In the evening we’ll have the pleasure of dining in a former caravanserai and be entertained by Bukhara’s local musicians and dancers in local costumes.

Overnight in hotel (BD) Day 08: Bukhara – Gijduvan – Samarkand We take a morning drive to Samarkand via Gijduvan, where we will visit the most important ceramic center of Bukhara region.

We also visit the massive fortress, The Ark, with the Emir’s open-air throne room and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an intricate and beautiful 10th century brick structure that is nicely preserved.

Our tour of the Uzbek capital includes the Barak Khan Seminary, Kukeldash and Abul Khassim Medressas, and the Uzbek Museum of Applied Arts.

Overnight in hotel (BD) Day 05: Bukhara Drive Our drive to Bukhara is through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert.

Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this unforgiving landscape.

There are over 140 protected buildings in the city.

Overnight in hotel (BD) Day 06: Bukhara City Tour Today we explore the old quarter on foot.Khiva is an ancient walled city and looks much like it did in centuries past.It is one of the few sites in Central Asia where one can easily imagine life during the time of the emirates.In the early 16th century, Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and the pivot of the khanate for the next three centuries.Until Russia finally wrested the region from Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with the area’s fierce tribesmen.Bukhara has been designated a World Heritage Site; some of the mosques, constructed in the 11th to 15th centuries, have been restored and appear as if they were built yesterday.