with VIP seating at festivals, fresh local cuisine, and incredible historical and cultural sites on your personalized itinerary.

Once the heart of the Silk Road routes connecting China and India, Uzbekistan is the home of talented artisans creating exquisite, hand-embroidered suzanis and hand-dyed, and woven ikat textiles. Zulya and her team have long supported women in textiles and the arts. We visit the major cities, but also head out to charming villages to participate in needle work and weaving, to share a meal, and learn about daily life here. There are tours to UNESCO World Heritage sites and visits to small, local, specialty handicraft shops. Textiles are an integral part of life in this region. Girls traditionally begin making their own embroideries and household items for their dowries from a young age. Even the most modest of homes is filled with woven, embroidered and appliquéd textiles including wall hangings, pillow and bed covers, prayer rugs, and cradle covers, 

Uzbekistan is a shopper’s paradise, in a glorious riot of patterns and colors! We can shop for everything from silk ikat scarves and handbags, sparkling jewelry, or a bespoke statement coat or dress. Uzbek fashions flatter any silhouette and expert tailors and seamstresses quickly and easily make it yours. Create your own 1001 nights magic with beautiful, colorful home décor - from bed and table linens, to carpets and ceramics. 

Our experienced, multilingual guides will help you bring back memories of this trip of a lifetime.

At a Glance

Duration

16 Days

Priced From

$5,278 per person

Departures

                    2024 Tours

 

  • May 20-June 4, 2024
  • June 10-24, 2024
  • July 2-17, 2024
  • August 4-19, 2024
  • August 28-Sept.12, 2024
  • September 9-23, 2024
  • October 2-17, 2024

                     2025 Tours

  • March 18-April 1, 2025
  • April 4-19, 2025
  • May 10-22, 2025
  • June 5-20, 2025
  • July 20-August 4, 2025
  • September 7-21, 2025
  • October 8-23, 2025

Itinerary

Day 1-2 Tashkent
Day 3: Tashkent - Kokand
Day 4-6: Kokand - Margilan - Ferghana - Namangan
Day 7: Chust - Tashkent
Day 8-9: Samarkand
Days 10-12: Samarkand - Gijduvan - Shafirkan - Bukhara
Days 13-14: Khiva 
Day 15: Nukus - Tashkent
Day 16: Tashkent: Departure

Day 1 Tashkent 

Evening arrival in Tashkent. You will be met by our guide at the airport.Transfer to your hotel. Accommodation at the Tashkent Lotte Palace 

Day 2 Tashkent

Enjoy exploring the capital city of Tashkent; a vibrant, modern showcase city, it glitters in the sunlight and glows at night. This morning we visit the landmarks of the city: the Khasret Imam, Sheik Tellya Mosque, and the 2,000 year-old Chor-Su Bazaar to watch craftsmen at work, enjoy the bustle of the market and bargain for souvenirs. We'll compare the old with the new at Mustakillik (Independence) Square and the imposing bronze statue of Tamerlane himself at Amir Timur Park. Visit the Earthquake memorial, Abul Kasim handicraft center, and the ceramic studio of Akbar Rakhimov.

Night panorama of Tashkent after dinner. 

Day 3 Tashkent – Kokand 

Morning train to the spectacular Ferghana Valley. Arrival in Kokand. 

Visit the Khudoyar-Khan Palace, Museum, and Juma Mosque. Watch traditional wood carvers creating wall panels, jewelry boxes, many-sided khantaxta tables and intricate laukh Koran stands.

Day 4-6, Kokand – Rishton - Ferghana - Margilan - Namangan

Scenic drive to Margilan. Stop at the Rishton ceramics workshop of the Rustam Usmanov family. After lunch we arrive in Margilan, the home of atlas silk weaving. During our stay in Margilan we’ll visit Ferghana’s UNESCO sites and the Kumtepa bazaar. At the Abjubosits family workshop, we’ll learn the secrets of specialized silk and velvet ikat weaving and dyeing. In the Kumtepa bazaar ikat fabric is available by the meter, ready to be made into fashion and home décor and we’ll shop for a variety of embroidered fashion and decor items made by local women.

Day 7, Ferghana - Chust - Tashkent

Morning sightseeing drive to Tashkent. On the way we’ll enjoy a culinary experience in Chust, a charming Namangan village famous for the artistic embroidered doppi caps, worn by both men and women. 

On the way to Tashkent there’s a panoramic view of the Syrdarya river. Arrival and accommodation in Tashkent. 

Later in the afternoon we have an invitation to visit the workshops of award-winning, women-owned textile artists and designers. We’ll find handmade traditional silk and cotton ikat goods and one-of-a-kind fashion. Enjoy dinner, and delight in the flash and swirl of regional dancers and gorgeous costumes and the haunting melodies of the flute and two-stringed dotar concert!

Day 8, Tashkent-Samarkand 

This morning we follow the golden road to Samarkand. This legendary 2,750 year-old city was once the capital city of the Timurid empire. 

