Traversing Central Asia: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran

September 7 – September 27, 2017
Led by Dr. Peter Clark, OBE

Although today they are three separate nations, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran have a long, rich history of political, commercial, and cultural exchange, and to explore that is like stepping back into the Islamic Golden Age and beyond. Fly into Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, a contradicting yet fascinating mix of the many eras of the country’s history. Drive to Samarkand and become hypnotized by the mysticism and vibrancy of the ornate tile-covered buildings and mosques, which evoke visions of the legendary Silk Road. Continue on to Bukhara whose largely undisturbed old town was the cultural and religious center of the 10th century caliphate.  Travel across the border to Turkmenistan and the ancient site of Merv, an oasis city dating back to the 3rd century BC. Traverse the Turkmenistan countryside and cross into Iran and its holiest city of Mashhad, home to the shrine of Imam Reza, Shia Islam’s 8th Imam. Fly to Tehran, Iran’s capital, for its collection of first-rate museums displaying original ancient Persian artifacts. Visit Yazd to explore some of the best-preserved traditional Persian desert architecture before continuing on to Shiraz and the remarkable nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Persepolis. . In Isfahan, experience Iran’s best example of city planning whose crown jewel is Imam Square, one of the world’s largest and most magnificent plazas. We end with a stop at the tranquil Fin Gardens, a lush oasis with immense historical significance for the Iranian people. Return home from Tehran.

Trip Price: $7,120 based on double occupancy.

For a single occupancy, please add $1,620.

Trip price includes all domestic flights within Iran, all hotel accommodations in deluxe or best-available hotels based on double-occupancy, meals as listed in the itinerary (B,L,D), all tours, excursions, sightseeing, entrances and porterage.

Itinerary

September 7: Thursday. Depart US.
September 8: Friday. Tashkent. Lotte City Hotel Tashkent Palace.
September 9: Saturday. Tashkent.
September 10: Sunday. Samarkand. Hotel Malika Prime.
September 11: Monday. Samarkand.
September 12: Tuesday. Bukhara. Sasha and Son Hotel.
September 13: Wednesday. Bukhara.
September 14: Thursday. Mary. Hotel Mary.
September 15: Friday. Mary.
September 16: Saturday. Mashhad. Ghasr Talaee International Hotel.
September 17: Sunday. Tehran. Espinas Hotel.
September 18: Monday. Tehran.
September 19: Tuesday. Yazd. Moshir Garden Hotel.
September 20: Wednesday. Yazd.
September 21: Thursday. Shiraz. Zandiyeh Hotel.
September 22: Friday. Shiraz.
September 23: Saturday. Isfahan. Abbasi Hotel.
September 24: Sunday. Isfahan.
September 25: Monday. Isfahan.
September 26: Tuesday. Tehran. Novotel Tehran Imam Khomeni International Airport Hotel.
September 27: Wednesday. Return home from Tehran.

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