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Escorted Tours

Uzbekistan and the Silk Route including

India's Golden Triangle


Route:
  • UK
  • Tashkent
  • Khiva
  • Bukhara
  • Samarkand
  • Tashkent
  • Delhi
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Delhi
  • London

7 NIGHTS from £879pp

Tour Highlights
  • Enjoy a city tour of Old and New Delhi
  • Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Taj Mahal
  • Visit the City Palace, Jaipur
  • Explore Agra Fort and the Amber Fort
  • Explore cosmopolitan Tashkent
  • Visit the colossal Kalta Minor Minaret
  • Discover Bukhara, Central Asia's holiest city
  • Visit the ruins of Tamerlane's Ak Saray Palace
  • Gaze at Registan square
  • Wine Tasting at the Khovrenko Winery
  • Cookery class with a local family in Samarkand

Extension from £879pp

Tour + Extension from £2438pp

or call us on 0800 781 4893

India's Golden Triangle

Travelling from Delhi to Agra then Jaipur, this 6 night extension tour of the Golden Triangle takes you through India's most famous sights. Ride a rickshaw around Old Delhi, marvel at the Taj Mahal and discover the Pink City of Jaipur.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Tashkent

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Tashkent

2
Tashkent

On arrival into Tashkent, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or explore the tree-lined streets and green spaces of Uzbekistan's cosmopolitan capital. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner.

  • Dinner
3
Tashkent to Khiva

After breakfast, enjoy a cultural tour of Tashkent starting with Hast Imam Square. Built on the tomb of known scientist, scholar and craftsman Hazrati Imam, the square is the religious centre of Tashkent and home to a number of beautiful mosques, monuments and madrasas. A madrasa is a centre of Islamic learning and there are some excellent medieval examples here such as the elegant blue-domed Barak-Khan Madrasa with its imposing, but no less elegant gateway, as well as the Muyi Muborak Madrasa with its intricately carved ceilings and ancient manuscripts, including the Osman Koran, considered to be the oldest copy of the Koran in the world. As a contrast to these 16th Century sites, you'll then visit the Chorsu Bazaar and experience the hustle and bustle of everyday Central Asian life as everything from spices, grains and fruits are sold. This is followed by a visit to the Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre built in neoclassical style by famous Russian architect Alexey Shchusey. Finally you'll pay a visit to Mustaqilik (Independence Square) home to the country's senate and government buildings, before catching a flight to Urgench for your transfer to Khiva.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Khiva

An important trading post on the Silk Road for centuries due to its position halfway between China and Rome, Khiva is a colourful treat for the eyes and a UNESCO-listed treasure that feels more like an open-air museum than a functioning city. Today, you'll get the chance to wander its ancient streets and discover a millennium of history on a fascinating guided tour. Gaze up at the imposing mud-brick walls of Ichan Kala, Khiva's inner city; explore the 12th century fortress of Kuhna Ark and wonder at the intricately tiled Pahlawan Mahmud Mausoleum, built in honour of the brave Uzbek hero Pahlavan Mahmoud.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
5
Khiva to Bukhara

After breakfast, you'll set out by road on an epic journey across the Kyzyl Kum desert following in the footsteps of trading caravans that have been traversing this Silk Road route for hundreds of years.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Bukhara

One of the most ancient cities in Uzbekistan, Bukhara is over 3000 years old and dates back to nearly a thousand years before Alexander the Great's conquest of Central Asia. Like most historic cities in Uzbekistan it was an important trading post along the Silk Road, but is probably better known throughout the Islamic world as a being a great centre of learning and has even been referred to as Central Asia's holiest city. Today, you will get the opportunity to explore some of its many architectural wonders on a guided tour of the city. The formidable Ark citadel was initially built in the 5th century and was the fortified residence of the rulers of Bukhara for centuries, containing palaces, temples barracks and even a prison. It has been destroyed and subsequently rebuilt many times, including by Genghis Khan who ransacked Bukhara in 1220 AD. Your tour guide will escort you around the various minarets, mosques, madrassas and mausoleums of the city before leaving you to explore this architectural wonder at your own pace.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
7
Bukhara