Upon arrival we’ll head right to the   magnificent UNESCO heritage site of Registan Square. One of the most recognized landmarks of the ancient world, it’s bordered on three sides by majestic porticoes and soaring minarets of its medressehs. What were once small student rooms now house countless stalls and displays of ceramics, embroidery items, carpets, hats, caps, and a wide variety of ethnic textiles.  Within the old city are the remains of Ulugbek’s 15th c. observatory, the tomb of the Hebrew Prophet Daniel in the old Jewish quarter. and the beautiful tile mosaics of the Gur e Emir mausoleum. The Shahi Zinda complex is a veritable museum of tile artistry under the open sky. 

Enjoy a wine tasting at Khovrenko before dinner at Platan restaurant. 

Day 9 Samarkand

This morning finds us in the heart of the city to visit the school of embroiderers at their workshop. The romantic Bibi Khanum Complex overlooks the busy and colorful Siob Bazaar. This is a photographer's delight packed with bustling stalls and colorful arrays of produce. We’ll enjoy delicious local breads and fruits, Uzbek halvas and friendly greetings from the local traders. 

Just outside of Samarkand is a traditional mulberry paper factory and silk making workshop. We’ll stop at the highest point in Samarkand for more photo opportunities and return for dinner.

Day 10 Samarkand - Gijduvan - Shafirkon - Bukhara

Bukhara’s Gijduvan and Shafirkon cities are famous for their centuries old embroidery schools and ceramics. On our Silk Road journey to Bukhara we’ll stop by to meet award winning ceramist Narzullaev, try our hand in the textile workshops and have lunch. Afternoon arrival in Bukhara. Accommodation at Sasha and Son. 

The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy in this desert oasis and our guides will be happy to help you plan your adventure! Follow tradition here and relax on a divan, sip your green tea and enjoy the social life at one of the many chaikhanas in the city. At the Lyabi Khaus complex, the traditional heart of the city, tea and gossip reign at tables around the reflecting pool. Artisans sell their handicrafts and at night the colored lights give a festive air to the local dance troupe. The Uzbek tea ceremony is a formal and graceful ritual, poured three times from the pot into a ceramic cup allowing the full flavor and aroma of the tea to develop. 

Tonight, we'll enjoy dinner with a performance at the Nadir Divan Begi Khanaka featuring local dancers and singers and a fashion show displaying gorgeous costumes handcrafted by Uzbek designers.

Days 11-12 Bukhara

Bukhara, once the intellectual center of the Islamic world, can trace its origins to the 6th century BCE. One of Central Asia's holiest cities, behind the ancient adobe walls the backstreets are lined with spice markets, artisan and carpet shops, and the homes of families who have lived here for generations. Beside the Lyabi Khaus is the medieval Kukeldash medresseh, and the Kalyan minaret at the Poi-Kalyon complex dates to 1127, a fitting symbol of old Bukhara. When Genghis Khan invaded he left only the minaret standing; legend says that he was struck by its beauty. 

The city's subdued desert hues give centuries-old buildings an exotic air. The Fortress Ark defended its rulers and their servants for centuries while some sixty caravanserais could be found within the city for traders and travelers of the Silk Road. Try on traditional outfits at the national costume exhibit in an old merchant's house. Wind your way through the city's ancient trade domes of money changers, hat and puppet sellers, carpet, jewelry and embroidery merchants. 

Lunch at the private home of one of the best suzani makers in Bukhara.

During our time in Bukhara we’ll do some “monumental” touring! The Magoki Attari was originally a Zoroastrian temple and the oldest surviving mosque in Central Asia. It now hosts a museum displaying examples of the distinctive colors and patterns of the region's carpets. We’ll visit the Abdulaziz Khan Madrassah, the 4 minarets of the Chor Minor, and the Palace of the Moon and Stars. This luxurious summer residence of the last Bukharan Emir is a fusion of both Oriental and Russian architecture. The harem building now contains a museum of applied arts with displays of furniture, jewelry, art objects from Russia, porcelain from Japan. and traditional regional embroidery

One of the many family rituals in Bukhara is the celebration of Sallabandon, marking the transition to motherhood, and we’ll be guests at this festive women’s celebration.

Day 13-14 Khiva

Morning drive through the Kyzyl-Kum (red sand) desert to the magical city of Khiva.

Enjoy lunch at a nomadic yurt with local Kazakh families. Upon arrival in Khiva we will be accommodated at the Asia Hotel. Khiva is a "living museum", a fairy-tale city. The old walled city contains some of the best preserved and restored historical architecture including the Ichan Kala, the Ata–Darvaza gates, the majestic, blue-tiled Kalta Minar tower, the fabulously decorated Mohammad Aminkhan and Khodja Islam medressehs, the Kunya Ark (Ancient Citadel), and the Tash Hauli Palace (with interior views of the palace's harem quarter), and the tranquil Juma mosque with its 200 beautifully carved wooden pillars. The main market is housed in a traditional caravanserai (inn for caravans). DInner includes delicious regional specialties.

