Exploring the Silk Road

| Sept 29 – Oct 10

Over the course of 12 days in Uzbekistan, explore the ancient Silk Road and discover the celebrated cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Visit and admire the exquisite patterns of Islamic art found on gateways, mosques, palaces, and madrasas. Wonder in the alleys of these old cities, and discover bazaars alive with energy, spices, gold, gems, fabrics, and silk rugs. Prepare for immersive experiences to engage with the local culture. The trip begins and ends in the capital Tashkent, famous for its historical monuments, Museum of Applied Arts, and the decorative metro. Hands-on workshops, cooking demonstrations, and artistic performances are also on the program of this highly exotic journey.
Charles El Hayek, acclaimed public historian and founder of “Heritage and Roots” will enrich the trip with three lecture-workshops that narrate the broader history of the Silk Road and the impact it had on the Middle East.
For information on the special early registration prices, please click on the Price Options icon.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Sept 29Arrival in Tashkent and transfer to the Hyatt Regency Tashkent. Optional afternoon activities depending on time of arrival. At 7:30 PM, evening drive around the main highlights of the city before a welcome dinner at the TV Tower.
Day 2 Sept 30A day to visit Tashkent: start with a visit to the Human House and the tirst interactive talk with Charles El Hayek: What was the Silk Road? How did it affect our present-day lives?
This will be followed by a visit to the Museum of Applied Arts, the Tashkent Metro, Lunch at the famous Plov Kitchen, and the Hasti Imam complex. Optional dinner reservations.
Day 3 Oct 1Train to Samarkand, and checkin at the Movenpick Samarkand. Visit the Gur Emir Mausoleum to pay tribute to Emir Timor followed by lunch, then a visit to Ragistan Square and the surrounding madrasas, often called the most beautiful square in Asia. Free Dinner.
Day 4 Oct 2Drive to Urgut Village (approx 40 km each way) to visit its huge and vibrant market, selling some of the best suzani, jewelry, antiques, and vintage textiles, as well as the Urgut ceramics. Lunch in the house of a master ceramist, then visit the traditional paper making mills before returning to Samarkand. After some rest, the second interactive workshop with Charles El Hayek: How did silk build cities, knowledge and crafts? How was silk knowhow transferred to the Levant over the Silk Road?
Optional dinner at Labi Gor.
Day 5 Oct 3Another daytrip out of Samarkand takes us to the scenic Zeravshan mountain range to visit Shahrisabz, a World Heritage site and the birthplace of Prince Timur. We visit the haunting remains of his palace and mosque, but also various workshops such as woodblock painting and ikat production. Lunch in Shahrisabz before returning to Samarkand. After some rest, enjoy Meros Theatre, where a show of traditional costumes across the various historical eras is presented. An optional stop for an early dinner, then back to Ragistan Square to enjoy the famous Sound and Light show.
Day 6 Oct 4On our last day in Samarkand, we visit Bibi Khanum Mosque and the very impressive Shah-i-Zinda funerary complex. We also take a stroll through the Samarkand Bazaar, and visit a silk carpet factory before trying the Samarkand Pilaf for lunch. Free afternoon.
Day 7 Oct 5We leave Samarkand and take the train to Bukhara. On arrival, checkin at the Wyndham Hotel, before proceeding to the Old Town for lunch, followed by the third interactive workshop with Charles El Hayek on Timurid Art
Proceed with a walking tour of the old city, including the Lady Hauz complex, the Devon Begi Hanaqa, and the trade domes of Taki Sarafan, Taki Telpakfurushon, Taki Zargaron. End with a dinner and music performance in the courtyard of Nadir Divan masrasah.
Day 8 Oct 6Continue discovering the old city, starting with the mausoleums of Ismail Samani mausoleum and Chashmai Ayub. A s top at the Bolo Hauz mosque and the Ark Citadel, before a coffee break followed by a visiit to the iconic Kalyan Mosque and minaret, and the Mir Arab madrasah. Lunch at Laby Hauz, then a free afternoon for some shopping in the old city. Dinner and demonstration at the Miniature Gallery with Master Devlet Tosheov (with optional master class in miniature drawing).
Day 9 Oct 7Take an excursion outside the city to visit the Summer Palace (Sitorani Mohi Hosa), and the Bahauddin Naqshbandy mausoleum and pilgrimage complex. Upon returning to the city, the rest of the day is free to explore the bazaars, before dinner at the Suzani Art House.
Day 10 Oct 8
Drive across the Kyzylkum Desert towards mud-walled Khiva (7 hours), taking a break as we cross the Amudarya River, known as the Oxus in ancient times. Picnic lunch break. On arrival in Khiva, check in at the Erkin Palace Hotel and get some rest before a walk in the Ichan Kala and dinner.
Day 11 Oct 9
Explore the Itchan Kala, the very well preserved walled inner city.Visit the Juma Mosque, Haerm, Summer Palace and Mosque, and various workshops. Lunch, followed by a free afternoon to explore the bazaars. Final diner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the domes and minarets of the Ichah Kala.
Day 12 Oct 10
Morning transfer to the nearby airport for the flight back to Tashkent and connections to international flights.

Price Options

  • $5490 per person in Single Occupancy.
  • $4990 per person in Double Occupancy.

Price Includes:

  • All Accommodation on a Bed and Breakfast basis at:

Tashkent: Hyatt Regency Tashkent

Samarkand: Movenpick Samarkand

Bukhara: Wyndham Bukhara

Khiva: Erkin Palace Hotel

  • All lunches.
  • Six out of eleven dinners (as mentioned in the program above).
  • All transfers.
  • Domestic flights and trains.
  • All entrance fees and private guided tours.
  • Meros Theatre performance.
  • Music performance in Bukhara.
  • Private lectures with Mr. Charles Al Hayek.

Price Does Not Include:

  • Optional Master Classes (miniature drawing or other).
  • International air travel.
  • Personal Expenses.
  • Visa Fees.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Tips.

Payment and Terms

Trip Status: Reservations Open

  • To reserve your spot, a downpayment of $1000 is requested.
  • $2000 by June 15.
  • Balance of payment due on August 31.

All payments in cash or by bank transfer to a bank outside Lebanon.


All downpayments are fully refundable as long as a group of 10 has not been confirmed. After a group of 10 is confirmed:

Cancellation on or before June 15: 20% penalty.

Cancellation on or before July 15: 50% penalty.

Cancellation on before August 31: 75% penalty.

Candellation after August 31: 100% unless a replacement is found.

As always, every effort will be made to minimize any  penalties.

In case of a force majeure preventing the tour from happening e.g. a pandemic, war, terrorist activity, or natural disasters, the local suppliers might exercise their right to keep payments on account for future trips.