NAVRUZ – ORIENTAL NEW YEAR HOLIDAY
There is no doubt that Uzbekistan’s status as popular touring destination has much to do with its fascinating architecture from various periods, and its rich cultural heritage going back thousands of years. But visiting Uzbekistan during cultural celebrations and festivals can enhance your vacation and add even more unforgettable experiences.
The most cherished and gracious of all Uzbekistan’s national holidays is the spring festival of Navruz which falls on March 21. The holiday coincides with the day of vernal equinox – the start of spring, and traditionally honours the rebirth of nature, hence the name (Navruz means “New Day”).
From the times this spring holiday originated in 3,000 BCE, Navruz has been observed annually, in one form or another, on a wide territory in the East as a festival symbolizing re-awakening of nature, hope for bumper harvest in the fields and gardens, for love and consent in family. Traditionally the festival of masses, Navruz continues to be unimposed, non-political event to the present day.
While initially a religious festival, Navruz is now mostly secular, though it is steeped in symbolism and rich traditions. Several days before the festival, spring cleaning begins when houses are scrupulously cleaned, whereas cities and villages are tidied up and colourfully decorated enriching the atmosphere of upcoming festivities.
On March 21 the festival celebrations start with traditional games, music and drama performances, street art and colourful fairs, joyful traditional dances, various activities for children and adults, lavishly set tables with the most savory festive dishes, including a ritual meal sumalak (a wheat bran pudding) cooked exclusively for Navruz celebrations and thus available for tasting only once a year. The celebrations are also marked with lots of merry partying and social visiting, allowing music, songs, and laughter to be heard late into the night.
The popular belief says, “He who celebrates and has fun on the day of Navruz will spend his life cheerfully until the next Navruz celebration”.
So why not to join in the celebrations of the Spring Festival of Navruz, the nation’s signature event?
Make it a spring to remember!
Cultural tour to Uzbekistan for Navruz holiday: March, 2020
Tour duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Itinerary: Tashkent - Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Boysun - Bukhara - Khiva - Urgench - Tashkent
19-March | Arrival in Tashkent. Meet at the International airport and transfer to the hotel. Early check-in and rest. After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent. Visit the following sites: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square, Minor Mosque. Overnight at the hotel in Tashkent.
20-March | Breakfast at the hotel. Ride to Samarkand in premium service high-speed train Afrosiab. Guided sightseeing tour in Samarkand on arrival: Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, and Tilla-Qori Madrasah); after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis. Overnight at the hotel.
21-March | Continuation of the sightseeing tour in Samarkand. Visit Ulugbek Observatory, Afrosiab museum and settlement, Saint Daniel’s tomb, Carpet factory, Silk paper workshop and Siab Oriental bazaar. Watch and participate in Navruz celebrations. Return to the hotel and overnight in Samarkand.
22-March |Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Shakhrisabz. Visit the following sites on arrival: Ak Saray Palace, Dorus Saodat Complex (including the Mausoleum of Jehangir), Dorut Tillavat Madrasah, Kok Gumbaz Mosque. Further transfer to the region of Boysun mountains. Accommodation at the hotel, located in the town of Boysun and overnight.
23-March | After breakfast at the hotel visit Sayrob village, two ancient Plane Trees and the canyon there. Further transfer to Bukhara. Arrival late in the afternoon. Accommodation at the hotel and overnight. Optionally – watch the folklore show in Nodira Devon Begi madrassah.
|24-March | Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the sightseeing program in Bukhara upon arrival. Visit of the following sites: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, local bazaar, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel with Zindan prison, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Miri Arab madrassa, Magoki Attori mosque and Mosque Ulugbek Madrasah. Return to the hotel. Rest and overnight.|
|25-March |Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Khiva. Lunch en route. Arrival in Khiva. Leisure time. Visiting traditional workshops and souvenir shops. Overnight at the hotel.|
26-March | Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Khiva: Ichan Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret. After lunch: Tash Khauli Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum. Transfer to Urgench (35 km, 30 min). Evening flight to Tashkent. Meet at airport, transfer to the hotel, check-in and rest.
March-27 |Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning transfer to the airport. Departure.
THE COST OF THE TOUR IN USD PER PERSON FOR 2020:
|Standart||1255||1035||1020||947||935||886||+ 248 USD|
|Comfort||1466||1214||1231||1155||1146||1097||+ 464 USD|
The cost tour includes:
- Accommodation at the hotels, mentioned above or in similar, but of the same category in twin / double rooms, with breakfasts including early check-in at the hotel of Tashkent on arrival; check-in at other hotels – at 14:00; check-out – at 12:00;
- Meals – breakfasts only;
- Entrance fees to the monuments and museums, listed in the tour program;
- Services of English-speaking local guides for city tours only (from 6 persons – accompanying guide will be provided);
- Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation throughout the tour, including “airport-hotel-airport” transfers;
- Railway transfer of Tashkent-Samarkand destination (high-speed train; ticket of economy class, seated places);
- Local flight of Urgench-Tashkent destination (ticket of economy class).
- Bottle of mineral water per day/per person.
The cost tour does not include:
- International airfares;
- Travel health insurance;
- Uzbekistan visa invitation and visa fees;
- Photo and video shooting charges at museums and monuments.
- Uzbekistan visa invitation – 45 USD per person (if necessary);
- Wine tasting in Samarkand – 15 USD/per person;
- Supplement for accompanying English speaking guide is 385 USD/per group (for groups 2-4 persons);
- Show and dinner in Nodira Divan Begi madrassah in Bukhara – 15 USD/per person.
- Supplement for meals:
- Half board (8 dinners) – 90 USD/per person/for the whole tour (optional).
- Full board (8 lunches and 8 dinners) – 170 USD/per person/for the whole tour (optional).
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at. The list of the hotels we offer is below. However, due to seasonal conditions and group size this list is subject to change.
– Standard – inexpensive yet cozy private hotels, with traditional national interiors in many of them, providing all the necessary facilities for comfortable stays; notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere;
– Comfort – very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services; mainly located in or near city centers.
This tour comes with the following accommodation:
|Tashkent||Samir 3* or similar||Rakat Plaza Hotel 4* or similar|
|Samarkand||City Hotel or similar||Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* or similar|
|Bukhara||Fatima Hotel 3* or similar||Devon Begi Hotel 4* or similar|
|Khiva||Zukhro Boutique Hotel 3* or similar||Bek Hotel 4* or similar|
|Boysun||Gaza Hotel or similar||Gaza Hotel or similar|