I’ve been very busy lately, confirming all sorts of trips, from family reunions in Australia to honeymoons in Greece and even business trips. It’s great to be back doing more of what I love, writes travel consultant Emma Savage. As well as planning great vacations for my clients, an important part of my role is making sure I’m up to date with all the new tours, trips and itineraries my suppliers have to offer. So, this week, I integrated training on more unusual destinations, including Uzbekistan. This destination first piqued my interest when it was featured by Simon Reeve a few years ago on his TV series “Meet the Stans” and remains a destination that still fascinates me.
Uzbekistan is perhaps best known for its links to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking China to the Mediterranean and it is what attracts many visitors these days; Khiva, Samarkand and Bukhara are all popular places along the route. You may remember that Joanna Lumley traveled the Silk Road for a TV series not too long ago and it caused a surge in demand from (particularly interestingly) women over 50 – maybe women are channeling Joanna Lumley!
Uzbekistan is a Central Asian nation with a fascinating history. Settled by many people over the years, the Islamic architecture here is particularly interesting. Its bustling bazaars and tea rooms will immerse you in the tastes and curiosities of local life – it’s a place in stark contrast to the UK, from culture to landscape.
Typically, when asked about a destination like this, group tours are my first stop, as I find they allow keen adventurers to travel with an expert local guide, using a range of transportation options and staying in several types of accommodation, from yurts to hotels. It’s a comfortable way to see all the sites, safely.
One of my suppliers, Intrepid Travel, focuses on small groups and takes travelers on a more immersive, yet comfortable experience without compromising the quality of accommodation. Their Premium Tour, for example, will allow you to explore the cosmopolitan capital of Tashkent with its Soviet heritage, marvel at the glorious architecture of Samarkand, discover the holy sites of Bukhara and visit the ancient monuments of Khiva. This trip even includes joining a local family for a traditional cooking class and learning the ins and outs of a traditional Uzbek village. To get around the country, you won’t be stuck on a bus – it will be planes, trains and even automobiles!
Uzbekistan is definitely a place that is on my own wish list. Will you add it to yours? Do not hesitate to contact me if you are planning to go on vacation, I would love to help you in your next adventure.