Day 15 Khiva - Nukus - Tashkent

Morning drive to the desert city of Nukus in the Karakalpak region. Its popular State Art Museum. The Savitsky is known for its collection of Russian and Soviet avant-garde paintings, hidden away during the communist regime. There are extensive collections of nomadic art and needlepoint, and thousands of historical and archaeological objects. Evening flight to Tashkent. Farewell dinner.

Day 16, Tashkent

Morning transfer to the airport to take your flight to your next destination. 

Departure

Land Tour Costs

From $5,278 for 6-10 travelers

Single Supplement

$754

Scheduled Departures

                    2024 Tours

 

  • May 20-June 4, 2024
  • June 10-24, 2024
  • July 2-17, 2024
  • August 4-19, 2024
  • August 28-Sept.12, 2024
  • September 9-23, 2024
  • October 2-17, 2024

                     2025 Tours

  • March 18-April 1, 2025
  • April 4-19, 2025
  • May 10-22, 2025
  • June 5-20, 2025
  • July 20-August 4, 2025
  • September 7-21, 2025
  • October 8-23, 2025

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the cultural treasures of Uzbekistan: magnificent temples and mosaic-covered mosques, ancient palaces, medressehs and monuments
  • Visit the Chorsu, Urgut, Kumtepe and Siyob bazaars; still bustling as they have been for millenia
  • Relax at traditional Samarkand and Labi Khaus teahouses, charming villages, local neighborhoods, schools, and homes
  • Explore the ancient history of Uzbekistan Silk Road, its fabled cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent and Margilan
  • Enjoy seasonal festivals of textiles, culinary arts, dance, music, flowers and harvests. The annual Silk and Spices festival is not to be missed! 
  • Meet silk ikat dyers and weavers, ceramists, embroiderers, rug makers, and craft center facilitators. Visit workshops, watch the creation process including traditional block printing, and learn about traditional suzani and contemporary fashion​
  • Hear amazing folk stories and legends of Central Asia
  • Enjoy fashion shows and traditional music and dance performances
  • Join a masterclass in suzani embroidery or a workshop in silk tie-dyeing
  • Visit the applied arts museums and art galleries in Tashkent, Bukhara and Nukus
  • Experience Margilan’s Yodgorlik traditional silk weaving factory
  • Visit the house of master potters in Rishtan, Tashkent, and Gijduvan
  • Discover traditional gold embroidery and jewelers’ workshops in Bukhara 
  • Enjoy the warmest hospitality in the world and participate in cooking traditional Uzbek pilaf and baking bread in the clay tandoor oven
  • Visit fashion ateliers, see the work of up-and-coming young designers
  • Have one-of-a kind fashion made from gorgeous local fabrics

Visited Countries

Uzbekistan

Visited Cities & Places

Tashkent, Ferghana, Margilan, Namangan, Kokand, Rishtan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Shafirkan, Gijduvan, Khiva, Nukus

Suggested Extensions

Kyrgyzstan 

Reading Lists

Harvey, Janet. Traditional Textiles of Central Asia
Lonely Planet/Central Asia
Wood, Frances. The Silk Road, Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia
Hopkirk, Peter. The Great Game
Thubron, Colin. The Lost Heart of Asia
Vision, Lynn. The Art of Uzbek Cooking
Alexander, Christopher Aslan. A Carpet Ride to Khiva

What's Included

  • Meet and greet at the airport and airport transfers
  • Premium seating for an evening of traditional music, dance and fashion show. 
  • Breakfast, Dinners and 2 complimentary lunches
  • Visa support 
  • All ground transportation in private climate-controlled vehicles, including international arrival and departure transfers
  • High-Speed train tickets
  • Experienced, local, private English-speaking guides in each country
  • All entrance fees, service charges, and applicable taxes
  • All domestic flights 
  • Wine tasting 
  • Master classes
  • Unlimited travel counseling
  • Pre-departure Travel Packages along with Welcome Silk Road Gifts

What's Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Charges in hotels for additional services
  • Consular fees
  • Optional Tours*

Visited Countries

Uzbekistan

Visited Cities & Places

Tashkent, Ferghana, Margilan, Namangan, Kokand, Rishtan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Shafirkan, Gijduvan, Khiva, Nukus

Suggested Extentions

Kyrgyzstan 

Reading Lists

Harvey, Janet. Traditional Textiles of Central Asia
Lonely Planet/Central Asia
Wood, Frances. The Silk Road, Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia
Hopkirk, Peter. The Great Game
Thubron, Colin. The Lost Heart of Asia
Vision, Lynn. The Art of Uzbek Cooking
Alexander, Christopher Aslan. A Carpet Ride to Khiva

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Scheduled Departures

                    2024 Tours

 

  • May 20-June 4, 2024
  • June 10-24, 2024
  • July 2-17, 2024
  • August 4-19, 2024
  • August 28-Sept.12, 2024
  • September 9-23, 2024
  • October 2-17, 2024

                     2025 Tours

  • March 18-April 1, 2025
  • April 4-19, 2025
  • May 10-22, 2025
  • June 5-20, 2025
  • July 20-August 4, 2025
  • September 7-21, 2025
  • October 8-23, 2025

Land Tour Costs

From $5,278 for 6-10 travelers

Single Supplement

$754
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