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Arts, crafts, textiles, and architecture

of the Silk Route

UZBEKISTAN
March 22-April 7, 2022
Optional Kyrgyzstan Apr 7-13

17 Days in-depth exploration, Optional Kyrgyzstan 7 days

The Silk Route was a place where culture and commerce intersected. A sense of exploration mixed with the exchange of things and ideas.”

-- Ron Pompeii

 

Uzbekistan was the centre of the Silk Road since the Middle Ages. Its rulers left behind impressive art and architecture, as well as beautiful textile traditions. From gorgeous ikat to suzani embroidery, pottery to paper-making, Uzbekistan is a country of unmatched applied artistry.

 

Our tour tells the tale of one of humankind’s most important arteries of trade and culture. Skirting deserts, loping over mountains, delving into fabled cities -- we will retrace thousands of years of history in seventeen leisurely days.

Highlights


• Follow the Silk Road through ancient cities Khiva, Bukhara, Shahrisabz, Samarkand, and
Tashkent for arts, culture, and history of this storied region
• Beautiful Fergana Valley in easternmost Uzbekistan for outstanding ikat, suzani, and ceramics
• Buzz of markets in Urgut and Margilan teeming with all manner of goods, especially textiles
• Isolated, semi-autonomous Karakalpakstan for the stupendous Savitsky Collection, a treasure
trove of modernist Russian art spirited away from the Soviet revolution
• Workshops, demos, and visits with award-winning artisans in traditional block printing, ikat weaving, rug making,
embroidery, ceramics, and contemporary fashion
• Culinary beats, desert fortresses, wild and windswept landscapes

Optional extension: Kyrgyzstan 7 days 

COVID cancellation provisions in effect - see terms 

 

 

  

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Accolades for past tours

Deeply grateful . . . great insight in history, culture, and hand work . . . thank you for this opportunity, it was a gift  - Name withheld for privacy reasons

Amazing trip...overwhelmed by how far we travelled, amazing architectural wonders, fascinating textiles, and the joy of the Uzbek and Kyrgyz people - Kathleen K.

Had the best time with @eyhotours. I look forward to when I can travel with you again. The craftspeople are next level amazing - Anna Lee Levin

We loved loved loved our custom Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan tour, thank you for planning each day so well. The trains, warmth of people, arts, crafts, textiles were beyond expectations. Accommodations top notch and so thoughtfully chosen. Guides outstanding. We didn't want to leave! - Guadalupe Alvarez. Watch trip report

 

* Kyr. extension dates subject to change 

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Fabled Cities 

Explore storied Samarkhand, Khiva, Bukhara, Shahrisabz, and Tashkent. We will catch the liveliest local markets and visit generational artisans in their workshops. Architecture this astounding and beautiful calls for expert  monument guides . . . but you'll also have plenty of time to explore on your own and hear the ancient echoes. 

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Fergana Valley

Outstanding ikat and suzani, including ceramics from the local red clay featuring intricate designs and distinctive blue green glazes. Unmissable Kumtepa Bazaar where ikat is sold by the yard, and the largest collection you'll probably see. We'll visit silk factories for the sericulture that gave the Silk Road its name. 

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Cultural immersion 

Against the backdrop of azure tiled monuments, revel in rich culture, music, and dancing. You are sure to run into a few weddings, which, in Uzbekistan, are celebrated with gusto to include honoured guests from aborad. i.e. you. 

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Savitsky Collection 

Touch down in isolated, semi-autonomous Karakalpakstan for the astounding Savitsky Collection of modernist Russian art spirited away from the Soviet revolution. You'll get a chance to come face to face with the work of some of the biggest names in Russian art. 

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Award-winning artisans 

The wealth of the Silk Road gave rise to a country full of many generations of applied artistry. We will visit award-winning artisans for traditional block printing, ikat weaving, rug making, embroidery, ceramics, and contemporary fashion. 

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Culinary Beats 

Good food is a given in a land that enjoyed royal patronage through several civilisations. We will take in delectable meals including sacred bread and the national rice dish, plov.  You'll come back inspired to transport a bit of Central Asia home!

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Memorable vistas 

Wealthy traders safeguarded their caravans during the Silk Road days by building strongholds. The scale and abundance of desert fortresses in wild and windswept landscapes will stay with you long after the flight back home. 

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Lost in Kyrgyzstan 

Optional add-on. Whereas Uzbekistan historically had a settled culture due to arable land, 85% of Kyrgyzstan being mountainous resulted in a nomadic culture that survives to this day. Yurts, felting, superb horsemen, hunting with eagles, and stunning pristine vistas, Kyrgyzstan has it all.  

Photo credits: Dana Davies, Shila Desai, Paule Seux, Kalpak Travel, Tuul and Bruno Morandi, Outlook Traveler, Savitsky Museum

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About your Uzbekistan tour leader, Dana Davies

“The heart wants what it wants” and apparently Dana Davies’ heart, unbeknownst to her, wanted Uzbekistan. A life long fascination with fabrics was rewarded on a trip to Turkey where the discovery of suzani embroidery led to textile-focused trips to Central Asia, and a full-fledged obsession with its people, culture, landscape, and legends. Dana is passionate about sharing this extraordinary experience with others and, after a spectacular tour with Shila in Northwest India and Morocco, was thrilled to collaborate on the 2019 tour, and again in 2021. Dana will lead the 2022 tour. 

 Watch a preview  

  Watch recent trip report 

Uzbekistan's Velvet Ikats