Today is at leisure to wander this fabulous city, exploring its bazaars, stone pools and ancient streets without a guide.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
8
Bukhara to Samarkand

After breakfast, depart for Samarkand stopping en route at the 'green city' of Shakhrisabz. With a well-groomed, green and modern appearance it's hard to believe the city is over 2700 years old. The centre of the city has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site and contains an exceptional collection of monuments, including the gleaming white Ak Saray Palace built for Amir Timur or Tamerlane, famous warrior Khan, military tactician and founder of the Timurid Empire. Born in a neighbouring village, Tamerlane turned Shakrisabz into his residence after assuming power and ordered his architects to build a series of intricate mausoleums and stunning mosques, the ruins of which can still be explored today. Leaving the Timurids 1st city behind you'll continue onwards to the 14th century capital of their empire, Samarkand.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Samarkand

Samarkand is the epitome of a journey along the Silk Road. The name alone conjures up romantic, almost mythical images of vast tiled squares; huge blue domes sparkling in the sun and patterned minarets reaching into the sky. A trip to Registan, the city's Timurid heart and Central Square proves this to be a reality and showcases the fine work of Tamerlane's master craftsmen and builders, acquired from throughout his sprawling empire. A wide mosaicked square is backed by three immense madrasas, beautifully adorned in intricate blues green and violet patterns, each one a monument to the city's place as the intellectual capital of the region. During the middle ages the city attracted the greatest scholars, architects and scientists around, which can be seen first hand on your visit to Ulugbek's Observatory. Grandson of Tamerlane, Ulugbek was a famous astronomer, scientist and architect whose observatory helped him to produce the most comprehensive catalogue of stars since the 2nd century and greatly advance the world's understanding of the solar system. You can pay your respects to both him and his famous conquering grandfather at the sumptuous Gur- Emir, the ornately decorated mausoleum of the royal family. Once a marvel of the east, its influence can be seen in the style of the great architectural tombs of the Mughal dynasty of North India such the Taj Mahal in Agra. Before dinner, visit the Khovrenko Winery and sample a range of Samarkand wines.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
10
Samarkand

This morning, you'll visit the Koni Ghil Paper Mill renowned for making paper of such exquisite quality that only sultans, emirs and viziers could afford it. This 'royal' paper has been exported along the Silk Road for centuries and many 9th and 10th century Arabic and Persian manuscripts were written on it. After this you'll explore one of the treasures of Samarkand, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque built in the late 14th century as a tribute to Tamerlane's wife as well as his victory in Delhi. It is one of the best-known architectural wonders of Central Asia. You'll have a chance to do some shopping at the local Siyab bazaar, before having the rest of the day at leisure to explore this UNESCO listed city at your own pace. This evening you will have the chance to experience a little modern Uzbek culture by enjoying dinner with a local family who will provide a master class in cooking Pilav, a famous rice based dish in Uzbekistan

  • Breakfast & Dinner
11
Samarkand to Tashkent

After breakfast, you'll start your journey back to Tashkent. Stopping along the way in Jizzakh to visit Sufi Centre 'Nursafardiyya'. Nursafardiyya comprises a fascinating blend of divine medicine, philosophy, meditation, calligraphy, martial arts and poetry, with the view that through these spiritual practices comes self-improvement and happiness. In the afternoon you will arrive back in Tashkent where your afternoon is at leisure. Tonight enjoy a festive farewell dinner to round off this unforgettable trip.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Tashkent to London

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, before transferring to the airport for your return flight to London or onto your chosen extension.

  • Breakfast
13
Tashkent

Following breakfast the rest of this day is yours to spend as you wish in Tashkent.

  • Breakfast
14
Tashkent to Delhi

Your morning is at leisure before your late afternoon flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

  • Breakfast
15
Delhi

A full day tour of Delhi commences after breakfast, beginning with the historic Old Delhi in the morning. Lying side by side, Old Delhi dates back to the Mughal period, whilst New Delhi was built just over a hundred years ago. Travelling through the arrow and crowded streets on a rickshaw will transport you back in time, whilst a visit to the regal Red Fort gives you a sense of the lavish life once led by the former rulers. After lunch, your tour will continue on to New Delhi to see the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial and the 12th century Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
16
Delhi & Agra

After breakfast you will be driven to Agra, arriving at your hotel in time for lunch. Despite being a small city, Agra was once the capital of the might Mughal dynasty whose strength manifested itself in the huge forts and buildings built to maintain its power. During the afternoon you will visit the vast red sandstone Agra Fort, which was built in 1565 and boasts grand palaces, gigantic pavilions and spectacular courtyards.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
17
Agra & Jaipur

This magical day starts after breakfast with a tour of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Words do not do this remarkable palace justice; it really must be seen to appreciate its stupendous beauty. Taking 17 years to build, the heartbroken Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan, dedicated this monument of love to his deceased wife to enshrine her mortal remains. Following a break for lunch, you will then continue on to visit Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent fortified ghost city, en-route to the Pink City of Jaipur where you will arrive in the early evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
18
Jaipur

Begin your first day in Jaipur with a visit to the spectacular Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the royal family until 1728 located just 11km from Jaipur. Spanning over four huge courtyards, you will travel to the centre of the fort by either elephant or jeep, passing snake charmers, harems of the Maharajah and the Palace of Mirrors along the way which all make for a truly unforgettable morning. An afternoon city tour of Jaipur takes in the major sights including the home of the royal family of Jaipur - The City Palace and the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory. Lastly, marvel at the hundreds of tiny windows on the facade of the Hawa Mahal, known to many as the Palace of Winds, where it is said that the women of the royal family could once watch the streets below without being seen.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
19
Jaipur & Delhi

The morning is left free so that after breakfast you can visit some of the local bazaars and stalls for some last minute shopping. Try the M1 Road and Chameliwala market for jewellery, handicrafts, textiles and more, or wander the streets and sample the delicious and unique Rajasthani street food that Jaipur has to offer. You will then begin your return journey to Delhi, stopping for lunch on the way. A final farewell dinner in Delhi will bring your trip to a close, celebrated by a cultural dance show to round off this unforgettable tour.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
20
Delhi to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to London via Tashkent.

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £72 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee or NPR, divided into 100 paisa. US dollars and UK sterling are both also often accepted should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, Laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2019 Dates
08 Mar 201926 Mar 2019£979£1599£2578Book Now
12 Apr 201930 Apr 2019£879£1699£2578Book Now
26 Apr 201914 May 2019£909£1699£2608Book Now
03 May 201921 May 2019£909£1729£2638Book Now
17 May 201904 Jun 2019£909£1699£2608Book Now
24 May 201911 Jun 2019£909£1729£2638Book Now
07 Jun 201925 Jun 2019£909£1749£2658Book Now
06 Sep 201924 Sep 2019£909£1699£2608Book Now
13 Sep 201901 Oct 2019£909£1729£2638Book Now
20 Sep 201908 Oct 2019£999£1749£2748Book Now
04 Oct 201922 Oct 2019£999£1699£2698Book Now
18 Oct 201905 Nov 2019£999£1649£2648Book Now
01 Nov 201919 Nov 2019£999£1559£2558Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Uzbekistani Som

Average Flying time

10 hours

Min/Max temperature

21 °C / 9 °C

What to pack
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Lightweight clothing
  • Sweater
  • Swimwear
  • Warm clothing during the winter months
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • Small day pack for excursions
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Sunscreen and hat in summer
  • Warm clothes and thermals in winter
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • An electric plug converter
  • Loo Paper for public WC's
  • Binoculars
  • Leave plenty of space in your case for shopping!
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